In this episode of the Happiness Hive Podcast Catherine chats with heart-led Intuitive Interior Designer, Alice Kerrison. Alice is passionate about creating workshops to teach people how to be brave with design so they can shape their own sanctuary and create a home from the heart.
In this episode you’ll also hear:
– the extraordinary connection that grew between these two women who share a commonality of tragedy
– why age plays such a pivotal role in cracking open your heart to truly embrace your most authentic self
– why it is important to Alice she raise boys who feel the whole spectrum of human emotion, not just the positive ones
– how living in three different countries shaped Alice not only as she grew up but well into adulthood
– why acting from intuition is Alice’s number one rule for life and business and so much more!
Join her membership The Happiness Lounge here
Connect with Alice Kerrison here:
This podcast is produced by Nikki O’Brien from Quintessential Being
Hi, welcome to the happiness hive Podcast. I'm Catherine Bowyer, and I am completely fascinated by people and what motivates them. I've spent the past three and a half decades specialising in mindset and human behaviour. And I've helped 1000s of people to create happy and amazing lives. And now I am super excited to be chatting with women from around the world who I have secret. And to be honest, not so secret crushes on their women who inspire me. I'm intrigued as to how they do life and what makes them tick. I want to find out the magic formula that makes them who they are. And at the end of the episode, I'd love for you to say, I'd like a little bit of what she's having. The conversations are real and raw. They're full of passion, inspiration and lots of fun, and nothing is off limits. So grab yourself a cuppa or pop on your Trekkie and go for a walk and join us for today's chat. There may just be that pearl of wisdom you need to hear. So let's shimmy on over and get started. You know, when you meet somebody and you just feel like you've known them forever. When I Yes, that is exactly the person that I'm meeting with today. They're today's guest, Alice Karason. I've only met ALICE I think I've known her less than a year. And we met through a mutual friend and business coach Tori Archibald. And we caught Alison I caught up online and had a like a coffee catch up. And I just instantly fell in love with you, Alice, I instantly fell in love with you when we shared. You know, we we yeah, we sort of had that shared experience growing up. And I just feel that we are soul sisters that have come together in this lifetime. And you have the most gorgeous, beautiful energy that I just get mesmerised when I am in your presence. And for those of you that the introduction, Alice is a an interior designer. And I'm really interested to find out about that. But I'm really interested to find out about Alice and how she does life because Alice welcome
you just as so for those of you that the listeners can't see us together, but you just wrote a radiant, beautiful, beautiful, radiant.
That's so glorious to be told that Thank you, Catherine. Well, I think you and I have this extraordinary X Factor together that is just it's like attracts like, isn't it. And that's why I think our paths will cross. I mean, I love how Tory introduced us to the idea of the coffee date to connect with people who are like minded to help each other. And then from there, you've been mentoring me to, to starting my new business of creating workshops to teach people how to be brave with their design and how to be their own designer and create a home from the heart. And I think for me, it all comes from the heart so so I think that's where you and I have connected because your business and the way you live life. It is so much about the heart, isn't it? And I think it is you touched on we've had, we've had similar experiences of tragedy of living trauma when your your mother died when you were 12. And my brother died when I was 13. And you there's a certain part of you that shuts down after an experience like that. But at the same time, you you sort of you grapple through life, but at the same time you grow so much shinier, you learn so much. And you you strive for happiness. Yeah. And
you know what else that the thing I remember when we caught up like, gosh, there was so much that first coffee catch up that we had, it was just it felt like I had known you forever. And we were just girlfriends sitting, you know, catching up that, you know, on a whole lot of things that we hadn't caught up on. But when we shared that commonality of tragedy, it does shape us and it is terrible, terrible, terrible. But I don't know about you. i i hope that i haven't let that define me. I don't know, the thing that you never get over. But I think that has really helped me to forge that path to happiness.
Yes, I totally agree. I think when I was younger, it shaped a lot of who I was. And I felt like I was moving through life in a numb state and, and my heart was so closed. Yes. And I think that's the beauty of growing older, isn't it because you start to to crack open that heart and to actually realise how important it is to be authentic and to be yourself. But you know, with sadness, it also becomes such I won't say joy but there there comes such lessons to that. I mean, my son the other day he was saying to me, I wish I had gone through what you had gone through so I could learn to be the best person I can. And he's in when he said that, you know, he recognised that. I mean, he's an old soul as it is.
