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    Five creative workspaces


    By Diana Scully

    Following my previous post, how to design your own creative workspaceI set myself the task of answering a few questions about creative women’s workspaces: What is the ideal workspace? Are there any similarities between the workspaces of creatives in different industries? How do others personalise their work space?

    Through The Circle Database, I found five CWC Members from varying industries and asked them to share some details of their own workspaces. Here’s what I discovered… 

    The Photographer

    Photo: Elizabeth Bull

    Photo: Elizabeth Bull

    Elizabeth Bull owns and manages One Fine Print, an business that collaborates with talented photographers to bring unique, bold and distinct photographic prints into the home. 

    Describe your workspace (or spaces) in five words.
    Industrial – Creative – Light – Productive – Fun

    Do you have more than one workspace?
    Occasionally, just for a change of scenery I’ll work from home or if I’m finding I’m getting stuck on something, I’ll wander to my local cafe with a note pad and work from there for a while. I usually find the change of scenery and the walk helps get the creativity flowing again.

    How have you personalised your own workspace?
    Many big beautiful bold photographic prints, timber desks, old cameras, greenery and a hammock!

    Do you share your space with anyone else? A partner, pet?
    We are attached to a communal warehouse which houses many photographers and designers. We love being part of a community of creatives.

    What are your essential ingredients for a productive but engaging workspace?
    I’ve worked from quite a few spaces, and I’ve learnt that the most important thing for me to look for in a space is natural light and big windows. That combined with great people makes for a place I want to work from every day. 

    The Florist

    Photo: Meghan Fletcher

    Photo: Martina Gemmola

     Meghan Fletcher, floral designer for weddings and events and director of her own business, Good, Grace and Humour. 

    Describe your workspace (or spaces) in five words.
    Homely – transient – innovative – tuneful – fragrant. 

    Do you have more than one workspace?
    The majority of my work is completed from home. But, if it counts, I would consider my second workspace or ‘workspaces’ to be the venues I install into for each event. I take along my tool kit and set up and pack down in some fantastic spaces. 

    How have you personalised your own workspace?
    For now, my workspace at home is transient so it’s difficult to create a permanent workplace personality. My home needs to be functional for my family at the end of each day, so arrangements and tools need to be stored so they’re not eaten by my toddler! If I were to separate my workspace from my home, as is the plan in the near future, I suspect the personalities would be similar – I’m a sucker for colour, abstract art and clean lines. 

    Do you share your space with anyone else? A partner, pet?
    Home and work can often be a colourful and collaborative coexistence. I share my space with my husband, our son and our cat. Part of the house is dedicated to storing GG&H items. One room used to be big enough for me to work in and store items, but as GG&H expands, I’ve had to become more innovative with storage and workspace solutions. Not that my husband or son seem to mind eating their brekky while I bring flowers into the kitchen! 

    What are your essential ingredients for a productive but engaging workspace?
    In my case, being able to balance work and home life with storage solutions, comfortable and waterproof (!) workspaces, and efficient and sustainable set-up and pack-down practices, along with a nice place to sit with the laptop and a cuppa. I’m hoping to have a permanent studio space for next season where I can incorporate all of these really practical elements, along with the little personal touches that permanence encourages. 

    The Furniture Maker


    Photo: Anne-Claire Petre

    Photo: Anne-Claire Petre

    Anne-Claire Petre is a furniture designer and owner of her own business, Anaca Studio, which offers a range of furniture and accessories with a focus on using responsibly sourced timber and other sustainable material and finishes.

    Describe your workspace (or spaces) in five words.
    Light-filled – uncluttered – inspiring – green – zen.

