Words: Manuela Millan
MM: What makes you passionate about design?
NP: Interiors, art and furniture. I love to learn about the designer, where the products are made, how they’re made. Its the story and not just the pieces on face value that make me passionate about design and passing that onto my clients.
MM: Where do you look for inspiration?
NP: I’m a bit old school with books and magazines! As much as I love instagram, sometimes it can be saturated with so much visual content that my brain can’t process it effectively. Not to mention always looking at images in the same format. I feel like we do so much already on our phones that it’s nice to keep some tactility in our design lives!
I also really love dropping into showrooms and chatting to my reps about new products that have just launched and seeing them in the flesh, it just doesn’t even compare to a phone screen.
Dining in gorgeous restaurants and seeing their fit outs, food presentation of colours and textures, the crockery, the art, uniforms, menus- everything. Design is in the detail so its the smallest little handle detail or banquet stitching detail that will catch my eye.
MM: Where do you start to design and make? Tell us a bit more of your creative process
NP: We are always looking at new products, new fabric samples and have a huge library of samples that we refer to when we’re coming up with new ideas. We have a few key companies that we work with that are continually pushing the boundaries in the textile world and who’s quality we can always rely on.
The process itself is pretty hands on, making samples and proto types until we’re happy with a range. We’re also passionate about manufacturing them locally. Recently, we have even been able to source our inserts from a local family business who makes them up for us. We get to collaborate and customise our range for our industry clients which is always fun too. It’s a really fun process that honestly does not feel like work at all for us!
MM: Tell us how did you cam up with ni.ni creative?
NP: We came up with ni.ni.creative as our friendship and partnership is really built on our passion for design in the furniture and interiors world. We have always collaborated on designs together so it sort of made sense for us to have a platform where we could creatively explore some of our ideas, officially, together that kind of merged our two professional worlds together!
The cushions came about initially from a love of beautiful textiles made in the Netherlands and Denmark. Absolute quality and such an amazing selection of colours and textures, it was easy to be inspired about what we could do with them. We love to bring in a little bit of quirk with our combinations too!
MM: If you get to choose another city to live rather than Melbourne, where would you go and why?
NP: I would have to be a total cliche and say New York city. I think the creative scene would be incredibly inspiring not just from an interiors perspective but art, fashion and food! I just love the fast paced nature and buzz of the city too which would be a refreshing change from our current quiet beachside lifestyle! Even if we lived in a shoebox I’m sure it would totally be worth it for the for a year or two!
MM: Where do you get the best coffee in Melbourne? And where do you get the best meal?
NP: Best coffee I would have to say Top Paddock in Richmond, always reliable! Best meal I recently had was the polenta and meatballs at Smith St Alimentari as well as everything on the menu at Teta Mona in Brunswick. I think I could eat there everyday. Food is unpretentious, fresh and packs a punch in terms of flavour.
MM: What are your plans for the future?
NP: Plans for the future with ni.ni.creative is to expand our range beyond cushions. We are currently talking about some ideas so watch this space! We’ve also been working on some big interior fit outs with some of Melbourne’s top designers so seeing those come to fruition will be great too.
With my interior business NP.CO I would love to start collaborating more closely with architects during the design process on sourcing the right pieces that bring the whole project together, not only the art and furniture but right down to the vases and coasters!