When talking about the Byron Bay home she shares with husband Matt, son Jude and their cavoodle Harper, Lara Fells uses words like “simple”, “relaxed” and “authentic”. This will come as no surprise to fans of her clothing and footwear brand St Agni, who would use similar adjectives to describe Fells’ own designs.
Indeed, a similar aesthetic runs through everything Fells touches, from the light and airy neutral colour palette, to the woven rattan that is a feature on both her dining chairs and the highly coveted handbags made by her brand. It’s a warm and welcoming approach to minimalism that’s right in keeping with her Byron Bay surrounds.
It also highlights the importance of getting the details exactly right – including the scents that Fells selects to surround her. “I love the Arabian Oud interior scent, I'm obsessed,” she says. “I love smoky scents. I love to clean the house and then finish it off with a few sprays.”
Here, Fells reveals how her interiors style has changed since the birth of her son, and shares exciting plans for a brand new venture.
How did you approach the interior style for your home?
I like to keep things simple. I appreciate quality and authentic design, so I consider these traits in my choices and take time to do so. I am a uniform dresser, in the sense that I know what I like and what works for me, so I rarely stray from this. You’ll never find me in anything too outrageous. Style is fluid for me in this respect – I don’t like excess or fuss in fashion or at home, so I would ultimately describe my personal style as relaxed and utilitarian. I love to invest in staple items that I know I can wear over and over again. I think the same can be said for my home environment; the same values are reflected.
How has your home changed since having your son, Jude?
It's changed from being a sophisticated adults’ home to more of a children’s play room. I loved having vases and nice books about the place, but this isn’t as practical with a child, so toys have replaced these items.
Where do you like to shop for homewares?
I love shopping for homewares locally and we have a great choice here in Byron with the likes of Pampa, Tigmi Trading and Worn Store. With age, I have started to see the value in buying well-made investment pieces for our home and I also love supporting local furniture makers or finding quality vintage pieces.
How does your home motivate you?
I like spaces to be open with lots of natural sunlight. In the morning, the sunlight flows into our bedroom and living area; I find this helps me get out of bed and feel inspired for the day!
What are some of the most treasured objects in your home?
I absolutely love our bed, handmade by She Oak, two talented local friends. I also love the low boy in Jude’s room. This is also a handcrafted piece by local Marty Johnston. I’m obsessed with rugs and have two from my favourite local stores Pampa and Tigmi Trading. Our outdoor swing by Pop & Scott is another favourite piece.
How do you like to use scent in your home?
Everything always has to smell nice. I love to have a candle burning in our living area and letting the scent drift into the rest of the house. When I’m home I love to have a candle burning at any time of day!
Do you change scent seasonally?
I like change and am always willing to try something different. I find I tend to go for more woody scents in winter and florals in summer. And I love sandalwood – it’s always been a favourite.
What are you most looking forward to, for the rest of this year?
We are working on a really exciting project at the moment. Our plan is to renovate a rundown boat-building shed, and turn it into a new HQ, boutique, warehouse, coffee shop and Airbnb. The building was built in the 1970s so we have a lot of work to do!
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Fells’ favourite scents for home and self
Written by Michelle Bateman