Samantha Agostino: Rustic Appeal

Samantha Agostino’s emerging interior design practice is thriving thanks to a series of successful collaborations.

Samantha Agostino’s emerging interior design practice is thriving thanks to a series of successful collaborations. When Samantha Agostino and Gareth Brown established Agostino and Brown four years ago it was because they wanted to have fun making furniture. The two designers are doing just that and in the process their designs have received quite a bit of attention. The handcrafted timber pieces are stylishly modern, with each collection characterised by simple, clean lines. It’s an aesthetic that carries over into Agostino’s own interior design practice, which has been receiving just as much attention. The Adelaide-based designer established Samantha Agostino Interior Design at the same time as Agostino and Brown, and like that business her own practice is characterised by strong collaboration. A list of past collaborators reads like a who’s who of local design talent and includes MASH Design, Folland Panozzo Architects and Sarah Matthews. Agostino’s most recent collaboration is with fellow Adelaide-based interior designer Georgie Shepherd on the Beerenberg Family Farm shop at Hahndorf. This retail fit out is Agostino’s biggest project to date and she was happy to be collaborating with someone she has worked with before. “Georgie specialises in merchandising and styling and I specialise in furniture, detailing and joinery, so it played to our strengths,” says Agostino. “We were able to balance every kind of design challenge, which made it a much quicker process.” The result is a polished interior that has the visual appeal of a cosy, warm country-style kitchen. A decidedly rustic material palette is brought to life with a mix of dark, light and blonde timbers. These add a robust textural flavour to the overall fit out and provide a strong yet neutral backdrop for Beerenberg’s products. Agostino and Shepherd have charmingly furnished the space with a selection of items, including an old wheelbarrow, glass bottles filled with wild flowers and raw wooden display boxes. These add authenticity to the domestic scale setting and reinforce the brand’s high quality, ‘homemade’ identity. Not only is the fit out testament to Agostino and Shepherd’s successful collaboration it is also a measure of their solid relationship with the client. “I try to keep my connection with clients really strong and bounce ideas off them as much as possible,” says Agostino. “The best outcome always comes about when you have more people working together on a project.” To this end she bought on board a trusted team of builders and joiners who she has worked with previously. It should come as no surprise that Agostino’s collaborative nature was nurtured at an early stage. “When I studied interior architecture at the University of South Australia I worked for Khai Liew,” she explains. “I learned about collaboration from him; he was always working with different people who had a range of different skills and talents.” Clearly the experience left a strong impression on Agostino and today her furniture business and interior design practice each provide a resounding argument for working collaboratively.  

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