While 2020 has been a very challenging year for many, there have been some silver linings. When freelance work dried up, writer Bianca Tzatzagos was faced with a new COVID-19 reality which meant she had a lot more time on her hands. Using the time she would typically have spent socialising or travelling, Bianca paired up with fellow house-obsessed creative, and illustrator, Inga Campbell to produce Olive and the Larder, a gorgeous limited-edition all-ages story book with a strong interiors bent.
“The book was a fun distraction for me during a time when simple joys like gathering friends together, readily accessing abundant groceries or an afternoon at the movies suddenly equalled big risk. Olive and the Larder reflects my momentary nostalgia for all those lovely, easy things,” says Bianca. Meanwhile, some of Inga’s favourite work is doing custom illustrations of people’s homes for them, so creating a fictional one for Olive was a dream.
Designed and made in Australia, and with a limited print-run, the book centres around the fictional character of Olive and was inspired by Bianca’s own rather lovely larder. “My walk-in pantry at home is my magical place. I was inspired to create that room by all the story books I grew up on – warm, cosy, happily cluttered, English-inspired kitchens that are the heart of the home.”
Dripping with nostalgia, the book’s themes and illustrations were inspired by Beatrix Potter and Brambly Hedge; both beloved classics that Bianca read throughout her childhood. “I don’t have kids at home, but I find myself buying beautiful storybooks purely for their design and artistic appeal, and certainly I’ve treasured all the wonderful books that I’ve been given as a child. Great books shape our aesthetic sensibilities early and forever,” says Bianca.
Something of an updated version of the aforementioned heirloom books, Bianca has paired a modern tale with Inga’s nostalgic illustrations to create a world that is not found in your standard storybook. “I believe that beautiful storybooks enrich all of us, design-wise – from the tiny kids who are gifted them to the grown-ups who get to shop for them and read them at bedtime,” says Bianca.
And with a limited-edition print run, this book has arrived just in time for the festive season. “With only a few hundred copies crafted, it’s the antithesis of mass-market, and it makes a sweet Christmas gift.”
To celebrate the launch, Bianca has collaborated with Rotterdam based Miko Design who has has created a virtual Olive and the Larder shop in miniature. Simply jump onto Instagram where you can tap through the ‘shop’ to purchase an array of lovely Olive themed full sized products.