Gallery & Events

Posted 22 Feb 2016

Therese Moussa - Creative Director & Stylist at The Grounds of Alexandria

Article by Daily Mail Online, Click Here

When Therese Moussa was just 12 years old, she knew she wanted to be an interior designer or decorator after going through her dad's paint colour swatches in his ute. 

Now, the 27-year-old Sydney-based designer is the Creative Developer and Stylist behind one of Sydney's most renowned and fast-growing venues: The Grounds of Alexandria. 

The innovative and thriving venue, located in a former industrial precinct just outside of Sydney's CBD, is known for its fresh produce, coffee roastery and impressively styled spaces that the owners refer to as an 'urban sanctuary.' 

The Grounds has over 80,000 likes on Facebook and close to 100,000 followers on Instagram.

It hosts four unique and richly decorated spaces that are home to popular events throughout the year and was recently named as the eighth best place to eat in Australia in Yelp's top 100 restaurants for 2016.

'I look after the styling and feel at the Grounds Cafe and Garden, The Atrium, The Potting Shed and The Lock In and work on offsite pop-ups for The Grounds. 

'One of the bigger installations has been The Grounds by The Sea which runs along Sculptures by The Sea,' Ms Moussa told Daily Mail Australia. 

'I take care of all creative direction, source furniture, lighting and props and source custom designed tableware.'

In terms of inspiration for the spaces, Ms Moussa says she sees her job as an opportunity to express herself through different avenues. 

'I think it's been such a hit because I don't like to do things in a small scale so The Grounds is a perfect avenue for me to adventure in and go big,' Ms Moussa said, who describes the style of the venue as 'abundant and loud.'

'I am quite the kid at heart so I do love to go a bit wild throughout my work...I wouldn't say it reflects current trends, I like to create that "wow" moment so when people view my work I see how inspired and excited they get and that is what makes it all worth it.'

Among Ms Moussa's favourite pieces are the Garden's glasshouse which is covered in vines, the florist shelves made up of copper, brass, antique plates and greenery and the Garden's 'stables' (bathrooms) which showcase a selection of old horse saddles, whips, bridles, stirrups, leads and old photographs. 

Ms Moussa also styled the Lock In, a 'dark, hidden whiskey room hidden behind The Potting Shed' which smells like Cuban cigars and rich leather and 'the dream room' which Ms Moussa describes as 'our hidden creative office with hand painted cloud ceilings, green velvet lounge and a hipster neon sign reading "The Dream Room".'

Ms Moussa says her inspiration comes from 'quite random' events in her life and that her idea for a 'colourful forest' for a Mother's Day event came from when she went walking through a national park with her family. 

'I go into a dreamer state. This is something my idol Walt Disney did as a process throughout his career. First and most important is dreaming up all ideas which can never be too small or unrealistic,' Ms Moussa said. 

'I also did a course last year with one of the world's top creative thinkers and learnt what process I could add to expand my existing knowledge on how to be more creative.' 

Ms Moussa also deals with antique dealers who track 'odd and unavailable' items down for her and this week, will fly to the United States to buy antiques. 

The young designer says she has high expectations for the future and is excited for what her career holds. 

'As the company is rapidly growing, we have so many new projects up and coming that are going to tap into things the world has not seen!' Ms Moussa said. 

'Eventually later on I would love to style a Wes Anderson film and a Dior or Chanel runway!'  

Click here to read the full article as published in the Daily Mail Online.

Therese Moussa