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
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?
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.
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:
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:
The Country Trader
Drawing Room Theory
Your Display Gallery
Mitchell Road Auction House
Ici et La
Orson & Blake
Nicholas and Alistair
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.
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?
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!
Sadly (well, kinda!) Interiors Addict has outgrown its Tumblr home and will be moving across to Wordpress in about a week. The URL will remain the same (www.theinteriorsaddict.com). Please bookmark me, RSS me or join me on Facebook or Twitter so you don’t miss out. I would hate to lose you, Tumblr fans! Jen x
PS. If you’re interested in advertising on the new blog, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Loving the new colour from Have You Met Miss Jones
Have You Met Miss Jones is best known for its white bone china homewares but the latest collection contains some great colourful pieces. I love these vases and I’ll be buying a few of these cute little bowls for keeping rings, salt flakes, and paperclips in! The possibilities are endless!
And don’t worry, Jennifer’s still producing more of the popular bone china too. Buy online at www.haveyoumetmissjones.com.au and read my interview with Jennifer Jones here.
Pinterest today notified its members of major changes to its terms of service. It follows weeks of controversy over the latest social media craze, popular with us visual types. Much as everyone’s all over Pinterest lately, its popularity has not come without some questions, especially over fears people’s shared content could be sold.
Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.
We updated our Acceptable Use Policy and we will not allow pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse.
We released simpler tools for anyone to report alleged copyright or trademark infringements.
Finally, we added language that will pave the way for new features such as a Pinterest API and Private Pinboards.
We think these changes are important and we encourage you to review the new documents here. These terms will go into effect for all users on April 6, 2012. Like everything at Pinterest, these updates are a work in progress that we will continue to improve upon. We’re working hard to make Pinterest the best place for you to find inspiration from people who share your interest.”
What do you think? Are you happier to use Pinterest in light of these changes?
Today was beautiful and sunny so boyfriend and I took the opportunity to jump in the car and take a mini road trip to the Blue Mountains. A visit to Leura is always a pleasure but I’d been meaning to visit the new Peponi Home ever since it opened in February. I’d heard great things from the lovely Jane Frosh, who styled the windows.
It was totally worth the trip. Owner Lisa Wright (who also has a store in Penrith) undoubtedly has a great eye. I could happily take one of everything, and that includes homewares (largely), clothes and jewellery.
Described as homewares with soul, Lisa sources many of the unique homewares on her trips to Africa but also stocks many local brands like Bedouin Societe (the most amazing linen), Palm Beach Candles and Perfect Pieces. Everything homewares is neutral enough to easily fit into most homes but it certainly isn’t boring beige.
The term ‘African-inspired homewares’ would usually strike fear into my soul. I was really worried there might be some of those hideous masks or bad zebra print (you can go too far with a theme), but don’t worry, NONE of that! Lisa has brought only the most beautiful and tasteful handmade, fair trade things to Australia that will make great additions to your existing furniture and accessories.
Hand woven baskets from Zimbabwe, oversized glass beads (which I’m already regretting not buying), juju feather hats for the wall, cushions full of texture, ceramics, beautiful rugs, bracelet sets, bowls, candles and much much more. Well worth a browse next time you’re in the area. And I couldn’t help but notice some dip-dyed hessian by Shibori turned into a curtain for the changing room. Just gorgeous.
A beautiful shop full of beautiful things. Well done Lisa. Next stop, an online store please?!
Zuri Homewares next door is also well worth a look and I picked up some very cute marble bowls from Inner Space Furniture down the road.
Belle's Steve Cordony at Coco Republic Design School last night
I had the best time at Steve’s session at Coco Republic Design School last night. I’ve got so much to share with you over the new few days but for now, here’s a photo of us in the Coco showroom. For those of you who don’t know, Steve is the uber talented interior design editor for belle.
Here’s Steve’s top ten styling essentials:
And you can read my interview with Steve from last year here.
If you ask me, it’s a good enough reason to leave Sydney for the weekend and I’m seriously considering it! There’s 20% off everything at artist Lisa Madigan’s gorgeous shop The Store, in Berry, NSW. One transaction per customer, just mention the offer in store. And if you can’t make it in person, visit the e-store, give them a call with your credit card details and they’ll post your goodies out to you. This weekend only.
