We’ve had our love affair with Scandi chic and our obsession with Japanese minimalism – now Australian designers are turning to their own backyard for inspiration.
Industrial designer Justin Hutchinson, of Melbourne’s Kett Studio, has collaborated with Cosh Living on a striking new furniture range that takes its cues from the Victorian coastal landscape – specifically from a photograph of the Otways and Great Ocean Road region by Russell Charters.
“We took a single picture and put it on the wall and looked at all the colours that existed within that photo, and then allowed those to build the palette for our collection,” Justin says.
Launched at Denfair in June, the inaugural Kett range features an evocative palette of deep greens, dark chocolates and soft latte hues that tie in seamlessly with natural curves, sumptuous textures and classic lines.
The range includes furniture for the living room, bedrooms and outdoor spaces, as well as lighting, soft furnishings and artwork.
Justin says his team set out to create a style that was uniquely Antipodean – bringing the outdoors in and working with the open-plan living and kitchen spaces that are so common in Aussie homes.
“Australians do celebrate our outdoor spaces. We’re very connected to them, we design our homes around them,” Justin says. “Our northern neighbours have colder climates and therefore congregate around an internal kitchen as the hub of the home.”
He believes a distinctly Australian aesthetic has the potential to influence interior style around the world, particularly in places such as California and South Africa which share a lifestyle similar to our own.
“We’re talking about an Australian sensibility and way of life. We know that we have a wonderful lifestyle here and that’s something we’d love to share with the rest of the world,” Justin says.
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With a family of his own, Justin was keenly aware of the need for furniture to be not only beautiful, but also practical, when designing the Kett range.
“With one of the armchairs, we’ve used leather on the outside so that it’s very durable. If you’ve got young children running through the home, fingerprints can be wiped down. But the interior of the chair is all beautiful wools,” he says.
Fabric choice was a key consideration in the design. The Kett team used textiles from industry-renowned company Mokum, giving each piece longevity and functionality.
Justin says the range is designed with comfort in mind, an area where a lot of minimalist furniture can fall short.
“Clean, contemporary, modernist furniture, I think, has done design a great injustice in many ways, because a lot of the time those pieces were for show. They didn’t actually provide the pure comfort or respond elegantly to the human form.”
Cosh Living is well established as a furniture brand that understands comfort and the Australian aesthetic. The company designed the quintessentially modern-Australian decor for the Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula – recently named Australia’s hotel of the year.
The Kett brand continues this narrative in furniture and homewares design.
The team have already started thinking about its next range and the next area of our sunburnt country’s landscape it can draw on for inspiration.
“We’ll be looking at the drier, warmer tones that you find in the Northern Territory,” Justin says. “There are so many different palettes to explore.”