April 3rd, 2012
March 28th, 2012

Steve Cordony on editing the look

In the next installment of what I learned at Steve Cordony’s Coco Republic Design School talk, I’m going to share his tips on editing. When I say editing I don’t mean like magazine editing, I mean deciding what makes the final cut (and and this could apply to a magazine shoot or a room in your home) from the many beautiful things you think you want. As Steve says, you have to be cruel to be kind!

He told us before starting any new trend or feature, he’ll always start with a mood board. “It’s the first visual layout to give an idea of the overall look and feel. It doesn’t have to be perfect!”

He suggests laying out all the images of products you’re interested in on a board or in a Word document and playing around with them. Move them around, add and subtract. “Don’t get hung up on products,” he says. “Pull away and remember you can always add something back in later.”

Steve might return from two days of sourcing for a feature with more than 700 images. He’ll draw sketches too. Here you can see how Steve’s sketch eventually became a page in belle:


And how all these products got cut down to two pages’ worth in belle



Lampshade sale at Dearwood this Saturday

Dearwood don’t just create gorgeous hand printed wallpaper, they also make some fab lampshades. There’s 31% off all of them this Saturday only. I highly recommend a visit to Vicki’s gorgeous Paddington store at 70 William Street. And why not pop into one of my favourites, I Like Birds, for a look at their vintage and new homewares while you’re there?

March 27th, 2012

Great Dane Furniture tenth birthday party

Great Dane’s Sydney showroom was packed out tonight for its tenth birthday celebrations.

I took a shine to this pink chair and lusted after many other cool Scandinavian pieces…

And bumped into the lovely Mr Jason Grant

I love the Great Dane brand. Congratulations on your first of many decades! I’ve heard the new Melbourne showroom is stunning and can’t wait to visit after Easter.

Entries closing soon for the Belle/Coco Republic Interior Design Awards!

What do you mean you haven’t entered yet?! Don’t panic! You still have three days to work on that application. Entries close this Friday 30 March.

Celebrating and rewarding excellence in Australian interior design and decoration by individuals, partnerships and design practices at residential, commercial and corporate levels, these prestigious awards are committed to supporting the creativity and innovation of the Australian interior design industry.

For more details and an entry form, email belleawards@acpmagazines.com.au

Steve Cordony at Coco Design School

I was so excited to attend Steve Cordony’s session at Coco Republic Design School last week and he didn’t disappoint.

Steve is interior design editor at belle magazine and responsible for the styling behind those incredible, dramatic, often fantastical photos we devour on its pages each issue. He’s also in great demand as an event stylist, working with glamorous fashion brands, on private parties and more. It’s hard to believe someone so young (28) has such a stunning portfolio of work already. He’s also an incredibly nice guy (don’t you hate it when someone you admire turns out to be well, less than nice?!)

I learned a few interesting things about Steve last week. First, when he was a kid, he used to play a game (on his own!) which he called Renovation Rescue. He’d empty a room, taking all his parents’ furniture outside, then put it all back again and rearrange it. Cue often confused parents when they got home. One two three—Naaaaaw! These days the more sophisticated grown-up Steve is very influenced by fashion and I think it’s fair to say a little bit obsessed with Tom Ford. And candles!

His session was great because not only did he share tips, tricks and shopping destinations, he also gave hands-on demos, like bringing everything from his coffee table at home and arranging it in front of us to show us how it’s done. If you’re interested the contents of a super stylist’s coffee table include a Tom Ford candle, Becker Minty bowl, framed butterfly, Tom Ford (I did warn you!) book and, interestingly, a bonsai! I reckon he’s one of the only people who could make bonsais cool, but there we go. What I liked most was how down to earth Steve was. He gave realistic, affordable suggestions of things to buy and do in our own homes.

We were also let loose (ever heard the expression kid in a candy store?) in the Coco Republic showroom where he showed us a few different ways to make a bed. I do love that practical stuff!

He also told us something about bringing out our inner stylists, starting with the stylist’s toolkit:

  • Staple gun
  •  Tape
  •  Pins
  •  Sharpies
  •  Camera
  •  Sketchbook
  •  Laptop.

Then he advises building up your database. Where to start?

  • Break it up into categories (linen, floral, events, surfaces etc)
  • Go through the address books/stockists pages of homes magazines and start Googling
  •   Jump online and search websites and design blogs
  •  Visit shops, pick the product up and really get to know it.

Some of Steve’s favourite stores are:

  • Coco Republic
  •  Becker Minty
  • The Country Trader
  • Seasonal concepts
  • Drawing Room Theory
  • Your Display Gallery
  • Mitchell Road Auction House
  • Les Interieurs
  • Rust
  • MCM House
  • Ici et La
  • Orson & Blake
  • PAD Interiors
  • Quintessential DuckeggBLUE
  • Nicholas and Alistair
  • Scout House
  • Izzi and Popo

That’s enough to whet your styling appetite for one day. I’ll be back with more tomorrow…

Find out more about Coco Republic Design School and its courses here.

Just hanging out with four of the country’s top interior designers, as you do…

(L-R) Greg Natale, Jason Grant, Interiors Addict Jen, Thomas Hamel and Darren Palmer. 

I’ll tell you the story behind this shoot next month…

Home envy: Abigail Ahern

Abigail Ahern, as you well know, is one of my favourite interior designers AND she’s a fellow Brit. I have been drooling over these photos of her home in this blog post by Mix & Chic for far too long and need to get on with some work now. Want to take over? 

March 26th, 2012

Have you visited the Yankee Trader pop-up store in Sydney’s Paddington yet? It’s only there for another couple of weeks, closing after trading on 7 April.

March 25th, 2012

Check out Concrete Blonde for amazing food and a stylish interior

I love great food but my resturant choices are often swayed by the decor too. For me, a great meal has as much to do with atmosphere (the interior, the service, the lighting etc) as the food. My girlfriends and I ate at Concrete Blonde on Friday night and had a wonderful time. We started with a drink at the newly opened adjoining bar Montague (an amazing selection of wines by the glass including a delicious organic and biodynamic sav blanc for a mere $7 a glass!). Then we moved into Concrete Blonde for dinner. The indoor/outdoor space is stunning and I wasn’t surprised to learn later that it’s by Michael McCann of Dreamtime Australia. The ambient lighting was perfect with a few of us feeling less than sparkly eyed after a long week at work! We were very well looked after by general manager Emmanuel Benardos and the food, well, that was EXCEPTIONAL (executive chef Ian Oakes is former head chef at Paddington’s The Grand National). Please do yourself a favour and check it out soon. You won’t be disappointed!

Second photo courtesy of the Concrete Blonde website.