Chelsea Hing: the reality of running your own interior design practice
Chelsea Hing had a strong grounding within top interior design firms before starting her own Melbourne practice five years ago. “It was fantastic as I got to see all the working parts of a design business up close. I loved learning on the job and quickly moved onto bigger things.”
Starting her own business was, she says, another massive learning curve. “As any creative knows, there’s a tremendous amount of not so glamorous stuff that needs constant attention behind the scenes. It takes a lot of hard work to build a practice and reputation, with long hours to get everything right that never get billed. But when you work for yourself there’s a great opportunity to shape your world the way you want to and to choose who you work with which is kind of freeing.”
Working from home on her own to start off with, she was always itching to get out into her own studio space. “I was lucky enough to find this amazing 1850s Italianate Victorian mansion in St Kilda, which has been our base ever since. Over the years, I have worked on developing the business, trying to refine it so it’s as efficient as possible to allow me time to spend on the fun creative stuff.” These days, Chelsea has the luxury of only choosing to work on the residential projects she really enjoys.
“Residential work requires a different set of skills and sensibilities. People are actually going to live in the space you design. I enjoy building those relationships and making people happy.” Chelsea employs another interior designer and a studio manager and calls on a number of freelancers. “I have no plans to expand much larger as I like the more personal connection to the work.”
Start as you plan to go on is her design philosophy. “The fundamentals are absolutely critical to getting the details right. There are no shortcuts or magic bullets. Invest in smart, thoughtful planning, layer up with good looking natural (where logical) finishes and finish with the things that create meaning around you.”
Her own home, like so many designers it seems, is a work in progress. She shares it with partner Nik Epifanidis, an architecture and interiors photographer. “Funnily enough we also live in another one of St Kilda’s landmark Italianate Victorian mansions (in an apartment) with soaring high ceilings, plantation shutters and a good mix of contemporary and classic pieces from the 50s & 70s. Nik’s personal photographs line many of the walls. I find myself digging deeper into my black book to source a look that captures my personality. It takes time.”
Chelsea is now working on a furniture collection. “Moving into a small apartment, we were starved for space. I needed functional furniture that looked beautiful and could multi-task. The first piece was a bedside table that has a drop down lid to rest your morning coffee on (by the time you have lamp and alarm clock, there’s not much space left on top, right?) as well as two drawers and a big space for storing multiple books and magazines that are on constant rotation. The second was a hall console that conceals the household filing, in/out compartments for paid and unpaid bills and a drawer for charging phones and iPad plugged into power inside the drawer.” They’re the first two pieces from a collection she’s calling Five Easy Pieces.
Chelsea and her team recently finished work on a house in Brighton East which has been shortlisted for an Australian Interior Design Award, conceptually based around Mies Van Der Rohe’s legendary Barcelona Pavilion. “It was just so much fun to work on.” Her work has been shortlisted many times but is yet to win an award. Entering is the most important part though, says Chelsea. “There’s no better way to benchmark your practice against your peers. It’s a great feeling as a very small practice to be in the same pages as the heavy hitters. It’s another element that helps to broaden your reach.”
She applauds those designers who have taken on an almost celebrity status of late. “Australia is a young culture when it comes to embracing and commissioning design in any form, so there is a great responsibility on those with a public profile to positively educate people about the value of design and what designers actually do. The fact that local talent is finally being recognised and rewarded is also long overdue.”
What does Chelsea think she is known for? “That’s hard to say. I would hope to be known for creating interiors that are elegant, interesting, engaging and thoughtful.”
Find out more about Chelsea at her website. Read more of my interviews here.
Etsy Australia has produced its first look book and why not? The contents would all look comfortable on the pages of the best interiors and lifestyle magazines.
I have long been an Etsy-holic. What I like best about the stuff you can buy on Etsy is it’s great value (especially when considering most of it’s handmade), you get your hands on something everyone else doesn’t have and you’re supporting smaller, independent (often local) sellers. Gotta love that.
