Monday, October 5, 2009

Lonny : It's all the buzz...

Yes, your'e probably sick of us interior loving bloggers going on about Lonny magazine, so this is just a quick post to share with those of you who haven't heard about it (have you been without internet access? Perhaps living under a rock somewhere...) A big congrats to Michelle Adams & husband Patrick Cline on the launch of the online publication, I do love the feature on the Manhattan home of Ron Marvin [pictured above via Lonny]. So click away and enjoy...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Style at home : My house...

I thought I might try a few regular posts, one of them will be Style at opportunity for you to submit some stylish pics of your place. I thought I would get it started today with my place. A little while back I was lucky enough to be featured in Home Beautiful's regular section Style Insight. I thought I would share the images from my home [although we have since moved and of course lots has changed] taken by the talented Sharyn Cairns and styled by Wendy Bannister. I'd always planned to share them for those who missed the article but have been so busy being inspired by others I had forgotten to do it!
The image above was our then living area, the colour scheme was inspired by black & white images of family and overseas travel. I added some framed black & white wallpaper as well, an easy diy project- and used gorgeous cushions from Linen House to glam it up and add some texture. I've since added a bit of colour to our living area but have kept it predominantly grey, black & white - the colour I added is probably only second to my favourite - chartreuse - perhaps images of that to come in a later post...

And here is the above mentioned favourite - purple, it was really the only colour in the living area and mostly shown in a group of vessels on the kitchen bench.

The dining area was inspired by texture, although it's hard to pick up in this pic, I love using white on mass, I only wish my existing old wall units were a washed timber like my gorgeous table newer from Surround, I do feel the orange toned beech veneer distracts from my concept of lots of white and texture, not to mention the very orange toned floorboards, had I been able to create the perfect area I think white washed boards or even a white textured rug on the floor and shelves in a really light birch or limed timber would have completed the overall look - plus a great pendant light...OK, now I am starting to daydream a bit - renting can be quite frustrating!

I also love to group glass vessels, my collection has grown since this shot above...

And lastly here is the master bedroom, with linen again from Linen House - I love their range of designs, always so on the mark for each season. As you can probably tell the painting is another diy job, but I like doing a bit of hands on artwork and its great to tie all the colours together with your art work...

I hope you enjoyed the first Style at home post, now I would love to hear from you, please send your Style at home pics and style notes to i spy via the email me link on the blog. It doesn't need to be your whole home, just one spot you are really proud of will do. Look forward to seeing your amazing pics, I know you are all so talented and creative...happy weekend!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekend inspiration: for spring & summer...

Just a short one, I found these images at rice in Denmark, they have the most gorgeous colourful pics that make me think of spring and summer - even the ones in their winter catalogue! And I just love the simple styling. Just felt like sharing them with you, here's hoping you have a bright weekend...

[all images via rice website]

Monday, September 21, 2009

Vince Letterpress: Text messages worth saving...

I already love Meaghan Barbuto from Vince Letterpress for her fabulously clever tagline on her recent advertising in Dumbo Feather - Text messages worth saving - I just love it, and agree with it. I love text messages as much as the next modern gal but how I do love the written word, a personally written note on a beautiful card.

So if you haven't already guessed Vince Letterpress is all about cards [and mustn't forget the limited edition prints such as the one shown at top]. The Melbourne studio fuses modern design and technology with traditional letterpress printing methods to produce quite unique cards. I love the vivid colour of the In the suburbs series [shown above] and the little details Meaghan creates such as the fact the envelopes for this series are made from old melways (Melbourne Street directory) maps. Another fabulous find at Life Instyle...For more on Vince and stockist info visit their website here. [all images via Vince website]

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Polli : i spy find

Earrings are so difficult to store, I know - I have many of them and they seem to be stashed all over the house and none of the spots I have for them serve me well, they are tangled or one is missing or I forgot I had that pair - well you get the picture. I have seen the acrylic earring organisers but never really loved the idea of displaying them like that. Enter the Polli jewellery stands that I spied at Life Instyle. Now, I would be more than happy to display this on my bedside table, and what a cute ornament this would be in a young gals room? The one shown above is Gum Tree in white, they also have a jungle and a coral version but I think I love the white one best.

