Inside the home of interior stylist, Shannon Vos
Ever-smiling, ever enthusiastic, Shannon Vos is The Block Winner, writer, interior designer, company director, painter, surfer, dad et-al.
A painter by trade, Shannon went on to study interior design, subsequently winning The Block, and has kept himself busy since creating considered interiors with VOS Creative and writing for revered publications InsideOut and HomesTo Love. Keeping life spicy with variety, Shannon and his wife Lisa and two boys Dusty and Raffa are currently renovating a mid-80's treasure centered around a statement-making pool.
We spoke with Shannon about the importance of colour, happy folk and the multiple wonders of saltwater.
How do you begin and end your days?
I begin my days in pain, either one or both of my boys launching themselves at full speed at a sleeping dad, or I beat them to it and hit the road for a run. Either way, it’s painful but the best way to wake up.
Tell us a little about yourself and your work - what led to entering and winning The Block and what did this experience teach you?
I am a painter by trade and as I hit the big three zero, I knew I had to expand my horizons before it got too late. I moved to Sydney and studied Interior Design. My brother and I wanted a bit of a challenge and thought The Block would be a whole lot of fun. What we didn't realise though, is that we’d be slogging it out for 13 brutal weeks clocking at least 100 hours per week. The Block was a whole lot of fun, it was also a whole lot of pain, heartache, work, sweat and stress. It taught me plenty but the biggest lesson was to let go of things I couldn't control. You can do all you can do and sometimes the rest is just up to fate. Kids have taught me that again, so I guess as a perfectionist, it was something I had to learn.
You’re currently in the midst of a major renovation - how would you describe your family home? How have you infused your personal style into each space? What were the foundations for designing your dream home?
We bought a mid eighties home that was built to pay homage to the mid-century beauties of California. The big green beast needed a lot of love and we have given it a delicate touch. No walls were moved, instead we gave her a new skin, a new lease on life rather than building a new home. The home screams ‘mid-century retro’ but we’ve also given it a modern touch with our finishes and details. The home is centered around the colourful pool which in itself is more than enough of a hero for the home. Add to that terrazzo floors, vaulted ceilings, knockout lighting, an all-black exterior and a northerly aspect, this home is something else. We were led by the home's already knockout plan, but knew that every surface needed attention.
Vos Creative offers interior design, consultancy and on top of that you also contribute to a few publications - what do you love most about each of these aspects of your business?
I love the fact that no day is ever the same. I write for Insideout magazine, Homes to Love and Realestate.com.au and that process pushes me to be a better designer, and on the other hand designing pushes me to be a better writer as I gain experience and actually have first hand knowledge about what I write about. There aren't too many ex-tradie, designers and writers out there, and I think it gives me a unique perspective and a down to earth knowledge base that is hard to come by. I also am an ambassador for Beaumont tiles, and creating content for them and for Realestate.com.au is always fun and never a chore. Variety is the spice of life, right?
Whats the best thing about summer days?
Pool vibes all day every day and the sneaky surf when the kids are knackered.
Tell us about your favourite parts of your renovation so far - what are the spaces you’re loving and looking forward to the most?
The favourite transformation has definitely been the pool, it’s totally captivated the exterior aesthetic and is the star of every space within the home. The colours and the shapes used change throughout the day with the differing light and with a slight breeze over the water, the artwork dances creating even more of a spectacle. Inside though would have to be the ceilings. Originally bare Cyprus Pine, they darkened each space and created a sense of confusion and business to each room. The process to paint the ceiling has been a monumental effort and now light bright ceilings open the space up, make way for colourful artworks and lift each and every room. The power of paint, right?
What were the key learnings from your time on The Block and how they have helped to shape your reno?
I've learnt to tackle a few jobs at a time to maintain a sense of control and relative order within the home. On the block, we tackled one room per week, and that focussed your energy to get the job done on time. Living through and in the renovation has prevented me from taking on every job at once, and while the reveal is a steady trickle its enabled us to finish each job to the standard we want and then move on to the next.
What's the most rewarding part of helping someone create their dream space or home knowing you have been a part of it?
I mean, spending someone else's money is always fun, but the most rewarding part of creating and seeing through a design is delivering a finished space that was beyond expectation of the client. I love a good transformation and design can be a mathematical problem solving exercise at times, but seeing a client fall in love with their home is a very rewarding experience.
What does colour mean to you and how does it impact your life?
Colour is EVERYTHING! But it should also be balanced. A monochromatic home needs pops of colour to lift the black and white aesthetic and a colorful pallet needs a neutral to calm down the chaos and make a space livable.
MILOU MILOU Duvet Cover in PAUL, Fitted and Flat Sheets in CHARLIE
Talk us through some of your favourite things…
Talk us through some of your favourite things…
People - People that work with their hands are some of the happiest on earth.
Artists - Jai Vasicek, Katie Wyatt, Blacklist (it goes on) .Ben Thouard takes great photos as does Tim Ashton.
Furniture - That's a big one, Australian made is always the dream, but sometimes the budget calls for other options. I love Totem Road, Pop & Scott, Sarah Ellison, Jardan and The Wood Room, but Globewest is always a great staple.
Go-to dinner - As a dad, I find myself loving whatever my boys eat. At the moment, they’re putting a decent amount of damage into the Sushi market.
Snack - Always
Exercise - I love a run and a surf when i can.
Drink - Privy to a decent G&T, but could be swayed with a Bourbon
Perfume - Saltwater
Stress relief - Saltwater
Last thing you do before you go to sleep?