    Do you have more than one workspace?
    I have one studio where I work from when I’m not doing pick-ups or visiting clients. However within this, I have two “workspaces”, my main desk where I do most computer work and drawing / sketching and another desk for anything requiring assemblies / cutting / finishing or sewing / “crafting” at times…

    How have you personalised your own workspace?
    I have only recently move into my Collingwood studio, so unfortunately I haven’t yet done much in the way of personal decorative arrangement… Except for my little golden hatted gnome from Hunting for George which makes me smile… Walls are in great need of some artwork!! But to make up for that I have brought in quite a few plants and adding to the collection fairly frequently! Never enough green!

    Do you share your space with anyone else? A partner, pet?
    No, it’s just me and the gnome! Until recently, I was working from home so my two gorgeous cats were my companions, although quite distracting at times! The studio is part of a complex of other artists and designers so I always bump into other fellow creatives at some point in the day, which is nice. It gets a bit boring being in your own head for too long!

    What are your essential ingredients for a productive but engaging workspace?
    For me, cluttered space = cluttered mind. So I try to keep the space as tidy as possible. Every night before I leave, I do a bit of a tidy up, feels so much better when you get in in the morning. I also turn on the music and plug in my essential oil diffuser. Plenty of natural light is key. That’s what got me when I first visited the studio – massive windows and height ceiling… It felt really inspiring. Quirky objects are also essential to light up the mood!


    The Lawyer

    Image: Yasmin Naghavi

    Image: Yasmin Naghavi

    Yasmin Naghavi is a solicitor at Media Art Lawyers, a boutique entertainment and media law firm.

    Describe your workspace (or spaces) in five words.
    Not – a – corporate – law – firm.

    Do you have more than one workspace?
    I mostly work at my desk but also use the boardroom and meeting areas downstairs when I’m meeting clients. I sometimes meet clients in their workplace, but the majority of my work can be conducted by phone and email. I also get the opportunity to work from our Sydney and Auckland offices from time to time which is always a refreshing change.

    How have you personalised your own workspace?
    Mostly by bringing in plants, records, posters, books and a couple of comfy armchairs – I wanted the space to feel like my living room. Our space was initially just one room, but we added a bookshelf to store our vinyl records as well as act as a bit of a room divider. If I had my way we’d change the lighting, because fluorescents are just plain sad. Luckily we have a huge window above the stairwell which means we get heaps of natural light and a view of the treetops in front of our building.

    Do you share your space with anyone else? A partner, pet?
    Well, there are up to 12 people in the building on most days but the type of work we do is very autonomous so we spend most of the day at our respective desks. I work on the second floor with one of the partners of the firm (who also doubles as my husband) and our dog, Wilco (pictured). Wilco prefers to conduct his business outdoors.

    What are your essential ingredients for a productive but engaging workspace?
    Communication is always key to an effective workspace, but so is working with people you respect and colleagues who have a quick wit (you need a sense of humour in this line of work).


    The Writer

    Image: Madeleine Dore

    Image: Madeleine Dore


    Madeleine Dore is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub by day, and in her free time, runs an online project called Extraordinary Routines, where she interviews creative people about their daily lives – from what time they wake up in the morning, to their views on life and creativity.

    Describe your workspace (or spaces) in five words.
    Filled – with – to-do – lists.

    Do you have more than one workspace? 
    For my day job I work in a city based office, but have set up a desk in my share house to work on Extraordinary Routines. I also have a fondness for sitting in cafes – one of my favourite places to work is John Gorilla in West Brunswick. They have this adorable little nook by the window, which is perfect for just one person. Also Moat (below the Wheeler Centre) and £1000 Pound Bend are great places in the city.

    How have you personalised your own workspace?
    I recently got around to framing a watercolour by illustrator Monica Ramos and a beautiful embossed poster created by Maria Popova of Brainpickings - my favourite website. It’s nice to have something beautiful to stare at in those moments of absent-mindedness and distraction! I also like to collect cards from exhibitions and have them dotted on the wall. I’m not very good with plants, but have managed to keep a Sweet Chico alive for a month now, and so it has been nice to have some greenery on my desk. I also have a giant desk planner from Kikki K and I’m addicted to writing to do lists and pinning them around my desk.

