Tell us a bit on how Fromage La Rue began?
We began in 2009 when I had just had our 2nd child and Kane was (and still is) running our other business Lucid Metal (www.lucidmetal.com). Kane needed an outlet to express his creative aspirations and he hired a tiny shed in the hinterland and started tinkering first with resin, then plywood and then finally lights in the shape of letters. We never set out to create a business or saw a niche in the market. We’d both been into signs and Vegas style lighting for years, way before we married in 2003. We didn’t expect the first light to sell let alone create demand! I sent the light off in homemade press release to Babyology and the rest is history! If we had of known the lights would take off wee might have created a name that made sense and that French people didn’t laugh at! (it roughly translates to “Cheese of the Street”). To be honest though, it’s stuck now, and our brand is very tongue in cheek and a bit cheesy, so it’s works
Where does your inspiration come from?
We’re inspired by original design. We love typography and pattern. We look to lots of different sources, from fabric to industrial building sites, worn down discarded objects, rusted materials (even though we don’t use them), graffiti, epic scale (we LOVE big stuff), challenging people’s perception of what’s the “right” size to make something is fun. We also love cheesy American glamour and glitz, if we were let loose in the States, (which we plan to be), we’d hang out at Walmart and people watch, we’d visit the Neon Museum in Las Vegas and check out all the novelty based stuff that the U.S is known for. I’d also stalk the vintage stores and come back with vintage glass and cowboy boots!
We are so envious that you live in one of our favourite places, Byron Bay. What are some of your favourite local spots?
Ah so many to list, food wise we love Harvest Cafe (best coffee EVER), The Roadhouse cafe (totally cool restaurant doing epic things with food and whiskey), Red Ginger for Yum Cha, the Bangalow and Byron food markets are always fantastic, full of local organic produce. The beaches are all incredible but we love The Pass, Cosy Corner near the Lighthouse, and when the tides creates the perfect little swimming spots for kids, it would be anywhere along the main beach.
Besides creating beautiful lighting designs, what else are you passionate about?
Kane’s passionate about flying his drone right now (it’s like a mini-helicopter with a camera mounted to it, I think most guys will know what I’m talking about), he gets home, the iPad comes out and he and the kids fly that thing around for ages, yay for me, I get to sit down! We love watching TV series together, Breaking Bad, Flight of the Conchords, Deadwood etc. We love SBS and ABC documentaries, anything about people, people generally fascinate us. We’re passionate about our kids of course and our 7 year old daughter just instigated “family art” time after dinner, so we all sit down and make one piece of work and then all talk about it. It’s pretty funny and not serious at all. She’s determined to be an artist. We’re into being as green as we can, we kind of bought a recycled house, we live in a relocatable original Queenslander, brought down from Brisbane and renovated. We love that it could have been demolished and made way for apartments, but instead it’s down in the country for hopefully 100 or more years to come. Travel would be on the list too, before kids we’d travelled a lot together, and our next destinations when budget and time allows would be Las Vegas (to visit the Boneyard!), Telluride (to ski of course, I don’t, but Kane is awesome), anywhere in Italy (revisit our honeymoon) and Sweden (we love Swedish design).
How would you describe your personal style?
Kane is whatever he throws on in the morning and shock horror, mostly it’s Kmart Coca Cola t-shirts. He’s not at ALL into clothes, doesn’t care, they are purely functional to him. My personal style would be best described as laid back, very Byron, lots of maxi skirts and dresses, sandals (I’m tall so heels are out). I love all the local designers like Goddess of Babylon and Spell, they make beautiful feminine beachy stuff that just works up here. I don’t miss my Sydney wardrobe! I LOVE prints, and also buy a bit of Mr Zimi for that reason, I also love Gorman, so yeah, spots and patterns are my favs.
What are the three words that sum up Fromage La Rue designs?
Brash, Loud, Ironic
Finish this sentence: I never leave home without: coffee, I buy furniture, art and homewares that: have a history or can tell a story and I live by the philosophy that: life’s too short to drink bad wine.Tweet
Roses shmoses. Chocolates? Boring! This year we want thoughtful, unique gifts for Valentines Day! We are sending out this list hoping our significant others see it and feel generous!
