Photography: Cheryl Carr for Country Style magazine by Marnie Hawson
Our Plyroom aesthetic is a blend between Scandinavian minimalism, Italian timelessness and the earthiness of Japanese Wabi Sabi - global influences that are synthesised within the lofty confines of our Melbourne studio.
With such a specific and broadly-influenced visual language, we are always delighted to come across creatives with an outlook akin to our own.
Recently we’ve been following the work of photographer Marnie Hawson. Marnie’s photography captures the best of Australian design - from modern Melbourne design to humble rural interiors.
She also sublimely documents rural Australian life, perhaps guided by insight from her own life in the Macedon Ranges.
Even more inspiring is Marnie’s dedication to social and sustainable responsibility in her practice, something we hold in high regard at Plyroom.
We speak more with Marnie about life in rural Victoria, simplicity in design and her work as a conscious freelancer…
The Macedon Ranges are synonymous with a landscape punctuated by gums, wildflowers, deciduous trees and sunlight diffused by morning fog. How does living outside of the city in a rural environment influence your professional practice and everyday life?
There is something about being out of the city which forces you into a rhythm outside of one determined by the clock. I never have a sense of rushing and doing, even at times when I'm busy and have a lot to do!
There is something about being out of the city which forces you into a rhythm outside of one determined by the clock.
Your background in environmental science has lead you to ‘tread lightly’ both in work and your personal life. Was this the catalyst for your shift to a purpose-driven business model?
Maybe it's a chicken and egg thing. Thinking about it a bit harder, I think its my own personal values which lead me down the path of environmental science, and now, to purpose-driven business. Making the world a better place, no matter how small an action, or helping others do the same has always lit me up.
Small businesses and sole-traders often forgo sustainable practices in order to make ends meet in the short-term. Do you have any advice for those seeking equilibrium between the bottom line and values of environmental and social sustainability?
This quote by Bea Johnson really resonates with me "every time we make a decision, we have the power to support a practice that is sustainable or one that is not”. I think if you consider this within the context of your own small business, it can really help to keep your values at the forefront whilst also running a profitable business. Supporting people doing good things doesn't have to cost the earth, it just means doing a bit of research to find alternative suppliers or businesses to spend your money on.
"Every time we make a decision, we have the power to support a practice that is sustainable or one that is not”.
Photography: Captain's Rest for Country Style magazine by Marnie Hawson
Visual themes of simplicity, humility and honesty underscore your work. How does this aesthetic translate into your built environment at home or in the workplace?
I work from home, so pondering it, perhaps its the simplicity and honesty here which translates into my work, not the other way around.
As things start to sag and tear, they only get more beautiful.
You say ‘I'd rather buy once and buy well to have something for life’ which aligns with your appreciation of good design and quality craftsmanship. Do you have any furniture pieces or homewares - old, new or sentimental - that you will cherish for years to come?
I'd have to say all of it. As things start to sag and tear, they only get more beautiful.
Inspired by Marnie's conscious and considered approach to life and work?
Discover our collection of durable, sustainably made, Australian designed furniture here.