At Home With Pip Spiro
If you’ve ever stumbled across the phrase “bringing the outside in” and wondered about its meaning — well, artist Pip Spiro encapsulates it.
Now you might not see her picture if you were to look it up in a dictionary or phrase finder, but through her art and throughout her home, she lives by the saying.
Not only by bringing greenery throughout her home — like the big window that opens up to the ‘fairy garden’, and boasts a beautiful cross breeze — but also more literally, decorating with bright colours of nature throughout her home.
And, of course, you can’t mention Pip Spiro without mentioning her art. Whether you’ve bought a piece from her website, or just seen it over on her Instagram — @pipspiro — her still lifes focus on botanicals, fruits, intricate beach shells and more; her scapes focus on lush gardens and brilliant blue oceans.
It’s safe to say Pip can find the beauty in everything — including her home.
Nestled within a “little pocket at the end of New Farm”, when it popped up for sale it was vacant with a garden that was “completely overgrown”, and with old original stucco that was “riddled with cracks”.
Even so, her and then-fiance, now husband, Nick, knew it was a special house with the “most beautiful bones” — citing its “curved walls, Art Deco feel and leafy outlook.”
There’s that outside in, again.
Moving in September 2012, they met with an architect in 2017 — the build commenced in March 2019, and the house was completed in June 2020. Not only is the house heritage listed, it was an “intricate process” to work with the existing house.
The outcome? A beautifully finished, bespoke renovation that preserves “the spirit and form” of the original home.
Oh, and there’s been a few other additions along the way, in the form of three children — Sydney (6), Beatrix (4) and Fred (1).
Even with all those little feet running through the house for a full year, Pip reflects that at times it still felt “empty” and not yet “done” — because together with her husband, they made a conscious effort not to fill it all at once, but rather “collect things over time that we truly love.”
“If we don’t absolutely love it,” Pip explains, “It doesn’t make the cut.”
… Glad to see Sheridan made it through.
Something that does guide how their home is styled, are four guiding principles (read: adjectives). And those are: elegant, timeless, unique and welcoming.
Pip tells Sheridan Life it was less about being wedded to a particular aesthetic, era or style and more about “amalgamation”.
In the older parts of the home, it was about bringing a modern touch. The new part — which is “very clean and geometric with lots of white and off-form concrete” — is about bringing warmth through the interiors, with “beautiful timber furniture and accents, natural textures and textiles.”
That woodwork is seen clearly throughout the kitchen and living spaces; it’s plain to see in the master bedroom.
Yes, there’s the flooring, but it’s the one-of-a-kind bed frame that really catches the eye. And dressing it with such a lively shade of green, like our Maplewood Quilt Cover and Pillowcases? It could almost be one of the lush landscapes that Pip herself paints — especially with the detailed, soft-toned peonies that pattern the front.
And those elements of nature — the lush, almost looks too good to be true shades of green; fresh, zippy florals — have been brought into the master ensuite.
Our Meridian Towel Set, in the colour pea, brings warmth to a space that can easily be described as “geometric” and “white”. The Orriana Robe? That could just be considered an extension of the “fairy garden”. Trust us, it feels just as magical.
Although Pip reflects that her Brisbane home is a “constant project”, she affirms that it brings her joy — and is something that will surely “evolve over time as we change and grow as a family.”
And although it may be a work in progress, when asked what home means to her, she tells us that it’s “all about family — a warm, happy place to raise our three kids.”
Warm and happy is taken literally in the kids’ bedroom. Yes, there’s the wide window where sunlight freely streams in. There are also textured bed heads that can only be described aptly with the shade ‘citrus’.
And the bedding used throughout only adds to the theme — the Ruthie Quilt Cover with its hand-painted daisy flowers; the Jaimee Kids Fitted Sheet Set that hearkens back to old-school ice cream shop awnings. The sunny cherry on top — the Ferran Square Cushion, in sungold (too on the nose?).
The New Farm space also doubles as a “huge creative outlet for me.”
It’s not exactly a surprise, especially when you look at the success of her art — her first solo exhibition saw every piece sold, and now she boasts an Instagram audience that desperately follows the journey of each individual piece. With an eye like that, how could it not influence the aesthetic?
The vivid colours found throughout her watercolours, as we’ve seen, are reflected in her home. The love of zesty yellows and oranges? There’s only one space in her home you need to stop to see them — the lounge room.
A plethora of sunshine shades, from richer golds to pink pastels, burnt oranges and more. Layering cushions like Ridgewood, Stanfield, Wharton, Britten and Woodsdale add a variety of textures, for a modern touch.