I couldn't Yes, I could tell that that old soul there. And it is it's something I think Ellis like, from darkness comes the sunshine that we do need to have. You know, I would not ever wish that on anybody. But there is darkness. And people experienced that. But what I've done with my life is really looked at how I can bring that lightness in to my life. And it's not to say that every day is bright and shiny. Trust me. Do you have days with it is still a little bit dark for you?
Oh, my God. I really do. Is this few and far of the darker days? Yeah, but definitely, I don't want to be happy every day. I think it's really important to feel all the emotions to be colourful. And I'm trying to teach that to my boys that to be human that we need to show anger and resentment. And yes, we need to you know, as much as there are highs, there should be lows. I mean, yesterday, for example, I have I have three boys and my eldest and my youngest at home sick at the moment. Third day in the week, I was starting to get really resentful and irritated by them. It wasn't their fault. But what I realised is that I wasn't filling my cup, I wasn't giving myself time to reset, I wasn't actually saying you know what, guys, I just need to go and have a bath and and then step back in and return to them. So I ended up snapping and screaming at them. And then I went through guilt with that. But the lesson from that is that I was able to unpack it at the end of the day and say to them, Look, this is what it is to be human. And it's okay to sometimes lose your kids. But you do, don't you? And you know, so yeah, so I definitely.
And I think that's really important. I've done the same with my kids or young adults now. But the same with my kids. I was very real and raw with them. Like the last couple of years, we had some really turbulent times where my dad wasn't well, and his subsequent passing. And I was very, very raw and real. And I think that's being a good role model as well. I think it's important to be able to experience the extremities and not get stuck. I try not to get stuck there too long. I have my little, you know, work through it. But I try not to get stuck there.
Yes, I agree. I mean, I'm but I'm learning to, to feel all the colours. Yes. I never used to, you know. But that's that was that was our childhood, wasn't it? Can't you can't dismiss that. But I think what you and I had in common was that we learned to see the rainbows in the worst situation. Yeah. And I think then you and I, you know, when you connect with someone, what you're doing is you see them, you see them for who they are. And I think that that's what you and I, you know, we don't even have to talk and we don't we I mean, you know, we've met once, but we know each other far deeper than that.
Absolutely, absolutely. So tell me a little bit more. So you're living in Sydney, at the moment you have a young family and beautiful boys.
Yes, keeping makes dream really busy. It is it's so funny because I thought I'd have a daughter because I'm now on my mother's own only daughter only my father's only child. And so I thought that that's how my life would be. And then a beautiful therapist said to me once you're given what you need, not what you want, which I thought clearly I needed a lot of lessons how to handle men. But I do I live in Sydney. I've been here for the last 15 years. And prior to that I was living and working in New York. And I my life has been spread between a childhood in England and split between Australia and England because my parents were divorced and lived in America for a long time. And I've been designing I've been interior designing for over 25 years. But in the last 15 or 15 years ago is when I started my own practice, but it was probably in the last couple of years that I really started to think you know what I need to shift in my life because I'm not feeling fulfilled. I'm not feeling satisfied. And I'm not creatively pushing myself, you know, when you don't feel you're challenging yourself. But then what I was rolling into, was starting to compare myself to everyone else and saying they're doing this they're doing that I'm not good enough. Rather than saying hang on a minute, let's just rewind. Let's actually go back to what you love. And that's when you and I connected. I did this incredible course with Tori, their business action course through powerful steps. And I unpacked my story of of who I am my skill set and and What I believe in what my values are. And I realised that what I need to do is within the interior design industry, with all its knowledge of 25 years, and my creativity, I very much act from my intuition and my gut rather than the practicality side of things, foremost. And I realised that I have all this knowledge, and I'm not actually using it, I'm using maybe 10% of it. So what I want to do is share it all. And I think there's so many people who love design, love their homes, but they don't know where to begin, they don't know how to do it in a way where that makes them happy. So I thought, if I can create workshops, yeah, and I can actually give everything I know, and just bring in incredible fabrics, and finishes and stone and tiles and ideas. And because I'm a little bit, I can get a bit carried away with my ideas, but no one was taking those because I just work on one or two projects a year. So this way, I can say, try this. What about that and just inspire whoever needs help, whoever needs an inspiration. And so then developing those workshops, I kept coming to the stumbling block block of fear of thinking,
that's a common, isn't it? Oh, my God. I relate to
factly. And that's where you've helped me so beautifully, you know, I mean, it's baby steps. Really? And I think because you and I have such a close bond and trust with you, you get you get me, don't you? I mean, like this? Yes. Yeah. So yeah. So you're, you've been such a help. And I have taken this, you know, these these small steps, but I'm moving forward. And as long as I keep coming back to the thought, What is my purpose, my purpose is to help people feel special about themselves and to be the light to shine over them to help them, you know, to help to help them live a better life.