In order of appearance: Code Love ‘Amour’ bracelet $90, Turquoise Acapulco chair $545, Lumira Persian Rose Candle $55, Al+Em Round Pin Board $109.95, Lumiere Art & Co Quattro Cushion $145, A Salus Hand Rescue Duo set $65,Tweet
We recently chatted with the two sisters, Alice and Emma, behind this great little lifestyle brand that we’ve recently added to The Design Hunter Collection, Al+Em.
Tell us a bit about your brand…
I made the decision to kick-start the business 18 months ago, while on maternity leave with my first child. The idea had been circling in my mind for about 4 years and I knew I was at the now or never point. My sister Alice joined forces and we began designing our unique range of pin boards and wall art immediately to launch in July 2012.
We really wanted to bring empty wall space to life – why use a boring cork board hidden behind a door when you can turn your pinning space into a feature? The market was really lacking something modern, simple and attractive like this. We now have demand coming in from the US and the UK so its clearly lacking over there too!
Our love of interiors, the country and home life really shows in the designs we come up with. We are really proud of them!
Where is your product produced…
All of our products are designed by us and manufactured right here in Australia!
Where does you inspiration for your products come from…
We always keep in tune with the colour trend forecasts for the years to come and we listen to what customers are asking for.
Our childhood was spent on our family farm so many of our animals are inspired from there and we keep the range modern and simplistic so it doesnt date or become daggy.
And of course having our children always inspires us! We have a list of potential products to launch which should keep us busy for many years to come!
Emma – where are your favourite places to shop and eat in Sydney?
For fashion it would have to be MAC, Country Road, Stellino and Marshmallow and interiors I obviously love The Design Hunter, The Bronte Tram, Dinosaur Designs and I like Birds on William Street.
Food…yum food…definitely Miss Chu! The dumplings are amazing! Jackies café – the best steak sandwich!! Jimmy Liks…just good everything.
Kate & Kate is new to The Design Hunter - tell us a bit about your brand? My sister in law/best friend/business partner Kate and I were both embarking on separate projects when we came across our suppliers… it all happened by accident, but within a half hour of meeting them, we had decided that we would go into business together and that blankets would be our thing. The creation of our first range was so organic because it came from an unexpected place. We weren’t under any pressure and it was a really enjoyable experience. Once we started designing, we found that we could create blankets and throws that had multiple uses and appealed to a wide aesthetic.
Fresh and contemporary, simple and clean. This is what the Kate & Kate brand is all about.
Where is your product produced? Our blankets are designed in Australia – Kate and I work together between Sydney and Melbourne – and all our product is made in India. We’ve found an incredible manufacturer based in Delhi that has really surpassed expectations.
Kate and Kate? Does that get confusing? It’s beyond confusing! I recently added Squires to my surname just to have a point of difference! That said, it made naming our business somewhat easy – and now people just refer to us as Sydney Kate and Melbourne Kate. Simple, right?
What was your inspiration for your colour palette for your debut collection? There was so much that inspired the colour palette for the first range. We are constantly photographing inspiration and sharing images – from that, we started to combine colours and our journey started there. A few things really stood out… a beautiful shoot styled by Marsha Golemac, a floating scarf on Megan Morton’s Instagram feed… A few afternoons in the Melbourne sun with the Pantone wheel and a glass of wine really took us to where we needed to go in terms of colour.
When it comes to getting inspired from your travels – what destinations are your favourite? I adore Italy, France, Mexico, South Africa and Bali. I’ve spent a lot of time in Colorado and I’m dying to get back there – with a side order of New York and San Francisco please. I’m beyond excited about travelling to India in January to work on our next collection. Locally, I spend as much time as I can in Melbourne.
You clearly have a great eye for colour and pattern – how would you describe your personal/ Interiors? My personal and interiors style are pretty similar: Quite modern, pared back and easy. In my wardrobe, I look for high quality items that don’t take a lot of effort to wear. In my house, I crave pieces with spark, that look and feel beautiful. That don’t need to be wrapped in cotton wool – They look all the better once they’ve settled in.
