Karie Soehardi is the brains behind Ella And Sofia. She kindly divulged how she brings beauty to the world via her unique brand of textile and furnishing design.
1. How did you end up as a textile and furnishings designer? At which point in your life did you know you were going to take a creative path?
I grew up in a very creative family, my father is an amazing portrait and landscape artist (although he was never able to earn a living from it) my mother and great aunt deep into arts and crafts, my brother is an illustrator and visual merchandiser and my sister is big on cooking. I have worn many hats, trained as a jeweller, worked as a milliner, studied fashion design which lead me to a career in Buying. But it wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I realised that the sound of scissors cutting through fabric and the memories of steaming off that ugly 70’s ‘furry’ wallpaper from our family home that I realised that interior textiles and furnishings was what resonated with me the most.
2.Is it fair to say that Ella & Sofia has a classically inspired aesthetic? If so was this direction a conscious choice?
Absolutely, it is about timelessness and elegance with some quirkiness thrown in the mix. We live in such a throw -away society now, I believe you can have pieces that stand the test of time. Wallpaper that will carry on for generations to come. I am not saying you can’t update but understanding your own sense of style is very important so you don’t look like you have a replica home of your neighbours.
3. What makes a particular design timeless? and how do you go about creating timelessness?
Great question, hard to answer! For me it’s a feeling, when you are in the midst of designing you just know. My influences have always been quite timeless so I think that is my natural style of drawing anyway.
4. Can you tell us a little bit about your collaboration with Sydney Living Museums?
Sydney Living Museums have been great, working alongside the team there, they genuinely care about reviving history for the general public. I had a lot of question for the first collection and time and attention to detail was just fantastic. We started broad then had to narrow it down. I really enjoy working with them as it gives such foundation to what is being designed.
5. What and whom are your main inspirations/influences?
Personally I am very much into Makintosh, Morris, the pioneers of the arts and crafts movement. Everyone says nature but it’s true, nature is amazing and I love architecture be it a Spanish grate or the side of a building, the way things are constructed is what I find fascinating.
6. Where do you see Ellaand Sofia in 5 years?
More and more, in the homes of those that love beautiful furnishings!