We visited our friend Claudia Martin's beautiful bright and warm home in the hidden hinterland of Byron Bay, as she talked us through her love of working with food, entertaining in her home and her family life. 


When did your journey of becoming a stylist start? 

Many moons ago I had a job in PR straight out of Uni. Through this job I worked with a photographer who became a dear friend and encouraged me to pursue my love of styling and gave me the confidence to branch out of a traditional corporate role. Opportunities felt like they landed at my feet and I have never looked back. It all unfolded effortlessly, that’s how I knew I was on the right path. 




What drew you to food styling? 

I love working with food - the unpredictability yet versatility of it. Every dish can tell a story. I particularly love working on cookbooks and bringing recipes to life, helping authors tell their stories whilst inspiring the home cooks reading along the way. 


How did your creative eye and aesthetic influence your home?

I had a very clear idea of what type of home would suit our family and didn’t overthink the process. I can make aesthetic decisions quite easily I suppose. It also helps that our home is forever evolving so I’m not afraid of making changes along the way.



When hosting people in your home, how do you prepare for entertaining?

I am keeping it simple, always! I love using fresh, seasonal local produce. Always a lot of salads, veggies, and sourdough loaves from local bakeries. We often have a lot of children running around the house, so I prefer to keep things casual and relaxed so that I can hang out with my friends and enjoy the evening too. 



What are some details you like to add to a dish to make it look extra special?

A beautiful handmade ceramic plate and some vintage serving utensils will make the simplest meal feel special. And I love to garnish with fresh herbs, I’m particularly loving dill and fennel at the moment.



Do you have any rituals that allow you to stay balanced?

I go for a run or walk every single day. I’ve found that I’ve stripped everything else right back and this one simple nonnegotiable helps me to feel grounded. Regardless of the weather or how I’m feeling, I will get outside. It’s so simple yet effective, everything else on top of that is a bonus. 


How has your approach to your career changed since starting a family?

I feel lucky to be able to take on big projects when the timing works for our family. Also being able to shoot and style cookbooks from our home has been great in terms of not having to travel as much. My kids have become accustomed to our kitchen turning into a studio.



Looking ahead, what new projects or personal ventures are you excited about this year?

Now that my youngest has started preschool and I have regular school hours for all of my children, it feels like everything has shifted this year. I’m excited to be more available for bigger work projects as well as see some of my previous work be released and on bookshelves.