Sydney Kate – what are your favoruite places to shop and eat when in your home city? For clothes, I love The Intersection in Paddington. Acne, Bassike, Camilla and Marc, Ellery, Ksubi, Sass & Bide, Willow, Zimmerman and Scanlan & Theodore – all within a block. It’s heaven. For interiors, it’s hard to beat the mix you offer at The Design Hunter. The store is beautifully put together. Small Spaces in Redfern is just lovely and I find Koskela ever inspiring. For food, it’s Chiswick in Woollahra for family-style dinners with a great vibe, Kitchen By Mike in Rosebery for lunches that you could easily eat every day and never tire of and Miss Chu (Bondi Tuckshop takeaway) for Sunday night dinners on the couch.Tweet
Eugene’s cafe is nestled in the small collection of shops and restaurants on Macpherson Street, Bronte, opposite another favourite restaurant of ours, Wet Paint. We were lured in at first by the vintage decor and welcoming vibe, but we stayed because of the great food!
Owned and operated by chef Eugene Giesinger, the menu includes a delicious array of breakfast and lunch options, including a variety of gourmet salads, and just recently they’ve opened for dinner too, which we are yet to try, but are sure will be just as good!
The interior is an eclectic mix of vintage Bentwood chairs, reclaimed marble topped tables and 50s pendant lights with lovely personal touches throughout. Outside the vintage theme is contrasted with contemporary Zaishu stools, (a personal favourite!), which add to the quirky-yet-chic look and feel.
Our top picks so far from the menu: The organic buckwheat pancakes for breakie and the kale, quinoa, carrot and corn salad for lunch…and a kiwi fruit tart or two!
Eugene’s: 69 Macpherson Street, Waverley (02) 9369 1110Tweet
This month the readers of Home Beautiful magazine are in for a treat and get an inside look into the home of our very own Lynley Bennett. Lynley’s eye for detail and effortless French industrial style is evident throughout her Woollahra home. The use of greys and natural textures and tones complement the seamless transition from indoors to outdoors, but it’s her eclectic collection of treasures from around the globe that really brings this home to life and gives it that “something special”. Lynley works her magic in our retail store every weekend, and as a Stylist in our Property Styling business.
Our ‘All I Want For Christmas…’ Wish Lists were such a great success last year that we’ve decided to do them again this year!
Simply create a list of beautiful things that you’d love to receive on Christmas morning, then let your friends and family know to visit us in store so they can select a gift for you from your list!
This year, just by filling in a Wish List, you will automatically go in the draw to win a fabulous prize – an item off your OWN Wish List!
We’ll announce the winner on the 20th December, just in time for the gift to find it’s way to your tree – a present from us to you!
To get started you can look through the online store and email us your list or stop by and we’ll help create one for you in store.
Our staff have filled out their lists with pieces they would love to find under their tree this Christmas. Here’s their number 1 picks. Let’s hope all partners and loved ones take note!
Melissa: “A set of the beautiful Senna stools from our new TIDE Design furniture range.”
Gemma: “The stunning Peacock Mirror! I don’t know where I’d hang it but I still want it!”
Lucia: “A set of Bemboka bed linen in charcoal would make my bedroom complete!”
Stephanie: “I love the colours of the paintings by Nikki Perzuck.”
Brett: “Any of the new cushions from Lumiere Art & Co.”
Sarah: “I’d love a set of Paper Series coffee cups by Hayden Youlley.”
Lynley: “One of the new Chain Bracelets by Code Love. They’re gorgeous!”
Melisha: “An entrance mat from Armadillo & Co please!”
Last night we headed up the road to our favourite local Aboriginal art gallery The Gallery Shop for an evening exhibition showcasing work by two of Mangkaja Arts rising stars – Jeani Rangi and Phyllis Waye. This special preview evening included works from both artists showcasing their range of colour and intriguing composition. We loved the use of bright pinks and sea blues making these artworks modern and fresh.
Mangkaja artists are renowned for their uninhibited style and lively use of colour, painting images of country that share stories of culture and identity. The fusion of river and desert people gives Mangkaja Arts its unique and distinctive range of styles that we love.
Our friend and Gallery Shop Owner, Nichola Dare said, “Unpacking the work for the show was a complete thrill. It feels fresh, confident and alive, a must-see for all art lovers. This show reaffirms the Gallery Shop’s commitment to bringing new artists work direct from the art centres to a broader audience”.
For more information please contact Nichola Dare, The Gallery Shop, 254 Bronte Road, Waverley NSW 2024 or 0450929183.Tweet