Originally a fashion designer hailing from Melbourne, mother of one Tali Roth is now a much-lauded interior designer with design agency Homepolish based in New York...
Her stunning mix of high-low furniture, sleek approach to kids’ spaces and dreamy collection of objets d’art are enough to make you want to re-design your home, immediately. Upon seeing her dreamy Chelsea apartment (the colour! The textures!) we couldn’t help but delve a little deeper into her magical world of art, lighting, chairs and more. Grab a pen and paper, you’re going to want to take notes thanks to her clever home styling tricks and shopping tips… Editor: Marisa Remond | Photography: Genevieve Garruppo | Go to www.homepolish.com
Can you tell us a little about your move from fashion in Melbourne to interiors in New York? What prompted the move and career change?
I actually started in psychology at Monash University and I went through all the way until my honours year. My parents sat me down one day and said that they had always been baffled why I didn’t pursue a creative career as I had been drawing and making clothes from a young age. Since my first semester of honours had a light workload, it prompted me to make a small collection of cocktail dresses on the side while studying. Very quickly it overtook my studies and I ended up pressing pause on psychology to run Tali Roth Clothing full time. After six seasons and a huge amount of growing and learning, I decided to wind down the business as I simply couldn’t turn over the profits I had hoped for and I was not able to sacrifice the quality of the fabrics and the design integrity to do so. I met up with three influential boss ladies that I was connected with to chat about a design industry outside of fashion. I chatted to Chyka at The Design Depot/Big Group about event styling and guru Amanda Henderson from Gloss Creative about visual merchandising and then my mother’s friend Esther Selzer, who is an interior designer. I made a clear decision to move into interiors and begin studying interior design at RMIT. It was a super intensive two-year course and I literally completed the course and moved to New York city within one week. What prompted the move was my husband who is a property developer, was poached by a New York City private developer to run operations for his business. I jumped on board without blinking!
What does a typical day look like for you, how do you juggle working for Homepolish with looking after your son Phoenix?
I get up at 7am and hop in the shower and get ready whilst my husband gets our son out of bed. He gets off to work at 7:30 and I start cooking Phoenix breakfast. We then eat breakfast while Face-Timing my mother or mother-in-law. I get him dressed and fly out the door and take him to school which is two streets away in Flatiron. I then run off to Homepolish HQ which is another two streets away from the school. I have set us up well in Chelsea so that everything is within walking radius! I usually start at the office and then run out for a site meeting or two. On the days that my assistant is not in the office, I work from Soho House in the meatpacking district which is always fun as I have some girlfriends that work from there occasionally, too. My day is always jammed pack until 6:30pm and then I run home to relieve the nanny and read Phoenix stories/conduct complex kitchen dance parties before bedtime at 7:45. My husband usually arrives home by 8pm and we either order dinner or make a salad and sit on the sofa watching whichever show we are into (currently it’s Ray Donovan) while we do a couple of things on our laptops (terrible habit that we intend on breaking). It’s groundhog day until the weekend which is always the most fun as the three of us hang out and jam-pack every day with socialising and as much playtime as humanly possible!
You’re known for mixing high/low interiors, can you tell us three things to splurge on and three things to scrimp on when it comes to decorating a home?
SPLURGE Lighting: Good lighting is imperative. It lifts a space and in many cases acts as a sculpture on the wall or in the air. Vintage lighting is my favourite to mix in somewhere. I also love that you can take lights with your to your next space without worrying too much! This is something we always need to focus on in a city like New York. Art: I see art as THE single most objective piece in anyone’s home. It’s impossible to predict what my clients will like even if I have mastered their tastes with everything else. I don’t think you have to have expensive art everywhere but I think you need authentic art. I love mixing a $100 unknown artist vintage print with a $5000 oil painting on a gallery wall. Art should be something you splurge on! Chairs: I have a chair fetish. I think they are all amazing, in every shape and style. I want to pair an orange and cream striped Gaetano Pesce Chair and a Philip Arctander “Clam Chair” in Lamb Fur. I think all chairs are amazing and they are the kind of pieces that stay with your forever and get handed down from family member to family member! SCRIMP It’s a hard one as I don’t have a hard and fast rule… I look at a project holistically and then decide where the budget should be allocated. Media Units And Storage Pieces: I do think you don’t need to splurge on dressers or media units. There are so many cute vintage options available! Also, I have done tons of IKEA media units and used semi hand-made or other custom faces. tchotchke: Tchotchke and soft furnishings. You don’t have to have super expensive small accents everywhere as these are things you can update over time and can sometimes be disposable. Cabinet Hardware: Cabinet hardware can transform a piece of furniture or joinery in minutes and doesn’t need to cost too much! Keep it simple and be game as you can always swap them out at any time.
