Styling a home with Jack Milenkovic
Getting a house ready for photography has many layers. It may be architect designed, as with this one on Sydney’s Upper North Shore by architect Jorge Hrdina, and it may have the skills of an interior designer who works closely with the home owner on the furniture selections and finishes. But here is another additional layer to prepare a house for photography and that is a stylist. Jack Milenkovic worked in the magazine world for many years so when he turned his hand to styling this house for the February issue of House & Garden he knew exactly what was needed. Here he answers some of our questions about the process.
How do you describe what a home stylist does?
It’s always been about the details for me. Interior projects vary so they all require a different approach to accommodate the existing work of the interior designer or architects. My job is to further enhance it on set and in the final photographs. Fortunately, my past life as a Creative Director in magazine publishing has given me the experience to understand what we need to achieve photographically. I always approach my work with in-depth research and then create a balance of tradition with a modern twist.
The interior designer has done a lovely restrained interior that is about texture. What did you think when you first saw the house?
It was left of field project for the interior designer Lisa Burdus as this was not her usual aesthetic. The homeowner was heavily involved with the majority of furniture selection and is a big fan of contemporary style – the Italian brand Poliform in general and the Gubi Beetle dining chair in particular. The owners had some existing Indigenous art from which I gathered inspiration for the colour palette in the styling. The joinery, designed by the architect Jorge Hrdina was exquisite. It’s a unique property on a large block and opportunity was to play off the architecture and pull the outdoors in to create a transitional space.
The architect Jorge Hrdina worked to give the house a better flow and create a stronger relationship with outside. How did your choices emphasis those elements of the house?
Very much so. We really wanted to capture some of the tones of the garden and streamline these in the styling pieces to create an overall cohesion. The perfect example is the use of the Crown and Dumbbell stools from Robert Plumb and how versatile they are both outside and inside the home.
We love the pieces from Robert Plumb that you have chosen and how you have made them work together. What inspired these choices and combinations for the terrace?
Due to the large footprint of the outdoor space we wanted to create two distinct zones within that area. The owners do a lot of entertaining at home and I wanted to create a lounge area with the fibre cement Swisspearl Loop chair by Willy Guhl near the BBQ area and then the Chunky timber table paired with the Nolita dining chair from Pedrali, also available at Robert Plumb, fused the two functional spaces to create an overall feel that combined the use of timber and fibre cement.
The other aspect where we liked your approach to was how you have used the Cameron Williams ‘Chess’ stools pieces both inside and out. We see them as a versatile piece. What appealed to you about them and how did you find you used them?
They are perfect for the Australian lifestyle of blending indoors and outdoor living. Their silhouette has elegant appeal with a sculptural shape that has practical purpose.
Do you have an overall comment about how the Robert Plumb product fitted into the home both stylistically and functionally?
The Robert Plumb products suited the large open spaces and have a strong design aesthetic to anchor the setting without having to over embellish the environment. The materiality of the product and finishes create a timeless appeal to any space. The client was definitely interested in pursuing the Robert Plumb product as they had their previous furniture from their past home within the space. It was a great opportunity to stage the potential of all the spaces for the homeowners.