Interview with Rowena Moore

13 Oct 2017

All photography featured by Noel McLaughlin


We recently had the amazing opportunity to collaborate with internationally recognised interior stylist, Rowena Moore. Rowena worked with Georgina Wilson Architect to style the Windsor Street Terrace in Paddington, Sydney, in a project to revitalise the house using furniture, homeware and accessories from Meizai.


We had the chance to chat with Rowena about her design values and the project.

Please tell us about your background and the path that led to where you are today?


I grew up surrounded by photography. My father was a photographer and would always take holidays with a caravan converted into a darkroom in tow. We also had a darkroom at home, so from a very early age I was exposed to and fostered an interest in visual arts. Also, since childhood I’ve been a natural collector (some may say hoarder), however, over the years I’ve managed to curate my hoardings. So I guess the elements have always been there, it wasn’t until I started working in the architecture and interior design fields that I directed my skills towards styling.


How would you describe your interior design style?


I find it difficult to characterise my style. I’m constantly being inspired, so I feel it’s something that is ever evolving. However, I have always had a love for bright colours and classic finishes like marble and brass.

"Scale is one of the most important things to consider and you should always take cues and be thoughtful of the architecture of the space."

Up-Lift Armchair by Prostoria                            Combine Sofa by Prostoria

Abaco Coffee Table by Pianca                            Polygon Armchair by Prostoria


In regards to the Windsor House residence, what determined your colour and furniture choices?


The layout of the terrace and the finishes used in each room help with determining the atmosphere I wanted to convey in each space. The formal living room had a chandelier and marble fireplace, so it had to be a beautiful velvet sofa! Timber, marble, white walls and joinery were the perfect canvas to add colour using furnishings and artwork. I used darker colours in the formal living room to make a point of difference to the casual living area. This is in a much brighter part of the house, utilising pastels and almost giving it an airy feel with the white walls and timber.

How did the opportunity come about to style the Windsor residence?

I worked with an architect and photographer team, Jade Young and Noel McLaughlin. We’ve got complimentary styles and we spoke about the look we were after and worked together to make the design come to life.

Were you given a specific design brief?

GWA (Georgina Wilson Architect) were very open for me to present a brief to them which was fantastic. They were perfect clients, allowing me creative control to interpret their design.

Transit Counter Stool by m.a.d. Furniture Design


Your studio is based in Sydney. Tell us three of your favourite things about the city and one must-see for a visitor.


My business is now Melbourne based but three of my favourite things about Sydney are:


  1. McIvers Baths are stunning ladies only baths set in the coastal cliffs of Coogee. It’s a peaceful escape from the city, especially night swimming when the water glows with phosphorescence.
  2. I love the Moreton Bay figs in Sydney they’re spread all over the city and play a huge part in its heritage landscape.
  3. The last few years has seen a Craft Brewery explosion which has been brilliant. Off the beaten track locations, relaxed warehouse vibes, creative events and so, so many excellent craft brews.


A must-see for visitors:

Visitors should definitely check out Chippendale. It’s a creative precinct and vibrant hub of arts and culture. Head to Chippendale Green and you’ll be surrounded by the buildings of Sydney’s best architects. Keep an eye out for Indigo Slam (an incredible residential project I was fortunate to be involved with) and White Rabbit Gallery, both projects designed by Smart Design Studio. Chippendale is a great place for foodies with loads of restaurants and laneway bars.

Combine Sofa by Prostoria
Polygon Armchair by Prostoria
Abaco Coffee Table by Pianca


Do you have any rules when it comes to styling?


Less is more! Coco Chanel’s sage advice – Look in the mirror and take one thing off before leaving the house – apply it to interiors. Scale is one of the most important things to consider and you should always take cues and be thoughtful of the architecture of the space.


Do you ever struggle for a styling idea, and if so where do you go to be inspired and help in those moments of creative blocks?


Definitely! I come across styling blocks all the time! The way around it is – research, research, research. I spend a lot of time getting visual inspiration from art, fashion, nature, interiors, architecture and films. Whenever I see things I like, whether it is beautiful winter shadows in the park or someone wearing a crazy outfit, I try to document it. I keep a visual library of all of these moments so I when I’m stuck I can look through and something might catch my eye and spur on new ideas.


The design calendar is filled with trade fairs, events, installations and parties. What is the one event that you can’t miss out on, and why?


Milan’s Salone del Mobile. The city is awash with incredible design and inspiring installations. It’s great place to connect with other creatives, stay on top of design trends and be inspired.