Graphic & Interior Design Duo
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BY ALICIA POOLE
Ever wondered why there seems to be such growth in the world of aesthetically pleasing interiors and brand identities? Well, I recently sat down with design duo, Keeley Baird and Olivia Chapman from Something More Design to talk all things; design!
The pair launched the local boutique design studio, Something More Design in 2017, joining together Interior Design (Keeley) and Graphic Design (Olivia) to bring clients just that little something more. With a very particular style, boasting a neutral colour palette and feminine design, their aesthetically pleasing approach is very much easy on the eye.
Keeley and Olivia have both always had creative flair, pursuing art in high school and going on to tertiary studies in the creative industries. After dropping out of a communication degree at UoN, Keeley went on to study Interior Design at Sydney Design School, and Olivia graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Communication from the University of Newcastle.
“Within about a week of being at Uni, I knew that it wasn’t for me. I dropped out and took a year off and worked full-time and did a bit of travelling.
“Then I stumbled across Sydney Design School; the space itself is beautiful. As soon as I walked in, I knew I wanted to go here. I absolutely loved it,” Keeley said.
Both growing up in Newcastle, the pair had never actually met one another and their collaboration was totally by chance.
“I’d done a few things for clients, and I’d had the idea of being able to do it all. Like the whole branding package. I knew I couldn’t do it all on my own, so I was looking for someone that matched my style.
“I came across Keeley on Instagram and sent her a bit of an out of the blue message. I did think it was probably going to come off a bit weird, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how to write it and I ended up writing it about a hundred times,” Olivia said.
“As soon as I got the message, I actually wasn’t weirded out by it which was obviously a good thing. I was out on my own at the time, and I was doing a lot of residential projects, which was not what I loved. I loved the commercial side of things. We both took a leap and we just hit it off and the rest is history,” Keeley said.
Once they’d decided to bring their skills together, coming up with a name was the next thing to tick off of the list. But what to call their new business?
“The name took so long. We found this photo on Pinterest that was outside of someone’s office that said Something More in this beautiful font. I sent it to Olivia straight away and I’d suggested Something More Design. We played around with it for a bit, and asked friends and family and everyone really liked it,” Keeley said.
“The name really melded in with what we were doing anyway. Offering that little something more. It just worked,” Olivia said.
Fast forward two years, the girls and their business, Something More Design has shown nothing but growth and has seen the girls take on some really exciting projects; from cafes, bars and restaurants to beauty related services like hair and make-up.
Whilst most of their clients reside in Sydney, their most recent project was working with the team from one of our local favs, MEET Bar & Restaurant, to design the interiors alongside Adrien from After Dark Design.
“I used to work for the boys as a waitress when I was studying. I was doing little design jobs here and there for them. Then the big restaurant came up, and I remember having a meeting with all three of the boys and they asked me to do it. I remember questioning them and asked are you sure? This was a huge project!
“We had found a few different locations along the way, so I’d made up quite a few different floorplans. Then they’d found this spot in Darby St and as soon as I walked in, I just said, wow; this is amazing. It was basically full steam ahead from there.”
Over a year later, the new space launched, and we got to experience a slice of Something More Design right here in Newcastle. But stay tuned, the girls have got more local projects in the works, including the popular classic pub in New Lambton; The Duke of Wellington.
Having such an incredible portfolio of work in the design world, we thought the pair would be the best two to ask; why has there been such a boom in aesthetically pleasing spaces?
“I think the main influence is absolutely from social media. You go somewhere and you’re going to take photos of your food or with your friends,” Olivia said.
“Think about it this way, if somewhere looks dodgy and not necessarily very nice, you might think they’re not putting effort into their work. If you see a place that has beautiful interiors and beautiful branding, you’re more attracted to go in.
“It’s such a massive trend at the moment. People are happy to spend the money to make their business look amazing, because then it carries through to their clientele,” Keeley expanded.
If you’re thinking of getting a business re-brand, looking to re-style your workspace interior, or maybe, like me you just like looking at really aesthetically pleasing spaces; Keeley and Olivia from Something More Design are your go-to gals.