Nicole Nelius is one of those people you meet and fall in love with instantly. Originally from Canada, Nicole is now based in Sydney with her husband Chris and two gorgeous boys, Remy & August. Nicole is an interiors stylist but more recently, a painter.
"It's a fluid extension of my still life styling / photography and curiosity towards the exploration of composition and colour".
We were so excited to sit down and talk with Nicole about how colour impacts her day-to-day life, the charity fund her husband Chris founded and seeing Milou Milou linens come to life surrounded by her art.
_How do you begin and end your days?
The best part of my morning is percolated stove-top coffee with cream, after that it’s pretty much non-stop chaos until I get the boys out of the house. I wish my morning routine involved meditation, but with the lack of sleep I had for 18 months with my second child, I’m not ready to wake up any earlier than I have to just yet.
The day usually ends with a glass of wine with dinner, tune into a T.V show or two - we love John Oliver on Monday nights and have recently enjoyed a few series - Killing Eve was fabulous, escapism and fun. We loved Call My Agent! as well. Then I have a glass of powdered magnesium to relax my muscles and nervous system before sleep. I read a couple of chapters of my current book and early to bed.
_ What advice do you have for living a more considered, simple, sustainable life?
We could all be doing more, but for now I consciously do my laundry using only cold water and always hang to dry. I use beeswax wraps for food storage. I always do my grocery shopping with tote bags or boxes and I re-fashion any cardboard into new boxes when I send out paintings. I never let water run while brushing my teeth or rinsing dishes. Just little things like that. I like to choose products that care about sustainability and their impact on the environment - Milou Milou does this so well.
_ How is colour important to you and how does it influence your life?
Colour is not a conscious choice for me, it’s an intrinsic element to my life - I notice beautiful colour combinations everywhere. My home and wardrobe are full of colour purely subconsciously. If given the choice between something plain and neutral or colourful and patterned, I always go for the latter and always have. I don’t think about how colour makes me happy and enhances my day to day, but I just have to look around me to know that it does. Since I was little, I’ve always been intrigued to know what people’s favourite colours are - mine is orange - a Veuve Cliquot nastursium orange if I had to narrow it down. Somehow my decor, my own paintings and artwork that I own often have pink in them too. I’m actually already dreaming up new colour combinations for my next Milou Milou orders!
_ What have you been consuming of late, can you share the artists, books, podcasts, albums, films and brands you've been drawn to?
I just finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which I absolutely loved. I also devoured The Neapolitan Novels…like walking from room to room reading: I could not put them down.
People - My boys Remy, August & Chris. My family and friends in Canada - I talk to my mom most days.
Artists - Piece of art in home - A vintage Matisse lithograph poster from 1950; a souvenir from a market in Antibes. My paintings are also in constant rotation just for lack of space mostly and we have an ever-growing gallery wall of collected pieces. I also love my plants - I would consider my split leaf philodendron to be a work of art.
Favourite furniture - We treat Remy’s bed as a daybed; a family hangout for quiet reading. We are pretty proud of our DIY shelves as well.
Cookbook - I’m not much of a cook, but I do always refer to 'My Abuela’s Table’
Go to dinner - Spaghetti Bolognese will always be my favourite
Snack - lately I’ve been loving cold mini cucumbers dipped in hummus or stovetop popcorn with butter and nutritional yeast.
Exercise - The school run, pretty much
Beverage - Kombucha obsessed, I’m about to start making my own
Wine - Malbec
Perfume - Byredo - Bal D'Afrique
Products for face and body - masks, soaps, makeup - Transformazing masks for the odd time that I go out - even just a lunch date. My favourite soap is a coconut bar from Provence. I love the smell of Aveda products - their Reverence hand wash is my favourite - the one with the pumice in it. I use Dr. Spiller’s anti-couperose cream on my face in the morning. In the winter, I love Weleda Skin Food for my face and hands on dry days.
Stress Relief - I try and get a massage regularly. I also love a bath with candles, Epsom salts and lavender oil.
Photographer - SO many local faves, to name a few - Lauren Bamford (we have two of her prints at home), Lisa Sorgini, James Tolich & Anna Pihan who has a gorgeous collection of prints
Films - Anything by Jean-Luc Godard, Amélie (I’m a bit of a Francophile), my husband’s film GIRLS CAN’T SURF is currently in theatres around the country as well, I’m very proud of this piece of work - it totally transcends surfing and tells a very moving, timely story. Everyone should see it!
Charity - The Lion’s Share - a wildlife fund whereby brands contribute a small amount of money when they use animals in the imagery in their advertising, which is then dispersed into wildlife conservation globally. Brilliant idea and so simple - every brand should sign up!
Pillowcases pictured in JULES, TIMO and ZAC, Flat Sheet in TIMO and Duvet Cover in ZAC + JULES in Nicole's bedroom, shot by Nicole herself.
Daybed in Remy's room features pillowcases in JIM + RICHARD, Fitted sheet in KAAN and Duvet cover in RICHARD.
Follow Nicole on Instagram here.
Learn more about Nicole here.