Lou and Amelia welcome us in for fresh home-baked bagels
We visited the dreamy treehouse of Lou and Amelia, partners and co-founders of Sunshine Coast-based creative studio Ebb & Flow. Lou and Amelia started Ebb & Flow in 2015 after living and working around the world, and bought their lush home in 2016, in tucked-away Verrierdale. In deciding to combine their skills and lifestyle into one that was values-driven and community oriented, they have not only created a beautiful home but nurtured the creative community in their regional area.
During the peak of Covid, they adopted the four day work week with the view ‘to simplify’. Inspired by their approach to work and rest, we spoke with Lou and Amelia about their philosophy around community and building spaces for relaxation.
Lou and Amelia scooped up the last of the limited edition Glow blanket. They use it for picnics and to catch rays outdoors
From branding and design to content creation, what is it about telling brands’ stories that is inspiring to you?
The decisions we make as consumers make a huge impact on our community and the environment. Brands we choose to support say a lot about us and what our values are. One thing we have learnt after decades of working in this industry is that individuals can make an impact by choosing to support brands that in turn support their community.
We love to look at concepts like social permaculture and closed loop systems. Once we start to dive into this side of business and brands it starts to get really interesting. We believe these communities which support each other can make a huge impact when it comes to the current issues we are facing as a society. These are the stories we like to tell and the brands we like to work with. We love to dive deep into understanding the heart of the brand and designing the experience around it. We also just love to go to the studio and make stuff!
Between you both, you've lived and worked in New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Wellington and Montreal – what made you choose to work and live on the Sunshine Coast?
We ended up on the Sunshine Coast kinda by chance. After years of each living and working overseas, Lou and I met once we were back in Australia. We spent months moving around the east coast of Australia, living out of suitcases, before we decided that we should create a home somewhere. We looked at Lorne, Northern Rivers, and Melbourne but we found the flow led us to the Sunshine Coast.
The Sunshine Coast has always been a holiday destination for us so it's often surreal to stop and appreciate that we live here. When we told our friends and family that we wanted to start a design company on the coast, they all thought we were nuts. But thanks to our first clients and their referrals we have been attracting great brands and startups from all over the world.
"We love to throw blankets over us on cold mornings with a coffee", says Amelia
Not only is your studio in Noosaville a hub of activity, but you activate the warehouse next door (NextDoor is also the name of the space!) by renting it to local artists, performers and even restaurants. How do you see your role in creating community in Noosa?
Creating and being a part of a community here is really important to us. When we first moved to the Sunshine Coast we used to fantasise about the moment we were part of a community and I think that drove us to seek out the people that most inspired us. Not long after starting Ebb & Flow, we started the Noosa Surf Film Festival. This is purely a love project that was created to promote and support young creatives on the coast and show the non-competitive side of surfing. It has been hugely successful thanks to the amazing support of the surf and creative community here.
With these two projects up and running we really saw the value in creating a space where people can come together and create, then Nextdoor was born. Noosa attracts an amazing range of talented people and we are largely obsessed with them all. We do everything that we can to help support the community around us and they have been incredible in supporting us. We try to get involved and give back when we can by helping local not-for-profits, like Surfrider and SevGen, within the studio.
Rainbow bookshelf and local art! The artwork is by Kate Florence, who works out of NextDoor
Likewise, your home is such a beautiful balance of warmth, spaciousness and curiosity. What is your philosophy when it comes to making a house your home?
Our house is our sanctuary. It is where we can go to stop and recharge. It’s up in the trees, surrounded by wildlife and peacefully quiet. We are both more on the side of introvert and we spend most of our weeks in the studio with our team or with clients so when the weekend comes we escape to our home to reset. When we moved here we had no things, so it's been super fun building our lives from scratch together. Our home is made up of all our favourite things – art, music, film, food, books, plants and spaces for retreat and entertaining.
We have created memories here for 5 years and some of that is represented in things we have made, bought, received and collected. We also are looking after a little foster girl and our home has transformed into a space to accommodate her. And of course Hunter the dog brings all the love!
Because houses in Queensland are built to welcome cooling breezes in the summertime, blankets are all the more essential during winter!
You both do so much! How do you like to use your beautiful spaces to chill?We read, listen to records, watch the birds, cook food, work in the garden, watch sunsets, do crosswords and jigsaw puzzles, have baths, drink wine, lie on the lawn in the sun, sit by the fire. Our favourite objects are probably the art we have collected and our record collection. We are part of a record club with our friends in Montreal and each month we buy a record for each other. It’s been a great way to explore new music and connect with them. Our home is full of art that we have collected over the years. We decided that the best present we can buy for each other is a piece of art that we can both enjoy. So each Christmas we buy a piece of art together. We really love to support artists in the community so a lot of our art is from local artists and friends.