We caught up with Shannon to talk his recent renovation, design inspiration, family, furniture and the future.
You're currently working on your own home renovation, can you share a little more about your creative process and what contributing factors led you to create the home you did?
Yes! We are nearly finished - just two rooms to go and we’re beyond stoked with how it’s looking. With two energetic boys we wanted to keep things quite simple (and unbreakable). Quality materials and finishes that last were a priority for us and a life lived simply is of huge importance to our family. We let the 70’s design of the home take the lead and chose furniture and materials that complimented that era of design without seeming like we lived in a different generation. This is a modern home with both retro and Palm Springs elements, and as such this guided our decisions and aesthetic. As always, less is more and simple is beautiful, hence Totem Road.
A common thread between your projects is a minimalistic aesthetic that champions simplicity. What inspires this?
In a word? KIDS, haha. Our boys are rough-and-tumble balls of energy and anything intricate or delicate in the home is sure to be met with force. We’re past the stage of messy eaters and unpredictability from our boys so we can now appreciate nicer things in the home. As our kids are somewhat listening to us and not totally demolishing the home, we can appreciate a bit more quality throughout the home.
We’re so excited to have worked with you on bringing your home to life. What is it about Totem Road that appeals to you?
Simplicity, Quality and Hardiness.
There is a market for cheaper ‘fast-food’ furniture, and it did serve a purpose for us when the kids were smaller and more destructive and we hadn't found our forever home, but purchasing a table that will literally last generations is a huge asset and something that will be part of our lives forever.
All Totem Road pieces are made from solid, sustainable oak, why was it important for you to choose a natural, durable material over synthetic?
Some of the time, a timber veneer can look as good as the real thing but it just doesn't last, especially with kids.
I’ve experienced first hand with hot cups of coffee and cold drinks destroying the thin veneer of a bedside table. Sure it looks good, but it’s what’s inside that counts. A veneer will only last so long, but solid timber pieces will last a literal lifetime.
How do Totem Road designs compliment your home and lifestyle?
I think with two boys being the priority of our lives, practicality and longevity are at the forefront of our decisions. Along with aesthetics and choice that reflects a responsible nature, our choices are a mirror of not only our personality but a desired lifestyle that we are building.
Which is your favourite Totem Road piece?
We’ve got several Totem Road pieces in our home but the Nova Dining Table takes the cake. With such an awesome presence in the home, it is the star of the living space and easily fits ten bums on seats when visitors come knocking. I love a hero in a room, and the sturdiness and quality in the Nova is unparalleled. It compliments the timber pendants perfectly and is such an attribute to the space, opening us up to more guests in seats come holiday time.
When adding furniture to the home, what role does the impact on the environment play for you?
My decisions impact multiple places on earth - both online and in the physical, and it's in the physical that will have the biggest impact on my kids' lives.
I realise that one person's choices are minuscule in the scale of things, but I want to set an example to my kids and to those around me that I value the earth and its limited resources.
Purchasing a product that uses and endorses sustainable practices and materials, not only does short term good on a small scale, but paints a picture and sets a precedent for generations to follow. For too long we have taken, taken and taken from this earth, we need to think about how we sustain this constant barrage of consumerism and how our world will look in 50 years.