Yeah, do you know, same sign and we're just using different modalities to do that. And Alice, what I when I was sort of doing the intro with this session, one thing that I, I do love being in your energy, you radiate this beauty and this depth, you know, this, you know, right from the very core of your soul. And what I'm hearing you say there is that, you know, you followed your passion as an interior designer, but you've also recognised that you're getting a little bit stuck. And that it wasn't maybe as fulfilling as it once was. And it's very, very common for us, isn't it to, to get to a point or a point in our lives that we kind of go you know what, there's something more, there's something more, and what you've been able to do is to really just tap into your intuition and use your gifts. And I think that the beautiful thing that I'm seeing is that you're really, you know, by being true to who you are, it's actually reigniting that passion to be able to help people to just love their life. Yeah, yeah. So what is some of the because when we were chatting the other day, you were sharing about, you know, the, the workshops and the information and sharing your knowledge and your passion and your expertise. Let's rewind just a little bit before we get there. Yes. So working in New York, working in England, London, was just amazing.
Oh, my God, I mean, amazing is an understatement. You know, when you're just bombarded by inspiration all the time, it's, it's so much bigger than you, you know, and you just, you can't stop, but you just feel that, that fears of being an environment where you just feel so inspired continuously. And I think living in New York, somebody told me that it's built on ley lines. Yes. And I get that because the energy there is intense, but it's, I mean, it's fabulous. It is so great. And I went through a divorce with my ex husband there and that I really sort of there was a personal shift there. I actually stepped into truly who I am. And and and what I loved about that city is you can be free just to be who you are. Yeah, because you didn't have any of the ties of who you were from school in your family think you are any of those insecurities. So I do I love New York for that. And and I love it's such a yes community living in America. Everyone is so passionate and they're so encouraging of what you do and they're cute. Curious and beautiful, isn't it? Yeah, it really is. It is. It's fantastic. And then coming from England as well, which is very different in in one sense, but it's also that the in terms of design, what I loved about it, the layering the history, the stories, the you know that that in itself is it's so inspirational, walking around Europe and that and I love to travel. I think one of the things that totally lights my fire, particularly with my husband, we don't do it enough. But I feel like I have, there's so many layers to my life from the different places that I've lived.
It sounds like there's a, you know, very strong ties to England. Yes, exactly.
I'm very, I'm very tied to England, and the history and the depth of the culture in England. And then also, my mother being Australian, I'm also very attached and tied to here. And they're actually very different aside from the fact that we both speak English. Yes, it's they're very different cultures. So I feel like I've matched England, Australia, my experience in America. Now what I'm trying to do is bring all of that experience into my business. How beautiful. Yeah.
One last little thing. How did you get into interior design in the first place? How did you did you? Is that something you knew that you wanted to do growing up? Or was it something that just kind of unfolded for you?
