Charm and Whimsy

As Adelaide experiences a renaissance in retail and hospitality design a new name can be added to the growing list of local interior design talents.

As Adelaide experiences a renaissance in retail and hospitality design a new name can be added to the growing list of local interior design talents.

Adelaide’s newest retail and hospitality fit-outs suggest something of a design renaissance taking place. In the last two years innovative interiors such as Press Food and Wine and LAX have re-invigorated the local design landscape, setting new standards in the process. Names such as Claire Kneebone and Ryan Genesin – responsible, respectively, for these two fit-outs – are now leading the charge as two of Adelaide’s brightest emerging interior design talents. Even within the last few months three notable new retail and hospitality fit outs have opened their doors. St Louis dessert bar on Gouger Street, Hither & Yon cellar door in McLaren Vale and Rio Coffee showroom in Stepney are all as inviting as they are eye-catching. That they also show off the considerable skills of interior designer Georgie Shepherd means that Adelaide’s list of emerging talents continues to grow. The University of South Australia interior architecture graduate established her own studio almost three years ago and in that short period of time has already built up an impressive portfolio. Working in residential, retail and hospitality design Shepherd’s aesthetic is a casual mix of classic vintage finds and contemporary styling. It’s hard to pin down a signature look because her interiors are all so diverse, but what does inform each project is a refreshingly unpretentious approach. As Shepherd describes it, “I like to create really beautiful, functional spaces using a lot of natural materials.” Her design philosophy is shown to full effect in Hither & Yon, of which Shepherd is particularly proud. “I didn’t have a huge budget to work with and it was a small space,” she explains. “It was a challenge, but this really made me step outside the square.” The end result is a domestic scale retail interior that has all the charm and whimsy of a cosy weekend getaway. Shepherd’s attention to detail, from the lovingly restored mismatched chairs to the vintage finds adorning a service trolley, is what makes this fit-out a real delight. It also signals her first collaboration with local graphic design studio Voice. “I think the relationship between interior designer and graphic designer is an important one,” reflects Shepherd. “Because from the beginning it’s necessary to make sure the branding and interiors work hand in hand. It should all be part of the same process.” She also worked with Voice on the Rio Coffee fit-out, and her on-going commitment to finding creative solutions is echoed through such collaborations. It’s not surprising that Shepherd draws her inspiration from the work of stylists, especially the highly regarded Megan Morton. The influence is evident in Shepherd’s interiors, but her own design sensibility, which can range from eclectic to elegant to rustic, is still clearly defined. This could have something to do with Shepherd’s background as a visual merchandiser. It no doubt gives her a strong understanding of brands and a savvy knack for knowing how to get people in and out of a space in the best possible way. And it makes her very well suited to design for the retail and hospitality sector, whether in Adelaide or elsewhere. georgieshepherd.com.au

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