This colourful home in Melbourne is as stylish as its tastemaker owner.
Fashion Stylist Lana Wilkinson’s Melbourne Home Is Dressed to Perfection
This colourful home in Melbourne is as stylish as its tastemaker owner.
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we celebrate innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types by taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour the chic Melbourne home of fashion stylist and shoe brand founder, Lana Wilkinson.
As one of Australia’s leading fashion stylists and founder of Lana Wilkinson shoes, Lana Wilkinson knows how to build an ensemble. Dressing some of the most famous trendsetters on the globe, her impressive clientele includes the likes of Megan Gale, Rebecca Judd, Whitney Port, Rachel Zoe, Ruby Rose, and Zoe Foster Blake.
Wilkinson began her career as a receptionist at Foxtel before moving into corporate marketing. In addition to her role, she worked behind the scenes building her network and portfolio as a stylist. She eventually transitioned to full-time work as a stylist and kickstarted her shoe brand in 2019.
Lana Wilkinson Shoes offers contemporary, statement-making shoes, with an emphasis on bold hues and feminine details. Wilkinson imagines a collection and brings life to a vision in a three to four week period. "It is a busy process but very rewarding," she shares with Bed Threads Journal.
And if being the director of a company wasn't enough, she also balances this work with being a mother. "It’s challenging being a working mum and having to juggle being at home and present with my kids while running my business and designing for my brand," she says. "Everything I do is for them."
Wilkinson's style is classic and chic. Unsurprisingly, a similar aesthetic and style defines her newly renovated home in Melbourne which she shares with her husband and two young children. She engaged Liberty Interiors to help her fashion her house into an elegant abode. “I wanted the space to reflect my personal sense of style and have accents throughout the house to make it feel more like home,” she shares.
A tasteful palette of pink and blue brings youthful energy to this modern space. This can be seen in the blush shiplap panelled walls, Mediterannean coastline artworks, and bouclé armchairs. This fresh palette carries through to the primary bedroom which is enlivened with Petrol and Lavender linen.
As enthusiastic entertainers, the house has been designed to cater to having friends and family over. A spacious, open-plan kitchen and dining area features durable polished concrete floors and flows out onto the outdoor sitting and pool area. "We love entertaining at home and I love a full house. My memories growing up are my parents having family and friends over on the weekends, I loved it," she says.
We spoke to Lana about her creative process, her advice for other working mothers, and her top tips for a well-styled home.
Hi Lana! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I am the founder, director, and designer of footwear brand, Lana Wilkinson Shoes.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I absolutely love being creative and going through the design process. Having the idea in my head, seeing it put to paper and come full circle after the manufacturing process is extremely rewarding. Designing fashion-forward styles for women at an affordable price point is something I will always be passionate about.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
I began my career working at Fox Footy Channel at FOXTEL as a receptionist after studying public relations at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. Eventually, I moved into corporate marketing and flourished while working with diverse and interesting teams of people.
I was always interested in fashion, but only made the leap when a friend of mine required styling for a reality TV show. After this, I quietly worked behind the scenes for many years (pre-social media), building my portfolio and the network around me. I worked tirelessly on the weekends and after I had finished the working day in my Marketing Manager corporate role. Obviously, this kind of work was not sustainable, so I had to quit my day job to commit to styling full time, but I’ve never looked back since!
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
I seek inspiration often, through social media and archived eras in fashion, and then devise a theme for the collection. The design process begins and takes anywhere from three to four weeks. Once I sample the product and love it, I put the successful styles into production. From there I work with my team to develop concepts for the campaign and photoshoot, shoot and style it and then put it to market. It is a busy process but very rewarding. No day is ever the same.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your business?
That you can’t control everything. Four months from launching my brand, the pandemic hit and I learned quickly that you can’t ever plan for every scenario and that you should never assume anything.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?
Selling out of styles during the peak of the pandemic. That my customers chose to spend their money on my brand in a time that was so bleak was beyond rewarding.
How do you balance a demanding career and being a mum?
It’s challenging being a working mum and having to juggle being at home and present with my kids whilst running my business and designing for my brand. There are times I think I nail the balance, but then my schedule or my girl's activities get busy. It’s a constant battle, even as a director of my own company but I try not to be so hard on myself.
I think at the end of the day, my daughters are seeing their mum work hard for them and I hope that’s the legacy I leave them. I’ll never get it 100% right, but I think being aware and conscious of what’s really important, always keeps me on track.
Do you have a single piece of advice for other working mothers?
Always do something for yourself. You can’t fill other people's cups up if you’re not the best version of yourself. I have a personal trainer, for 30 minutes, three times a week. That time is mine. I use it wisely and it sets me up for the day. Find that passion or activity that gives you that quality time.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a mother?
Watching my girls Ava and Elle grow into really amazing people. Loving them and them loving me, unconditionally. There is nothing more rewarding to me than being their mum. Everything I do is for them.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
We have lived in our home for 6 years.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
We love entertaining at home and I love a full house. My memories growing up are my parents having family and friends over on the weekends, I loved it. For my girls, I could visualise them having friends over to play and for a swim and us creating amazing memories as a family. I like that there are different sanctuaries within the house, so we are never on top of each other - which was really helpful during Melbourne’s lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
After moving in we decided our home needed a revamp, but I was pregnant with our second daughter Elle at the time. I was also working on launching my shoe brand. It would take four years, but we finally engaged Liberty Interiors and took the plunge in 2020. We made a lot of cosmetic changes, changed the colour of the entire house, tiled the pool, replaced all the benchtop stone, added a steel arch door, added light fittings in the hallway, sanded the wooden floorboards back, and replaced all the carpet.
I wanted the space to reflect my personal sense of style and have accents throughout the house to make it feel more like “home”. We started the process in the first half of 2020 which made the process a little more difficult due to COVID and the restrictions that were in place at the time. We got there in the end and I'm over the moon with the finished product.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
I wanted my interiors to be beautiful but also timeless. My personal style is an ever-evolving mix of classic pieces with trend-based elements. I love bold colours and embellishment to help make a statement with my outfits. I think fashion is something that we should have fun with, so I was definitely not scared to take risks and try new things within my home. I wanted my house to reflect my fashion taste and of course my brand.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
My dining table: I believe that the living room is really the hub of the home so I wanted a dining space that was big enough for me to entertain friends and family, but also durable, given I have two young children. I love, love, love my custom Brent Rosenberg artwork that is really the eye of the living space.
My dining chairs: Having two young children, it was important to me that our dining chairs were stable and secure for safety reasons. These chairs are stylish but also family-friendly.
The outdoor dining table: Minimal and structural design works perfectly with the candy pink wall to make the outdoor area sing. It becomes a feature as you can see it from the hallway as you walk into the living space.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
I can’t wait for my Dina Broadhurst artwork to arrive and I am loving Love Ally x Bed Threads Wave Candles and any Assouline coffee table books! I can’t get enough of them, they are an understated way of injecting bold colour into the home.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
My living room. It’s an open space, I love the furniture pieces and it’s where I process the day, switch off, and force myself to have my downtime. It’s also where my Brent Rosenberg custom art piece is, it’s my favourite! I love it.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Put things away and hang clothes up! My friends will laugh when they read this as I am a neat freak. I like my home to be very clean and tidy – organised chaos is essential! Ensure you utilise your storage and cupboard space wisely. Also, get your bedding pressed, it presents so much better.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
I’ve been really busy getting ready to showcase my Lana Wilkinson shoe collection at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week and working on our Spring/Summer 2022 campaign, launch and collection. I’m excited to have a normal business year and broaden my business and brand overseas.