Given Kym Rundle (nee Elphinstone) is the founder/managing director of contemporary arts consultancy [art]iculate it comes as no surprise that her Paddington terrace house is devoid of baby paraphernalia and full of exciting art, complemented to perfection with stunning design pieces. “I love contemporary photography and particularly treasure my Petrina Hicks and Christian Thompson works. I also love our Miranda Skoczek painting for it’s depth and serenity and our Louis Pratt brass skull sculpture always divides opinion. I like to support local artists and have a commissioned neon work by Matt Glenn and a Dion Horstmans sculpture in our living area”.
The glamorous former lawyer shares her home with husband Ben and their six-month-old son Hamish (three months at the time of our shoot) and credits her mother for igniting an interest in art, interiors and design. Growing up, Rundle recalls her mother was: “Elegant at all times and possessed an unwavering drive to make things happen. She always wore glamorous outfits for parties, work, gardening or aerobics (it was the 80s after all) and taught me the importance of being well presented. I remember mums flare for creating beautiful and stylish spaces and entertaining being an art. Lavish dinners and tennis parties at home were usually preceded by all day cooking and styling marathons that I took part in”.
Rundles work promoting arts-based organisations, such as the Biennale of Sydney, Carriageworks, The Australian Ballet and Art Month Sydney is an integral part of her life and while finding balance is a common catchcry among most parents, she says motherhood has fortuitously taught her just that. ”I’ve found I’m more present in all aspects of my life, whether it be work, parenting, spending time with friends. I’ve understood the concept of presence for many years through yoga and meditation but never really put it into practice properly until now, less of choice than by necessity. I find when I’m with Hamish I am completely in the moment with him, he is demanding like that! At work, Im even more focused than before because I often have a limited time in which to complete a task. Likewise, social time with friends and family has become even more precious and if I’m doing that I’m really there and enjoying myself. So it’s through motherhood that I’ve found I’m getting better at achieving balance across different areas of my life, albeit on a bit of a crazy schedule at times”.
While organisation is key, Rundle says she’s also learning to be more flexible with her time. We are fortunate to have the help of an incredible nanny who supports us throughout the week based on my work commitments. I used to be an early morning person, getting a couple of hours done before the emails started, but I’ve had to flip that now and try to work a couple of hours in the evening after dinner and when Hamish is in bed to catch up on anything I’d missed during the day. It’s a work in progress, but so far, its working well and I wouldn’t have it any other way as my business is part of who I am.
On what her mother taught her about motherhood…
My mother taught me anything is possible if you are willing to work for it. At different stages of my childhood she was working full time for an international bank, launched her own fashion boutique, was a stay at home mum, became a qualified chef, and completed a post graduate degree in fine art. Mum taught me that you should strive for excellence in everything you do; that hard work and giving your best at all times is non-negotiable and always her mantra that if a jobs worth doing, its worth doing well.
I’m a mix of both worlds. We started Hamish on a fairly strict routine quite early, which he seemed to love and it also gave us some guidelines to follow when we were feeling overwhelmed in those early days. Since Hamish started sleeping through the night I’ve been more flexible on routine during the day and mostly follow his cues. He’s quick to let us know when he’s hungry and its clear when he’s tired. That said, we’ve maintained a set routine for bedtime each night, which seems to work as were still getting a solid 12 to 13 hours every night, for which I’m eternally grateful! I don’t really mind what happens during the day, and would prefer flexibility to fit in with different daily appointments.
On her career…
I trained as a lawyer but my true love was always the arts. After moving to London and whilst working for a law firm, I immersed myself in art doing courses at Sothebys and Central St Martins and soaking up all the incredible galleries and museums. After moving to Sydney, I worked for the Museum of Contemporary Art which was a wonderful and steep learning curve about Australian contemporary art, for a few years before launching [art]iculate. Working on the re-launch of the New Museum in New York was an incredible experience and a career highlight. And [art]iculates five-year anniversary: looking back on all the inspirational clients we have worked with and what we have helped them to achieve. We are fortunate to have worked with some of the most respected names in contemporary art and culture.
On her home…
We have lived here for eighteen months and when we first moved in I had to un-renovate parts of it. It had been refurbished by a developer and I wanted to pare back some elements. I prefer to highlight the original character of the terrace, with light, contemporary finishes. I love the light tones of our home, the marble high top kitchen bench; our chalked oak dining table and bench seat area. The outlook onto a street filled of jacarandas from our bedroom balcony. Im also growing a green wall of sorts in our courtyard, with star jasmine and cascading aptenias, which is going to be amazing once it’s finished, especially in spring. I love the village vibe of Paddington, the convenience of nearby parks and cafes, the community feel and having some of my favourite fashion boutiques at the end of our street.
Artwork by Petrina Hicks
On buying art for childrens rooms…
I don’t think there is necessarily a category for children’s rooms, but rather good sites to find affordable works for any walls. For affordable options, it’s worth looking around Sydneys great emerging galleries such as The Commercial, Chalk Horse Gallery, Galerie pompom and Alaska Projects. Buying a work on paper or small edition is a great way to start your collecting journey, or enlist some financial help using the incredible new Art Money interest free art loan program.
SHOP THE LOOK: Cot by Leander, from Kido Store; artwork from I Need Nice Things; camouflage baby blanket from Atelier/Child (available from July); Leather strappy bookshelf, from Urban Couture.
SHOP THE LOOK: Leather strappy bookshelf, from Urban Couture.
On work/life balance…
In a way, having Hamish has helped me achieve a better work/life balance than before, because when you are on with a baby you really have no choice but to be totally present. I’ve always been an organised person but these days organisation has reached a whole new military level. The pay off is my own personal time, which has significantly reduced which is a difficult pill to swallow for an only child. I carve out windows for yoga and squeeze in some reading – both have become luxuries in my calendar. Online shopping has also become a guilty pleasure!
Home organisation tips…
De-clutter constantly! It does amazing things for your mental clarity. Im fairly ruthless in keeping only things in our home that are joyful, useful or beautiful. Nothing is spared from regular clear outs. It’s also a good idea to tidy a little each day. We put any of Hamishs toys away each night so our living and dining areas dont become too cluttered.
Kyms little list of loves…
My husband and amazing circle of family and friends.
Hamishs unadulterated curiosity about the world. His big eyes looking up at the trees with absolute wonder.
Yoga at my local Flow Athletic. I love that place and I dont know where I’d be without yoga.
Contemporary art, architecture and design always inspiring.
Sydney rock oysters, easily the thing I missed most when pregnant.
Fresh flowers and the work of floral artists such as Fjura, Grandiflora, My Violet.
Travel it’s all about the short break since having Hamish, quality rather than quantity. I’ve just booked in a long weekend at New Zealands Huka Lodge, which has been on the dream destination list for some time.
My extended family of Apple devices. Couldn’t live without them. Aesthetically pleasing functionality.
The transformative power of scent: a candle (current favourite is Maison Balzacs 1642); perfume (BYREDO Pulp) or our climbing star jasmine in full bloom.
A really good coffee. Preferably several of them.
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