Nathan and Sasha White are the creative minds behind the Sydney-based custom furniture and textiles brand Mr and Mrs White. Creating simple, honest and handmade pieces, Mr and Mrs White products are the embodiment of minimalist design with a focus on the natural beauty of raw materials.
Nathan and Sasha’s story is one of discovery, growth, family and love. Their journey from students to partners, parents and creators of a brand synonymous with timeless pieces and some of Australia’s most recognisable retail spaces is a celebration of the fulfilment achieved by pursuing a passion. What began as pure curiosity and creation out of necessity has developed into a furniture and textiles business, a showroom, a factory and a handful of retail spaces custom designed by Nathan and Sasha. From an apprenticeship in boat building for Nathan, and a degree in graphic design for Sasha, Mr and Mrs White the brand was born. Along the way, the couple never lost sight of what was most important to them: home.
“We married young,” reflects Sasha. “Before the business, before our three daughters, it was just Nathan and I living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment, it wasn’t much but it was ours.” Driven by a desire to pursue a shared interest in design and facilitate an outlet for their intrinsically tactile nature, Nathan and Sasha began creating furniture pieces and textiles to turn their house into a home. “Nathan started making furniture for the home and for our friends in his spare time whilst I started sewing to find reprieve from the computer screen,” elaborates Sasha. “We fell in love with the concept of designing for the home and from this a business was born.”
Fast forward in time and you will find Nathan and Sasha working on their collection of products within their showroom and factory space on Sydney’s northern beaches. Channelling the minimalist design traits displayed in their products, their understated showroom space is a true representation of the family values of quality, honesty and simplicity that formulates the direction of the brand. “These days our home has grown to include three young daughters,” explains Nathan. “I would love for one day our children to follow us into the family business but of course that will be completely up to them – although one is named Oak so, perhaps, I am making that decision a little easier for her,” he jokes.
With Nathan and Sasha’s family growing so too has their collection of products. The seats, tables, mirrors, storage units, beds and homewares that adorn the floors of their showroom are testament to their journey in design and their love of natural materials, whether timber, linen or leather. Most recently, Nathan and Sasha have completed their most ambitious project to date with the development of their first lounge. “The design for the Barrell Lounge was informed by our Barrell Table collection and is a very personal project,” states Sasha. “Like all our products we worked in tandem, with Nathan developing the frame whilst I set about tackling the upholstery.”
Broadening their horizons and overcoming the time-honoured design challenge of creating a product that is equal parts comfortable and aesthetically beautiful became the couple’s motivating force. “It sounds strange to say out loud, but we wanted to design a lounge that would generate the feeling of sitting on the fluffiest of clouds whilst simultaneously being hugged by a grand old oak tree,” states Nathan in jest. “The lounge is available in three customisable sizes, with three seats, two seats and an armchair providing all sized spaces with the ability the live life simply and in modest comfort.”
When not developing the Mr and Mrs White collection, or spending time as a family, Nathan and Sasha are working closely with brands to create and execute high quality retail and commercial spaces across Australia. An impressive portfolio of shop fittings that includes numerous prominent Australian brands, such as By Charlotte, Bondi Wash, Natalie Marie Jewellery and Assembly Label, has provided Nathan and Sasha with an important outlet to feed their creative proclivities whilst showcasing their sense of timeless design. “We approach store fit-outs with the intent of bringing the experience of the home into a commercial space,” explains Sasha. “We accepted our first full time store fit-out with gusto five years ago and it has formed an important part of our business ever since.”
Nathan and Sasha White have always viewed the home as a place of great importance. They view home as a place to escape, a place to gather, a place to love and a place that will always be integral to their concept of family. From a strong belief in the value of home they have been able to establish a brand that embodies the family values for which they work. Their journey may have brought them children, an established business, showrooms and a handmade collection of timeless products, but with all this Nathan and Sasha White have never lost sight of the reason for which they started, and they have never lost sight of each other.