Lynn Stanton sits at her enormous dining table, hands clasped and wide-eyed, inside her inner-west Sydney home: a minimalist church conversion, with soaring ceilings and rooms filled with streams of natural light. In the background, the faint sound of children playing and birds chirping creates a strangely comforting ambience – it doesn’t feel like we’re in Sydney’s inner suburbs, but more that we could be anywhere, including Beecroft, where Lynn grew up in what she describes as a somewhat ‘conventional’ existence.
When Lynn Stanton talks, I listen completely – her narratives often leave me quite stumped, to the point that I don’t really know what to say back, so I awkwardly utter, “you seem very, very interesting,” to which she responds, “well, you know, I’ve lived 60 years and I’ve got a lot of experience in different things.” Unquestionably and obviously, I quickly see that this is true.
Everything about Lynn, from her humble and down to earth demeanour, to her minimalist aesthetic, to her handmade business cards suggests a very understated elegance; she seems like the perfect subject for Ari Seth Cohen’s famed fashion blog, Advanced Style. She is meticulous; she pays the utmost attention to detail and respect for the structure of her home, whilst demonstrating a clear amount of self-control when it comes to decorating such a lovely space. ‘It’s the beautiful things that grab me,’ she divulges, ‘I need to stop myself from buying things, because I just love the minimalist thing.’
I see quite clearly that Lynn must have always been quite a visual person; a graphic artist, designer and illustrator by trade who has always had an interest in her surrounds, ‘when I was a little girl, I’d disappear into my bedroom, my door would be shut and my parents could hear me moving the furniture around – I’ve always loved recreating a space.’ It’s no wonder that Lynn is in a transitional period, seriously considering a foray into the world of home styling and organising
“You know how they say, ‘if you want something enough, you’ll get it?’” “Yes, do you believe that?” I say. “I do, I do believe it, because I think that if you’ve really thought about it hard and that’s what you want, then you’re going to focus all of your energy on it, you’re really going to focus, and you’re going to make it happen” I contemplate, and she continues, “I sometimes think of the elastic band analogy, you try to make changes in your life, but you just keep getting pulled back, it only stretches so far until the old habits pull you back and stop you from going forward and doing something different. That was one of the best insights I’ve ever heard, it encouraged me to be a bit bolder, to just do something different and grow a little’
I discern recurring themes in her utterings on life, an emphasis on hope and potential, a belief in oneself that does not seem to falter – her reason for moving so close to the city, simply, she ‘saw the possibilities.’ Just when I think to myself that she is fearless and much more impenetrable than I could ever be, she says, “Look, I’m very mature, but I’m just a girl in so many ways”