The inner-city Sydney home of Michele Singh, Project Manager at cosmetics company ModelCo, is an exercise in contrasts. From the street, the Victorian-era terrace is as charming as its identical neighbours, but once inside the front door, the sense of heritage gives way to a bright and very modern interior. It’s a long and narrow building that feels far more spacious than its narrow width would imply, thanks to a rigorous edit of both furniture and colour. The home – which Singh shares with her fiancé, Reeve, and their dog, Bobbie Bones – is almost exclusively monochromatic, from the white walls and bleached wooden floorboards to the calligraphy prints on the bench top.
This is no accident. For the past several months, Singh’s day-to-day role – a mix of strategic, creative and project-management duties – has been compounded by international travel, as she oversees the brand’s very high-profile Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo collaboration.
As she says: “My home is the calm to my chaos. It’s where I can reset and relax, so I love that it’s minimal – and it has to be clean.”
How would you describe your home style?
Tonal and white with elements of street chic. We try to keep to a minimal style with little clutter, but we do love a little street vibe through the house, whether it’s artwork or books.
How does scent complement this?
Our approach to scent is the opposite – when it comes to scent, more is more! We have candles all through our house, from the kitchen and the bathroom, to the bedroom and the living area. We like to use different scents in different rooms. For the bedroom, we choose something a little warmer with romantic undertones. I love Lumira La Primavera for our bedroom. In the living room, I like something a little fresh and fruity as it’s where Reeve and I spend most of our time together; Tuscan Fig is a regular here. And in the kitchen, it’s all about freshness, so Tahitian Coconut is my fave.
How do you like to bring mementos or souvenirs of your travel into your home?
I like to collect items that remind me of a particular place and time, and I have started a new tradition where I buy the Louis Vuitton City Guide for each city I visit. In New York recently, I also purchased the Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture book as a keepsake. I thought it was rather fitting, as we were there to shoot Stella Maxwell for our Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo project.
Can you share some of your other New York discoveries?
I’ve been lucky enough to visit New York a few times now, but each time I’ve found something new. For me, New York is a place that resets my vibe and energy, I’m always so inspired by how diverse,how much confidence and individuality the city has. I love to stroll through the streets of the Lower East Side, Soho and Tribeca. My new fave find this time, was Russ and Daughters, an old-school appetising café in LES. One of the other reasons I love travelling is because there are so many great places to wine and dine. My favourite spots that house fashion and homewares are Dover Street Market New York, What Goes Around Comes Around and Opening Ceremony. Oh, and Mexican at La Esquina is a must! I went back there a few times for their Pollo Rostizado.
What do you love most about travelling?
Every time I travel, I feel inspired. There’s just something about stepping out of your every day and breaking the routine. Whether it’s for work or play, being in a different environment is exciting and at times, challenging. You’re pushed out of your comfort zone and the opportunity for adventure is everywhere. Learning about and experiencing other cultures is such an incredible way to look at the world differently.
Can you share any advice for making travel more comfortable, especially long-haul flights?
Travelling with a scent that reminds you of home makes the trip more familiar; I always spray a lavender linen spray on my travel pillow. I also apply a hydrating mask once I’m on the plane, I love the ease of the Hydro-Glow Miracle Mask by ModelCo. Comfy loungewear for a long flight is essential, and I love the Assembly Label Lounge Pants for travelling in. Just before I get off the plane I apply my absolute favorite mascara, LashXtend by ModelCo, so I look and feel a little more alive!
How do you stay productive when travelling for work and moving across time zones?
It’s important to switch over as soon as possible, as it makes it easier to adjust. When travelling for work I usually make a big to-do list while I’m on the plane, so once I land I can just get on with what I need to do. A swim in the pool or the ocean, depending on where you are, is a good way to stay awake if you’re trying to push yourself closer to your natural bedtime, or an eye mask and earplugs for getting to sleep, if you’re not feeling particularly tired.
Where are you travelling to next?
We’ve had a pretty hectic schedule of late – Fiji for a wedding, New York for work, New Zealand for a wedding and then we’ve got the launch for Karl Lagerfeld x ModelCo collection mid-year, which is obviously going to be incredible!
Photography by Kath Mclean, Bright Photography
Interview by Michelle Bateman