studiomashheader.jpg
Interviews

Studio Mash - Made With Love

Read time 7 minutes

Made With Love is Australia's leading Bridal Wear brand. Recently, they've expanded their business internationally - setting up shop in London.

To design their outpost, they entrusted Studio Mash - a young London-based firm.

Having completed the project successfully in just six weeks, we sat with Craig Jenkins, founder of Made With Love, and Conor Sheehan, director at Studio Mash, to find out more.

sm1.jpg

The Team

It's not often we get the chance to speak with both the client and the designer at the same time, but as I sat down with Conor and Craig, it was clear they were very much part of the same team.

To open the conversation, I asked Conor - director of Studio Mash - to tell us a little more about the studio.

"We're an architecture and interior design firm which I set up with my colleague Max two and a half years ago. We started off doing mostly residential but have slowly been broadening our portfolio. This project with Craig is the first project we've done with a luxury retail brand."

"You call us luxury, that's quite nice," laughed Craig, who then went on to explain why he had chosen to trust the design studio with the first international branch of his brand:

"Our aim is to create a concept which is a bit different from the usual idea of 'bridal'. I loved the fact [Studio Mash] didn't have experience in luxury shops, especially women's wear. We've never done anything how other people have done it, we've always done it our own way. Having a studio who are young and fresh, who did it exactly how they wanted to do it, is really what made this space work."

If we hired someone who had had experience in bridal, we would have ended up with something that - even though in a different sort of space - still looked like a bridal shop. That's not what we wanted.
sm2.jpg

The Concept

Creating a scheme which was young and fresh had always been a necessity for Craig. But, other than this, what were his specific design requirements? When asking Craig what he had intended for the space, he confessed to "not really having a brief."

"The first time I properly sat down with Studio Mash, Conor suggested the concept of an 'aspirational apartment,'" explained Craig, "I loved this idea, and we just kind of took it from there."

The idea of an 'aspirational apartment' worked well with Craig's desire to stay well away from traditional notions of what a bridal space should look like. The concept gave them scope to create a retail space in which customers felt inspired and comfortable - two qualities directly in line with their brand.

"A lot of brides can find bridal shopping very stressful," said Craig, "it's a big decision, and there are always lots of opinions and pressure. What we've tried to design here is a space to come and relax - to actually make it a pleasant experience."

sm6.jpg
sm7.jpg

The Design

On entering the bridal space, one of the first things that hits you is a bold, blue feature wall. Much in line with what we had already spoken about - this wall was not exactly what you would expect in a traditional bridal shop.

"The wall was an idea I had as soon as I walked into the space," explained Conor. "I had to take the time to persuade [Craig and Max], but I was confident it would work. We had used this kind of textured wall before in residential projects and found it catches the eye and offers a unique background for showcasing pieces."

Craig agreed, explaining how - although initially inclined to stick to 'blush pinks' - when he saw the contrast of the blue against the white lace dresses, he knew it was the right thing to do.

sm9.jpg
The bold, blue Venetian plaster has a beautiful textural quality to it and reflects the light amazingly.

Interested in Craig's inclination to try a completely new design scheme, I asked if the space bore any resemblance to the existing Australian stores.

"Not at all," he replied. "The markets are completely different. In London, there are so many options, and I think to impress brides here it's much more difficult. The bold features included here reflect the demand to cater to a different audience."

"Having said that, in our newest Australian openings, we are going to be pulling some design elements from here. We love the arches and curves which Studio Mash chose for this scheme - they're really on brand - so we will be using them back at home too."

sm3.jpg
sm4.jpg

"The theme of the arch was a natural decision for us," continued Conor, "we knew it would help add some extra depth and intrigue to the space."

When looking for a selection of curved, arched furniture, Studio Mash approached eporta for help. "You guys introduced us to a small Danish brand, AYTM, who provided us with the statement arched mirrors and stools. We wouldn't have found the brand otherwise. They had a fresh, contemporary feel, perfect for the project."

The Reflections

To conclude our conversation, I asked Conor and Max what they thought the best and worst part of the project had been.

For Conor, the worst - or at least the hardest - part of the project had been the time pressure. Six weeks isn't much time and, as with any design, some problems ensued along the way.

"The contractor kept getting the colour of the wall wrong," he confessed, "it was redone three times in Venetian polish and plaster."

It's with little surprise that, after the trials and tribulations, the wall was also Conor's favourite part of the finished project.

When a design works seamlessly, I think people can feel at ease; they can actually feel comfortable and confident in the space. That's exactly what we wanted.

For Craig, the best part of the project was how everything came together at the end.

"It's going to sound like a weird answer but what I love about it is that there's not one thing I don't like. Everything just kind of works."

sm8.jpg

It was our pleasure at eporta to have worked with Studio Mash during their design process.

Find more information on how we helped power this project here.

More from Interviews
KLC thumbnail.png
Interviews
Kia Stanford and Jenny Gibbs on bringing a brand to life through interior design.
Love design thumbnail.png
Interviews
What's your favourite thing about being an interior designer?
casapopeea0.jpg
Interviews
Manea Kella on dilapidation to inspiration.
More epic reads
modernism.jpg
Edits
12 Modernist Favourites.
omma.jpg
Project of the Week
The OMMA Hotel by Stones and Walls
More time Thumbnail.png
News & updates
5 ways eporta gives you more time.