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The Fun + Fantastical Inner-City Apartment Of Two Next Generation Designers

Creative People

When Josh Jessup and Matt Moss moved from Sydney to Melbourne in February of this year, they had 30 followers on TikTok. Now, just a few months later, the couple have a following more than 117,000 people strong and have amassed over 4.6 million likes… and counting!

But social media is just one facet of their exuberant creative output. From their vibrant apartment in Melbourne’s CBD, the pair run Matt and Josh Design – the homewares label under which they sell their distinctive handmade art pieces. From geometric candles that reveal a technicolour lava once they’ve melted, to modular ceiling mobiles, their pieces are whimsical, fun and totally original. Just like their home!

8th July, 2021

Josh and Matt’s inner-city apartment is packed to the brim with fun, dynamic and colourful pieces. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

How about those fringed chair arms and that tomato red Nicolae Lawrence coffee table?! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Spectacular views from the corner apartment. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The red Togo couch and armchair popped up on Facebook marketplace as Josh and Matt were mid-flight to Melbourne. It was fate! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

One of the boys’ signature products: a modular acrylic mobile made from colourful, geometric shards. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘As we began to experiment with colour we became more confident using it and that flowed into our interior as well! We’ve now fully embraced colour and treat our home as an art playground.’ Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The bedroom has a softer, more muted glow compared to the clashing colours in the living room. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The apartment is filled with a mix of vintage pieces, secondhand items sourced from marketplace, handmade art and fresh products – like this specially commissioned table by Jack and Mark Fearon for Curated Spaces! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Josh (left) and Matt (right) doing what they do best: creating content. And Luis the cockerlier of course! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Squiggly psychedelic oddities! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The boys make most of their pieces by hand in their Melbourne apartment, using materials from local Australian suppliers. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Sasha Gattermayr
Thursday 8th July 2021

‘As we began to experiment with colour we became more confident using it and that flowed into our interior. We’ve now fully embraced colour and treat our home as an art playground.’ – Josh Jessup and Matt Moss

Josh Jessup and Matt Moss discovered their love (and penchant) for art and design last year, when they were in lockdown watching American interior designer Kelly Wearstler’s masterclasses online at night. This ‘lightbulb moment’ led them to pack up shop and move to Melbourne where the creative energy was extra magnetic – and aren’t we glad they did?!

Matt is an app developer by day and a designer by night, while freshly minted interiors and architecture graduate Josh works full time on their art and homewares brand, Josh and Matt Design. From hand-making the products to packaging orders and filming TikToks, the duo are forging ahead with their fun, no-rules approach to design, and creating a devoted online community of fans and customers.

We’re totally obsessed with these guys!

First thing’s first, tell me about Josh and Matt Design! 

Josh and Matt Design was born after we experimented with creating our own homewares and art for our own apartment. We were both working from home so it really forced us to reflect on our interior and rethink what we wanted to be surrounded by.

Our first art product was our rental-friendly range of hanging mobiles. They attach to the ceiling via command strips with the hanging sculptures attaching magnetically. This allows you to swap the pieces around whenever you feel like it and even mix and match between mobiles. Using this same modular system, we quickly expanded into a whole range of art for many aspects of the home including downlight art and magnetic wall sculptures. Our most recent designs have been our lava candles and candle holders!

We make everything in our apartment here in Melbourne, using various Australian suppliers. Our acrylic pieces are laser cut by Domus Vim in Sydney and everything else is handmade by us! Our art is made to order so most nights you can find us making our art and packaging orders.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

We’d call it curated maximalism, with elements of postmodern design and retrofuturism. We’ve blended a lot of these elements into an aesthetic that really represents who we are! It’s fun, dynamic and full of colour.

How did you arrive at this style?

As our art style evolved so did our interior. Just a year ago, our home had a very neutral colour palette. As we began to experiment with colour we became more confident using it, and that flowed into our interior. We’ve now fully embraced colour and treat our home as an art playground.

Do you have any artistic inspirations or interiors references?

We love the radical design of Gufram and Memphis Milano. We don’t really follow rules when it comes to our design aesthetic, and really like how they approached design in a similar way.

Kelly Wearstler is also a huge inspiration for us, as she helped us look at interiors from a new perspective by treating every object as an individual sculpture. This allowed us to think about how all of our interior pieces interact with one another.

You guys have so many followers on tiktok… How many videos do you make each week?

We love making TikToks in our spare time, and often have a content plan for each weekend! We usually post three times a day showcasing different aspects design including architecture, fashion, interiors and art!

We like to treat our TikTok as a design community first and business second. We love showing our art and development behind the scenes on TikTok. It has been a such an amazing platform for us to find our community, we never imagined we would be having sellout art launches four months into our journey.

What are your favourite pieces in the house?

There are so many pieces in our home that we absolutely love and still pinch ourselves over! When moving to Melbourne, a red Togo fireside chair matching our Togo loveseat popped up on Facebook Marketplace mid-flight – it was like the universe giving us a house warming gift!

Another favourite of ours would be our vintage Verner Panton x IKEA Vilbert chair. We also love our Memphis Milano squash tray and our custom desk from Curated Spaces made by Jack and Mark Fearon.

Do you have any tips for collecting design pieces or finding new makers?

When we were in Sydney planning our move to Melbourne we were scouting every available source! From local vintage stores, Facebook Marketplace and Instagram collectors, we were curating our Melbourne apartment non-stop.

We would definitely recommend first thinking about what your design style is. Then break this down into sub categories such as materiality, design eras and brands. Use these keywords to browse Facebook marketplace and set up search alerts, we found so many of our pieces this way! Also use these key words on Instagram and you’ll find a ton of local curators and makers that have some amazing pieces. Lastly, make sure to visit your local vintage stores, there’s often hidden gems that will jump out at you!

Explore Josh and Matt’s crazy popular products here, and keep up with their antics/product drops/cockerlier Luis on TikTok here (or Instagram 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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net