Off the shelf!? Bespoke furniture for small spaces

Off the shelf!? Bespoke furniture for small spaces

A new Brisbane-based furniture design practice Smith + Others has taken over artisan’s Ivory St Window Gallery in Fortitude Valley.

Their latest collection’s title, Off the Shelf, is designed for practicality and efficiency in small spaces and inspired by Smith + Other’s commitment to keeping materials as close to their original profiles as possible. Pieces can be reused and upcycled in the future to adapt to new spaces.

artisan recently caught up with the dynamic duo Matty and JoJo to chat about all things Smith + Others.


Q: How was Smith + Others born?

A: Smith and Others started after we both finished university in 2014. Matty studied furniture design at UTAS and I [JoJo] studied business. We then moved to Brisbane and there were limited places for Matty to work. So we thought, ‘we’d have to make it ourselves!’

Smith + Others, Snark Cabinet, 2015. Gaboon / hoop pine plywood, Tasmanian oak legs.

Smith + Others, Snark Cabinet, 2015. Gaboon / hoop pine plywood, Tasmanian oak legs.

Q: Can you tell us more about the ethos behind your ‘Off the Shelf’ collection?

This range was a project inspired by our 2015 trip to Japan. We had a list of furniture designers that we wanted to visit and away we went! It was a real eye opener, designers are great at coming up with solutions and not letting restrictions hold them back. Our fav was Utatane Furniture in Osaka, their workshop was a room the size of a bedroom and they design super quirky timber objects, mashing together design archetypes to form all kinds of great things, very inspiring.

When we returned we set ourselves a design brief analyzing small spaces and how objects can encourage and support healthier routines and environments. The brief ranged from psychological aspects, to material selections and everything in-between.

We had price targets that we had to stay within and to do that we had to resist the urge to start spec’ing materials and manufacturing techniques that would push the end price up higher than necessary. That’s a very challenging thing to do, we are constantly reminded about what ‘Australian design ‘ should be about, and our ‘Off The Shelf’ range falls a little outside of this area. Inthe end we set ourselves a brief and we have delivered a range of furniture that perfectly meets the intention.

Q: What will we see next from Smith + Others?

A: More of everything really. Furniture, custom projects… oh and we recently designed a kitchen for a client, that was fun! We are all over the place, no two weeks are ever the same. Our skill set is pretty broad, and we like to take on projects that excite us.

Q: Where can we keep up-to-date with Smith + Others?

A: Our Instagram account @smithadothers is the best place to visit, we’re also on Facebook ( and have a website with an online store (

Be sure to catch Smith + Others’ New Works exhibition in our Ivory St Window space until 22 November.

Keep in touch with artisan’s Meet the Maker series by liking our Facebook page and #meetthemaker #madeinqld #artisanqld.

Feature image: Smith and Others Furniture, Off The Shelf (desk and stool), 2015. FSC plywood, Radiata Pine, low VOC paints and finishes. Photo by Faun Photography.