Behind the multi-disciplinary interior design house Renegade Design Studio is the talented Director and Designer Sophia Conley. Raised a Sunshine Beach local, at 21 Sophia moved to Melbourne after being accepted into the Bachelor of Design at RMIT. Seeing an opportunity to contribute a ‘point of difference’ within the design scene of her former hometown, Sophia returned and founded Renegade Design Studio bringing fresh ideas to the residential and commercial projects of Noosa Heads and its surrounds.
Over the past 6.5 years Sophia has fostered a young team instilling a unique approach to concept design, development and project management. At the forefront of Renegade’s process is a hands-on attitude to design, working with trades and project managing renovations. Renegade Design Studio’s unique aesthetic, collaborative approach and respect for trade knowledge position them as a leading designer in the Noosa Heads surrounds.
Earlier this year Sayers Home Director and Curator Jess Hitchcock commissioned Renegade Design Studio to refresh her Noosa Heads boutique. Taking some time out of their busy schedule, Sophia and her gifted Interior Designer Olivia Gec reflect on the highlights and processes throughout the journey.
Q: Our new space is so unique and inviting, where did you draw inspiration from and how did you come across it?
Sophia: The design intent for Sayers Home was to curate a space that is as unique as the brands it represents, becoming a destination worthy of the artisans and designers it features. We dove deep into many of the brands Sayers Home feature to find a commonality. Finding many of these brands were inspired by mid-century designers or art movements, we wanted to imbue the hero qualities of these design principles, with a contemporary tweak on a colour palette rooted in nature; earthy greens, bright yellows, woody browns, electric blue and deep clay reds.
Olivia: The inspiration for Sayers Home was molded by conversations with Jess, seeking to understand Jess’s niche as both a creative and business owner. By understanding her why and the brands Sayers Home represents, the Renegade Design team sought to create a space that was as equally unique and playful.
With a nod to European design, our team took inspiration from a Joan Miro painting, focusing on the artistic surrealism movement which informed the playful forms throughout the store. The forms that have been sprinkled throughout, like the bends in the metal details and the blue cut-out in the stone counter; were all informed by Miro’s shape and colour play. We felt like this theme well supported the inventive and artistic objects you find displayed on the shelves of Sayers Home.
Renegade Design Studio Founder and Director, Sophia Conley
Q: Our new colour scheme includes mint and burgundy with hints of blue, how did you land on these tones?
Sophia: An inviting colour palette was drawn from Joan Miro’s El Sol painting. To achieve a modern twist, I became a little obsessed with making sure we had elements of electric blue and I’m so glad that Jess let us take her on that journey!
Olivia: Leaning into mid-century design we selected a warm palette much like the home setting in which you would find Jess’s pieces. We started with warm rich walnut joinery, red wine burgundy arches and the warm cork flooring. Then as Sophia mentioned, we layered the cobalt blue of Sayers Home branding. Then when selecting the stone slabs of the counter we noticed its unique flecks of green and this inspired the green mint tiles along the back wall.
Q: We really love the shapes in the store, what is your favourite detail in your design?
Sophia: That's so hard! I love the custom-made door handles and the electric blue hairpin that appears to slice through the central marble counter.
Olivia: We had many internal discussions asking the same question! We love each individual element and believe this store has many small heroes. But we do all salivate over the natural marble counter. We were told shortly after securing the marble that the quarry was to be closed and we had purchased some of the last slabs of its kind, strengthening our love for the central counter even more.
Renegade Design Studio Interior Designer, Olivia Gec
Q: Were there any setbacks along the way and how did you overcome them?
Sophia: Thanks to having the total trust of Jess we had a wonderfully smooth ride! We did however have a hold up on some items coming into the country due to supply issues. As a result, we had to respecify the green tiles three times! Originally they were a much darker green.
Olivia: Our team of trades supporting us made the fit-out phase so easy. The biggest challenge was selecting which design elements to include and making the tough decisions during the culling stage to refine the store. But in the end we were still left with so many points of interest. It might surprise some that we in studio find picking a paint colour just as hard as our clients do at home, the possibilities are endless!
But as a whole, many minds were part of this project. We rely heavily on local trades and small businesses to support us from concept to completion. Throughout the process we were supported by wonderful small business owners like Luci Grant from Ceramica Senio who went above and beyond to secure the statement sage green tiles. David Stevenson from DWS Building and Gus Barrios from Sunshine Cabinetry both came on board during the concept stage to achieve the most beautiful outcome for Sayers Home.
Our Studio Manager Samantha Tucker worked alongside a wonderful team of trades during the construction phase to ensure a smooth fit-out. A few others who came together to make Sayers Home a reality include, Bobby Lenz from Sunshine Coast Flooring Xtra, Alex Maclachlan from Bespoke Finishes, Tim Brasser from Brasser Electrical and Gareth Bourne who did incredible work tiling the space.
Q: Finally, what kind of experience can our clients expect in our new store?
Sophia: We would love for visitors to be surprised to discover a unique little space tucked away in Hastings Street and feel that sense of fun and joy in discovering Sayers Home’s incredible homeware and lifestyle pieces.
Olivia: Absolutely! Customers can expect a breath of fresh and playful air. We feel the design of the store inspires a bold, brave wave toward design and at-home decoration. We want to give clients the confidence to embrace a home that reflects themselves rather than a design trend.