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Q&A with Alison, Sarah & Hayley

Q&A with Alison, Sarah & Hayley

Join us as we delve into the visionary minds behind the Hepburn Hardware X REN STUDIO Collaboration Collection with a fun & informative Q&A.

What sparked the idea for this exciting collaboration?

REN
I guess for us it was two fold – we were constantly on the lookout for the perfect streamlined handle for our clients, but could never find exactly what we were after to pair with our ranges of fronts.  Our general approach is less is more and we always our clients to achieve the sophisticated outcome we love and know works well.  The second reason – we love Hepburn Hardware’s approach to doing business, and their team!  The treat their clients and staff very well, which strongly aligns with our business philosophy.  We’ve known Alison for a good few years now and have become great friends, and our fronts usually require hardware, so it was a really logical, fun collaboration for us.

ALISON
Chatting with the girls about their clients needs and the limitations of us fulfilling that separately sparked the idea. We've been friends way longer than we've had our businesses, so it wasn’t hard to get the whole idea off the ground once we figured out. Cabinets and handles are the perfect pairing and working with Sarah and Hayley has been so nice due to everyones blunt directness of what will and won’t work. Less fluff and all action.

How would you describe the overall theme and vibe of this collaborative collection?

REN
The vibe is definitely a minimal one.  We find simplicity in (nearly) all design elements is what speaks to us, our clients, and stands the test of time well.  We knew exactly what we were looking to achieve in our first hardware collection, and this is it!  We’re thrilled with how the range has come to life.

ALISON
This collection would be the most modern hardware we've done, so it plays to more pared back simple architecture, whilst staying very functional.

What makes this collaboration uniquely Australian?

REN
It’s been designed by Australian designers, specifically for Australian projects.  We have a clear aesthetic and this range speaks to the simplicity and elegance we strive for in all of our product offerings.  Proportion and finish were particularly important to us during the design process.

ALISON
Randomly this style of handle was one of the first pieces that caught my eye as timeless hardware when I first started this business 10 years ago. There is a book I have of Australian modernist homes of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and it suits this aesthetic perfectly. So timeless and simple, however the finishes they come in make them really beautiful.

 

Any favourite collaboration moments or anecdotes during the creative process?

REN
Is it wrong to say design meetings over lunch?!  Shoutout to Bam Bams…  In all serious it’s been great to learn the intricacies of hardware  – products we’ve long specified and recommended, and to have a deeper knowledge of the design and production process has been a great learning experience for our team.

ALISON

Definitely! Our first design meeting. We were all so excited to be doing something together that there was this flurry of ideas and drawings and cabinet fronts and brass in one big puff of creativity. Designing is my favourite part of the business so this was a real thrill and I like thinking back to that day.

How can customers get their hands on this limited-edition collaborative collection?

REN
Through either the Ren Studio or Hepburn Hardware websites.

ALISON
The collection will be found on our website as well as Ren Studio’s. You can also order it through our stockists, which is also on our website.

Any plans for future collaborations or exciting projects on the horizon?

REN
Absolutely.  I won’t spoil the surprise, but stay tuned…

ALISON
This was our first collaboration and it was a really interesting experience from start to finish. I’m always on the look out and asking people what they can’t currently find and how I might be able to fill that gap. There is so much room to move in the hardware industry, so watch this space as we start dive into new areas. I can’t wait to get it all out.

VIEW COLLECTION HERE

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Designer Spotlight - Carlene Duffy

Designer Spotlight - Carlene Duffy
We seriously LOVE the Interior Designers we work with
and we want to shout their skills from the rooftops.
DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT is where we showcase
their incredible talents a little further.

Introducing:
Carlene Duffy - Cedar & Suede
To learn more about Carlene and her work head to
www.cedarandsuede.com.au
Thank you for enjoying this DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT
with us.
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RENOVATION TIPS - with Alexandra Nea Graham

RENOVATION TIPS - with Alexandra Nea Graham
It's warming up & with Summer Holiday's approaching it can often be a time for home owners to take on renovation projects (or at least put some major plans in place to kick start them in the new year.)
 
To help inspire and hopefully guide you, we reached out to talented illustrator (& now accomplished home renovator) Alexandra Nea Graham to have a chat about her stunning family home renovation & share some insider info with you all.

