Just a few short weeks ago, we opened our brand new, bottom-floor level of Sky Sirens. What started as a dream for the future became a sudden reality when the furniture shop downstairs closed, and all of a sudden, it was time to kick things into gear and transform the space into the pretty pinks studio that you know and love. Our interior styling at Sky Sirens is really important as it is one of the main things that we are known for! This was a huge effort, with only about four weeks to get everything fixed, decorated and ready for students to come and play! Read on to find out what we did, and for our top styling tips for creating a gorgeous vintage space.
Words by Eva Devore | Photographs by Mia Maraschino and Eva Devore
The Renovation Process
Taking over downstairs was basically like starting from the beginning, all over again! Hours and hours went into painting, wallpapering, repairing and decorating the new spaces. We were very fortunate that many of our students and staff volunteered countless hours to help out, along with the huge efforts of Katia, Beau and Wednesday.
Eva and Katia brainstormed the creative direction of each space in the new floor and which theme we would go with for each of our new classrooms. Eva spent about 6 hours scouring wallpaper stores all over the internet to find the perfect golden art-deco wallpaper for the new Burlesque room, and a show-stopping wallpaper for our front desk area. We also found a beautiful chinoiserie-inspired wallpaper in navy blue for the change room, and a gorgeous flocked wallpaper for the new Lyra room.
While all the painting and papering was happening, we were also sourcing antique furniture to fill our new space. Victorian couches in dusty pink, sweet marble side tables and gorgeous buffet units all made their way to the studio, ready to make our new space look like home. We also had about 12 glittering crystal chandeliers installed, to light our rooms with their soft and decadent glow.
While Katia, Beau and Wednesday finished the works at the studio, Eva was at home sewing the soft furnishings for the new space! Metres and metres of pink velvet became the sumptuous curtains for our new front window, for the doorways, and to cover the pretty bench seat in the change room. This was complemented by about 20 pink boudoir cushions that we managed to find very inexpensively (Kmart is amazing!)
In the final days before opening, we all set to work setting up the space to be ready for students to arrive. The lyras were moved downstairs, while our new red slings made their new home in the Flamingo room upstairs. Eva brought back her old visual merchandising skills to style our new Pink Parlour retail space, and our brand new front window. With merchandise on display, every surface dusted and the classrooms prepped and ready, we were so excited to be able to open our new, downstairs level of Sky Sirens!
Siren Styling Secrets
From choosing a gorgeous wallpaper, to lighting a room beautifully with vintage lamps, here are some of our secrets to creating a cosy and decadent space.
Wallpaper can instantly change up a space and add a gorgeous and sophisticated touch (not to mention a fabulous photo background!) Our wallpapers were all sourced from online stores, which can easily be found by typing “floral wallpaper” or “deco wallpaper” into your search engine.
Wallpaper comes in a range of prices. You can get it quite cheaply, but in our experience, the better quality wallpaper is much easier to put up! The great thing about wallpaper is that it is actually quite easy to remove, using a mixture of warm water and fabric softener. This breaks down the wallpaper paste, leaving the painted wall behind smooth and clean!
Do away with harsh overhead lights, and instead light your space with a number of lamps for a warm, flattering glow. Lamp light instantly makes a room feel cosy, without feeling dark or dim. We love to use countless lamps all throughout the space! Lamp light is very flattering for the skin as it hits your face and body at an angle, rather than from overhead.
We found all of our vintage lamps in antique stores like Mitchell Road Antiques and Lunatiques. Don’t be discouraged if you love the body of the lamp but not the shade, or vice versa, as shades can be switched between lamps, and easily customised with fabric, fringing or beads!
We love to fill our studio with beautiful antique furniture, giving it the appearance of a vintage boudoir or parlour! Although antique furniture looks expensive and decadent, it actually works out to cost much the same as purchasing new, modern furniture! (and you are recycling, too.) Antiquing just requires a little more patience, but over time you can build an eclectic collection that perfectly reflects your own style.
For our complete guide to sourcing stunning antiques, check out our Vintage Voyages blog post, where Mia and Wednesday go into detail about finding and sourcing stunning pieces in Sydney.
With walls covered and furniture in place, its time to bring your space to life with decorations and finishing touches! We love decorating our spaces with gorgeous bouquets, whether they be plush ostrich plumes or delicate bunches of roses.
A fresh bouquet of flowers is an easy way to brighten up the room. You don’t have to spend too much on flowers - many grocery stores and some florists have inexpensive posies for less than $10! Make sure to trim the stems and change the water regularly for long lasting flowers.
If you’d prefer something a little more low maintenence, try arranging a number of feathers in a vase. We love ostrich feathers, peacock feathers and even pheasant feathers! Instant glamour, without needing to change any water.
Pretty parlours and lounge spaces look wonderful all adorned, but don’t forget about the bathroom! A few glamorous additions can easily transform a bathroom into a lovely space. Try switching your soap dispenser to a lovely crystal or glass one, and include a matching soap dish too! You can find all kinds of pretty glassware and jars at second-hand stores for a few dollars each, and can use them to store soap, hair ties, tampons and more.
For our downstairs bathroom, we created more bench space by installing a cute antique shelf found at Mitchell Road Antiques. The shelf has a little drawer that is perfect for storing rolled-up hand towels! We finished off with some pretty porcelain swans, and popped a vintage round mirror over the basin.
If you’ve visited our studio spaces, both upstairs and down, you’re sure to spot a number of cat statues all around the place (even in our front window!) What started as Katia’s small collection of cat statues has grown into a huge obsession, with some of our students even bringing in some cute cat statues to add to the collection.
Find the thing that you really love, and use that personal touch to decorate your space. It may be framed portraits by an artist you really love, or a collection of novelty spoons from your travels! If you like to collect fun shoes or fancy clothes, these can look wonderful displayed on shelves, or hung up on walls or a mannequin. Whatever you collect, proudly pop it on display to really express your personality and make it feel like home.