Sarah Andrews is a scientist, stylist, writer and sailor. She used to spend the majority of her time at sea, but when she lost her beloved sailing boat to a raging storm in the Pacific Ocean, her life took a different path.
She bought a run down old shack on the west coast of Tasmania, christened it Captain's Rest, and transformed it into a magical cabin that people visit from far and wide.
Sarah is a magnificent storyteller, with tales from around the world to share. But she doesn’t just use her words to tell her story but expresses her experiences, feelings and yearnings through objects and spaces. For Sarah, creating a sense of home is as rich in meaning as it is in texture, colour, shape and form. Almost everything she owns is old, having been gathered or repaired and put back together again.
We caught up with Sarah – the queen of creating cosiness, heartfelt stories and authentic spaces – to share her tips on how to model your surrounds to tell your story.
"I'm always looking to the natural world. Like they say, as above, so below. Here is where I find my colour palette and also the source of my textures. In Australia, for me, that means curling up with wool."
Alongside being a nature lover (pretty sure you have to be to shack-up on Tassie's wild west coast!), Sarah isn't a stranger to the phrase 'less is more'.
"Sometimes people forget balance. The amount of space things have lets them talk louder. Too much stuff is a classic rookie styling mistake. When I'm hired to spruce up a space or as a stylist on a magazine shoot, my job is basically taking things OUT!"
In her words Sarah is a "pro scavenger" and she has a game plan when buying pre-loved items.
"My secret is scanning for colours and textures. I sort of know what colours I want in a space, and I'll just start by scanning for that first."
When you're selecting items and materials for your home, she believes intention is key to authenticity.
"When you're renovating your home, or styling it, there's always a decision to make. Compare your options against the story of who you are or what makes home, home. For example, if you are choosing between wooden or marble bench tops ask yourself: "Which one tells my story? What does my house want?". If you want your home to tell the story of the natural world (like mine does), you might choose wood. If you wanted to tell a heritage city story, you might choose marble. With this method, spaces come together in such a beautifully authentic way."
Sarah is so sought after for her ability to transform spaces that she started an Airbnb masterclass, called The Hosting Masterclass, which can be completed online over several chapters or in person at a day-long workshop.
Sarah rents out Captain’s Rest and it's been booked every night of the year since she opened three years ago. As for Sarah herself? Well, she continues to live life on the road, soaking up the unique beauty of each new location to help others share their stories through spaces.
All images by Sarah Andrews featuring the Pinot Fringe.