Au courant Sydney!

Her homes are knockouts. You’ve seen her beautiful work in magazines and the all around the web. Her unique personal style is equally as seducing! She is a premier Interior Designer to the “SAG Harbor" celebrity and transforms their homes to the level of fantasy. You know the ones! She's making that small town aura her own in a very big way.

This stunning Texas native has been mixing and matching, fussing and fluffing with her incredible eye for decades now. She thinks, she sees, feels her spaces, fabrics, finishes and well of course the over all influence of all her projects. That alone is like movie direction, and this woman has that amazing visual gift from beginning to end.

She's real, authentic, talented, opinionated, just so likable and uber stylish. (And she SMOKKS!)...She is the delightful Sydney Maag!



What does a typical day look like for you-
Some sort of matcha or coffee drink to start (In my SMOKK!!) I'm wearing one now as a matter of fact :)) either at home or over at the neighbor's house or the park. I skim the news, yuck! I study the weather as if I can change it!! I scan the emails quickly to see which is most important and needs attention right away. Of course I check into IG. and then I go over my list(s) from the day before and see who, where, what and when I need to go, see or do. Always out and about at showrooms, stores, galleries. I never stop looking. I love to walk. I always try to have a civilized and healthy lunch. Come back to my office and work on the computer and the phone, organize client's projects. Look at all the beautiful samples I may have pulled during the day. Scheme and dream.

What’s the key to mixing high end and low end design products together-
Your high end pieces should be the best quality in terms of craftsmanship and materials and scale. High end textiles and furniture pieces as well as most lighting will stand alone and cancel out the quality of low end pieces. When sourcing for lower end pieces to add into the mix, make sure the quality is durable and the finishes have the look and feel of a higher end piece. Always go see the pieces in person before making a purchase! Too easy to make a big mistake when purchasing online.

3 things every home should have-
The best quality mattress and bedding you can afford, the best quality sofa and fabric you can afford and the best quality lighting (dimmers please).

Why smokks!! (the big question!!) ahaha!
Because of the universal and flattering appeal!!! Comfortable, chic, pretty, feminine, unfussy, Liberty of London prints of course! (classic)!!!

Where to spend and where to save-
Spend on the basics such as wall covering (a good paint job)!, floors!, window treatments by a professional and good chic lighting!!! Save on the smaller pieces like accessories, end tables, kitchen ware. With some foot work and ingenuity, the flea market and the thrift stores are full of bargains and pieces with personality and character.

Favorite simple pleasure-
A beautiful, nice hot salt bath.

Designers you admire-
Brad Ford, Mark Cunningham, Rose Uniacke, Jean Louis Denoit

Favorite online shopping sites-
Workstead for young and fun
O'Lampia for quick custom
Circa Lighting for basics

Best design lesson you’ve ever learnt-
Grace under pressure, know which battles to pick.

Biggest guilty pleasure this year-
The year is not over yet...

I consider myself…..
Fortunate and blessed to do what i do and be around all the amazing people of all different trades who create the magic and beauty we share.

Lucky last..fave song on repeat-
Feels Like Summer by Childish Gambino


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Being JOY-ful!

She is dynamic! A wife. A mother. An educator. A writer. A traveler. And a complete inspiration- among other sentiments.
Having an Italian (her roots) wintery lunch in mid town New York recently with this inspiring lady was life changing. 
Joy Marchese is little pocket rocket of everything that is calming for today's busy and overwhelmed parent! Taking her decades of experience as a high school teacher and Positive Discipline Trainer, and using the philosophy of '"Connection before Correction", our family home dynamics have been changed forever! From chaos to calm because sometimes we really do need to stop, breathe and hug it out. We have become far more practical, compassionate and connected after learning such small wonders from Joy's work. A word can really change everything, as she so teaches.
She really is the UKs busiest working mum!! and we love her..and she SMOKKS!!
Her new Book Positive Discipline for Todays Busy (& overwhelmed) Parent is must for all parents. (available through the site below and Amazon)
Joy really does spread JOY. Thank you xx
Positive discipline, what does that mean-
Positive Discipline is kind AND firm at the same time.  Kindness teaches love. Firm teaches responsibility. Another way to say this is “Connection before Correction”.  It doesn’t mean permissiveness or punishment.
How do you juggle your demanding career with a young child-
I have a great support network around me.  Because my family all reside in the US I have created an extended family of friends and we support one another.  That old adage, “It takes a village,” couldn’t be more true!  And when I’m traveling a lot in a short amount of time I fly my mother to London or bring my husband and my baby with me.

