Kestie Lane reached two career milestones this year. The first marks twenty years in the design business, the second marks the first year of her new-found design practice Kestie Lane Studio, and certainly Kestie’s portfolio of work speaks to both her experience and success. With a designer-maker background, Kestie’s hands-on approach, honest use of materials and penchant for craftsmanship is evident in her projects that range from much-loved restaurants and boutique offices to multi-residential projects.
Now based in South Yarra, Melbourne, Kestie started her career at Jam Factory in Adelaide where she undertook a three-year internship in product and furniture design. “I learnt a lot about construction and detailing and how things are put together,” says Kestie who continues to pay great attention to detail, tactility and the high-quality craftsmanship of fittings and furniture.
“On each project I try to design bespoke elements unique to that project, which in turn can form part of a product range I am developing in the studio,” Kestie explains. “We’re always involved in the production process working closely with joiners, fabricators and bespoke makers.”
Kestie’s projects have a calm, confident and inviting aesthetic, and like the award-winning interior of The Kettle Black, which she created with her former design partner at Studio You Me, they are infused with warmth and soul. “Apart from beautiful design, an interior needs a client’s personality and their life experiences to give the design soul and the special element you can’t quite put your finger on,” says Kestie. “It’s very important to have that come through the work.”
The designer’s timeless aesthetic also speaks to the longevity of her work, which includes the street furniture designed for the City of Adelaide more than fifteen years while working as a partner at Studio Arketype. “I love returning to Adelaide to see all the furniture still part of the streetscape. It gives me a real kick to know that fifteen years on it is being used everyday,” she says. “It’s so nice to see that your design has longevity and is still useful.”
As a designer-maker, quality and honesty – to construction, materials and clients – continue to underpin Kestie’s approach to design and her refined and crafted feel-good spaces. “They have a sense of confidence, elegance and, I hope, a sense of humour,” says Kestie. “I take work seriously, but not too seriously; its design after all.”
Kestie Lane Studio