When Josh Sabey and Bri Conway decked out their place a couple of years ago, they didn’t have much luck finding noteworthy furniture and homewares. Following a move from Toowoomba to Brisbane, the couple were on the lookout for playful and creative pieces – stuff that was thoughtfully made and could make their new pad feel like a home.

After coming up empty – and with zero background in carpentry – Sabey and Conway took matters into their own hands and created a wooden coffee table from scratch. “We didn’t have one tool. We had to borrow stuff from a friend,” Sabey tells Broadsheet.

Taking inspiration from favourite vintage pieces, the couple’s very first kidney coffee table emerged – featuring their now signature thick fluted base and kidney-shaped timber tabletop, covered with polyurethane satin coating for an ultra-smooth finish.

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“We initially started finding vintage pieces to rework for our new house,” Conway says of the project’s beginnings. “The idea [to make furniture] came from creativity, passion and fun.”

At first the couple had no intention of starting a furniture business. Then they listed their first coffee table on Marketplace at 10pm just to see what would happen. Five minutes later it was sold. Add in some positive feedback from friends and family, and they decided to pursue the new venture. The result is Oh Paddi: a playful furniture brand focused on bespoke designs for the home.

Both have now quit their previous jobs to concentrate on furniture-making full-time. And while Sabey’s banking background has little to do with the hands-on practice he’s now involved with, Conway’s past in fashion has proven key to the brand’s aesthetic. (It also doesn’t hurt that both confess to an obsession with design.)

Oh Paddi pieces make big, bright statements, but they’re sturdy and functional as well. “We want to create fun pieces that you can use day-to-day and not be scared to spill a glass of wine on,” Sabey explains.

As a tiny team of two, Sabey and Conway operate out of their home studio, aka “the woodwork room”. Sourcing materials from timber mills around Brisbane, the duo design, build, paint, pack and sometimes hand-deliver wares for their clients. Then there’s operations and marketing.

Each custom piece takes anywhere from four to six weeks to handcraft and deliver, but it’s worth putting in the effort. “We love the freedom to create anything we want with no limitations,” Sabey says.

Two years into operation, Oh Paddi has settled into sustainably crafting vibrant made-to-order pieces and offering customisable designs for individual tables. Want a funky pear-shaped coffee table in marshmallow pink? No problem. Need a timber peanut-shaped desk for your work-at-home space? Can do.

Current models include desks, plinths and coffee, dining and side tables topped with a variety of shapes – flower, oval, jellybean and cloud – and a range of finishes, from natural timber to vibrant satin-paint colours.

ohpaddi.com
@ohpaddi