So here’s my pick of the best bits from the homewares section of the look book, all from Australian sellers.
English rose that I am, I’ve always loved the traditional fabric bunting with florals and polkadots. That said, it doesn’t exactly complement the look I’ve got going on in my Sydney apartment these days! But Tamara Maynes, whose handiwork you may know from the pages of Inside Out magazine, has put a very cool modern twist on bunting with her gold leather version. LOVE! You can buy it here.
You all loved the pictures of Julie Paterson’s latest collection for Designer Rugs in her Blue Mountains cottage earlier this week. Now she’s giving you the chance to win a little bit of the design process in the form of an original painting for your own home.
Julie has taken four of her best rug designs and overlaid them with four of her key fabric designs, playing about with composition and colour to create Remixed, a new collection of eight rugs that respectfully riffs on the popular cloth originals.
To illustrate this process, the artist and textile designer has created an edition of screen prints inspired by the rugs, reflecting the next stage in the back and forth of her process. She’s showing them at Global Gallery in Paddington but you can win one of the pieces of art that didn’t make the final cut.
To be in with a chance of winning simply pop over to cloth fabric’s Facebook page, tell her Interiors Addict sent you and why you’d love one of her pieces in your home. A winner will be chosen on Wednesday.
"The artwork is one of the pieces that didn’t make the final hang for the show," says Julie. "These pieces form part of the process and I want to increase awareness of the process where so much more work gets created than ever gets to see the light of day. This work in its own right has merit."
She’ll eventually be selling some of the other pieces that didn’t make the exhibition in her Surry Hills shop for up to $500 each.
Block fever is back. Can you feel it? I’m delighted to hear Shaynna Blaze is going to be the third judge alongside John McGrath and belle magazine’s Neale Whitaker this series. Interiors Addict loves Shaynna for being talented and glamorous while at the same time fun and very down to earth. No doubt she’ll be a hit.
Shaynna’s back on our screens with Andrew Winter and Charlie Albone in the latest series of The Lifestyle Channel’s popular show Selling Houses Australia. She’s also busy with her own company Blank Canvas Interiors, being colour consultant to paint company Taubmans and plenty more.
Can’t wait to hear when The Block is due to start. Stay tuned!
Discount homewares and furniture site Dalani held a gorgeous breakfast for bloggers at the fabulous Kitchen by Mike earlier this week. We were blessed by sunshine, good company and great goodie bags! And did I mention how fantastic the food and coffee was? Thanks Dalani!
While I was there I had my first look around the amazing new Koskela showroom next door and a sneak peek at Megan Morton’s new Propery and soon-to-open Design School.
What a fabulous space all round for an interiors addict!
Cloth's Julie Paterson creates third collection for Designer Rugs
Good design improves with time and attention, which is how Julie Paterson of cloth fabric created her new collection with Designer Rugs.
“It’s not always about what is new, the question is what can we re-imagine from what we’ve already created?”
Julie has taken four of her best rug designs and overlaid them with four of her key fabric designs, playing about with composition and colour to create Remixed, a new collection of eight rugs that respectfully riffs on the popular cloth originals.
To illustrate this process, the artist and textile designer extraordinaire has created an edition of screen prints inspired by the rugs, reflecting the next stage in the back and forth of her process.
Check out some photos of the rugs in Julie’s gorgeous Blue Mountains fibro cottage below.
You can view the paintings alongside the new rugs at Global Gallery in Sydney’s Paddington, where the Remixed collection is being launched this month. Find out more at the cloth Facebook page.
Her third collection with Designer Rugs talks about how design can mature with time. “That design can take on a journey of refinement. By redefining placement, composition and process we can start to develop an idea of the contemporary classic that looks at longevity rather than being obsessed with the next new thing,” says Julie.
“It’s about slow design really. Remixed is a show that encapsulates this, highlighting how my art practise influences my design process and on again to my art.”
And perhaps, in today’s need-it-now society, it’s something we could all learn from?
“Design influences art influences design,” says Julie. “Returning and reconsidering the familiar can turn a well designed piece into a modern classic.”
