sneak peek: sibella court


imagine that there was a beautiful shop that was more like a gallery, and every three months would take on an entirely new theme, no detail would be left untouched, a 10-color color palette would be chosen, and everything inside would be curated to match. even the color of the front door would change. well, it’s not a dream, and it does exist – in australia. the society inc., a shop run by sibella court in paddington (a suburb of sydney), is a true vision, and today we are pleased to not only have a look into her shop (second part of post), but also her home, where she lives above the shop. it is truly a labor of love, and a style that is beautiful, elegant and all her own. sibella also currently has a new book called, etcetera etc, available exclusively through anthropologie stores (currently US only, with a march 18th release date for the UK). mark your calendars now to catch sibella on the july 21st episode of keith johnson’s man shops globe. click here for more gorgeous images of sibella’s home – all which were shot by chris court, sibella’s brother, who photographed most of her book! {thanks so much, sibella!}anne

[above: Again part of my large main room.  A lover of all things “cabinet curiosity’ a wall of framed specimens inspired by Darwin’s collections are hung haphazardly from my picture rails (one of the best inventions for those who like to forever change there wall art!).  A pirate flag for all occasions bought at John Derian, NYC rests on a burlap covered chaise (bit scratchy but looks great).]

My large bedroom cum lounge cum library. This looks busy. It is not as hectic as this when in the room. I’m a lover of textiles; this Japanese pilgrims jacket of Rami is one of my favourites. I go through colour phases & have a love of red,white (my next theme is of this palette: inspired by sailors,exploration, sea shanties & wooden worlds). This fab flag Vivienne Westwood cushion was kindly given to me by The rug co .

This is my very pokey kitchen but I love all the piled chopping boards & hanging utensils. Its small but very well equipped.

My boyfriend & I recently were potographed for a fashion campaign. We decided to be photographed in bed & to re-enact the famous picture of John & Yoko.

CLICK HERE for 19 more images of sibella’s gorgeous home and shop after the jump!

This is the view from my bed: a giant antler found at Chelsea fleamarkets, NYC, Wild bird seed bag found at Sandwich , IL markets, a school chair & a fan for a hot Sydney Summer. I like to play with scale & shape- it makes a fun corner.

This is a section of my walk-in wardrobe. After moving from a 2000 sq ft loft in NYC to a small 2 room house in Sydney, I worked out I didn’t need a huge living space but I did need a walk-in wardrobe room. I converted (with the help of my setbuilder) the second small bedroom into a wardrobe made just for me!. These are some of my things.

My mother was a textile collector. She instilled the same passion in me. The beautifully handmade ‘Nuits’ cushion is by textiler extradonaire, Tara Badcock. Based in Tasmania she mixes embroidery, old & new fabrics with perfection. An vintage japanese indigo futon cushion sits on floral print quilt by Utility Canvas , New Paltz NYC. Nothing like a random hook to hang a lamp that looks like a felted fez!

My little nephews & nieces are constanly fascinated & in wonder that I have stones in my bathtub. I have a huge collection of hand selected tossed stones found all over the world. I love the feel & sound of them and never tire of combing on an unexplored beach.

This is a little annex off my bathroom. I tire of paint myths so to illustrate that dark rooms don’t make a room look smaller I painted it black in its entirety. I love things 3D & hanging from the ceiling: here I have 2 of my many favourite art/crafts people. The black sculptured cardbaord mirror is by Noelle , who is French & draws inspiration from a love of Louis XIV furniture. She lives in Sydney. The raven that appears to be studying an ant very carefully was sewn by the talented Laurie , who once had a beautiful shop on 10th St in the East Village. My 3D chinoserie lady (can’t quite determine her origins) I found in the back streets of Istanbul that made me think of Paris in the 1800s.

The other end of my mantle with random pieces. My favourite quote from Jeanette Wilnterson’s Lighthouse Keeping: My Mother called me silver. Part precious metal, part pirate chalked on to an old slateboard. I like to be surrounded by words.

I have a (or many) fascinations with honest materials & hardware. Here I have  a selection of barbed wire samples that I found in Des Moines that I have just leaned on the mantel. They sit with a hand blown glass & wire vase bought at INterius, NYC, a cool folding mini lamp found at a fleamarket in LA , a paper slinky & old school slate board.

