Friday, July 31, 2009

Interview - Jason Grant, style director of Real Living

Real Living Magazine, September issue (out now) - and Style Director Jason Grant!

All shot styled by Jason Grant for Real Living Magazine

Real Living Magazine, September issue - and Style Director Jason Grant

I was most excited to get an encouraging email out of the blue from Real Living Style Director Jason Grant recently! Thanks Jason!! I am always very chuffed when super-talented magazine people up in Sydney write to say they like to visit The Design Files. How amazing is that?! :)

Of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to interview Jason, whose styling work has appeared in Inside Out, Living Etc and various commercial catalogues before he took on his current role at Real Living. I think what appeals most about his current work at RL is that he's so good at pulling together stunning looks without the hefty pricetags - although I'm sure given a bigger budget he would quite happily go crazy at Hub, Space or Living Edge!

It is also super fun to follow Jason around on Twitter! (No, the novelty factor has not yet worn off!). Recently he was in Melbourne during the design festival... and I must admit I did feel I was kind of accidentally stalking him. Not on purpose I promise! But we just always seemed to be visiting the same places! Twitter can get creepy like that.

ANYWAY huge thanks to Jason for his time with this interview! All these shots are styled by Jason for Real Living Mag. Must get the latest issue!

Tell me a little about your background - what path led you to what you’re doing now?

I never knew what I wanted to be growing up but always had a flair for things creative. Working in the homewares industry I discovered design and romance with a shop keeper, and I discovered my passion for vintage furniture. I really fell into styling and was lucky to be given a break (those responsible know who they are). Styling is the ultimate in expression - creating concepts and bringing magazine pages to life. After freelancing for a number of years and working predominantly on Inside Out magazine, I have also been lucky enough to have stories appear in Living Etc magazine and work in home catalogues for David Jones.
Currently I am enjoying the role as style director at Real Living magazine - check out our great new look!

Can you list one or two favourite shoots / creative projects you’ve worked on recently? (Include images if possible!)

I like my last job to be my favourite, I like to feel like I'm progressing/improving, I like to look forward and not back, I tend to look at what I would have changed/ done differently when given the chance to examine my work. A recent shoot I love is from our upcoming September issue full of clever ideas.

What does your role as Style Director for Real Living magazine entail? What does a typical day at work involve for you?

The role of style director involves many things from cover shoots and decorating stories and house shoots, to meeting and working with many talented creative people. But I guess the biggest challenge that I enjoy is hunting out the best affordable fabulous items! When you have restrictions you have to think harder and find clever solutions.

How would you describe your interior decorating/styling aesthetic in your own home? How does this compare with the aesthetic you bring to your commercial styling work?

I could never live in a brand new home - I like character and charm, I love mixing old and new.

My own personal style is always evolving, however some things are a constant - I'm a big fan of the handmade, individual pieces, I love quirky whimsical things that tell a story or make me smile. Bohemian, vintage and eclectic are much over-used words in interiors magazines, but are the best fit for my style, I also love typography and plastics animals. Oh and I'm also a fan of white painted timber floors and not so perfect walls - I love a blank canvas.

Which designers, artists or creative people are you inspired by?

I live in a very creative happy home with amazing people, 2 other stylists and a schoolteacher.

Artist David Band - an amazing artist who lets his artwork do all the speaking.

Rachel Castle of CASTLE bedlinen and textiles - super cool and a fabulous go-getter.

Artist Miranda Skoczek for her bold colours and infectious laughter.

Karen McCartney - editor of Inside Out for her impeccable style and grace.

The team at Real Living - one of the most hard working bunch of people I know.

Where else do you find inspiration – ie books, magazines, your environment, travel, your family and friends?

Inspiration can come from the everyday, but sometimes can be triggered from the smallest things - a thought or even a word. I enjoy bouncing ideas off people and talking about “stuff”, I'm a glutton for all kinds of art , fashion, interior and design magazines and love a good blog.

What would be your dream creative project?

I guess outside the realms of magazines I would love to be the creative force behind a big brand.

What are you looking forward to?

SUMMER, a sleep in and a cuddle.

Sydney Questions –

Your favourite fossicking spots in Sydney for unique furniture and home accessories?

Bondi, Surry Hills and Rozelle Markets

Mitchell Road Auctions
Dust in Darlinghurst
Object Gallery
All Hand Made Gallery
Chee Soon & Fitzgerald

Oh and there’s two stores I love but I cant tell you about! One has Sydney's best affordable offering of quirky old wares and one of a kind vintage finds… the other one involves a pair of chairs…

What and where was the last great meal you ate in Sydney?

The best meals for me are casual shared meals with friends.

So it’s a toss up between the sang choi bao and the duck wraps at Fu Manchu...
...and the salt and pepper squid and green papaya salad at Phamish.

Also I cant go past a pork and fennel sausage roll from the Bourke Street Bakery, along with all their sweet treats - I rarely like to queue for anything but this is the exception.

Where would we find you on a typical Saturday Morning?

Well after a well deserved sleep in, my first move is towards a coffee, and in the summer months straight to the beach. Weekends are for relaxing.

Sydney’s best kept secret?

I get to uncover many secrets and travel sydney extensively, and often uncover things those who have lived here far longer then I have know about. Redleaf Pool is a favorite not so well known beach.


  1. Fantastic interview providing an insight into a very creative mind!

  2. oh!! thank you! I was crying with excitment during this whole interview! was fantastic!

    I must got grab myself a copy of the mag NOW!

    PS. any idea where ANY of the rugs came from in all the images?! I love them ALL!

    Renee x

  3. Great interview, Lucy. I hope you do get to meet Jason because he is so much fun. Talks a lot. Laughs even more. And it's a quiet day in the office when he is out sourcing! He's a wonderfully warm and generous person: I wouldn't have him any other way.

  4. Oh I can't buy that mag in Portugal:/

    The interview was really good:)

  5. Jason is such a cutie - I love the work that he does for Real Living - it's fresh and inspiring. Well done Jason