What’s one of the easiest ways to update your home without spending a lot of money?
Plants (with beautiful planters), florals, soft furnishings, art and paint. Change the colour of your bedroom – be bold and try something new. Throw all the old sheepskins and boho throw cushions off your sofa and add a couple of new statements pillows for a fresh perspective! Art is always a good idea. It adds so much to a space and it’s so flexible in that you can always find a home for it!
Concrete Wall: I-Faux. Sconces: Hubble Palomer Designed by Pietro Russo for Baxter. Spiky Bowls: L’Objet Celestial Bowls. Arch Stool: Gifted. Sofa: Two 72” Bronson Sofa’s from Crofthouse in Taupe Velvet. Coffee Table: Low Marble Plinth Coffee Table from Restoration Hardware. Armchair: Leather U-Turn Chair from Design Within Reach. Media Unit: Ikea Besta Unit with Semi Hand Made Front and Hardware. Rug: Aronsons Rugs Nu Silk Rug
Is there a secret to combining kids toys and accessories with beautiful homewares? If a separate space is out of the question, how do you suggest combining the two whilst maintaining a sense of organisation and cleanliness?
I have always lived in apartments since becoming a mum, so separate spaces are out of the question for me too. What I did was build a little wooden framed house and a lay a rug down inside and I lined up Phoenix’s books and a couple of bags of toys which I rotate once a month! Now we have a table and chairs with storage inside of it sitting in front of the house. This has helped up with a sense of organisation and containment.
What are your top tips for styling a beautiful nursery, where’s the best place to start in creating a new room for your baby?
Make sure you have lots of beautiful texture. Start with a crib, a piece of art and a chair. Base your design off this. Focus on paint, wallpaper, rugs and window treatments for colour and texture. I recommend a pendant light as well as a table lamp. The changing station can either be a feature or blend in. If you want a neutral and calming space use less colour and focus on lots of great layered texture in creams and greys. Often people forget to put as much effort into the nursery as they go into all the other spaces in their homes and so it falls flat. Your checklist needs to be walls, floors, ceiling and window and make sure each element is properly ‘dressed’.
What are some of your favourite home and interior stores to shop from online?
1st dibs for the most amazing selection of furniture, lighting, art and objects from around the world. There is an emphasis on vintage and most of the product is high end but it’s soooo worthwhile to peruse. They also have small makers doing super unique work! Uprise Art. I love Uprise Art, they are based in NYC but ship worldwide and represent tons of emerging artists. They target young art collectors who want quality work and are conscious of price. The Line. The Line NYC is an incredible retail experience which is set up like an apartment and everything is for sale. I love their curation and find it to be an inspirational experience. I highly recommend it! Mociun is a fine jewellery line and bricks & mortar store based in Brooklyn, New York. Not only does it have amazing jewellery but a collection of ceramics and homewares to DIE for! It’s the perfect place to find hostess gifts!
What’s the next big trend in interiors that’s easy to translate in real life?
I think colour is going to be more prevalent. The past couple of years has seen a huge trend in monochromatic interiors which I think will always be timeless and a ‘thing’ but I can’t help but feel in this era of Instagram and Pinterest, when everyone is looking to find ways to do something with a fresh perspective, bold and rich colour will come into that. I think deeper colours with grey undertones like murky green and burnt orange and navy blue and mustard. I think pastels are out. The other big trend (and this will sound like an oxymoron) but vintage is on trend. Again for the same reasons as I mention above, people want to lace their home with more authenticity and this comes from items of the past. You can never go wrong with something vintage whereas often purchasing from high street stores can feel soulless.
