Tara Wokulski from Coco Camellia
Website: Coco Camellia
Style Sourcebook Profile: Coco Camellia
Tara from Coco Camellia is a true Style Maker. She is the founder of Coco Camellia, an interior design and styling service. Known for her fresh and feminine aesthetic, Coco Camellia is one of our favourite interior design accounts to follow on Instagram. From her simple yet sophisticated material palette to her signature inclusion of fresh floral or greenery in every project, Tara is the epitome of style and class when it comes to all things interior design and styling. It was a no-brainer then, that we had to include Tara as one of our Style Makers. In this interview we find out what style means to Tara, she shares with us her career journey to date and also gives advice to anyone looking to establish and build their presence on social media. If you're thinking about a career in interior design or styling, want to know how to grow and establish your Instagram aesthetic, or just love interiors then you’ll want to keep reading.
What does ‘Style’ mean to you?
For me, style in the home is the essence of everyday living. It embodies not just how the home looks but its functionality and calm, along with aesthetics. Style is the most important aspect of the home. If your home isn't a pleasing and functional space to be in and enjoy, then how do you get the most out of it to create memories to last?
How would you describe your personal style?
It's a mix of Contemporary, Modern, Scandinavian, and also Australian elements, combined together to work in unison with one another for a refined yet calm look and feel.
Tell us about how you established your style. Is it something that has evolved over time?
Initially, when I first started styling my home, my style was heavily, if not all, Scandinavian inspired. This was mainly due to the fact that the market at the time was saturated with lower-priced Scandinavian items that catered to my smaller budget (think Kmart and target). As time has gone on and budgets have increased, I have found my style has become increasingly more minimal with the introduction of more expensive items as the hero pieces. My style has evolved along with my tastes and personal style changing a little too as the years progress.
"To establish an Instagram feed it really does take time. It really is a full time job in regards to posting, planning, creating content and also engaging and networking with your community. My top tip would be to always post and engage with your community."
- Tara Wokulski, Coco Camellia
We absolutely love your Instagram feed! Do you have any tips for someone trying to establish and build their social media presence?
To establish an Instagram feed it really does take time. It really is a full-time job in regards to posting, planning, creating content, and also engaging and networking with your community. My top tip would be to always post and engage with your community. This lets them know you're interested in their feedback and that you’re approachable if they ever need to reach out for help.
Tell us a bit about your career journey to date. Have you always been an interior designer and stylist?
Fresh out of High school I studied nursing and the following year I gained my Advanced Diploma in Nursing and was working full time. I have always been a bit of a work maniac, having always more than one job at a time. This involved working for builders, nursing, and also in hospitality before I started my Design and Styling business 3 years ago.
What was your inspiration behind the name Coco Camellia?
The name is nothing more than a random mash-up. I adored the name Coco and one of my favourite flowers are Camellia’s so I just put the two together, and viola - Coco Camellia was born :)
What does a typical day in the life of Coco Camellia look like?
Each day can really be different from the next, which is why I absolutely love my work. Some days are filled with back-to-back design consults for new clients, others are back-to-back site inspections to make sure all elements of the design are being implemented correctly. Some are outsourcing new and exciting pieces for client homes. Sometimes I do styling for photoshoots, and others are tucked away in my home office creating new concepts, working through emails, invoicing, and completing schedules for clients.
Who would you say is your biggest inspiration and design muse?
I really do love Mim Design. They are always creating the most beautiful timeless interiors. Along with so many of our local designers and architects. I feel we are so lucky here in Australia. There is just so much talent to be inspired from on a daily basis.
Looking ahead to 2021, what are some trends that we can expect to see?
Natural textures and materials - think things like boucle, will be here to stay.
Investing in locally made items will be big in 2021 - particularly after the year that was 2020!
Natural earthy tones - think wall colours and decorative accents.
Vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces - think retro armchairs, lamps, and lounges.
Functionality through clever joinery.
What is your favourite room in a home to style and why?
For me, it would have to be the living, dining, and kitchen as these are the most used spaces in the home, and often flow into one another. I love to create functionality in these spaces that cater to each individual family, along with timeless designs that can be enjoyed for many years to come!
What would be your advice to someone wanting to get into the interior design/styling industry?
Everyone’s path is different. I personally didn’t study, but so many do. I think getting a design qualification is a great start, even if it’s a certificate or small diploma. Alternatively, if you're scared of taking the plunge, why not reach out to someone you admire in the industry to see if you can do a week of work experience to wrap your head around whether this industry really appeals to you!
What are some of your favourite homeware stores to shop at?
Do you have any go-to styling tricks that you live by?
Less is always more… almost always! If you think that extra item is overdoing it on the bedside or the coffee table then remove it - you’re almost always right!
What does the creative process look like for you when you start a new project?
Each creative process with each individual client is a different journey. Some clients reach out at the very beginning of a project or some halfway through or near the end. But ultimately, I like to create a general look and feel concept for each client to showcase my thought process for where I would like to take their projects, what types of materials and finishes I would like to see within their home and to see if we are on the same page in order to move deeper into the design process together.
Are you working on any exciting projects that you’d like to share with us?
There are loads of exciting projects coming in 2021. Lots happening in the middle of the year, some very exciting renovations projects taking place with some very talented builders, and also a few other exciting things landing and being released here at Coco Camellia for you all to delight in. I cannot wait to share more!