At Home with Eve Gunson
Welcome to KAS' new blog series 'At Home'. Each week we will be chatting with interior designers, innovators and influencers to take you into their home and finding out how they get their home inspiration. This week we are talking to interior styler and renovator Eve Gunson from Dot + Pop.
Could you give a little intro into who you are and your career so far? Can you tell us a bit about your journey from working in the interiors and building to owning your own interior styling business—you have such a polished eye!
Dot + Pop started 5 years ago as a passion project. I loved interiors and renovating and initially it was a place to curate all the imagery and information that I was gathering for my own projects. Fast forward to 2020 and Dot + Pop has become an online destination for all things design, home and renovation. Dot + Pop takes you on a journey inside awe inspiring architecture, DIY projects, interviews with talented creatives, as well as showcasing the hottest trends in furniture, interiors and design.
My love of design and renovating started more than 10 years ago when my partner Matt and I bought and renovated our first home. We have now completed several of our own projects in inner city Melbourne. It’s a labour of love, but luckily we love it!
Designing and styling is such a passion for me and therefore it was a natural progression for Dot + Pop to evolve into an interior styling business. We help our clients with furniture selections, colour consultations, selections of interiors fittings and fixtures, renovations and new builds; no job is too big or too small!
What is your top advice for anyone starting out in the interior styling business?
Finding your niche and knowing your style would be top of the list. From here you can determine what services you will offer, build your branding and your website. Imagery is everything, so work for free initially to build your portfolio and invest in stand out photography. Use social media to get yourself out there, make connections and get noticed. And always back yourself, you’ve got this!
Have you always wanted to work in a creative space?
I have always been drawn to the arts and everything creative. I grew up in Tasmania and as soon as I finished year 12 I moved to Melbourne to study ballet. After that I worked as a makeup artist and now I’m in the interiors field - so yes I’ve always been on route to a creative job in one way or another!
What does your normal day look like?
Running my business full time and caring for my toddler full time can be pretty intense. My day is spent with Patterson, playing and getting outside for adventures. When he naps I reply to emails and try to get some work done and then when he’s in bed for the night I jump onto my laptop again. I try to be present with him during the day and not be on my phone too often. Some days are harder than others (especially when I just want to Netflix and relax at night!), but I know our days together won’t be forever so I’m cherishing having him with me 24/7 while he’s so little.
Talk us through the process of how you work with clients. Where do you start?
My clients usually reach out because they’ve seen my work in Instagram or Pinterest - so right from the get go I know that our styles align which is super important. It then depends on what they are after, whether it be home furnishing and decor or design for a renovation or new build. I work closely with them to ensure that all their needs are met and that the end result is better than they could have imagined!
What are your top tips for someone renovating their home for the first time?
Research and Planning. Find out as much as possible about what you are undertaking before you get the tools out! Research trades, get quotes, ask questions. Lock in your fixtures, fittings and materials as early as possible so you have all the information when your trades ask you for it. Write out a basic timeline so you can stick to it and always keep on top of what’s coming next.
Know your style. Don’t become overwhelmed with Instagram and Pinterest and the trends you see on there. Be true to your self and your style, don’t pick something just because someone else is, timeless design is everlasting.
Budget. Make a budget and try to stick to it, it will allow you to work out where you can save, where you can splurge and where you can pull some funds from if any unforeseen circumstances arise.
What is your favourite renovation that you have done?
Each new build is probably my favourite. And that’s because as time passes my style evolves and my knowledge is greater and that in turn results in a better house from a design and functionality perspective.
Now onto the home questions, how long have you lived in your home?
We have been living here for 2 years now - and I can thank Patterson for that! It’s been so lovely watching him grow up here, hit his first milestones like walking and make so many lovely memories for us to cherish.
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Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
We certainly did - we basically started from scratch! The house is single fronted Victorian which was originally built in the 1880’s and over the years had a shop front addition added. Before purchasing the property we had extensive discussions with the Council and Heritage Advisors to ensure that we were permitted to demolish the shop front (due to it’s heritage overlay) and restore the house back to it’s original heritage state. In keeping with the heritage regulations we have restored the facade and returned the front bedroom and hallway back to it’s original heritage glory. We then demolished the rest of the property and built a new modern extension connecting to the front of the house. There is a central courtyard which connects the house with the garage, with also houses a second story studio complete with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The garage/studio design is an exact mirror image of the main houses extension, both on the inside and the outside. We built this house as our ‘forever for now’ home… because forever is a long time when you love building and designing homes.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
Our design style is clean, modern and minimal, think neutral tones, natural materials and sleek finishes. Our vibe is ‘less is more’ as both Matt and I love minimal contemporary interiors. The intention is to create a house that is aesthetically pleasing, has great bones, is refined and one in which the furniture, art and decor are complementary to the interior design scheme.
How did you choose the initial colour palette for your home?
We design our own homes to have a paired back interior aesthetic which highlights and compliments the use of natural materials such as timber and stone and we pair that with crisp white walls and pops of black and grey. I would like to think that our style is timeless, contemporary and reflects us and our family.
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What are your favourite pieces in your home?
Our home is filled with things we love, a collection of pieces that tells our story and is aesthetically pleasing. If I had to choose a favourite piece, it would be my grandmothers velvet duck egg blue chair, it’s gorgeous and vintage and obviously deeply sentimental.
What’s your favourite room in your house?
I would have to say the master bedroom/ en-suite / WIR. It’s in the original heritage part of the house, it’s grand, detailed and it hero’s the heritage features such as the ceiling rose, intricate cornices, skirting and architraves. It’s beautiful, calming and grand all at once. And Patterson’s bedroom gets the most beautiful light all day - the sun streams in through the sheer curtains and the light and shadows are just gorgeous.
What are your top tips for styling a bedroom and home in general?
I personally like a home to have a cohesive feeling, a design style and colour palette that runs throughout, so that would be my biggest tip. Definitely buy once and buy well if you can, that is super important!
Do you have any tips for styling or adding bold colours or prints to a room?
Add colour and print in the form of smaller decor items. Keep your base colour palette of walls, floors and large furniture items neutral and use items such as cushions, bed linen, vases and artwork to add in those pop of colour and print. This way when you are ready for a change it’s easily (and relatively cheap) to change over!
For more from Eve, check her out at https://www.instagram.com/dotandpop/