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The Dreamy New Retail Space Of A Professional Plant Charmer

Studio Visit

Nothing says urban jungle quite like the Collingwood warehouse of interior and plant stylist Ryan Klewer (aka Plant Charmer) and his partner, artist Ellen Porteus, that we featured last year. Our jaws hit the floor!

But the plant guru’s new store is a world away from his explosive, colourful home. Nestled in Melbourne’s Brunswick East, the retail space (which he designed and built himself!) is a serene, pared back oasis from the bustling city beyond its walls. (You might have even glimpsed a sneak peek of it in our Small Business Summer School video with Fiona Killackey last week!)

Join us inside his tranquil haven, and learn more about this enchanting Plant Charmer!

25th January, 2021

The aesthetics of this serene new headquarters are a world away from Plant Charmer’s own colourful home in Collingwood! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The Plant Charmer himself. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Desk details. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Ryan designed and built the space all on his own, carving pillars from aerated concrete blocks by hand and covering the back wall in limestone paint to give it a good texture. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Displaying pots with planters was a key factor for the space, as Ryan finds that’s what people need the most help with matching! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

A selection of vessels and ceramics are for sale as well as plants. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Wares from local makers like Lightly and ZMD Studios are available to purchase too. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Shelfie details. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

A thoughtful selection of wares from local makers lines the shelves. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Tall ceilings and wide windows are perfect conditions for all the plants that live inside the studio! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The store is open from Tuesday to Saturday, and located in a former cafe site in East Brunswick. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Even from the outside, this place is an oasis! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Sasha Gattermayr
Monday 25th January 2021

‘The act of taking care of a plant… is a form of slow living that feels so different to the instant gratification, multi-tasking world we live in.’ – Ryan Klewer

 

Ryan Klewer was raised in Coffs Harbour, NSW, where his mother owned a nursery, and where she still sells plants at the weekend market. Helping her out is probably where his affinity with plants originated.

After a smattering of early career starts (‘I have been a landscaper, a chef, and a graphic designer,’ he laughs) Ryan pretty much fell into plant styling after he became *the plant guy* amongst his friends and family. A few jobs later for acquaintances wanting help and advice to create their own domestic jungles, and Plant Charmer was born in 2019!

Since then, Ryan’s business has snowballed – from residential projects to installations in commercial spaces, it seems there is no end to the type of person or space that can benefit from a little plant enchantment! Opening a physical shopfront was a natural progression for Ryan, so when an opportunity opened up, he jumped on it! After securing the lease on a former cafe space in a warehouse building in Brunswick East, he set about making it the kind of contemporary plant shop he craved to visit.

‘My experience with plant stores in the past is that they can be a bit overwhelming due to the sheer amount of choice that is on offer,’ he says. ‘So the brief I gave myself was to create a space that felt open and calming, while still feeling warm.’ Inspired by an earlier trip to Mexico City, he devised an organic, minimal layout that would accentuate the natural volumes of the space.

The space itself is serene, with tall ceilings and expansive windows that flood the studio with light. Amongst the forest of greenery is a sprinkling of objects for sale too, such as vessels from Lightly , and ceramics from ZMD Studio. The tables that they sit upon were handmade by Ryan, who carved the legs from aerated concrete, and stained the plywood tops in a warm chestnut colour. And along the walls are photographs by Laura May Grogan, the first in a rotation of featured artists that will change every two months!

If the space gives you a sense of serenity, that’s exactly what it’s designed to do! Ryan hopes his store simulates the sense of calm and rejuvenation we all need – a feeling he definitely finds in nature.

‘I think one of the biggest ways plants can help our wellbeing is by giving us a really enjoyable ritual,’ he explains. ‘The act of taking care of a plant – learning about it, helping it grow, observing changes – is a form of slow living that feels so different to the instant gratification, multi-tasking world we live in. We need more of it, it’s why I do what I do!’

We’re happy you do, Ryan!

Plant Charmer’s new store is located in East Brunswick Village at 149 Nicholson Street. It’s open from 10am – 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Learn more about his services and offering here!

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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 – we would love to hear from you.

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