They’re all great but personally, I think ‘Wattle Shadow’ (immediately below and shown outside Julie’s studio) is quite stunning and bang on this year’s orange trend.
And here’s a sneak peek of some of the artwork in progress. Look out for a special Interiors Addict giveaway this weekend where you can win a piece of Julie’s art that didn’t make it into the final exhibition!
Interiors Addict is a nominee in the Best Australian Blogs 2012 competition under the Personal/Lifestyle category. The competition is judged by a panel but there is also a People’s Choice category and when voting opens I’ll be ask for you to kindly support me by voting if you so wish!
Jaynie and Nathan Johnson are husband and wife and co-creators of Blacklist Studio Prints. Regular readers of this blog will know I’m just a little bit obsessed with typography and nearly everything on my walls contains words in one way or another. So it’s quite clear I’m a big fan of their work, not only because it’s very heavily typographical but because I’m also a big softie at heart and just doing this interview made me feel all romantic…
“We have pretty simple philosophy,” says Jaynie. “We love love.”
She continues: “We just love being dreamers and doers. We love that the mediums in which we work are so tangible, that they are able to manifest from concept to creation quite easily. We love words, we love typography, we love design, and we love music, so we put all of our favorite things into one (or twenty-something) prints.”
This is the ‘About’ page from their website:
Jaynie started out as a primary school teacher, and also worked as a stylist, but was too “gypsy-hearted” for regular hours. “I love children but am way too disorganised to be a teacher. I transitioned into magazines after a couple of years’ teaching. I got an amazing opportunity to intern as a market editor and loved it. A friend worked on the title I joined, and then I ended up full-time there until I had Willow. We accidentally started the prints side of Blacklist and I have done that ever since.”
The business has grown very organically. “We believe in creating for the sake of creating, not for the sake of money, or cool. We want our prints to make people feel loved.”
Their latest collection, To The Sea (which includes wall hangings and cushions as well), is no different. It’s about “falling in love, following love and most importantly: staying in love.”
The pirate vibe comes from an illustration Nathan drew for Jaynie when he proposed titled Love Pirate. “I look at that piece often and I’m a tad obsessed with old sea merchants,” says Jaynie. “When we speak of love, it’s not just romantic love, but a lot of our prints are inspired by our friendships, our paternal love for our daughter and of course, each other.”
(Are you feeling the love yet?)
“Every day I get to work, rest and play with my dearest of dears. It doesn’t get better. I feel very spoilt. We’ve always had a great creative connection and Nathan hates paperwork and accounts so I say he’s the beauty and I’m the brains! We both love what we do, so it works well for us.”
Jaynie sometimes also works as a stylist (although, ever modest, she’s reluctant to call herself one). “We currently work on creating advertising campaigns for different clients so I style and produce those, which is fun. We are also planning on starting up Blacklist Interiors some time in the future. We are insanely passionate about creating amazing commercial interiors, so are working on collaborating with some architect and builder friends to create some amazing retail and cafe spaces.”
Their own Sydney home is small and by the sea. “We definitely bought for the location and are making it our own as the months tick by. It is very open, great for entertaining friends. I think my favorite things about our home are the natural light and the location. My favorite things in it are the artworks, books, my family, and our new cubby-house. I love a good project.”
Who does she admire? “Mr Jason Grant for his bold, bright, sunny, personal approach to styling and Sarah Ellison (her editorial features always spark new ideas and reveal the latest and greatest). Akin, they constantly amaze me. To say I’m obsessed would be a huge understatement.”
Now to really get a feel for Blacklist Studio Prints, watch the video they made for To the Sea.
I am just a little bit STOKED today because the blog is featured in Real Living magazine. I believe it’s on news stands from Monday but subscribers have their copies from today. Here’s a preview! Thanks Real Living!
Take the stress out of choosing cushion combos with Bandhini's free service
I don’t know about you, but whenever I look at Bandhini’s catalogue or website I get OVERWHELMED by all the beautiful choices. But did you know if you tell them what you’re after and your budget they’ll give you suggestions and help you choose free of charge? The service was set up for interior designers and decorators but they’re also happy to help consumers drowning in choices and colour combinations!
