Byron Bay-based designer, Sarah Ellison, launches her fourth collection, a series of decorative wood pieces called La Banda. La Banda, Italian for “the stripe”, is a small capsule of an idea. It wasn’t intended to be part of a broader concept, but rather, an idea of its own centered around craftsmanship and technique. “We felt that these pieces said so much on their own, we didn’t want them to get lost within a larger offering. It was my chance to experiment with a bold concept without thinking too much about the commercial side of a design,” says Ellison. Each design is made of ash and walnut 5mm wood veneer, constructed to create a banded design. Pieces in this collection include: a side table, console and screen.

The starting point for La Banda was, as the name suggests, the banding technique. “I knew that the ‘stripey’ effect would create quite a lot of noise once placed in a space, so, making secondary furniture pieces such as a side table and console meant they would not become the central focus of a space, but more of an accent.”

“Each piece has its own reason for existing. So the creative approach is different each time.”

Ellison’s feel-good designs rely heavily on material. “Material is really key for me – finding a material that I love and then working out what I can do with it within the restraints of our brand. I love materials that make you feel something, that make you want to touch and experience them.” Exaggerated and sculptural forms in sensual and textural materials is a hallmark of her namesake brand.

Ellison draws on nostalgia, vintage, fashion and nature to conceptualize her design. “I like to play with versions of scale and proportion, sizes and shapes. I go back and forth through my library quite often referencing vintage design and also looking at trends. I want my pieces to feel unique and bold but also warm and familiar and not polarizing. I want them to be comfortable in a high-end project, but also totally at home in a stylish two-bedroom place in the suburbs. The design needs to be versatile, emotive but also practical. I’m usually thinking about how it will make people feel.”

La Banda is available now at sarahellison.com.au.

Tara Lange is a writer, editor, director and producer. Originally from New York she now writes from Sydney and Tel Aviv. She covers design, hospitality, food, and wellness and always knows the best spots in any city she goes to.

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