A Conversation with Design Blogger Liss Winnel of Daydream Lily

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Liss Winnel of the design blog Daydream Lily

With more than 40,000 subscribers around the world, Daydream Lily has become a special refuge on the Internet for those seeking a soft-focused digital world of pastels and chintz.

That place also happens to be the nom-de-web of its creator, a young Australian research scientist named Liss Winnel, who has turned her own fascination with all things girly into an international hit with romantic, style-conscious women from Melbourne to Los Angeles. So how did she arrive at her uniquely inviting concept?

“I started looking at (Australia's) Frankie magazine and discovering all these different designers,” she says in an interview on Skype. “I just wanted a place where I could share them and be a part of the community that created them.” The result, she insists, isn’t really a “style - it’s more a collection of pretty, dreamy things, very girly stuff from design boards, to fashion art, to housewares.”  

Many of the most engaging and evocative images on Daydream Lily are drawn from the Liss' own personal space, like these photos of her home via Instagram:   

Soft focus Instagrams of Liss Winnel's home.

Daydream Lily aesthetic captures a mood that its readers dream of creating in their own homes. It's a look refined by an artful display of treasures from second-hand stores, small boutiques and art fairs. Indeed,  Liss is an inveterate habitué of "op shops," short for  "opportunity shops" in Australia. Liss'  well-honed sense of style gives the blog its unique sensibility - one part Victorian, one part bohemian Paris and one part romantic contemporary.

She says she’s decorated her house with "lots of original art from artists I've featured on my blog."  Liss is also fond of her personal collection of ornamental “owls and deer.” There is no personal style without passionate idiosyncrasy, after all.

Her favorite colors are pinks and greens, set against cream walls, though lately she’s added a splash of something bolder - red. “I think I was getting a bit sick of the girly stuff,” she says, “and I saw reds as more bold. You can just do small bits of it and red suited all the cream I have in my house. So, I do red pillows now.”

Collection of cameras

Pillows of the vintage sort are something of an obsession and she’s been collecting them for years. “I've been collecting all the different florals from op shops,” she explains. “I have around 50 now and I love them. They're from the 50s.” Liss’ new interest in red also extends to geometric prints, which add contrast to her vintage styled house on Australia's Gold Coast.

What about her favorite ways to perk up a room that seems a little too familiar? “I would get fresh flowers every week when I lived in Melbourne,” she recalls. “In Melbourne you could go to the markets and they were very cheap, but now I’m in Queensland, where you can't get flowers unless they’re very expensive.” So, ever stylishly inventive, “Instead, I put out scented candles and rearrange things - or put new pillows out, change the textiles.”

Liss' favorite object? “My Audrey Kawasaki art print. She executed it in a limited edition. It’s big and the center piece in my dining room.” It’s not surprising, since Liss wisely muses that “living with art and beauty helps me be more creative in all areas of my life.” Liss says she tries to surround herself with creative people for inspiration. Geometric prints are her current obsession, as her international audience knows. “I’ve always been interested in patterns in general. I really love flowers, but I've been moving more toward polka dots and diamonds."


Two of Liss' Lamps Plus favorites:

Lamps Plus Robert Abbey Delta Lamp and White Ceramic Rabbit Nightlight 

Robert Abbey Delta Lamp in Schiaparelli Pink and the White Ceramic Rabbit Nightlight (no longer available)

" I love the bunny lamp," Liss says. "I know it's a kids' lamp but I want one!" 

Images: Courtesy of Liss Winnel

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  • She is true inspiring woman and her sense is contagious

A Conversation with Design Blogger Liss Winnel of Daydream Lily