Troy Tindill knows true craftsmanship. A yachtsman who has spent his career sailing in the America’s Cup and for Australian supermaxi yacht Wild Oats XI, Tindill’s sailing vocation began in New Zealand, where he first worked designing sails and building the boats before he took to the seas.
Since his retirement from professional sailing, Tindill has been working on VELA (Latin for “sail”), a modern lifestyle brand that focuses on furniture and interiors from international designers. It also offers its own bespoke products, which are made to order out of the VELA workshop in Queensland.
Tindill insists that his experience in boat building taught him the importance of never comprising on quality and gave him a deep respect for the making process. “There is a great deal of similarity in designing superyacht interiors to high quality furniture,” Tindill says. “They both pay homage to the craftsmanship.”
VELA has pieces by international designers such as Faye Toogood, Oskar Zieta and Harry Thaler. One notable object in the showroom include Jonathan Zawada’s Piece of Pie coffee table, which is made with three carefully selected pieces of marble slotted together and is designed on an individual basis to suit the colour palette of the customer. There is also the very sophisticated Gull Sofa, exclusively designed for VELA by renowned Sydney architect Walter Barda, as well as a selection of opulent woven rugs by Alexander McQueen.
Tindill worked with Sydney architect Kelvin Ho of Akin Creative and designer Jonathan Zawada to bring the Woollahra store to fruition. “Both Kelvin and Jonathan’s aesthetics are innovative and contemporary – which goes hand in hand with the VELA ethos,” Tindill says.
The space, which was previously a bakery, has been transformed into part concept store, part gallery. Walls are painted in contrasting blocks of blush pink and azure blue and furniture has been artfully placed to create minimalistic vignettes.