Monday, 24 September 2012

Orange Tree Cottage

My first design assignment since arriving in Christchurch is something I'm very excited about. I have been asked by a local fashion label to create a scheme for their new retail premises here in the city. Since the destruction of the Sailor Spy workroom in the February earthquake, designer Ninotchka McKay has been working from home. Not an easy task, I can tell you.

However, she recently signed the lease on a two bedroom house which she plans to convert into both her work space - which clientele can visit - and a retail outlet where her garments will be available all year round!

I was very excited to be asked to help out on this project and immediately began pinning ideas onto Nin's project board on Pinterest.

She gave me a short brief, including her visions of merging soft colours with industrial fixtures and fittings and the creation of a space in which the garments were allowed to shine.

The space, once a living room, has lovely high ceilings, sturdy wooden doors and built in cupboard space either side of a Victorian looking fireplace. The cupboards are painted duck egg blue and we chose this colour as a starting point for our scheme. I then took inspiration from the orange and lemon trees growing in the cobbled yard (hence the name of business!) and added coral and lemon as accent colours.

There were so many curious objects and little bits of the place's history lying about when we first got into the site that I really wanted to try and re-use and incorporate as many of these found elements as possible. I'm a big believer that buildings have a story to tell and a space should be made to reflect the features and character already existing in a property. 

We found a few healthy looking pallets in the yard and I have tried to incorporate use of these into my scheme. For example, we are thinking of making a pallet chandelier to act as a centre piece for the room and pallet stools placed at different heights to be used as alternate shelving and hanging space.

I also wanted the space to say something about the label too, without going too nautical or obvious. For this reason, I have designed a driftwood and rope clothing rail with other driftwood hangers placed around the room for highlighting garments as 'gallery pieces'.

Here are some images that I found most inspiring:

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