Sibella Court carries with her a bag of hard-won magic tricks that encapsulates her buccaneer spirit. As an award-wining author, interior stylist, historian, creative director, product designer and globetrotter she is never happy to sit still, always on the move gaining fresh ideas and experiences. With Sibella’s degree in history, her spaces draw on both the true & make-believe, to create unique interiors to delight patrons & guests, her attention to detail & immersive style is achieved with her imagination & black book of speciality trades. Though now she spends her time between Sydney and Byron Bay, the calling of places unknown is never far from her and she seeks out adventure wherever she can find it, which in turn inspires her unparalleled approach to design. She claims to be part Gypsy, part Pirate; a theory yet to be disproved.
is In Wild Air
Amulets for protection
Amulet noun /ˈamjʊlɪt/ 1. an ornament or small piece of jewellery thought to give protection against evil, danger, or disease. Most cultures incorporate a dose of superstition into their daily lives, including a need for protection against the ever-present evil eye. Across the ages, amulets and talismans have been imbued by their wearers with the power to protect and bring good fortune. Ancient Egyptians were strong believers in the power of amulets to benefit both the living and dead; a small carved deity to fulfil a wish, or an inscribed piece of jewellery to grant the mummy a safe journey to the afterlife. Amulets take many shapes and forms; amongst the souq in Damascus, one can find entanglements of sea creatures and parts of exotic animals: pelts of small cats, turtle shells, small crocs, sharks and puffer fish, starfish, stuffed birds, antlers and horns, crabs, porcupine quills, wolves teeth and other strung pods, bark and spices. For a while I flirted with antique Chinese children’s clothes and although I did not pursue this collection, I love the idea that if you dressed a child up in clothes that looked and smelt of animals (such as ears on hats and tiger shoes with animal fur hidden within), the evil spirits would confuse it for an animal, and leave it to live a long, happy & prosperous life. As any good traveller knows, you need a little extra protection when embarking on a new adventure. I wear two amulets, both made from leather, with various items stitched inside them to keep me out of harm’s way.
As my fascination with fragrance increases I am booked in to attend Mandy Aftel’s perfume making workshop in Berkeley, California in March. It’s a small class of 8, hard to get into & can only be attended after completing a hefty workbook. Mandy specialises in all natural fragrance & you can buy her ready-made collection or visit her recently opened museum displaying her exquisite collection of pure and natural essences, culled from years of searching for the most beautiful varieties.
Kew Gardens & Daleys Fruit World
In my next life (or sooner if possible) I want to be a Botanical Explorer in pursuit of the finest ingredients from faraway lands to plant my very own ingredient garden for perfume making. Somewhat like an ethnobotanist, taking my love of history & seafaring journeys to a whole new level, without the years at university. I will have bee hives to not only pollinate my garden & supply honey but to have on hand to harvest their wax for my hard perfumes & lip balms. The list will grow as the garden does as well as changing with the seasons; I will look for any plant, flower, or other material that I can extract from & I imagine my alchemy workshop to be covered in passionflower with Daphne by the door - the perfect shed hidden within the garden to house my secret recipes. I have the perfect spot for my garden that my generous in-laws are lovingly planting & tending at their Byron Bay farm. It lies in the hinterland looking back toward the ocean so I am close by to beach to harvest ambergris, choya nakh from seashells, salt and to collect seaweed to press as well. I look at Kew Gardens & Sir Joseph Banks for inspiration & buy my exotic trees & plants from Daley’s Fruit World that get posted as they become available to the farm.
The Society Inc Newspaper
I recently decided to produce my very own newspaper to share my thoughts & provide a glimpse behind-the-scenes at The Society inc. Edition #2 is packed with a bevy of talented contributors as well as some of my favourite things along the lines of: Sir Joseph Banks & botanical exploring, stargazing, seafaring adventures, forgotten words. We have jammed it with handy hints to help you with inspired ideas to style & use The Society inc hardware at home or in any space. Some of our regular features include The Stylist’s Guide to the Globe, this edition covers Miami to coincide with Art Basel & Byron Bay with the lead up to summertime. We have jammed it with Gift Guides full of products good for anytime of the year or for those handy stocking stuffers. Thanks to all of our talented contributors who produced outstanding work especially for our newspaper: Jardine Hansen, Maya & Renata, Sarah Staunton, Adam Jones, and Beth-Emily.
The World of Interiors
I have had a subscription to this gorgeous magazine dating back to the 90’s. It has a been a constant in my life for go-to inspiration, amazing stories, heritage trades, quality products, colour hunting, collecting & collectors & history that is not dictated by trends or quick-fixes or furniture that ends up as land fill ( a few of my pet peeves). Back in the day, Sue Skeen & Faye Toogood produced the most incredible fabric & product pages and they remain a continual influence in my work as I watch their outstanding careers from afar.
Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Rose
I first came across Attar of Roses when my mother gifted me a clear glass corked vial with an old tattered label. This had once belonged to my great-grandmother and smelt so beautifully of roses I don't believe it has aged a day! This intoxicating essential oil is distilled from fresh petals of Rosa Damascena. To freshen up every day, I use splashes of Santa Maria Novella rose water that is traditionally distilled by monks in Florence. The oldest still-operating pharmacy in Italy (est.1221), today it is housed in the original grand rooms of vaulted ceilings, ornate gilding, frescoes, walnut cabinetry, glass-stoppered decanters full of colourful potions, marble floors, glass-stained windows, bronze statues, and antique apothecary scales and mortars.