Well, interestingly, it runs in my family, my great, great uncle designed New Delhi. His name is Edwin luncheons. And my father was very creative himself. And so his home is just cluttered with antiques. And the walls are these deep blues and terracottas. And there was just layers of richness in terms of colour and texture and history in our home. And my my mother, she's very strong in interiors as well. And my grandmother as well. She used to collect antiques. So I grew up in that. Yeah, but my dad, he probably gave me the best advice that I've been given. Because he he said to me, darling, you always need to do something that you love. And for him, his parents died when he was a young boy. So when he was 18, he was able to say, Well, what do I want to do, I can do anything I want, because he didn't have parents saying you need to go to university, you have to do this. So he always loved cars. I mean, what little boy doesn't love cars. So he bought a racing car, and he became a formula to racing driver. And then a few years later, he thought, What's my other love, I love sailing. So he bought an oyster fishery, so he could sail to beautiful. He always said to me, just make sure that you do the things you love in life, because you'll always be a success no matter what it is, as long as you do those things, because you'll want to try harder. And naturally, success will come from that. So So I guess I switched careers. I started as a film director. That's That's what I was when I was young. And then I had the opportunity to new to move to New York. And I wanted to go back and I wanted to study, I think that that excitement of learning new things is, you know, is so wonderful, isn't it, and I was in my late 20s. And I went into interior design that way. And then I guess, and I feel now, I mean, the next stage of my career in a way even though it's in interior design, but if I come back to my value set, and for me, that is kindness, we can never be too kind, can we no connection, because that is that's what fills my cup up. And when we see people and we really connect, then that's when I think the greatest happiness comes whether it's with your children or with your partner or family with friends that you have the X factor with creativity, which is so important because that that really that's when I I feel time stops when I'm being creative. And lastly, something new for me is courage. Because courage comes from the French word Looker, the heart. Yes. And if we can just keep forging forward from decisions from the heart from our intuition, then we're always making steps forward. And we're being true to ourselves, aren't we? So I'd like to teach people how to be courageous with their homes and how to be brave with their design, but I'm also teaching myself to be courageous to teach people and to be able to do the things that I keep loving.
Oh, gosh, Ellis I just want to jump through the screen and hug you right now because it's Isn't it beautiful? When you when you clear about what's important to you and your values and when everything lines up, then it's almost what your dad was saying to you, if you love doing what you're doing, everything will fall into place. And one of the things that I work with a lot of the women that I work with is about helping them to feel comfortable and confident to be who they are. And sometimes that's the journey is to discover who they are. But I think if we can have the guiding principles of our values, and live our life in alignment with that, the rest will absolutely fall into place and your dad sounds like the most wonderful person to be able to give you the gift of, you know, those pearls of wisdom of, you know, if you love what you're doing, you will be a success regardless. So you can either be a success and be a misery guts every day, or you can be a success and have that passion. And that fire within that fueling unit. Sounds like you've absolutely got that, which is beautiful, beautiful. So tell me how that What does like you up? So we've heard about the work and your business and your career and your creativity light you up? What are some of the things in life generally that make you happy?
Okay, so let's start with time. I think it's such a commodity that and I think to have time without the pressures. Yeah, you're having to do things. Yes. And and then when you when you when you have time, just to be with yourself. I mean, I'm a an introvert and, and I think I fill my cup up by giving myself some time every day, whether it is journaling, meditating, having a bath, sitting in the sunshine, I mean, I am one of those creatures that if I don't have sun on my body, you're the same. Yeah, yes. So I've built a window seat, and a deep one that is two metres long by a metre and a half deep. And I just sit there and just I feel that my tank is full after I've had that. No, and I look in nature and nature is so important, isn't it? Yes. Where I get huge inspiration. And, and I could try and go for a walk every day in nature. And we talked about connecting with friends. That's very important. Yeah, my husband and I, we we go out every week together, we might just go out to dinner. And that really fills my heart of it really does. Because I feel like we come together again, when we do that. And travelling with him and with my boys. It's always a wondrous thing for me, that really gives me a lot of joy.
Where have you got planned? Where's your next trip going to be? Well, we planned on that.
I love retreats, and I keep showing my husband a few. I'm like what about this place in New Zealand because he's a mountain man and he loves. And so there's a beautiful place in New Zealand that I want to go to. And we're gonna go skiing, we're gonna go to the Dolomites in Italy a Christmas night. So we're gonna go and see family first. Yeah. Because the food and mountains, I mean, can you get in any better? And so what else can I tell you? That fills my cup up? I think at the moment, what I'm doing is I'm learning a lot about living with higher consciousness. And, and when you're, when you go into that realm of learning, new pathways, it's so exciting, isn't it? I mean, that's really, really giving me a lot of joy at the moment. And I just love to dream about creating my, I won't say my ideal life, but I love to dream about creating dream spaces and going to wonderful places, whether it might be on exotic walks, or we've got with to the Blue Mountains in the holidays for the weekend. And what else do I love cooking super healthy food. I think when you fill your body with nutrition like that? I do. Yeah.
