The Journal

Mastering Small Spaces with Steve Cordony

Designed to make every corner count, our new Nook Collection of area and accent rugs fits in beautifully at Steve Cordony’s country home, where the campaign was shot. We spoke to the Australian stylist about transforming Rosedale Farm from a diamond in the rough to the jewel of Orange, and how the thoughtful addition of an earthy, tactile rug can elevate oft-forgotten areas of the home.

Photography by Anson Smart

First off, we’d love to hear the story about how you discovered this gorgeous property in the rural town of Orange, New South Wales.

[My partner] Michael and I searched for three years until a friend of ours sent us a snapshot of Rosedale from the local paper. We decided to go for a weekend in Orange and view the property, and we fell in love instantly and purchased the house three weeks later! 

Can you tell us a bit about the renovation process?

We started by spending months clearing and tidying the garden, and also removing carpet and any old in-built joinery or fixtures we didn’t want. From there, layer by layer, we rebuilt each room starting with overall re-wiring and re-plumbing of the entire house, opening up walls to create larger living spaces, removing the render where we had water damage and re-plastering, painting and/or wallpapering each room, painting the exterior of the house, sanding the floorboards, installing a new kitchen, laundry and bathrooms, and buying new furniture for the entire home!

How would you describe Rosedale’s aesthetic? What inspirations informed your styling of it?

We wanted to keep the heritage of the house, being built in the Georgian style in 1877, but also give it a contemporary update. I love the duality between contemporary and traditional design, and classic American and European styles.

It was a joy to shoot our new Nook Collection there. To you, how can the sensory feel of a small space rug elevate the in-between spaces of our homes?

A home is all about textures and layers. Adding natural fibres and elements, with not only beautiful but also functional rugs, is the easiest way to do this. They not only demarcate areas and spaces, but they also add linear graphic elements visually to a space, which is also practical.

Are there any particular rooms that you feel are overlooked and really benefit from a tactile touch?

For me, it’s bathrooms and kitchens, behind the sink. The bathroom is the perfect space to add small area rugs, and it doesn’t need to be a typical bathroom floor mat. Same with the kitchen, which is where we spend so much time – having a rug not only dresses up the space but is also more comfortable.

We designed this range to fit in seamlessly with any interior. Do you have any design tips that we should keep in mind when incorporating one of these earthy, textured pieces into the home?

The one constant with any interior is to incorporate natural, raw textures. Whether your space is super contemporary or very traditional, accessorising with these natural elements allows your interior to feel like a living, moving space. Injecting elements such as “found” objects, rugs and other textiles is the best way to seamlessly integrate earthy textures [in the home].

You and your partner frequently entertain guests at Rosedale and also have a menagerie of animals! How do you go about selecting furnishings that are beautiful but hardwearing enough to withstand the practicalities of day-to-day life? 

The general palette of our space is very neutral with lots of mid tone and lighter tone shades, so having a balance of both practical and styled pieces is important. We incorporated a lot of natural textures such as raw linen, abaca and sisal/jute which wears really well. We also used a lot of outdoor upholstery fabrics on indoor pieces such as armchairs and bedheads.

"Adding natural elements with beautiful but also functional rugs is the easiest way to add a layer of texture."

Finally, we can’t help but ask – what’s your favourite Nook rug to have underfoot?

My absolute favourite Nook rug is the Sahara rug. We have the Natural at the front door, and a Charcoal in both the bathroom and the kitchen! You can never have too many rugs….

Portrait by Georgina Egan.

Follow Steve Cordony on Instagram.


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