Polli also do a gorgeous range of jewellery such as the Toile pendant and Nouveau pendant both in stainless steel, shown above.

I do also adore this greeting card which is transformed into a lovely hanging decoration, very cute! Visit Polli here. [All images via Polli website]

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Studio Antic: Naturally Beautiful

The husband and wife team that make up Studio Antic create gorgeous designs and translate them into lovely prints for stationary and more. Dale draws his experience from a fine arts background while his wife, Heidi is an interior designer by trade, the partnership makes for eye catching and stylish product that certainly caught my eye at Life Instyle.
The Studio Antic range includes handmade cards [some styles from the Black & White range featured below], hand screen-printed Journals, pencil cases and cushions [a selection featured bottom of post] which are either 100% linen or a linen cotton blend. They even produce tea-towels!

I spoke briefly with Dale who proudly told me that the designs were all created here in Melbourne (Australia) and also produced here. The studio uses recycled content and eco-friendly dyes, which are still pigment rich to produce intense colour and all their product was fabulous quality. Check out more from Studio Antic here. The website is still a work in progress, it doesn't do justice to all their designs which are much more beautiful in person but provides a great overview.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Samantha Robinson : Porcelain by the beach...

With her studio a stones throw from Bondi how could Samantha Robinson not be inspired? Even if Bondi may be one of the most popular and busiest beaches in Sydney [maybe Australia?] it has to be nice to be able to pop around the corner and take in the sound of waves and smell of salt air - I know it always inspires me. Wherever she gets the inspiration, it shines through in her beautiful work.

The cabinet filled with her gorgeous porcelain cups certainly got my attention at Life Instyle [see image from last post] and her website is quite nicely done as well. During my brief chat with Samantha she came across as very centred and down to earth, I think this shows through in her work, it has a real honesty to it with each peice expressing its own individual style.

You can find Samantha at Paddington markets in Sydney every Saturday or for enquiries click here for her website and drop her a line.

[Images from top - porcelain teacups; Hand made bowls - I am sure that were inspired by watermelons!; Gorgeous cylindrical illuminators - pop a candle inside to see them glow, Samantha also makes gorgeous pendant lights; Below - porcelain coffee cups - if only coffee came in one like this everyday...All images from Samantha Robinson's website]

Friday, August 7, 2009

Life Instyle : A fabulous line up of gorgeous goods

I recently visited Life Instyle which also incorporated Kids Instyle & First Instyle, a great trade show for buyers looking for unique boutique brands. I wasn't disappointed - the only disappointment was I didn't allow myself enough time to really go through the show thoroughly so towards the end I missed out on a chance to talk to some of the exhibitors as I had to fleetingly look and move on. Does that seem to be a reoccurring theme with me? Mmmm...

So as I was quite taken with a number of the exhibitors I have decided to do a series of posts rather than a general overview of the show. So standby for the first post - Samantha Robinson (whose display of gorgeous porcelain is pictured above) a studio potter based in Sydney. Oh - and I should mention that I plan to feature Australian designed and/or made brands because there are so many good ones and I love to promote wonderful Australian design.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Decoration + Design & Furnitex : The whirlwind visit...

As I mentioned in the last post we just moved house - although it was within 3 minutes drive it was still a monstrous task. There are still boxes in odd places and stuff that hasn't yet found a home and I am still working on the dining room forgive me if I haven't got back to you as soon as I promised with more on D+D/Furnitex.

My visit to D+D was a whirlwind to say the least but I have a few highlights that I took the time to document. Unfortunately I didn't make it to Design:Made:Trade but I am hoping that a good friend may share her views on that soon so stay tuned.

One of the first things that caught my eye was the chair from View Furniture [above] a baroque inspired detailed arm chair. At first I was curious about the way the frame appeared to be separate from the upholstered seat and back, I then noticed the swivel base - tacky or clever? I found it amusing enough to be clever but wasn't sure I could think of an appropriate place for it, however their furniture is well designed and certainly worth a look. Another bonus is they are designed and manufactured in Australia.

