Hi Jason Grant, and thank you so much for your time to do this story. It’s been a while since that lovely Christmas day in Bondi a few years ago at George’s. I see you have been very busy, with two new books on top on the one you’d just released.
A: (Jason Grant) Thanks times flies, right?!
Q : (Diane Kennedy) So, just going back, how did you originally get into decor and styling? Did you study or was it something that happened organically?
A: It really happened organically before the role of “stylist” became Insta-famous. I have been styling for close to ten years. Originally, I worked for a homewares company in Melbourne and one of my roles was to loan products to stylists from magazines, back then this role was shrouded in mystery and stylists were more like magical unicorns. Jason’s Instagram is @MrJasonGrant and he has a staggering 63K followers.
I was curious about this and asked Glen Proebstel then the Style director of Inside Out Magazine if I could tag along to a shoot he was doing in Melbourne. I went along and was hooked. I went along to a few more shoots and assisted. Glen managed to convince the founding Editor Karen McCartney to give me a chance styling a house for the magazine. It was a sink or swim moment. I kept finding houses to style and produce for the magazine and eventually became the Melbourne contributing editor of the magazine producing lots of merchandise and home shoot for the magazine.
Q: What and when was your “big break”? I assume your overnight success wasn’t overnight.
A: I took a plunge and moved to Sydney. Deb Bibby, the editor of Real Living, offered me the role of style director. It was based in Sydney and it was a scary and bold to move but I knew it would lead to great things. Working for a magazine full-time for the first time was exciting but draining. After awhile I went back to freelance. I booked a big campaign with Sheridan and took another leap, around the same time I moved to Bondi and pitched my first idea book to Hardie Grant. This is when things began to really happen for me career wise.
Q: What would you say are the greatest challenges in your life. How have these shaped your career?
A: A skill I have learned as a stylist, I wear many hats, is to be adaptable and flexible. I’m not quite sure where my confidence and determination comes from. Whilst growing up I was encouraged that I could do anything. Moving to Sydney, away from friends and family was definitely a big a moment of change but lucky I had a small network of people in Sydney to help with the relocation.
Q: What made you choose interior design/styling as your career?
A: I believe that interior design chose me and I am good at evolving. I’m always learning and moving forward.
Q: I’m sure many budding interior designers and stylists out there are wondering, how did you get your name “out there” to accomplish the success you have achieved so far?
A: I’d have to say, on page credits in magazines was where things started. Once a designer/stylist’s name appears in a magazine there’s an association to a magazine title and that means a lot. Reputation is everything. It’s a small world so pays to be nice and always smile.
My collaborations and books have also helped gain momentum and publicity. I was an earlier adopter to Instagram and my follower numbers has been organic. I think it’s [@MrJasonGrant has 63K followers] based upon people liking my style (I hope). I try to keep things inspirational yet accessible with good vibes only. I guess I have a clearly defined style, look and point of view. I’m true to me.
Q: What are sources of inspiration to you in design?
A: I’m always inspired by nature and travel. Nature is always a constant I spend my time between Byron Bay and Bondi, the ocean is ever present too. I find beauty in the everyday. You just need to be open to it. I love to travel near or far. There’s something that happens when I travel. Some of my best ideas are on planes or in cars, I think its something to do with the movement/momentum.
Q: I really love your design posts on Instagram. The posts seem effortless. Do you put a lot of time and energy into your posts? Or are they as effortless as they look? It’s great to have a front row seat to your work and an insight into your life.
A:My posts are thought out but not overly “considered”. I head towards natural/organic and try to remain in the moment for authenticity. I love sharing what I’m doing, what I’m working on and what I see, sharing glimpses of my work, home, behinds the scenes of my day to day work life, shoots and events and things I attend and shops, galleries and other place of interest that I visit.
Q: Can you describe a style that is typically “Australian”?
A: I think Australian style is relaxed, inspired by nature and all about good light. We are fortunate to have good light here. I like to think my style is very Australian as well.
Q: What are some interior design/styling no/no in your opinion?
A: One stop shopping. Not taking time and rushing.
Q: Do you prefer commercial or personal work, and why?
