Judy Elliot is an established interior designer with 20 years experience, and daughter Jess Bandiera is a recent graduate of interior design from the CATC Design School.
JUDY AND JESS are the creative forces behind Brisbane design studio and showroom, Verandah House at West End. At first glance through the Verandah House portfolio, classic American design influences are very clear, with strong notes of Hamptons chic. The softest blues and deep indigo hues marry together and bounce happily off the white pallet of walls and ceiling. Every room looks undeniably fresh, clean and gives the impression that a salty, Atlantic breeze is blowing gently just beyond those freshly painted windowpanes. Despite these influences drifting from a hemisphere and oceans away, the continental east coast style seems to have an affinity with Brisbane design. The light, airy room design and clean cut translates well into our Queenslander houses. Quintessential Queensland design, says Judy, is about “bringing the outdoors in, timber homes, white, large verandahs or terraces, entertaining, relaxed casual living”. Verandah House also showcases a harder-edged Hollywood style that plays the counterpart to the more relaxed Hamptons design. Crystal candelabras sit atop marble tabletops, surrounded by the clean edges of white sofas with black piping.
In the 20 years that Judy has been in the Brisbane interior design game, she has seen our local design presence change from “big country town” to something much bigger. “We have some amazing designers here contributing a unique, fresh sense of style that has our interstate friends taking notice.” Judy cites the access to different ranges of homewares and furniture from overseas, thanks to the global marketplace opening up with internet shopping, as crucial to the evolution in local design.
Judy and Jess find inspiration through nature and technology alike. From a stroll on the beach or a scroll through social media sites Tumbler, Pinterest and Instagram, they are picking up new ideas from just about anywhere. However, it seems they play a big role in inspiring others through their own contributions to these sites. “I am amazed that when travelling interstate someone will stop me and say: ‘Are you Judy and Jess from Verandah House? I follow you on Instagram!’; now that didn’t happen 20 years ago!”
It’s a rare and wonderful thing to see a mother-daughter business partnership. Judy notes their personality differences as being key to their success. “Jess is practical, articulate and super organised. Our styles are so similar and we often agree on most things. As for myself I am the least practical person. I try to be articulate and am not so organised but I work like a demon. I never stop thinking and living interiors. My creative brain never stops!”
As for the next interior design trend, the duo predict that: “We are going to see a mix of old with new, traditional with modern, brass is back big time in furniture, hardware and accessories; a strong movement to classic design, bringing back architectural details to the home.”
Words by Alice Lindley