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Category Archives: creative business
Those with a keen eye on the down under design scene may have recently spotted flashes of this beautiful new accessories textiles collection. While we have come to expect our magpie eyes to recognise the colours and shapes often synonymous with Australian textile design duo; Kate & Kate, their new “Carnival” collection has a little more of a twist to it!
“Carnival captures the joy of gathering together, the convivial delights of a shared table, a picnic under the shade of a gumtree; all with the homely embrace of luxurious yet robust cottons, wools and linens. The collection is a celebration of celebrations, both jovial and nostalgic with classic geometrics complemented by painterly and spirited prints.
The collection offers cotton and alpaca blankets, large scale linen table cloths, linen throws, napkins, tea towels, both linen and leather cushions and hand woven bed spreads.”
While I am very much grabbed by visions of “picnics under gumtrees” (!!) I was also interested in the top notch, group design process that bought this range to life! The collaboration of Kate and Kate with iconic interior design leaders; Arent & Pyke.
On a whim, after spotting that Juliette Arent had mentioned an interest in textiles in an interview, Kate and Kate reached out with an invitation to explore that further.
And as all good pairings go – the collaboration grew some momentum bringing us 18 months down the track to this beautiful collection and the material proof of what can happen when 4 Australian design minds merge in the middle.
Keen to take this opportunity to mine the ideas of these designers a little further (all of whom I have a bursting respect for) I compiled a list of questions (a little left field at times!) focused on topics I would be very interested to find their thoughts on.
Pictured from left to right: Kate Pascoe-Squires , Juliette Arent, Kate Pascoe and Sarah-Jane Arent.
Work/Life balance can be challenging to maintain at the best of times.
What is your work space like and what are the little details within it that help you get the work done!
Kate Pascoe: Oh what a juggle! If anyone finds the answer to that thing called balance – please contact me!! I am so lucky to have the space I work in, it is a little slice of heaven. Designed by Fiona Lynch, the Kate & Kate home in Port Melbourne is a gorgeous open space, with clean lines and plenty of light – a place where you can really catch your breath. We have Buddha radio pumping most of the time, lots of coffee throughout the day and a big wine fridge out the back filled to the brim with Logan Rosé – all of that really keeps us all going.
Just recently, I decided my phone is a huge distraction during my work day with non–stop calls, texts, alerts, alarms – it does not stop! I now put my phone on silent and anyone who urgently needs me can call on the work landline. I have found this makes a huge difference to my ability to get the job done.
Juliette Arent: In the A&P studio in Surry Hills, SJ and I work opposite each other in the far corner of the office….but we have worked sitting opposite each other for nearly 10 years. I almost wouldn’t know myself if I didn’t see her sitting opposite me during the day! When I work from home I am typically sitting at the kitchen bench with coffee or wine (depending on the time of day) or sitting on the back step that looks out to my garden. A bit of sunshine always goes a long way when doing the big picture business dreaming!
Sarah-Jane Pyke: Sunshine works magic creatively, so that was the key element we looked for when we sourced our Surry Hills space. With windows on three sides, we get gorgeous light all day, and that helps keep us all focused. I love the buzz of the team, but when I need downtime, I can retreat to the meeting room (cone of silence!) and I often start the day answering emails over a coffee at The Book Kitchen across the road.
If someone flicked a switch which demanded us all to wear tones of just ONE colour for the rest of our lives….what would yours be?
Kate Pascoe: I would have to be REALLY boring and say grey (so predictable!) I always have my favourite seasonal colours, but there is nothing more stunning than a gorgeous charcoal marle… my good old trusty!
Juliette Arent: Deep terracotta to fleshy melony pink, and everything in between.
Sarah-Jane Pyke: Just ONE colour – ouch! I can’t live without denim, so for me, Indigo, through chambray blue to washed out grey.
HOME. It’s the one place in the world we can really make our own, ignore trends and wrangle our budgets against our personal decorating dreams.
Despite you all designing for spaces and the products that help transform them, what are the defining things you do to make your own house a personal bolthole?
Kate Pascoe Squires: For me, it’s in the furniture. I don’t like clutter and don’t do knick knacks, displays for the sake of displays… I love clean lines, but to achieve a beautiful look, the quality of the furniture is imperative. I have a mixed aesthetic, combining stunning vintage pieces with super liveable items such as cushy couches with removable linen covers.
