Artist and designer Louise Olsen on using shape to help decorate a home

For the designer and artist – one half of beloved Australian brand Dinosaur Designs – unexpected shapes elevate everyday objects into works of art.

louise olsen dinosaur designs artist
Louise in her home office, surrounded by her own Dinosaur Designs works and other inspirations

In the Autumn issue of JONES Home, we celebrate how the artistic principles of colour, shape and texture can transform any space. Because, like a great piece of art on your wall, the homewares you use every day have the power to inspire and make home your always happy place.

“It’s so important to fall in love with every piece you buy. Each piece should be special to you.”

Louise Olsen

As such, we asked three experts – artists Miranda Skoczek, Otis Hope Carey and Louise Olsen – to bring their artful eye to every corner of your home. A gifted painter and creator of homewares label Dinosaur Designs, Louise Olsen’s home is filled with sculptural objects. She talks to her creative upbringing, her approach to collecting artwork and the importance of playing with shape and form through objects in your home.

The shape edit

MAISON BALZAC

CouCou Carafe

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GEORG JENSEN

Masterpieces Design 1085 Candlestick

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IITTALA

Alvar Aalto Collection Vase

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DINOSAUR DESIGNS

Small River Stone Vase

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How was a creative streak encouraged in you as a child?

Both my parents were artists and were very encouraging of my creativity. Our home was
like a studio; there were always drawing and painting materials available.

Where do you most find inspiration for your work with Dinosaur Designs?

I’m constantly inspired by nature; it never fails to amaze and surprise. When you spend time in nature you can’t help that it seeps in and inspires you on a subconscious level.

What’s your favourite room of the house and why?

We have a small living area outside our bedroom that overlooks trees and the ocean. It’s such a wonderful spot to get lost in your thoughts and dream.

DINOSAUR DESIGNS

Wildflower Seed Dish

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MURDOCH BOOKS

Australian Food by Bill Granger

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KOSTA BODA

Season Summer Limited Edition Sculpture

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DINOSAUR DESIGNS

Wildflower Seed Salad Servers

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You’re a sculptor and a painter. How do those practices complement your work with Dinosaur Designs?

I come from an art school background, and Stephen [Ormandy, the other half of Dinosaur Designs] and I look at each piece like a little artwork. We use the same philosophy for shape and form for those pieces as we would in creating a sculpture for an exhibition. We think it gives an everyday piece life and beauty beyond simply being an object.

“The pieces we choose to surround ourselves with say so much about who we are. Follow your instincts and follow your heart: know what you are drawn to and why.”

Louise Olsen

What kind of artwork do you gravitate toward in your home?

I’ve got such a range of artworks from so many years of collecting. Our collection is varied with pieces from our family and friends as well as pieces we’ve bought from our travels. Both my parents are artists, so I’ve got their work, Steve’s work, [daughter] Camille’s work and work I’ve collected from all over the world. My mum used to say that paintings are like windows.

Photography by Oly Begg; Styling by Claudia Jukic; Interview by Elle McClure

RIEDEL

O Single Decanter

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DINOSAUR DESIGNS

Wildflower Large Branch Vase

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IITTALA

Aalto Vase

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MAISON BALZAC

Margot Candle

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Want to hear from our other expert Tastemakers? Artist and surfer Otis Hope Carey talks to using texture in art and in the home, while painter Miranda Skoczek shares her passion for using colour to bring joy to your space.