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Groups gather for brunch, business meetings take place and diners regularly abandon their tables for a look around the Koskela showroom and homewares store. Meanwhile, bookings are made for kids Lomography classes and basket weaving workshops in the studio spaces. “We have these polar opposites that manage to compliment one another all in the one space,” says Morton. “That’s the power of it, and it’s not even what you put in. Sometimes it’s what everyone leaves out that makes it work. “The space is big, but you could do it in so many ways. That’s why a lot of people get scared of big, huge spaces. It’s so raw.” And it’s just that rawness that drew McEnearney and Morton into the journey with Titchkosky and Russel Koskela. “We purposely set out to find a space that hadn’t been developed. We wanted to find somewhere where everything hadn’t been beautified or made to look new again,” says Titchkosky, pointing out that it would allow the space to act as a canvas. “Russel and I came to the decision that the next phase for our business was doing something more interesting on the retail side. Something that Sydney didn’t have that specialised in Australian design, while combining furniture and homewares.” When it transpired that both Morton and the Koskela team were looking for new digs at the same time, a mutual practice of “keeping an eye out” for spaces that might appeal ended in the businesses coming together to share the warehouse. With the layout naturally carved up into three clear areas, things couldn’t have worked out better, especially when McEnearney was added to the mix to bring food to the equation. Introduced through some mutual friends, he could see the vision unfolding after just one meeting. “It was really amazing. That first coffee and chat, to walk in, see a picture of the space and then to go away and come back with very similar ideas about what we could do – it was an incredible thing,” he says with a grin. Morton draws a romantic analogy to explain her feelings on the space. “It’s like falling in love with a boyfriend who you know is too big, too much and all wrong. All this could be smaller and easier…but knowing what you’ve seen, you just can’t go back.” It’s that blank canvas of generous space that has allowed each separate business to create their own signatures, blending gently together at the edges without crowding one another. “There’s nothing else like it,” rejoins McEnearney. “There are no canteens where you queue up for your food, see the kitchen cook and view the fresh ingredients. You really couldn’t do this in many other spaces – you need this volume.”

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