Where did your love of interiors begin, did you always know you wanted to work in this industry?
I have always been creative since I can remember and really I fell into the world of styling as growing up it wasn't a job that people knew about unlike now. I worked for a wholesale home wares company and one of my jobs was to organise samples to be loaned by stylists - who are these magical creatures I thought?! I met Glen Proebstel, then he was the style director of Inside Out Magazine and I assisted him on a few shoots. After that he convinced the then editor Karen MacCartney to book me for my own shoot. I must have done ok as then I was booked on another and another, finding and styling homes for the magazine, eventually becoming the melbourne contributing editor - producing all the stories and homes for the magazine in Melbourne.
I was offered the role of Style Director so moved to Sydney and this is where things began to happen. After a while I went back to freelancing and began work on my first book soon after moving to Bondi. It took time for me to realise that I had my own point of view and style and this was becoming clear. Fast forward around 10 years with two books under my belt (a third on the way) and an impending homewares collection launching in February (at lifeinstyle) www.mjgstore.com and I am living my creative dream - it is imporatnt to dream big and work hard to make your dreams come true.
How would you describe your style? Has it changed over the years as you’ve grown and progressed as a stylist?
My style is always constantly evolving and updating but at the core my style is relaxed, laid back, casual and not over styled (funny for a stylist). I'm proud to say that I think my point of view and style is very Australian but I do see influences from further a field and it's no secret that there is a little Californian undertone to my style as well. I like spaces to be real and personal and definetly not perfect. Decorating is all about expressing your style and personality.
How exciting that you are the ambassador for Life In Style - how much do you love being surrounded by all those creative and inspired people?
I love being surrounded by creative people and am quite lucky that I get to meet and work with many creative people often daily, be it artists, florists, shop owners, furniture designers or small makers, the list goes on. I love finding new, exciting and inspiring people. Some of my favourites include @theflowerdrum @popandscott @laurenbamford @pauldavies @dinosaurdesigns I could go on and on...
Do you have a favourite subject matter to shoot/work on?
I guess as a stylist styling/art directing your own homewares collection or books is definetly a favourite.
What do you think is the key to great design?
Simplicity and combining function and style
Top 3 styling tips?
1. Don't rush - it's fine to take your time - decorating and finding your own style is a journey to enjoy. It really comes down to finding your own confidence.
2. It's all in the edit - styling is also currating - sometimes it's about what you take out/leave out, you dont have to put everything on display, edit your space, add and subtract as you go.
3. Keep it personal - the key to a great space is decorating with what you love - it should make you smile.
Who and what inspires you?
Americans Kelly Wearstler, Jonathan Adler and the team behind Toms inspire me greatly, they have built very successful brands and have created unique signature styles across design, decorating and fashion. This is my dream for me here in Australia and launching my signature collection is the next step in this journey. I recently met Jonathan whilst he was here in Australia ( he even knew who I was!) and it was great to pick his brain and chat to him about his success. His best advice was to make your own way - dont try to be anyone else. I think it's important to find your own voice.
What/where are your favourite resources to garner inspiration?
Two of my biggest sources of inspiration are Travel and Nature - I love to travel, be it to India, the US or Paris. I love heading somewhere to have new adventures and discovering new and exciting places, as well as visiting old favourites like Palm Springs and LA (yes I am obsessed) Next on my list are Japan and Italy.
I've loved nature ever since I was a small boy and I love being outdoors. Bondi is home, living close to the ocean has a huge impact on my style and my ideas. Nature really get things right, for example colour and form - sometimes it's the little things that provide the biggest inspiration.
My favourites on Instagram include @dabito @george_byrne @happymundane