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Interior Designer in Focus : Stewart Horton

 Contemporary living room green chair

Hailing out of Newcastle, with an abundance of national accolades to date, Horton & Co is one interior design practice showing no signs of slowing down. Established by Interior Designer Stewart Horton, the practice have made a brand for themselves through consistently offering design that reflects a strong individual style.

Showcasing a range of interior styles extending across contemporary, traditional and eclectic, Horton & Co proves their considered and deliberate style of laying texture and décor pieces has become a signature move, and a welcome one.

I spoke to Stewart Horton following his Dumeresq Island project being recently chosen to feature within Australian House and Garden Magazine's prestigious and selective Top 50 Rooms, and despite my apparent bias (the project features multiple pieces from yours truly), the project speaks for itself in terms of unparalleled design savvy…

  1. The Australian House and Gardens Top 50 Rooms consistently showcase projects of such high caliber; what was the brief for the Dumeresq Island project and how would you say it influenced the outcome?

 The house had a faded Brady Bunch vibe that needed updating. The client had strong ideas which we compromised on to create something modern but with a slight rural patina.

  1. Every project comes with unexpected twists, what would you say the biggest challenge/consideration to this project was?

 Not many jobs run as smoothly as this one did. The client was a pleasure and the house had such great bones that it was like the perfect storm.

  1. What was/is your favourite aspect to the Dumeresq Island project? 

 The client had such a great personal style that it was a pleasure working together creating her beautiful home for her family. The new kitchen created the much needed “hub” to the house and we were so proud of the outcome.

  1. Your designs aesthetics vary widely across your residential projects; what would you say is your mantra when approaching design?

 I am always a strong advocate for letting a house communicate its own aesthetic. All architecture has a language and [it’s] always important to listen to that aesthetic before trying to impose your own personal style on it. Having said that some houses really rely on a strong push in a certain direction.

  1. And finally, how would you describe your personal style?

I love running with an idea and fleshing it out to its fullest. For instance if I do blue, I’ll do everything blue. Or mix florals with more florals or everything geometric etc. I think taking an idea to its extreme can create bold new spaces.

The Dumeresq Island project is exactly the concept Stewart describes, encapsulating a modern design influence on a welcoming rural aesthetic.

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The contradictions in stylistic endeavours are evident from the first step; on entering the home one is greeted immediately by the contrast between a graphic checkerboard floor and soft illustrated wallpaper. Even the furnishings juxtapose one another in such a fashion that you’d wish you’d thought of it earlier… The slender legs and contemporary profile of my Ayres Hide Ottoman could not be more dissimilar from the country-esque vibe of my Dutch Hall Chest, yet both compliment one another to produce attractive eclecticism in all it’s splendour.

Horton’s aim of “creating original and distinctive design solutions” isn’t only evident in the striking entrance of course; the unique approach to design endures across two living spaces that could only be described as inimitable.

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Delivering gestures that make for a welcoming atmosphere in a formal living space, Horton achieves the near impossible; this space is a far cry from the sterile formal living rooms of yester-year.

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The clever pairing of furnishings continues throughout the home; eras and textures combine to create a look, not in disorderly chaos, but rather one of sublime serenity.

monochrome black and white interior

You’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at an entirely different project, but not so! The modern monochromatic palate extends on from the checkerboard flooring and creates a highly contemporary space for everyday living where style is certainly not is short supply.

It goes without saying that Horton & Co’s momentum has proved that the small design firm is going from strength to strength, and is certainly one name I’ll be keeping track of.


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