Emily Henderson

Calling The Down Under

We are Headed to Australia

Sydney-sydney-new-south-whales-australia-32662736-2048-1366

As only truly insane people would do (i.e. me) the whole family is headed to Australia in a couple of weeks. Brian’s company was hired to do a few videos there and I’ve always wanted to go – mostly for design, but also for vacation. Part of me wants to just hang out, write, and be with the kids, while the other part of me wants to really utilize my time to make connections, have book signings, create Australian content, do a makeover, and really connect with any and all readers there.

So this is my official call for ideas, connections, sponsors, stores (for signings), bloggers, media, etc. I know virtually no one there so it feels daunting to try to book work, but I also don’t want to miss opportunities and I figured that one of the 300,000 people reading this would know someone.

We’ll be staying in Sydney (Bondi Beach) the whole time, but I’m going to sneak away sans family for at least a day to go to Melbourne because I know that design-wise it’s great.

So help an American out. Who wants to collaborate either on some brand stuff (sponsored makoever?) or maybe a quick speaking engagement? Video content? Blogger brunch? Party? Book Signing?

The dates are March 20th – April 4th (we arrive the 22nd as it takes 94 hours to get there). God help us on that flight with those children . . . :)

xx – E

*Photo via FanPop

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  1. I live in England, but I’ll be visiting a friend in Melbourne from the 20th – 29th. I’m so excited for this trip! Are you happy dancing all over the place too? P.S. I’d love to get a signed book if I make it to Sydney!

  2. You’ll absolutely love it! I’m from Brisbane, so will unfortunately miss you while you’re here, but Melbourne is one of the most beautiful cities you’ll ever see! So much great food and culture. One store that jumps out at me as a truly Australian design staple is Mark Tuckey (stores in Melb and Syd).

    Plenty of fun stuff for you and your hubby, as well as heaps for the little ones. You’ll have a blast and I cannot wait to hear what you think of our home!!!

        1. Another reader and lover of your blog here in Brisbane! The Sunshine Coast just north of Brisbane is gorgeous, but I think in the time span you have you might be better limiting yourself to two cities (sadly). Australia is a big place.

          I am not in the know when it comes to design (learning my way slowly). Target Australia is different from the USA (soooooo much worse, I wish we had USA version of Target here) but would they have some contacts for you?

          You might have a bit of sticker shock when you get here. Sydney house prices are something else, but both Melbourne and Sydney are great cities to visit.

          As far as the flight goes, I took my then 11 month old to California and we had no trouble with the long haul flight. My tip would be to take the longest flight at night. Get the kids in their PJs, have a snack, read a story and hopefully they should sleep for a good portion of it. For Charlie, have lots of little activities that don’t make mess and last more than 5 minutes – my daughter loved to do play-dough, stickers, magnets (where you create little scenes) and of course TV shows, movies and games on the trusty tablet. Also snacks that take a long time to eat (eg lollipop as a treat).

          Hope you have an amazing time and keep us posted on your plans.

        2. NO!!!!! Too hot, and while quaint it’s just a boring oversized country town.

          But, a trip to Byron Bay is a must, an artists’ mecca and home to the most stunning beaches in Oz. A real thriving creative community, plus the kids will LOVE it. It’s an hour flight from Sydney. Try and touch base with Jai Vasicek while you’re there. And be sure to visit The Farm, Harvest, Wategoes Beach, Island Luxe, Bisque Interiors @ Bangalow and Newrybar Merchants. Try and stay at The Atlantic if you can. It’s gorgeous and you can walk everywhere.

          Before you come out maybe get in touch with Lucy @ The Design Files. I’m sure she’ll hook up some great content (that lady is connected with a capital C). Jason Grant, Megan Morton, Rachel Castle (in Melbs) will be your spirit animals. Check in with them? Perhaps you could collab on something?

          Berkelouw Books would probably be keen to do some book signings, and they have the financial clout to make it worth your while IMO. Ariel Books is also an option. Go to The Grounds of Alexandria for lunch or dinner (it’s family friendly) while you’re here, and of course enjoy a drink or dinner at Bondi Icebergs (the food is decent, but the view is incredible)
          Bondi has some great eateries, but be a little cautious of anything on the main esplanade, it can be a bit of a tourist trap.
          The little bays around the Eastern Suburbs are stunning. Watson Bay, Parsley Bay, Redleaf, Camp Cove, the list goes on.

