One half of the stylish duo behind children’s interior styling company, Max & Duke, Amy McBride knows a thing or two about creating an enviable kid’s space. Alongside her business partner Bianca Helena, the Sydney based pair have a passion for designing and styling kids bedrooms and playrooms (as well as the occasional baby shower or birthday party) and have made a living helping families create unique, fun and absolutely beautiful children’s spaces.
Offering a range of styling services, Max & Duke are in hot demand, designing rooms to suit every little personality and budget. As well as that, the stylish (and busy) ladies also work alongside small businesses helping them to create product photos with a difference! We were lucky enough to catch up with Amy and have a chat about how Max & Duke came about, her top tips when it comes to designing the perfect children’s space and more!
Where did your interest and love for interior design begin?
Probably when I was pregnant with my son, Max, back in 2014. Once Max was born and I did up his nursery that is where my passion came from. I have always been interested in it with a background in photography but getting into kid’s interiors was a whole lot more fun when I actually had a child!
How did Max & Duke come to be?
Bianca and I met at Mother’s group. Bianca is my business partner and we started up Max & Duke a couple of months after my son was born. I found it really hard to make friends and meet people once I left the corporate world and I was looking for something creative to do. Once I went to mothers group when Max was 6 weeks old I met Bianca and we discovered we both had a love for kid’s products and styling and that is kind of where it kicked off!
Tell us a little bit about your design process when it comes to creating a fun space for kids.
We are always changing up our own boy’s rooms and I would say that our style is always changing. I used to look at brightly coloured, eclectic rooms and not be put off by them, but not think that that was my style. However, when Bianca and I first got together she was more the monochrome girl and I eventually got into colour and now my house is just full of colour…so I completely flipped my likes and interests!
I like the draw inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest as well as different fashions – things that I am wearing at the moment. Then to fill in some more time – because being a Mum isn’t enough – we decided we were going to start building other small businesses by doing some of their photography and styling. Every month or so we collect a few items and book a shoot. It is a full day shoot and we just go nuts getting creative! It is really cool!
What children’s interior trends are you loving for 2017?
Green! I am all about the green at the moment! Whether it’s a sage green or emerald green, I just love green! I also like a little bit of navy. I’m quite over seeing your blush pink and grey but everyone has the blush pink! So you can sometimes bring the blush pink in with the green and it looks really good.
What are some of your go-to interiors brands? Are there any cool new names we should be looking out for?
We love Olli Ella with their luggy baskets and things like that. Amigos De Hoy.
I love Frankie which is a London brand who do some really eclectic hamburger bedding and things like that – think *Kip & Co. * stripes and bold!
Doodlemoo - she is also London based and she does kid’s prints.
You touched on it before, but where do you find inspiration?
Social media, fashion and then lots of different magazines like Home & Garden and Real Living.
Obviously decorating a children’s space can get expensive. Any tips for those looking to do it on a budget?
You don’t have to buy everything new. Borrow or loan things if you can because the kids grow out of things so quickly. Figure out what your big ticket items are going to be – look into things like a cot that converts into a toddler bed and the converts into a double bed as they might be worth the investment.
Again, you touched it on before but as well as creating amazing bedrooms and playrooms for kids, you also work with small businesses offering product styling to showcase their products. Tell us a little bit about that side of your business and what made you branch out into that field?
People actually started contacting us once they saw the different creative ways we were putting together products through Instagram. We were finding we were getting a lot of direct messages on Instagram and emails asking if they could send us products to style. So that is where that idea kind of came from. We really enjoy working with small business and forming good bonds with them – our children hang out together now, we have actually formed really good friendships. Its all about helping each other, there is room for everybody.
Where to from here? What does the future hold for Max & Duke?
Hopefully bigger and better things for 2017! We’d like to do some more fun kids spaces rather than just the product side of things. But I would also like to see us build on the product side as well. Hopefully this year we should be nice and busy!