So that sounds just so beautiful. Like it really the thing that really strikes me too about you, Alice is that conscious living, that it is about the that heart centred, that spirit centred, but also a very conscious approach to life. And I would love in sort of coming towards the end of our time together. But what is some, maybe some tips for our listeners in getting, you know, creating their beautiful sanctuaries at home? Or there's some kind of little tips that we can get from you around that.
Yes, absolutely. I think everyone needs a space in the home that is well that the home should be the SR sanctuary shouldn't Yes, yeah. So you need us Space a room in the home that is almost a sacred space to you. I mean, if you think about people talk about the man cave. Well, as women, I think we need a space. That is that is our cave. I mean, for me, it's my bedroom is where I do my yoga and I journal and I lie in the sun by the window. And so that I think everyone needs to feel safe in a certain space in their home. But perhaps the biggest tip that I have is when you're out and about and you're you might be shopping or you might be travelling, or wherever you're going and you see something that you love. Yes. Don't think, Oh, well, I love that. But how can I use it in the home because you'll always find a place for it in the home. And for me, when I design my home, it always comes from the heart. I always trust my intuition first. And I always think, how does this play? How does this piece make me feel? Does it bring me joy? Do I do I love it? Do I feel that there's a story attached to it? Sometimes? yes, sometimes no. But it's just got to. You've just got to love everything in your home, even right down to the ironing board cover. My mother sweetly went to the shops the other day and got me one. I said, Oh, I don't like that colour. I can't live with that. And she was just saying, you're just ridiculous. You're so spoiled. And I said no, but you don't understand if it. If it doesn't align with my art, I can't have it in my home. So to me, it's almost practical come second, which is probably the wrong way to live. But I do think that even practical things in the home, you need to you know, you need to like it, you need
to do you know what isn't that interesting? When you tie that back to your dad's advice about living life? And do what you love? And everything will fall into place? If we can bring that same element into our homes? Yes, about if we love it, then then the rest will fall into place. And I'm I might play this to my husband because he's Mr. Practical. And it does. Yes, we're a little bit opposite on that. And I really agree with you to Ellis about if you see something and you love it, get it. And I think about that with clothes and things in the house. Because there's been so many times when I've regretted not getting something and I haven't been able to it's just like, Oh, I wish I could have just got that being because it has meaning it has, you know, that sense of beauty and feeling, you know, sparking joy.
And it should be your home should be a reflection of your personality? Yes. You know, and I think a lot of people grapple with what their style is. They might say, Oh, well, I love a country, local or French provincial or Hamptons, or whatever style people have in their mind. But at the end of the day, style is just about the things that you love. And then if you actually start to unpack that, you see there are patterns, because you might always go for large overscale pieces, or you might go for lots of pattern all the time. And then that's the style. Yes, I think if you just keep coming from the heart, every decision do I like this do I love it has a lot meaning to me, then you're creating a real century real Haven at home. And then you're stepping into the outside world as best as your best version. Because you you're resetting, you're refreshing your your I guess your you know the the idea of refuelling and putting as your best self forward outside of your home.
And it's also like what you were saying to LS about when you know what your values are. And if you live in alignment, and be really true to yourself, it doesn't matter what the style is. Because it reflects who you are, and it has meaning to you. And it's about not doing it. Because you're wanting to although some people might want to do that as well, but you know, to have the magazine, look in their home, but it's about what is right for them. Yes. It's for me to judge. It's not for you to judge. It's about what feels good for me as an individual. And that's about how I really try and live my life anyway, is what's good for me. And I keep my daughter's words kept coming into my head where she says Mum, you do you? And I'll do me. It's just like, Yes,
true. Absolutely. And I think with the home a lot of people look at magazines and they say I want that look and they want their heart. They want their friends to walk into the home and say, Oh, I love what you're done. It's so beautiful, but actually what you want you want your friends to walk in and say I love your home because it's, it's so you yes, no, but that's the biggest compliment, isn't it?
