If you’ve ever admired a bedroom for long enough to realise that all the magic lies in the bedhead, we don’t blame you. In fact, it’s often a bedhead - either casual and timeless or opulent and detailed - that turns a room from ho-hum to deluxe instantly. This is something interior expert Georgie Leckey knows all too well given her business, Heatherly Design specialises in custom bedheads that quite simply, make a room...
“Heatherly Design came to be 11 years ago, after having established an interior decorating business, I realised there was a lack of quality upholstered bedheads in the market to choose from for my clients. So I set out to create three bedhead designs and a range of fabrics that could be offered via a simple website. My first lesson I learnt quickly here was, nothing is ever simple about building a website!”
If the concept of selecting a bedhead shape and choosing a fabric colour or print seems slightly overwhelming, don’t let that stop you. The entire process on the Heatherly Design website is simple to navigate and provides a wealth of inspiration in the form of different styles, shapes and fabrics to suit every mood, interior style and budget. It’s no wonder Georgie switches up her own bedhead seasonally… “For winter, I have a new bedhead which is more opulent than my usual style. It has a curved, elevated shape and is upholstered in a rich botanical velvet fabric. I have paired it with matching toned scatter cushions and a velvet throw – it’s a bit like a warm cocoon!”
We loved chatting to Georgie about her clever business idea, career highlights (hint: it involves Meghan Markle and Prince Harry), how she tackles the logistics of freight and delivery, and why there really is no comparison when it comes to bespoke, custom-made interior touches…
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your family?
I live on a property 50 minutes drive north of the Yarra Valley in Victoria with my husband (and business partner) Will and our two children Eliza and Hugh.
What did your career involve prior to launching Heatherly Design?
After studying Textile buying and merchandising at RMIT, I worked with Laura Ashley in their home furnishing buying team and Georges Decorating Dept in Collins Street. It was the Aladdin’s Cave of decorating and introduced me to so many incredible suppliers of antiques, fabrics and the like. An opportunity following this to work with Wardlaw fabric house representing brands from Europe including Designers Guild, Nina Campbell, Osborne and Little and Schumacher allowed my passion for decorative fabrics to be fulfilled. After five years with Wardlaw, I hung up my pinking shears to marry a sheep farmer and move to the country.
What was the process like in setting up your own business?
It was intense and I learnt very quickly that I had to wear so many different hats in making it happen. Not only was I designing and making the bedheads out of our woolshed. I was also scheming the imagery for launch, trying to get a handle on how to deliver our product Australia wide and crunching the numbers at the same time.
What have been some of the biggest challenges in running your own business?
Freight is always a challenge for us. We now have our own teams delivering and installing in Sydney and Melbourne and try where ever possible to offer a high standard of service for all other deliveries but we do lose control with on forwarders, unfortunately. As our business has grown so too has our need for skilled upholsterers. We have a team of six experienced upholsterers including an apprentice but the pool of talented craftsman to pull from is limited in Australia.
To shop, go to www.heatherlydesign.com.au
What about some of the greatest highlights?
So many highlights….. Designing a bedhead for Alex Perry in our early days was pretty special. More recently we worked with the interior designers for Admiralty House – the Governor General’s official residence on Sydney’s north shore to custom design stately bedheads and valances for the home’s four main guest bedrooms, including the bedroom where Prince Harry and Meghan slept during their royal stay.
There is so much creativity in your work - from the shapes to the fabrics. Where do you look to for inspiration?
I am inspired by travel. The design we are currently working on was inspired by a recent hiking trip to New Zealand – there is a reason why New Zealand is marketed as PURE New Zealand! There will be organic textural linens and natural wools with an emphasis on finishing touches of contrast piping and stitch detail.
Do you have a favourite style?
I love the simplicity of the Rupert with its stitched flanged detailing in pure linen – it’s casual but timeless. I also love the Poppy with its unique ‘finger’ panels which is still causing a sensation since it launched two years ago.
You have worked with some gorgeous brands as part of your Art Series. What brands have been some of your favourites to work with, and are there any on your bucket list?
Our Art Series feature has included working with fabric houses including Kate Spade and Anna Spiro. The Kate Spade range we released is very dear to our hearts given her sudden passing. The dream would be a collaboration with Kit Kemp of Firmdale Hotels who has been a game changer for the bedhead industry.
How do you go about the process of creating a bespoke design for a client?
In consulting with our clients, some of the first questions we ask are velvet or linen, buttoned or panelled, sleek and wide or high for effect, what colours appeal? Once these questions are answered we start to form a design brief in moving forward.
What do you think makes for a beautifully welcoming bedroom?
It’s all about creating a space that feels like a personal sanctuary, richly decorated and full of things close to your heart. A bedhead is always a wonderful edition to add that final layer of comfort and finishing touch to the bedroom.
Do you change your bedroom dressings seasonally? If so, what are you loving at the moment?
For winter, I have a new bedhead called the Giselle, which is more opulent than my usual style. It has a curved, elevated shape and is upholstered in a rich botanical velvet fabric. I have paired it with matching toned scatter cushions and a velvet throw – it’s a bit like a warm cocoon! We only sleep in pure linen now so I have teamed our forest green linen sheets with an indigo velvet throw. A must is euro cushions for comfort behind the pillows.
Where are your go-to sources for bedroom furniture, decorative elements and linen?
Eadie Lifestyle, Major-Minor for bedlinen, Bianca Lorene for stunning velvet throws and Koko Lane in Richmond for beautiful decorative touches such as lamps and special trinkets for your bedside.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I will either be in my office at our Heatherly farm, in the Melbourne workshop working with our upholsterers, or meeting with clients in our Sydney showroom.
How do you make time for yourself and for self-care?
My ritual when at home each morning is to go for a long walk our dogs, in the evening I relax with a G&T whilst watching Monty Don’s French Gardens on Netflix.
What’s next for you and for Heatherly Design?
To continue creating unique pieces that last a lifetime, not just a season. We have just opened a new, bigger showroom in Sydney’s Paddington, which is really exciting and will be releasing very soon a new bed design to include storage! Exciting times ahead….