          It’s totally worth taking the family on the ferry trip to Manly from Circular Quay, so glorious to see the Harbour from that vantage, think Opera House, Bridge, Luna Park, National Park all in one eyeful. It’s really something special.
          Manly has a lot to offer also.
          You HAVE to visit The Boathouse at either Shelley Beach, Palm Beach or Balmoral when you get time.
          The MCA or Gallery of NSW is great for an art fix.
          And that’s just the surface stuff!
          Hope you have a wonderful trip!
          Can’t wait to see what you get up to.

          Love from Oz
          x

          1. Ditto all of this! Amazing list, Jessie!

            Emily – PLEASE do a book signing somewhere in Sydney and let us all know! Read it cover to cover. You’ll fall in love with our city for sure. Have a fabulous time. x

        3. You have to do Byron Bay and Bangalow for Aussie design and retail at a grass roots level and for the beauty of the place. Visit the recently opened designer homeware & lifestyle collective, Newrybar Merchants, of which Sibella features along with other local talent. I can put you in contact with the right person fro a media famil. Do a day in Melbourne but two in Byron region.

        4. No, Brissy has nothing to offer you – on the design front, of course. Melbs is where it all happens! Voted as the most livable city in the world recently. ~ xo heather

  3. Yeah! I would definitely go to Melbourne for a least a day and longer if you can. Mr Jason Grant hangs out in Bondi or my Sydney favourite is Sibella Court and The Society Inc. shop.

    Hope you have a great time.

  4. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Sydney. The weather here is divine right now – make sure you bring your swimming costume (or swimmers as we call them) for the beach. I live at Sydney’s other iconic beach – Manly – and the water is gorgeous right now. There’s no shortage of interior and design bloggers over here and I’m sure you’ll be hearing from them. My little blog http://www.thebuilderette.com is only small but if you’d like a guide for a day, I’d be happy to volunteer. It’s such a beautiful city and i’d love to show it off.

    1. Hi Emily – just sent you an email earlier today – Blog Society would love to team up and help with your visit, you’ll absolutely love Sydney and there are so many people we’d could to hook you up with. Xx Jaclyn

  5. You’ve got to go shopping at Gorman while in Melbourne! Went there a few years ago and it is still one of my all time faves!

    1. Gorman stuff looks wonderful but they treat local artists terribly – they ask to do collaborations for basically no money and then when the artist refuses they just rip them off anyway! I love their stuff aesthetically too but unfortunately have to stay away now for ethical reasons. Oh and the marketing they do about being local etc is no longer true as they are now owned by Factory X who owns a bunch of other big chain stores :)

  6. Hi Emily, I can see that view (above) from my office windows! Welcome! So exciting that you’re coming. Some ideas for your trip:

    Opera bar is at the opera house and it is the perfect mid-week place to get a drink and watch the sun go down. On the weekends it’s too busy.

    Gorman clothes are awesome- you’ll love it.

    The grounds of Alexandria would be a fun lunch spot. There’s farm animals for the kids and beautiful food.

    Take a cruise on the harbour it can’t be beat. Or catch a ferry for near-to-free.

    The museum of Contemporary art has an A-MAZ-ing exhibition on at the moment, Greyson Perry’s ‘My pretty little art career’. Everyone is buzzing about it!

    Try concreteplayground.com for more ideas of where to go and what to see.

    All the best, Alyssa

    1. Oh and take the kids to Taronga zoo! It’s awesome. Catch the ferry across if you can, it’s a beautiful trip over. You might think you’ve been to zoos before but we have lots of weird and wonderful marsupials (platypusses!) and reptiles (red-bellied black snake!) to see.

      1. wow. those are all VERY good suggestions. I forgot that Gorman is there … and the farm animals … and the zoo. Will check out concreteplayground.com

  7. I live in Sydney and can’t help out with connections as such but will be keeping an eye out for details of your trip. Would love to meet you/listen to you speak

  8. Omg this news makes me so happy! You are coming at a gorgeous time of year and you have so many readers down here that would love to hear you speak or go to a book event. I for one will attend anything you do down in Melbourne! We do have many beautiful cafes and designers down here :D Please keep us posted and if you’d like more info on possible book shops down here let me know. Looking forward to seeing you down here xxx

  9. How I wish I was in Sydney! I won’t even try and go into the virtues of heading to the West Coast.

    Sydney is the blonde of Australia – fun with beaches. Melbourne is the brunette – darker and artsy.

