If there were more hours in the day what would you like to do?
Of course there are the obvious answers — spend more time with family, cure hunger, create world peace (I’m so Miss Universe material) — but those aside what would hobby would you take up? What skill would you learn just for yourself?
It should come as no surprise that I’m an extremely visual person and, although food is my first love, I have a secret, burning passion for design. I would love to be able to take a room and transform it into something magical, match and mismatch with ease, fine-tune my eye.
Of course I also have a love for vintage and second hand items — if you’ve ever caught any of my Opp Shop Obsession finds you won’t be particularly surprised with that fact. I grew up in a 100+ year old Victorian house and, while I do appreciate modern design, my love of antiques is as inherited as my creative distraction.
It is with these things in mind that I nearly squealed like a child when I walked into the Gumtree Garden last night.
RJ and I were already in The Rocks for another event so when a girlfriend invited me to pop over to the launch preview it was a no brainer. Tucked into Sydney’s oldest laneway — Kendall Lane — just off Argyle St, the Gumtree Garden pop up bar simply glittered under a canopy of vintage lampshades.
The venue was put together with items sourced only from, you guessed it, Gumtree and curated by designer Dana Tomic Hughes of Yellowtrace.
“There is a distinct shift toward one-of-a-kind pieces that offer consumers the opportunity to be creative and bring some character and personality into their space whilst saving a whole heap of money,” says Tomic Hughes.
(Nothing says party like a big stone horse head)
The Gumtree Garden is set out in distinctive spaces reflecting different design themes. From a Palm Springs patio and a Mid-Century lounge room to a Country Kitchen and Victorian parlour, everything ties together under the garden theme. Every way you turn there is something new to take in. Every detail is accounted for.
Giving us a peek into the process, Tomic Hughes shares “the initial challenge for the design of the Gumtree Garden was creating a space that brings to life the unique pieces you can find online, while also ensuring there was a strong connection and consistent flow through the long laneway. When I started searching for the right pieces, I realised this wasn’t as much of a challenge as I had anticipated it to be – there are literally thousands of very special pre-loved pieces in Sydney longing for a new home.”
As it turns out even the band was sourced from Gumtree!
The transformed laneway is only open from 5pm – 11pm Thursday 14 November to Saturday 16 November.
With a special event menu created by ex-Masterchef contestant Hayden Quinn and plenty of drinks flowing from the country kitchen the Gumtree Garden is a perfect end of the week city-oasis escape.
Now I just want to know how I can get my hands on the black couch and that brilliant kitchen hutch…
As a side note, the advertising strategy side of my brain appreciates this event as much as the design one. It’s a classic ‘show don’t tell’ campaign perfectly demonstrating the value of a service-based website. Makes me all warm and tingly to watch it unfold.
Event attended as a guest, looking for a bigger disclaimer? Go for your life.
Jane @ Shady Baker says
This looks very cool JJ, I love that kitchen hutch too 🙂
Thanks Jane – I want all the things in my house! (note to self, get house first ;D)
Helen (Grab Your Fork) says
Such a clever collaboration! I can’t stop staring at that giant horse’s head!
I just want to know where they found it!
Dana | Yellowtrace says
Thanks so much for the lovely write up and for coming along. You’re so right – so much warm fuzziness in the belly about this project. I think I’ll be all tingly from it for ages to come.
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
See I love design too but I really don’t have that great an eye for it. I’d love to learn more. What a cool event!
There’s certainly a great deal to find out about this issue.
I love all the points you made.