Behind The Scenes : Felix Furniture Interior Lifestyle Campaign
Have you ever wondered how the latest interior lifestyle campaigns come about? I’m excited to share with you a unique behind the scenes insight into the design process, prototype development and interior styling for the recently launched, new 'Kork' collection from Felix Furniture.
Sarah Elshaug : Wednesday 14th June 2017
This journey behind the scenes with the Felix Furniture team uncovers just what it takes to launch a new furniture range and create a stylish interior lifestyle campaign. In this rare ‘sneak peak’ behind the lens I also share all the action of shoot day for Felix Furniture’s photographic lifestyle campaign, with interior styling by me at Maitland Street Interiors and captured by interiors photographer Stephanie Rooney.
Shoot day is the one EPIC day that culminates in months of hard work planning and collaborating between maker, stylist and photographer, who come together to create beautiful imagery – ready to grace your social media feeds and the glossy pages of your favourite interiors mags... all in a day’s work!
Who is Felix Furniture?
Felix Furniture are a dynamic, yet small Melbourne furniture business, established in 2014 by Antonia Morrongiello and Ian Anderson. This creative couple were inspired to follow their passion after years learning the trade together alongside Antonia’s father Felice - a timber craftsman. The ethos of their thriving small business is about good, honest design, using sustainably sourced materials to create a range of contemporary handcrafted, plywood furniture. Since launching three years ago, Felix Furniture has quickly grown to be a respected Australian furniture brand, recognised for their unique designs, quality craftsmanship and refined industrial aesthetic. This year they opened their second pop-up shop in Richmond and so the timing felt right to make the bold decision to create their own bespoke styled interior lifestyle campaign to launch their new range.
Having successfully launched two pop-up shops (the first with One Fine Print in Clifton Hill and the most recent in Richmond alongside Beeline Design), Felix Furniture understand the importance of collaboration to their ongoing success in the industry. So when they approached me (Interior Stylist at Maitland Street Interiors) and Stephanie (Stephanie Rooney Photography) to work alongside them on their upcoming campaign, they were excited to be bringing each of our unique skill sets to the table, in order to learn from and support each other as relative newcomers in the Melbourne design scene.
The Furniture Design Process
Each finished image from a styled campaign should appear effortless in its composition and evoke emotion in the viewer. But the work that goes into developing that single image starts long before the photo is snapped, in this case 10 months ago, with a simple sketch.
Antonia, chief furniture designer of the Felix duo, explains ‘I usually have a light-blub-like moment for an idea and have to quickly get it down on paper. An hour later I will have covered my newspaper margin, or the back of an envelope with sketches and scribbles.’
Then, with a bit of fine tuning, Ian (chief furniture maker) will make a prototype and together the pair refine and clarify the final design until a perfect balance of aesthetics and practicality is met.
They also place great emphasis on mixing materials and finishes. ‘I have always been a tactile person, it’s all about how it feels under hand’ Ian says ‘Mixing materials and finishes allows us to draw out so many layers within the design and develops a sense of depth.’
Plywood remains the core material used within each of the pieces, with the addition of smooth powder coated metal, stains and washes and the new finish the team is the most excited about, cork. According to Ian, ‘Cork is an extremely undervalued material. It comes in a range of incredible grains and colours and it is extremely sustainable. Cork is harvested directly from the tree once every 9 years, allowing the tree to regenerate and continue living.’
Collaboration Delivers Success
Following development of the new range, Antonia reached out to me (Sarah Elshaug, Interior Stylist) in February this year to discuss a brief and to begin developing concepts for what it was Felix Furniture were aiming to achieve with their first campaign. Thankfully for me, Antonia says ‘It was an easy decision for us, we love Sarah’s style. She has this great ability to fully undertake and appreciate the style and look Ian and I want to achieve with this launch’.
As a relatively fresh face in the Melbourne interior styling community, having started Maitland Street Interiors in 2015, I have been fortunate to have worked under the guidance of well-known stylists and brands such as Julia Green from Greenhouse Interiors, Jacqui Moore, Space to Create, Globe West and Barnaby Lane to build experience and my eye for interior styling, something that has been invaluable since launching in the industry. I’m a big believer that whilst getting established in any new industry, learning from those with a wealth of experience is an incredible opportunity and one which for me has shaped my approach, attention to detail, appreciation for good design and most importantly the power of collaboration.
Another emerging talent Felix Furniture engaged to collaborate with on this campaign was Stephanie Rooney, an architectural and interiors photographer who brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. I am a little biased, having met Stephanie during my time assisting Greenhouse Interiors and seen her in action. I knew her eye for capturing light, angles and composition of images was well honed, so it was easy to recommend her for the campaign. Yet it was super important that the Felix team resonated with her photographic style too – and thankfully they knew immediately that she was the perfect choice to capture the campaign. ‘For me it was Steph’s use of light in her work that drew me in… in photographing the new range we are very focused on making the natural materials in our products shine, and harnessing light was the key to enabling us to achieve this.’ acknowledged Antonia.