Are you working on a project with a tight deadline? Take the stress out of it by asking the experts at Bandhini to suggest cushions, quilts, bed sashes and throws in your price range.
Just send your mood board to email@example.com and they’ll get back to you with a selection.
Design-your-own-flatpack company wants to take on IKEA with Aussie-made
From the same factory turning out high end furniture for Herman Miller and Living Edge comes a new design-your-own flatpack range with grand designs on taking a chunk of Ikea’s market.
Young entrepreneur Priyanka Rao has furniture in her blood. Her dad Sudhindra owns furniture manufacturer Luxmy and runs her new venture with her. But the idea for Evolvex actually came while shopping for furniture for her younger sister who was moving to Canberra for work.
“She couldn’t find anything she liked when we went out, but she really needed new furniture for the new place, so she bought stuff that would just have to do. Most of the flatpacked products broke on the way home in some way or another so Dad carted the lot to his furniture factory to fix it up,” says Priyanka.
“In the process she requested a few customised features and when we chatted about the experience later we dreamed of an online flatpack furniture store where only high quality, eco-friendly furniture was made available and the customer had the option of customising the furniture to fit their particular needs.” Three years later Evolvex.com.au launched.
Her father (known as Rao) started Luxmy Furniture (the parent company of Evolvex) in 1997 after successfully establishing and running manufacturing companies in various industries. Priyanka studied architectural design, worked in the industry, and then did an MBA while working in various roles in the recorded music industry. “I joined Luxmy Furniture in early 2011 after Dad and I finally decided that we should bring Evolvex to life. I find my design and marketing background complements Dad’s operational background really well.”
Luxmy Furniture manufactures for just about every major furniture supplier in the commercial sector – Herman Miller, Living Edge, Haworth, Stylecraft, Zenith, Corporate Culture and so on. In partnership with their clients, they’ve manufactured furniture for the offices of The Prime Minister’s Cabinet, Optus, Facebook, IBM, Louis Vuitton, 3M, Commonwealth Bank and many more.
So Evolvex is producing affordable, quality, customisable flatpack furniture in this country. What’s more, it’s eco-friendly. “We found that the majority of the flatpacked furniture on the market was made from MDF or particle board with high levels of formaldehyde and this is something we have made our mission to change,” says Priyanka, 25. “We only use the highest quality ‘E0’ rated MDF board that has been certified by the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS). This is extremely important for us ethically. Because the customers are getting the product direct from the manufacturer we can maintain a great price point.”
So does Priyanka really think she can take on Ikea? “We aim to the number one provider of high quality flatpack furniture available online in Australia and given IKEA doesn’t sell online for their east coast stores, I think we’ve got a great chance at winning that race,” she says with a cheeky grin. “We come to you online from the convenience of your couch and we even deliver to you so you don’t have to move.”
Evolvex has positioned itself in the ‘low to mid’ market, with its target customers being students, families with young children, young renovators and small businesses with less than 10 employees.
“Our ideal customer has gone through their ‘Gumtree/eBay/found on the street’ furniture phase and is now looking to invest into high quality furniture that will last them for the next five-to-10 years. They’re also time poor and would prefer to have someone make their lives easier by delivering furniture to them that fits their needs.”
Their most popular products are currently their storage cubes and black and white TV cabinets. The most popular colours chosen are white, black and beige.
“Our product is unique and patent pending, as we let customers customise furniture to their needs via an online application. As the product is made from interchangeable modular components, the pieces can be rearranged at a future date to make an entirely new piece of furniture. They can buy additional parts and increase the size of their original design. We named the business Evolvex as you can evolve your design by exchanging different parts.”
What a delight to be invited by Corporate Culture and Georg Jensen to the first ever showing of the Silver Ambassador Collection in Sydney yesterday. It was quite magical to be surrounded by countless bowls, goblets, trays and pieces of cutlery, all made of solid silver and paintakingly made by hand in Copenhagen. Set against a backdrop of Corporate Culture’s wonderful furniture, flowers by Grandiflora and styling by the brilliant Steve Cordony and sparkling in the sunlight, it was a really beautiful experience!
