Spotlight | Ashley Krug, Blue Wren Interiors
restoring antiques with touches of modernity
ashley krug knows her way around a toolshed.
The professional furniture restorer spent her childhood going to antique auctions, vintage stores and garden viewings – adventures that led her on the path to starting Blue Wren Interiors. She now restores antique and vintage furniture for clients throughout South-East Queensland, bringing modern, stylish touches to each piece.
We visited Ashley in her Meringandan workshop to learn more about Blue Wren and her local favourites.
Name: Ashley Krug
Occupation: Furniture Artist
Known For: refinishing and restoring furniture in a modern yet classical style
Born: Inverell, NSW
Local since: 2016
First things first: what brought you to Toowoomba?
I was born and grew up in Inverell where I met my now-husband. We made the move to the Gold Coast in 2006 and purchased our first home at the end of 2009.
In 2014 my daughter was born and my husband had a work opportunity to live over in Perth, so we made the huge move over to the beautiful Swan Valley when my little girl was just four months old. We spent two wonderful years there before my husband’s work needed us back here.
We had a choice between the Sunshine Coast and here – and without question we chose Toowoomba. We are country kids at heart and enjoy lazy countrysides and slow-paced days so for us it was the ideal choice. At the end of 2017 we purchased our second house in Meringandan West and we are finally at home again. We then welcomed our second baby at the end of 2018.
What is Blue Wren Interiors?
Predominantly we are about restoring and painting vintage and antique furniture pieces.
Often these pieces are handcrafted by somebody decades ago with old world craftsmanship. We uncover years of history through the old finishes to see the piece back to an original state before carrying out a brand new modernised style whilst maintaining a classic look.
Pieces are specially selected and only those of quality and charm are chosen to go through the Blue Wren Interiors restoration process. We are here to make these forgotten pieces aesthetically appealing again and ultimately give our clients a feature piece and talking point for their homes. Pieces can either be chosen from my own inventory, or a client can provide their own for restoration. Together we talk through the design process either online or (if they’re local) in my home. We go through samples and finishes to create a bespoke outcome for the client.
Ultimately we love to use bold colours and block colour finishes with raw timber restoration. We strive to accentuate the characteristics and charm of each piece preserving its history but also continuing on with its story.
What have you learned about running a business in Toowoomba? What are the unique opportunities, benefits and challenges?
After a start up in Perth and then moving to Toowoomba I had to learn again about my potential customers in this area. I quickly found that most people here have an appreciation for Australian handcrafted furniture, which is perfect for my business objective because that is my focus area as well!
Situated only two hours from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, we are still able to service regular clients in those areas without living amongst the hustle and bustle. This area has a vast amount of regional towns as well and Toowoomba is a great home base. The main challenges I face for our rural neighbours is getting freight at a reasonable cost.
What does an average day look like for you?
Once the morning routine of getting my daughter ready and off to school is done, it’s just bub and I for the day. Around his feeding and naps I’m able to order and research materials, work on new pieces either in my dining room if bub is awake or out in my workshop. At night when both children are tucked in their beds I can then schedule appointments and do admin work.
What does your ideal Toowoomba weekend look like?
I love being at my home with my family. We have an acre in peaceful Meringandan with established 20 year old gardens and a fruit orchard down the back. It is our own getaway and we BBQ most weekends. We also love heading out with friends for a lazy lunch or afternoon drinks at a local.
Only a Toowoomba local would know…
That Meringandan pub is one to visit.
FAVOURITE WEEKEND SPOT TO:
PERK UP: Meringandan Pub is always great for a quick jump in the car trip for a drink out the back in the beer garden. My little girl loves to check out the chickens and camels.
RELAX: Home. Sitting out on our back patio, water in the pond trickling away, or walking down the back gardens to the fruit orchard. If we are lucky the neighbours cows in the joining property will be out for walk close by.
EAT: Chong Co – great drinks and delicious cuisine
INDULGE: The Baker’s Duck. I almost drool every time a new Instagram post of their pops up!
SHOP: Wild Haven Collective, Harold’s Finishing Touches and Adairs in Grand Central
CATCH UP: Meringandan Pub or a drive to The Bull & Barley Inn
BE INSPIRED: I love to drive through the countryside, especially when it’s green and lush, observe the cows and horses in their paddocks and take in the fresh air. It’s so peaceful and calming. This whole area inspires me to create and dabble in other projects.
See more of Ashley’s beautiful work at Blue Wren Interiors here.