Meet the designers behind Australia's trendiest flower bar + shop
If you you spend your time on insta fawning over flowers and pretty parties like we do, Nikau has probably popped up in your explore feed. That is, if you’re not already following owners Nikki Ogilvy and Nicole Steele’s Byron Bay store front and floral design biz. Nikau has become synonymous with big, dramatic hanging florals, dried palms, and boho chic events across Australia, but you don’t have to be local to appreciate their dreamy, trend-setting designs.
Nikki is the flower boss and botanical stylist at Nikau, while Nicole is a designer and ceramicist, which is why their shop-slash-flower-bar concept works so perfectly. And with Nikki coming from New Zealand, having studied floristry at 21 and been influenced by her gardener mother and grandmother, it’s not surprising that Nikau works behind the scenes too, crafting bespoke florals for businesses, weddings, and events. Below, Nikki tells us about their shop + designs…
Tell us about your arrangements, your design style.
Our arrangements and design styles do vary but my current design feels are: 1) follow your instinct, 2) trust your eye, and 3) think outside what is obvious. After nearly 20 years working with flowers my eye is trained to see when a design is “singing”… when I know it’s on the right track.
Sometimes this can be obvious. Other times I have to dig a bit deeper into the creative well to figure out if I need to add or subtract. I’m not afraid to pull something apart and start again. I think the creative process for me is as important as the end product. If the process starts to flow I know the result will eventually be pleasing.
I love to try new unexpected combinations and botanical elements, and to use not too many ingredients. I’m definitely more of a minimalist, unless the design calls for loads of delicate details and textures it will generally be a pared-down floral menu.
We tend to prefer a base of natural earthy muted palettes—working with tones like white, cream, tan, terracotta, sage, grey, clay, rust, soft brown, and blush. We do love working with colour too.
What kind of events and installations do you produce? Who are your clients?
We work with local Byron Bay and Australian-wide brands to produce designs, events and installations. We have a few favourite core clients who we love working for—one that keeps us on our toes with their incredible vision is Spell. They are a dream to design for, as they are so creative and their briefs always combine the best current colour palettes and vibes!
We work with locals, stylists, event producers, artists, businesses, homewares and fashion brands, magazines, and our amazing local music festivals are a definite favourite to work on. Byron Bay also has a strong wedding industry so we have recently started to take on a limited number of small scale weddings and elopements.
(Above two photos are from one of Spell + Nikau’s recent parties… See more here!)
Tell us about Nikau Store—what can visitors expect to find in store and online?
We are a small handmade local botanical and clay based home goods boutique supporting local Australian and international artisans. Our philosophy has always been about slow living, good vibes, the transformative power of plants and flowers, functional and sustainable design, supporting good humans on their artistic journeys, and original handmade products. You will find an off-the-beaten-track store laden with beautiful handmade ceramics, indoor plants, dried and fresh florals, textiles, art, and botanical plant based body products and earthy home goods.
What’s your favorite part of the Byron Bay event + design scene? Any other local talents we should have on our radar?
Byron is a melting pot of artists, designers, startups, businesses, brands and creatives. It is a collaborative and creative community, not afraid to support and cheer for those we work alongside of and admire. There is a lot of cross collaboration, co-op-etition as opposed to competition. It’s refreshing and vibrant to be part of a community as special as Byron.
There’s a load of local talent to watch out for—just a few of our favorite artists are Emma Gale, photographer Jamie Green, stylist + designer Sarah Ellison, ceramic artist Lauren Campbell, stylist Jason Grant, and Riverhawk Ranch.