    Do you share your space with anyone else? A partner, pet? 
    My desk is set up right beside my roommate’s identical IKEA trestle desk, so we often sit side by side in the evening working on our projects. It’s very cosy, and nice to have company when you’re working into the night!

    What are your essential ingredients for a productive but engaging workspace?
    Even though my mind works best when I’m working on something individually, it really helps to have other people around me – if I can see them working, it motivates me to get cracking on something instead of just scanning Facebook! In the absence of people, there’s always Spotify.  I really like having my planners, diaries, and lists nearby so I know what tasks I have ahead. Similarly, I don’t like clutter, and often need to neaten my desk before getting onto the task of writing. As I writer, I also think it is really important to make sure your screen is at eye level to avoid hunching – I stack my laptop on books and use a remote keyboard. Natural light never goes astray, too!

    Interior Designer, Diana Scully owns and operates her own interior design firm, Spaces by Diana that’s all about designing beautiful, personalised homes to reflect the people who live in it. Diana also has her own lifestyle blog, Spaces + Places, where she regularly writes about inspiring spaces to see and visit from around the world and shares her recent travel adventures. This year she has plans to spend time abroad in the US. Follow Diana on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: bricks & mortar, virtual visit | Comments Off
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    Studio visit: Kate Pascoe Squires of Kate & Kate

    By Amanda Fuller

    Kate & Kate is run by Kate, and well, Kate. Not only do the two share a name, they are also business partners, sisters-in-law and best friends and they share a passion for blankets!

    Launched almost one year ago, Kate & Kate offers beautiful blankets knitted from super-soft, breathable cotton. The business is run from the Kates’ homes in Melbourne and Sydney.

    Recently, I had the privilege to visit Kate Pascoe Squires in her Sydney home studio which was formerly an architects office. The space, which Kate shares with her husband, is filled with light and has a lovely view over the rooftops of her Bondi neighbourhood. She shares more with us below.

    What is your background? How did you arrive at Kate & Kate?

    I studied public relations at RMIT University in Melbourne and jumped straight into the industry. I focused on all the fun stuff – food, restaurants, providores, wine, spirits. You get the idea. It wasn’t until I had my second child that I realised the PR lifestyle was just too much of a juggle for me. I was definitely ready for change. I wanted to do something creative, something tangible. I just can’t believe that blankets were my calling!

    (The other) Kate’s background is fashion. She has worked across all sectors of the industry – retail, production, design and wardrobe, she did it all. Like me, she realised once her first son was born, that working in wardrobe was not going to work. The hours were ridiculous.

    We were both looking into separate individual pursuits when we came across our manufacturers. Within half an hour, it was decided – we would go into business together and blankets would be our thing.

    Kate & Kate Studio Visit Interview Creative Womens Circle 2

    What do you think makes for a creative working space?

    Both of us do most of our work from our home offices. Our work and personal lives are so intertwined and our work spaces really reflect this. We have to work to keep creative, but that’s what makes this whole thing so amazing.

    We do find that getting away together really boosts our creativity. We don’t get to do it as much as we’d like, but we take what we can get! Our trip to India at the start of the year was incredibly inspiring – we are still working on designs based on the inspiration we pulled from that trip. Where to next? I’m saying New York… but we’ll see.

    Kate & Kate Studio Visit Interview Creative Womens Circle 7

    Kate & Kate Studio Visit Interview Creative Womens Circle 3

    Describe a typical day for you.

    Wake up or get woken. Serious Instagram scrolling. Emails. Mental plan for the day ahead. Corral the kids downstairs. Husband too. Shower. Vortex of getting kids dressed, serving breakfast, school lunches, packing bag, screaming for everyone to get out of the house and school drop offs. More emails. Design. Inspiration. Liaison with our manufacturers, retailers, stylists, media. Phone calls. Emails. Pilates. Kids, food, wine.  And repeat!

