Home is a place where I keep the few special items I have collected over my lifetime. It is the place where I feel grounded (pun intended). It has to be a place where I feel comfortable and have items that inspire me to get into my creative flow.
Second generation, high-end furniture designer, Cameron Foggo, has achieved international recognition for his refined and pared back designs. Whilst his sculptural yet functional pieces often feature materials such as timber, black steel and leather, Cameron’s designs portray an elegant timelessness with an emphasis on form and comfort.
Along with Cameron's bespoke designs for European brands, in Australia and NZ his furniture brand Nonn, is represented by District and other selected Australia retailers, and is a testament to his absolute commitment to craftsmanship and has become synonymous with mid-century modern designs, evoking calm beauty and subtle luxury.
In his account for A Grounded Life, Cameron shares the traumatic and life changing experience during the Christchurch earthquakes of 2011, that ultimately resulted in his decision to move across the Tasman to Sydney and eventually on to Byron Bay. Starting again in a new city, whilst incredibly daunting and challenging, resulted in a creatively rewarding period that inspired new designs and brought about exciting new opportunities.
Please enjoy this very refined and considered account of a very Grounded Life, lived by Cameron Foggo.
Where do you call home?
I have two locations that I call home. The first being Byron Bay where I now live, in a house built in the late '60s at Watego's beach. I feel a real connection with Byron Bay because of the similarities to my other home - Christchurch, New Zealand, where I grew up. There is an eclectic vibe in both towns. Being a creative, I seek out the quirky and wonderful; both places have an abundance.
What does ‘home’ mean to you?
It's a place where I keep the few special items I have collected over my lifetime. It is the place where I feel grounded (pun intended). It has to be a place where I feel comfortable and have items that inspire me to get into my creative flow.
What are the elements that help you transform a house into your home?
My books and collected works of art, design items and special furniture pieces. ( including some of my own) and of course, the mood lighting has to be just right to create a cozy or comfortable atmosphere.
What creative projects find you most excited and energised?
Designing and building houses. I like working on and detailing every aspect of a space rather than just a single component. I love the spatial planning and the functional aspect as much as the aesthetics and the atmosphere.
Which life and/or work projects are you most proud of?
Definitely my 21-year-old daughter. Does she count as a project? I'm very proud of some of my early furniture designs. My Liaison sofa and Starling chair were designed around 20 years ago. There are also some artworks that I painted just after leaving design school. I like to hold on to these to remind me where I started.
Could you share with us some personal insights into a challenging time in your life?
Living through the Christchurch earthquake in 2011 was a significant and life-altering event. Hearing someone explain what it was like and even seeing the online footage really doesn't portray the event's magnitude. Life is now defined as before or after that quake. The Christchurch of my childhood has been replaced with a modern city; it's a great city but without the same sense of history and character. Luckily there are some very innovative people living there. Every time I return, there are plenty of new venues to explore.
What did you learn about yourself throughout this challenge?
That I am resilient. The forced change pushed me to broaden my horizons and grow. Creatively the move to Australia and my initial affiliation with Living Edge was just the start of a journey.
What type of activities or rituals do you instil to help you remain Grounded?
Luckily for me, I live in Byron Bay. I get to spend a lot of time watching live music and being close to nature. Plenty of yoga, meditation and sunsets. Just being in Byron among so many creative people inspires creativity.
What is the best life advice you have been given?
Enjoy the journey.
Favourite travel destination for Grounding yourself:
I spent six months living in a little homestay in Berawa Bali. I like to go back as often as I can. I feel like part of the family, and I enjoy observing their way of life. I find it has a restorative effect. The strong sense of freedom riding through the rice fields on a scooter is unbeatable.
One city must-do travel tip:
It's so hard to pick one. Pre-Covid, I was doing a lot of travelling, spending over half of each year in Europe visiting furniture fairs, manufacturers and soaking up the history. This was the most inspirational period for me creatively. I think I am looking forward to returning to the Greek island of Hydra the most. It's a step back in time on a small island with no cars and an abundance of chickens and donkeys. Leonard Cohen lived there for many years. His music and poetry have had a profound impact on my life, which was the reason for my first visit.