I love having a house that is lived in – the kids can run wild and I’m not super precious about any one item. If our table gets a mark on it, who cares? It’s part of the history we are creating here. That said, I do run a tight ship and the house is always tidy before I head to bed. It helps me and my family keep a clear head (well, that’s what I tell them anyway!)
Juliette Arent: It is so tempting to want to own the big heroes or icons of the furniture world that you are often putting forward to clients – but I try to avoid this as much as I can. I mostly like a mix of new and vintage, with a particular focus on the art I have acquired over the past 15 or so years. (The only reason I would like to live in a slightly larger property would be for more wall space for art!)
A wonderful part of being a designer, is the thrill you have finding those rare vintage gems for your clients……..and every now and then, for yourself.
Many years ago when (in my opinion) one of the best stores on Queen Street in Woollahra, (Copeland and de Soos) closed down, it was a very sad day. It signalled the end of an era with this type of vintage sourcing in Sydney. Most of the vintage pieces I own I purchased from Rodney de Soos and I am always patiently waiting to see if decides to get back into the business.
My fridge is forever covered in drawings or paintings that my girls have drawn/painted that week, and their bedroom is definitely not as serene and ordered as you would think. For them I am always reminding myself of my own childhood where it was all about colour……colour, timber toys and natural daylight for my kids. (I am always surprised to see when parents opt for neutral-everything for their kid’s rooms. NO!! Colour = fun!
Also, for my own house I think less about “schemes” per se, more about the feeling or the mood I would like each space to evoke. I have always been interested in the the way certain spaces can make you feel…it is not formulaic…..there is always a sensorial and emotional response.
Sarah-Jane Pyke: I really believe that your home should tell your story, and that’s the same for me as it is for our clients. I love the pieces we have collected over the years, and I feel connected to each of them, as they have the story of our lives woven in. Interestingly, I have more vintage furniture than new, and our art always ties it all together.
Some favourites include: Eames Walnut DCM chairs gifted for our wedding; the vintage drawers I sourced on ebay and had painted glossy yellow when I was waiting for “the baby”; a John Baird painting we bought the week we lost a dear friend; my mothers’ sewing machine table that has been in every entry hall I’ve had since leaving home. Right now though, we’re drowning in Lego, which adorns every flat surface of our house! Maybe one day I’ll look fondly back on that too…?
The internet has shrunk the world when it comes to connecting with
like-minded artists/designers/makers etc.
It’s such an exciting time for inspiration and collaboration (obviously!).
Aside from each other, what local creative people or brands are really spin your wheels at the moment?
Kate Pascoe Squires: We have recently collaborated with interior design house Arent&Pyke, which was incredibly inspiring. It was so fun to combine our aesthetics and they really pushed our use of colour. So good.
As we look towards our Summer 17/18 collection, photographer George Byrne is really getting us excited – his depiction of colour and form is incredible.
For shape, I can’t go past Kenya Peterson’s sculptures – hand formed wire, shaped and paper wrapped, they are incredibly distinctive.
Juliette Arent: I always love to see what Emma Elizabeth (stylist/designer/curator) is doing with Local Design – she is a powerhouse, and always at the centre of connecting brilliant designers. Shilo Engelbrecht, textile designer/artist and Lisa Cooper, florist/artist. (All the slashies!!)
Styling by Claire Delmar
Photography by Jason Loucas
Explore more from from the designers interviewed here:
Kate & Kate
The Carnival Collection
Arent & Pyke
I’m really stoked to present you with our first contributed story inline with Studio Home’s new richer, looser format celebrating our NZ/AUS creative industry.
This one comes from Tessuti, a beautiful store based in Auckland but doors wide open to the world and their detail driven customers online. Owner Ali McIntosh has cemented herself a loyal following due to her ongoing passion for artisan made products and celebrating the makers themselves. Obviously this is something we share too!
So its a pleasure to bring you an interview the Tessuti recently undertook with Oliver Höglund and Ryan Roberts of SØKTAS Glass Studio.
Read on below for their interview plus some extra questions we asked all of them.