If, like me, you’ve known Georg Jensen mainly for its stunning modern jewellery, it is well worth discovering the history behind a company which has been around since 1904. Head of Silver Anne Mette Muller-Krogstrup, brought that history to life as she spoke passionately about the craftmanship of a brand where only exceptional quality is good enough. Tableware like these are where it all started for Georg Jensen and it’s a huge part of their business today. You can see why Jensen brought her over from Denmark for the occasion as I’m sure not many people could tell the story better.
The most expensive piece on show is worth over $200,000 but when you consider it takes almost six months to make by hand, then it doesn’t seem so overpriced. I’ll take two!
Seriously though, while many of the bigger pieces are out of the price range of many, Anne Mette says we should all treat ourselves to a little something so beautiful, even if it’s just two wine goblets for you and your loved one or one incredible spoon you use every day because, after all, life is too short. And the late great Georg Jensen himself came from very humble beginnings. I’ve already started saving…
This Art Deco style teapot was one of my favourite pieces.
This silversmith gave a demonstration of hammering the silver by hand. It’s a highly skilled job requiring a steady hand, a lot of passion and 100 times more patience than I’ll ever have!
Anne Mette Muller-Krogstrup tells the Georg Jensen story so well
The beautiful furniture at Corporate Culture complemented the silverware so well. Managing director Richard Munao is known for his love of Danish design.
Maison InStyle announces impressive advisor line-up
Maison Instyle, Australia’s first and only boutique trade event dedicated to the interiors market, has announced its Advisory Council, “a select group of distinguished individuals with a shared passion for design”.
• Richard Waller, editor of Inside Out
• Sibella Court, interior stylist and author
• Nick Garnham, Jardan
• Karinna Gobbo, Tapetti Rugs
• Dana Tomic Hughes, interior designer and blogger, Yellowtrace
• Jacqui Esdaile, Valmont
• Henry Wilson, Trent & Henry
• David Marks, Radford Furnishings
• Imogen Molines, style ambassador
• Mr Jason Grant, interior stylist.
With that line-up it can’t fail to be a success if you ask me!
Embracing the best of Australian interiors, the Advisory Council will provide ideas, insight and support in the lead-up to the event. Running from 13-15 July at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Maison Instyle looks to cement itself as the premier destination for designers, stylists and retailers within the design and interiors sector.
Spaces are limited so if you’d like to show your designs and products alongside brands like Jardan, Radford Furnishings, Pony Rider, Factor Design and more, get in touch with them!
Megan Morton: "Going to work's like being in awesome-world but coming home is even more so."
Megan Morton’s been a busy lady of late. She’s got a second book in the works and she’s opening a prop room and design school.
She’s one of Australia’s best known female stylists, but she doesn’t exactly go in for self promotion, hoping instead that her work speaks for itself. “I have been head down, working hard for over ten years now,” she says. “I am someone who responds to results, not so much hype.”
All that may have to change now though, with the launch of her new venture, The School. Megan says she’s built her dream studio and props room in Rosebery, where she’ll be hosting styling lessons and workshops for adults and children alike. “It’ll be very different to being a trade-only service stylist. It’s my way of being able to give all the lessons I have learned over the years to anyone who is interested in styling, craft and beyond.
"We are also offering kids classes because, as a mother to three lovely little people, I have found this lacking in the creative education department.” She envisages mothers having some time out at the cafe next door or browsing the furniture in nearby Koskela while the children are taught “incredible things”.
“I’d like all the classes, whether it be craft, styling or a kids make-and-create, to hold a candle to everyone’s inner creative and show people the joy of making things when your hands and heart work together. This is really what it is about my job that I like most. It’s a practical application working with an emotional intuition.”
She’s just styled the catalogue for the new Freedom winter collection. “What I love about the Freedom offer is it lets you play stylist with some grounded pieces as well as purely decorative. The way it’s been designed and styled means you can make your own edit, working back with pieces you might already own. Clever! A home is not a shop! The catalogue is for inspiration, to trigger an idea, not for duplicating.” Her favourites are the Nature’s Imprint prints. “Totally wonderful! Hang four super snugly together on a mantle and hey presto! Instant greatness.”
