You either have or haven't got style and Marie Nicols has it in spades; the stylist shares her journey through setting up her dream home, making it in the industry and how a trip to Australia influenced her signature style.
Marie bought her terraced home in Tunbridge Wells in 2006 with her husband Simon, a graphic designer who she met at art college. They live with their miniature Dachshund Dudley. "As soon as we saw it, we knew it was for us" she said. As first time buyers they had taken on quite a challenge with a property that was deemed uninhabitable, it also took them a year to complete the purchase. None of this deterred Marie; "I had already decided what I was going to do in every room and was very excited".
Marie studied photography, but having decided it was not for her, she got her break when a magazine offered her work experience in their Homes Department "and that's how I discovered styling" she smiles.
Looking at Marie's house it is evident that she has a signature style. She reluctantly describes herself as "eclectic" wary of the cliche; however it is clear, she is anything but. Her home is a beautiful balance of fresh colour, warm patterns and carefully selected vintage pieces. "I love old stuff!" she says. "I could never have a room totally out of a brochure because I love mixing things, and I think I've learn't that with this house. I tend to start with one piece that I think; I've got to have that" she says. "When you're in this industry you see so many new things all the time, that's why lots of stylists' houses are white and really neutral. I don't think I could ever be that, as I love colour and pattern too much."
After six years working as a Deputy Stylist for an interiors magazine, Marie made the bold decision to move to Sydney and work as a freelancer. "They have such great magazines our there, I'd read them and think - this is what I want to be doing." Despite being nervous about her decision, work came flooding in and she and Simon ended up staying for 14 months, only returning when their visas run out.
Sydney has evidently left its mark on the stylist, "my personal style has changed since being there; I would always go for an older property, but now I quite like chalet type bungalows, but done in a more modern way." Since returning to her home town of Tunbridge Wells, Marie has been busier than ever, a constant reminder that she made the right decision to pursue her dreams of going freelance.