On a recent trip to Perth I was fortunate enough to meet a handful of multi-talented woman KILLING it in the design scene.
Two of those women, Lara Staunton of LAHAUS Studio and Zen Bowring of Rezen Studio, had just completed the install in a brand new coffee shop, Swish, in the heart of the Perth city. And so it was that we popped into Swish for a brew and a chat to the ladies to find out what’s hot on Australia's West side, what inspired this latest project, and what we can expect to see coming from the wild west over the coming months!
[ JACKIE ] Between you two, you have an impressive portfolio of residential projects. Was this one of the first hospitality projects that you worked on? What drew you to join forces to collaborate on Swish?
[SWISH ] It wasn’t our first hospitality project we had worked on, but it was a first we delivered through the creative platform Design Stables. Design Stables is a group of like minded designers who partner on work to deliver projects differently – it’s a new way of thinking and brings diversity and individuality to projects and the design outcome.
You can read more about the team and ethos at www.designstables.com.au.
What was the brief for this particular project?
The brief was an expression of our client Christian. At the initial briefing stages Christian stated, “We believe in treading our own path.”
For us this was a ‘yes’ moment and an immediate thought that ‘this guy gets it’. Too often people try to recreate spaces that they have already seen – this causes the business brand identity to get lost and diluted. When clients are completely engaged with their brand, their direction and ‘the end experience’, designers are able to create a space which stands on its own and represents who they are. To anyone who is looking at doing a fit-out – your identity and your thoughts are the strongest element and addition to create a space like no other – stay true to them.
Where did you draw inspiration from for the design, colours and layout?
The inspiration from the project was really drawn from the briefing. The key words we pulled out were “retro vintage’, 'James Dean’, ‘feminine’, ‘calm’ and ‘playful’. Very interesting for us as we had never had this collection of words come together.
We played on the retro diner feel in the overall experience of the space – the furniture, lighting, bar design and arches all have playful undertones in their form and style. We added the feminine touches with the soft curves carrying throughout the interior, the high level dusty pink linen curtain and pink granite bar top. The existing concrete floor was stained a deep plum, contrasted with the dark blue lozenger shaped bar. We framed the barista area of the bar with a minimal, white steel structure - Christian’s passion is coffee and we wanted to make this the focus of the space.
Perth is often overlooked when it comes to Australian design- do you think this is set to change in the near future? Do you see a design aesthetic developing that is uniquely “west coast”?
Perth is changing – talent and individuality is coming out of the woodwork. Creatives are being discovered and their individual style and aesthetic is developing. We believe it is just the start for Perth - the more we see larger local businesses supporting the small creative businesses, the more we will see this WA style and aesthetic come to life.
Who are your west-side go-to suppliers for fabulous furniture, artwork and accessories when decking out your projects?
Our West Coast crew include Meghan Plowman, Sole Ceramics, Fred Snow, Elle Campbell, Bauwerk Paints and Raw Edge Furniture.
What is in the pipeline next for you guys?
We are currently working on an innovative project in Singapore for a worldwide travel company through the platform Design Stables. Templewell is the lead design studio and Rezen and LAHAUS are collaborating with Templewell. We have rewritten the rules of commercial fit-outs for this company, and created a hospitality style workspace like no other – it' s about interaction, engagement and entertainment for their staff and partner companies.
Jackie Brown, TLSE Style Contributor