 

What was your most recent renovation project?

Our family home on the upper North Shore, Sydney. The original home on the block was a classic 1950's timber weatherboard single-story home. We moved in with a 6-month-old and a 3yr old then spent 4 years living in the home in its original state, (there was no toilet in the only bathroom, it was out the back in the laundry!) whilst I dreamt up many many design options for a complete overhaul of the home. If you plan to renovate rather than knockdown rebuild, living in the home before is such a must if you can, you get to understand how the light flows and moves across your block and in and out of the home throughout the seasons, how to trap the Winter sun for extra coziness and shield it from the heat of an Australian Summer, what works layout wise for you and your family and what may need updating 

 

Was this your first reno?

No, we had previously completed a total renovation of our first home in Newtown. It was an original 1900's one bed single story semi (no kitchen to speak of at all, just a freestanding oven and a sink, no benches or cupboards, like camping, but we lived in it again for a few years before we started building) and we converted it into a two story three bed home, gutting the lot except the one common wall and front two rooms. This was a renovation done on a tight budget in cramped conditions (the house was 3.5m wide) but we had an amazing building team who made the process run so smoothly and I well and truly caught the renovation bug.


What drew you to Hepburn Hardware?

I had seen some of my favourite interior designers using Hepburn Hardware in their projects and I loved the modern twist on a classic that Hepburn offered with their designs. After ordering a few samples I was completely taken with the weight and feel of the handles, they not only looked gorgeous but I felt they could withstand the vigorous use my family was going to put them through

What advice would you give to first time renovators?

Open communication and a respectful relationship with your builder and trades is the absolute key to a successful project. 

 

What is your personal interior design style?

Oh, very eclectic! I'm a real, if I love it I want it and will make it work somehow in my home type person. I am drawn to old worldly objects and furniture, the more rustic the better. I guess I'm a mix of vintage country Australian furniture, french antiques with layers of textured textiles, throw in a bit of chinoiserie print and I'm a tragic for tiger cane.

 

What would be your alter-ego dream home?

An Australian country style wrap around verandah weatherboard timber home, lots of fret work, choc full of decorative ceilings, picture rails, fireplaces and cozy nooks perched on a rolling green hill with bush to my left and sea views to my right.

 

Favourite Hepburn Products?

I absolutely adore our kitchen handles, The Surrey in Acid washed Brass finish which has aged so beautifully over the past year. We paired this with the Ascot knob and the two together just add the perfect touch of rustic warmth to our kitchen scheme.

 

Now the big one….did you have a budget and did you stick to it?

Haha.. Yes and No!

We started with a budget and as is often the case that budget blew out. It wasn't entirely out of our control, a lot of the budget changes came from us adjusting the scope of the building work with our very patient builder as we went, but some of it came from unfortunate unforseen building issues that can arise when renovating a 70 year old house. We were renovating during the timber shortage and crazy price rises of 2021/22 and once we started gutting the house, we discovered we had to rebuild most of the timber framework, a definite blow. But again we had an amazing flexible builder who allowed us to pull from other areas that were coming in less than budget to compensate for the blow out areas. We also pulled back on some items in the end that could wait to a later date, hopefully incoming 2024..

 

What would be one thing you would do differently?

Really the only thing that bugs me is the layout of my laundry. I didn't give it enough consideration when I was designing it and I would change it now if I had the chance to better suit how I use it, but having never had a proper laundry before I have forgiven myself for this design faux paux! I could also say, I should have been much more strict in sticking to my budget and not getting carried away with on the fly creative changes but then I wouldn't have the home I do today..

 

Builder: Chris Peat @riversidebuildinganddesign - Riverside Building and Design

Joinery: Tod Gribble @conceptdesignkitchens - Concept Designs Kitchen and Joinery

Kitchen Doors: @farmersdoors - Farmers Doors

 

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Designer Spotlight - Bec Shnider

Designer Spotlight - Bec Shnider

We seriously LOVE the Interior Designers we work with and we want to sing their skills from the rooftops.
Introducing DESIGNER SPOTLIGHTS where we showcase their incredible talents a little further.
First up is the wonderful Bec Shnider.