Tell us about “Connection before Correction”-
Brain research has shown that children do better when they feel better.  This does not mean feeling better because they get everything they want.  They feel better because they feel connected (belonging) and responsible (significant).  Thus it is very important to make a connection BEFORE you attempt a correction. One of the easiest ways to do this is to validate their feelings.
How do we really balance work, parenting and ourselves-
Understanding that you CAN have it all, just not at the same time is important.  One thing that I have been applying to my life that has made a huge difference is that I don’t try to multitask. When I am with my daughter or having scheduled family time I’m not checking emails, and when I’m doing my work I’m not trying to juggle reading a story to my daughter.  It’s also helpful to recognise that there will be times when home will need a bit more attention and there will be other times when work will need a bit more attention.  The quantity is not as important as making sure that the time you are giving to each area is quality time.
Life in the UK vs life in the USA-
For me the quality of life in the UK/Europe resonates with my values and the life I want my daughter to experience growing up.  Every place has it’s pros and it’s cons but the European lifestyle for me has less of a focus on material (only buy what you need and don’t live above your means), a great focus on family, and London is such an incredibly diverse population which I love.  I think the mentality in Europe is that more people work to live instead of living to work.
The most rewarding country you teach in and why-
I can’t say that any one place is more rewarding than another.  The rewarding part is teaching the next generation (who will hopefully create a better world).  As an educator I get to make a positive impact on peoples lives and thus the world.
The 3 things that are important that you do for yourself-
1.  Send quality time with my family (husband, daughter, and dog)
2.  Spend time in nature (beach and the woods)
3.  Exercise 
The 5 things you cannot travel without-
Water, Essential Oils, iPhone charger, eye mask, and of course Smokks!
Why Smokks-
They are feminine, comfortable, amazingly washable and packable, and versatile (from the beach to dinner).  I seriously will not travel without them!
What don’t you sacrifice as a parent-
I would like to say my well-being, but there are moments that you do sacrifice that for your child (i.e. sleep when they are teething).  However, I do make it a priority to have “me time” every week.  What I do have to be more conscious about is Max and I sacrificing “us time.”  I think the couple relationship is one of the hardest things to not let go when you have a child.
Your favorite “curiosity’ question-
Pretty much any “what?” or “how?” question.  "What do you think will happen if…?”  “How do you think you’ll feel…?"
How do you connect with your daughter-
We do daily affirmations together (“you’re safe, you’re loved, you’re capable, you’re connected”).  We begin most days with a bit of yoga and meditation and then every day we try to have an adventure and do one thing that’s new.  And we always have a dance party before dinner (she loves music and her favourite song at the moment is “Have it All” Jason Mraz).
What’s the biggest dilemma you think parents struggle with-
Guilt is probably one of the biggest challenges for parents, along with finding balance between self, family, and career.
What makes you happy-
ME!  I’m a firm believer that no-one or nothing can “make” you happy.  Happiness comes from within and I’m a pretty happy person, always have been.  Although being with my family (my husband, daughter and our dog) brings me greater peace and joy every single day.
Favorite Country-
That’s a tough one.  I would have to say considering all factors it would have to be Malta (I’m sure this is where Max and I will retire). 
Your path to motherhood-
How long do you have?  Long story short it took us 6 years, 6 miscarriages, thousands of injections, and 3 people (we got an egg donor) to create our precious Chloe, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.   People say you forget everything you go trough when you struggle with fertility. The painful needles being injected by your partner, the tragic losses of failed cycles, the emotional and physical trauma, the stress on your relationships (not just your partner but your friendships)...You don't forget those things but when you finally succeed you know it was all worth it in the end and you would do it all over again to bring this beautiful human being into the world. 
Plane, Train, Automobile-
Train (I find them to be the most comfortable and I can get work done without getting car sick).
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There's no place like home!

"There's no place like home"......REALLY!

Friends, family, landscape, design, food, wine.....Adelaide really has it all for us now. No wonder it was named the 5th best city to live in- in the world. It's really found it's own and come up trumps! Every time I go back my heart yearns for more. Australia really is the lucky country for those who dare to see it. A country with everything- In saying that, SPACE is a huge desirable factor in this realization!.

"Mum I want to live here so badly-I thought the New York was awesome but this place is amazing"...Well dreams can come true! (When you're a dual citizen).

My new favorite and life changing travel realization was to find MY OWN CITY in our city- NOT the city my family live in. Great move! When you discover things for yourself outside of the local realm it really changes your perception of where you came from (even though i left in 1980!) and if you'd like to go back. It's completely new..a new memory a new experience. A new city.

As a family traveling I have HUGE expectations for cities - especially kid friendly easy living cities (with a lot on offer!)....some I cannot bear the thought of returning to. I need a lot from a city to fall truly madly deeply in love with it. And the things that sell me on this are often very random things, (20c in winter would be one!) yet things that make me yearn for them in a way that I've lived in them before. It's hard to beat New York in so many ways- In saying that I feel alive with that pull toward a place that can actually hypnotize you and sedcue you in a way that you will always (family or not) return.

Adelaide... your new name of RADELAIDE is just! We salute you! 

Until next time.....(and I really am going to learn lawn bowls!!)

We remain dedicated to returning (for all the right reasons). xx

Favorite restaurants- (fave Italian- always fantastic) (a blink and you'll miss it place - it's literally someone's house with a big wall with only a number) (single plate restaurant- the name says it all! FUN!)  AMAZING!! a tiny one woman hole in the wall show! Afghani food- and Ebenezer place is a secret shopping destination!) Modern African at it's finest! Go to the Central Market which is fantastic and line up for some local Italian fare here!

Coffee/breakfast best coffee and  poached eggs to rival anywhere in the world! The food is art..every dish different every time.


Bars  amazing Gin all shapes, fruits and sizes! fantastic find My favorite..although I was the OLDEST person there! great for a view LOVE


Hotels (our go to, as the rooms have separate kid sleeping alcoves for kids!)


Kids escapes in the rain (need to expel some serious energy in the rain..this is the place!! 3-6 daily happy hour for kids is $18 AUD..yes parents there's a cafe overlooking it all..)

Things to do/Over night trips/Victor Harbor (you must!)

Victor Harbor where to stay

Victor Harbor/where to eat  (play beach volley ball on one side of this kiosk and tennis on the other..20c in winter- it doesn't get better than this!)


AUSSIE MUST HAVES- (our secret weapons!) and TENNIS of course!

 Honey crackels and meat pies!! YEP!


A whole other adventure for next time-

Direct flights to Adelaide are an adventure!! (lots of power napping involved!) and YES it's a VERY long long way! Our favorite airlines in 2 stops instead of 3 are-

Pack light! ALWAYS xx



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