“Glass artist and designer Oliver Höglund of SØKTAS Glass Studio has been working with glass since 1999, a craft that was handed down to him from both his father and grandfather, who learnt glass blowing at the well known Kosta Boda Glassworks in Sweden.
Creating beautifully sculptural forms with molten glass, Nelson (Oliver) and Melbourne-based (Ryan) SØKTAS Glass Studio practice a free form technique, executed by hand, which results in a finish that is both unique and signature to SØKTAS. We are very excited to announce the arrival of their favourite piece: the Vølt Glass Pendant…
How did you both meet?
We both arrived and left Norway at the same time. Without knowing each other for the first 3 years there we eventually met in our final year. We met through mutual friends and we became mates straight away. We were both feeling it was time to move on and return to our roots so we came up with an idea that we have been working on since.
Can you tell us about your studio space?
The glass studio operates with a pretty consistent pattern when making the glass. The afternoon is spent “loading” and melting the raw glass material, which is then melted overnight which can be used to create in the morning. An early start the next day is vital in setting up the studio to begin the glass making process which typically lasts from around 6 am to late in combination with the melting cycle and the cold working process.
What would be some of your most stands out collaborations or projects?
Our most memorable projects/colabs would have to be starting our first showroom here in Richmond, Melbourne. Another great colab we have is with Casa Amuk clothing — awesome people who make great quality clothing, it just felt like the perfect combo, so that’s been great so far.
What SØKTAS piece is your personal favourite, and how do you suggest this best be enjoyed?
Our favourite pendant would be our VØLT pendant light. We like it because its design fits with the original edison filament bulb, the refraction’s from the filaments work well with the glass and the warm glow produces a nice, chill atmosphere.
What was the most recent thing that inspired you?
Watching Stephen Curry win the NBA’s first unanimous MVP award really inspired us to strive to be the best versions of ourselves.”
STUDIO HOME WITH RYAN ROBERTS OF SØKTAS:
I can’t live without…..
We both can’t live with out the ocean.
My top spots to eat in my town is ?
Feast of Merit, awesome feed and great staff. Richmond, Melbourne.
Favourite place to visit in Australia?
Yamba or anywhere around the North Coast of NSW.
Favourite thing to do in your downtime
We both love to Surf and Snowboard.
What do you think about when you are alone in the car?
Melbourne is a hectic place to drive, so we’re pretty busy just trying not to crash.
Where is your special place?
In the ocean.
Best advice you have been given?
STUDIO HOME WITH ALI MCINTOSH OF TESSUTI
Best childhood memory
The smell of fresh cut grass. When we arrived at our bach in the summer Dad’s first mission was to cut the grass! And that smell takes me right back to being 3 years old and arriving at the beach for summer holidays.
Favourite spot in your home
This will always be the kitchen area. I love entertaining and having family and friends over, and I really like it when everyone piles in and helps. It’s conversational, and when your hands are busy it seems easy to chat about anything and everything.
Bring all the problems to the kitchen counter – we’ll get them sorted in no time!!
Values you hold dear
Kindness, trust, dependability, inclusiveness, and ethical business practice. It’s all simple stuff really! But you need to ‘walk the talk.’
Learn more about these contributors:
Hi everyone! This is a rather fitting introduction to lead with for the brand new year! I’m always gunning for a new slate, new rituals and the intention to look after myself much better.
“Bodha is a collection of modern wellness products designed to help you come back to yourself. Based on the belief that feeling connected is the key to happiness our line engages your senses through the power of ritual and aromatherapy.”
I would struggle to have introduced bodha any better than founder; Emily L’Ami does above. This beautiful collection of carefully thought out goods (for the soul and senses) have been created by this New Zealander while living in LA with her husband; Fredericus L’Ami, (also creative director of the brand). Some serious research has gone into the products as well as an international role call of designers and artisans!
Japanese linen is used for the aromatherapy eye pillows and the hand crafted brass incense holders have been made in a Japanese factory dating back 100 years. The Ritual Oil Diffuser has been designed by our own Jamie McLellan and crafted by local ceramic legend; Gidon Bing.
What I like about all this is the care taken in design and construction totally reflects the ethos of the products. Its about “quality time taken”.
