Ashlyn has explored the realms of food, lifestyle, and wellbeing, but she’s finally found her true groove as an interior stylist and photographer. Now with her very own side-hustle (@1800nostalgia) capturing the visual diary of her European travels.
Just like her radiant personality, Ashlyn’s sun-drenched Victorian terrace share house is bursting with colour and charm. She’s spilling the beans on everything, from throwing the ultimate dinner party to uncovering hidden gems in Melbourne’s inner-north. We can’t wait for you to meet her!
Hi Ashlyn! Thank you so much for welcoming us inside your beautiful Carlton home. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do!
HI HELLO! Thank YOU so much for visiting, it’s been a total joy. I’m Ashlyn, a born glutton for the very fun Venn diagram of all things lifestyle meets wellbeing meets witchy things. I’ve been playing and working in the lifestyle space for the past decade - as a recipe blogger and food stylist/photographer in a past life (an absolute throwback); now as a freelance photographer, interior stylist, content creator and writer.
My greatest love of all is storytelling - both visually and through writing. I’m a collector of pretty, nostalgic trinkets (aka a tragic sentimentalist), great bed linen (4am rumination is infinitely more tolerable beneath fresh sheets), and esoteric books (astrology and Human Design occupy an embarrassing percentage of my personality). I’m a questionable just-for-fun dancer and an even more questionable surfer, but a proudly overbearing cat mum to Clive, who entered my living room through an ajar window one year ago after apparently deciding he was done with his previous home (?!?!) We’ve never looked back since.
Between traveling and content creating, you also dabble in a little bit of styling (as your home suggests!). What do you love about this creative line of work and how do you like to incorporate colour?
Interior styling is about so much more than what meets the eye, so much more than arranging material objects. I love bringing meaning and authentic self-expression to it. We’re sensory beings, and most people are unconsciously swayed by their physical surroundings. Beauty is a really powerful thing - the way you curate a space in terms of its furniture, decor, colours and lighting can directly influence how a person feels.
My favourite thing about it is creating spaces and relating imagery that make people feel inspired, uplifted and spacious. I really love making the aspirational more accessible –and sustainable– by showing people how to incorporate very budget-friendly upcycled/vintage furniture and decor with newer on-trend pieces. I’m also big on playing with colour in line with seasonal changes (brighter, candy-like hues in spring and summer, and a cosier, autumnal palette in the cooler months). Again, because MOODS!
You have possibly scored the best north-side sunlight-drenched Victorian terrace we’ve EVER seen?! What drew you to this side of town and what are some of your favourite things to do here?
Didn’t we ever?!?! Still not sure what my girlfriends and I did to score the share-house of our dreams (*hides vision board that boasts a psychotic level of detail*), but we’ve gratefully accepted it.
Carlton North always felt like the perfect nook for our Girlie Sharehouse era. It’s so vibrant and full of charm, it’s strangely peaceful and leafy considering its proximity to the city, and it’s got a trendy and creative air without being pretentious. There’s also a super warm and generous community vibe here, which we adore.
- Wandering around the ever-charming Rathdowne Village - bursting with cute restaurants, cafes, delis and wine bars (Carlton North)
- Weekday mornings at Florian Eatery (Carlton North)
- Weekend mornings-into-afternoons at Terror Twilight (Collingwood)
- ELITE people watching and dog-fawning at Edinburgh Gardens (Fitzroy North)
- Local beer garden/card playing things @ the Great Northern (Carlton North)
- Rooftop energy at Johnny’s Green Room (Carlton)
- Goodvibes, the yoga studios of all yoga studios (Collingwood)
- Gelato GOAT’s/gods: Pidapipò Carlton (peanut butter gelato forever)
As we head into the season for entertaining, we bet that little courtyard is going to get some serious dinner party action! What are your top three non-negotiables for putting on the ultimate spread?
You bet it is! What else was daylight savings created for?! My non-negoshies for a 10/10 dinner party are:
- A really great tablecloth - absolutely essential, and it must be oversized enough to hang generously down the sides. No hang, no play.
- Heights baby, heights! Any fabulous tablescape you see will invariably use decor and servingware of varying sizes and heights. Think candelabras with tapered candles, vases with fresh-cut flowers and elevated serving platters/bowls.
- Here’s the most important tip of all: be so insufferably anal and clever with your pre-party preparation that you simply need to serve food (no more cooking!) and lift as few fingers as humanly possible once your guests have settled in. You deserve to kick back and have all the fun, too! Wanting to serve cocktails throughout the night? Set up a DIY marg station so people can help themselves. People go wild for that shit. You’ll thank me on Sunday morning xo
- You’ve asked for three, but I’m going to shamelessly throw in a fourth because it’s essential: A fabulous playlist! Preferably something a little sexy and smooth but with enough funk to show how cool you are. Here’s my go-to: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7oaU7Dhh9Cn4zZe4SWumQr?si=LaEd4dqTTKuKyhi7eLE5lw
You’ve recently embarked on a new venture behind the camera called @1800nostalgia, sharing and selling your amazing travel prints and photos. Tell us a little bit about this idea and what sparked it?
1800-NOSTALGIA, a very humble corner of the internet, is a visual diary of special times and sexy frames captured on film and digital, mostly under the sun, and mostly in Europe because… aesthetics. It aims to take people to their all-time favourite holiday/the holiday they’re dreaming up, because if we can’t actually be there, we can pretend to be. We all need and deserve a little hedonistic escapism in our lives!
In the land before time when Instagram carousels and stories weren’t a thing yet, it wasn’t exactly best practice to spam your followers with countless individual photos at a time. Aside from the odd bulk Facebook album upload (lol), travel photography was a hobby I mostly kept to myself for many years. But then covid happened, and I’d find myself poring over the photos I’d captured on past trips –probably whilst sobbing in bed with a blanket over my head– discovering a whole new appreciation for them. I saw even more beauty than I did before, getting lost in the memories and feelings that the faraway pastel facades, azure waters and bronzed bodies brought up. I started sharing some of the images (insert “take me back” caption here), and it was clear that others were just as appreciative of the visual escapism as I was. It wasn’t until I had one printed and hung in my bedroom that I realised how much they deserved some real-life real estate. Fast-forward another year, and here we are! It brings me SO much joy knowing that photos of some of my most treasured places and life moments make other peoples’ brains happy, whether through a glorious print on their wall or a vibrant little square in their feed.