Saturday, 17 May 2014

Meet the creative team behind Plyroom


Moving from Melbourne to Italy was the inspiration
behind the creation of Plyroom, a furniture
business created by a husband and wife team

Tell us a little bit about your business
Plyroom is an online store featuring a collection of beautifully crafted ply furniture, designed and made in Italy. Plyroom’s collaboration with prominent designers in Northern Italy brings a unique selection of furniture to Australia, inspired by flexibility and sustainability for every room in the home. Following a philosophy of affordable, beautifully designed furniture, Plyroom’s products represent an appreciation for honest materials and smart design, hallmarks of Italy’s reputation as a major player in the design world. 

How did you develop your interest in homewares?
I've always loved experimenting with texture and colour and moving things around at home (a lot!). A few years ago, my husband and I packed up our lives in Melbourne and moved with our two children to Italy for a year. 

Moving from a four-bed house in Australia to a two-bed apartment in Italy taught me a thing or two about being smarter with space! As we got to know more people and spend time in their homes, I began to see how intelligently small spaces were being used throughout the entire home, from the bedroom to the living room – maximising functionality without compromising quality or adding clutter. This was the inspiration for creating Plyroom.

Where do you source your beautiful homewares products? And what is important to you when selecting these amazing products?
All Plyroom products are sourced from small design firms that operate in Milan. Our partners have amazing stories behind their products. With its home in Milan and a heritage spanning almost 100 years, Villa unites traditional craftsmanship with modern technology in search for the unconventional. 

This artisan business has used its proprietary knowledge of shaping wood ‘along the grain’ to evolve from creating traditional small-scale furniture production and high-end percussion instruments to interior design pieces which marry modern design concepts and the simplicity of Japanese and Nordic style. 
Milanese designer and architect Paolo Cogliati of Totem Italia has been an active member of the sustainable design movement in Italy for more than 25 years. His focus of ecology in design has seen his designs and projects appear in numerous publications, journals and exhibitions, with his ‘Canoa’ bed appearing at the world famous Pompidou Centre in Paris 2001. Using laser and computer technology, he creates precision cut pieces with a signature burnt edge. The result is high quality, structurally superior furniture without the use of metal bolts and screws. 
All his products are sourced from sustainable, responsibly managed European Birch forests, and proudly display their joins and form. His furniture is designed to be essential and functional, and always made with quality craftsmanship.
He has designed many products for children and kindergartens across Europe and is passionate about sustainable use of materials and production of furniture, supporting small communities in Bolivia with many of his projects. 

Can you give us some hot tips for styling and selecting furniture?

  • Colour is your friend, don't be afraid of it. Build up from a base of natural materials such as wood and add color with soft furnishings, art and walls so that if your tastes change, you can move things around easily and with less expense. 
  • Create 'vignettes' around your home of pieces that are special to you. Grouping similar coloured pieces with different heights & textures in groups of 3 or 5 can create interesting focal points in a room. 
  • Mixing up styles and choosing pieces that 'speak' to you is a sure-fire way to enjoy the space you live in. 
  • Don't worry too much about making your home 'perfect', what's important is that your home represents the people in it and your personality, but if you don't know where to start, investing in an interior designer who can help crystallize your vision is a great first step. 

Where do you shop for your homewares?
The Minimalist (the with their ethos of not buying less but buying better, Plyroom is an obvious favorite and the flexibility of the pieces appeals to my habit of moving furniture around regularly at home, Modern Times in Collingwood is also great as it has gorgeous mid century pieces and contemporary Australian art.


What is your favourite trend at the moment?
Texture and wood! It's great to see natural materials such as stone and wood being incorporated in interiors with interesting textures such as felt, leather and metal. Naturally we are loving the Northern European style of blonde wood in interiors such as birch and beech. They are such versatile hues and complement so many decorating styles.

Tell us about yourself
A marketing professional in the field of financial services before making the move to Italy and creating Plyroom, Elise is mother to two gorgeous boys, admirer of gardens and veggie patches everywhere, passionate cook and self-confessed Italophile.

Where can you be found?
Clifton Hill and Melbourne's inner north is my stomping ground. On the weekend, you might find me with my boys on a coastal walking track on the Mornington Peninsula or at my parents' house for Sunday pasta!

Is there anything else you would like to add about your business?
What makes Plyroom different is that our products don't use metal parts which can degrade the joints of furniture. Unique joinery is used that relies only on wooden joins, making our products extremely strong and long-lasting. 

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