Australia is known for many things – its sunny beaches, the Sydney Opera House, and depending on who you ask, the kangaroo. Also finding their way onto this list is Bonnie and Neil, one of Australia’s most popular independent textile design studios.
Founded in 2010, Bonnie and Neil is the vision of real life partners Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie, who relocated to Australia from New Zealand in 2003 to be among Melbourne’s thriving textile industry. Bringing together their collective backgrounds in floristry, art, textiles, furniture and set design, the pair originally set up a modest pocket-sized studio. Their plan was simple: design an inaugural range and launch it at one of Melbourne’s biggest homewares tradeshows. They have been producing seasonal ranges of cushions, bed linen, napery, and timber and ceramic homewares baring their bold and colorful prints ever since.
Bonnie and Neil’s approach to design is rather intuitive, involving a combination of traditional printing methods pared with unique applications Bonnie has developed over the years. Largely incorporating botanical motifs, bright patterns, and the occasional nod to Australiana culture, their designs are influenced by Bonnie’s background as a florist, a shared love of colour and their surroundings. These eclectic designs are then hand screen printed onto Bonnie and Neil products, using inks mixed at the studio.
Today the business has grown to include 150 stockists both within Australia and globally, interiors projects and even appearances on national television, but Bonnie and Neil’s creative ethos has remained intact – where everything you see bearing their label has been designed, and hand screen printed in their Brunswick studio.