How Brooke Blurton Made Her Perth Rental Feel Like Home
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we head to Perth, Western Australia, where social media influencer and mental health advocate Brooke Blurton lives in a gorgeous space.
Brooke Blurton is a trained social worker who uses her booming social platform to raise awareness for Aboriginal culture, and some might recognise her from the sixth season of The Bachelor. Above all that though, she is a true homebody at heart.
When Blurton was looking for a new home about a year ago, she had a long checklist to work through. She wanted enough space for her and her gorgeous dog Cobar, lots of natural light, and she needed a home close enough to the beach for quick dips in the ocean. But most of all she wanted it to be both modern and cosy, the kind of place you could just unravel after a long day.
When Blurton first saw this rental, it immediately ticked off every item on the list. “It felt like home as soon as I found it,” she says. The home, in the Perth suburb of Wembley, features a sprawling living space furnished with natural textures and an enormous balcony that overlooks endless greenery.
In the lounge, hanging just above Blurton’s sofa, are three landscape images, shot from the sky by a drone above some of WA’s stunning natural environments. They are Blurton’s favourite pieces of decoration in the whole house, which she hung above the couch “where everyone could see them and enjoy,” she explains. “Every time I look at them, I just can’t believe mother earth did that.” Next, she’s looking for more artworks to add to the space, preferably pieces by Indigenous artists that speak to her culture and identity.
Blurton loves relaxing in her bedroom with Cobar, reading a book on her bed, and resting among linen in grounding shades of Pink Clay, Turmeric and Rosewater. “Earthy and minimalist,” is her design motto. “I love colours that make you feel peaceful, at ease,” she adds. “That you enjoy coming home and seeing these colours. I didn’t want to feel over-stimulated walking through the door, so most of my interior was based on the colours and how they make me feel.”
She chose pink for the bedroom for that reason specifically: warm and inviting and feminine, pink tones are said to create a calming sanctuary. “I heard that pink is very healing,” Blurton agrees, “and I wanted to feel relaxed as soon as I come into this space.” Mission accomplished.
Hi Brooke! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I ‘make’ content about important issues that affect young people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I make content that creates awareness of the rich and diverse Aboriginal Culture people hold.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I love ‘Making’ happy content, sharing knowledge, advocating and educating people about Aboriginal culture as part of my roles over the last five years. I’ve encouraged and helped hundreds of young people in all realms of their life. My social media platform has been a very different but rewarding opportunity to share more of that. I am very spoilt with culture everyday here in Perth and I love being immersed into it, so having the ability to share online is really fulfilling.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
I knew at a very young age that I was quite a passionate person, I always loved advocating for what I believed was right. I come from a very strong matriarchal line where the women were the bosses in the house. So growing up I idolised my mother and grandmother who taught me about my culture and how important it is to be grounded in the process. I like to think I want to continue that same love and passion for my culture and for my future children.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
To be honest, I’d say my Instagram is a ‘beautiful mess’. I love telling stories and always relate my content to something that speaks to me and aligns with me. I don’t like to over saturate it with too many filters or these really planned and constructed photos. I want people to look at each photo and be able to read a story or a happy quote or sometimes a lesson learnt that they needed to hear.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your career?
Never speak or talk from other people’s experiences. Only ever talk from your own. Sometimes I’ve used some young people’s stories in reference to getting a point across to really emphasise the issue at hand, but I don’t want people to think every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person’s experience is the same.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are so diverse and I would really like to break down stigma that we need to look a particular way, do a particular thing. We are so diverse and we come from all walks of life. The stereotypes we face as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can make life so difficult already so having preconceived ideas only adds to that difficulty.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your career?
Learning work and personal boundaries. As in when enough is really enough. I love to help people. I’m a natural empath and I can tend to take on a lot of people’s challenges: at work, my own, my family’s. I love caring and helping people and I tend to neglect my own personal emotions and boundaries. Over the last two years I’ve really taken a step back from working and started my own business to release some of the pressure. Usually not pressure from other people, more myself. I’m so self critical, so just learning how to run your own business has been also very challenging.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your career?
This is such a hard one because I value even the smallest breakthroughs that I have had working with young people. I would say one of the most rewarding and probably the most challenging obstacles whilst working full time was doing a Ted Talk X UWA in 2019. I had to recite a whole 12 minute speech and I can honestly say it is so much harder than what it looks. Learning to speak in that way was hard, but I feel like also the feelings and emotions that surface whilst you unpack things throughout your life can definitely have more impact.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?
Keep on persisting. Never give up. As cliché as that sounds. I believe you should take any opportunity that comes to you as a young person. It will teach you what you want, or what you don’t like and therefore you will reap the benefits afterwards for just saying yes to something.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
For over a year now and I love being here.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
Unfortunately no, I wish I could. I’ve made a rental feel very homely and like my nest.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
I would say my three frames about the lounge. These are images shot from a drone by my best mate Jarrad Seng, who is an amazing photographer. He and I have travelled around WA and I wanted pieces of home (WA) in my lounge room where everyone could see them and enjoy.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
Always! I love Aboriginal art and décor, I just love how it makes me feel when I see it and I’m just hoping that I can find more pieces that represent me and my moort (family). Surrounding myself with art and culture makes me feel so grounded and wholesome.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
My bedroom, I love my little safe place. I am always out and about and coming home and chilling out on my bed with Cobar and relaxing, reading. Is just my favourite part. I get a beautiful view from my bedroom door and when the sun is setting, I can hear the birds, and a nice breeze comes through. I filled my bedroom with lots of wood and pink for a feminine approach.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Always pick pieces that make you happy. I love always sticking to a particular colour scheme and keeping it simple. For me, simple is better.
For more from Brooke, follow her at @brooke.blurton