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Coco Flip Finds joy in Taking Things Slow

Coco Flip Finds joy in Taking Things Slow

Haslett Grounds and Kate Stokes | Photographer Kristoffer Paulsen

After over a decade on the Australian design scene, Coco Flip’s commitment to keeping things small, slow and local continues to produce lasting designs that brim with personality.

Walking into Coco Flip’s Northcote showroom feels very much like an arrival. An inviting collection of carefully crafted furniture and luminaires basks in natural light, emphasising the captivating charm of the considered and character-filled objects on display. The notion of timeless appeal is underpinned by the subtle sense of joy – a quality present in Coco Flip’s conscious designs and the brand’s name. “Coco Flip is all about balance – between life and work, aesthetics and function,” explains Kate Stokes. She co-founded Coco Flip with her husband and business partner, Haslett Grounds. “I felt like the name encompasses that balance visually and audibly and has a playfulness that sets the right tone.”

Coco Flip Northcote Showroom | Photography Kristoffer Paulsen

With the name to express the founders’ distinct design intent, the release of the Coco Pendant in 2010 unequivocally put the brand on the map, thrusting Coco Flip to the forefront of lighting design. With time, the brand’s profile has organically evolved. Now, alongside a range of beautifully crafted luminaires, the studio’s offering includes furniture design and boasts a selection of Melbourne-made tables, benches and ottomans. But the ethos that underlay the inception of the brand continues to be its beating heart. “Maintaining our integrity has always been the most important motivation for me,” admits Kate.

Coco Flip Northcote Showroom | Photography Kristoffer Paulsen

With a team of three galvanising Coco Flip’s ongoing success, the brand that started as a small business is still maintaining a similar structure. “We’re a purposefully small, creative-led business, and we’re committed to achieving a healthy balance in our work and life. As a family-run business, it’s important for us to maintain this and prioritise our happiness,” Kate explains. This notion of balance, fittingly reflected in the brand’s name, is also echoed in Coco Flip’s designs. “We think the good things in life are worth celebrating, and we’d like our furniture and lighting to bring a great deal of joy to our customers.”

Coco Flip Northcote Showroom | Photography Kristoffer Paulsen

In keeping things purposefully small, Coco Flip still keeps things close, too. Kate used to ride her bike to see Charlie Sandford, the timber turner behind the award-winning Coco Pendant. And today, the brand still works with local manufacturers in bringing their timeless designs to life. With the dedication to creating objects that spark a lasting connection, the personal aspect of local production is crucial to Coco Flip’s design vision. And the careful craft of the local makers aligns with the brand’s affinity for considered design.

Coco Flip Northcote Showroom | Photography Kristoffer Paulsen

“Coco Flip is built on our nurtured relationships with local manufacturers and talented craftspeople who share our ethos of patience and dedication to detail,” Kate says. “We’re passionate advocates of slow design, and we believe that all good things take time.” This idea of taking the time to patiently craft their products goes hand in hand with Coco Flip’s desire to always strive for longevity in their creative practice. “We want our designs to be enjoyed for a very long time, and it’s important for us that they withstand decades of use physically and aesthetically.”

Photography Cathy Marshall

The Heidelberg Road showroom is a beautifully appointed embodiment of Coco Flip’s values and aspirations. Housing the current collection and some exciting launches, like the Broad Pendant, designed as part of the 2021 Nau collection, the space offers a glimpse into what’s to come from the quintessential Australian design brand. “While the long lockdowns have rendered us incredibly time-poor, having young children at home, it has been an opportunity to ruminate on creative ideas and direction. I feel really excited about working on some new pieces and flexing our creative muscles again,” sums up Kate enthusiastically.

Coco Flip


Photography Hadyn Cattach

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