'Styling is a reflection of who you are': Finding inspiration and styling your home with Chyka
If anyone knows how to set the tone for an amazing dinner party, create the ultimate feeling of ambiance in the bedroom, or style a living space to perfection, it's Chyka.
We're so excited to share with you the new Chyka Home range, spanning across living and dining, bedding and bathroom.
To celebrate, we sat down with Chyka to find out her top styling tips, and the inspiration behind her new range.
Harris Scarfe: What was the inspiration behind your Harris Scarfe tabletop range?
Chyka Keebaugh: I have always grown up in a home with lots of beautiful things and it was always my job to set the table. I remember once asking Mum why she never used these particular blue glasses, and she said they were her special best and couldn't be used for every day. I don't believe that anything should be put away at the back of the cupboard and not used- if you love it, use it.
I have some of the most beautiful things from my grandmother that I love to bring out for special events and to then tie them back with some of the pieces from my new range, that's the fun.
HS: When styling a table, where's the best place to start?
CK: I love a theme and I always choose two colours to start with - any more and you start to get confused. Have fun and mix and match what you have to create a layered and an eclectic look and feel.
Start layering up your pieces through the middle of the table creating height and then work your way to the edge.
HS: What's the most important part of the table?
CK: That's actually a very hard question because the whole look of a table is about different elements. From the napkin and placemats, to the plates, cutlery and glassware… Having said that, to me, the middle of the table is usually where I get the most excited.
Putting beautiful flowers in copper pots, buying pots of ferns and placing them in beautiful ceramics, or layering up old books for candles and bits and pieces. I never repeat the same look twice because the fun for me is creating something uniquely different and special. The Vegetable Garden Range is a great example of this, it's fun and unique, while being eclectic and elegant all at the same time.
HS: What should you look for when you're buying tableware?
CK: I love mixing and matching my tableware together so when buying something, think about how you can make it work in a couple of different ways. Tableware should be fun and used differently for lunch, a barbeque or dinner for example.
I always have plain coloured plates and pattern texture plates that work together or separately. Make sure you have placemats and serviettes that tie back together and have fun thinking outside the box when you are creating something special for your family and friends.
HS: Which table top pieces are the most versatile?
CK: Probably the white Sunday range, because the larger plates look great with either the same white plates on top or another pattern. I am someone who has so many different collections of tableware, and I love the fun of mixing it all together. If you already have a simple white look then perhaps pairing with the white Chyka Vegetable serve plate or the apricot Chyka Water Lily plate is a lovely start for your layering.
HS: What's something on a table you can't go without?
For me, it has to be flowers. I am absolutely obsessed and love how there are always so many different types depending on the season. I always use that as my starting point and then bring together my china, glassware and napkins to complete the look.
HS: Your top tip for creating a show-stopping table?
CK: It's really important that a table doesn't look too flat. Think about how you can create different heights in your table centre, and what glassware cutlery and china you will use. Give everything an extra wash, and iron up serviettes and placemats to give it a fresh look.
I always sit down at my table the night before I'm having friends over so that I have a chance to make sure it's exactly how I want it to look. If you are using fresh flowers, it's also great to organise them the day before as it gives them a chance to settle into place. Make sure you look at the space as a whole - turn the lights down low, choose a great playlist and make sure the room smells beautiful. Being organised makes having friends over that much better and easier. Doing things at the last minute never works well.
HS: Your range is quite eclectic, what is the key to nailing eclectic styling?
CK: I have always loved things from my past and I'm the person that you will constantly find scavenging at a flea market or a bric-a-brac store.
I think the ability to mix and match patterns, colour and style is what makes something look uniquely yours and extra special.
I find that people tend to overthink how they're going to style their home, a table or a special space when really, my attitude is go for it. Put it all together, stand back and see what does and doesn't work. Don't be afraid to have a try because sometimes you can be quite pleasantly surprised.
HS: Your home is your haven, how do you find the balance between a styled home, and one that feels cosy and lived in?
CK: To me a house becomes a home when it's filled with just a few important things. I love flowers, a fragrant candle, a stack of books, moody lighting with lots of lamplight and music.
A perfectly styled home to me does not look lived in. One of my favourite sayings is 'perfectly imperfect', and although my house always looks neat and tidy there are always eclectic collections and lots of knick knacks.
I love there to be a story with each collection, whether it's from your travels, a family heirloom or something special I have found out-and-about.
I also believe in mixing things around. Just because something has been that way for a little while, doesn't mean it has to stay that way forever.
Styling is a reflection of who you are, and we all have days where we feel different .. so embrace it..
HS: What is your favourite room of the house to style, and why?
CK: My favourite room to style is the kitchen. I love having fresh produce on the kitchen bench and mixing it up with wicker, wood and stone.
I love having displays of fresh lemons when they're in season, delicious bread, the perfect cake or even a stack of beautiful plates with some napkins on top just because.
The kitchen is one of those places we use all the time and therefore needs extra love.
HS: Where do you find inspiration?
CK: I love looking at nature for inspiration. The way nature mixes colours is always so beautiful and unexpected. I'm also someone that loves looking at beautiful Instagram sites, Pinterest, coffee table books and magazines.
My eyes are always open and I am always looking for beautiful things everywhere I go. Never look down, always look up!
HS: This range really focuses on creating an oasis in the bedroom, what are your must haves to help achieve this?
CK: To me a bedroom should be an absolute haven for you to relax and rejuvenate in. I love beautiful flowers, freshly ironed sheets and a favourite candle to give the space a unique smell. I love looking into any room that shows someone lives there.
Creating this bed range was really special because I am someone who really loves neutral tones and beautiful fabrics. We did a linen range which is new to Harris Scarfe and something I personally love. The ability to have sheets that look like they haven't been ironed but still look so delicious is one way you can style them, but also having them freshly ironed also looks just as wonderful.
HS: What are your favourite pieces from the range, and why?
CK: There are so many things that I absolutely love in the range and there is so much more to come that I also can't wait to share.
The Monkeys Garden picnic plates are truly the cutest ever and I am someone who loves whimsical things like the monkeys. I can see this being used for the perfect picnic in the park, or a cute little table set up in a vegetable garden, or a barbecue by the pool.
Last but not least, Christmas is a holiday I really love and am incredibly excited about. There are some really beautiful things in the collection that can make your table look extra special this year. I can't wait to put this all together for my family and friends. I'm so excited to have all of these new bits and pieces to play with. It's like having my own shop at home.
HS: How can customers get to know their personal style?
CK: Learning your own personal style can be quite tricky because many people feel they need to try and combine as many different looks as possible. Keeping it simple and sticking to two colours and two styles is a great starting point.
I am an absolute lover of Pinterest, and if you are trying to find inspiration for anything that's where I head to.
Making a space look like your personality is important and embracing whatever that is is the fun in creating your own home.
Don't feel you need to be the same as everybody else because that's really boring. Sometimes you might have a special family piece that you want to work your room around so I always say start with the neutrals and then layer up. You can't really go wrong, and if in doubt ask a friend!
Shop the exclusive Chyka Home range now!