    You have just launched the Kate & Kate baby range – what lead to this?

    We had customers and retailers asking for them! The fact that Kate was pregnant at the time we were designing didn’t have anything to do with it – ha ha ha!  We like to design with flexibility in mind, so our baby range still has a fairly adult aesthetic and is slightly oversized, so the blanket can be used as a throw over a chair or basket down the track.  We don’t want anyone purchasing a Kate & Kate item and it becoming redundant.

    Kate & Kate Studio Visit Interview Creative Womens Circle 6

    Kate & Kate Studio Visit Interview Creative Womens Circle 4

    What are your favourite Kate & Kate products right now?

    I’m totally mad for neutrals right now – actually, always. The Sea Tangle blanket in snow white and silver birch is my favourite from the current collection. Kate is loving The Kiss baby blanket in the blue grotto… but it sold out before she could get her hands on one!

    What inspires the Kate & Kate aesthetic?

    We find inspiration everywhere.  For colour, we seek inspiration from the catwalks.  Style.com really gets our creativity flowing. We can trawl for days searching for that perfect colour combination. For design, we seek inspiration in the everyday. The shape of a building, the fold of an envelope, a bunch of shadows… these are all things that have inspired our recent designs. We love getting a peek into other people’s everyday via Instagram too – if that doesn’t get you inspired, I don’t know what will.

    Kate & Kate Studio Visit Interview Creative Womens Circle 1

    Thank you Kate for welcoming me into your space to get a peek behind-the-scenes of Kate & Kate and where your inspiration comes from. Thank you also for sharing with us about yourself, your partner-in-design and your utterly gorgeous blankets! Discover the on-trend, luxurious range for yourself at the Kate & Kate website.

    Amanda Fuller is a passionate blogger, avid graphic designer and social media aficionado who has been designing since 2004 and just celebrated her 5th year blogging. Her blog Kaleidoscope is a place of inspiration and beautiful resources for women bloggers and creative business owners. Amanda offers design services such as logo design, blog design and eBook design, helping other women present their passion with style. You can find her on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram @AmandaFuller.

    {All images by Amanda}

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: bricks & mortar, guest blog, virtual visit | Comments Off
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    Studio Visit: Samara Greenwood Architecture

    By Keely Malady

    Samara Greenwood and Anna Castles outside SGArch’s studio/pavilion – Photo by Martina Gemmola.

    Samara Greenwood and Anna Castles outside SGArch’s studio/pavilion.

    Samara Greenwood Architecture is a young, boutique architectural practice focused on creating homes with heart. Founded by CWC Member Samara Greenwood, under her direction the team have an approach to design that is without pretense and is firmly focused on people – their hopes, dreams and everyday way of life.

    What inspired you to start your own practice?
    In many ways, the business began itself. My youngest daughter was nine months old when I was asked to help a couple who were struggling to understand the architectural process.

    While I originally only agreed to help scope out their needs and prepare a brief, I fell in love with the project and decided then and there to use it as inspiration to create a more ‘user friendly’ architecture and design practice.

    Model making experiments during a recent Dream Home Workshop.

    Model making experiments during a recent Dream Home Workshop.

    The SGArch.'s practice philosophy encourages listening and sharing of ideas.

    The SGArch.’s practice philosophy encourages listening and sharing of ideas.

    ‘Listen’ and ‘Heart’ are quite unusual key words in an architectural firm’s mission statement – why are these important to you?
    The focus on ‘listen’ actually came from a workshop attendee – who commented how great it was to spend the day with talented architects who listen. We were so taken with what he said that we have used it as a kind of motto ever since!

    A lot of the time I meet people whose experience with Architects has been more difficult than it needs to be, where the designer’s vision has taken over and the client feels forgotten in the process. I wanted to create the kind of practice that I would want to engage as a client. Listening is critical to that process, balancing our skills in understanding our clients with our expertise in translating their needs into beautiful designs that work for them.

