This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

An Invigorating New Base For A Homegrown Success Story

Work Space

When a health food company teams up with a bunch of conscientious architects and interior designers, the results are sure to be… fresh!

And so here we have phenomenal success-story Carman’s enlisting Ewert Leaf to create a homely yet state-of-the-art retail and open-plan workplace in Melbourne’s southeast.

22nd January, 2019

Carman’s HQ in Huntingdale, Victoria.Photo – Fiona Storey.

The health food business enlisted architects and interior designers Ewert Leaf to redevelop the premises. Photo – Fiona Storey.

Large glass windows and doors connect the indoor spaces to the lush landscaping. Photo – Fiona Storey.

A hanging plant installation cleverly connects the workspace with the retail space below. Photo – Fiona Storey.

Carman’s CEO and co-founder, Carolyn Creswell, chose every single detail, from the tiles to the carpet to how the lift lights are positioned! Photo – Lisa Atkinson.

The conservatory, which ‘provides employees with a natural oasis for retreat’. Photo – Fiona Storey.

The kitchen store stocked with all the Carman’s products.Photo – Fiona Storey.

Pieces from Carolyn’s own art collection are on display throughout the homely interiors. Photo – Fiona Storey.

For Ewert Leaf, this project was about redefining the idea of a ‘conventional workplace’, pushing the envelope and create a truly unique working environment. Photo – Fiona Storey.

‘I feel so blessed that my incredible builder Steller introduced me to the most wonderful architects in Ewert Leaf. We worked so closely on every detail of the project and I am so thrilled with the outcome,’ says Carolyn. Photo – Fiona Storey.

Part of the premises is also available to hire out for events and meetings. Photo – Fiona Storey.

Photo – Fiona Storey.

Carolyn set out to create a space that feels very homely, warm and stylish. Photo – Fiona Storey.

‘I get the most amazing feedback every day,’ tells Carolyn. Photo – Fiona Storey.

Elle Murrell
Tuesday 22nd January 2019

‘As massive as this project was, I’m so proud and thrilled.. I can’t wait to enjoy this building, even when I need to enter on my Zimmer frame!’ – Carolyn Creswell.

How’s this for an incredible trajectory: as an 18-year-old university student, Carolyn Creswell co-purchased a tiny muesli business, using $1,000 of her savings. Twenty-five years on, as CEO, Carolyn has grown Carman’s into the number-one selling muesli brand on Australian supermarket shelves. It now exports its breakfast range and nutritional snacks to 35 countries worldwide, and just recently launched on Amazon Australia (selling out in the first day).

For a long time (though not 25-years long) Carolyn had been on the hunt for a new HQ: ‘a building that had soul and potential’ but was also centrally located, had lots of parking yet was also close to public transport, as well as shops. Having heard a little about her track record, you won’t be surprised to know she found one that ticked all those boxes, moving her business into a vast premises (just shy of 3,000-metres-squared) in Huntingdale in April 2018.

For the redevelopment of the building, Carolyn turned to Ewert Leaf, following an introduction by property development and construction company Steller.  The architecture and interior design practice’s approach was clear from the onset. It was all about creating ‘a familiar and homely approach to workplace design,’ tells Hayley Page, senior interior designer at Ewert Leaf. This materialised in the form of warm timber joinery and cladding, natural fibre floor finishes, rattan workstation screening and blackened steel detailing, which were all selected to draw a direct link to residential design.

As Carolyn begins to reel off some of her favourite inclusions and spaces, I realise how much of a passion project this has been for her, and also how much I’ve outgrown my chocolate-factory workplace fantasies. There’s a large gym with circuit classes (and onsite personal training), yoga room with weekly yoga and meditation classes, infrared sauna, massage room, lush garden with conservatory and an inviting barbecue area under two large palms. Then there’s the commercial kitchen where an in-house chef prepares lunch AND take-home dinners, plus, of course, a kitchen store stocked with all the Carman products.

