PHOTO:

Mitch Tomlinson and Mitch Ross

Upon entering La Porte Space, you are instantly welcomed by a fresh, warm scent and a serene yet vibrant energy, followed by the vision of an interior so stylish you instantly know you’ve stepped into a space home to exciting opportunities.

La Porte Space, the latest concept in serviced, luxury office spaces and photographic studios for creatives and small businesses, is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Hayley Bonham and Rory Elsom. The duo conceptualised the idea of La Porte Space—meaning “The Door” in French—as a result of their combined appreciation for design, interiors and the creative industry. After identifying an opportunity and demand for creatives to work under one roof in an inviting, luxury and collaborative space, the co-working office with 16 creative suites complete with photographic studios was born.

Conveniently located in Sydney’s Waterloo, La Porte Space’s chic, all-black facade is just the beginning of its beautiful design and the perfect entrance to the Parisian-inspired interior. The industrial but luxe fit-out has a key focus on natural elements with original, dark timber floors, marble surfaces and polished concrete. The space is completed with a combination of matt black and white tiled walls and vast windows streaming with natural light.

As you can imagine, the clientele is as premium as the space. Think stylists, photographers and editors, two of which just happen to be Australia’s biggest digital influencers—Sara Donaldson, the founder and director of fashion blog Harper & Harley, and Eleanor Pendleton, the founder and editor of Gritty Pretty, Australia’s first digital publication dedicated to beauty.

Donaldson and Pendleton, who share a suite (bit cute), welcome us into their dreamy office—a move they both agree has been one of the best career decisions they've made—while owner, Bonham, shares her inspiring insights into the concept, design and future of La Porte Space.

PHOTO:

Mike Naumoff

PHOTO:

Mitch Tomlinson and Mitch Ross

PHOTO:

Mitch Tomlinson and Mitch Ross

Sara Donaldson, Founder and Creative Director, Harper & Harley

MYDOMAINE: What made you want to work and base yourself out of La Porte Space? 

SARA DONALDSON: I had been working from my home office but knew I could increase my productivity by working elsewhere. With two dogs it’s hard to get much done when they constantly want your attention! 

As I’m also based on the Northern Beaches and the majority of the fashion industry, my management and work leads me to the other side of town. I was driving in at least once a day, sometimes multiple times, which not only ate into my work hours but it just didn’t make any sense. Working from Waterloo has been the perfect solution. I leave home a little later to avoid the traffic, working from home for the first couple of hours and then it’s all systems go as soon as I arrive at La Porte. 

MD: Does the space influence and inspire your work?

SD: Absolutely. It’s actually inspired me to create more editorial content and make use of the photographic studios. I’m also working alongside a very professional and business savvy beauty editor who constantly inspires me to do more, and to do it better. 

MD: What do you love most about the design and styling of the space?

SD: The interior design of the space works with my style and the Harper & Harley brand perfectly. Black, white, dark timber floors, marble and concrete—you couldn’t design it better if you tried. 

MD: What is your favourite feature of the space?

SD: The colour palette and interior design really wins me over. Knowing that I’m working in an environment that reflects my brand perfectly and that I’m surrounded by like-minded creatives means that I instantly click with the people I'm surrounded by and that’s when relationships and networking can flourish. 

MD: How would you describe your working area?

SD: Our office has a lot of natural light with white walls, a long white desk and concrete floors. The space is accented with leafy greens and shades of grey in both artwork and technology.

MD: What are your desk essentials?

SD: Coffee, An Organised Life notebook, black pens, highlighters, almonds, candles, artwork and plants.

PHOTO:

Mitch Tomlinson and Mitch Ross

PHOTO:

Mitch Tomlinson and Mitch Ross

Eleanor Pendleton, Founder and Editor, Gritty Pretty

MYDOMAINE: What made you want to work and base yourself out of La Porte Space?

