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Living room with agra rug

Northcote Point Residence by Studio 11:11

Inspiration comes from many places for Melbourne-based design duo Studio 11:11.
In their latest project Northcote Point Residence, the designers have paid homage to their NZ clients’ hometown aesthetic, creating a space that is both soothing and visually inspiring.
Muted colors and organic textures provide the perfect backdrop for locally sourced antique furnishings and modern design classics. Below, Annabel Smart and Marijne Vogel share details of their design process, seeking inspiration and their global outlook.

Photography by James K Lowe.

Lamp and vase on tables
Living room with agra rug

Annabel, when did you first realize your passion for interiors?

Annabel Smart:
I’ve always been a visually inspired person. I studied architecture but after a few years working in that industry realized that I was drawn to the more intimate scale and faster pace of interiors and how the experience of space can profoundly affect our mood and our well-being.

Marijne, how did growing up in the Netherlands influence your design eye and aesthetic?

Marijne Vogel:
During my time at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague I learned to create something from the ground up. The focus was on designing something truly original every time. This is something I’ve continued in my career as a designer.

Most Dutch towns and cities can feel very homogeneous, featuring mostly brick facades. Yet somehow these buildings are unique and it is this subtle contrast I find incredibly beautiful. Eliminating unnecessary elements and materials to create a restrained and considered outcome.

Our Agra Rug in Oyster.
Our Agra Rug in Oyster.

What made you decide to team up and launch your own practice?

We met as colleagues at a Melbourne design firm and quickly realized we had similar design values and that we shared a passion for all things design-related – fashion, product design and interior architecture. Our first project together was a leather tote bag that we used to carry around our A3 drawings sets.

How would you describe the 11:11 design philosophy? Is there a common thread between the interiors you have worked on?

No matter the output, what defines every 11:11 project are the notions of functionality, simplicity and craftsmanship.

Lamp in bedroom
Dining room

One of our favorite spaces of late is the living room in your Northcote Point Residence, featuring our Agra rug in Oyster. What considerations were front of mind when you were choosing a rug? (eg, color, size, fiber, weave, placement)

We wanted to create a space within the house where our clients would feel comfortable to lounge and hosting friends at the same time. The Agra rug was a perfect match and paired with unique one-off furniture pieces, we were able to create a sophisticated and warm environment.

What was your vision for this home? How does it reflect the way your clients want to live?

Our clients approached us upon moving back to their native NZ, after having lived overseas for some time. They returned home to Auckland during the pandemic and wanted to create a place that they could quickly settle into with their young family. We curated a selection of locally sourced vintage and antique furnishings paired with more modern design classics for a slightly familiar feeling to the spaces.

Bedroom designed by Studio 11:11

Are there any colors, textures and materials you were drawn to for this project?

A natural, earthy and textural palette of finishes was used to give a sense of tranquillity and comfort in their new home. The focus was on texture and the colors were kept paired back and muted.

Whether it be a particular room or a unique object, what is your favorite feature of the home?

The Brutalist armoire in the formal living room was one of our first finds and set the tone for the remaining furniture and objects selections.

We strongly believe in buying fewer but better things. What are your reasons for investing in quality pieces with real longevity?

Timeless pieces made from quality materials will never be redundant or outdated.

Living room with our Agra Rug in Oyster.

Do you have any tips to ensure that a home will endure and evolve over time?

Choose natural materials that will age well, choose pieces that are practical and comfortable, choose things that you are personally attracted to over current trends.

"The Australian design industry is pioneering in the field of health and well-being."

You’ve made your mark working in both Australia and New Zealand. What excites you about the design scene in each country?

The New Zealand design scene is a small world and since being back here I’ve found it so enjoyable collaborating with a community of highly-skilled, passionate and good-natured people. I also find inspiration in the kiwi products, we’re fortunate to have some of the best wools, leather, timbers and stone sourced right here in NZ.

The Australian design industry is pioneering in the field of health and well-being. This resonates with our philosophy on how interior environments can affect us on a day-to-day basis. Ever since moving to Australia, I’ve felt a strong sense of community amongst fellow designers. Resulting in long-lasting friendships and a sense of belonging.

Vases on a mantle

Finally, what’s keeping you creatively stimulated in these uncertain times?

With travel being essentially out of the cards at present it has been a great time to delve into the vernacular and be inspired by local artists and skilled craftspeople. There is also a growing necessity for local materials and makers to avoid long and uncertain lead times and the associated costs. We also love finding old interior and architectural books and magazines, they provide insightful lessons from the past and are a great way to avoid subconsciously copying trends.

Wood art hanging on wall
Blanket draped on couch

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