    Australia 101 – no-one says g’day, we chuck prawns on the BBQ (not shrimp).

    http://thedesignfiles.net – best.

    1. So glad you wrote something on here Kristen! thedesignfiles.net was my very first thought. Long time silent reader from Newcastle here (Emily – it’s 2hrs drive north from Sydney – creatives galore, totally worth a day trip if you find someone to connect with from here).

  10. I’m an American living in Sydney, Bondi Junction actually! You’ll definitely want to check out the markets – Paddington, Bondi, Manly and The Rocks. They are on weekends, but they are hands down my favorite place to shop. I’m excited to see what other recommendations you get as well!

    I also like Paddington and Darlinghurst for shopping – Oxford street is the main drag, and there are loads of little shops in the smaller streets off Oxford. OPUS Design, Luxotic, and Matt Blatt are some of my favorites.

  11. I may have let out an excited squeal that woke up my cats when I read the title. Can’t offer up any advice, but I hope you do something in Melbourne because I will be there with bells on*. I’d love to be involved if you do any sort of blogger brunch or such, I’m not really an house blogger, but its something I’m interested in, and have shared bits and pieces of in my blog. Alas, i’m renting and currently trying to find a new rental (with air con!), and it’s limited to what you can do with a rental here, but if I ever owned my own house, I’d be sharing all the styling!

    *I probably won’t actually be wearing bells.

  12. check out Koskela, shop crown st surry hills, visit white rabbit gallery, swim at the ladies baths at Coogee (it’s special :-) ), drink coffee/browse books at Gertrude & Alice, take the kids to baby proms at the Opera House, eat at Acme and wear lots of sunscreen ;-) keep us updated if you’re doing a signing!

  13. Emily, this is a bit off topic but I would love to know how the travel goes on that long-haul flight. I just had a baby four weeks ago and while we live in San Francisco, my husband’s family is in Austria and mine is in Shanghai. We want to start long-haul flights as early as next Christmas (kiddo will be 9-10 months) and I would love to get some tips! What seats you get (economy or business), how you cope during the flight, how you get the kids over jetlag, etc. Thanks in advance!!

  14. Hi Emily. Long time reader, first time commenter! So excited to see that you are coming to our part of the world. I always get excited when I see you have written another blog post as I love your style and the way you write. I know you are busy but if you’re up for a family photoshoot you can look at my style and see if it’s what you’re into :)
    Hope you have a wonderful trip.
    Ellen xx

  15. Oh my word. I just relocated from SF to Sydney… You can bet your bum I’ll be attempting to see you in Bondi!!! Ahhhhh fan girl moment :D Can’t wait to see what creative connections you make. As a graphic designer, I’m having a hard time finding work over here :(

    1. Hi Chelsea Jean. I’m from Monterey and living in Newcastle! This online world really is small.
      Emily, check out Anna Spiro. Her blog, absolutelybeautifulthings.blogspot.com Hasn’t been updated in quite some time, but her website, black androids.com.au shows some of her divine work. Love what she did with Halcyon House. Your flight will be fine. Qantas LAX to SYD or Virgin Australia both non stop. I’ve done it with both my kids were young as 3 months. Fly at night so they can sleep and feed the baby for take off and landing to help with her ears. I will stalk the blog for trip details.

  16. You will be very welcome down under :) I’d love to come to a signing but alas Darwin is a little bit of a hike from our big brother cities. Come back another time and visit a few more spots, our style changes dramatically with location. Where I live it is currently the wet season and 38 degrees most days! Enjoy your stay, you have to go to Melbourne, it’s fab.

  17. I lived in Sydney for exactly one year and loved every minute of it. It’s got to be the most amazing city on earth! I follow Jen at Interiors Addict and she is based in Sydney. You might want to collaborate with her.

  18. Oh my goodness! I am so excited about this! We live here in Sydney and it is amazing! So family friendly and oozing with fantastic design places. If you do a blogger brunch or book signing I will totally be there! We have four kiddos (yes we are LDS and yes people think we are nuts for having four kids here ha!) so I also know all the good beaches for families if you are looking for suggestions! And my husband works for the Embassy so if you have ANY trouble with anything he’s a great guy to have around! We just moved into our gorgeous home five weeks ago an man alive what I wouldn’t do for some design help ha! So if you need a light filled blank canvas we are all yours! Ekk! I am just so thrilled to have you come down under!