Green stool.

These are my stairs that I laboured over/hand sanded & extracted 100’s of nails by hand when I bought my corner building. I have painted them a couple of times. This is my latest colour called ‘Cherry Nose’. These stairs lead from the shop downstairs to my little house above. I painted the stairs in ‘Porcelain’ first then did one coat of “cherry Nose’. I am a bit slapdash in my paint application but it always has a lovely textile-y textural movement.

Situated in my walk-in wardrobe. A bookcase serves as hat display. I wear a lot of hats.

Cabinet of curiosities. As you can see I have a serious beach combing habit.

This is the Society inc. Situated on the corner in Sydney suburb, Paddington in a 1860’s terrace house. I design a 10 colour palette every 3 months. The shop gets changed/painted/restocked to reflect these colours and their story [paints are all Murobond]. This colour, ‘Cicada’ is in my latest paint palette’ called Tender is the Night. I change the door every 3 months to tie in with my theme. Tender is the Night is based on the book of the same name. The flowers that would have been found in the Divers rocky garden in the South of France: nasturtiums, geraniums etc & the vivid colours of cicadas. In Australia when I was growing up every summer we would be on the hunt for cicadas that had great names like Yellow Monday, Greengrocer, Cherry Nose, Black Prince etc.

A love of typography & old signs. I found the old diner board in a flea market in California & the ‘Closed’ card is an old flashcard I found in a fleamarket n Illonois. The ‘&Friendly Service’ is a sticker a friend thought I might like from a recycling shop. The top paper sign I made over the Christmas break so everyone could get excited about the next theme

This is part shop part office. I had my set builder make floor to ceiling shelves upstairs & downstairs. The shelves are based on the shelves from a Glass library existing in a Venetian mosaic school. Nothing is level or too precise (although we did measure my magazines ). Just how i like it. This rolling ladder is from the amazing Putnam ladders that up until recently was on Howard St, NYC. I had shipped it back without knowing where it would g, but it looks like it was suppose to live here.

A love of old trades is shown through my rather large collection of old paintbrushes.
I have these hanging in a door way near my paint samples.

This colour is called ‘Geranium’. My assistant & I paint the floor differently with each theme. Just like getting a new rug. This one is giant abstract nasturtiums. The birch chair is made by a guy in Melbourne, Greg Hatton.

I saw these old French labeled boxes in a pic of a friends shop in Melbourne.
I quickly called my very good friend who has an amazing furniture shop in Melbourne called Guy Matthews Industrial on Gertrude St, Fitzroy. He had found them at a late hour in Paris after too many drinks when builders were tearing apart an old shoe makers’ shop. He managed to sober himself up & organize a van to take them away!!! I bought 50 to house my extensive ribbon collection & other bits n’ bobs.

This is my main shop display cabinet. I found it at auction the week before I moved into The Society inc. It was  a real find that fits perfectly at 12ft high x 10 foot wide. Its originally from a pencil factory in Alexandria, Egypt.

I originally did this for messengers & package delivery for when we are out. However, I do stencil a lot -my stairs, walls, boxes amongst other things.

Each of my past colour ‘themes’ are housed on my custom build (by my set builder) shelves. These beautiful rich warm colours are from my theme ‘Atelier’. This theme was inspired by the story of Julien Tanguy and his shop in Paris in the 1880’s. He supplied the local artists of the Montmartre with their pigments & essential art supplies. Van Gogh painted him in 1887.

  1. I love love love! She is so talented. I’m so happy that I stumbled across these photos today :)

  2. Table Tonic says:

    Sibella Court. One in a million. A true pioneer of a style she has made her own, the world over. Her mum should be proud.

  3. Penny says:

    Table tonic- my mum wasn’t proud! I’ve been into this look since I was about 15, you don’t get any gold stars from a mother when you drag ‘god knows what’ in to the house and cover your floor in leaves. :D

    If you like this sort of thing (and why wouldn’t you!), track down anything you can find on Ann Shore’s Story (Spitalfeilds) and Rebecca Purcell’s book Interior Alchemy – both are as elusive as they are wonderful.

