Five Minutes with Adelaide Bragg

28th April 2020

Adelaide Bragg tells us about her journey to becoming one of Australia’s most highly regarded interior designers. From her childhood love of florals, early days at Laura Ashley, to her career-defining move to Colefax and Fowler Sydney – working for Martine Burns. Adelaide has perfected her own classic contemporary style and is still never far away from a beautiful floral print!

Adelaide Bragg & Associates
Truthfully speaking, I fell into the industry; it was never planned yet in retrospect, it all makes sense. I developed an early adoration of floristry and, while studying, I worked at Laura Ashley. I was lucky enough to become an assistant at Colefax and Fowler for the late Martine Burns. She had an enormous influence on me; she was always incredibly generous with her knowledge and passed it on with great patience. I first launched my business in 1989, in Sydney Australia, when I was thankfully young enough to be completely unaware of the magnitude of what I was doing. I have never looked back.

Projects
Adelaide Bragg & Associates originated in Sydney but is now based in Melbourne. We undertake decorating and renovating projects throughout Australia, for residential and commercial properties, in both city, coastal and rural locations.

Signature look
My own style is Classic Contemporary. I am not driven by trends. I believe good interiors should be timeless.

What inspired you to become an interior designer
Growing up in the countryside, I developed an early love of flowers and gardens. Living on a property, life was more centred around hard work than pretty things. The effect of growing up in a country house and working alongside my mother (whom has a great sense of style), not only impacted my early career choice, but also allowed me to develop an enduring love of botanicals and floral prints.

Advice for aspiring interior designers
Stay true to your look and play to your strengths. If the job does not suit your aesthetic, don’t hesitate to pass the client on, and most importantly, listen to the client.

New project inspiration
I listen to clients when they tell me how they live, how they dream their house could be and what their favourite colours are. I find understanding their world, rather than stripping everything out and starting again results in a much happier client. For a room I usually start with a hero fabric and build from there. I also find a way to incorporate, where I can, a much-loved piece from a client’s collection of furniture or art.

Favourite room to design
The master bedroom is always a favourite. Comfort is the key, both physically and visually. Being able to decorate a room that is so personal is a privilege. We often recommend that people invest in doing their master bedroom properly as it should be a lovely sanctuary, calm, restful and comfortable.

Favourite room in your own home
The study is definitely my favourite room. It is so cosy; I love the warm pumpkin colours. It is like a cocoon. With only two chairs by the fireplace, it is very much a grown-up space. A place to work, stop and consider things whilst having a little dog on the chair next to you; the calm in all the happy chaos of the rest of the house.

Favourite item in your own home
The bench seat in the kitchen.  It hosts friends, family, children, birds, and dogs. It is a central part of my home, universally used by all from the homework club, to a sit-down dinner, or lying in the afternoon light reading a book. It’s a pivotal space that is at the heart of the house and provides great joy.

Home comforts
Lighting table candles and scented candles (particular favourites of mine include Jo Malone and Diptyque) always create a beautiful atmosphere. I always set the table when eating together and if possible, practice a sense of routine and tidiness as it gives a sense of order.

While away the hours
Baking cakes for family and loved ones makes my world go around. I am reading Billy Baldwin’s biography, and for a bit of escapism Scrublands by Chris Hammer.

Favourite Collier Webb pieces
My first introduction to Collier Webb was when I walked past the beautiful Pimlico Road showroom and I loved what I saw in the window. Our first order was the most beautiful Link Covered Knobs in chrome and antique bronze. We have collaborated on creating elongated fridge pulls, based on a similar design to the Link Covered Knob. I am also looking forward to specifying the small tables in our next projects, in particular the Ramsay, the Campaign Étagère and the Cannon dining table.