  19. Can’t help with contacts, but Anna Spiro is a designer I love in Brisbane and recommend for a hook up.

    I found her years ago through her blog at Black & Spiro – also the name of her Brisbane shop.

  20. Hi Emily,

    So excited to hear you are coming out to Australia – the flight is long (particularly with kids) but it’s 100% worth it I promise! I’m not in the design business so can’t offer any connections unfortunately (just a big fan that loves your blog!) but I do have two little girls that are similar ages to your two kiddos so as a few other people have mentioned you will definitely want to make a trip to Taronga Zoo and down to Balmoral Beach or Clontarf Reserve which are great places for little kids.

    All of these places are over the Harbour Bridge from where you will be staying in Bondi but again… worth the trip! Also, if you’re looking for somewhere to do a make over you’re welcome at my place ha ha! We just bought a house that needs A LOT of work!!!

    Can’t wait to hear about your adventures in Sydney! Would love to come to a book signing so hope to hear of the dates soon.

  21. Hi Emily, I am beyond excited you’re coming to Australia. I have been a huge fan of your work and an avid reader of your blog for many years. I will definitely ‘chuck a sickie’ (Aussie slang for take a day off work) when you’re in Melbourne if you’re going do a meet your groupies thing. I’d love to get my already well worn copy of ‘Styled’ signed. Shout out if you’d like a tour guide.
    You must include a visit to Gertrude st Fitzroy in Melbs. There’s some great design places there: Spacecraft: spacecraftaustralia.com/
    Third Drawer Down: thirddrawerdown.com and loads more.
    Have fun planning your trip.

  22. Always wondered what you’d suggest. Love you to take a look at my place and see what you can do!? I’m in Bondi Junction

  23. Hi Emily,

    So excited to have you here in Bondi :)
    Many people have already mentioned good connections/stores and I do recommend to contact Mr Jason Grant who is stylist based in Bondi. I studied at ISCD (International School of Colour and Design) and they have a great connection in interior design industry including media such as real living magazine. Check it out http://www.iscd.edu.au/

    Please reach me out for any help including babysitting etc, as I’m close by and it might be handy for you! x

  24. Get in touch with Kara Rosenlund – she’s a photographer/stylist based in Brisbane but from the looks of it travels quite a lot so may be able to meet up with you in Sydney. I think you would love her style. She released a book a few months ago called ‘Shelter – how Australian’s live’ and it is so beautiful!

  25. Love Australia! You must try and visit Uluru (Ayer’s Rock). It will be well worth the journey. You will come away inspired!

  26. so many amazing australian designers & stylists… you should definitely try & make contact with the likes of sibella court, megan morton, tamara maynes @ establishment studios, kara rosenlund, lucy feagins, etc.

  27. This is such exciting news! I live in Sydney not too far from Bondi and would deffo (Australian for definitely – don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of our slang pretty quickly) be interested in any event or workshop you might put on! Looking forward to updates, keep us posted!

  28. Ooooh! Please please please do a book signing! Try Ariel Books, Berkelouw and definitely Kinokuniya.

    My tips:
    – Sunscreen here is much more strictly regulated than the US. The SPF50+ is the strongest sunscreen in the world. Buy it here, wear it. Our sun really is is much hotter and more burny. Smother your babies in it. Wear a hat, maybe wear two. Weather is like SF but hotter. We’re in the middle of a two week run of all days over 86 degrees. In autumn.

    – Sydney traffic is like LA (maybe worse). Use PT if you can – get opal cards. Some trips are just much more beautiful on public transport- get a train into Circular Quay station for the best view you’ll ever get on a train, and get the ferry to Taronga Zoo.

    – The Museum of Sydney is great, a lovely way to learn a bit about the city, and they have an ‘Icons of Sydney’ lego exhibition til July which will be great fun for Charlie. Their bookshop is tiny but good value. Any of the national trust bookshops have really great Australian design stuff. Likewise, the MCA store and the Art Gallery of NSW bookstore (also, obviously, the attached galleries are great)

    – Australian children’s books are really beautiful and interesting. Ariel, Kinokuniya and the AGNSW book stores are great places to get them / look at them. Plan to haul some home.

    – Definitely eat at the Bondi Trattoria (top of the hill, near the beach). Maybe more than once. The goats cheese gnocchi is to die for.

