Home Styling Tips From Provider Store Founder, Tara Bennett

September 19 2017

Just a few years ago, Provider Store was simply a kernel of an idea inside the mind of founder, Tara Bennett. Having worked in retail for a number of years, and for then-startups like The Iconic and Zanui, Bennett’s journey into the world of homewares, styling and interior design was only just beginning. From humble beginnings as a vintage pop-up shop, Provider Store has matured gracefully, refining its aesthetics and ethos to “explore the slow concept of living”.

Now, Provider Store is one of Australia’s most popular online destinations “specialising in things for the home”. The stunning collections of homewares featured on the website are either handmade by Bennett herself (namely candles and cushions) or are crafted by local and international creatives who Bennett has discovered during her travels. All Provider pieces are created with “slow made” principles in mind, and place due emphasis on “ethical and sustainable items for the home”.

Provider Store has now enjoyed much success, including features in Real Living, Mind Food Mag, Fete Magazine, Yen Magazine and Homes Plus Magazine to name a few. The online store now has its very own studio in Surry Hills, and has collaborated with numerous creative Sydney brands.

We popped by the Provider studio to have a chat to Tara Bennett about the lessons she’s learnt about home styling, investment pieces and just about everything in between…

1. Tell us about why you started Provider…

I started Provider as a creative outlet – I wanted somewhere to display all the things I was creating for my home. I also always knew I needed to run my own business and not work for other people. I got so lucky that my hobby is now my job.

Over the last 3 years, I have evolved Provider and use it as a way to educate people that they should know where the things they buy come from, and who has made it.

“In a time where we are driven by trends and everything is ‘here today gone tomorrow’, I love creating pieces for the home that will withstand the test of time.”

2. What are your key investment pieces when it comes to styling a space?

A good scent that evokes a nice memory or feeling. Great books. A few classic cushions mixed with some seasonal ones. Oh and lighting! Lighting is so important when creating a comfortable space.

3. What are some of the most common mistakes you see people make when they start styling their homes?

Blending every trend together. Just because it’s “cool” right now, doesn’t mean it’s going to work in your home.

I see so many people buying super cheap furniture and homewares from big retailers and it becomes a bit of an overwhelming mess. I always say when renovating or doing something permanent, go classic and simple.

Use your homewares to style it and make it unique. I see people adding these bright tiles and things to their kitchens and bathrooms and think in a couple of years you’ll regret it. It’s much easier to swap out coloured towels than it is your flooring.

4. Tell us the biggest lesson you’ve learnt about home styling since starting Provider?

I find it really hard to stray away from my own personal style and adapt to someone else’s. It’s good though, it opens you up to new things, ideas and teaches you a lot about what makes people comfortable in their living spaces.

5. Share your advice for people wanting to choose a wallpaper for their home…

For people choosing a wallpaper, I would look at the space and the furniture etc. If you have lots of coloured accents I would lean towards a minimal paper.

However, if you’ve got minimal, matching furniture, this is your time to get creative and jump into colours and patterns. If you decide on a paper with different colours, you can then select similar tonal homewares (cushions, candles, frames) – this will help pick up different hues.

If the space is small, try to steer away from big bold colours as these will make the room appear smaller.

6. What’s next for Provider?

We just dropped a new collection inspired by our recent trip to Scandinavia and Paris. We also have some fun collaborations in the works. Collabs are great because it brings creatives together to make something unique.

If you’re looking for unique, handmade homewares, be sure to visit the Provider Store website here.

To check out our range of removable contemporary wallpaper available now.