    I was going to correct the shop location, well done Mindy! I used to visit Industria waaaay back in the olden days when it was at Tyabb packing house, that was probably the first time I’d seen anyone say ‘it’s okay to like this weird junk.’

  4. Hannah says:

    Wow, Sibella’s home and shop are so inspiring, hope to be in Sydney for a visit some day!

  5. katherine says:

    I love that book, it’s awesome, I can understand what people are saying about it being cluttered but to each its own right?

  6. Kaspia says:

    The thing also about Sibella Court is that she is SO GENEROUS! With all her insider hints and quips in her divine book and when you meet her also. She shares her vast knowledge and artistic flair, so we can all create a little corner of treasure or enormous wall of beauty in our lives. Whether we see it as clutter or art, she elicits a response and makes us dream and do and think…and that GREEN is Cicada…luscious…

  7. Karo from Finland says:

    I love your home and the Cabinet of Curiosities a.k.a Wunderkammer theme!

  8. Julia says:

    best sneak peek E V E R!!!!
    love every single thing in the pictures! Can i move in there please?

  9. barb says:

    Karina, I live in Toronto, Canada and I order books from Barnes and Noble. Shipping is hassle free and not expensive. The books cost less too.

  10. Carla says:

    Hi, I am an architect and I live in Naples, Italy, I’ve just bought the book of Sibella….gorgeous!!!

    I not only love her interiors, but also the way she expresses beauty….using pictures, calligraphy, materials, nature, papers, ETC……

    ….sorry for my english!!

  11. Magaly Gomez says:

    absolutely love it

  12. Miss Heliotrope says:

    I think it’s lovely & Dr Heliotrope gave me the book for Christmas & I carry it around with me.
    I do sometimes worry about dusting, but figure that’s what minions are for.

  13. Angela says:

    Absolutely amazing & totally gorgeous!! I can’t wait to get home to Sydney in a few months and visit the shop. As an aside- I know it is mainly about the pictures, but I find the typos a little distracting.

  14. Julian Hazlett says:

    All this creativity takes my breath away……what a discovery!

  15. Anne Donaldson says:

    Hugely disappointed at the shop. The books are wonderful. Where is the glitch!

  16. Laura Harwood says:

    I think its really refreshing to see a space which is fully wonder and mystery, and so reminiscent of a life fully lived.
    Anti clutter specialists have sprung up allover the place suddenly trying to make anyone with an ounce of personal history or character in their abode out as having deep psychological problems…another way to make money I guess.

    This woman obviously has a whole bunch of style and talent, and I must say I love the way she has produced her books, with their thick heavy pages, and all the different textures and fabulous photography, they are a thing of beauty in a time of austerity – food for the imagination and the senses. Im a fan! Wish her shop wasn’t on the other side of the world though :(

  17. Sarah says:

    I have come back to this sneak peek over and over and though I’m late to the comment party I must add: not only do I love the personality behind these images, but I’ve been thinking a lot about surfaces and daily use and the function of objects in our lives: Living surfaces don’t need to be dusted; things that get used and touched and loved don’t need to be dusted. I would like to imagine that all of the things and surfaces in these pictures don’t NEED to be DUSTED. And that not everyone can pull this off because we all interact with things and our environment differently, another beautiful aspect of our individuality! Every thing in these photos looks loved, not dusty. A true environment, not clutter.

  18. Jo says:

    Did you know the school chair by the bed is a kneeler? For praying. They often have graffiti on the underside of the top rung – from naughty schoolchildren scratching their names without looking, whilst pretending to pray.

  19. Steve Baar says:

    And every piece would tell a story I’ll bet , that’s half the beauty.Nice to spot the oz contributors, caught Adrian Richardsons’ digs in Carlton in sneek peaks. As a chef I always love to peak into the kitchens .Let’s see more kitchens in D*S.Thanks from an OZ fan.

  20. Supriya says:

    Her home and office are so inspirational, that seem to be saying ‘tell your story through your living spaces, be who you want to be in there, design trends don’t matter only your journey and point of view does.”

  21. Beautiful home…but I wish she didn’t have so many stolen treasures from the beach. Take only photos, leave only footprints.


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