    – DO NOT GO TO DARLING HARBOUR. It is a tourist bait nightmare.

    – Go to the Grounds of Alexandria, but not on a weekend, you will have to wait forever.

    – Take every opportunity to eat Chinese, Lebanese and Turkish food. Sooooooo good here.

    – Canberra, our capital, is a three hour or so drive from Sydney, People might disagree with me, but there is a lot of wonderful mid century design and architecture there. Our national parliament house is one of the more beautiful modern government buildings you can ever visit. The National Portrait Gallery is stunning, and if you like Asian art, the National Gallery has a great collection.

    – The Biennale of Sydney is on so check that out. Cockatoo Island is also worth the ferry trip.

    – Hook up with Lucy Feagins from The Design Files and scour her blog for things to do / see, it’s a treasure trove.

    – We have very lacklustre public wifi, so check your phone plans for data roaming etc.

    – The Blue Mountains are stunning and a worthwhile day trip or overnighter. You can get a train out, but with the little ones you’re probably better to drive.

    1. Oh and I can’t believe I didn’t say that Indigenous Australians have the oldest living culture in the world. The art is just beautiful. Take any opportunity you can to see it.

  29. I think you mean 24 hours travel. If Australia was that far away no one would ever come here let alone ever been settled in the first place. Enjoy our wonderful country.

  30. Hey Emily,
    Have you seen this blog called Interiors Addict? http://theinteriorsaddict.com/
    I’m pretty sure Jen Bishop, who started it, is based in Sydney. It’s a great blog and I’m sure Jen would be a fantastic person to get in touch regarding what you could in Sydney work-wise.
    Have a great time – Sydney such a cool city.
    And definitely take your kids to Taronga Zoo – it’s amazing!
    :-)

  31. Purchase an Opal card on arrival. It will get you around the city, and can also be used on the ferry to Manly (I’m guessing it’s good on the other ferries as well, but you can check). Take the train to Katoomba (I believe on Sundays any trip on your Opal card is just 2.50, so the longest journeys are the best value), and catch the “on/off” bus that circulates through the area. Katoomba is the jumping off point for the Blue Mountains, and the area is stunning. I took my adult children to Australia last September, and we spent three days in Sydney. You can also stop at the Featherdale Wildlife Park in Blacktown (on your way to the Blue Mountains). This would be particularly fun for Charlie, and you can pet a Koala and see kangaroos (the only place in Australia where we got to do this). Check out reviews on Trip Advisor for the park. Have fun…try and take time to RELAX and enjoy the local scene. The Australians are lovely people!

  32. So happy to welcome you to Sydney! Bondi Beach is perfect. Make sure to check out the great little shops and restaurants on Hall St.
    Bills is a Sydney institution for scrambled eggs & ricotta hotcakes.
    Gelato Messina is delicious with great unique rotating flavours.
    A Tavola has a fantastic seasonal menu & homemade pasta.
    Porch & Parlour has great healthy breakfasts.
    Awesome markets in Bondi – farmers market on Saturday and clothes & gifts on Sunday at the public school on Campbell Parade.

    Totally agree with the comment about the fantastic little bays and beaches in the Eastern suburbs – this is my hood! Better for the kiddies than busy Bondi Beach and a lovely view of Sydney harbour from most of them. The Hermitage Foreshore walk is spectacular. I do it twice a week!

  33. Wow i think you have had some amazing suggestions of great places to go and see while you are here. Every single one of them – not to be missed. I have a small interior design school in Wollongong, NSW, and therefore don’t expect you to come here, but would love to bring all our students up to you. So please share your final destination/book signing/talk and we will be there!! Wouldn’t miss it for the world :)))

  34. Best news ever! I’m in Melbourne and would LOVE to meet you and get my book signed! Readings is a lovely bookstore here (there are a few of them now and they’re always packed, especially the Carlton store), it could be worth getting in touch with them.

    Melbourne really is one of the best cities in the world, in my opinion. While Sydney is beautiful, there’s nowhere quite like Melbourne for art, culture and food. So if you can spend more than a day here, you should! It’s a little like Portland OR, but in a sunny (most of the time), Australian setting…

    Collingwood/Fitzroy is an amazing area just north of the city (go to Gertrude Street, Smith Street and Brunswick Street) – you’ll love Angelucci 20th Century, Modern Times and Smith Street Bazaar for some mid-century goodness (all on Smith Street). The food on Smith Street is also incredible. And you’ll find Gorman and a host of other clothing stores I reckon you’d love. PLUS, Lucy Feagins from the Design Files is from Melbourne and as many people have suggested, would definitely be worth connecting with.

