One of my favourite things about doing this blog is the chance to meet and interview designers I admire and whose work I hold in high esteem. Today’s local designer spotlight focuses on an interior designer whose work I have long admired and which has provided me with much inspiration for this house – Lynda Kerry of Lynda Kerry Interior Design. I’m sure you will have seen images of the stunning Hamptons inspired house she put her magic touch to in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, which appeared in House & Garden a few years ago and which I have featured here previously. In fact, most of her work has appeared in interior design magazines over the years.
Lynda very kindly spent several hours with me chatting in her stunning office/showroom in Double Bay, where I was in heaven surrounded by sumptuous Ralph Lauren fabrics, vintage kilim rugs, batiks, oceans of blue and white china, beautiful lamps, furniture and accessories. It was a delightful way to pass a few hours, on top of which Lynda was most generous in sharing her experience, inspiration, design secrets and giving me lots of helpful advice!
This combination of chair and cushions was a little like decorating heroin to me! Lynda imported these faux bamboo armchairs from the US, and had the cushions custom made using fabrics from Travers and Ralph Lauren.
Lynda began her career in the US in the early 80s. She grew up in Newport Beach, CA and after studying psychology at USC discovered a passion for interior design (mind you it was in the genes, her mother was an interior decorator with great style). She undertook a degree in Interior Design at UCLA and then worked for a flamboyant interior designer in LA for a few years honing her craft. She secured star clients such as Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee from Motley Crue early on before launching her own business. Lynda met her husband, former Australian Olympic swimmer Mark Kerry in the US before moving to Australia in the mid 90s with their two young children.
Upon arriving in Sydney, Lynda worked with Manning & Manning for a few years while she found her feet and soon relaunched her design business in the eastern suburbs. Lynda quickly managed to attract the attention of some wealthy, high profile clients and it didn’t take long before her business took off as word of mouth spread by associations and referrals through her kids’ schools, friends and the calibre of her work.
Lynda has gone on to forge a successful career, much sought after for her skill in capturing the essence of classic American style, with a Hamptons twist. She is a devotee of Ralph Lauren fabrics and uses them liberally in her designs. Lynda’s signature look features lots of white timber paneling, wainscoting, dark stained timber floors, plenty of fresh white joinery and cabinetry with black hardware and butt hinges, adding texture from sisal rugs with vintage kilims and batik cushions. Oh and plenty of blue and white!
Beautiful pendant lights, sconces and table lamps are always an integral part of Lynda’s American aesthetic, and she uses a lot of black accents in her accessories and decorative touches, including hardware and lighting.
Lynda has a great talent for layering and combining fabrics, patterns and textures, which is evident in her work and her showroom. Lynda told me she prefers not to have matching sets of furniture in a room, but to allow a room to look more natural and evolved. For example, instead of matching bedside tables she would choose two different styles and shapes, perhaps an oval table combined with a traditional chest of drawers. She currently favours using a lot of vintage pieces, whether it be textiles or furnishings, artwork or accessories. Items which are curated and collected over time and decades, which give a room personality, substance and gravitas.
Gorgeous Ralph Lauren fabrics are one of Lynda’s signature design elements, and these beautiful stripes are the perfect complement to any room.
Lynda’s rooms always exude relaxed elegance, they are impossibly stylish but never contrived or uptight. Her rooms manage to look at once liveable and welcoming but chic and timeless. She likes to give a room something a little unexpected and has a fondness for using a striking zebra rug or leopard print when a dose of personality is required. Lynda emphasises the importance of scale and proportion and finds the generous proportions used in American homes, design and architecture something that we have yet to embrace here.
This kind of setting is such eye candy – beautiful blue and white ceramics, crisp white slipcovered chairs, oversized textured striped cushions, a bit of mercury glass shimmer, a white orchid and a stunning black iron table – what more could you want?
I’m still drooling over this faux bamboo chair!
Finally, here are some examples of Lynda’s stunning interior design work from her website portfolio. You can see more images and contact details for Lynda here.
No doubt you’ll all be familiar with this beautiful Hamptons style home Lynda designed in Sydney which was featured in House & Garden a few years ago. Lynda likes to use honed black granite on the kitchen benchtop, with kitchen cabinets hand painted in Dulux Vivid White.
These next images were taken at Lynda’s home which again featured in House & Garden and the UK’s Homes & Gardens.
This stunning bedroom was the master bedroom in Lynda’s previous home. The navy walls are painted in Dulux Pacific Line. Isn’t it striking. The armchair is covered in Lee Jofa’s Willow Pattern.
No doubt you’ll see exactly why Lynda is like my interior design kindred spirit – I think I’ll have to adopt her as my mentor! Visit Lynda Kerry Interior Design here.
Images by Melinda Hartwright and courtesy Lynda Kerry/ACP.