CANBERRA design blogger Gina Ciancio didn’t grow up in traditional houses; in fact, with an architect for a dad, living in a house with a tree in the middle of her childhood home was completely normal.
And this normality, of being surrounded by strangely creative things, was something that helped Gina win an international award last year.
Gina says her father’s career and her mother’s creativity are influences that encouraged her to begin her now award-winning blog, Style Curator.
“It’s such a crazy, rewarding and [a] million other amazing feelings all rolled into one to win the award,” Gina says.
The UK Amara Interior Blog Awards celebrate and engage the most authoritative and well-respected bloggers in the vast interior blogging industry, naming Style Curator the “Best Australian Interior Blog”.
But before winning, stylecurator.com.au was among 586 nominated blogs.
Knowing these statistics and busy with her first child, Patrick, Gina didn’t attend the award ceremony in London.
“There’s bloggers working fulltime with a team behind them. I thought, there’s no way I’m going to win,” Gina says.
“When I did, it was really exciting and I got non-stop messages of support and congratulations.
“It was two years ago when I had just started the blog that I discovered a UK Amara award winner and I recall being inspired by her gorgeous blog and the diverse work she was doing as a result, but also feeling a sense of surety about it all, like I finally found my path.”
Before coming across UK Amara, Gina was feeling uncertain about her career path as a social media adviser.
“I wanted to do something for myself, I was helping friends and family start sites, but I didn’t know what my own passion was,” Gina says.
“Me and my husband were at a planning stage of our new home and I thought, that’s what I want to do, I’ll start a blog about interior design.”
So Gina began Style Curator with the theme of contemporary Australian styling, a space that shares Gina’s passion for interiors and home decor, tips and advice, DIYs and design news.
Gina has also shared her personal journey of building and styling a home here in Canberra.
“Since I started Style Curator, there has been a lot of hard work, late nights and a steep learning curve into website creation, search engine optimisation and the like, but it’s been the most personally fulfilling time of my life.
“The thing I love most about design is its creativity and that it’s endless. People are always reinterpreting and putting their own spin on it. It keeps me interested because there’s always something new to discover.
Gina says that if anyone is in the process of designing a house, it is crucial to be organised.
“The most important thing is to be clear on the direction you want to take. When you’re trying to wing it, it doesn’t really work.
“Designing the rooms separately might not flow. Gather as much information as you can, there’s so many websites and blogs, print them out and put them out in front of you and plan.”