For this Mi Casa, we travel down the NSW coast to visit the home of Carly Buteux and Joe Dodd, owners of @itsapublicholiday, dog parents to Bam and clay creatives. We discuss the adventures their very own pocket of land has delivered, whilst also presenting a slower pace of life. Embracing her interior style, Carly explains how it has formed as naturally as the landscape around her, an eclectic mix of art with handmade objects of love and intention.
SHOP THE LOOK
What does home mean to you?
They say home is where the heart is, and yes, it may be a well known cliche but I definitely think it’s true. We’ve lived in a number of spaces in our time together, a converted garage in the heart of Newtown, an old corner shop, and now our little house. The spaces have changed but the concept of home is always there, it’s a place for us to gather and be together as a family, to celebrate and unwind.
At the end of 2019 we purchased this house and have felt so fortunate over the past few wild years to have this home base to settle in to and to spend time slowly making it our own.
Talk us through your style, where it originated from and what experience you were planning to create with the inside of your home?
We’ve never planned a particular style for our interiors, and find that our style has come together gradually and quite naturally from collecting objects that we’ve fallen in love with and that make us feel good. What has resulted is an eclectic mix of art and handmade pieces that bring personality to our home.
Generally we keep our interiors quite bright and neutral to showcase these special pieces, which are always fun, colourful, and full of texture. Hand blown glassware, textiles, ceramics, and sculptures sit together to form our cosy space.
We make each of our purchases with intention (and have also been incredibly privileged to have had some wonderful art swaps) and hope that this is felt in each corner of our home. Every piece has a story behind it, and the individuals who have crafted it become a part of our lives which feels incredibly special.
Tell us your favourite space in the house and why?
We spent the last year renovating the kitchen in our house and it has quickly become the favourite and most used space in our home. It is full of handmade tableware, bowls of fresh fruit and vegetables from the local market and our favourite makers of small batch condiments (we’re hot sauce fiends!) It is where we gather for warm drinks, filling handmade vessels with steaming brews, where we cook elaborate feasts for friends and family, page through our favourite cookbooks and make tasty nutritious meals for our studio lunches every single day.
With your business, you take pride in creating each vessel by hand and embracing the perfection of imperfection, tell us how this flows through into some of your other design choices for your home.
Our space is filled with handmade pieces from our favourite makers across the world, and I think inherently anything handmade is perfectly imperfect. Pieces created with craft and skill from a persons hands will always have so much more personality than a mass produced object. They are filled with so much heart and soul, and being makers ourselves, we know how much love and hard work goes into every single piece.
Being a ceramicist have you intentionally crafted many special pieces for your home?
It is a funny thing, but we rarely create objects with the intention that they will be just for ourselves. Our home is full of many special pieces from Public Holiday but each serve a purpose. Most are prototypes of ideas that we’ve dreamt up, new shapes, colour combinations and fun pieces that we hope to make for others some day too.
As a special project, we hosted family Christmas last year and made a big table setting of plates and serving ware to share around the table. It gave us an opportunity to think about what pieces we needed for our gathering and stemmed the idea to bring our mini bowls into the range. They are the perfect size for dips, snacks, and olives and are so fun to mix and match for pops of colour at a gathering!
We love your style and how your Pampa pieces seem to work so well in your home. what drew you to Pampa and what is your favourite piece you own?
After discovering Pampa we were drawn in by the unique pieces with incredible graphic and textural qualities and perfect colour combinations. We also appreciate the stories of the artisan makers and the sneak peeks into their beautiful lives of crafting.
Our favourite Pampa piece in our home would have to be our “Providencia” rug which we have lovingly nicknamed “tuft rug” It’s texture brings so much personality to our bedroom and makes the space cosy and inviting.
We also love the Litoral masks and have two (so far!) in our home, Tommy the toucan who hangs out amongst plants in our living room, and Cesar who guards the entrance to our bedroom.
You are shaping your future with your business @itsapublicholiday tell us how you express creativity through your work?
We really feel creativity as an expression of play. Experimentation is key in our small business to keeping things fun and to push ourselves to try new techniques, shapes, and colours. Clay is such an incredible material to work with and really has endless possibilities. It is also a very humbling medium and there is always more to learn. There is something incredibly inspiring to be forever learning and exploring as we make.
We also feel a lot of creativity through colour. Creating unique glazes and colour pairings that are surprising and fun is what we strive for with every single piece.
We’re constantly testing and experimenting and while not every task in the studio is filled with new creative energy we make sure to sneak fun test pieces into each firing of the kiln, which makes the anticipation of waiting for it to be cool enough to open all the more exciting.
What draws you to cacti and tell us how your wonderful collection started?
There is something about Cacti that just drew us in, what exactly that is, it’s hard to say! They’re definitely mystical plants, each with such interesting characteristics and resilience! We love the unexpected shapes they grow into, the colours in their spines and flowers, some that look like they’re covered in hair, some that grow hats, they’re all so unique! We each began collecting individually and when we met our passion for prickles grew even stronger. We love discovering and learning about new varieties that we’ve never seen before and are always looking to add to our collection. We also dream of holiday escapes to deserts full of them!
You live and have your home studio in a little town most people wouldn’t have heard of. How did you end up in Tinonee and what are some of your favourite things about living there?
After living in the city for the last 10 years we found ourselves craving a change of pace. Somewhere we could have our own little pocket of land and a modest home that we could call our own where we could happily spend our days making.
Having the space and facilities to create a studio at home was really important to us, creating the flexibility to work in our own time and to check in on pieces at any time of day is ideal.
We also really felt the need for a greater sense of balance in our lives, to pull back from the hustle and make time for slow moments in life as well. Learning to grow our own food, being close to nature and exploring a new landscape has been some of the most fun parts of this new adventure.
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Images: Andi Plowman