Yes, I think that we can take that to our lives that we want people to love us because we are, who we are. And I think that also for me is very much about loving who I am. Because, you know, not not needing that the approval, even though that's lovely and nice. Really it comes from who I am. Gosh, Time just flies my gorgeous friend. I know we're talking and talking. What does the future Alice look like? What's coming up? So you've got to do some little bit of a shift around your business in the workshops? Yes, I
am. I mean, before I touch on that, when you say, you know, what does the future look for you I have a very strong vision, that of myself in my 80s. And I'm standing on a beautiful, expansive lawn, overlooking the cliff overlooking the ocean. And in the background is my home, and it's timber and glass, and there's sun streaming through and it's warm, and I'm completely surrounded by all my boys, and their wives and my grandchildren and my husband. And it's funny, I've got long grey hair, and I've got feathers in my hair, and I have a really strong vision and but this the strongest feeling of this is, is how evolved, I am how spiritually evolved I am, yeah, and how I'm looking back at myself today. And I'm thinking, I wish you believed in yourself. And the journey ahead, there's so much to learn. And there's so much joy ahead of you. I feel like I'm only just beginning, which is really exciting. In terms of my business where I'm going, it is well I want to develop a platform to be able to teach people how to design their homes from the heart, and, and then showcase all this incredible talent and artisans, and finishes and furniture and just to share everything I know. And to showcase incredible talent, I think to to showcase the people who make those tiles, and to interview wonderful designers across the world. And just to be able to, to share everything to help people along their journey to be their wing woman. That's my goal really, but you know, ebbs and flows and changes and you'll be helping me on that journey.
I'm so looking forward to that. I'm so looking forward to that in. And when you talk about that clear vision of your future self, yes, I also have a very clear vision, I think we're probably going to be living near each other at some point, because my vision is very similar. I've had a few more birthdays ahead of you. But living by the ocean. And in for me, there's a lot of peace and tranquillity. And you know, just that, that love, hopefully the hardship and the tough times are behind me. And it's just that really bright, vibrant future and really living in the full radiance of you know who I am and being surrounded with beautiful people. So I think we probably going to be on properties near each other. Yes, I was swimwear. So that'll be
exciting. But I see that in you now. That's how you see you in the future. But I think that that's you now
do you know, I, I had a morning practice. And I've had a morning practice for a very long time where I do visualise the, I would say that ideal I used to call him the ideal version of me. And there was always this gap of it's almost like, I'll be her in the future. The gaps pretty close and close now. So I do. I don't know if I'm quite there. There's bits that I still want to morph into, I guess but the Yeah, that's lovely to hear you say because the gap is it really become closer.
Join the journey to get there. So yes, yes, yes.
And that's what I love. I love, love, love that. And I love catching up with you. And we could talk for so much more. Where can people find you? Where can our listeners find you? So on Instagram,
on Instagram, my my instagram handle is Alice Kerrison ID Yes. Id really for intuitive design as well as interior design. And I'm currently developing a website. And yeah, that's where we've been very private before. I've never had a website but it's now time to put myself out there and share what I know. So yes, best the best is Instagram.
And what we'll do is we'll have the details in the show notes as well. So thank you my beautiful friend that is a wrap. I'm just lots of pearls of wisdom and lots of things SPIRATION that comes out of that. And I'm sure the listeners will pick up on your beautiful richness and you know just your energy which is just so magnetic. So thank you lots of love
so much. You. You beautiful Talk soon.
Yeah. Okay, have a beautiful, beautiful day. Bye for now. Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed the episode. You can spread the love by sharing it with a friend so she can have a little bit of what we had today. Don't forget to rate and review so we can get it into as many hearts and ears as possible. You can keep the conversation going on my happiness hive socials. And if you'd like some more high vibe happiness in your life, come and join me in our community of inspired and motivated women at the happiness lounge. This is my online membership club and your central hub for everything you will need to be truly happy and bounce out of bed every day living and loving your best and most beautiful life. To find out more pop over to the happiness hive website and click on the link working with Catherine. Until next time, Big hugs and happiness