    Good luck on the flight with the kiddies, and very excited to have you on our shores soon! xx

  35. Hi Emily,
    I live in Melbourne with my husband and our 15 month old daughter. I’d be very happy to offer our family home for a sponsored makeover. We purchased our place mid last year with the intention to update the 80 design one day. With a new baby we’ve yet to do much more than moving our exisiting furniture in – we have some nice stuff but it’s all still a pretty blank canvas crying out for makeover. If you’re after something very Australian you can’t beat it. We’re in a very aussie type suburban neighbourhood sitting quite high with beautiful light and panoramic (60s style) windows so there’s quite a bit to work with. Hope to hear from you, if not have a wonderful stay in oz. Laura.

  36. I’m an American who lived in Sydney last year. I agree with the recommendations for The Grounds in Alexandria (bring cash), Bondi Icebergs (go to the pools, too!), and Taronga Zoo (take the ferry and ride the gondola). Other suggestions are:
    Le Paris Go in Bondi. The chicken sandwich-thing was the best.
    Mary’s for the BEST hamburgers. And I’m a connoisseur.
    Mr. Wong for a cool, hidden Chinese spot.
    RivaReno gelato. Gelato Messina and N2 are good, but more about the presentation. Ask RivaReno to explain their craft.
    The Rocks. Do a bit of studying to find out the history. They have markets every weekend with a foodies market on Friday. This is where I lived and my kids and I explored the back alleys in markets almost every day.
    I can’t find it now but something like The _ Cheese Shop has the best meat pies. It’s east of Centennial Park.
    We found a new favorite beach every time we wait, still don’t stay at Bondi (super crowded). Little Bay is has absolutely gorgeous views but rocky sand ( going on a pretty day), and Shark Bay is really cool with a tree alley and vintage locker room/toilets.
    I feel like the BridgeClimb is a must for tourists.
    Schedule a show at the Sydney Opera House.
    And see the Royal Botanic Gardens, probably best to take a little train near the Opera House.
    This is a very edited list although it seems long! I did Sydney with two young kids for a year so I have lots of advice. Let me know if you want more suggestions!

    1. This is such a good list! I’ve visited Sydney a lot to visit friends so never get to truly take in all the great places, but on my first few visits to Sydney my partner took me to a few of these places and I think they are a BRILLIANT introduction to an incredibly city. Almost made me feel like I could live there – but I’m a country girl so regional NSW has a hold of my heart.

  37. Hi Emily, I’m in the UK but have an Australian husband and lived in Sydney for four years. My home heart is still there. Try to get to Balmoral Beach in Mosman. There is the most gorgeous little natural sea pool for babies and toddlers on the left hand side of the beach. It was perfect for my six month old. My great friend, Leanne Ambrogio, owner of Sweet Style, party stylist, photographer and blogger lives in Sydney with her family. Sweet style.com.au. I flew from London on my own with my four month old. Neither of us slept for 24 hours but I focused on just getting through it hour by hour. The male cabin crew were fantastic. Factor in jet lag after about three days but it will pass quickly. Have a wonderful time.

  38. Emily how wonderful you are coming to our beautiful Australia! I know you will have the most amazing time. Sydney is a spectacular city, and Melbourne is the jewel in our cultural crown. I lived in the Paddington area of Sydney for 9 years and I loved it! The number one thing I used to do every week was the Bronte to Bondi coastal walk. An absolute must do on your trip. It’s not too long and the views are breathtaking! I did my grocery shopping at Westfield Bondi Junction which is just a short drive from where you will be staying in Bondi. My favourite beach in Sydney was Bronte- just 5 minutes up the road from Bondi. It’s smaller, totally family friendly, and has a sea water pool that you and your children could paddle around in. The cafes and the people are local, more relaxed and less touristy than Bondi. You will love it. For your children a trip to Luna Park and Taronga Zoo are essential. They are both on Sydney harbour and a ferry ride across would give you a chance to soak in the beauty of other must sees in Sydney – the Harbour, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera house. Stunning!
    Design wise, I would recommend getting in touch with Deb Bibby in Sydney. She is the editor of Real Living magazine, and has her finger on the Aussie pulse regarding home decor, design, shopping, bloggers and food- dbibby@bauer-media.com.au. When I used to work in publishing I had dealings with her and she is a lovely, talented woman! Melbourne is also a must visit on your trip. The art, shopping and culture runs deep and the people are fascinating and friendly. Love that place! I look forward to your Aussie posts, and I know you will have a memorable time. X