As an up and coming interiors photographer, with her training ground alongside one of the best in the trade, Armelle Habib, Stephanie has been going from strength to strength, capturing beautiful images for some of Melbourne’s renowned architects and designers. It’s no wonder she was a must have for the campaign! ‘I was excited to join Antonia, Ian and Sarah on this campaign. We worked seamlessly together planning concepts, locations, sets and angles in order to achieve outstanding images of the new furniture range.’ said Stephanie.
Creating a Styled Interior Lifestyle Campaign
Together with the team I created concepts for 5 styled interior sets including an entry, living room, dining room, bedroom and hallway looking through to the living room. Each concept was grounded by an industrial/scandi style and monochromatic colour palette with a bold pop of green (we chose ‘Deep Arctic’ from Dulux). From there I carefully curated a range of brands to collaborate with for each room. From rugs, the sofa, feature chair and bed to artwork, lighting, greenery and lots of layering, each brand I approached had to align with Felix Furniture’s core values of supporting Australian artisans and makers. And so together we sourced wares from over 13 Melbourne suppliers, who we were excited to support and collaborate with on the shoot (see below for supplier credits).
We chose XO Studios as the shoot location for its warehouse vibe and epic black metal framed industrial windows, with loads of natural light streaming in. Located in Brunswick East, XO Studios is well known in the industry for its accessibility, spacious floor plan, industrial style and all important supply of coffee throughout the day! Once we finalised our concepts and booked the location, we got down to the planning of our shot list. With creative ideas flowing and a big wish list including a portrait shot of Antonia and Ian, we carefully planned shoot day down to the last half hour… angles, set flow, supplier deliveries and timing were all important to ensure we could achieve the planned shot list.
We called on the support of our friends Jaz Blom from Socialise Photography and Fiona Longmire from Passion and Styles to assist us on shoot day. The team came together, enabling us to build, style, light and capture each set effortlessly. Working with these ladies ads another level of detail to the campaign and we loved having their tireless energy and support alongside us on shoot day.
The Epic Final Result!
With our collective up and coming team collaborating together, the interior lifestyle campaign promised to deliver iconic images to ensure the success of the new furniture range launch and firmly entrench Felix Furniture in the heart of bespoke Australian furniture design.
We’re proud to say that the campaign has blown us all away by how well it has resonated with design savvy Australians and within the interiors industry. It has already featured in numerous interior mags, blogs and social media feeds including Adore Magazine, GT Magazine, The Design Files and The Design Chaser.
So, for the final insight into what it takes to create a styled interior lifestlye campaign, click the link below to enjoy our behind the scenes video of all the action and fun on shoot day! We had a blast collaborating together on this epic interior lifestyle campaign for Felix Furniture.
Behind the Scenes Video capture and production by Jaz Blom from Socialise Photography.
With big thanks to the following Melbourne makers, designers and artisans:
Amanda Dziedzic : Yumemiru Glass Ornaments
arthurG : Conrad Sofa
Barnaby Lane : Tanner Chair
Dowel Jones : Dr Spinner Pendants & Lord Sconce Wall Lights
Glasshaus : Florals
Graine : Leather Bag
Halcyon Lake : Polaris, Monza Design, Rondo and Alpina Royal Rugs
Hunting for George : Oliver Bed, Cushions, Radio and Clock
Interia : Big O and Doughboy Timber Handles
Into The Wild : Indoor Plants
Ivy Muse : Willow, Halo, Comet and Quartz Plant Stands and Pots
Katie Carmichael : Snow Gum and Winter Mist Artworks
Kaz Morton : Ceramics
Mark Douglass : Modernist Pendants, Dinted Orb Table Lamp
Michael Hayes : Luna Dining Table
Milk & Sugar : Grey & White Pots, Baskets, Clock, Napkins
Nathan + Jac : Cushions & Throw Rugs
Norsu : ArtLab Prints, Icelandic Fur, Kubus Bowl & Candle Stick
Prudence Caroline : ‘The Mage’ Print
Sarah Kelk : Original Artworks
Society of Wanderers : Linen
Space to Create : Brass Cutlery
Tanner + Teague : Clothes & Shoes
Will + Bear : Calloway Grey Felt Hat
If you’d like to work with us to create your next interior lifestyle campaign or need some ideas to create an industrial/scandi style at your place, hop on over to our Contact page and drop me a line. I look forward to saying ‘Hi’.