HOME / Jaynie Johnson from Blacklist Studio

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What does the word ‘home’ mean for you & how do you make your house a home?

Home, for me, is the inhabitants and also the visitors. It’s really important in our home that we try and make a space that people can come to to feel refreshed, at ease and a sense of calm. People often comment that our home feels like they are in a Bali retreat, which is intentional. It’s made to feel like people can come and feel like they are on holiday. Our house isn’t big either which we love, because we want everyone to learn to be in small spaces together because it forces relationships to develop. The bones of our house originally lent itself a bit to the idea of a ‘surf shack’  so we just went full throttle with that. The essence of our home is that of sanctuary - a place where people can come and rest when everything else might be a bit full and stretching.

How do you foster those feelings of relaxation, ease and safety when people come into your home? 

I do some really purposeful and practical things. I always burn a calming oil and I always have music playing. For us, it’s important to heighten all of the senses as much as we can. Sometimes it is crazy busy in our home with three energetic kids in a small space but even things like having coffee table books out means if I keep anyone waiting or am with the kids, they have something to look at whilst they wait. Also my house is home for others, so if they want something and they know where it is, then go for it!

Are there things that your family does every day? 

We always eat together, and if we don’t eat together we always sit together. We also ask the kids without fail before bed, what their favourite part of the day was and what was something they learnt that day. We do breakfast every morning together and they have both parents around before they go to school and pretty much as soon as they get home from school, so we spend a lot of time together as a family, we’re spoilt!

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Along the lines of your ‘Family Mantra’ artwork, do you have your own family philosophies or things you are intentional about fostering within your own home and do these cross over into your business?

Back when we first started Blacklist and our studio was a separate space in our home it was important that workspace and home space were separate. However back then (and still now), our work/life heart space is connected. It is impossible for us to separate the two, because our work is a true reflection of who we are as people. We vehemently oppose the whole idea of ‘work-life balance’ (if people are able to do that then power to them) but for us personally, we never see our work in competition to our life because our work compliments, informs and reflects our life. When we talk about intentionality in the home, everything is intentional. We have scriptures all through our house because we want our kids to see them, know them and for it to stay in their hearts. But to be honest we don’t have a lot of Blacklist artworks up in our own home, it’s usually just what we have leftover! 

Is there any piece of art in your house that tells a real story about your family?

Yes. There is a piece over there that says “she said that I was the brightest firefly in the jar” and that was the first song that Nathan and I danced to at our wedding. For our first wedding anniversary Nate did a paper cutting of it. We have had that for 11 years. The Sister Corita artworks in the hallway are super important to me. They were the ultimate gift to me from Nathan in a really challenging season - the truth that lies within those artworks is beautiful.

Are you intentional about the details - do the bits and pieces within your home hold stories/carry meaning?

Yes, one hundred percent. Everything pretty much has a story and is intentional. There is nothing in my home that was bought because it was “on trend”, unless I actually genuinely loved it myself. If it is trendy then it is purely by coincidence. I bring home items from my travels and a lot of our big furniture pieces are from a girlfriend who sources furniture for her business ‘Water Tiger’. Even our dining table is something we want to have forever. Our kids have all sat at this table from when they were babies. Even the paint on it doesn’t bother me because it is a living artwork to me. It is an heirloom piece for us and an homage to the lives that have sat around it. 

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See more from Blacklist here

Styling, Photography & Interview by The Unfold

Hannah DarkinsComment