Globe West was another furniture company that caught my eye, this time it was more about the stand design than the furniture - which is lovely - but I really loved the details they put into the design of their stand. The newspapers that wallpapered areas were of an asian origin and the stand encompassed you from both sides as you walked through, connected by the lattice like ceiling. It stood out as one of the best stands at Furnitex.

I have to admit it helped that they had featured one of my favourite things - the hanging origami drakes - I'm sure you've heard me mention more than once my love of the origami inspired element!

An area of particular interest was the Sampling Future Materials section. The area featured fabrics for interiors from both the Belgian Decotec and Australian companies. Surrounding this area were 3 installations.

Above was the collaboration between ITN architects, Australian Composites & The Specialty Group. The 'Libre-Pod' both a library and a lounge, is inspired by the Libra scales representing the perfect balance between work and recreation. The casing of the pod is a light cured resin impregnated fibre-glass from The Specialty Group. Space Age indeed!

I love a dino design - this one was created with Woven Image's Echo Panel. Developed in collaboration with Middlegrey and fabricated by Like Butter, 'Velociraptor' is a fun and unexpected way to use the panel material.

'Designing Miss Daisy' used recycled & recyclable thermoset polymer material to create an art type installation. The collaboration between Mark Watson, I.N.C Corporation, Aboriginal Artist Development Trust & Australian Rubber Matting Products was an interesting one but with nice results. I liked the individual items but would have like to see a more creative way to display them.

Vivid was still the best area within Furnitex, displaying some great talent [check out the link to see this years winners]. Above is the Unconformities Coffee Table by student Jessica Shannon of Central TAFE. The table is expandable and cleverly designed for small spaces.

Designer Ross Gardan's company Spaceleft developed the Flat Jack Bookcase - constructed with cardboard [an increasingly popular eco-choice] and designed for short term use. It can be created with a print as seen here [which I liked] or a plain surface. Its quite inexpensive - the plain version starting at RRP $350.

I liked these little stools - the curved laminated timber details in them reminded me of ripples in the sand or perhaps those made in a Japanese dry landscape garden. The Selina Stool is a concept piece by Jensen Ho.

Love to hear what you guys think, leave us a comment! Next Post - the beginning of a series on some Lifeinstyle exhibitors that caught my eye...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sneak Preview : VIVID 2009 - what's next in design...

VIVID - Vibrant Visions in Design Competition, is showcased at Furnitex an Australian trade show for the furniture & design industry which is also co-located with Decoration + Design. VIVID displays the work of Australias's next generation of funiture design talent with categories of Student, Concept, Commercial & Green award.

I always find VIVID one of the most inspiring areas of the show, you are always bound to see something that is on the cutting edge of design and uses technology in ways you hadn't considered before or is just right on trend. I spy were lucky enough to have a preview of some of the work that will be on display next week so here are some of the highlights...
[image above from lasts years VIVID]

The fluid style of the Ciotala Fruit Bowl almost makes it feel as though there is movement in the metal, hand formed from a single piece of laser cut steel and chrome plated, this object is by Bhaven Chauhan a final year Industial Design student from UTS.

With a futuristic look the Aura Stool by Student Kieran Choy of UTS would look at home in a minimal organic inspired interior. Constructed with Urethane Foam & fibreglass resin this stool is currently a prototype.

Another bamboo construction [it is such a versatile material] the Ellu lamp is a quirky style that manipulates shadow and light with its unusual structure. By Student Paulo Derilo at Central TAFE.

This wall paper has been created with photos of everyday subjects that are transformed into pattern repeats. This one is called Tribal and utilises an image of the Domain Tunnel [an urban freeway tunnel in Melbourne]. I am curious to see this up close. Concept is from SD Kinetic Studios.

An elegant sculptural piece, the Lofoten Lounger is constructed from Bamboo & stainless steel by Riva Limited Edition Furniture. I can imagine this casting gorgeous shadows on a sundeck by the pool...

