EVERYDAY SANCTUARY: THE STREET SMITH SPACE.
With so much of my time spent outside shooting, the recent appalling Melbourne winter weather made the necessity for a cosy and inspirational studio space to retreat to for the inevitable office based side of Street Smith apparent. So with that in mind I recently ran headlong into finding a solution and found myself staring down the barrel of a lovely - albeit very empty - studio space in Melbourne’s Prahran area. Now, when it comes to fashion styling I am in my absolute comfort zone, yet interior styling is a whole new ball game and I have to say I found the idea of fitting out the space both intimidating and totally exciting in equal measure.
The first hurdle was deciding where to begin - an empty space can be extremely daunting!!! - so, on the advice of an interior design friend, I decided to approach the design of the space first and foremost around its function.
Essentially the space needed to do 2 things; provide a work space that accommodated the usual office based side of things, whilst also making sure the studio was a beautiful, motivating and inspirational space that I loved to be in for hours on end and invite clients into. A space that was as inviting as it was functional. It was also important that the space be very minimal in order to complement the vastly different aesthetics of Street Smith projects that are ever evolving.
In an effort to curate the space I did ALOT of initial research into different brands and reached out to some local designers and makers that I admire. From these amazing conversations I was able to put together my dream list of 5 key pieces that I needed to acquire to bring to life the concept that I was envisioning;
- A super comfortable desk chair
- A rug to warm up the beautiful concrete floor
- A floor lamp for all the long, late nights I spend in the studio
- A desk lamp
- A killer occasional chair for the hours spent researching project ideas
From there it was an ongoing process of considered choices and curation of what began as a dream and eventuated as just that thanks to some incredible designers and brands that I absolutely LOVED exploring throughout this process.
So finally we decided on a desk lamp, a floor lamp and a desk chair all from Top3, a rug from Armadillo & Co and an occasional chair from Clickon Furniture. In order to give these wonderful pieces the justice they rightly deserve I wanted to share with you all the reasons behind my choices and the things that drew me to these particular designs that now form the backbone of the Street Smith studio and make it a space I simply can’t get enough of!
THE WORK SPACE
Beginning with a previously acquired minimal white desk, the design and styling around the office space area of the studio hedged on some fantastic finds at the amazing Top 3 By Design. This brand was an obvious go-to for me as their philosophy of “editing options” and “reducing excess” was what this project was aesthetically all about and also aligned remarkably with the ethos behind Street Smith. It was also important to me to work with local designers of which Top3 is an incredible platform.
I was very fortunate to find 3 of my 5 key pieces at Top3;
The Desk Chair: Afteroom Chair in Black
“An homage to Bauhaus”, The Afteroom Chair is the epitome of Swedish elegance. Its beautifully minimal design and timeless style were exactly what I was looking for in a chair that doesn’t forfeit comfort for looks. I also love the way its smooth black lines sit perfectly between the charcoal textures of the rug beneath and the minimalist white of the desk behind. This really is my perfect work chair!
The Desk Lamp: Silhouette Standard Gold
Designed by iconic Australian lighting company, Ross Gardam, this gorgeous little lamp is a playful compliment to the structured angles of the desk chair and floor lamp whilst still aesthetically drawing upon the black lines of all three pieces. Yet, with my love of textures, the brushed metal and golden warmth that this little treasure exudes brings a softness to the work space and a layer of cosiness in those long long work nights.
THE UNOFFICIAL WORK SPACE
With the Work Space element of the studio completed in its bare essentials thanks to some amazing finds at Top3 By Design, I turned my attention to what I have dubbed the “unofficial work space”. For this designated part of the studio I really wanted to create a break out zone for relaxing, researching and meeting with clients. It was very important to me that this area be aesthetically removed from the hard lines and monochromatic aesthetic of the desk space - invoking inspiration, creativity and a cocoon of stillness and comfort. Somewhere I could happily sit - tea in hand - for hours amongst my work and research, or chatting productively with a high end client.
For me, there are three key elements that I needed to find to create in actuality, the image of this space that I had in my head. A standout occasional chair, a complimentary floor lamp and a super lush floor rug.
The Floor Lamp: Grasshopper Floor Lamp in Jet Black
Keeping with the bauhaus theme established by the Afteroom Chair, we once again searched the treasures of Top3 brands when searching for a floor lamp that would be able to perfectly compliment the modernist lines and theme of the work space and bring a balance to the unofficial work space by introducing a small element of this concept to that area of the studio. I found this in the Grasshopper Floor Lamp. A perfect subtle design to sit beside the elegance of the occasional chair without seeming to clash with its vastly different aesthetic.
Designed by Greta Grossman in the 40’s, this angled gem is all about functionality with its tilted tripod stand and directional lamp thanks to the ingenious ball jointed attachment where the lamp shade meets the stand. The Grasshopper lamp is one of those design pieces that proves that function really can define a beautifully resolved design aesthetic. This is a piece I can imagine having for a long long time.
The Occasional Chair: Coco Lounge Chair in Pink
When it came to deciding what I was looking for in an occasional chair it became apparent very quickly that this was going to be the one signature piece that would aesthetically pull together all the other elements in the studio. From curating the hero furniture pieces right down to the styling and provision of office essentials, this chair was going to need to sit at the centre of it all - figuratively speaking. So when we were given the opportunity to preview some pieces from Clickon Furnitures' upcoming collection I was really excited. I’d initially seen some serious contenders for the star chair in Clickon Furnitures' current collection but when I laid eyes on The Coco Lounge Chair I knew instantly that it was The One. With its beautiful dusty pink colour and cord/velvet texture, a level of elegance and sophistication was immediately introduced amongst the other more modern pieces in the space. This juxtaposition of style was the perfect way to delineate between the work area and the “unofficial” work space.
The Rug: Sierra Weave in Charcoal
Being the one piece that would span the majority of the floor space of the studio and provide comfort and warmth over the gorgeous concrete floors, the perfect floor rug for the space needed to be both monochrome in aesthetic and super lush underfoot. With this in mind, and many hours of research later, the perfect solution was found amongst the stunning products at Armadillo & Co.
Of all the wonderful brand and designs that have come together to create the Street Smith Studio, Armadillo & Co’s company ethos aligned with the Street Smith brand in an very harmonious way. With their focus on ‘people’ and their endeavour to search for the “uncommonly beautiful”, Armadillo & Co was an obvious brand for us to wish to incorporate into this project. As it turned out, their products reflected the unique balance of artisanship and imperfection that I was looking for and it was rather difficult to decide which of the amazing rugs to choose from when presented with the options. In the end, in keeping with the monochrome and lush requisite, I settled on the Sierra Weave in a gorgeous charcoal colour. This rug is seriously divine underfoot. Its’ handwoven natural fibres bring the tactile quality to the space that was otherwise absent and alludes back to the materials and textures of the garments that are shot, styled and talked about everyday within these studio walls.