We chat with , a Sydney-based author about how she has made her home office work for her and the importance of striving for kindness in everyday life.

Where do you live? I live in a two-bedroom, Art Deco-style apartment with my husband, Nic, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. My mum, Marylou Sobel, is an interior designer, and she renovated the apartment before we moved in, so it’s very much to our taste and style. The apartment is cosy but it feels like a mini-house.

What do you love about where you live? I love the area. Rose Bay Beach is only about a 10-minute walk from us and Rose Bay Wharf is a five-minute walk in the other direction, so we have water in both directions. If I’m relaxing in the area, I usually go to Rose Bay Beach. There are dogs there all the time so you can go for a swim, relax under a tree, and watch dogs doing cute things.

You also work from home. What’s your office like? My office is in the second bedroom. I have a big window to the left of my desk, and above my computer screen, I have a pin board covered in this beautiful dark, chocolatey linen with quotes and Post-its of what I want to do in the coming months. On the wall opposite my desk, I have posters with quotes. One says, “There are moments that I know I will long for even as I live them,” by [Israeli writer] Judith Katzir.

My clients used to come here to do kinesiology sessions but after three years, I moved everyone to work with me online. It’s just wonderful and my clients love it. With the work that I do, it doesn’t matter if we’re in the same room or not, it just means there’s even more flexibility.

What does a typical day at home look like? I always exercise in the morning, whether it’s a yoga session, strength class or walk. Then I usually head out to get a coffee, bring it home, and I sit down at my desk and start writing until my coffee’s done. Then I’ll either see clients online or, if I’m writing, I’ll sometimes work in a café or Double Bay Library, which has devil’s ivy growing through it, so you feel like you’re not indoors. I usually work until I feel my brain turning to mush, which can be anywhere from 5pm to 7pm.

Is your current home your dream home? I’d say it’s our dream home for now. If I could push the walls out of this apartment and add another room or two, then that would be my dream home. Future Me wants more space, more greenery and an indoor-outdoor area where I can sit with a cup of tea. But our apartment is definitely dreamy for now, so we’re very happy here.

You’ve written a book about learning to be kind to yourself. How has this idea influenced your homelife? My home is where I go to be re-energised, feel completely relaxed and be myself. That’s so important when I think about the things I want to keep in my space.

We used to have this beautiful antique chest that I loved but a couple of months ago, I realised I never used it or the stuff inside. I would throw my clothes on it, and then stress myself out to put them away. We also had a TV on the wall above the chest that we never used. Within a week of realising I didn’t need those things anymore, we’d sold the TV and the chest. I then bought a beautiful armchair, rug and table, and I turned the space into a lovely reading nook. I sit there all the time.

What does homelife mean to you? It’s a place where you can be yourself without having to try to be anything else. Tiaralestari is honouring yourself and bringing joy to your life in any way that supports you most.

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