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The Founder of Melbourne's Best Boutique Invites Us Into Her Ultra-Luxe Home

Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, the founder of luxury boutique Grace, Ilana Moses, takes us on a tour of her renovated Caulfield home.

Ilana Moses has an unmistakable eye for fashion and interiors. As the founder of the impeccably curated Melbourne fashion boutique, Grace, she’s built an extraordinary business thanks to her polished eye, trend-casting and ability to source exquisite designer wears and wares.

It comes as no surprise to discover that Ilana’s mid-century modern home in Melbourne’s North Caulfield is as sophisticated and authentic as her wardrobe—and as envy-inducing, too. Spending the day here feels like visiting a Modernist museum, with incredible patchwork floors, wood panel walls and marble features throughout.

As with her personal style, Ilana embraces bold colour combinations and contrast in her home. Here, wallpaper replaces paint in almost every room, with grey Arte Heliodor Cube wallpaper in the dining room, teal Texturae in the study, and a stunning hand-painted tropical design from Paris in a powder room. In the kitchen, Vaticano marble steals the show, whilst a custom navy leather curved sofa with gold trim exudes luxury in the neighbouring meals room. If you’ve ever wondered what ultimate sophistication looks like, take a peek inside Ilana’s sleek space.

Hi Ilana! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?

I design, curate and sell beautiful clothes, accessories and homewares. But more than that, I’d like to think I make people happy and feel good about themselves when they leave my store with a new treasure.

How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?

I’ve always seen the world through a creative lens and also had a strong desire to produce beautiful things. The act of curating and creating gives me a personal sense of fulfilment, far beyond, for example, my years as a lawyer.

Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue fashion? And what gave you the impetus to start your own boutique?

Growing up I never considered anything creative as a viable career option (call it a sign of those times), so I chose a ‘sensible’ route into law. But I was always doing creative things like collecting art, sketching etc and I have always loved anything design-related, from interiors to graphic design. When we moved to New York I was working as a lawyer part-time and the free time enabled me to dabble in fashion design. One thing led to another and I launched a label there.

Talk us through your creative process. How do you keep things fresh in the ever-evolving world of fashion?

Design for me is very intuitive. I try to balance the more esoteric inspirations that pique my interest with actual needs we have (e.g. the weather, what we’re doing, where we live, what occasion we may be dressing for etc). Ideas could flow from a colour, a fabric, a song I love, a movie I’ve just watched—anything, really! Ultimately I always try to design, curate or buy things that are special in some way, generally more timeless, and have inherent value.

What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your creative business?

Never give up.

What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your business?

Trust your gut and just do it!

What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?

Being able to work with amazing people, particularly women. I love being responsible for an amazing team environment.

Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?

We moved into our home almost 18 months ago.

How did you initially know this was the space for you?

The original mid-century-modern authenticity of the house grabbed us from the moment we saw it. It’s understated yet luxurious.

Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?

We completed an extensive renovation before moving in.

What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?

To be honest, it’s not yet complete. I love things that don’t feel too perfectly styled and I think building the spaces over time speaks to me in terms of authenticity. I’m still kind of watching and learning the spaces to see what they need in terms of furnishings.

Recreate Ilana's look with a Petrol Bedding Set & Lavender Sheet Set.

How do you incorporate your sharp eye for fashion into your interior decorating?

I guess I am brave with colours, patterns, and mixing materials and metals and the like. I am also quite particular about fabrics and finishes and I don’t shy away from exotic stone!

What are your favourite pieces in the home?

Our marble fireplace, kitchen meals area, and patchwork entry floor.

What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?

Have fun with your selections and be true to you—don’t choose things just because they’re “classic” or “re-sellable” or because your friend has them. To me, it’s more important that your home has character and reflects your personality. I love finding original things that are not widely used, things with a story behind them.

Recreate Ilana's look with a Petrol Bedding Set & Lavender Sheet Set.

Which is your favourite room in the house?

Our master bedroom and ensuite—this area is bright but warm and cosy, a little luxe, and a private space away from the rest of the house. And our bed and green velvet-upholstered wall is heaven, too.

Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?

A few actually, but I can’t disclose them until next year, sorry! They include amazing pop-up collaborations, exciting new brands, and more!

For more from Ilana, follow her @ilana.moses and @gracemelbourne.

Loved this home tour? You have to see Lynda Gardener's self-designed Estate at Trentham.

Discover more of Australia's most beautiful homes in our series, The Makers.

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