  39. I have lived in Sydney for 15 years. Its a fantastic city, but traffic is a nightmare, so don’t try and do too much in one day. We have a strong ‘walking’ culture here so a good stroll around Surry Hills for design & lunch would be great. Defo Balmoral beach & the Boathouse – gorgeous and the kids can have a swim. Defo Taronga Zoo – we are ‘friends of the zoo’ and never get tired of going – spectacular views and a great zoo for kids – don’t miss the bird show! The Grounds at Alexandria is awesome. Get some fantastic Middle Eastern food. Go to Catalina for a romantic dinner or sneak for the day on the Seaplane from Rose Bay up to Jonahs restaurant at Whale Beach. But most importantly, give us plenty of notice so we can get to meet you!!! You won’t be able to fit it all in so you’ll have to come back a second time!! WooHoo!!

  40. While you’re planning your whirlwind trip, don’t forget that you and your family will have jet lag (*wah*wah*). You should stay up as late as possible the night before you leave and try to get as much as sunshine as you can the first day you arrive–don’t collapse as soon as you catch sight of a bed (though you’ll want to after that flight). Hopefully you’re not flying coach (I always have to, but I don’t have 2 kids). Enjoy though, it sounds so exciting!

  41. Hi,
    I am in Sydney (about 45-60 mins from Bondi depending on traffic. FYI Sydney traffic is a muthef$%er!!) If you are looking to do a makeover please come to me. I have no idea what to do with our big front room!!

  42. Hi Emily some of my fav people in Melbourne are
    Popandscott.com.au and kipandco.net.au. Contact them and they can direct you to the coolest places to go in Melbourne.
    In Sydney mrjasongrant.com (he lives in Bondi!) and castleandthings.com.au

  43. You’re going to LOVE Melbourne. Just moved from Texas to Melbourne a year ago. Would be great to have a book signing in Melbourne. Scout House http://www.scouthouse.com.au is a really cool spot & maybe I can put you in touch with them for a book signing event if interested. Menswear blogger here but have loved your site for a while! Recently purchased a home and always referencing your site on the look/feel I want to create for it.

  44. Emily it looks like you’re going to need a LOT longer than 2 weeks in Sydney/Australia! You should bring your whole team over and do a one year “residency”. Judging by all these comments you’ll have plenty of work to keep you busy :) – And then you can also come to Perth! xx

  45. Hi, I’m in Brisbane too! It seems we should create a fan club. I also love Byron Bay so I’d definitely meet you there. I hope you and the family have an amazing trip wherever you go.

  46. I’m such a huge fan Emily! I would definitely make it to any event that you spoke at here in Sydney. I think I’ve watched every one of your You Tube styling vids and adore your book. Would love any opportunity to hear your ideas on styling a small rental apartment (or just hand it over for your magic touch!). You are a total inspiration and love all your work.

    Looking forward to any announcement of a book signing or event.

    S x

  47. OMG I’m so excited your coming to Sydney !! Absolutely love your work. So much for you to see and do in our beautiful country. If you love beautiful timber furniture you must visit The Wood room and Mr and Mrs Smith both in Brookvale and there’s Mark Tuckey in Newport they all make the most beautiful bespoke furniture. Visit Table tonic in Avalon for fabulous homewares and if you love flowers also in Avalon is Haven and Sarah. Go for a ferry ride to manly and visit The beach house at Shelly beach
    (also one at Balmoral and Palm Beach) visit Surry hills and Paddington great shopping you’d love Paddington markets on each Saturday. You must hook up with Lucy from the design files, Meagan morton, Sibella Court and kara Rosenlund just to name a few. I hope you organize a book signing would be fabulous. Have a wonderful time x

  48. You should take a look at Vampt Vintage design. They have two showrooms (I think) and you would loooove their vintage furniture and their look. It would be a great spot for a book signing!

  49. Hi Emily,

    Very exciting that you and your family will be visiting us here in Australia soon! You really are coming at the perfect time of the year.

    I am a Sydney-based interiors stylist and a long-time admirer of your work.

