Point of difference

November 11, 2023 BY

Interior stylist, Kate Webber. PHOTO: ELLIE CLARINGBOLD

Interior stylist Kate Webber has one key piece of advice: curate your home slowly.

A lifetime of experience has taught her to resist the temptation to rush to buy pieces, especially ones you intend to replace over time.

“Wait until you find what you love,” she said.

“Curate your home with special things.”

Since the birth of her son ten years ago, Webber has shifted from freelance styling into the retail space, launching her own store, Because of Jonny, in 2019.

Kate Webber said she doesn’t stock anything in her store, Because of Jonny, that she wouldn’t want her own home. PHOTO: SUPPLIED


Located in Barwon Heads, the store offers a distinctive and ever-changing collection of homewares and accessories, some of which Webber has designed herself.

“I just really wanted to get into a physical store and share my knowledge and just source products and things that I love,” she said.

“All the sourcing is just my years of experience knowing different makers and designers and so everything I have in here is really unique.”

From the store she continues to provide styling assistance to her customers, helping them to create their own beautiful spaces.

“A lot of my customers know I’m a stylist, so they basically come into store for consultation. It’s free of charge, it’s just part of the service,” Webber said.

“They show me photos of their houses and we work out what could be good for them.”

“You do walk into homeware stores and you kind of fend for yourself a bit, so I try and take that hard work away from them to help them to make good decisions.”

Webber recommends using colour strategically to ensure both their adaptability and your enjoyment of them long-term. PHOTO: SUPPLIED


Those good decisions focus on enhancing both the flow and lighting of a space, and avoiding clutter, “except with maybe plants”.

Webber also recommends strategic colour choices, advising the use of subtle block colours and textures for both their timelessness and their flexibility.

“If you have block colours and textures…you can move [those items] around the house, and it still has the same feel, but it looks different,” she said.

“As soon as you start doing too many prints and patterns, it really dominates the space and then you get sick of it.”

Always one to aim for a point of difference when styling, Webber similarly encourages her customers not to be afraid to mix contemporary and vintage pieces, and to ensure those pieces are sourced from different places for a varied and unique feel.

In her current home in Barwon Heads, Webber has favoured a mix of crisp, calming whites and unique timbers. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED


And it’s advice Webber follows herself.

“The whole concept in my home and in my store is to get those pieces that you do love and then you don’t have to buy new things every time you want a different look.

“You just need to move furniture around and move your cushions to the other side.

“You’re not always buying a whole new look for your house.”

The interior stylist has also enjoyed a prosperous side hustle renovating, styling and flipping houses.

She is now onto her 13th property – her third in Barwon Heads.

“You don’t have to have a huge budget either to do it well. I didn’t, that’s for sure, when I started,” Webber said.

“I used to source things from op shops and just whatever I could find.

“Just trust your instinct that that’s the piece that’s going to work for you.”

Kate Webber’s Barwon Heads home. PHOTO: SUPPLIED


Often, she said, new items aren’t necessary to completely transform a space.

“Sometimes people just need help with what they’ve actually got in their own home.”

“The placement of future is really important. You can really change a room so much by just changing the position of the couch or the bed.”

The trick? Practice.

To find the most ideal combination, Webber encourages everyone to experiment with their interior styling.

Webber said new items aren’t always necessary to completely transform a space. PHOTO: SUPPLIED


When it doubt, and if space permits, begin by moving couches away from walls to give the space a cosier vibe and prevent the room from feeling cramped.

“Sometimes we are such creatures of habit where we just keep everything positioned the same way.”

“When you’re doing your house cleaning, pour a glass of wine – like I do. If you’re going to pull the couch out to vacuum, put it in a different spot in the room and see how it feels.

“I think you’d be really surprised actually at how many ways you can reinvent your home with your own furniture.

“Your home is about creating a feel. You have to feel good in your home.”

To see Webber’s latest loves, visit Because of Jonny, located at 49 Hitchcock Ave, Barwon Heads.