Good design for good people. Al & Imo’s philosophy for business and life

“My memories are based around making things for ourselves” says Imogen Roberts, half of the designer/maker business Al & Imo. “I get goosebumps thinking about us making the rocking chair and cot when I was pregnant”.

It began with the search for a bedhead

Al and Imo were searching the internet and social media for the perfect piece of furniture, and every design Imo liked, Al thought – ‘I could make that’.  So one Sunday he started building their bedhead in their carport, and decided it was the best day’s work he had ever done.

Al & Imo’s best-selling design is inspired by that first bed. A hardwood timber bed with storage incorporated into the base with a system of drawers. Their designs also include integrated side tables and bookshelves, all ingenious ways to make the bed so much more than a place to sleep.

“We had been living in share houses, where you only have a bedroom. That’s like your sanctuary, your space. You don’t necessarily have a lot of storage and you have to fit your whole life into one room.”

Al’s background as a carpenter, and Imo’s experience in design and marketing made for the perfect skill set to build the business Al & Imo, a furniture and lifestyle brand that specialises in bedroom furniture.

The beds are built to order, with Tasmanian Oak a favourite timber to work with. “It’s a beautiful timber. It’s clean. It’s got a little bit of grain but not too much feature. It’s a beautiful colour.” Says Imo. “We are working with Tasmanian Blackwood now too, and those deeper, richer colours – it’s exciting”.

To continue to make furniture the couple had to move from the city and the limited space of the share-house. Which led to their next project, “The Good Day House” their dream home that they have created on Melbourne’s Southern surf coast.

The Good Day House

Al and Imo found the perfect place to build their home, and the estate had very strict regulations about the efficiency of the build. While there were difficulties with budgets to meet the 7.5 star safety rating, it was a challenge they were up for as sustainability and being environmentally responsible was important to them both.

“It’s got beautiful water tanks out there, we’ve got solar installed, it is super insulated, we barely run heating and cooling, the whole interior is basically Tasmanian Oak.. you just walk in there and it feels like a warm hug, it’s such a beautiful space to be in,” says Imo.

Peter and Nick from Britton Timbers came to the site and introduced Al and Imo to Touchwood the Tasmanian Oak veneer panels which have become the major feature of the home.

“It’s a really cool product”, says Imo, “It’s an MDF board with timber veneer on top. It meant that we could cover so much surface area in our house with timber that looked like solid lining boards.” Al, with the help of a second carpenter, installed the veneer on the 9 meter raked ceilings in a day, where it would have taken them a week to 9 days with traditional boards.”

Building a Home and Brand

Timber is the star of the Good Day House from the furniture, to the bench tops to the wall linings and floors. The couple have documented the build of the home on their hugely popular social media channels. The connections they have formed by sharing their lives, their projects and the building of their home with their thousands of followers has helped build their furniture and lifestyle brand. Social media has helped them to educate and to inspire their customers with the stories, provenance and sustainability of their furniture and their Good Day House.

To hear more about Al & Imo’s story listen to their interview on the Original Thinkers Podcast where they share more about the beginning of their business, their home and how they used social media to build their brand.

Imo explains their simple philosophy is: Good Design for Good People.

“Good design attracts good people and good people attract good design, and then you just end up surrounded by lovely people – and it’s a nice way for Al and I to be able to work together”

Al & Imo’s Social Media Channels:

Instagram: @al_and_imo




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