    I have also just launched Australia’s first podcast dedicated to interior design and decoration. I would love to conduct a short interview with you for the podcast while you’re in Sydney. Do you think that might be possible?

    You can listen to my podcast here https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-find-it.-style-it.-podcast/id1090702230

    I would love to chat with you!

  50. Omg!! I only just read this post because my laptop broke last month (I’m usually a biweekly reader and am sneaking a peak on my work computer) and this is the best news!! It has totally made my week!! I live in Surry Hills and can not wait to meet you!!!! I’ll be waiting at any book signing you have!! Please let me know when are where you’ll be doing signings!!
    Ps: I’m a Surry Hills girl and I may be a tad biased but definitely check it out!!!! You will love it!

  51. Oh man Emily, I have been a huge fan of yours for years and am a Californian (SF though, not LA) living in Bondi Beach. If you do a meet up I will definitely be there. Otherwise, feel free to get in touch if you need any suggestions for local eats or things to do. You’ll have an amazing time!

  52. Oh my goodness I feel like this is fate! I am a big fan of yours and had you on my list to contact as we have just launched our nursery range in the USA. If you are visiting Australia we would love to show you what we do. We have a store located in Sydney and we would definitely love to chat to you about having something there!

  53. Oh Please oh please do a book signing or something! I have been following you for so long and always figured being a Sydney girl I would never have the privilege of hearing/seeing you or ANYTHING! At the moment we have the heat turned right up so Bondi will be great – in terms of something to see – The Grounds of Alexandria is one of the biggest/hottest cafe’s we have in Sydney AND has great design and styling AND would be the perfect place for a book signing or public design collaboration! It’s a drive for me to get there but for you I would!!!

    Let us know so I can re-arrange my life around your holiday!

  54. I’m a long time reader and am so happy you are coming to Sydney! You must visit 75 Mary Street in St Peters- where Sibella Court is based, and so many beautiful Aussie homewares shops in the lot!

    Jacqui xx

  55. i just returned from my first trip to sydney and melbourne! definitely get to melbourne – i enjoyed the shopping (and food) there more than in sydney.

  56. So excited for this news, been a massive fan since your Design Star days!! I am proud to admit I even have a Pinterest board titled “Emily H magic”)
    You were actually my main inspiration to pursue my design dreams and Im now back studying to be a stylist so would be awesome if there was a book signing etc…
    There is a friendly Sydney Vs Melb rivalry and as a Sydney sider I have to agree with the Melbournians that their shopping is something else, enjoy your time there! All the best interior stores and designers seem to be based down there.
    My local tip would be Featherdale wildlife park. Its a bit out of the way near the Blue Mountains so you would need access to a car but its only Australian wildlife and you get to pat a koala, feed kangaroos etc.. we always take visitors there and they love it.
    Really hope you and your family enjoy our beautiful country x
    P.S if you notice my email I take shopping…seriously. I also work in retail and have a pretty awesome discount for some of our homegrown brands which I am happy for you to abuse as a form of bribery.ha! just saying. ; )

  57. I cant believe I missed this post Emily, if you can, take the whole family to Melbourne. They will be having the Jurassic World exhibition at the Melbourne Museum.

  58. Hi Emily! I just want you to know that I just finished my first job decorating a therapists office and it is definitely “Emily-esque”- yes, that’s a thing. Well, at least now it is! :)
    I have been following you (un-stalkerlylike,of course) since you were on design star. I have a bunch of interior decorating books, but yours is, hands down, the most informative! STYLED has basically become my bible(don’t tell my hubby, he’s an orthodox jew!). :) I am crazy about your style and I love your personality(in another life, we would be besties)!
    I would be quite honored if you took a peek at my blog: http://www.StylebyMimiG.blogspot.com

  59. I hope you and your family have an awesome time holidaying in Sydney. However, I’m also dying to know if you were able to organize any booksignings or similar while you are in town?

  60. Hi Emily!

    I’m an event stylist and avid follower of your creations! Hubby just told me you were in Sydney and I’m wondering if you’d hooked up any signings or talks? We’ve got a mid century home in Newport Sydney and we love seeing what you’ve done in your home as its got such similar qualities to ours! If you’re in the area (Mark Tuckey is 2 mins away from us!) please let me know! We also had our baby girls (our second too!) only a week or so apart so I’ve been following how you’re functioning too, its been inspiring for me : )