 

Thank you for enjoying this Designer Spotlight with us.
TO LEARN more about Bec head to her website www.becshnider.com.au
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It's Project Time

It's Project Time


It’s the time of year everyone’s busy planning projects, so we’ve put together some handy tips to make specifying your hardware easy.


 

Make sure your handle width is in proportion with your drawer width. 
We’ve taken the guess work out with a quick guide for our hardware: 

96mm drill hole centred handle will suit a drawer up to 600mm wide
128mm drill hole centred handle will suit a drawer up to 800mm wide
256mm drill hole centred handle will suit a drawer any wider than 800mm
(an alternative to this is putting two 96mm handles at either end of the drawer.)

 

There are no strict rules around matching your tapware and handles. Contrasting colours can give a great look. The kitchen above pairs our Burnished Brass Bamboo handles with a matte black tap and a chrome sink.

If you're going to match your handles with your tapware, it's important for your finishes and colours to match perfectly. We recommend looking to these popular brands — Astra Walker, Sussex, Perrin and Rowe and Brodware, as our finishes match their colour ways.

Brodware
  • durobrite chrome
    polished chrome
  • ROMA BRONZE
    BURNISHED BRASS
  • Nero
    BLACKEST BLACK
  • WEATHERED BRASS OR STATUE BRONZE
    OIL-RUBBED BRONZE
Astra walker
  • Polished Chrome
    polished chrome
  • Brushed Platinum
    satin nickel
  • matt black
    BLACKEST BLACK
  • ECO BRASS
    ACID WASHED BRASS
  • DARK BRONZE
    OIL-RUBBED BRONZE
Sussex
  • Chrome
    polished chrome
  • Brushed Nickel
    satin nickel
  • matt black
    BLACKEST BLACK
  • RUSTIC IRON OR RUSTIC BRONZE
    OIL-RUBBED BRONZE
  • BRUSHED PURE GOLD
    BURNISHED BRASS
  • BRUSHED BRASS
    ACID-WASHED BRASS
PERRIN AND ROWE
  • Chrome
    polished chrome
  • PEWTER
    SATIN NICKLE
  • AGED BRASS
    ACID WASHED BRASS
  • ENGLISH BRONZE
    OIL-RUBBED BRONZE

 

 

Lots of people ask us what the pros and cons are between Polished Chrome and Satin Nickel. Here's a little run down... Polished Chrome has a blue undertone, so gives a cooler feel. It’s the hardiest of all our finishes, so it’s best for coastal areas. It’s also reflective, so can leave finger marks. Satin Nickel has a gold undertone, so has a warmer feel. It features light brushstrokes and is lacquered so it won’t patina or leave finger marks. Style-wise, if you’d like your hardware to stand out, Polished Chrome is your girl, if not, go with Satin Nickel.
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Interior stylist Kerrie-Ann Jones has reviewed our new hooks, Eden and Atticus.

Please allow us to introduce you to our latest arrivals, the Eden Hook and Atticus Hook.

The Eden Hook was inspired by English country homes and designed by Alison in collaboration with the Hepburn Hardware interiors community. This coat and hat hook was created to compliment a range of design aesthetics and is just at home in a French Provincial setting as she is in a classic heritage home.

EDEN HOOK

 

With a wide domed top so your hat won’t dent, our Eden Hook is available in five of our favourite finishes – burnished brass, blackest black, satin nickel, polished chrome and an exterior rated raw brass; the choice to either mix metals or carry through an accent colour is all yours!

The Atticus Hook might look familiar! We’d forgive you for thinking it was our Atticus knob, but we’ve added a front-screw construction, so you can now carry Atticus from cabinetry to walls.

ATTICUS HOOK

 

Interior stylist Kerrie-Ann Jones has reviewed our new hooks, and provided us with some tips on how to position them within the home.

 Tell us what you think of our new hooks – Eden and Atticus?

I'm all about timeless and sophisticated design. I really like how both the Eden and Atticus hooks will never date and look great ten years from now.

What do you like most about our new Eden Hook?

I like the classic curve hook design. It's perfect for hanging up coats behind a door or on the wall and the beautiful finish options suit any style of home.

EDEN HOOK

 

What design aesthetic do you feel the Eden Hook would be most ‘at home’ in?

