Here at est, we look to good design for a quality that’s made to last – and as far as enduring style goes, Halcyon Lake has it down pat. The family business has grown out of a passion for European textures, specialising in premium woven rugs and carpets. Now in its fifth decade, Halcyon Lake continues to dress spaces with integrity and a careful attention to detail, on the basis of a raw, modest aesthetic.
But an exciting new chapter has only just begun for Halcyon Lake. Fervently looking to the future, Director David Kiely has introduced a new Melbourne showroom, fitted out by esteemed local design firm Hecker Guthrie. A clever collaboration to say the least, the showroom – aptly named a ‘slice of Scandinavia’ by Hecker Guthrie – is a true celebration of craftsmanship.
Halcyon Lake has always been a pioneer for bringing one-off, well-crafted pieces to Australia. Since the 1970s Halcyon Lake has been one step ahead, as the first importer of Berber rugs to Australia. Most recently, their unique Mariantonia Urra collection (as seen at Denfair 2017) was entirely designed and handmade in Sardinia using traditional weaving techniques. Met with lasting success, it was inevitable that an ever-growing exotic collection called for a new home.
It was an opportunity not to be missed when a showroom across the road from Meizai Furniture cropped up. For eight years, Halcyon Lake occupied a snug nook within the Meizai showroom that David affectionately calls “the rug cave”. As their refined collection of European textures grew, they felt the squeeze — a sure sign it was time to expand to an independent showroom. For this, David called on the work of a master. Fortunate to have worked with Hecker Guthrie on a few projects over the years, David had full faith in the team — so much so, there weren’t really any boundaries for the design.
“We simply wanted our rugs to be presented in a curated, gallery-like environment alongside a couple of select furniture pieces. The brief had more to do with logistics than anything else – we needed joinery designed and custom-made to best display our various-sized rugs, and storage systems developed for our ever-growing sample collection,” assures David.
Halcyon Lake aligns perfectly with a Nordic design ethos. White-wash timber cladded ceilings and brick walls make for a refreshingly open and timeless space, thoughtfully curated with considered objects, understated joinery and a sprinkle of greenery throughout. David says it was no coincidence the showroom embodies a Nordic experience. “We wanted the fit-out to compliment the rugs on display rather than competing with them, to encourage the distinctive textures and colours in our textiles to stand out.”
Naturally, the bones of an old warehouse building have segmented Halcyon Lake’s collections. Neutral-toned textural rugs bask in the natural light, streaming from the high-pitched roof, while the more colourful and patterned rugs benefit from theatrical feature lighting, in the former garage.
For David, the showroom encapsulates exactly what Halcyon Lake is about: understated elegance and the quality work of expert artisans. The hardest part? Pinning down a favourite thing. “I can’t fault it. It’s perfect,” he says proudly.
“We wanted it to feel warm and be a place that people feel comfortable spending time in, while being inspired by the possibilities that only a large space can display.”
– Director, David Kiely
“The focus has always been to discover and share the incredible skill and technique of craftspeople from the world over. That drives us to search for new and beautiful products.”
– Director, David Kiely