Megan, who says “I love styling. All days, every day. Even holidays,” had great success with her first book Home Love. The second is coming along nicely. “Home Love has such a charming following. I love writing books. I have ideas monthly about new ones. I love the printed word.”
She’s also working on plenty of residential projects and styling inspired shoots for clients. “Our studio makes all of this possible now with a big design room, studio and props house all built in.” Being next door to Sydney’s hot new must-eat place Kitchen by Mike is helping too!
Megan doesn’t believe working stylists can have the luxury of a set style. “Of course you can have personal preferences (mine involve French Art Deco, a bit of Scandi tat and Belgian grey with a lashing of sunshine yellow) but you are hired not necessarily for your own tastes or style (that is a given), you are hired for your interpretation of the brief. Some days I work with perspex and super modern materials, the very next I am knee deep in vintage ribbon and organza rolls. I put my own preferences aside and give solutions for the image to be the most direct/soft/sexy/decadent/crafted/artisinal/modern or whatever it needs to be. This is why my portfolio covers a lot of ground. The shots might have a loose handwriting, but they are all working to create different emotional charges or deliver a variety of results.”
She loves the work of those people who cover many disciplines. “To me, the bigger the thing you work on the better you can be on the smaller things. And vice versa. Some days I take a whole day to style a perfect egg, but it’s the same nouse I use to deliver a production for 500 people.”
For Megan, home is where husband Giles and the kids are. “My family are totally awesome anyway. Going to work is like being in awesome-world, but coming home is even more so.”
Daphna Tal is the in-house interiors specialist for Australian Living, a leading sustainable building consultancy which focuses on upping the ante in the residential market. Interiors Addict speaks to her and takes a look around this stylish sustainable home (inside and out) in Sydney’s Rose Bay.
“Why aren’t there more interior specialists focused on sustainability? What is stopping or hindering them? Why is the product choice so limited? Why aren’t consumers demanding it? Do sustainable products really need to cost more? How many interior specialists provide sustainable options or do they wait until their customers ask for a sustainable option? These are all questions I ask myself on a regular basis and you must wonder how I sleep at night,” Daphna says.
“I actually do sleep well at night knowing that the products, that I use and recommend to my customers, are made by companies who are environmentally conscious, using sustainable materials, providing their workers with clean working environments and real wages. Also I am providing my customers with healthy alternatives.”
Daphna says a whole raft of interiors products need real improvement in terms of sustainability, including fabrics for couches, tiles, rugs, paint and feature lighting. “My best advice to interior specialists would be to approach suppliers sceptically. They like to greenwash products, and say yes to things being eco-friendly, but it is essential to have proof such as certification, life cycle analysis and up-to-date documentation.”
Sustainable interiors, according to Daphna, help create homes that are aesthetically beautiful, natural and provide a healthier lifestyle environment for the residents. For too long, the idea of sustainable homes has only considered exteriors. “The community is bombarded with solar panels, water tanks and worm composting bins which are all add-ons. They should be thinking about sustainability in terms of the whole house inside and out; the way it is design, constructed and finished with sustainable materials and interior products.” And product suppliers should be taking a lot more responsibility.
Her top tips:
Think sustainable in the same thought as form and function.
Start questioning suppliers on how sustainable their product really is. Look for credible certification.
Have fun with doing the interiors. Think outside the square. For example, a wooden plant holder stand can be used as a hallway table. Use fabric offcuts to make cushions, lounge coverings and even light shades.
Buy secondhand. Stop quality made products going to landfill.
Choose products that have low toxic levels such as water-based paints. Be very wary with paints as there are many different meanings to low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds).
Daphna adds: “Sustainable living is important because it allows us to live healthier; it connects us more to our natural environment and reduces our carbon footprint. There are no negatives to living sustainably that I can see. Sustainable living requires a holistic approach so it becomes a part of daily life.”
She worked with Australian Living on its sustainable show home in Rose Bay (pictured). “Its main feature is a beautiful internal courtyard that acts as a thermal heart, controlling the energy flow throughout the home. It contains a magnificent green wall that acts as insulation and provides clean air. Other features include the use of sustainable materials and products inside and out, a permaculture garden front and back and energy and water saving solutions. Each room is zoned to be thermally comfortable, and no artificial heating or cooling is installed. The home is sustainable right down to the tile adhesive.”
