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Introducing David Dunbar, Owner/Director

Introducing David Dunbar, Owner/Director

What’s your role at SMITHMADE? My role is to ensure that every customer that experiences SMITHMADE is delighted with the pieces that they have selected and the advice that we give when it comes to interiors.
Amongst curating local and international products and managing designer collaborations, I liaise with the suppliers ensuring the product is delivered - as at the end of the day, the buck stops with me when it comes to great service for the customers! I am also currently working on the fit out and design of the new store opening in Manly…watch this space for more details!

Why is SMITHMADE special? At SMITHMADE, we source unique products and represent suppliers from around the world. Our aim is to make these pieces available and accessible to everyone. By styling our showroom in a curated way, we hope to inspire the way people live and share our passion for surrounding themselves with beautiful objects.

What do you like about working with SMITHMADE? I love talking to customers about how they live as it helps me in recommending products for their home. And then the real kicker is delivering them the beautiful sofa (which looks and feels amazing) and then hearing the customer say, “We should have gotten rid of this old sofa 10 years ago!”


What else do you juggle outside of SMITHMADE? Interior consulting, working on commercial and retail projects in the Northern Beaches and Byron Bay with architect Drew Heath. Any chance to go to Byron and visit friends up there is always welcomed. I play ping-pong and tennis once a week, a little bit of gym… and of course my two lovely children and my wife!


What’s your favourite piece in the store? Beautiful Vicki Lee prints I never tire of looking at. We have two of her artwork pieces at home. 


Favourite food, holiday destination, and local spot? Easy – Italian/Amalfi Coast, Positano… Looking forward to celebrating my 49th at a Villa Mora where we always stay. 49 is the new 50!


What makes you feel happy in your home? Do you really want to know?! When it’s clean and organised.


You’ve never regretted buying…? Artwork for my beautiful wife as a wedding present.
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Meet our team:  Nicole Dunbar SMITHMADE Creative Director

Meet our team: Nicole Dunbar SMITHMADE Creative Director

Our creative team – the people who helped make SMITHMADE happen – is our community and work-life family. In celebration of our 1st birthday, we’d like you to meet the team who create inspiring ideas, interiors and images. Watch this space for more in this series of informal chats…

Introducing Nicole DunbarOwner/Director, Creative Director and Buyer

Why is SMITHMADE special? It’s the culmination of our retail lives, all our ideas over the years played out into one space. Within the physical space of the shop, there’s so much available to us. It allows us broad scope to do what we want to do beyond the traditional retail experience. We can integrate a collaborative work space, host events & exhibitions, along with other pop-up retail & hospitality offerings.  We can bring that all to life within the surroud of the beautiful pieces we have curated to sell. Like our other businesses, it’s community based. Rialto Square in Manly was like an extended family gathering, and we’ve just expanded on that.  SMITHMADE is one of the only multi-brand stores operating on the northern beaches allowing different aesthetics and points of view over time just like looking at the editorial pages of a home or design magazine.

What else do you juggle outside of SMITHMADE? I juggle work and family - our two children and our two fashion and lifestyle stores, Mclean & Page and Mr & Mrs Smith in Manly’s Rialto Square, but watch this space…

What’s your favourite piece in the store? The soon to arrive outdoor furniture which will also be coming home with me.

Favourite food, holiday destination, and local spot? Asian food. I love Turkey as a holiday destination and closer to home, swimming off Bower in Manly.

What makes you feel happy in your home? When it’s clean and tidy! Sitting in the garden around our SMITHMADE fire pit, with extended family, great food and good wine.

You’ve never regretted buying…I traipse back from overseas trips with ridiculous amounts of boxes, containers and suitcases full of special finds, and I‘ve never regretted any of those purchases! I’m naturally a collector/ hoarder!  If I had to choose one thing, it’s probably our hall light from Morocco, one of the things I brought back in the half container we filled and shipped back from our honeymoon.