A: I love a mix of all of the above but to be honest styling for my own projects, books and collaborations when I get to be the client, stylist, art director and more all rolled into one are the most creative and most difficult – I have learned to be decisive and confident and most of all to have fun.
Q: As in interior designer/stylist, it must be so satisfying to have a line of homewares, what is the inspiration behind some of the pieces.
I have also teamed up with Charles Parsons group to create my own signature collection for the home mjgstore.com. This is a dream come true – the collection reflects my style and ethos, all about easy relaxed living some favourites are washed velvet cushions and some super cool retro luxe beach towels both coming soon for summer.
Q: What are the biggest trends in interior design/styling right now? Would you say you lean towards mid century modern revival?
A: I’m not a fan of trends, you can love them or leave them – I’m more about style with soul, interiors with personality make me smile. It’s all about finding and creating your very own style.
Q: Being in demand can be hard. How do you balance recreation with book promotions, signing and work?
A: It’s all a juggling act. Yes, it’s good to be busy but balance is also important, daily things like meditation. Thanks to learning to meditate from my friends at The Broad Place, swimming and walking my dog, all help to create down time. Having that down time help me to be more efficient with my time. People always say I get lots done. I guess I’m often either on or off. Eating well, exercise and getting enough sleep are simple but important too.
Q: Not everyone has the luxury of having their own interior designer, what advice can you give people wanting to achieve quality design on a budget?
A: Know where to save and where to splurge/invest/pay more for quality foundation pieces, no need to constantly shop or update I rethink its always about quality over quantity – less is more.
Q: Do you have favourite brands/labels that you use in your interior design/styling?
- Cool modern retro furniture from Blue Dot
- Staple investment pieces from King Beds
- Photographic prints from Aqua Bumps, Kara Rosenlund and Pampa
- Cool furniture and decorative items from Pop and Scott
- Great housewares and decorative touches from Scout House
- Unique and quality rugs from Loom Rugs and Perryman Carpets and Armadillo Co
- Design classics from Top 3
- Clever buys from West Elm and Ikea
- Plants and ceramics from Nikaustore.com
- Awesome clever things and hardware from The Society Inc
- Washable paper homewares from uashmama.com.au
- Bedlinen from uashmama.com.au
- The best body and cleaning products from Bondi Wash
Q: 3 top tips for styling a home for sale?
- Less is more – declutter, edit and simply
- Add flowers for feel good vibes . Who doesn’t love fresh flowers”
- Beds and sofas – refresh bed linen, cushions and throws.
Q: Tell me about the collaboration with Murobond and Di Lorenzo Tiles – what is the aesthetic motivation behind your choices?
A: I love to collaborate with like minded brands, a paint collection with Murobond and an encaustic tile collection with Di Lorenzo are both exciting partnerships. Both draw inspiration from nature. I love colour and have created the colour palettes / shades to work in any space.
Q: What does your own home look like? I imagine it is hard settle for styling in your own home, I know as a graphic designer, I am never happy with my cards or my website graphics. Are you always changing?
A: My style at home is eclectic (a little bit of everything). I don’t over think my choices nor overstyle, instead opting for a relaxed and laid back look and fee. I love mixing vintage and new, modern with retro, high and low and always adding found objects from nature. Anything nautical I love but not done in a cheesy way.
Q: Do you have some pearls of wisdom for aspiring interior designers?
A: Work hard to do all you can to make your dreams come true. Be nice to everyone.
Q: Lastly what are you top 3 tips for a “Jason Grant” style home?
- Buy things you love – let your home tell a story, your story.
- Not everything needs to match – I’m a fan of an eclectic style of decorating mix old with new, high with low and add personal touches.
- Take your time collect and let your home evolve over time – there is non end point your home is constantly evolving.
Thanks for your time Jason, I’ve been wanting to feature you since I started this blog, as I love your relaxed “holiday at home” ethos.
If you love Jason’s style and would like the change to win a copy of his new book “Modern Retro Home”, like this post, and add your favourite decor tip. Alternatively share this on social with the hashtag #modernretrohomecomp with your favourite design tip.