Home Life Series

Inside Pip Tribe's Coastal Home With a Mid-Century Twist

Our Home Life Series is a weekly sneak peak into the homes and lives of Australia's most creative and inspiring people. 

This week on the Home Life Series we're hanging out with interior stylist Pip Tribe. We chat to her about the incredible career she has shaped for herself as stylist, and get to know the inspiration behind the twist on her mid-century Barwon Heads family home.

1. Let’s start with a little bit about your career - what was the journey to get you to where you are today? 

Soon after school I studied Interior Design & Decoration at the Gordon. Then, including a fun year travelling overseas, I finished it at RMIT. I worked in a homewares store in Dublin on my travels too which was a great introduction into the world of design. After finishing my studies and some work experience, I found a job with a building company decorating their display homes and colour consulting. Soon after, I decided I’d like to start my own business, so I took the plunge and began concentrating solely on my own projects, which I still do to this day. I now have a team member, Cassie, who is my very organised and lovely assistant. She’s been a fantastic help. Currently, most of my work is along the coast and throughout the Geelong area, near my home in Barwon Heads. Word of mouth has been fantastic, coming from a small town. I don’t consider myself to be great at promoting and marketing my work on social media, or photographing my projects, but I’m working on it!

2. What are some of your career highlights or the moments that make you look back and smile? 

Lon Retreat in Pt Lonsdale was a fun project. Working locally with my friend, Claire Gemes, was exciting and a new experience. It was a renovation as well as a new build and involved designing, decorating and styling. A shopping trip to Byron Bay, purchasing lighting, local art, etc was pretty special. There have certainly been a few funny moments in the process too. We have a hilarious photo of Claire, myself and the tilers that we often laugh about. 

3. What interiors trends are you seeing right now that you love? 

Curves, vintage furniture, smooth render finishes, aged brass and copper, the old school fabrics and materials like rattan, grass weave wallpaper, velvet, patterned linen fabrics and all those beautiful natural stones like marbles and travertine. The terracottas, dirty greens & nude colours I’m drawn to also!

4. Tell us about your home and your community?

My husband, Matt and I designed it. Matt and his dad, Graeme, built it in 2008 before our first child was born. It was inspired by the wonderful era of mid century modernist homes, but we also wanted it to have a warm and coastal feel. Matt and our 3 boys live here, so there’s often a lot of noise, balls being thrown and friends around. We live in a small town on the coast called Barwon Heads. My brother in law often refers to it as ‘Beverly Heads’. Jokes aside, it’s a fabulous and friendly community. A lot of morning coffees & exercise with mates, kids sports and many social community events. Growing up in Ocean Grove, Matt and I loved to surf and in the early 2000’s we moved across the river to be closer the waves of 13th beach. Also, having our family nearby, it’s been the place for us.

5. How would you describe your own interiors style and does it change over time?

Warm, relaxed, textural and drawing on colours from nature. The old saying ‘bit of old with a bit of new’ seems to work, most of the time. There are so many styles I love; Mid Century, Coastal, Spanish, Moroccan & Scandinavian to name a few, so I guess I tend to take elements from many styles and blend them together. I often work with my clients own chosen style and then tweak it to add in materials and textures I love. I do seem to change over time, with influences. After travelling and seeing so many beautiful places and colour combinations, I get inspired to try new things. Trends are fun to play with but I’m careful not to follow them too closely because many date too quickly.

6. What’s your favourite piece in the house and why? 

Our copper hooded fireplace which we actually found on eBay. I just love the warm copper colour & timeless style. It’s so beautiful when it’s roaring on a cold night.

8. What are your favourite interiors blogs / magazines / podcasts etc? 

I love to read EST Living, Dwell, The Local Project, Belle, Green Magazine, Vogue Living, Real Living, inside out. Blogs: The Design Files, In Bed, Kip&Co & Broadsheet to name a few. 

Podcasts: I tend to move around a bit between true crime, health, surfing, music, kids’ stuff and design genres. I’m listening to Waterpeople right now, which I’m loving because I’m a keen surfer & they have interesting stories about life. 

Some other regulars I love are; Grounded by Louis Theroux, The Design Files talks, All in the mind and House of Style. There are so many depending on my mood. I do love audio books too.