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Mr & Mrs Smith + McLean & Page Autumn Winter Fashion Show

Mr & Mrs Smith + McLean & Page Autumn Winter Fashion Show

Shop the show in our SMITHMADE showroom with special offers on the entire collection offered exclusively on the night. 

RSVP's essential to events@smithmade.com.au

 

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A SMITHMADE Summer
Summer Entertaining at SMITHMADE

Summer Entertaining at SMITHMADE

We believe in bringing the outdoors in and extending the beauty of an indoor space out.

Dressing a old but well loved table with fresh new textiles, place settings, ceramics and beautiful soft furnishings, adding new stools, chairs, cushions, pots and durable designer indoor/outdoor furniture can transform a space ensuring the summer months are special ones, to be enjoyed entertaining with friends and family.

 We have curated an edit of Summer Entertaining staples especially for your SMITHMADE Summer. We look forward to welcoming you in store. 
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New Arrivals: SM Vintage Turkish Rugs
Interiors Addict // SMITHMADE: A new northern beaches retail experience for Sydney

Interiors Addict // SMITHMADE: A new northern beaches retail experience for Sydney

As retail continues to evolve (necessity is the mother, right?), we’re starting to see more and more interesting purveyors popping up and the latest addition to Sydney’s northern beaches scene is one such business. Based in Balgowlah, and the brainchild of Nicole and David Dunbar (of Manly’s Mr & Mrs Smith fame), the warehouse space is primarily a retail store but boasts a co-working space complete with photography studio and commercial kitchen for food styling and events too.

A styled space at SMITHMADE

“First and foremost, we are a retail furniture and design store providing an editorial room-to-room walk-through experience. SMITHMADE is curated to show the individual aesthetics of local and international designers and to seamlessly integrate products into the idea of a home.  Our aim is to regularly offer different points of view through our own styling and also through external stylists and tastemakers to keep the space interesting and ever-evolving,” says Nicole.

The store features a broad product mix with Turkish rugs, South East Asian antiques and one-off pieces featured alongside a series of pop-up spaces and rotating artists. “Presently we are showcasing MCM House as their only Sydney distributor (outside their own stores) and Pop & Scott have a 50sqm pop-up too.” The store also features Scandinavian labels Fogia, Friends & Founders, Rubn Lighting and Swedese, alongside Dinosaur Designs, In Bed, Pony Rider and a host of other homewares and soft furnishings.

Aside from the retail offering, SMITHMADE is a hub for creatives too, with co-working spaces regularly on offer. “Most creatives today have all the technology available to enable them to work from any place and at any time. I believe with this increase in mobility and flexibility, there has also been a drive to work in spaces that are both inspiring and practical for their needs. We also hear from our creative community the immense value in collaboration for inspiration, the cultivation of ideas, and sometimes even the technicalities of producing what they love. Many of the people that utilise our space are sole operators or small design businesses so the opportunity to share ideas on styling, marketing, promotion or even bookkeeping and finances, is invaluable,” says Nicole.

David and Nicole Dunbar

The store’s commercial kitchen also gives it the ability to host events, workshops and exhibitions ensuring the calendar is always full. “So far we have hosted talks and workshops by the Sydney Design School, a fashion show by Mr & Mrs Smith, and have an amazing photographic exhibition scheduled for February. By March we will have hosted a high-profile launch event for award-winning architect and designer Drew Heath, and even a beef and beer masterclass curated by the amazing chef of Mumu Grill fame, Craig Macindoe,” says Nicole.

The warehouse space is an ever-changing scene

The store has also hosted a series of floral workshops by Fleurette. “It has been a busy start in our first six months since opening, but we are loving it and plan on continuing and growing the interactive side of the business,” says Nicole.

 

AMY COLLINS WALKER

As Published by Interiors Addict23 January 2017 

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Celebrate the New Year! A Summer Sale at SMITHMADE

SMITHMADE GIFT GUIDE; The Art of Giving

 

To celebrate the Art of Giving at SMITHMADE, we've curated The Edit of just a few of our favourite things. 

