What's OURS Is Yours: A New Design Experience
Experiencing the feeling of “Design Envy” is right up there with FOMO (Fear of missing out), it sucks. Maybe you went to a house party and the host had impeccable taste. Or maybe, you stayed at an Airbnb and loved how it was so thoughtfully furnished and designed, and it left you asking “I wonder where they bought that?.” Well if you stay with OURS, you’ll no longer have to wonder. Ricky Chan and Brendon Garner have released their new concept centered around the modern traveler’s experience. They’re creating a series of design-focused, short-term travel destinations where everything you see can be purchased. Their first two destinations are located in Downtown Los Angeles, but they’ve got plans to expand. We got the chance to chat with co-founder Brendon Garner about their new concept, read on below.
Starting off, the interior of the OURS locations are so incredibly well-decorated and furnished. How did you guys tackle bringing everything together so well?
First off, thank you mate!! While neither of us have much interior design experience, we both have a passion for bringing together divergent styles to create a unique and inspiring atmosphere. Each home has a mix of pieces, both new and from our own collections. We always start out with a concept, maybe a scent, maybe a place, and go from there. That allows us to design a bit more freely, not constrained by a style book or trend. We’re so stoked that people enjoy our style, it just makes us want to create more!
What prompted you guys to start OURS Living?
We reckon it all started with this craving to always feel truly at home, whatever city we’re in. Visual cues, sounds, scents, and symbols all can make such an impact on experience and memory. Taking these core elements and imagining them available to our friends in any corner of the globe was a transformative experience. Our generation is very independent in how they travel, live, and purchase, and we’re stoked to bring those pieces together in new experiences and a fresh mentality.
“Our generation is very independent in how they travel, live, and purchase, and we’re stoked to bring those pieces together in new experiences and a fresh mentality.”
Where did you get the name for the brand?
The name OURS comes from the time honored mantra of welcoming guests across the world with “what’s ours is yours.” We really resonated with the saying, as one of our core concepts for the project is finding ways we can all enjoy more while owning less. It’s also really personal; it reflects the care and consideration we give not only to the Homes we design, but to the products we offer to our guests and customers as well.
What were you doing before you started OURS?
We’ve spent much of our time at the intersection of music, design, and tech, and are naturally drawn to any place that creates a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. Previously Ricky ran the design agency Object + Matter, consulting for top tech and fashion companies, while I’ve spent time leading budding startups and consulting on projects for tech and retail brands. Stepping into hospitality was a complete accident, born out of a conversation over beers that turned into the most exciting project we’ve ever been a part of.
Can you tell us a little bit about your first two locations and why you decided to call them “Homes”?
Both Home No.001 and Home No.002 are located within the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. For us, we see the neighborhood as a vibrant creative hotbed. The neighborhood is in constant evolution with a unique repertoire of restaurants, cafes and shops always serving up the goods. Calling each location a “Home” is simply a reflection of the experience we hope all our guests and customers to have. A home is a place where you are comfortable and inspired, and as we continue to curate and develop new products, there’s no better way to share them than by interacting directly with them in a relaxing natural setting.
How do you spend most of your time at home? Do you entertain a lot or is it primarily just a relaxing space for you?
For me I’m pretty much always entertaining my pup Jax! My home, which is also in the Arts District, acts as a place to relax, unwind and watch basketball with friends. Me being me, it’s always in constant evolution, a sort of testing ground for future OURS destinations. As for Ricky, he’s a man on the move, I reckon he has more experience in AirBnB’s than anyone in the greater Los Angeles area…
“Calling each location a “Home” is simply a reflection of the experience we hope all our guests and customers to have.”
As curators for each location, what types of objects and designs compel you the most?
With so many sources for furniture and home goods, we really believe that there are three components that can set anyone’s home apart. As scent has the strongest correlation with memory, we are big fans of anything that can bring a feeling and memory to both the resident and guests. Whether it’s Palo Santo incense or your favorite candle, it’s great to find a scent that you associate with the good vibes of home.
Next up is making sure that there’s plenty of green in a home. Adding just a few plants can bring a wonderful touch of nature and connection to the earth, and for any city dweller we all know how important that is. Plus plants and cacti are sculptures in of themselves! The third component is working to find objects and accessories that are visually striking and engaging. Something that draws your guests in, ideally something that can be played with, like a record player, art supplies or games.
What are some of the challenges you faced when starting OURS and getting into the hospitality space in general?
For us, I reckon it’s been a challenge of choice so far. We both have experience in the tech space in addition to design, so moving from the question of scaling digitally to scaling in the physical world is something we’re constantly considering. Also, because we’re currently leveraging short-term rental platforms like AirBnB that are relatively new, it’s definitely proving to be an interesting ride as the hospitality industry adjusts to the habits of the modern traveler. With that said, we’re really becoming fascinated with how we can take our learnings from hosting guests and turning that knowledge into thoughtful products that everyone can use to elevate their own home.
What’s next for OURS? Can we expect more locations from you guys?
Right now, it’s about continuing to expand our footprint across Los Angeles, select cities here in the US and potentially a few across the pond. It starts with collaboration, and we know we have a ton to learn, so it’s going to be really fun for us to make the most of some incredible connections we’ve made and see where it all takes us. We’re also investing a lot of our time right now in product collaboration and design, with some really exciting announcements coming in the next few months!
For more info about OURS, visit their website here.