ELEANOR PENDLETON: I had been working from my home office for about a year. I'm extremely disciplined so had no trouble working from home at all, and I never got lonely as I attend so many meetings each day and I always found it easy to work from my space. For me, it was simply an issue of storage. I was running out of it and my office beauty cupboard was slowly but surely taking over my entire apartment. I can receive up to 10 couriers a day so I had begun looking for a creative office space that offered a full-time receptionist who could sign for couriers when I was out. When the concept of La Porte Space was presented to me, it was meant to be. Timing was perfect, as was the concept of housing individual office suites with adjoining photo studios and meeting rooms. I'm glad I decided to make the investment into getting an external office.

MD: Does the space influence and inspire your work?

EP: Absolutely. Working at La Porte Space has allowed me to divide my work life from my home life and have better balance. It's also fantastic being able to work alongside Sara – she is a beautiful, humble person who is incredibly talented at what she does and she is constantly inspiring me to produce better content. Plus, there's always something happening at La Porte – whether it be a shoot or an event. There's an electric, creative energy that fills the place. I think it is subconsciously contagious and makes me work harder. I feel very lucky to work where I do. La Porte Space is beautiful and resonates so much with my and Sara's style and approach to interiors.

MD: What do you love most about the design and styling of the space?

EP: It feels like a reflection of me and the other people that also work within La Porte Space. I've been lucky enough to work with some of the other business owners and entrepreneurs who work here in some way or another. The studios are constantly being hired for showings, which is also a dream! Nothing makes me happier than receiving an invitation for a media showing and knowing that I simply have to walk down the hall rather than jump in a taxi and travel 20 minutes. It really is the ideal situation for the modern day creative.

MD: What is your favourite feature of the space?

EP: The white tile and marble kitchen – it's sleek, sophisticated, minimal and free of clutter. I also love the warehouse style windows of the studios at the Botany Road end of the space and the way the natural light streams in during the afternoons. Honestly, every corner of La Porte Space in Instagram-worthy!

MD: How would you describe your working area?

EP: Fresh, bright and productive. Mine and Sara's office is one of two that is different in style to the others – ours features polished concrete floors, bright white brick walls and a high work bench. For Sara and I, it's where the magic happens for Gritty Pretty & Harper & Harley. I love our office! 

MD: What are your desk essentials?

EP: My financial year diary, Maison D'Amore candle, Diptyque jar for my pens, a white orchid and my journalism awards.

PHOTO:

Mike Naumoff

PHOTO:

Mike Naumoff

Hayley Bonham, Founder, La Porte Space

MYDOMAINE: How and when was the concept for La Porte Space created? 

HAYLEY BONHAM: Rory and I conceptualised the idea a few years ago. We both have a great appreciation for design, interiors and creative industries. We realised there was a missing link for creatives to work under the one roof and to work in an inviting, luxury and collaborative space.

MD: From the time the idea was initiated, how long was it until La Porte Space was open for business? 

HB: It was really about securing the right space and one that would sit within the vision Rory and I had. Once we secured the space, the whole project—from design to completion—took 12 months. 

MD: How did you find the space and was it exactly what you were looking for? 

HB: When we first walked through the warehouse, the space was fully carpeted and had around 20 dividing walls. We had a very clear vision for what we wanted to achieve and we could see there was a lot of potential. 

MD: Did you need to undertake renovations on the building before moving in? If so, what was completed? 

HB: We had the space completely gutted and started work from an empty shell. Our vision was very clear and from a design point of view there was quite a lot of technical work that was required and hours of labour to achieve the finish we desired. 

MD: Who designed, styled and decorated the space? 

HB: We collaborated with a Paris based architect on the initial drawings and Rory and I conceptualised the overall look, styling and decorating of the space. Our vision was clear and we knew exactly what we wanted to achieve with final finishes.

MD: What has influenced the design style and decorating of the space? 

HB: Our design strategy was influenced by art, people and our travels, in particular Paris and the amazing spaces we have visited and people we have met. Working as creatives we wanted to build a visually engaging space with minimal clutter and maximum impact.

MY: What is your favourite item in the space?

HB: The corridors that house all 16 creative suits. There is a very surreal and inspiring feeling that you get when you walk through this part of the space.

MD: What future plans, if any at this stage, do you hold for La Porte Space?

HB: La Porte will be expanding into phase two towards the end of the year and we are currently scouting for our first international location.

What do you love most about the interior of La Porte Space? Tell us in the comments below. 

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