Clayset walls bring flowers to life
Clayset walls bring flowers to life
From a dense jungle to a minimalist laboratory, from the romance of thousands of miniature roses to being knee-deep in foliage - every day at Hermetica Flowers is distinctive according to co-owner Jai Winnell.
For a small florist shop, Hermetica is certainly making a big impact on a busy Darlinghurst street. Nestled between terrace buildings in a cosmopolitan cafe strip and three doors down from Australia's most adored icecream shop, Gelato Messina, Hermetica has quickly become known for its unique sculptural arrangements and stunning window displays.
Upon moving into the space last year, Jai, and business partner Edward West, immersed themselves in a transformation that drew on Jai's floristry experience in central London and an overwhelming desire to deliver something different to current floristry trends.
"Ten years ago, my first job was as a florist in this space," says Jai. "I worked here for a few years and then moved to London. When I returned, the opportunity arose to take over the lease and the transformation began."
The transformation to sophistication
"The shop was outdated with old tiles and cabinetry. Black walls created a rather gloomy mood, much like a garage."
The new look was to be contemporary and minimalist in style, very different to the vintage look currently on trend in many urban florists.
Selecting the right materials for the walls would be key to delivering a fresh, clean elegance that complemented the natural beauty of the flowers.
"The intention was always to use natural materials. Our vision was for the work space to feel like a sophisticated natural laboratory with clay or lime walls."
Designer Jennifer Fair recommended Peter Holmes from Tadelakt Sydney, who suggested ROCKCOTE Clayset for its soft, lustrous finish and ability to maintain a cool, regular temperature.
Clayset walls are fresh and soft
"The result is beyond amazing. Shimmer, shape, shadow...the walls have life and allow the flowers to cast a shadow that is irregular and soft," Jai said. "The freshness of the walls really lets the flowers speak for themselves."
Jai was delighted with Peter Holmes' artistry: "Peter's support and help throughout the whole process has been amazing, he really went above and beyond...we were both very grateful for his help and proud of the space Peter helped create for us."
Peter, who created the walls in the nearby Tin Pin Bakery in Bondi, said that Clayset was the right choice for this space. "The whole place is opened up by the white walls. The finish is soft, natural and slightly undulating with a beautiful warmth."
Polished concrete-look floors complement the walls, and cabinetry handmade and painted by Jai's father maintains the clean, contemporary design.
The stunning space reflects Jai and Edward's philosophy of delivering much more than simple floral arrangements for their clients.
"I like to show people what can be done with designer flowers that people won't see elsewhere. It's not just about making a bouquet - it's about creating a beautifiul space where people want to be, accessing the best produce available, and bringing an amazing scuptural artwork to life every time."
Hermetica Flowers: Darlinghurst, Sydney
Owners: Jai Winnell and Edward West
Artisan (walls): Peter Holmes, Tadelakt Sydney
Preparation: ROCKCOTE Texprime
Walls: 2 coats of ROCKCOTE Clayset, natural colour, slightly undulating
Finishing: Two coats of Carnauba Wax
Outside, front of store: Smooth Sanding Patch over tiles to give a concrete-look
Design: Jennifer Fair Interiors
Photography: Sue Robbins Photography, and Jai Winnell