NATURALLY INSPIRING: SASHA & NATHAN WHITE
Sasha & Nathan White are the creative couple behind Sydney furniture brand Mr and Mrs White and the designers of the BONDI WASH retail stores. With three little girls and a growing furniture business, they are a true inspiration to us. We had the pleasure of talking to Sasha and Nathan about the philosophy behind their business, weekends spent in the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney and their favourite scent-based memories.
1) We love your design aesthetic and use of materials that are natural and eco-friendly. Can you share the story behind the creation of Mr and Mrs White?
Thank you. I guess you could say the creation of our business happened simply through our relationship with one another, thus the name Mr and Mrs White. To us it's more than a furniture business, it's a love that we discovered and developed on the journey through our own marriage and starting a family. We got married fairly young, we were both still studying and still figuring out what we really wanted to do. As Nathan was finishing his apprenticeship as a boat builder and I was finishing a degree in Graphic Design we were also setting up a home together for the first time and we fell in love with the creative process that went with that. In our spare time we would be making cushions and quilt covers and coffee tables to suit the small one bedroom apartment we lived in. We discovered our love for natural materials - timbers, linens and leathers. A part-time hobby grew into a business and we haven’t looked back since. Over time our style has developed and refined but throughout it all, our love for simple, handcrafted design has remained true.
2) Where does your design inspiration come from?
The foundation of our design inspiration is the home and the hero has always been the material we work with. Our desire is for people to see, touch and feel the quality and beauty that comes with using natural materials. And so when we design, it is less about how we can design something “unique” and more about what will bring out the best in the already beautiful material we are working with. In terms of style, we are forever inspired by the craftsmanship in Japanese Joinery and the greats of mid-century Danish furniture design. Further to that, it is the space in which furniture is placed and used that brings so much inspiration.
Image source: Mr and Mrs White
3) What does your ideal weekend look like?
Saturday sleep in, slow morning enjoying breakfast with the family. After which we throw our swimmers on and head down to our local favourites - North Avalon or Kiddies Corner at Palm Beach for a swim and surf. Easy lunch at home, afternoon reading/rest. More swims/surfs. Hang out with friends in the early evening for dinner and drinks. Sunday walks, coffee out and surf checks, make some yummy treats with the kids.
4) You were very sick a few years ago, how has that changed your approach to life?
Yes, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Colorectal cancer at the beginning of 2018. It was a tough few years of treatment and surgery etc. Whilst it was horrific and traumatising and a million other things, I came out the other side feeling very grateful. Grateful for what my body was able to endure; grateful for what I have and not worrying so much about what I don’t have or what I think I need. The experience also opened wide my eyes to suffering. I went through just one of the many trials that people can face in life and it certainly is a humbling experience. It is a brutal loss of innocence but in a positive way it opened my heart and mind to the beauty of humanity.
5) Having three small children, do you have house care/cleaning tips for around the home that you can share with us?
After being sick I became very aware of what products I was using in the home. I came across this book called ‘Green Housekeeping’ and I was stunned to discover that so much can be done with a few simple and natural ingredients like Bicarb soda and white distilled vinegar. For example, to freshen up the toilet bowl and remove stubborn stains, spray neat vinegar around the bowl, leave to soak and then brush clean. No need for harsh and expensive chemicals! I always like to spray some Bondi Wash spray after so the bathroom doesn’t smell like vinegar!
6) What are some of the things that you love about where you live?
We love living in Avalon, it has a beautiful community and small village feel. Nathan and our eldest daughter love to surf and so we love that there are a variety of beautiful beaches to choose from, our favourites are north Avalon and kiddies corner at Palm Beach.
7) What is the best piece of advice you have been given, or a saying that you like to live by?
I love quotes! I kept a journal when I was unwell - quotes and poetry really helped me process that journey. I don’t really live by any one specific saying but one of my favourite pieces of writing is a poem by Mary Oliver which goes like this:
8) Can you share with us some of your strongest scent-based memories?
I have a strong fondness towards lavender. In our garden growing up we had a large section of lavender in our yard and I remember picking bunches and putting in vases in my room. I loved being able to bring nature inside, the aroma and beauty always captivated me.
9) Do you have a favourite Bondi Wash product, what is it that you like about it?
I love the Bondi Wash Bench Spray in the Tasmanian Pepper and Lavender scent! I love using products that are natural and the scent makes my kitchen feel so fresh and clean! We also love the Mist Spray and Hand Spray!
Image source: Mr and Mrs White