Hunker Down With Cultiver Founder Nicolle Sullivan

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Join design editor Ariane Moore for Hunker Down as she gets to know the creators and designers she's followed for ages.

The beautifully styled imagery seen on Cultiver's Insta feed and website makes it hard, if not impossible, to not spend more time than I'm willing to admit scrolling through their feed. And it's even harder not to buy all of the cozy and luxurious linens that grace each and every image (job well done!). While that might be the goal of literally every brand, I felt that I was intrigued by more than just pretty products. So I decided to take a closer look.

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The Sydney-based company's ethos is built around the idea of enjoying life's everyday rituals, and there is something about this intention that resonates with me. Maybe it's a result of wanting to be more present in my life, or perhaps I'm just a sucker for gorgeous design. Either way I wanted to know more (and possibly buy a new duvet!) — starting with, who's the person behind the curated brand? So, I caught up with the founder Nicolle Sullivan who was kind enough to hunker down with me and talk about her personal style, as well as share a few tips on how we can all get the brand's signature look at home.

Hunker: How would you describe your home's aesthetic? Does it differ from the look and feel of your brand?

Nicolle Sullivan: I would describe my style as classic and simple with interest added through consideration around texture, scale, and subtle tonalities — this could very much be describing Cultiver also.

Hunker: What makes Cultiver unique?

NS: Our aim for Cultiver is to be more than just the products we sell. We hope to inspire a more thoughtful way of living, and enjoying the tactile things we interact with in our homes.

Hunker: Other than Cultiver, what are some of your favorite home decor brands?

NS: Armadillo & Co, Ferm Living, and John Derian are a few of my favorites.

Hunker: Many people are working from home right now. Do you have a home office? And what are some of your WFH must-haves?

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NS: I have a tiny space — really just a shelf that I added to join some existing cabinetry where I can hide all the desk clutter — but it works really well for ad hoc work from home. During longer WFH periods I'll move into the dining room since there [isn't] a lot of entertaining going on during that time anyway. My must-haves are just my MacBook Pro and iPhone, of course. But also flowers, a Cire Trudon candle, and some music nearby, make work much more enjoyable.

Hunker: I've been seeing a lot of people talking about their morning routines on Instagram. Do you have a morning routine or ritual?

NS: Hmmm ... does scrolling on your phone in bed count as a ritual?! I actually don't have much of a routine. I've always kept the morning as streamlined as possible — just shower, coffee, and out the door.

Hunker: With everything going on in the world, what do you do to relax and decompress?

NS: I really lean on reading fiction to mentally escape from constantly thinking of to-do's. I've also been thinking about starting a meditation practice for many years, and took the recent change of pace as an opportunity to learn how with The Broad Place. So I'm looking forward to doing more of that.

Hunker: Is there anything in your home that looks expensive, but was really a bargain find or DIY? If so, what?

NS: There was a small dining room in our house that completely lacked any redeeming features when we moved in: box-shaped and no outlook. We put up the Arcadia Mural from Anthropologie and it transformed the space.

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Hunker: Do you have anything in your home that has been handed down? Would you mind sharing the story behind it?

NS: I have some special pieces of art that my parents gave me, pieces they brought from Europe to Australia when they emigrated. I love that my kids are growing up with these in their home like I did.

Hunker: What book is on your nightstand or coffee table right now? What show(s) are you currently binge-watching?

NS: I just finished Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age, and have also been reading Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell on and off. During these strange months I've found TV a welcome distraction and love The Stranger, Unorthodox, and Normal People (with a bit of Space Force thrown in for light relief!)

Hunker: Where do you go for inspiration?

NS: Instagram is probably my main source these days simply because it's so quick and accessible. Travel is another source. Recently I felt really inspired by Kelly Wearstler's interiors at the Santa Monica Proper Hotel.

Hunker: Describe a typical Saturday morning at home.

NS: My husband makes really good coffee so that's a treat to enjoy at a more leisurely pace on the weekend. I'll try and run outdoors and then spend as much time pottering around home as I can before it's time to start ferrying my kids around.

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Hunker: What home decor trends are you obsessed with right now?

NS: I love textured wall finishes and playing with scale — oversize lights and art.

Hunker: Do you have any tips/suggestions on how we can all get that effortlessly styled look at home?

NS: The beauty of the styling is in the simplicity — pared back and letting the textures and subtle colors shine. Linen is so easy as it looks just as good "undone" as it does ironed and tucked — it can be truly effortless.

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Ariane Moore is Los Angeles-based writer and editor who covers architecture, design, home decor, and trends for Hunker. She has a B.S. in Interior Architecture and Design and previously worked as an interior designer at award-winning firms in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

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