San Cisco Drummer Scarlett Stevens Invites Us Into Her Eclectic Fremantle 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, we step inside musician Scarlett Stevens' colourful home in Fremantle, Western Australia.
If you're someone who has grown up surrounded by artists and musicians, it's almost certain that their creativity will have a significant impact on you. This was the case for Scarlett Stevens who was raised by parents who worked in the music industry and was introduced to her first instrument at 8-years old. Now, Scarlett is an occasional DJ and the singer and drummer of Australian indie pop band, San Cisco, who have released their fourth album, ‘Between You and Me’.
For musicians who go on tour and are frequently performing, having a personal and comfortable space to come home to is a must. Scarlett moved into her vibrant studio which sits on her parents property with boyfriend James who is also a drummer. "We are very lucky to have this space out the back of their house, it’s like a little oasis," says Scarlett.
Walking into Scarlett's studio for the first time, you would certainly guess that this was the home of a musician. The 70s aesthetic that pervades the abode hits all the right notes with its dark timber shelves filled with records, lashings of bright colour, and indoor plants. The space feels like an extension of her undeniably cool vibe and acts as a chill sanctuary for when she’s not on the road or performing.
The home’s pièce de résistance is unquestionably the dining room feature shelf which is filled with a kaleidoscopic range of different-shaped glassware. Her bedroom beautifully offsets the punchiness of the other rooms and showcases a more subdued palette that Scarlett feels is necessary for a bedroom's design. "It should evoke a sense of calm," she says.
Below, Scarlett shares how she has become a stronger person over the years, what inspires her music, and the thought process behind how she styled her home's interior.
Hi Scarlett! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I make music with my band San Cisco. I play drums and sing and occasionally DJ under the name Beryl Streep.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I feel most at ease with myself when I’m drumming, it’s something that feels very natural to me. It’s also very therapeutic. I’m quite a visual person so I love styling and dressing everyone up for band shoots and video clips, taking photos on my film camera, that sort of thing.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
I started learning piano when I was 8, then drums at 10. I joined my first band ‘The Flairz’ when I was 11. I’ve grown up surrounded by musicians and artists, my mum and dad both work in the music industry and they owned a bar here in Freo so it made sense for me to want to play music from a young age. I met Josh when we were in high school and Jordi when we were kids and we’ve been a band for almost 12 years. The last year has been a big one for us as we released our fourth album ‘Between You and Me’ which we are all super proud of!
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
I guess my creative process is very collaborative. I work best when I’m in the studio with my bandmates and we are recording ideas just as they come to us. I love a good brainstorm session! When it comes to playing my approach is very pragmatic and I don’t like to over play. When I’m in the studio I love to come up with parts for songs on keys. I think it’s a wonderful tool for songwriting.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your business?
I guess social media, in particular Instagram, has been a really important tool for us as a band and for myself, building a profile outside of the band. It’s been an amazing tool for connecting with fans and meeting other creatives.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your business?
I think a big thing for me has been finding my voice and standing up for myself. I’ve definitely become a stronger person from years of touring in what has been a very male dominated industry.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?
Getting to travel and see the world, although there hasn’t been much of that in the last 18 months.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?
Trust your intuition!
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived here for?
I moved in to this house with my parents when I was 12, then moved out in my early twenties to an apartment. My boyfriend James (he’s a drummer too!) is on tour at the moment and we are currently in between houses so we’ve moved back in to the studio. I feel like I’ve reverted back to my teenage self since living with my parents again haha.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
We love being in Walyalup/Fremantle and being so close to all the action in South Freo. We can walk to the pub or the dog beach. We’ve lived in the studio before so it already feels like home. There’s so many great nooks in the house. Lots of people have stayed here over the years so it has a really nice lived-in, cosy feel to it. I love the outdoor area for entertaining, there’s nothing better than being out there on a summer’s day with friends, drinking and eating.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
Technically we are guests, so no renovations.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
Nothing about the space is too contrived. It’s very eclectic which I think comes from years of collecting and travelling. Most of the interiors and objects in the studio are second-hand or thrifted.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
Our Wurlitzer keyboard from the 1970s and my green mushroom lamp (also from the 70s) that I stole from my mum!
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
I’m always on the hunt for classic design pieces. At the moment I’ve got my eye on the ‘bookworm’ bookshelf by Kartel.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
I love the kitchen/dining area especially the wall with all the colourful glassware.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
For the bedroom I like to keep it simple, the rest of the house can be loud and colourful but I like to keep the palette more refined in the bedroom. It should evoke a sense of calm. My top styling tip for a home is to add indoor plants wherever possible!
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
I’m looking forward to the world opening up again and playing more shows with the band! We are also going to start recording our next album in the new year which we are all really excited about.
For more from Scarlett, follow her at @beryl_streep