Welcome to our latest instalment of Taking Time where each month we sit down with some of our favourite creators, makers and innovators.
This month we sat down with Dani Dean, the innovative mastermind behind The Make Haus, a creative studio dedicated to bringing vision to life. We had the pleasure of working with Dani on the fit out of our newest flagship store here in Sydney.
Dani shares with us the inspiration behind the build, what DIYs she’s currently working on amidst lockdown and how her design personality has evolved into what The Make Haus is today.
Q. The Make Haus seems to be an all encompassing creative hub. Tell us a little bit about it and what it is you do each day!
The Make Haus is a creative studio. We elevate interiors, from inspiration through to design and styling. We also create floral installations and produce immersive branded events and activations. Day to day we are managing each of our creative projects flow and planning. Depending on it’s phase in the creative cycle we could be sourcing materials, drawing concepts and creating documentation to support the execution. Sometimes we are out eventing, knee deep in floral creations. It's broad, adventurous and very busy.
Q. When you’re starting out on any project, where do you look to for inspiration?
Depending on the project itself, inspiration can start in many places. I often look to my saved photos in Instagram as they are often saved away for no apparent reason but was something that I resonated with at the time. Then the project you're working on might have an obvious direction emerge from here. I have key blogs and magazines that I look to often which offer a wider look on what's happening across the globe.
Q. You of course managed the fit out of our new flagship store here in Sydney. What was the leading inspiration behind the build?
TBT Manly was heavily influenced and inspired by the founder herself. With a clear aesthetic created for the brand in Bali it was a natural progression to draw from this foundation and consider how we can adapt the brand to the local market. Using Australian sandstone in the table concept was one element that I'm so glad came to life. The overall look was neutral, natural and textured. When designing a space which needs to feel minimal it's extremely important to define the details. As you look closer you can see the mix of stones, mix of smooth and textured paint, tiled surfaces accented with rich fabrics and a combination of black and brass metals.
Q. How did you get started in the industry? What advice would you give to young creatives getting started?
I fell into the creative industry in my early 20s. My original intention was to be a fashion designer however I quickly fell in love with homewares and lifestyle elements of the design world. I slowly navigated what it would mean to study both fashion and interiors and eventually amalgamated both into a creative design skill set. My advice for new creatives is to try and position yourself within the network of other creatives that are inspiring you and moving in the direction you wish to be in years to come. I have learnt invaluable life lessons and skills from key people in my career. Often things that don't come up in study. Trusting your vibe and intuition on your creative mind is important too.
Q. What has been the most integral tool to grow your business over the years?
Introducing team into TMH has been an incredible uplift for the studio. Collaborating with a team that is on your wavelength and enjoy the process of elevating brands, spaces and objects is so wonderful. It's been a long term goal to grow a team and it's one of my most important milestones in having the business. Without the dream team I would be lost.
Q. Are you currently working on any lockdown DIYs? What are your best tips for those creating at home right now?
Yes I am currently working on our home renovation! Biggest project to date. However the challenges with building through Covid has its ups/downs, the construction ban was a little stressful to say the least. I absolutely love a DIY project and with a hands-on nature I try to do as much as I can. Recently I have been making weird and wonky ceramics. However I have a long way to go with that skill. When at home I love moving around all my furniture and decor into new spots. It's something I have done since I was little and get so much therapy from it.