CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS

Handmade with Love: Felix Furniture

Creative Conversations introduces you to the industries latest talent and the up and comers. Get to know more about what it’s really like in the industry and be inspired by everyday makers, doers, movers and shakers.  Take 5, grab a cuppa and settle in!

Georgia Duncan

Plywood – a simple material that many may undervalue. Well, not todays interviewee! The lovely Antonia and her partner Ian, from Felix Furniture. These two, a match made in heaven to create a brand such as Felix Furniture, Antonia studied Interior Design and Decoration at RMIT in Melbourne and Ian, hailing from Scotland, has a background in cabinet making.

Starting out as a couple who simply loved to restore old furniture together, and moving through to the bespoke plywood furniture that today is Felix Furniture, both Antonia and Ian took much of their inspiration from Antonia’s father. Antonia would watch as a young girl as her father, at every free moment, would create unique pieces from nothing.

 

 

Image by Stu Morley | Styling Norsu Interiors

Felix Furniture has Ian creating all of the pieces by hand in Melbourne, and Antonia, in her words ‘doing everything else’. On average it takes Ian around a week to create one of their sideboards. All of the pieces are made to order and are of course made with love! I visited Antonia at their Pop Up Shop – The Makers Collective at 134 Bridge Road Richmond to discuss all things Felix Furniture.

Image: Haley Kigbo

Image by Stu Morley | Styling Norsu Interiors

“All of the pieces are made to order and are of course made with love!”

Did your background or childhood lead you to furniture design? If so, did it affect your love for furnishings?

Yes, very much so. My dad was a wood joiner and made many pieces for our house from his workshop in our garage, from clocks, to dressers, coffee tables, book cases, lamps and more. Watching dad make all of his furniture gave me a real understanding and appreciation for the skill and time that goes into making something by hand and the quality of something that has been handmade is far superior to that of a mass produced piece.

Who inspires you?

My mum inspires me. She is a constant positive impact on every aspect of my life and has been a huge encouragement at every step of starting Felix Furniture. She has always taught me to never give up on something that you love.

 Have you always loved interiors?

I most definitely have. When I was a little kid, if I couldn’t sleep I would think about all the ways I could renovate my bedroom. When I was about 8 I managed to convince my parents to let me do it. It was under the water theme. My walls were half yellow with shells painted on it and the bottom half was blue with fish. I even painted my dresser with a sandcastle on it. I loved it. I had many floor plan drawings of how I would knock the wall down between my brother’s and sister’s rooms and make it my dream bedroom.

 Do you inspect the furniture in other people’s homes/hotels/restaurants?

I do, it’s become a bit of a bad habit. When I see furniture I love I am engaged with every part of it, who designed it, how was it made, what material is it… But when I see a cheap, imported piece in a restaurant or something, my eyes instantly glaze over.

Image by Imageplay | Styling Georgia Duncan

What does a typical day look like for you?

When I’m not working at our Makers Collective Pop-Up Shop I work from my home office. I always start the day with checking emails and prioritising what needs to be done for the day. I’m a huge list person, I have a list for everything! I’m often up and down to the workshop throughout the day to go over something with Ian or helping him glue up a piece. We always make sure we stop and have lunch together. The afternoon and evening is often when I do the fun stuff. Drawing up custom pieces for quotes, designing new things etc. 

Tell me about the best meal you recently ate out?

Probably the gnocchi pesto from Te Amo on Lygon Street followed by Pistachio gelato from Brunetti, so good!

What is your favourite item of design/interiors/fashion right now? And is it helping to shape your up and coming designs?

I love monochrome styling and fashion, there is something amazing about simple black, white and grey together. We have been looking at different black stains and white washes and are currently prototyping a ‘black and white’ range.

 Sustainability/earth saving tip?

We save as many usable off cuts of plywood as possible and any small pieces we cut up, round off and give to my nephew’s kinder.

“We have been looking at different black stains and white washes and are currently prototyping a ‘black and white’ range.

Image by Stu Morley | Styling Norsu Interiors

Do you have a top travel destination or a favourite place?

Ian is from Scotland so we have gone back a few times to see family etc and every time we have gone to this place called Glencoe. It’s this amazing, wild part of Scotland. There is a road that runs through this deep valley and you’re surrounded by these huge snowcapped mountains. It is pure wilderness and it blows my mind every time I go.

What has been your proudest career achievement to date?

Probably our first trade show. It was the first time that Ian and I were able to properly present our range, in person to the industry and to hear feedback directly. Selling furniture online is one thing, and to have it in a stockist is another but speaking about your own business and your own designs face to face is really special. Sometimes it takes actually talking about your achievements out loud to someone else to realise just how far you’ve come.

What would be your dream creative project?

Designing and building our own home with plywood finishes absolutely everywhere!

What are you most looking forward to?

To seeing our new range finished and launched…stay tuned!

 

I can only imagine a home full of plywood – would it be like the new ‘space age’ of design?! That aside, we will all have to watch out for some up and coming designs and ranges. The pieces that are out now are made with such precision and bespoke design, who knows what Antonia and Ian will come up with next. Until then, a visit to their pop up shop The Makers Collective is a must.

http://www.felixfurniture.com/

@ felixfurniture

https://www.facebook.com/felixfurnitureaustralia/

The Makers Collective

134 Bridge Road

Richmond, VIC 3121

Georgia Duncan

Eclectic Creative Blog Contributor

As an Interiors and design ‘devotee’, Georgia is lucky enough to work as a freelance interior designer, decorator, stylist and writer. From a young age, her love of rich textiles, heavenly antiques and eclectically styled spaces was innate. Hailing from the bottom of the world in Hobart, but now residing in Melbourne, she finds herself spending her free time scrolling through beautiful feeds of design orientated images, filling her tummy at the latest, yummiest and mainly design savvy eateries, traveling the world (her dad says she is not okay without a ticket for her next trip), or simply kicking back with friends. Georgia believes a house should be a home and a little bit of love goes a long way.

Connect with Georgia Instagram: @georgdun | Pinterest pinterest.com/georgeduncan/ | Website: georgiaduncan.com

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