At home with the Artist ~ Interview 1.0 ~ Kerry Armstrong
Tell us about the aesthetic and design of your home?
Our home was built in 1915 and holds more so to an 'arts and craft' era period wise. It had already been renovated well some 20 years ago, but needed extensive renovation. We absolutely love the end result which now reflects a contemporary, edgy feel whilst still respecting the original, quirky period details - such as etched windows and a stunning Waterford basket chandelier in the entry. Our new kitchen and laundry are the standouts in terms of starting to see and live beautifully, in what has been a total transformation of the home. We’re currently in the final phases of custom joinery throughout (I love beautiful but highly functional storage!) and my old painting studio is about to have a soaring vaulted ceiling, and become a light filled glamorous bedroom or multi functional space. All of this will be completed with landscaping to update the gardens, and my dream of a large palm tree are finally coming true!
What makes your home unique to you?
I’m such a homebody - so a truly warm, cosy and expressive home to entertain family and friends is how I now see this house. We love curating our art collection, especially the emerging artists and owning a few galleries makes it way too tempting to keep collecting, so I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon! I’m into less technology so the television and sound systems are all cleverly hidden to allow the original voice of the home and artwork to create the rhythm and flow.
Tell us about your design aesthetic...
I adore the juxtaposition of older period homes married with a bold, contemporary and well curated approach with regards to art, object and furnishings. This sums up our home perfectly and for me being a homebody that brings joy every single day.
How did you get started in the industry?
I started painting professionally 8 years ago when I was unwell with a brain tumour. The prospect of not living the life I was born to live was a greater fear than my illness. I just absolutely threw myself headlong into my work and didn’t accept the overwhelming and predictable “No’s”. I’ve come to learn that many of the roads that didn’t open up would have been the wrong ones!
“I’m a true, stubborn fighter when I see my own destiny, my gut hasn’t let me down once, it just takes time to prove that to others!”
My gratitude finds a purpose by feeding back into the industry and showing our belief in emerging artists. Studio Gallery has sponsored the ‘Belle Art Start’ (an emerging art prize) now for 4 years and I’m proudly on the esteemed judging panel.
How does Australian design rate on the global scale?
I feel confident in saying Australian design is extremely forward with a heavy European flavour, I’m not sure if we really appreciate how advanced our aesthetic is?!
What is the future of your brand?
Our Galleries have already fed back to me as founder enough passion and reward to light up this city! I’m incredibly proud of our now 18 Studio Gallery Group Team members, 2 Galleries in Melbourne, 1 huge Gallery in Sydney with a 4th in planning phase for 2022.
“We get out of bed each day to work solidly for our 90 plus artists from around the globe and provide what we’re passionate about - a strong focus on ethical practice and massive connection and commitment of service to our collectors”.
What is your top design tip?
A great life is born from contrast - our homes and environments benefit from the same theory - be bold with colour, understand the effects of scale, curate and layer until it speaks to you - for you!