House Design

at home with shark tankaes naomi simson

Written by The ReReport

WHO: Shark Tank mentor and RedBalloon founder Naomi SimsonWHERE: Birchgrove with her husband Stuart KingFAVOURITE THING: I had a dog called Dexter when I started RedBalloon and he would come everywhere with me. He became quite frail, so we got Jack to keep him young, but Dexter passed away in December. Jack has been a great comfortINSPIRATION: Less is always more. I learnt that form a job I had in Copenhagen. The Danes have such a beautiful approach to designYOU might know Naomi Simson best as one of the mentors/investors on Channel 10”™s Shark Tank or the dynamo who started gift-giving business RedBalloon. Now she”™s added another string to her mighty bow ”” renovator. Naomi and her husband Stuart King, who have four grown children between them, took on a waterfront heritage home at Birchgrove intent on restoring it to its former glory.“It was a labour of love,” Naomi says.“We had discovered this house just after we met and it took us five years to create the ultimate house for us. We had gone for a long walk when we came across the for sale sign and we thought it would be an amazing project to do together — it was our passion to bring its heritage back to life.”The duo, who married in 2016, prefer quiet nights in rather than fine dining, with Naomi often taking charge in the kitchen.“I like to know what is in my food, so I cook a lot,” she says.“The first thing the kids do when they come over is open the fridge. Now that they’re out of home they realise what a luxury it is to have a home-cooked meal. People would be surprised by how much of a homebody I am. I travel a lot, so I don’t like going out when I am in Sydney. I prefer to entertain here.”So much so, the couple opted for whisky in lieu of gifts on their wedding day to be able to share the loot with friends.“What do you give Australia’s biggest gift giver? We made it easy for them. We created a beautiful cellar, and now when our friends visit we share the whisky they brought us, which is such a lovely thing to do.”Pictures Richard Dobson More: Shark Tank airs 8.45pm on Tuesdays on Channel 10,; pearl: This pearl was to celebrate the first million customers we served on Red Balloon. For the first five years I didn”™t pay myself a salary, so I look at and think, ”کWow, we made it”™.media_cameraManolo Blahnik shoes: I was at (department store) Neiman Marcus in the US and I fell in love with these shoes. They didn”™t have my size, so I took a taxi 30 minutes away to track them down in another store.media_cameraBeehive: You can buy these on Red Balloon, they are indigenous bees which don”™t have a sting and are wonderful for the environment. December will be my first honey harvest.media_cameraOld drawing books: When the kids were little, they would eat dinner and then draw a picture. I am big believer in conversation at the dinner table, so we would then talk about their artwork.media_cameraOil painting: I just love to explore colour with oil paints. Colour is important to me. My company is called Red Balloon and even my 21st was a ”کbright party”™. It”™s the way I express myself.media_cameraPhoto albums: I make one of these every year. It”™s an opportunity to reflect past 12 months. Sometimes I will take a photo and one of the kids will ask, ”کWill this make it to the album?”™media_cameraWhisky room: For our wedding we asked our friends to bring a whisky bottle as a present. That way, when they come over we can share the bottle with them.

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