Anna Spiro Eclectic Mix

“We love colour up here and I think that’s what we are starting to become known for” says Anna Spiro, one of Australia’s hottest interior designers. Her must see store Black and Spiro contains an eclectic mix of granny and hip vintage, an explosion of color and pattern, a treasure trove of one-offs and classic pieces updated in a fresh and modern way.  This is definitely one of my favorite discoveries during my recent trip back to Australia in search for Brisbane’s hottest interior design destinations.

Upon entering the store I am greeted by these adorable dogs which have been prettied up with their own colorful neck ties. It is immediately clear to me that Anna wants to create and fun and relaxed atmosphere in her store. Once inside I feel that I am in the home of a much loved Aunt, rather than in a high end design showroom.  Furniture is displayed in an informal setting (almost as you might see it in a real home kind-of-way).  And being the kind of person who loves to explore homes, I set about poking around every room, every corner and every drawer to see what treasures awaited. Turns out ….. many!

I also had the pleasure of talking to the very talented Anna Spiro about her background, what makes her tick, and her plans for the future.


Tell me about your background. 

AS: I am a Brisbane girl born and bred.  I was very lucky to get a job with an established and well-known Interior Designer here in Brisbane when I finished school and the rest is history really. Design has always been a part of my life.  My mother is a very creative woman and she exposed me to a wonderfully creative existence as a child and I think that this set me on the path to where I am today.

Image: The first piece that caught my eye was this old style sofa recovered in a vintage suzani in bold shades of pink, orange and green.  So many layers of different patterns but somehow it works so well.

Describe your personal design style / design aesthetic? 

AS: I am definitely a collector.  I love lots of stuff!  I am not a minimalist.  I prefer a house which is full of things which are loved and collected over time.  I love, embrace and preach about mismatch and clash.  I like to always be opposite to normal and I am on an eternal search for beautiful, unique things.

Image: A small narrow hall leads you into another room which is set up as a bedroom adding to the home-like feel of this store.  Anna’s own graphic patterned wallpaper make the perfect backdrop to this room. A bold chevron patterned rug and textiles complete the look.

Give five resources you turn to for design inspiration. 

AS: Books, Blogs, Books, Blogs, Books!

Image: The front room of the store looked like the perfect setting for sipping tea and chatting with that favorite Aunt.  Very comfortable and stylish with an assortment of items that look like they have been lovingly collected over time.

What has been one or two of your favorite design projects to date? 

AS: Gosh that’s a very hard question.  Each project offers something different and I feel very blessed to have been able to work with lots of beautiful people over the years.    I have recently finished a beautiful holiday house on the beach at the North Coast which belongs to some wonderful clients of mine who live in Sydney.  I really enjoyed working with them over the 2 years this project took and I think sometimes, when you have worked so closely with people, especially on their homes, that it’s so sad when the project is over.  Another job I have thoroughly enjoyed this year is a beautiful house I have been doing in Sydney and also a bar called Mr & Mrs G Bar here in Brisbane has been a fun and rewarding project this year.

Image: Stylish pieces like the vintage teapot sit comfortably alongside more quirky pieces like the porcelain piggy bank and modern pieces like the chevron dust bin.

What are you looking forward to in the future? 

AS: I’m looking forward to the future projects which I don’t even know about yet and I’m also looking forward to publishing my first book with Penguin which I am currently writing.

I usually think of Melbourne as the epicenter for design in Australia. Do you think this is still the case? 

AS: I actually think that Sydney and Melbourne have been the design centers here in Australia in the past but I really think that Brisbane is on the design radar.  More and more interior magazines are featuring Brisbane designers and stores.  Brisbane is growing and we have our own look.  Brisbane has its own, identifiable style and I think we are starting to inspire our Southern friends with our fresh, colorful approach.

Image: Anna clearly has a knack of finding truly original things like the cockatoo vase. Certainly bought a smile to my face. I love the selection of Anna Spiro Wallpaper for Porters Paints that are displayed in the foreground.


Name three of your favorite things to do or see in Brisbane? 

AS: I love the Bayside suburbs of Brisbane and it’s actually where we live so I definitely think walking along the bay at the Wynnum foreshore or Cleveland Point is a favourite thing to do.  I also love New Farm where my store is and New Farm Park for a walk through the rose arbours with a coffee in hand is a little favourite thing to do when I need to take some time away from the office for a quick break and debrief!!

Image: I love wallpaper in small spaces, and there is no better place to use it than a narrow hall.  Anna enhances the hall further with original works or art to create a character filled, fun, hall.

What is about Black and Spiro that attracts customers / what do you think makes your store so popular? 

AS: I must say that I really don’t know.  I think what we do is very honest and it’s also very achievable for people.  People often say to me that the thing they love about walking into Black & Spiro is that they can always find something they have never seen before and they love that they feel like they are walking into a house.  When people say that, it makes me very happy because that is exactly how I want my shop to be.


Image: Anna Spiro lends her skills to this beautiful Brisbane home. Don’t want wallpaper on all your walls? We love the use of wallpaper as a feature wall in this bedroom and the circular patterned pillows that enhance the circular designs in the Anna Spiro wallpaper. Image source: D Freshney


With a book in the works, her own wallpaper line, and clients all over the country it seems the future is very bright for this young Brisbane Designer. I personally can’t wait to see what she does next.

If you happen to be visiting Brisbane don’t forget to stop by Black and Spiro, 768 Brunswick Street, New Farm QLD 4005. A must see for design enthusiasts. Also check out her blog Absolutely Beautiful Things. 

See posts of other Brisbane Interior Design Destinations:

Magnolia Interiors

Kova Lifestyle

Image Source: Images are property of Design Lovers Blog unless otherwise noted.  Please credit if you repin or use these images.

Jill Brandenburg is a Freelance Interiors Writer & Stylist and Co-Editor of Design Lovers Blog.
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3 Responses to “Anna Spiro Eclectic Mix”
  1.' Marianne says:

    Goodness me, that is a lot of cushions! I really like that white metal-framed transparent lampshade.

  2.' Catherine Shields says:

    Hi Jill, great interview and photos. I love popping into Anna’s store when I’m in Brisbane. Love her use of colour and collections. Hope you are well. Catherine

    • Jill says:

      My pleasure Catherine. Anna Spiro’s store was definitely one of my favorite interior design stores in Brisbane. It is so nice to see furniture and accessories that you know you won’t find elsewhere. Anna has a great eye for finding unique pieces. What other interior design stores do you like to visit when you are in Brisbane?

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