Today we are pleased to have a special guest as part of our Q & A series, Vonelle from Villa Deluxe Boutique.
I have sewn and handcrafted since I was a teenager. I loved hand embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery, sewing and smocking my little girls’ dresses and patchwork and quilting. I always had something crafty on the go. I love DIY projects and bringing an old piece of furniture back to life with a coat of paint and also art. So after a major extension and renovation of our old cottage a couple of years ago I decided the time was right to start a little shop, there’s only so many cushions I needed in my home! With teenage children and time on my hands it was on a whim that I started my Etsy shop. Within a month of opening I was starting to sell all over the world. A few months later I opened an Instagram account and started styling my cushions in my home. It was a huge learning curve but I haven’t looked back. My daughters were helping me to begin with but now are busy with full time jobs and just recently have moved out of home. I’m too busy to have empty nest syndrome which is a good thing!
My motto is ‘A Touch Of Elegance’ and my goal is to bring some elegance to people’s homes whatever their decorating style. From the start my biggest sellers have been blue and white and I have fallen in love with these colours myself. Florals have always been big sellers and I’m often told by my customers that they can’t find nice floral cushions in the shops.
I just love flowers and for those who follow me on Instagram you’ll notice that in every photo there will be flowers, if not real ones then silk, or the cushions will be floral!
I also work part time in my husband’s business doing the bookkeeping however my shop is my passion and I have so many ideas but not enough time in the day.
Inspiration comes usually in the middle of the night! When I’m in a design mode I find it so hard to sleep, it’s all I think about. I even think about how I’ll style a newly made cushion in the middle of the night. Having a creative mind it’s hard to switch off sometimes and I’m sure other creative people would find this also. Flowers are my main inspiration and I love painting them.
Recently I have started to design some of my own fabrics which I have digitally printed in Australia. It’s so exciting to see my designs turn into fabrics. I have so much to learn still with textile design but I wanted to have some exclusivity to my shop. My aim is to eventually only be selling cushions that are exclusive to my shop, whether they are my own designs or others I have sourced. In saying that, many of the other fabrics are still so popular so at the moment I’m doing both. I have released some of my own designs but still have so many more here to make into cushions when time permits.
Working with quality natural fibre home decorating fabrics and the beautiful linen I source from Europe and all the different colours and patterns is a joy. I never get tired of cutting and stitching these fabrics.
I love that my cushions are bespoke meaning they are handmade and not mass produced. I see other cushion shops that are reselling cushions that are made in Asia and can be bought on Ebay very cheaply. I’m so thankful for customers who appreciate quality fabrics and the time and effort that goes into handmade items and who are supporting Australian made. I love talking with my customers and welcome custom orders. The best part is often seeing my cushions in their homes on Instagram and receiving beautiful feedback.
I would say the style in my home is French/Hamptons but I don’t like to be pigeon holed to these styles with my cushions. I love many decorating styles and having a house with white floors and walls means I can showcase many different colours and styles, as long as it’s elegant.
I love fossicking in antique shops, second hand shops or searching gumtree for furniture and homewares and have found many over the years that I have travelled far and wide to collect. Decorating a home doesn’t have to be expensive, a coat of paint will brighten any old furniture. My old piano even got a coat of white paint as the veneer was peeling, now I love it more than ever. There’s a joke in our household that if you stand around for too long you’ll be painted white!
Amongst many items on my wishlist is a big white library bookcase with a ladder to fill a gap on a wall in my living area. I can’t wait to fill it with books and have fun styling it.
Nothing like it! I grew up in brown brick homes but I have always loved old homes and my dream was to renovate an old home one day. I love the history and the character from floorboards to cornices and everything in between.
Thank you so much Vonelle for giving us an insight into your work and home life. To see more of Vonelle’s beautiful bespoke cushions please visit:
Villa Deluxe Boutique Etsy Store | @villadeluxeboutique on instagram