Inside Carissa Walford's "Zen Den" Northern Beaches Apartment
Welcome to The Makers. Each month, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans, and crafters of all stripes, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces to find out exactly how the magic happens. For this instalment, we headed over to the Dee Why home TV host, producer, and journalist Carissa Walford shares with her fiancé Luke. Never before photographed, the couple's chic apartment is a private sanctuary filled with statement furniture, meaningful tokens collected on shared travels, and absolutely *nothing* that could be considered coastal. Keep reading for our Q&A.
You might think you know Carissa Walford. The award-winning host, journalist, director and producer has had an extensive career in the Australian entertainment industry, kicking goal after goal since she burst onto our TV screens as a face of Channel [V] at just 23 years old. Since then she's done quite a lot by anyone's standards, hosting shows about everything from trending global news to the red carpet, and interviewing international celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Drew Barrymore along the way. (She's also a registered civil marriage celebrant and Starlight Foundation ambassador—basically, she's busy.) Walford's ability to connect with the world's most famous people on a real-life level was evident from the jump, but according to the creative, the "small talk" nature of her job left her feeling frustrated over the years. Her growing desire to create inspiring, empowering and meaningful content—and the subsequent realisation there was no place for her to go to do it—led her to create her own. This month Walford launches her new venture, In Bed With Carissa, a next-gen TV network platform that hosts three video channels, each dedicated to benefiting, supporting and challenging her audience in a different way. We sat down to talk about her evolving media career, what she does in bed and why you won't find any beachy décor in her home.
Bed Threads: Hi Carissa! This series is called The Makers. What is it you make?
Carissa Walford: I make meaningful, inspiring and purposeful content.
BT: How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
CW: It's completely interconnected. I believe that interviewing someone requires a deep level of connection in order to tell an incredible story and I thrive off going beneath the surface with everyone I meet. (Even outside of work.) I don’t feel fulfilled sticking with small talk—my personality craves intimacy.
BT: How would you describe what you do for a living?
CW: I’m a TV host, producer, and journalist working in media and entertainment for many years. Last week I launched my own next-gen TV network called In Bed With Carissa. It's a platform that hosts three video channels, each dedicated to benefiting, supporting and challenging my audience in a different way.
BT: What’s something we don’t know about you?
CW: My work and my passion for it is so intense but behind all of that is a relaxed, super-chilled, reflective woman that spends a lot of time at home. Home is my favourite place to be.
BT: Now the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
CW: I’ve lived on Sydney's Northern Beaches for nearly three years.
BT: How did you initially know this was the space for you?
CW: At the time of purchase it was an investment property but Luke and I were always hanging the Northern Beaches at the weekend. When the time came to move, it just made sense for us to live in the suburb that made us feel good.
BT: Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
CW: Yes, we did. We put in a new bathroom, did some kitchen work, and laid French tiling on the balcony. Then there was fixing up the floorboards and painting. It was all pretty simple but made the pad feel fresher and gave it some character.
BT: How would you describe your home in a sentence?
CW: We like to call it “the oasis”. We have a big beautiful '70s style window that opens up the entire place and lets in so much light it can feel like you’re living outside. Our view is all leafy palms and plants and the beach is on our doorstep. We wake up feeling so grateful and amazed we get to live here. That's more than one sentence!
BT: How does your home reflect you as a person?
CW: My home is my zen den. I’m careful with the energy I let in because it’s my sanctuary and my safe zone. After a big day, it's nice to know I’ve got a beautiful little place to come back to where I can be fully present.
BT: What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
CW: I love vintage and antique pieces mixed in with modern classics. A lot of my furniture is from MCM House but I also have artwork, pottery, and trinkets from my travels spread throughout to give the place a bit of a Euro vibe. Luke and I love a mid-century feel and stay away from the beachy/coastal theme that's so expected when you live by the sea.
BT: What are your favourite pieces in your home?
CW: The balcony tiling. Sitting out on our balcony for a morning coffee is heaven. The chess table, decanter and our vinyl player (and vinyl-packed bookshelf!), too. I’m a big collector of records and novels.
BT: Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
BT: Which is your favourite room in the house?
CW: My bedroom, of course! I do most things in bed if I can. Meditation, journaling, reading, daydreaming, sometimes even eating. I’ve always been a good catnapper as well. Everyone who knows me know my bed is my favourite place to be.
BT: Which are your favourite objects in your bedroom?
CW: My perfume collection and my crystals.
BT: What does getting a good night’s sleep mean to you?
CW: Having a solid nighttime routine is important to me. I leave my phone outside of my bedroom at night and I don't check it first thing in the morning. Reading before bed and switching off from all technology means your body can wind down properly.
BT: What is your favourite local hotspot?
CW: Girdlers Cafe has the best organic goodness. It’s basically my second home because I go there for breakfast most mornings.
Loved this? Check out Alison Rice's Sun-Drenched Beachside Retreat.