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coco January 23rd, 2019

2018 was a year we can only sum up as FULL! 

From getting our business ducks in a row at the start of the year and launching in April to all the fantastic projects we got to work on, our cup was figuratively filled to the brim.

And our desk? Well it was literally overflowing with papers and plans and samples and teabags (we had to give up coffee earlier this year. Eek!)

Last year, Cote designed and styled quite a diverse range of projects both in Australia and Belize. Our philosophy was to be open to any opportunity that came our way. Boy, did they come!

The quick stats: In 2018, we worked on 2 offices, 1 restaurant & bar, 1 hotel lobby, 5 condos, 2 kitchens, 2 apartment buildings, 1 retail shop, and 5 homes.

That meant drawing and designing. Sourcing and sampling. Consultations and concepts. Heaps of paint swatches, tons of tiles, countless fabric cuttings, and samples, samples, samples!

In summary, it was a whole lot of fun and exactly what we love to do.

While we have shared tidbits on our Instagram, we thought we’d give you a more in-depth peek into what we’ve been up to for the past year.

We kicked off 2018 with two very different briefs from two very different companies to refresh two very different offices. It was a great experience to delve into the inner workings of each business and brand. To get to know the people and the culture. And to help them transform their tired and worn spaces into a reflection of who they are now and what they do.

We loved collaborating with them to translate their business vision into the physical realm through changes to layouts, finishes, furniture and styling. But what we loved even more was the renewed sense of pride and enthusiasm from not only our clients but also their employees.

It is kind of wild what a change of surroundings can do!

Next up was one of our most exciting projects of the year and definitely the biggest transformation. We were tapped to design and project manage the complete renovation and styling of Red Ginger, a fantastic restaurant and bar in Belize.

Soon after our launch in April, our would-be client approached us with a dream brief:

To create an inviting tropical oasis with a decidedly Caribbean beach feel and holiday vibes in our original hometown of San Pedro.

And did we mention it is located at THE best resort on the island? See above. Swoon!

So we got right to work pinning and planning and the new Red Ginger concept was born: a beautiful botanical bistro in all the colours of the Caribbean Sea.

We travelled to Belize to oversee the renovations where we overhauled the floor plan to optimise the space and built a whole new bar, as well as a custom banquette. We changed all of the lighting, revamped the acoustics and painted the space from top to toe.

There were also new tiles and bench tops. Custom joinery, shelves, and furniture. New chairs, upholstery, art and accessories. Phew!

And THAT wallpaper! It was by far our favourite element and quite possibly the biggest pain in the a** to make happen. We’ll save that story for another time…

The Belizean fun didn’t stop there!

As soon as we completed the restaurant interiors and outdoor bar (in a mere 3 weeks no less), we moved onto an impromptu lobby refresh complete with all new colour scheme, upholstery, accessories and a bespoke reception desk.

We partnered with an amazing carpenter to dream up a sophisticated coastal piece with blue-green V-groove facade, Carrera marble top and brass hardware. It is divine if we do say so ourselves.

We don’t have photos to share just yet but we do have big plans to update the lobby even further soon! We’ll be sharing all the details as we go.

While we originally thought Cote would primarily be designing in the residential sphere, all of these commercial projects have certainly whetted our appetite for more.

We’re thinking: Cute coastal cafe? Boutique holiday rental in Byron? Beachside resort in Belize or Bali or beyond?!

If you know of any, please send them our way. But we digress…

Last year, we also had the best time styling not one…not two…. but five condos!

We re-envisioned the modern units into chic coastal retreats that are equal parts comfortable and luxurious with a tailored approach to each space.

We selected and sourced new cushions and throws from some of our favourite suppliers, while fresh upholstery brought new life to existing pieces. We also handpicked artwork, books and accessories to make the spaces feel effortlessly curated.

And the best bit? We had the opportunity to design custom furniture that was handmade with local Belizean hardwoods. Such a fun and unexpected experience!

Back in Sydney, we loved styling the family room of one of our favourite clients as she welcomed her new bubba late last year! It was so rewarding to give them a cosy space in which to spend those blissful baby days.

She wanted a space that felt sophisticated yet inviting with a contemporary, uncluttered look and just a touch of femininity. It also needed to be able to withstand daily use by kids, pets and guests, as well as fit with the rest of the house.

We used a neutral scheme with lots of natural textures to create the casual luxury she was after. We kept the foundation pieces simple and added patterned cushions and striking art to infuse the room with her fun personality and impeccable style.

We’ll be doing a photoshoot there next week and cannot wait to share all the images with you soon!

Toward the end of 2018, we started 2 very different kitchen design projects. One was modern Scandi and the other more traditional, yet both have tapped into our passion for space planning and obsession with clever storage. We’re currently selecting finishes, fixtures and fittings and cannot wait for them to be completed!

Just to add to the diverse mix of projects, we have been helping a retail shop refine its customer experience through its interiors, as well as executing lobby refresh for two residential buildings here in Sydney.

And let us not forget about all the wonderful homes we’ve styled! They’ve kept us busy and happy (residential design still has our hearts!) with updated colour palettes and furniture selections.

Want to know what else is in the works for 2019?

We have some super exciting residential projects coming up here in Australia. You’ll be seeing a lot more of those soon, so keep an eye out!

And, between us, there is reason to believe we’ll be back in Belize again later this year… wink wink!

The Cote roster is filling up quickly but if you have a project you would like to collaborate with us on, click here to contact us.

We’d be thrilled to hear from you!

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