Be sure to also browse the beautiful array of distinctive and different Christmas gifts. We’re confident we have something for every person on your list. SM Store you're one stop shop this holiday season. 

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Artist in Residence; Mick Bruzzese

Artist in Residence; Mick Bruzzese

 Nicole Dunbar, co-founder of SMITHMADE, sits down to shoot the breeze with Northern Beaches based photographer, artist and maker Mick Bruzzese

How long have you been working as a photographer?

I have been in the industry for about 20 years, starting out just before the transition from film to digital. I knew everything you needed to know about film and spent endless hours in the darkroom. At the time I had really hoped to go to university and do a Fine Arts degree however places were finite and I had to find alternate way into doing what I loved. The photography assistant job was perfect for me as I have always had a thing for fashion and art.

How would you say your photography style has evolved over time?

I’d have to say while it has evolved in fluid way, my photography has always been consistent. My style of fashion photography is a little edgier than most and I don’t see that changing. I think my style resonates with youth. You could describe it as gritty with a romantic edge. I’ve never given up on that aesthetic, from when I was assisting right through to my time as head photographer on shoots. It’s what I do.

Tell me about your upcoming exhibition at SMITHMADE?

My upcoming exhibition at SMITHMADE on December 1 will be one of my largest. It’s a somewhat eclectic collection of works from the last few years that encompasses mainly fashion and florals, as well as a few other things I’ve captured that I think are beautiful.

Did you have a specific inspiration, or inspirations, for the exhibition?

I have always had a fascination with finding the beauty in imperfection. Working in fashion for such a long time I’ve seen many beautiful young models come and go, it’s a fickle industry that seems focused on perfection. However, my belief is that it’s the subtle imperfections that demonstrate what real beauty is all about. Fashion allows you the freedom to express and create therefore I always look to feature the imperfections and shoot them beautifully well.

I’ve replicated this same approach with flowers. All my floral images find beauty in imperfection.

Poppies, roses and magnolia are quite graphic and lend themselves well to this type of photography however even dead flowers are exceptionally beautiful. In this series I’ve played with colour and introduced an Andy Warhol aesthetic to colour print in different ways. I’m able to draw on my experience in the darkroom and really enhance and manipulate colour.

I’ve actually shot flowers for years but most of this work is buried in scrap books and has never seen light of day. It’ll be nice to actually showcase them when I exhibit at SMITHMADE in December. 

Who are your greatest influences? Photographers, artists or otherwise.

I’ve been fortunate to work with some top fashion photographers who specialise in film, including Richard Bailey and Chris Colls. I love some of the early work of Bruce Weber, and also admire Helmut Newton and Irving Penn.

Apart from that, the grunge movement in the 90’s has, is and will always be, a massive influence of mine.

What are your tips on choosing the best art for your home?

That’s a difficult one. You can never discount the importance of personal taste. Be sure to choose what you like as you’re going to see it often. Also consider the broader look and feel of your home.

Personally, I think big bold pieces are great. One or two stand-out pieces in every home is a must. Also, change your artwork around every year or so, and move pieces from one wall or room to another. Ensure you have a good mix of styles incorporating temporary and classic.

Mick Bruzesse, a body of Work will run from Thursday December 1, exclusively at SMITHMADE store. Contact us here for expressions of interest and to RSVP.

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Celebrating Beauty In Imperfection

Celebrating Beauty In Imperfection

At SMITHMADE our style ethos is to offer different aesthetics and design ‘points-of-view’ from which our customers can draw upon. Over the next few weeks we are highlighting the beauty in imperfection, often juxtaposed against modern design and its desire for perfection. This is one of our favourite combinations, and when put together, it can create magic!

Like our feature Maker this week, photographer Mick Bruzzese, we too believe it’s the subtle imperfections that are the real beauty. 

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