I am loving anything that falls into the current/future [ongoing] geometry trend - lines, angles, folds and especially oragami inspired structures. There is something about these forms that are so simply elegant and yet bold and strong at the same time. The Origami Design Coffee table by 4th year student Anne Sutton is one of those designs that fits this description. Made from Wrought iron and glass, I look forward to seeing this peice at the show.

More from Decoration + Design / Furnitex and Design Made Trade next week, I will be visiting the show this week in a whirlwind in between moving house, once I am settled into the new abode I will make sure you get all the highlights from the design scene in Melbourne this week.

If you are in Melbourne be sure to Visit Decoration + Design / Furnitex & Design Made Trade this week from Thursday - all the details are here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Australian International Design Awards

The Australian International Design Awards [AIDA] are held each year to award the best in design within Australia [this includes product designed in both Australia and overseas]. I was very privileged to attend the awards night as a guest of Dyson [Thanks Erica!] who are a major sponsor of the awards and co-established the James Dyson Award which is awarded to a student project.

It was a gala night with gorgeous frocks and black tie, champagne flowing and great food [courtesy of Peninsula at the Docklands in Melbourne]. Hosted by Julia Zemiro - a very funny lady [I loved the vintage Pucci dress she wore see below - in which she had been dubbed worst dressed at the Logies] the night ran smoothly, Julia I think was a highlight to what could have potentially been a bit of a long night [there were a lot of awards...].

Here are some of the highlights...

In the consumer category...

The Fisher & Paykel Izona cook surface - this fuses the best of ceramic and gas cookers. It has an easy to clean almost flush surface when not in use due to the retracting burners, smart thinking.

I had seen this oven before but never really understood why it was such a good idea to have the bottom of the oven drop down like that. I actually imagined that the food would get cold while you were checking it. It wasn't until the awards night when they explained that the Siemens liftMatic does quite the opposite - when the bottom drops down all the heat stays in the oven [due to heat rising and all that!] so the oven temp doesn't drop also making it more energy efficient. The food can be accessed from 3 sides without obstruction so the risks of getting burned are minimal. Very Clever!

I have a coffee machine that I love but I have been intrigued by the Nespresso system since a friend bought one - they are so simple and taste really great. The De'longhi Nespresso Lattissima Coffee machine is the smallest cappuccino maker in the market and we all need that extra space - I think I may be eying off one of these when my current machine decides it doesn't love me anymore...

In the Housing & Building category...

I have blogged about Methven before, their products are beautiful and well designed and now they have a AIDA to prove it! The Tahi Shower System consumes only 9 ltrs of water per minute - and has that look of simplicity that creates understated luxury. Perfect to create the spa feel everyone is after these days.

In the Architectural & Interior Products category...

Isn't this fire just divine -in that kind of cool retro way? I'm thinking sunken lounge with cream shag pile. But really, the EcoSmart Zeta fire is certainly a feature piece and it has amazing design flexibility, with its free-standing form this flue-less fire can be used just about anywhere. The swivel base means it can be turned to face any direction within the room and it runs on eco friendly ethanol.

The New York Guggenheim Museum Lamp won a Design Mark [all the other products I have mentioned have won a Design Award, a design mark is like a commendation] for its simple flat pack construction and unique concept. Based on the iconic Guggenheim Museum the lamp is easy to construct and the final product preserves the vision of Frank Lloyd Wright's seamless structure. I love the simplicity of this lamp that can only come with such a well designed product.

I should also mention the winner of the Design Award of the Year - congratulations to Qantas and Marc Newson for the Qantas A380 Economy Seating - I hope I get to experience it soon, especially seeing they managed to get an extra 2 inches space [I think that's right - I didn't jot it down on the night but that point has stuck in my head] and the ergonomics of the seat sound sooo much better than the current economy seating [those long haul flights are killers - especially if you then have to traipse around international trade shows the day after you arrive].

There were lots of other amazing designs for many categories, check them all out here.

One other thing I loved - the branding for this years awards was really sublime. You can see some of it in the top image, on the front cover of the program book. Thanks again to Dyson for having me as their guest, I believe it was another successful evening and I was happy to be a part of it.

[all images via Australian International Design Awards]