Professional Crush

Styling your home, the Annie Bowen way

November 14, 2016
Here are an expert's tips on designing your interior.


Designing your home is nothing without a good source of inspiration. Flicking through your favourite interiors magazine, scrolling through Pinterest and snacking on your Instagram feed can certainly fuel your imagination, but sometimes this can also lead to a bad case of information overload – too many ideas and suggestions, all vying for your attention.

And when the analysis paralysis starts to set in, there’s nothing better than getting the opinion of an expert interior designer. Annie Bowen is a Sydney-based decorator who we’ve been very lucky to work with for a number of years. We recently caught up with Annie and got a few insights into how she goes about styling up a house and turning it into a home.

Aquas, greens and corals are fabulous shades to pick this summer.Aquas, greens and corals are fabulous shades to pick this summer.

Colours of the season

With the weather warming up, it may just be the perfect time to update your home interior to reflect the current trends of spring and summer. We asked Annie which colours are popular for these seasons.

“Indigo is huge right now, and grey is a constant base colour,” she tells us. “For spring and summer, layering with pops of vibrant colour for accents can be fun. Aqua and turquoise are a trusty go-to, but I’m seeing more use of coral and even vibrant greens coming into play.”

Of course, it’s still important to tie these colours in with any existing interior design features you wish to keep. Annie explains that she takes in the background, light levels, wall colours and flooring styles of a room before developing a suitable colour palette.

We asked her what her go-to design elements were. Annie is currently a big fan of patterned and textured rugs. She likes Tribe Home for both interesting designs and their affordability, while Armadillo & Co are still a favourite.

Annie also likes to support small Australian makers – she names Staple & Co, Green Cathedral and Mast Furniture as a few good examples within a mid-range price point.

This rug, from Tribe Home, is one of AnnieThis rug, from Tribe Home, is one of Annie’s favourites.

Turning the attention to your bedroom

Many people choose or end up with a different look for their bedrooms. However, Annie believes in having all elements of your interior design reflect the same style, but it doesn’t mean that the same colours have to be used in every room.

“Think about how each space relates to each other,” she suggests. “Paint colours, flooring choices and colours for furniture and accessories should read together as one ‘story’.”

When it comes to choosing the right bedhead for her clients, Annie considers a range of factors, including the general style of the room. “Do we want a sleek, modern look, something conservative or formal, or is the room playful and young?”

Having chosen a suitable style of bedhead, colour is the next decision to make. It requires much more thought than just picking one that pleases the eye. “The colour choice will be influenced by the overall colour palette of the room, and I will always consider how the fabric colour will sit against the wall colour as a starting point.”

“I also consider the colour and style of the soft furnishings,” Annie says. “What kind of linen will be used and what accent colours for cushions and throws.” One of her favourite bed linen companies to date is Cultiver, due to their beautiful quality and gorgeous colour range.

Pick a bedhead style and shade that complements the rest of your bedroom.Raffles bedhead from BedNest in her own choice of fabric (Anna French Linen).

The Annie Bowen brand

As an expert decorator, Annie considers brand to be an essential part of design. Up until this point, she’s been running her design services and blog under the Gallop Lifestyle brand. While she aims to continue with Gallop Lifestyle, as a blog for a connection to Australia’s design industry, she’s also recently launched a new brand, ‘Anne Bowen Design‘. The Annie Bowen brand and website is clean and simple with a highly professional style that reflects the way she works with her clients.

“I don’t stick to just one look,” she says, explaining her unique approach to designing for clients. “My natural aesthetic leans towards clean lines, but I’m not afraid to use colour and prefer interiors with personality. Each home is different, so I don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Currently, Annie is working on building on her extensive design portfolio, and is also planning the next stage of her own home renovation, which she expects will keep her busy for the next couple of years. We can only wait in anticipation to see what she achieves next!

A sample board by Annie Bowen, for a living room scheme.A sample board by Annie Bowen, for a living room scheme.

Related Professional Crush Posts