Behind the Nook Collections Showroom

Behind the Nook Collections Showroom

For Monica Pomingi, the founder of Nook Collections, the Nook Showroom has been a long-cherished dream. As the brand flourished online, there was a missing piece in the puzzle - a space that could bridge the gap between their products and their valued clients.

In the early months of 2023, Monica scoured the city in search of the perfect location. It seemed, however, that destiny had chosen a place for her all along, a place with a unique history. The space at 504-508 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills, had previously been a lighting showroom for Artemide, making it the ideal canvas for showcasing Nook's exquisite lighting products.

Once the space was secured, Monica faced the exhilarating challenge of defining the style and ambiance that would embody the Nook Collections' physical presence. She wasn't content with a conventional lighting store filled with rows of pendants and wall lights. The Nook Showroom had to transcend the ordinary; it had to be a space that welcomed and inspired, forging a true identity for Nook. This showroom was to be a reflection of the brand's values and character, and Monica had a vision.

Velo Wall Light by Astro Lighting at Nook Collecitons

This is where Lisa, the creative force behind Loopea, enters the picture. Monica and Lisa met in 2017, where Monica was captivated by Lisa's extraordinary design flair, marked by her bold use of colours, forms, patterns, and materials. Recognising that their combined talents were a perfect match, they set out to create a new home for Nook Collections.

Lisa's brief from Monica was simple but profound: create a space that ignites inspiration among designers, architects, and the public, all while staying true to Nook's values and brand essence. The Nook Showroom needed to have a personality, yet it also needed to allow the lighting fixtures to shine (literally!!) - the perfect harmony between product and interior.

Nook Showroom

We chatted with Lisa from Loopea to learn more about her journey with Nook Collections and delve into the world of lighting in interior design.

Can you share your initial sources of inspiration and influences behind the design of the Nook Collections showroom?

Monica’s brief, served as the original inspiration. She shared imagery of tiled pattern, curved form & purposeful product displays. The site’s existing architectural elements served as the second, and possibly most important, source of influence.

The base build tenancy boasts a whopping 4400mm+ high ceiling heights in some areas with sweeping cross sections of bulkheads, beams, stair sections & nib walls in potentially awkward areas. Rather than battling the existing architectural constraints, we chose to express it strategically by activating its existing geometries. 

Nook Showroom

A visual horizontal delineation line throughout the space was introduced. The play of materials and colour defines this in stark contrasts.  It was discovered that the clients’ original inspired imagery came to life in the space when the design was treated in bands of horizontal geometry, as opposed to the more conventional approach of treating each wall, surface, or plane in a different way. 

The concept focusses on imposing form. Tonal ambiance of colour, plays on geometry & geometric pattern were introduced. Warmth of walnut tones & travertine stones simultaneously excites & softens. 

Showroom design often presents unique challenges. How did you navigate the delicate balance between aesthetics and functionality in this space?

With a background in retail design, I understand a clients’ requirement to showcase their product.  Monica’s vision in what she wanted aesthetically was very clear & thrilling. She desired a striking look, but it also had to be cosy & purposeful. 
I've ALWAYS been a fan of Nook's product line, and this belief in the line made the design process easier. 

By designing mini-zones to display products in-situ, helps to link the product to the area for the customer to experience the product authentically. These zones offer agility in privacy that are reminiscent of dining and lounge areas and can also be used for consultations. In order to provide warmth and acoustic seclusion between these areas, tactile drapery was added. 

Nook Showroom
Could you elaborate on the significance of lighting in interiors? (Residence, commercial and hospitality).

The way someone feels and interacts with a space, whether it be residential, commercial, hospitality, externally, is greatly influenced by the lighting in that area. A space's lighting can make or break it. It affects feelings, mood, and can evoke nostalgia.

Do you have a favourite lighting fixture in the showroom or one featured on Nook Collections' website?

I cannot go past the Dish Wall Light in the Ochre. The drama & warmth of the orange hand-glazed finish makes me want to give it a massive hug haha. 

I also love love love the sculptural form of the Papilio Pendant Light range + the tones of colour in the series. Extremely excited to have recently purchased this for a clients’ home. 

Nook Showroom
In just three words, how would you encapsulate Loopea's design philosophy? 

A successful design, in my opinion, is one that is created using an unbiased approach. It can't just be about what I, the designer, think looks good without any deeper meaning. Instead, it should be based on the anticipated emotion that the client wants a user to have when they enter their space.

  • Unbiased (in response to a design brief to form the creative concept) 
  • Unexpected (to spark magic moments of joy)
  • Driven (purposeful design)
We admire your work with colour, forms, textures, and patterns. Could you share your top tips for crafting bold and dynamic designs?

Respect any limitations or restrictions on the site. Carefully integrating elements that you wish didn't initially exist, like a column, can potentially create some magical moments in design. 

For instance, the lowered bulkhead in the showroom was in line with an existing column in the shopfront. Instead of attempting to conceal these features, we made use of them and built out the corner junction to create a curved radius. Here, wall lights were installed, and because of the curve's integration, they soften the area and produce the most amazing soft glow and shadow. The fun starts with the colours and finishes for me!! But for it to feel genuine, it must have a purpose. 
One useful technique that was applied to Nook was layering. 

There are many geometric shapes and hard surfaces throughout the showroom. This was softened both aesthetically and acoustically in the furniture selection & soft furnishings. The fully-wrapped upholstery options and geometric design were key factors in the selection of the furniture, which all had a strong connection to the design concept. 

The Nook Showroom is not just a physical space; it's a testament to Monica's vision and Lisa's creative brilliance. Together, they've created a place that doesn't just showcase lighting; it illuminates the soul of Nook Collections.