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THE DESIGN CHASER

The Mouse Collection by Idle Hands

4.29.2019

Melbourne-based creative workshop Idle Hands have introduced the Mouse Collection. Their first ever range of shelving and storage, it was created in response to the need for good storage solutions as an essential for every interior. Made up of three functional pieces; a shelving unit, entry table and shoe rack, the collection embodies a sense of calm through its simplicity, with a clean yet distinctive design aesthetic. 


Interested to find out more about Idle Hands and this beautiful new range, I asked founders Kieran Meegan and Rickie-lee Robbie a few questions. 

Can you tell us about your backgrounds and the path that led you to the launch of Idle Hands? 

Rickie and I started Idle Hands when the shipbuilding yard I was working at in Williamstown was shut down. I'm a metal fabricator by trade and had worked as a Shipbuilding for about six years. Rickie trained as a printmaker at the Victorian College of the Arts, and had ended up working in arts management in galleries and museums. We decided to start Idle Hands together as a way of using my skills as a metal fabricator in a creative way. Looking for a creative outlet, we also came to have a shared interest in design and furniture. 

Do you have specific roles within the business or is it more of a collaborative process?

When it comes to the design process we work in a more collaborative way, though someone will usually come up with a concept and then we will refine it together. I'm in the workshop most days fabricating products but also doing custom pieces for people and other businesses. There are so many other aspects of running a business, like social media, photo shoots and other admin which we work on together. It really makes it easier to have someone to bounce ideas off, and we also motivate each other which is great. 


The new Mouse Collection has a very clean, understated aesthetic. What was the inspiration behind this design?

The aesthetic for the Mouse Collection came about through both the manufacturing process and the 'mouse hole' shape. With every design we try to get the most of the material - steel is a strong and durable product but it can also be heavy so you want to eliminate any unnecessary bulk. The way the shelves are folded creates strength, and the round bar is strong but subtle. The 'mouse hole' shape was the single feature element that we wanted to incorporate. We were interested in the way that the shape creates negative space making it quite graphic without being overly decorative.

All pieces are created in your Melbourne workshop. Why is it important to you to keep manufacturing local?

We really think there is a space for locally made products in Australia. That's not to say that we are against imported products. There are a lot a great international furniture companies selling in Australia, however you do see a lot of imported products that are of a poor quality. It's these type of products that encourage people to buy more often as they don't last. It can also be difficult to know if there is an ethical supply chain when you are purchasing from big international companies. When consumers buy locally made products there is more transparency and you can guarantee the quality. Coming from the manufacturing industry I really value the skills that other local businesses offer us and the community is really supportive. It gives small businesses a chance to develop and innovate without having to invest a lot in overseas production.

How does sustainability play a part in your processes?

A big part of sustainability in furniture design is about the quality and longevity of a product. We make products that will last, and being made from steel means that they can ultimately be recycled once they are no longer in use.

Photography by Lauren Bamford

Made from durable powder coated steel, the Mouse Collection comes in a range of colours including Matt Black, Pearl White, Classic Cream, Manor Red and Deep Brunswick Green. A beautifully cut glass top is an added element of the entry table which is available in tinted, clear, frosted and translucent finishes. Because Idle Hands manufacture every item themselves, customisation is available to suit each unique space. 

For more information visit idlehands.design

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