The furniture designer and sculptor's Melbourne home is brimming with shapely designs.
Multidisciplinary Designer Lauren Lea Haynes’ Home Is Filled With Her Curvy Creations
The furniture designer and sculptor's Melbourne home is brimming with shapely designs.
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we celebrate innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types by taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour furniture maker and sculptor, Lauren Lea Haynes' studio in Coburg North and home in Thornbury, Melbourne.
Multidisciplinary creative Lauren Lea Haynes' interest in the intersection between design and art was the driving force behind creating her furniture and sculpture studio. Inspired by a love of curvilinear lines and powerful colour stories Lauren's creations blend form and function to create interesting yet functional pieces for the home that range from occasional chairs to limestone side tables.
Haynes studied furniture design at RMIT before diving into the world of sculpture-making – an artform that provided therapeutic relief during a difficult time. "It is a truly therapeutic thing, working with your hands and sculpting with no plan. I decided to use this aspect of sculpting and the furniture studies, to join the two and make something that can be both design and sculpture, simultaneously," she shares with Bed Threads Journal.
Key to her practice's ethos is supporting local manufacturing and utilising more sustainable materials. Each of her unique designs embraces this idea and has resulted in her designing pieces that nod to the '70s like her kaleidoscopic recycled plastic table on wheels made from household plastic waste products.
Given her line of work, it's unsurprising that her inner-city home in Melbourne which she shares with her partner is filled with her beautiful creations. The 1950s abode's living room which boasts high ceilings and plenty of natural light features her fabulous Pea Chair that's swathed in a rust boucle. This design is inspired by Verner Pantons' 1970 ‘Visiona 2’ installation and organic forms found in flower pods such as the ‘Sturt Desert Pea’ wildflower. Also sitting in this space is one of Lauren's curvaceous Lotti side tables carved from limestone. Both bedrooms feature Lauren's aluminium Foli side tables which embrace bush-inspired tones and bring a sweet flower-like motif to the rooms.
Another notable element of this home's interior styling is the abundance of art that adorn the walls. Each room is elevated with meaningful photographs, paintings, and sculptural pieces that celebrate Lauren's friends and family as well as reflect her artistic nature. "For us, the most important factor in styling is that it feels like home. I think we like the story-telling aspect of having friends' artwork around also, it's comforting and feels warm always," she explains.
Below, take a tour of Lauren's studio and home and read about her creative process and how focusing locally has helped further her career.
Hi Lauren! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I design and make furniture and sculptures out of various materials for the home, office, outdoors and anywhere else they look good!
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I am a very active and hands-on person, so doing something physical with my practice naturally absorbs all of that energy and directs it into something that I enjoy very much. I have always loved physical work, but lately, I have found a nice balance between the design side of my practice and the making side.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career as a furniture designer and sculptor?
I have definitely had my fair share of job titles and have not always seen myself designing and making furniture as a career. I think that’s what your 20s are for though. I realised how much I loved design when I started studying it, it was a chance I took at something I somewhat understood but mostly just desired for my own personal uses. Through studying, I found a love for and appreciation for design and its history, influences and impacts, I wanted to go beyond making furniture just for myself.
A few years later, during a time of grief, I got into sculpture and used it to help with my mental health, I never expected it would become something I could make a living from and am so grateful for this. It is a truly therapeutic thing, working with your hands and sculpting with no plan. I decided to use this aspect of sculpting and furniture studies, to join the two and make something that can be both design and sculpture, simultaneously.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
I have ideas very randomly, sometimes when on a walk or whilst I am sculpting, I transfer that idea to a notepad and ideate further, and then I transfer that illustration to design software.
The design software helps me realise its potential and limitations which I then can play around with even further. These designs may get fabricated by local fabricators and some components may be fabricated by myself in my studio depending on the materials and application.
If it’s a sculpture, It is usually done impulsively, maybe with some scribbled markings on the outside of a block of stone and an idea in my head that I try to communicate to my hands whilst they are working on the stone. This process is not foolproof, but a lot of fun. I am still learning how to communicate with sculpting, and I hope to do some more courses to better influence my practice.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your career?
By focusing locally, I have been able to network my designs and expose them to the audiences I need to help my business succeed. Having long-term relationships with clients, fabricators, and suppliers is one of the things I love about my work, it is so great to be able to have support and support other small businesses at the same time.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your career?
Even when things are hard or sometimes overwhelming, I feel so fortunate to be able to live by what I love and do what I love 5-6 days a week!
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?
It is so helpful to study what you love, not only for the knowledge but also for the community and the collaborative environment it can provide. My peers taught me so much about how we all see design differently, and it was a great place to start.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
My partner invited me to live with him here, and that makes it home. We live in a classic light-brick 1950s house in Thornbury with an ornamental grapevine that could be old as the house!
- Regular price
- From $464.00
- Sale price
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
It was the perfect time to do landscaping when we moved in as the world was very stagnant. We put in a lot of garden beds and planted a wide variety of of natives to get it going.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
This is very much a collaborative mixture of my and my partner's personalities, hobbies, and family/friends' artworks. For us, the most important factor in styling is that it feels like home. I think we like the story-telling aspect of having friends’ artwork around also, it's comforting and feels warm always.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
My childhood home didn't have any art on the walls, so it's wonderful to see the stories of friends and family in each room through paintings, photos, and illustrations. I especially love the photos by my friends Robyn Daly and Sarah Pannel, both great photographers. These photos were carefully chosen because they remind me of home in W.A.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
Our house is so full but if I had the room, I would love a few Studio Ennui (@studio.ennui) ceramic pieces floating around, and a visit to HAY store would be a lot of fun, love the REY Chairs. I also really like the OS1 Chair from OKU Space, local furniture makers in Melbourne with some beautifully crafted work.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
The living room, it’s got the best light and view of the garden in the house.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Whatever makes you comfiest, happiest and most welcomed. I personally like to have warm tones, and the blinds all the way up, windows open, and something soft beneath my feet. I have a couple of Toli side tables in our bedrooms, they are fun and colourful and lift the room and of course, some colour-complementary bed linen.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
I have been working on some new indoor/outdoor furniture designs with my fabricators and some new sculpture ideas with my LLh team.
My partner and I launched our very first vintage of wines – @el.morewines, we have our second drop of 2022 Vintage coming soon!