What makes you feel the most wild and alive?
Hands down, being with my friends and going skinny dipping in the ocean is something that makes me feel the most alive and wild (although I don’t get to do it too often). In my work I feel particularly invigorated when I’ve found a stand-out piece of vintage furniture but have to wait to find out if I’ve secured it or have just missed out — it can be a moment of joy or of bitter disappointment!
How did you come up with the concept of Curated Spaces?
I had spent many hours sifting through junk on the big online marketplaces and wanted to create a platform that had only the good stuff. Curated Spaces is defined just as much by what we do offer as what we don’t. “Curated” really is key to our concept — we are constantly curating, which means saying no to a lot of furniture if we don’t think it is right.
How would you describe the Curated Spaces aesthetic?
The Curated Spaces aesthetic is influenced by a mixture of design eras that we love: mid-century Danish/Scandinavian, ‘70-‘80s Italian, Art Deco, Bauhaus, minimalist and French antique. We sell furniture from all of these eras and styles. What they all have in common is an elegance and refinement of design.
Talk us through the process of sourcing your furniture. Do you look for specific pieces or wait to see what you unearth?
We source furniture from so many different platforms and prefer to keep our search parameters broad than to look for specific pieces. Auction houses, online marketplaces and physical vintage shops are all fantastic places to find vintage furniture. You never know where the special pieces will pop up, so we always try to source from as many places and platforms as possible, and we keep our search terms similarly broad. You’d be surprised how many mid-century beauties we’ve found that were described simply as “timber chairs/table/buffet”.
How much has a sustainable mindset informed Curated Spaces?
Massively. Saving beautiful furniture from landfill is one of the primary motivations for our work. We wanted to take a stand against the wasteful “fast furniture” industry, which encourages consumers to think of furniture as disposable — cheap, poor-quality pieces designed only to last until the next trend comes along to take its place. We think good furniture should last a lifetime, in fact several lifetimes. And affordable furniture shouldn’t come at an environmental cost. As we grow, sustainability will remain key to our ethos.
What are some of your personal pieces that bring you the most joy?
I actually rarely keep anything for myself, but my current absolute favourite piece of furniture I own is a three-metre-long burl sideboard. It is heaven and I am utterly obsessed with it. I also love my Featherston Numero sofa. It is being reupholstered in a new fabric at the moment, so I am excited to see how it turns out.
You recently launched your own furniture line, By Curated. What’s your design approach?
By Curated designs are influenced by some of our favourite vintage pieces and designers. Furniture really was so much more fabulous back in the day, and we want to bring that classic and timeless style back for our customers. There is a Curated Spaces touch to all of our designs — I tweak our prototypes until they are perfect. It’s hard to put the design process into words, but I think I look at each new project through the lens of my years of sifting through furniture, good and bad, and that guides my decisions when it comes to shaping our own pieces. Another guiding principle for me is the quality of materials and workmanship, which is something that sets vintage furniture apart from a lot of the furniture that is being produced these days. I want By Curated pieces to last for years, both aesthetically and structurally.
What are some dominant trends you are seeing this year?
Vintage furniture generally is coming back in a big way. Marble feature coffee tables continue to be popular, as are the soft, inviting curves of modular sofas. Rattan and cane are having another moment — Pierre Jeanneret and Marcel Breuer Cesca chairs, rattan bedheads and sideboards. We’re also seeing French-style, dark-wood antiques mixed with modern pieces in light-filled spaces and we are loving that vibe too.
Tell us about something you have encountered recently that has inspired you
We have been so humbled by the support we’ve received during COVID-19. People have been spending a lot more time in their own homes lately due to lockdowns and as a result they are seeking to create beautiful spaces for themselves by investing in special vintage pieces. But what is really inspiring is the conscious consumerism we are seeing. More and more people are choosing to support small businesses and are buying the sustainable, vintage option during this time. This support really spurs us on and pushes us to source and offer even more beautiful pieces for our growing customer base.
What’s next for Curated Spaces?
We are continuing to grow our network of talented “sourcers” and are investing in making the shopping experience a seamless and joyful one for our customers. We are creating the business that we’d love to find as customers ourselves — an unrivalled collection of beautiful vintage furniture, at affordable prices, and with a great customer service experience to boot. We’re so excited about the future for Curated Spaces.