The Downtime Agenda

0 $0 credit
  • Words — Julie Haslam
  • Images — Monique Easton

Founder and Creative Director of lifestyle and wellness brand Page Thirty Three, Ryan Hanrahan believes that if you want to make your home feel like a sanctuary, it’s not just about how it looks, but how it feels. We talk to him about meditation, daily rituals and life on the Northern Beaches.

Ryan Hanrahan, right in the feels.

Tell us a little about Page Thirty Three and your obsession with the art of ritual.
Page Thirty Three is a design company that started in 2010. We create furniture, lighting and objects, with most of our pieces being based on the act of daily ritual.

Our focus is Designer Wellness. We believe you can create a calm, healthy and creative existence by performing daily rituals that nourish your mind and body. All our objects are created with this ethos as our main inspiration.

How do you unwind?
I have been practising Transcendental Meditation for 7 years, so that is my main tool for de-stressing. I meditate every morning and night as soon as I get home from work without fail.

My other tool is that I go to my studio early in the morning so it’s nice and quiet and I can get myself organised for the day, and avoid traffic. Because of this I leave early in the afternoon. I find this makes it much easier to unwind. I am home in Avalon by mid afternoon, so I can swim some laps in the ocean pool, listen to podcasts and focus on taking things at a slower pace. I started this schedule at the end of last year, and have found it has been a great way to unwind.

How do you feel when you don’t get enough time for yourself?
I feel claustrophobic. I am really self-sustainable, and I am used to having a lot of time to myself. I lived out of town as a child and spent a lot of afternoons drawing etc, so its fairly entrenched in my being. I feel like when you have space and time to yourself it gives you time to be creative and free without other distractions.

In saying that, I don’t believe this is the case for everyone. Some people like to be surrounded by constant stimulation, and that’s what feeds them. I think the key is knowing yourself and creating an environment that suits your traits.

What’s Sydney’s best-kept secret for downtime?
Working from home in Avalon during the week. It’s so quiet through the week, has the beach right there, as well as great food. You can go to places like the Boathouse in Palm Beach for lunch which is generally crazy through the weekend, with lines out the door, but during the week you can take in the amazing views and have some great food without the stress of parking and lines.

Describe your ideal Sunday.
Homemade espresso sipped in the sun on my balcony, followed by eggs on toast with podcasts and sketch books. Then I usually go on one of the short coastal walks nearby, or head out over the road for a swim or surf.

In the afternoons, I like to take some time to prepare for the week to come, so I will generally buy some fresh groceries and boil up a ginger and tumeric health tonic to drink each morning through the week. If I do that I feel really balanced and in control of my life, and this is what makes me feel at my happiest.

5 songs on your downtime playlist?

Lay down in the tall grass by Timbre Timbre
Girl I like your style by Barrington Levy
Midnight Express soundtrack by Chris Bennett
Hold on, we’re going home by Drake (+ anything by drake)
– Love and Death by Ebo Taylor

What are you reading right now?
A year in Provence – 2 pages each night to fall asleep
The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly – a few pages each day to give me brain explosions about the future.

What’s your favourite movie of all time?
– Anything by Paolo Sorrentino – Youth and the Great Beauty.
– Anything by Paul Thomas Anderson – especially Magnolia, and Punch Drunk Love.
Adaptation, and anything by the Coen brothers, but especially No Country For Old Men.

Best vacation spot for downtime?
I grew up in a small town called Tathra on the Far South Coast. It is surrounded by National Parks, and empty beaches. So my favourite downtime thing to do is hit the road south with a coffee and some donuts from the Berry Donut van. When I get down there I like to get a lot of rest because it’s so quiet. Besides that I catch up with my friends, and spend a lot of time driving up and down the coast road between Bermagui and Tathra checking the surf and taking in the spotted gum forests. It’s a great antidote to Sydney traffic.