Emily L’Ami outside her LA apartment
All imagery supplied by and used with permission of
Right. Well. Art lovers….welcome to your delicious, satisfying demise into art based obsession!!! (that sounds scary but I say lets embrace!)
The One Art Club is a BRILLIANT new concept aimed to deliver fresh, exclusive works of art to subscribers on a bi monthly basis. Each artist (both local / international and upcoming /established) will be a surprise due to their strict embargo on information pre delivery, and each work will be a extra special limited edition piece created ONLY for eager The One Art Club audience.
There are options to select from in terms of time frames and payment plans, but one thing is for sure, this is a genius way to grow or gift the opportunity to collect carefully curated art that is truly exclusive.
How do I know it’ll be carefully curated?
Oh yeah…the brains behind this project is one of NZ’s most forward thinking young art minds; Evie Kemp!
Please take the time to explore the full spectrum of options and how the club works via the website. Remember – there are no pictures beyond those of the makers involved below to tempt you as its all an exciting surprise!!!!
Imagery supplied by and used with permission of The One Art Club
Hunting for George continue on their path to be your one-stop-shop for quality Australian design, art and homeware. They really are the champion of the independent designer and have slotted themselves in there too!
Their new collection; ‘Clifton’ is inspired by summers spent in the sleepy Tasmanian, seaside town of the same name, as remembered by co-founders/sisters; Lucy Glade Wright and Jo Harris.
“I wanted this collection to represent everything we love about Summer holidays. Our fondest memories are from our holiday’s spent at Clifton Beach. Extremely understated and surrounded by nature. I wanted our designs to reflect the simplicity and calm energy of that time.”
Lucy Glade-Wright, co-founder.
This understated approach feels good. No need to shout, no need to launch into attention grabbing prints – instead a softness and focus on actual everyday living for the laid back.
Interceded into the imagery below are also features of their latest offering of prints – again, like everything curated from both their own art AND a carefully selected group of local creators.
Its a pleasure to explore! Get in there here!
Imagery supplied by and used with permission of Hunting for George
Art Direction // Lucy Glade Wright
Styling // Ruth Welsby
Photography // Annette O’Brien
I am SO excited to finally be sharing with you the result of my latest TEAM.WORK collaboration project! Good things take time my friends!
It is such a personal thrill to get the opportunity to step beyond the blog and actually brainstorm ideas with the independent brands/designers/artists that I admire so much.
For this new project, Betony Dircks and Kelly Elkin were the design stars that accepted the challenge to help me come good on my dream delivering you guys the BEST PJ’s EVER! For them – its not such a hard task as their sleep and leisurewear brand; ALAS (“all light and shadow”) has somewhat of a cult following. They know what cool, quality and deliciously cosy inside gear is and lucky for me were keen to share.
Sydney based ALAS is an industry leader when it comes to fashion that is both socially and ecologically responsible :
“Our sleepwear is made in India where the cotton is also grown, spun, woven and dyed. All of our garments are constructed with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton, in fair labour, sweatshop-free factories. We visit our producers regularly to maintain strong relationships and trust between all parties. We believe this personal approach is the best way to ensure the integrity of each factory. “
You can explore more about their production and textiles here.
Knowing that I would be presenting you with guilt free garments of top quality (I myself own many pieces of ALAS that are well and truly lasting the distance) it was then down to some trans-tasman brainstorming! The internet was our shared workroom where we skyped and then used a shared Pinterest board to draw inspiration for our shapes, palette and general vibe. Man, that is such a brilliant design tool….
Kelly and Betony then flexed their textile design muscles to translate our ideas into the original print you see below!
I was quick to identify the style of the top and bottoms from their existing range – wanting to go for an “inside tracksuit” kind of look and nothing too tight so there would be no need to run for the bra drawer should any wearers get busted clad in their “tracksuit” post acceptable pj wearing hours.
The reverse of the fabric is very soft 100% organic cotton fleece which is pretty lush! The pants have a softly elasticated waistband as well as a drawstring should you need it.
I have been road testing our TEAM.WORK set for the last few weeks. Even giving them a “full day” wear while working (from my home studio…) It’s possible my boyfriend didn’t quite go for my “tracksuit” explanation but it doesn’t count as he knew they were pyjamas first!
Betony, Kelly and I are pleased to offer you this limited edition set available only online at ALAS.