Hayley, too, loves the conservatory, which ‘provides employees with a natural oasis for retreat’, and can be utilised for meetings, be they of the walking variety in the lush surroundings, or within the bright and airy conservatory itself. She also praises the personal touches (Carolyn chose every single detail, from the tiles to the carpet, to how the lift lights are positioned!), such as pieces from Carolyn’s own art collection, as well as and the amenities that support the staff. Hayley’s magnum opus, though, is the void with hanging plant installation, cleverly connecting the workspace with the retail space below.

‘I’ve tried to create a space that feels very homely, warm and stylish so that my staff (and I!) love coming into work every day,’ adds Carolyn. ‘This includes a lot of the things that matter to me in my home, such as natural light, layers of texture, a warm colour scheme, great music and plenty of plants.’

Bringing healthy snacks to the world from such an idyllic HQ; we can’t think of a better daily ‘grind’. Move over Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory (…at least while we’re all still going strong on our New Year’s Resolution health-kicks)!

 

Type of space

Two-storey retail and open-plan workplace

Size of space

2497-metres-squared

Number of employees

35

Moved in

April 2018

An office should be…

‘State-of-the-art but also homely and warm,’ Carolyn Creswell, CEO of Carman’s.

This Week

Interiors

How This First-Time Renovator Transformed Her Pint-Sized Melbourne Apartment

A tiny renovation (34 square metres, to be precise) – that packs a big punch!

Father's Day Favourites

Give Dad A Dose Of (Stylish) Wanderlust With Bespoke Luggage From July!

Gift dad bespoke luggage from our favourite travel brand July and receive a complimentary personalised luggage tag worth $85!

Father's Day Favourites

Announcing The Design Files Father's Day Favourites 2022!

Find the best gifts for dad and score special deals with our Father's Day Favourites online shopping event!

Architecture

Turning Back Time In A Classic Melbourne Brick Home

Agius Scorpo Architects strip a Yarraville, Melbourne house back to basics, revealing and enhancing functional spaces within.
Amelia Barnes
  5 hours ago

Father's Day Favourites

Elevate Your Dad's Wardrobe This Father's Day With An Epic 20% Off Seed Heritage!

Seed Heritage has everything you need to level up your gift-giving efforts and dad’s personal style - and we have a special 20% offer for
Christina Karras

Homes

A Historic Melbourne Apartment With Artful, Lived-In Interiors

Interior designer Leigh Ellwood invites us inside her 1930s Beverley Hills apartment in South Yarra.

News

Shop Dreamy Pastel Landscapes In Collection III From ‘Palette by Jono Fleming’

Introducing interior stylist Jono Fleming’s third art collaboration with Sicilian-Australian artist Chanel Sohier.
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Inside Elena Strohfeldt's Beautifully Therapeutic Ceramics Practice

How the self taught artist started making ceramics as a way to work through a painful trauma, channeling it into whimsical vessels.
Christina Karras

On The Market

A Former Shopfront Turned Architecturally-Designed Home In Coburg Hits The Market

Behind an unassuming facade unfolds a brilliantly designed and sun-filled Coburg home, and it's for sale!

Shopping

Kip&Co Team Up With Robert Gordon For A Fun-Filled Ceramic Range

The loveable local brands have created a new playful ceramics collection, bringing prints and colour to range of hand-crafted vases!
Christina Karras

Stays

Escape To An Adorable Country Cottage Overlooking The Grampians

Stoneycroft Cottage features a 1864-built bluestone cottage and converted shearer's quarters, on a picturesque farm in regional Victoria!
Christina Karras
  13 hours ago

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.

Father's Day Favourites

Shop Luxurious Outdoor Essentials For Dad With 20% Off The Grampians Goods Co.

This one is for the dads who love camping, picnics, and a hot cocoa by the fire! We've got 20% off The Grampian Goods Co.!
Christina Karras

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.

Father's Day Favourites

Find The Perfect Book For Dad With 20% Off From Hardie Grant Publishing!

