Style Me Merivale - hosted by Vogue Living's Editor in Chief, Neale Whitaker, join the creative geniuses behind Merivale's most iconic and well loved venues.
Words by Hannah Mars. Photos by Merivale.
The venues under the Merivale brand are known just as much for unique, impactful interior design as they are great food and service. Part of the 8th annual March into Merivale festivities, Style Me Merivale was an event that delved into the brains behind the beautiful styling and stories that contribute to making each Merivale venue a place that people actually want to hang out. Editor in Chief of Vogue Living Neale Whitaker played host, prising interesting tidbits out of Justin and Bettina Hemmes, architect Kelvin Ho of Akin Creative, and stylist Amanda Talbot. A running theme was how interior design can actually impact the way people behave in a space, playing a key role in shaping the atmosphere of a bar or restaurant. For example, deep, squishy couches might be avoided, as “people would get too lazy,” (according to Justin).
Rather than follow a regimented formula across the Merivale brand, the panellists said that they take each venue as it comes, letting the property itself determine the direction of the venue’s story and aesthetic. The eclectic mix of lamps, plants, and armchairs upstairs at the Coogee Pavilion Rooftop for example, were inspired by a ‘crazy scientist’ character the design team imagined used to live there – a fantasy tale that becomes the actual design brief. Other times, styling is inspired by the personality chef of a restaurant. For example, for Ms. G’s, Justin was influenced by Dan Hong’s love of sneakers. He told architects to imagine that the restaurant was a garage in New York that had been rented by a couple of guys on a shoe string budget – resulting in graffiti and street-style motifs throughout the space.
What: Style Me Merivale, Hosted by Editor in Chief Neale Whitaker, Vogue Living
Where: Ivy Ballroom
When: March 7 2016