We meet some amazing people through our work, creative women who are following their passion for independent businesses just like ours. Women who shape innovation and change the creative design world in inspired ways. We were stoked to plan and style interior designer Elizabeth Raptis from Ivy + Piper last year and are super excited to sit down for a chat as they launch their brand new website.
Tell us about Ivy + Piper – what is the business and its vision?
Melanie (my business partner) and I have been friends for a long time. One night over a long coffee we decided to start a business wishing to share our vibrant and eclectic aesthetic with Brisbane and Australia through a small fabric and furnishings collection. We have grown into a complete interior design firm where there is nothing we can’t create for our clients. We want to continue to grow the business in this direction and are passionate about working with clients to realise their dreams.
You’re a strong creative woman, can you share with us your journey and your future aspirations?
It has been a dream to follow my heart and become an interior designer. At first I lacked self-confidence but I soon realised that we are all blessed with individual talents. It was empowering to learn that not everyone knows about colour and decorating and it showed me I had a purpose. My parents have also influenced my creative path by serving as both my inspiration in business and design, and as my number one fans.
We have future plans to open an Ivy + Piper House – a design store filled with treasures, antiques and fabrics to showcase our style and imagination.
Can you describe in three words what makes a space?
Quality. Heart. Experience.
What is your fave building/space in Brisbane? The world?
I just adore City Hall (that’s why we got married there). It’s a perfect juxtaposition between old and new. It has been proudly restored to its former grandeur with sweeping marble staircases and huge arched windows, yet it sits in the middle of a bustling modern metropolis as the city continues to grow around it. They frequently hold public events including free music concerts and fascinating exhibitions in the museum upstairs. All set amongst a heritage backdrop – I love it.
The World…A place that took my breath away was the World Trade Center memorial in New York City. Not only does it touchingly honour the memory of those who lost their lives, but it also highlighted to me that when carried out with feeling and purpose, the power of design is capable of moving one’s soul.
What would you just love to work on?
Something iconic for Brisbane. I’m very proud of my home city and have enjoyed watching it come of age over the years. I’d love to be a part of creating something fun and vibrant for Brisbanites be it a hotel, function centre or laneway bar. I’ve always felt as designers we have an obligation to contribute positively to our urban streetscape and for it to speak fondly to future generations.
What do you love most about your business/creative endeavours?
Seeing the project come to life in front of my eyes. It’s a living being and each stage takes a step closer to the vision which stokes the excitement. The culmination is seeing a family in their home once it’s complete. Interiors really do come to life when they are filled with people and to share that with a client is very special.
My business partner, Melanie, is also a wonderful woman to have by my side every day and typically we end up in fits of laughter which always brightens our work.
What is your fave space in your home? Why do you love this space and how do you use it?
Our formal living room. It’s a happy, somewhat ethereal space and without a TV my husband and I find time to ourselves here, either reading or chatting together.
Where do you draw your design and concept inspiration from?
Each of us is already individual so our clients make the perfect starting point for inspiration. We take their story and relay it in a visual context so that their space feels personal and meaningful. I’m also inspired by the world around me, both past and present, classic and contemporary, and I love to weave these design concepts into our projects. It could be something as simple as a wrought iron gate, or a pretty napkin!
What do you do for fun? Your perfect day?
My perfect day is a very relaxed one and starts with coffee and brunch with my husband and our friends, which has become a weekend ritual. Grant and I would then laze about the house, go to a gallery, spend time with family and our nieces and nephews before going to a movie or show, and of course more food and drink!
We also had the pleasure of planning and styling your wedding – tell us your vision for your wedding?
I like classic and timeless style choices and Grant and I were influenced by our own experiences together such as becoming engaged at Versailles. This led to a theme of grand, classic architecture, which is why we chose City Hall as our venue, mixed with greenery and topiaries that mirrored the feeling of the Versailles gardens. These influences carried through to all the other details such as our invitations, flowers and furniture. It was a spectacular day!!! See the full w+w wedding here.
For more beautiful styling, visit Ivy + Piper to get inspired about your interior design!