Offering the complete package
When Bronwyn Turton and Mel Oliver decided to collaborate their skills and experience and establish their boutique interior designing company Turton Oliver based in Hamilton they didn’t have a well-formed business plan but rather a sense that they could work well together and fill a gap in the market.
“We started thirteen years ago, having decided to work together, literally over a cup of coffee at the Queenwood shopping centre. We found we had the skills and experience to fill a niche in the market that was lacking at that time,” says Mel.
Mel specialises in soft furnishing design and spatial planning while Bronwyn carries skills in product selection, colour and materials & project management.
Mel puts the company’s survival through the testing Global Financial Crisis years down to the support and encouragement of their amazing accountant.
“We knew that we had a great concept to really build a business around and so we just worked really hard and smart to get through that time. We’ve continued to thrive since that experience.”
Mel says there was a common misconception too that using the services of an interior designer was something most people couldn’t afford, so part of the journey involved tailoring their services to meet specific budget constraints and to demonstrate just how effectively they could design and supply affordable interiors.
While predominantly focusing on residential interior design Turton Oliver also works in the commercial and health care sectors.
The company has been involved in interior design projects at Waikato Hospice & Braemar Hospital along with some small commercial companies.
“We offer a complete design package from the ground up, from working drawings. Depending on the project the relationship can extend over quite a long period of time, but we also design for small renovations, kitchen and bathroom fit-outs and extensions.”
Working with Mel and Bronwyn is a small team of interior designers. Mel says the size of the company feels like the right fit. Jordyn Baldwin and Jordie Gleeson complete the design team while Donna Bailey takes care of the administration.
“We have a subcontractor who does all our window treatment installs and we have affiliations with kitchen companies and builders.”
When asked to describe how she sets about creating a design feel Mel says she works quite holistically taking cues from the lifestyle of each client. Often a client doesn’t really know what they do or do not like or how to put pieces together that sit comfortably with each other.
“They may have a beautiful rug from their travels overseas but don’t know how to position it with their furniture. It’s certainly not just about fashion at all but rather what works best with the vista, life style and area of the home. A lot of my job is about listening.”
When Business Central spoke with Mel they had just completed a wonderful project for a couple who had bought a beach home, called The Boat Shed in Waihi Beach.
“We have a long association with the couple so it was really lovely to be given full scope to create a collection of cozy and casual pieces reflecting the easy-going way of life near the beach.
A creation of relaxed and unfussy interiors was placed throughout. The great thing was we had their complete trust and we spent two full days on the set-up,” says Mel.
The master bedroom and living rooms had great use of natural light, resulting in the team using soft warm tones with a clean aesthetic. They created the breeziness of the beach within the home.
This home represents the coastal decor of linen fabrics, nautical prints, distressed wood, floaty linen curtains and shutters adding a sense of calm and tranquillity to all the spaces of the home.
Mel says that as much as they invest in establishing great understandings with clients they also invest in their staff and business, with CAD design technology.
“We really enjoy our work, interpreting what our clients want and designing great spaces for them to live in is a creative process.”