    In that same sense, the ultimate aim for us is to find the ‘heart’ in each design, to produce beautiful pieces of architecture with the ‘human factor’ built right into the core.

    What factors drove you and Anna (Castles) to start the Dream Home Workshops?
    Anna and I met whilst working at the same architectural firm many years ago and have been friends ever since. Over lunch one day, I was describing to Anna the new methods I was developing to understand my client’s needs at a deeper level. She then simply stated ‘that would make a great workshop’ – and so the adventure began!

    Both Anna and I love the conversations that arise during the workshop. We are amazed at how much the attendees get from each other, as well as from us. I know they appreciate the opportunity to spend a whole day with two architects who are willing to talk about pretty much anything (oh and we do!). It is a really warm and open experience, designed to make people comfortable with both the design process and with figuring out what they really want and need from their home.

    The Dream Home Workshops are held at our tree-top studio in Ivanhoe. Again, people tell us this is a really great part of the day, as they get to step outside of their normal, everyday lives and have quality time in a beautiful, inspiring environment. We do love it when they say that!

    Scrapbooking of a dream home

    Scrapbooking of a dream home

    A Dream Home Workshop participant trying their hand at model making.

    A Dream Home Workshop participant trying their hand at model making.

    Who are your typical clients, and why do you think they are drawn to SGArch’s new approach to architecture and design?
    We attract a broad range of clients, but there are some common factors we are beginning to notice; when they first come to us, most clients feel ‘stuck’ in some way – perhaps they have lots of ideas but don’t know which ones will work best, or maybe they know what they want and need someone who can translate those dreams into a great design – whatever it is, our job is to help them get ‘unstuck’ and moving forward to their goals.

    Our clients want a home that works beautifully, is well built and feels amazing – what we call the dream home trifecta. Many clients haven’t been through the architectural process before and aren’t sure what to expect, so we take them through what is involved as clearly and concisely as we can. We love how pleased and surprised they are by the detail we go to, and how involved they feel in the evolution of the design from start to finish.

    How do you approach the next step, making ‘dream home’ aspirations a reality?
    The first step in any project, small or large, is exploring all the (many!) factors that are taken into account to determine the best design strategy.

    Basically, we listen, ask a lot of questions, and then more questions about the answers to those questions, then do some research, then try a few ideas out, then ask more questions, until both we and our clients feel we’ve hit on the best course of action. This is a process that takes a fair bit of experience and intuition to navigate, but is so much fun at the same time! We call it our ‘house doctor’ strategy – you tell us your problems and, together, we’ll find the cure.

    The Dream Home Workshop's are held at SGArch’s studio pavilion in Ivanhoe, with  stunning views of the Darebin Parklands and CBD.

    The Dream Home Workshop’s are held at SGArch’s studio pavilion in Ivanhoe, with stunning views of the Darebin Parklands and CBD.

    Find Samara and the Dream Home Workshops online at www.sgarch.com.au, or on Instagram @samara_greenwood.

    Keely Malady is a twenty-something year old graduate architect living in Melbourne. Her passions include art, design and the environment, both built and natural. Keely’s blog, Small Talk & Co., is on a mission to share the brilliance of big hearted entrepreneurial thinkers from around Melbourne and Australia with the world. Find Keely on Twitter and Instagram @keelymalady or on Facebook /smalltalkco.

    {All photos by Martina Gemmola}

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: bricks & mortar, interview, virtual visit, women in architecture | Comments Off
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    Virtual visit: Page 8 Mornington

    Eleesa Howard at Page 8 Mornington contacted me a little while back about stocking Conversations with Creative Women: Volume Two. A little research into this coastal establishment led me to want to find out more about the shop and Eleesa herself!

    page 8 shoot 2

    Tell us about Page 8. It seems like more than a place to buy books, but a hub for the local creative community. How long has it existed in Mornington and what kind of customers does it attract?

