Meet our Friday muse: artist and designer Bec Snelling

12 May 2022
By Nicole Saunders

The creative force behind eponymous design studio Snelling talks new beginnings and shares a few of her favourite places and things with Fashion Quarterly.

Artist and designer, Bec Snelling.

It’s often life’s most unexpected moments that serve as the impetus for change. It’s a thought that artist and designer Bec Snelling knows well. In late October 2020, a whirlwind of turbulent events thrust Snelling deep into the unknown: the Douglas and Bec studio was destroyed by a fire, Snelling’s beloved father and business partner retired, and Snelling got sober.

Instead of running from what lay ahead, she strode forward, forging a new path for the future. And it was the culmination of events that led to the rebirth and rebranding of Douglas and Bec under the new eponymous design house, Snelling. 

The multidisciplinary creative studio, where Snelling is the head designer/art practitioner, specialises in sculptural furniture, lighting and objects–all designed to be cherished forever and everything handmade to order. “My work is so all-encompassing,” says Snelling. “Being still and centred has helped me find serenity and clarity.”

Each and every one of Snelling’s collections fuses breathtaking design with function. And while all of Snelling’s pieces are certain to create a statement in any home, it’s the Trio Collection that we are enamoured with. Available in a range of brass and glass options, the simple yet stunningly elegant design is a tribute to the creative community of Snelling makers, technicians, and design assistants.

“Over the years through working with so many different materials and mediums, we have built relationships with specialist makers,” explains Snelling. “The skills that they bring to our work enrich and enhance the already deeply etched narrative that our work possesses. It is very special and unique.”

Read on to discover a few of Bec Snelling’s favourite things and places.

The 'Trio' table lamp in Blush, by Snelling.

The last book I read was…

Real Estate by Deborah Levy. Deceptively titled, Real Estate is an incredible part of an autobiography trilogy by Deborah Levy, about her relationship with the home, about her imagined or dream home: unreal estate. It is clever and layered–very inspirational, witty and so soothing for the heart and soul. 

The last great film I watched was…  

My new actress friend took me to The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. It was SO great. It has everything–emotion, action, romance, goodies chasing baddies, humour. I adored it! 

If I had to listen to three songs for the rest of my life they would be… 

Jolene by Dolly Parton 

Puccini’s – O Mio Babbino Caro by Maria Callas 

Regulate – Warren G

The best design advice I’ve ever received… 

 It is a mastery, not a destination. 

The three most prized possessions in my home are… 

The paintings by my Great Aunt Helen Brown. Heirloom silver candlesticks. And my Bosch gas oven.

My artist icon is… 

Georgia O’Keeffe.

My favourite place to dine… 

Daphnes Taverna. I love Greek food.

Best coffee spot…

Living in Clevedon my go-to is the Farmhouse. I love that they serve Kokako coffee.

If I could have dinner with any three people on earth, dead or alive, I would choose…

 Dolly Parton, Coco Channel and Nigella Lawson.

Best current season fashion purchase… 

My divine new suit from Gloria – Fleur de Lis Blouse and Flares 

Best current season homeware purchase… 

An addition to my basket collection: this Worcestershire willow Faru peg/foraging basket.

The item at the top of my wish list…

 This skirt and coat by Zambesi. 

This season I’m splurging on…

It’s ALWAYS skincare. And recently Tronque.

My guilty pleasure is… 

Bread and butter–must be my french ancestry. I travel all over Auckland for bread.  Florets is my latest discovery.

My favourite place to travel to is… 

Melbourne and when I get there I dine atPellegrinis, shop atVic Markets, and visit… National Gallery of Victoria.

Discover more about the rebirth of Douglas & Bec here, and view Bec Snelling’s designs at snellingstudio.com

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