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Jono Fleming has always adored design, a childhood passion that his parents encouraged by giving him carte blanche when it came to painting his bedroom (he offset a brown ceiling with multiple shades of blue). His work has evolved since that first artistic venture, and Jono is now a renowned designer and interior stylist whose work has graced the pages of publications including Country Style, The Design Files and House & Garden. Along the way he spent time as Style Editor of Inside Out, worked with Temple & Webster, and was a food and cooking stylist, collaborating with Silvia Colloca on her cookbooks and shows.

He is also dedicated to supporting other creatives through Palette by Jono Fleming (his curated selection of vintage-inspired, limited edition artworks) and the House of Style Podcast series (where he interviews pioneers from the Australian interiors scene with co-host Kerrie Ann Jones). It was this respect for fellow photographers, makers, designers and artists that drew us to Jono - as well as his masterly use of colour, sense of flow, and the fact that he is behind a collection of unique, elegant spaces you wish you could call your own.

With a busy and brilliant mind, we’re excited to see what Jono turns his hand to next - and to learn more about his process, thoughts on creativity, and how to make a place feel like home.

What do you love most about the work you do?  

My favourite thing about work is creating unique, personal spaces that help tell the story of the people living there. No two spaces are the same, so being able to tap into their personal style is the biggest challenge and reward.

Has there been a project or collaboration that comes with a special story? 

There’s a lot of personal projects that I’ve worked on but one of the most rewarding was helping design the Cancer Survivorship Centre with the Nelune Foundation at the Prince of Wales Hospital. We transformed a historic superintendents cottage, built in 1867, into a place for patients and survivors to congregate as a support space. The result was a design sympathetic to the building’s history whilst offering a calming and uplifting sanctuary for those using it.

How important is scent in making a place feel like home? 

Scent can completely change your mood and vibe and it’s also the strongest sense linked to memory. I use scent to segment my day. I work from home so I have a candle that I light during work hours that signifies that mood. Then when I wind down for the day, another candle in my living spaces helps change the tone at home. There’s no such thing as a ‘fancy’ candle at home. There’s always something lit no matter the occasion!

What does the word 'home' mean to you? 

To quote the one and only Oprah, “I think that when you invite people to your home, you invite them to yourself.” I love this quote. Homes are such a reflection of us and the most personal spaces we can put together. They’re sacred, special places where the rest of the world can fade away.

Where's a great place to go for design inspiration? 

I’m a big fan of film and television and that’s where I get a lot of my inspiration. I of course scour the usual places like Instagram and Pinterest, but there’s something about the way creatives approach production design that really resonates for me. From brutalist future scenes in Gattaca to the old world opulence in films like Barry Lyndon or Marie Antoinette, there’s so much to explore and discover on screen.

Do you have any tips for someone looking to style sustainably? 

Sustainability in styling can be as easy as scouring op shops and giving second life to some pieces. I’m also a big advocate on saving up and buying quality pieces that will stand the test of time rather than cheaper, trend-driven decor. The less contributing to landfill the better!

Why did you decide to embark on your ‘House of Style’ podcast series - and what do you want people to feel when they listen to it? 

A few years ago I was just finishing up one job and wasn’t sure where I was heading next. My cohost Kerrie-Ann Jones and I have had similar career journeys in styling, and both of us had heard all these amazing stories from brands and creatives we know, a bit of insider knowledge. We decided it would be so good to share these stories with a wider audience, and in turn, we’ve heard dozens of incredible career tales that not only inspire our listeners but ourselves.

What's one of the best pieces of advice you've ever received - about styling, design, life, anything really? 

The best piece of advice is probably from Mum, and it was to do with eating food you’re not sure of. Try it three times and if after that you don’t like it, you don’t need to eat it again. I think that’s bled over to my work and life in general. You have to try things a few times. It’s going to be daunting but you’ll never know if you can succeed if you don’t try first.

Interview by Liz Schaffer & Images provided by Jono Fleming

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