    You are right, Page 8 is so much more than a place to buy books. I guess you would call us a lifestyle shop. It was started eight years ago by a local couple. They started the business while having three beautiful boys, they did an amazing job. We aim to be the place that customers can come and find something a little fresh, quirky, interesting, creative and inspiring. Our customers are across a range of age groups and backgrounds. One minute, there will be a grandmother looking for an interesting gift for her grandchild. Next, it will be a business man checking out the selection of Architecture books, then a group of teenagers looking out for latest Frankie mag! Such an enthusiastic and wide variety of customers, which I love. I guess we have something for everyone!

    What labels do you stock?

    We love stocking local designers and crafters along side quality brands from Melbourne and internationally, such as: Polli, pigeonhole, wewood, telegram, make me iconic, pony rider, keep cups, Salus, Elk, Spider & lily, Printspace, Down to the Woods, One Sunday Morning, Gozi & Pop, Once Made, Lascari, to name just a few! We also stock the latest across a range of books, including children’s titles, cookbooks, art, photography, graphic design, interiors, architecture, gardening , craft and design…..so many!

    page 8 shoot 6



    page 8 shoot 4

    What is your background personally? What did you study and how did you find yourself at Page 8?
    This is a bit of a long story as I have ‘fallen’ into many things. I finished high school and found myself in the real world pretty quickly. I started out in retail and then worked in an amazing place called the Organic Market Café in Stirling, SA. I learned so much about food and life there, I loved that job.

    In between, however, I did have two little people come into my life. I had my daughter at 23 and then a few years later had my son. This is where the creative side of me really took hold! Being a stay at home Mum, I felt the need to do ‘something’. So I started to sew clothes for my kids and then quilts, mostly using beautiful vintage fabrics and materials. It was around this time that I was given the oppurtunity to work as part of the visual merchandising team for Country Road. I loved it and realised I had a natural talent for design and display.

    After a few years my husband and I moved interstate and I had a fresh start in hosplitalily. This lead to the oppurtunity to opening my own little cafe, which was great fun but a steep learning curve.

    Due to the ‘surprise’ of our youngest son popping into our lives, the café was too much to continue. So again I was home with a new baby and going a little insane! I was itching to do something. This is when I got back into sewing. I started doing markets, making and selling bags, quilts and cushions under the name ‘dorothybills’.

    We moved to Victoria four years ago and settled on the beautiful Mornington peninsula. I continued on with markets and also stared working at Page 8 in the old cafe. Somehow, I cant even remember, I stated working in the shop helping with the visual merchandising there. Then as time went on I became the Manager. In October 2013 new owners took over the store, and now I am both manager and buyer which I love! I am truly lucky to have an amazing group of wonderful ladies to work with and support me.

    What creative things do you enjoy doing outside of work?
    As my life is so busy, I seem to have a lot of half-finished projects. I’m current making a twine coil basket, painting some plant pots and have managed to sit down with my teenagers and dabble creatively while they are doing their art homework.

    I think that’s why I love to surround myself with creative people and their goodies, even though I may not be creating as much as I used to, it makes me happy knowing I’m helping others get their work out there in some small way.

    page 8 shoot 3

    What’s on your summer holiday reading list?
    I just finished, finally, ‘ Let’s pretend this never happened’ by Jenny Lawson, which made me laugh out loud with tears rolling down my face!

    Also on my bedside table is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Cloudstreet by Tim Winton,which I cant wait to read, and the latest issue of Frankie. I must admit I have a weakness for magazines and interior book such as Beci Orpin’s new book Home and  A Place Called Home by Jason Grant. Lots of constant stimulation and inspiration!

    Thanks Eleesa! You can find Page 8 on Facebook or visit the store at: 188 Main St, Mornington, Victoria.

    {Photos by Danielle Trovato}

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    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: books, bricks & mortar, virtual visit | Comments Off