Sourcing for clients

I travel overseas regularly – sometimes for work, sometimes for holiday – on all of these trips, however, I usually have an eye open for items I may be able to use on current or future jobs.

Thanks to the hotel I worked on in Tangier, I have made a number of contacts in Morocco. One, a rug dealer in Fez, made an enormous saffron-dyed rug for one of my projects in Darling Point. Likewise, a trip to Sweden uncovered an interior design company in Stockholm, from which I have imported a number of fabrics for specific projects.

For a number of years, I have visited a fantastic porcelain fair in Germany in which there are streets and streets of stalls. A lot of it is kitsch and horrible, but every now and then I’ll come across something extraordinary.

For one job, I shipped back a Forties dinner set; for another, one from the Fifties. Often, I’ll buy something with a particular client in mind, but sometimes it will just be so good, I know I’ll be able to use it in the future.

Every now and then I’ll come across something extraordinary. I’ll wrap it all and ship it back – it’s very labour intensive but something I’m passionately interested in.

I go to Paris flea markets every year – recently I bought some very beautiful gilded sidetables with mirrored tops for a house on Sydney’s North Shore. For another job, I bought metal coat hangers from a market in Cairo, and lamp bases from a flea market in New York City.

When I can, I send photos to the client, but sometimes you don’t have the chance to do that, you have to buy on the day. In that case, I’ll still send a photo and let them know it’s theirs if they want it. It’s important to me that my clients have something unique, something they’ll love and that will make their friends or visitors curious.