Cushion creator extraordinaire Ellie Bradley of Xavier&Me is branching out into rugs which can only be a good thing if you ask me! And of course, Interiors Addict has the first look at the upcoming collection.
The Xavier&Me brand became extremely well known last year despite Ellie being super busy being mum to Xavier (now you know where the name came from) and completing a fine art degree. While her background is in advertising and design, she wanted a job that fit around her family and indulged her love of homewares.
Ellie deliberately focused on just cushions while getting the company off the ground. This year will see her branch into rugs and throws.
“Cushions are a great and inexpensive way to change an interior. You can swap out your covers each season to give you a new look,” she says. “They are also fantastic to throw on a chair outside when you have friends over. I often throw lots of cushions on our day bed in our courtyard. They soften the hard lines and make everyone comfortable.”
And aren’t these lovely?
And these, which are very different but equally gorgeous!
Home is a happy place for Ellie. “Home is where the heart is,” she says. “It’s a place of happiness, joy, laughter. It’s comforting to come home. I love to travel but nothing beats walking through your front door after weeks of being away. Especially when Mum comes over and cleans up a bit, and puts milk, bread and some other goodies in your fridge!”
Xavier&Me sells online but there’s no doubt Ellie has picked some great retailers to do business with, both on and offline. She recently partnered with custom furniture designers CDR in Waterloo and you’ve probably seen her bright cushions in many home magazines in the last few months.
Her style is constantly evolving. “I love intense, bright colours, clean graphic lines and contrasting textures. I love to mix styles. There’s no one favourite period. There is always something good that comes out of each period or style that I like to use.”
Xavier&Me is still really just Ellie (owner, creative director and designer), a publicist and someone who does the sewing. But there’s plenty of growth planned for the rest of this year. “I am expanding my brand, developing rugs, cashmere throws and made-to-order bedding. But there are more things to come. It really will be a big year, one that is going to be very exciting.”
When she wants some time out, Ellie likes to travel. “It allows me to not only break free of my life and relax, but I can immerse myself in other cultures, even if it’s for a short time. It gives me time to breathe in new ways to look at design. I always make sure I visit a few workshops whereever I go and this gives me insights into how they create. It’s all ideas and all fun.
“Family also plays an important part in my passion. If it weren’t for their support I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today – being able to pursue my dream. They also critique my designs. They are honest so sometimes it’s hard to hear but in the long run I know they are right!”
And here, as promised, is a sneak peek at the new rugs which are yet to be launched.
Freedom’s new winter 2012 collection launched today and I’m impressed. What do you think? Whether you’re after this season’s grey or a more colourful, eclectic look, there really is something for everyone with some great prices too. As always, there are some great finds within the homewares department and the best thing is you can order them online. I have my eye on the chunky grey hand knitted throw and I’ll be stocking up on the great value velvet cushions ($29.95).
Sydney stylist's bid to get to London catches Abigail Ahern's attention
Sydney stylist Jane Frosh and I have a design idol in common. If you haven’t heard of Abigail Ahern, rest assured the British interior designer is big news in the UK (and internationally) and happens to be one of my favourites (read my interview with her from last year here).
When busy mum and stylist Jane heard about Abigail’s uber popular one-day workshops, which she runs in her own home in London, she just knew she had to go. So she set about campaigning for help to pay for the airfare and accommodation. She’s not asking for handouts. She is happy to repay any kind donations with what she does best: styling advice (from storyboard creation through to one-day styling sessions in Sydney).
The very next day Abigail got wind of Jane’s online campaign and offered to let her attend for free if she could manage to get herself over there. How cool is that? And yesterday Jane stepped up her campaign by posting a video she made on her iPhone!
I can see exactly why Abigail’s style appeals to Jane, who is super creative (her gorgeous Blue Mountains home was recently the cover story of Country Style magazine) and I know if (when) she goes, she’ll make the absolute best of the opportunity.