Some call him the ‘the perpetually barefoot stylist’, but there’s no denying that Jason Grant has the world of style at his fingertips.
With almost a decade under his belt as an emerging force in the world of interior styling, Grant’s work has seen wins both locally and internationally across titles such as Vogue Living and French Grazia.
His signature laid-back approach to home decorating has also struck a chord with audiences, enabling him to complete two books outlining his unique craft. When the Sydneysider’s not inspiring others to find their own style, he’s sitting down with Rachelle Unreich to talk about the perks and sound advice for good home design.
RU: You seem to be forever busy. What did you do with your last bit of time out?
JG: I’m busy but I love it. Work-life balance is very important to me. I’m the first to admit that switching off is hard, but time off to relax is important. I meditate daily and love the outdoors and the water – nature helps keep me calm, too. I have just returned from a rather amazing holiday – part work, part pleasure – that has inspired me beyond words.
It began with a whirlwind USA book tour to promote my second book, Away At Home [or Australian title, Holiday At Home] with book events, signings and parties in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Austin. I then finished with a holiday in London and Paris. I like to think big!
“No one wants to live in a cold, soulless space that feels like a showroom.”
RU: How do you feel about the way Australians incorporate design into their home?
JG: Australians tend to be very forward-thinking and quite progressive. We have a great design industry that perhaps the general public is unaware of. It’s time that these local design heroes were embraced and celebrated – the likes of Henry Wilson, Adam Goodrum, Christopher Boots and Porcelain Bear. There’s also well-known brands like Dinosaur Designs, Jardan Furniture and Mud Australia. The list goes on.
RU: When life looks good on the outside, do good things follow? That is, can a pretty home change the way you feel or behave in it?
JG: Creating a home where you are happy and comfortable is important. I’m not a fan of the overstyled or over designed space. I encourage people to find their own style and embrace the imperfect home. No one wants to live in a cold, soulless space that feels like a showroom. You should surround yourself with things that you love.
“You can be really good at your job, but no one wants to work with a diva.”
RU: What are the best perks of your job?
JG: I get to work for myself and travel, and every day is different. I write my blog, style and art direct shoots for magazines and brands, and work on residential decorating projects. I’m also working on a few exciting new projects which includes book three.
RU: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
JG: Work hard and be nice to everyone. It’s really simple. You can be really good at your job, but no one wants to work with a diva. I love what I do, but I never take it for granted. The other piece of advice is that great assistants make for great stylists. I have a team of people that help me on a variety of projects and are great at what they do.
RU: Have you ever made a design decision that you’ve lived to regret?
JG: I am happy to make mistakes. There’s nothing major that I’ve regretted. It’s all part of the process, and it’s about your own personal journey – a decorating message I share in my books. No one is perfect, and without trying new things, you never know what is possible. I like to dream big and work hard to make these happen. More work and less talk, I say!
RU: How would you describe your fashion style?
JG: I’m definitely no fashionista, but I do have a particular look, and I have been described as ‘the perpetually barefoot stylist’! I do wear shoes, I promise, but I seem to feature in my books especially without shoes. My style is relaxed, comfortable and laid back, a little like my decorating style.
I always want and aim to be a little more polished and GQ sometimes, but find my easy style natural. I love brands like Jac and Jack, bassike, Vanishing Elephant, Mr Simple and the Academy Brand. Perhaps D’Marge would like to help with a little style upgrade!
RU: A blissful day would entail…
JG: …A sleep-in, take away coffees from across the road, a walk with my other half and our Boston Terrier Sophia to breakfast – usually at the other end of Bondi Beach, where I call home. Then a swim at Icebergs pool, a late snack of fresh prawns and salad, followed by cocktails and a late dinner with friends.
RU: Who has inspired you most in life?
JG: My parents have always encouraged me to be creative and to believe in my dreams. I really stumbled into styling but as soon as I found this magical job, there was no looking back. With hard work and some friends who believed in me, here I am almost ten years later. And I still love it.
RU: What space have you been in that blew you away?
JG: The spaces that I love the most are places I have enjoyed the most. The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, The Atlantic in Byron Bay and San Jose Hotel in Austin are cool, easy, well-designed and spaces that are relaxed and fun.
Photography: Lauren Bamford