This little cottage in rural NSW has been on my list of places to stay from the moment I first heard the clever duo from Saddler and Co, Bede and Jemima Aldridge, had joined together with friends, Ric and Moir Jones, to transform a sweet little workers cottage into a regional retreat. When it was my time to stay however, there was no room at the inn, I had left my run too late on this sort after little space! Thankfully I was lucky enough to steel away Jemima for a quick moment to hear a little more about the vision and design choices of The Repose, Dubbo.
What was your must have pieces or features within the space?
A must have element to our space was making sure all the design items sourced had a story of real craftsmanship, made from materials that would age gracefully. Curated pieces and original artworks within The Repose were chosen in order to connect guests to the makers stories we admire. A few favourites were the Thonet chairs, Brass lighting, Armadillo & Co rugs, Sussex tapware and Hale Mercantile linen.
What were your key principles when creating your visual story?
Conceptual design is something I’m always thinking about from an experiential view. "What is the purpose here? And how do I want others to feel?" It is always personal. My particular style of visual stories are pulled together slowly, drawing upon timeless heritage and history, raw materials, elements of nature and the Australian countryside. I also find myself considering the environment, both natural and made, where each story is set. Simple principles imbue excellence into an experience that hopefully touches the observer and inspires their soul.
How have you used lighting? Why these pieces, what is their purpose? What mood do they help create?
I love choosing lighting for both aesthetic and ambiance in a room. Lighting should always illuminate a space with both purpose and beauty. I ponder lighting choices and will always take more time searching for just the right piece! I seek to choose lights that fit the story of the space and hero design elements already in place for the room.
The lighting in The Repose is all about creating a cosy mood of rest and inspiration. So we made a point of feature lights in all the key areas starting from the outside in. For example, in the main bedroom my first project was designing the inbuilt bedhead as a feature wall. I knew that I wanted built-in wired lights and searched Lighting Collective for the perfect brass reading lights that complemented the design without overpowering the main feature.
Occasionally in the design process, I will source an amazing piece and then design a room around this. This was true in the kitchen of the Repose. I discovered an original vintage light shade and knew immediately that it was destined for the kitchen before I added any other elements (such as tapware or cabinetry).
What do you hope people will feel when in the space? What was it designed for?
The Repose centres around the sensory touch points, connection, with a focus on artisan items made by hand within each room. My co owners and I sought to create a holistic experience of design & hospitality - referenced by an atmosphere of belonging, time spent with loved ones, and a common sense of well being. This is a space to breathe, to reset and slow down.
What will the years to follow hold for you?
Here at The Repose, my coshost Moir and myself will be busy ensuring a hospitable welcome to travellers. There will be a focus on crafting a local experience here in regional NSW.
For myself, I also plan to begin the intensely personal work of restoring my own home, a hundred year old farmhouse on the country outskirts of Dubbo. This will be immersive and reflective of both my family's needs and the beauty of a home that feels alive with purpose and creativity.
I feel that we may see a focus on authentic, raw materiality and layered styling elements when designing spaces.
Favourite lighting collective pieces?
I have always loved LC exterior wall lights in brass, and for The Repose we chose the Gooseneck with conical shade in two styles / the Brass and also the Antique Bronze. I also find the Long bracket with Vintage shade is extremely versatile and adds understated luxury to entry ways.
I'm dreaming of choosing some items from the Italian range of lighting.... on my personal wish list!
What Magazines are you reading?
However my reading now revolved mainly around books. I've been investing in a collection of beautiful design reference books this year.
I dip into these books for inspiration and grounding, seeking long term principles rather than seasonal trends.
Who are you following?
So hard to choose just a few!
@rosie_seabrook for European design inspiration
@clairedelmar for impeccable styling and interiors
@nataliewalton for stories with intention and beautiful homes