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SIGNATURE PAULA MAREE



COLLECTING CULTURAL PIECES FROM YOUR TRAVELS


At a time when we do not have the freedom to travel, I feel fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful cultural pieces, which I’ve collected during my travels. They remind me of the incredible adventures that I’ve had whilst exploring this big wide world. And I like to think that they hold a little bit of energy that I can channel into my day-to-day life!


As a little girl growing up in outback Australia, I would often dream of the day that I could move to the big city and travel this vast planet that we live on.

I was always an adventure-seeker at heart and craved social connection. So I made promise to myself, that as soon as I was old enough to go out, I would- every Saturday night! And that I did, all throughout my twenties. But now that I’m a little older, I couldn’t be more excited to spend my weekends at home, on the couch with a good book and a glass of wine.


Even as a child, though, my home has always truly been where my heart is.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been obsessed with being at home. I loved to sit on the living room floor and play with the beautiful cultural pieces my parents had collected on their honeymoon in Papua New Guinea. Growing up, I lived on a small farm in outback Australia, a long way from the ocean or any sort of tropical island. My father comes from a family of farmers and has spent his entire life on the land. My sister has a strong Capricorn spirit and always loved to learn about cultivating the land on which we lived. She and my younger brother both still live in outback Queensland and have created a living as farmers. My brother has a very easy-going nature and the simple life suits him perfectly. And deep within me, this is something I also crave.


I have incredible memories of sleeping under the stars in the back yard with my Dad.

And vivid visions of watching the sunset whilst sitting in the back of the ute and driving through paddocks filled with the crops we were cultivating. However, I also lived through many years of drought and this was something that I found truly heartbreaking. I knew I wasn’t destined for a life as a farmer as it just wasn’t in my blood and I was absolutely terrified of farm animals! Even though our livestock weren’t mistreated in any way, I would let them out of their pens because I was too scared to stop their wild spirit that I could sense wanted to break free of the yards.


Since farming wasn’t my strength, I would spend my childhood days in our 1930’s home with my mum and help her with the housework.

She was working full-time as a primary school teacher to support our family during this time and her hard working nature is something I drew so much inspiration from. I loved doing the daily chores and would even clean my sister’s room for her because the clutter would drive me crazy! And to this day, I am what most people would describe as obsessive compulsive when it comes to the correct place for everything in my home, especially the cultural pieces which I treasure.


I am absolutely a self-confessed neat freak and I guess that this comes from being such a visual person.

When I first graduated from high school, I knew a wanted to do something to nurture my creative side. I set off to college to study fashion design and ended up working as a Marketing Manager within the fashion industry for nine years (Read that story here). At work, I spent most of my days doing graphic design and absolutely loved getting lost within the zone, listening to my iPod as music has always had such a strong impact on my mood.


During my twenties, I also started to set up my first home with my long-term boyfriend at the time.

And during this period of my life, I also developed a keen interest in interior design and started collecting cultural pieces for our small inner city apartment space. In 2017 I completed a short course in interior styling and I am now even more obsessed with creating tranquil living spaces, adorned in a minimalist way with only special cultural pieces as the hero of the home.


With the current social distancing policies in place due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, most of us are now spending a lot more time in our homes.

And with the heightened stress levels, it is more important than ever than our homes provide a calm space in which we can retreat during this crisis. I know that a lot of you are struggling through isolation and I send you so much love and light during these challenging times. But I also hope that you can use this time to look within in order to find genuine happiness. No matter how many material possessions you own, true abundance comes from not wanting more. So by decluttering and cleansing your home, you will create more space to collect your thoughts. And from there you will find what it is that truly adds value to your life and I hope you learn to treasure that!


I’ve always been a free spirit. Yet, I also love inner city living and currently rent a small industrial style apartment, which I call home when I’m not at work or travelling the world.

Being away for work so often in 2016 really made me appreciate the little piece of paradise that I have here in Melbourne, Australia. As a Cancerian, I love the time that I get to spend in the sanctuary of these four walls. My apartment is modern, so I have decorated it in a clean, minimalist style. I’ve owned the same furniture for almost fifteen years, yet my distinct approach to styling enables me create a timeless feel through use of a neutral colour palate. And this has also created the perfect blank canvas for displaying my collection of decorative cultural and tribal pieces, no matter which city I am living in at the time.


During my 36 years of life I’ve moved around a lot. Leaving my hometown when I was fifteen to spend two years at boarding school taught me a lot of independence. And from there I set off to the big city, living in Brisbane for 8 years. I then escaped to Gold Coast for 5 years of what felt like a permanent vacation, before I eventually moved here to Melbourne to start my career as a Flight Attendant. I’ve now lived by the beach in St Kilda for almost 7 years!


Over the years, I’ve felt a constant need to be connected to the ocean. So I’ve filled my home with jars of sand I’ve collected at the beach and the shells I’ve picked up on the shore. And whenever I travel, I skip the cliché souvenirs and buy beautiful ornamental pieces to display in my home instead.


These cultural pieces remind me of my travels. They take me back to the magical moments I had exploring a foreign country.

Such as at the Chichen Itza in Mexico, or meeting a local elder at a wholesale trade market in Luang Prabang, Laos. Or, the adventures I had pretending to barter at the markets in Bangkok, Thailand or in the city of Hanoi in Vietnam – even though I was more than happy to pay a fair price to the local artisan for their beautiful work.


I believe that all objects hold energy and in particular, I treasure the unique pieces I own which have been handcrafted by the hands of another human.

So much time and energy goes in creating pieces that we can hold on to after our travel adventures come to an end. Often, I’ll even remember the local people who sold the pieces to me, especially if it was their own handicraft. I have a beautiful set of tribal sculptures on display in my apartment. They were hand carved in Lombok and I treasure them to this day, as the locals I met there were some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met!


At the end of our days, we all hope to leave a legacy and it is my hope, that I will have lived a fulfilling life. I want to step foot on all seven continents and during my travels, I plan to continue collecting cultural pieces that I can pass down to my children. During this time of lockdown, I encourage you to take a look around your living space and see what it is you treasure so that you too can create a legacy of your own. If you need a bit of inspiration, log into Pinterest and create a mood board for the lifestyle you’d like to manifest. Remember though, it’s not only the material possessions themselves but the energy they hold that can have a dramatic impact on your home!




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