Anaca Studio

Words: Manuela Millan
Photos: Martina Gemmola

We had a chat with Anne-Claire Petre, creative director of Anaca studio about their new take on the forever favourite Camille sofa. Anaca studio designs versatile, sustainably-produced forever pieces, at home in all kinds of aesthetically minimalist interiors, and offering cool comfort throughout the seasons.

The lovely pieces were photographed by Martina Gemmola and styled by Ruth Welsby with Damien Lui from Honto Architecture's stunning modern house providing the perfect backdrop.

Hope you enjoy the fun Q&A!

Meanwhile in Melbourne - Anaca studio

MM: What’s your favorite part of being a designer?

AC: The challenge to create something new and fresh. When you feel you’ve nailed something and it’s really innovative that’s extremely rewarding. I love getting briefs from clients for custom designs as it also involves a collaborative process which I really enjoy.


MM: What has been the hardest part of designing furniture?

AC: Coming up with new designs can be a real challenge. So much has been done before.
I do thrive to be as innovative as possible, however I don’t believe that everything has to be. I love very simple designs and the hardest part of that is finding ways to create something a little different and make it your own, small details are everything.
Working within specific budgets usually dictates the final design, specific details or the materials we can work with and some restraint often needs to be applied.  


MM: Can you define your style?

AC:Coming from France and having done most of my design education in Europe has had a deep impact on my aesthetic. But I have also been living in Australia for nearly 20 years now and feel at home here. So I would define my style as relaxed in a European way with a touch of Australian influence. Smart but practical.


MM: What can't you live without?

AC: Friends and family.


MM: What was your childhood like? Did you grow up in a creative household?

AC: I didn’t exactly grow up in a creative household, however Mum has a bit of interior flair. Because most of what she purchased was of high quality, so she didn’t change the interior often but I remember a handful of times when she brought home books and books of wallpapers and fabrics for curtains. The furniture was antique (still is) but she put a modern and eclectic touch to the rest of the house. Travertine and timber floors, travertine coffee table, afghan rugs, velvet and later leather sofas (which we’ve had for over 30 years now).

What I have grown up with, is the understanding that quality is everything. What we purchase should be considerate so that we don’t have to replace everything within a few years because it falls apart or because the trend is over.  

MM: What is the first thing you do in the morning?

AC: Hit the snooze button!

MM: Can you recommend a good read / good playlist?

AC: I really enjoy getting my newsletters from Fiona Killackey from My Daily Business Coach. It’s business & marketing made simple. It’s personal and professional at the same time and has plenty of tips and advice.


MM: Can you recommend a coffee place and a restaurant in Melbourne?

AC: My Collingwood local Mina-no-ie for coffee, it’s a handy 2min from the studio and there’s an amazing calming vibe there with all these gorgeous plants from The Plant Society.

Closer to home, Rudimentary in Footscray is also a great place, love sitting outside in summer amongst their veggie patches.

Restaurant… Rice Queen in Fitzroy is a definite favourite.

Meanwhile in Melbourne - Anaca studio
Meanwhile in Melbourne - Anaca studio
Meanwhile in Melbourne - Anaca studio
Meanwhile in Melbourne - Anaca studio
Meanwhile in Melbourne - Anaca studio
Meanwhile in Melbourne - Anaca studio