Side Table: West Elm Papier Mache Layered Drum. Chair: Paulistano from DWR. Art: Vintage from 25th St Flea Market. Shelving Unit: Soil and Oak Custom Made. Concrete Wall: I-Faux . Table Lamp: Vintage Glas Italia from 25th St Flea Market
Dining Table: Designed by Tali, fabricated by Boles Studio. Dining Chairs: Rudolf Wolf Dining Chairs from 1st Dibs. Painting: Aschley Vaughn from Uprise Art. Concrete Wall: I-Faux. Chandelier: Synapse by Apparatus
Tell us about your new home? How did you approach the interiors?
We moved to Chelsea last May from the upper west side. We wanted to move neighbourhoods and the extra space we inherited was a bonus. I approached this space with the following goals: 1.Furnish a space double the size in a clever and calculated way so that you don’t overcapitalize. 2. Fill the space well and make it comfortable and functional whilst staying in the budget. 3. Take the lessons I had learned from previous homes and try and make more timeless choices that truly reflect my aesthetic and lifestyle. Using those rules as the basis for every decision, the space built from there.
Where did you shop/source furniture and decor?
I shopped all around! I mixed high end and low end and used plenty of vintage pieces throughout the space! The space is also peppered with some of our existing pieces from uptown! My art wall is the most eclectic of all!! I have eight pieces all with a different story, vendor and price point!
How long until you like to change around a space/room again?
Honestly once I complete a space I am done. I haven’t had the privilege of purchasing my own home so I imagine I will have a different approach then. However, when it comes to a rental you need to make a clever financial decision so that you are super comfortable in your space but you don’t overspend on the items that cannot come with you to future homes. I hopefully achieved that in this space!
What’s your favourite way to unwind at night?
My perfect night is when we put my son down together (rare but always more fun), we eat some dinner, drink some wine and binge-watch one of our shows. We are very basic creatures.
Rug: Ebay Vintage Persian Rug. Chairs: Vintage from Etsy, reupholstered in blue velvet. Left Cushion: Castle. Right Cushion: Roxy Marj – sold out but you can find other styles here. Table Lamp: Vintage Glas Italia from 25th St Flea Market. Curtains: Cotton Textured Weave Light Grey Curtains. Art: Small Lola Donaghue Prints on Canvas. Floor Lamp: Branching Gold Floor Lamp. Wall Colour: Cornforth White
What’s your favorite room in your new home?
I don’t have a favourite room per se but I have some favourite spots… I love love the gallery wall. It uses some of my old pieces, new pieces, some high-end art and some vintage pieces from Chairish. I am obsessed with the sconces in the living room that wash the concrete wall and sit on top of the L’Objet spike bowls and the olive trees in the corner of the room. I designed my marble dining table and had it fabricated by Brooklyn makers called Boles Studio. I sourced dining chairs from 1960 and brought them back to life… it was very exciting! Lastly, I love my bedroom. It was an accidental design victory. The layered of warm grey with white lighting accents, creating the moodiest and most comfortable space!
Are you tidy or messy? How do you approach home organisation? How do you keep on top of the housework?
I am obsessively neat and tidy. I prioritize cleaning. It relaxes me! I don’t cook so I focus all my domestic godliness on the housework. I do have help for a couple of hours once a week and I generally do a sweep, vacuum and wipe down of surfaces every night! I also have sufficient storage (for now) to accommodate and hide clutter!
How do you store/organise kids’ stuff - does it spread throughout the home?
Yes, it spreads like a damn disease! So I approach it from every angle! It’s all about the mix of storage. I go for:
- Closed storage… I usually rely on the IKEA Besta units.
- Shelves and open storage for easy access.
- Toy Bags.
- Book Towers. It’s particularly hard in a rental space as you don’t want to invest in custom storage so you have to get a little creative!