From the best barbecuing recipes to epic travel inspiration, you'll find the perfect book for dad in our edit of Hardie Grant Publishing's f...
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Work Space

Spell + The Gypsy Collective's Dreamy Byron Bay Base

Inside the stunning HQ of the internationally-adored, ethereal Australian fashion label.
Elle Murrell

Work Space

The Best Designed Co-Working Spaces In Australia

Seeking a sleek meeting space, or a co-working desk with serious style credentials? We have you covered.
Miriam McGarry

Work Space

CAPI’s Sparkling New HQ

A jaw-dropping new headquarters for hospitality entrepreneur Pitzy Folk, with interiors by Tamsin Johnson.

This Week

Homes

A Historic Melbourne Apartment With Artful, Lived-In Interiors

Interior designer Leigh Ellwood invites us inside her 1930s Beverley Hills apartment in South Yarra.

Studio Visit

Inside Elena Strohfeldt's Beautifully Therapeutic Ceramics Practice

How the self taught artist started making ceramics as a way to work through a painful trauma, channeling it into whimsical vessels.
Christina Karras

Father's Day Favourites

Find The Perfect Book For Dad With 20% Off From Hardie Grant Publishing!

From the best barbecuing recipes to epic travel inspiration, you'll find the perfect book for dad in our edit of Hardie Grant Publishing's f...
Christina Karras

Father's Day Favourites

Shop Luxurious Outdoor Essentials For Dad With 20% Off The Grampians Goods Co.

This one is for the dads who love camping, picnics, and a hot cocoa by the fire! We've got 20% off The Grampian Goods Co.!
Christina Karras

Interiors

How This First-Time Renovator Transformed Her Pint-Sized Melbourne Apartment

A tiny renovation (34 square metres, to be precise) – that packs a big punch!

On The Market

A Former Shopfront Turned Architecturally-Designed Home In Coburg Hits The Market

Behind an unassuming facade unfolds a brilliantly designed and sun-filled Coburg home, and it's for sale!

Stays

Escape To An Adorable Country Cottage Overlooking The Grampians

Stoneycroft Cottage features a 1864-built bluestone cottage and converted shearer's quarters, on a picturesque farm in regional Victoria!
Christina Karras
  13 hours ago

Shopping

Kip&Co Team Up With Robert Gordon For A Fun-Filled Ceramic Range

The loveable local brands have created a new playful ceramics collection, bringing prints and colour to range of hand-crafted vases!
Christina Karras

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.

Architecture

Turning Back Time In A Classic Melbourne Brick Home

Agius Scorpo Architects strip a Yarraville, Melbourne house back to basics, revealing and enhancing functional spaces within.
Amelia Barnes
  5 hours ago

Father's Day Favourites

Elevate Your Dad's Wardrobe This Father's Day With An Epic 20% Off Seed Heritage!

Seed Heritage has everything you need to level up your gift-giving efforts and dad’s personal style - and we have a special 20% offer for
Christina Karras

Father's Day Favourites

Give Dad A Dose Of (Stylish) Wanderlust With Bespoke Luggage From July!

Gift dad bespoke luggage from our favourite travel brand July and receive a complimentary personalised luggage tag worth $85!

Father's Day Favourites

Announcing The Design Files Father's Day Favourites 2022!

Find the best gifts for dad and score special deals with our Father's Day Favourites online shopping event!

News

Shop Dreamy Pastel Landscapes In Collection III From ‘Palette by Jono Fleming’

Introducing interior stylist Jono Fleming’s third art collaboration with Sicilian-Australian artist Chanel Sohier.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.

Similar Stories

Work Space

Spell + The Gypsy Collective's Dreamy Byron Bay Base

Inside the stunning HQ of the internationally-adored, ethereal Australian fashion label.
Elle Murrell

Work Space

The Best Designed Co-Working Spaces In Australia

Seeking a sleek meeting space, or a co-working desk with serious style credentials? We have you covered.
Miriam McGarry

Work Space

CAPI’s Sparkling New HQ

A jaw-dropping new headquarters for hospitality entrepreneur Pitzy Folk, with interiors by Tamsin Johnson.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net