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My Family

We are Headed to Australia


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 . . . πŸ™‚

xx – E

*Photo via FanPop

Fin Mark


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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!

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!!!

I’m in Brisbane too! How small is this online community?


Brissy too! πŸ˜€


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.

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 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.

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


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!

Gorman is absolutely incredible, and right up Emily’s alley! I wish I could afford to shop there more often πŸ™


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 πŸ™‚


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 for more ideas of where to go and what to see.

All the best, Alyssa


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.

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

Love Taza just went! You should check out her posts!

I think you might want to check out Table Tonic in Avalon! I think you’d be a fan of Louise’s work and boutique.


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 πŸ˜€ 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


Theres a great Australian blogger over at Desire to Inspire


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). – best.

Jessica Hindmarsh

So glad you wrote something on here Kristen! 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).


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.

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.


check out Koskela, shop crown st surry hills, visit white rabbit gallery, swim at the ladies baths at Coogee (it’s special πŸ™‚ ), 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 πŸ˜‰ keep us updated if you’re doing a signing!


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!!

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 πŸ™‚
Hope you have a wonderful trip.
Ellen xx

Chelsea Jean

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 πŸ˜€ Can’t wait to see what creative connections you make. As a graphic designer, I’m having a hard time finding work over here πŸ™


Hi Chelsea Jean. I’m from Monterey and living in Newcastle! This online world really is small.
Emily, check out Anna Spiro. Her blog, Hasn’t been updated in quite some time, but her website, black 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.


You will be very welcome down under πŸ™‚ 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.

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.

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!


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.


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.


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:
Third Drawer Down: and loads more.
Have fun planning your trip.


Oh Emily, YES! Let it be known that whatever you do here in Melbourne, I will be there!


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

Hi Emily,

So excited to have you here in Bondi πŸ™‚
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

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


Emily, you will really like the Jardan furniture brand… they have their flagship store in Melbourne.


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!


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

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.


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!

This mother-daughter duo runs a brilliant and beautiful shop totally worth checking out! They are the sweetest!

donna harrison

I think you mean 24 hours from


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… Read more »


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.

donna harrison

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.


Hey Emily,
Have you seen this blog called Interiors Addict?
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!

Deb Johns

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!

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!

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 :)))


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… Read more »


One more thing! is a terrific resource for finding out the best places to eat/things to do in Melbourne and Sydney x


Melbourne is wonderful. Has anyone suggested contacting Lucy at The Design Files?

Can you please tell us a little bit in advance if you are having an open invitation event?

I’ll fly from Perth to be there πŸ™‚


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.


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… Read more »


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.


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 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.

Irena K

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,… Read more »


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!!

Susie Q.

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!

Have a nice trip and good luck making contacts. Looks like you already found some friends who welcome you in Australia. xo

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