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Plyroom

by Lisa Marie Corso, Managing Editor
Thursday 14th May 2015

Plyroom is a functional, versatile plywood furniture range, founded by Melbourne based Elise Heslop.

Inspired by a year spent living in northern Italy, Plyroom’s aesthetic is driven by the idea of paring back essentials, and living more simply.  The result is an extensive range of furniture and accessories for living, dining, working and kids spaces.

Grandmothers in general love to make things last. They will scrape the last bit of jam from the jar (then put the empty jar back in the fridge). They will refuse to replace their 1982 air conditioner even though it now blows hot air. And they will Mr Sheen the coffee table daily. This philosophy was passed down to Elise Heslop of Plyroom by her Italian Nonna, and has become the basis behind her furniture and homewares business.

Elise Heslop’s Italian heritage is a big part of her life. ‘We have the typical passata days in Summer, make sausage in Winter, and grow and harvest olives in Autumn,’ says Elise, who also majored in Italian language at university.  A long held dream was realised when Elise and her young family decided to pack their bags and live in Italy for a year – a move that inspired the creation of Plyroom. ‘The idea was to take hardly anything with us and live more simply,’ recalls Elise. ‘Living in a small two bedroom flat over there started to challenge my quintessentially Australian idea of living space – the big back yards, a bedroom for every person, and open plan living. The idea for sustainably made, multipurpose furniture for small spaces came shortly after.’

While in Northern Italy, Elise found it difficult to find children’s furniture that suited her family’s needs and new living situation. She started to work alongside Italian designers to produce concepts for what would later become Plyroom’s first range. ‘Time overseas made me better appreciate my Nonna’s ways of looking after what you have, and reducing our reliance on disposable furniture, I wanted something that would last’ says Elise.

After returning home to Australia, Elise expanded and adapted her range for the Australian market, working with local designers and makers to bring her vision to life. Her material of choice was plywood. ‘Plywood is my favourite material, I love that it has a light visual footprint but is surprisingly strong.’ Plyroom’s products are made from responsibly forested materials that fulfill their ethos of ‘taking pleasure from simple things’. The collection now includes everything from kids’ furniture including cots, bunk beds and single beds, to storage solutions, office furniture and bedroom and dining suites. Elise is currently also developing her first range of lighting. Each piece is intended to be assembled jigsaw-puzzle-like without screws or nails, and is designed to showcase raw materials in their simplest form.

Plyroom’s new studio is opening in Melbourne this week at 19 Nicholson St, East Brunswick.  Open Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-2, or by appointment.

Tavolone table and ‘Polite’ stoneware ceramics by Ingrid Tufts for Plyroom. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Jacqui Moore/Greenhouse Interiors.


by Lisa Marie Corso, Managing Editor
Thursday 14th May 2015

12 comments

  • cle-ann 1 year ago

    i love this !! xx

  • Phoebe 1 year ago

    Whoop! Amazing Elise!!! Love love love your products and how true you stay to your ethos… Love the images and gorgeous styling Jacqui. So exciting! x

  • Maria 1 year ago

    I’m really tired of this sort of stories on “I couldn’t find anything I like to fit in small spaces and also being affordable, so I started my own affordable line”…at 1500$ for a junior bed (!!)…is that what you call AFFORDABLE?!…it is very cute, surely nicely crafted…but please don’t fool us saying that is affordable…sure it’s cheaper than your “average” Minotti, B&B, Flexform and the likes, but still pretty expensive I find…

  • Adam 1 year ago

    I agree Maria, it’s a very expensive RRP.

  • Kirsty 1 year ago

    Looks fantastic!

  • Loretta 1 year ago

    Absolutely beautiful pieces. Love it!

  • Cass 1 year ago

    I love how the plywood furniture design diverges from conventional furniture (the joins, slots etc). I love that it can be flat packed and assembled by the user too .. so I was surprised at the prices. As a new brand I’m not sure where to place it in the market; maybe the quality is worth the cost? (Not sure how long plywood lasts). Anyway, respect to anyone who starts a business like this; I reckon some of these have the potential to be iconic (the Poltrona storage seat), so I enjoyed this!

  • Therese 1 year ago

    I think this furniture (as previous post mentions) will fall into the iconic status. Sustainable material, timeless design & an aesthetic that is beyond the mass production that costs only a bit less. I think Plyroom pieces could be handed down to the next generation & be treasured forever. Its a shame some readers dont apprecaite that necessity often preceeds design- which is why there are many stories relating to this notion of self design ! Its a great concept & I applaud Plyroom for the courage to develop these beautiful pieces in a tough climate. Bravo!

  • anesti 1 year ago

    beautiful lines and colours gives me that nice relaxing beach house vibe

  • Sally Gilks 1 year ago

    As the saying goes, ‘The value of anything is what somebody’s prepared to pay’, so your items may be pricey to some people, but I think everything ( furniture, accessories, oh, everything) in the few pictures I’ve seen are just beautiful, dreamy, out of this world. When I come back in my next life, you are going to come over to me, in the UK, and do out my whole house. Then I’ll live in heaven on earth!

  • Kylie 1 year ago

    Ooh I love…. Such beautifully designed and understated furniture. Everything is so well resolved, from the joint details and colour choices to being enviro friendly and flexi. Congrats Plyroom! Totally fabuloso. You pay for what you get peeps.

  • Erin 12 months ago

    I absolutely love these pieces! So aesthetically simple yet intricate at the same time. Such creative, clever & beautiful designs. Well done Plyroom!

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