I think it best suits classic period homes including - Victorian, terrace, country homesteads and Hamptons style... any home that has character and feels loved.

What are your top tips for selecting the “right” hook for a project?

Consider the location of the hook. Do you have the space for a large hook like the Eden or less space where the Atticus might be more suitable? Also, think about its purpose. What will you be hanging on it? Larger hooks best suit more oversized items and smaller hooks for lighter items. The design style of your home is also important. If your home is minimal and modern, then the Atticus would be better suited. If your home has period features, the Eden is the way to go.

Are you a metal mixer? Or do you prefer them to match?

I prefer to keep all the metal finishes consistent throughout the home. For example, when I'm using brass hardware for the joinery and hooks, I will match this with brass tapware in the bathrooms. I think it makes more of a statement this way.

How do you decide what colour metal to use on projects?

I first create a physical mood board with all the finishes and textures I plan to use in the home. I’ll then play around with various metal finishes to see which one suits the palette and textures on my mood board. I also research and find inspiration of other interiors with a similar feel to see what metals have been used and if it fits the interior I'm working on.

What advice do you have regarding the placement of hooks on walls? Doors?

Firstly, you need to know what you are drilling into? Is it gyprock or brick, do you have a stud behind? Ideally, if you have gyprock walls, you want to drill into the stud for maximum strength. So make sure you use the correct drill bit for the type of wall you are drilling into.

Secondly, you want to make sure you have your hooks at an ideal height. There is no perfect height, it’s whatever works for you. But I would say not too low. You don’t want your coats touching the floor collecting dirt and dust, but then not too high where short people (like me!) can’t reach.

Lastly, make sure you have enough of a gap between each hook to allow for large items, so it doesn't look cluttered.

And there you have it! Top tips from Kerrie-Ann Jones on the most asked questions about hook selections and placements.

You can shop our entire hook range here.

 

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Hardware selections for French Provincial styling

French Provincial styling has been making it’s way into Australian interiors for a little while now, and has recently gained popularity due to it’s classic elegance.

At the forefront for many people’s go-to aesthetic has been a Hamptons styled kitchen, which has previously leaned towards a grander American style, however this is starting to change. Australia’s take on France’s style, or America’s for that matter, is always a more paired back version due to our house footprints generally being smaller and not having their pre-set architecture to back it up. So, we adopt the parts that we like and will work within our homes.

The French Provincial aesthetic stems from the providences of France, where country craftsmen began fusing design inspiration from town homes in the late 1700s, with country accents that made a unique blended style. This was achieved through finding a balance of chic elegance, and rustic, country style characteristics, drawn from timber pieces, including exposed beams, timber flooring and chunky furniture like dining tables, buffets and cupboards. French interior design style strikes that ideal balance between intricate details and luxury style, with casual effortlessness and timelessness.

The Australian version of French Provincial can be as simple as a using a white shaker cabinet profile, which stands the test of time and has easy appeal if renovating to sell, however adding trimmings that can be quite detailed (i.e. lighting, tapware and hardware). Our Kew handle has been the perfect blend of ornate intricacy, with it’s turned ends and detailed feet, but not too over the top that it looks like it’s just been taken out of a Chateau. You may also choose lattice or louvered cabinet doors to really embrace intricate details, but no matter what you pick our Kew range will compliment it perfectly. With a choice of handle lengths, including an appliance pull, it’s the easiest way to take of the influence of French provincial styling whilst making it your own.

Kitchen by Danielle Victoria Design, and photography by ESS Creative.

The most used colour palettes for this style include shades of white, neutrals, greys, creams, blushes and light blues. Our acid washed brass, satin nickel, or scorched black colourways add warm tones to this and are favoured by French provincial homes, as they complement the white and grey tones throughout the house.

Kitchen by Kate Walker Design. Photography by Armelle Habib.

When selecting your kitchen cupboards you may opt for heritage, shaker or raised panel cabinets that take inspiration from this classic style. Some of our favourites are ‘Waratah’, ‘Provincial’ and ‘Virginia’ by Farmers Doors.

Bespoke cabinets in Kate Walker's home featuring our Kew Handle. Photography by Armelle Habib.

 

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