Month: July 2013

INSIDE CELEBRITY HOUSES! Not as gossipy as you might think.

I have just stumbled across this website. www.frontdoor.com. Like, in the last half an hour. How did I not know about this!  Probably because I’m a bit behind with the celebrity style and gossip sites, it’s not really something I go out of my way to explore. However, I do love to explore a house, and what better house to explore, than that of someone famous! My first picks to view were:

Julianne Moore‘s gorgeous NYC apartment. I love this, it’s classy and humble. I imagine her to be a bit like that.

Jennifer Aniston‘s old house in Beverly Hills. Looks nice, but not that amazing in the first three photos… then… bam. Super-classy-amazing-I-would-like-to-be-living-there. OK, it might be old news, she sold it in 2011, but it’s new to me!

This may just become my new guilty pleasure.

Decorating Inspiration: How to do eclectic like a designer.

By default, my current home design style is rather eclectic. I get so excited about objects, and have an appreciation and love for so many different era’s and styles, that I’ve managed to collect a myriad of varying furniture, art and homewares. The thing that I have come to realise is that if they aren’t very deliberately put together, it can look bad.

Eclectic is a mixed style, embracing the good things from a variety of genres and times, but then carefully unified by one or more design elements. The real key to beautiful eclectic design style is to put items together based on a relationship.

For example, you could unify a room with a limited colour palette. Say, mostly neutrals, with orange and blue. You can find and collect a whole manner of items that are from any decade or style with different shape and line elements to them, but are just in blue and orange hues.

The one above, I found from Vogue on Nicole Scott Designs is a good example of limiting the colour palette. It’s pretty neutral with some key pieces of colour, and strong contrasts of dark and light. It’s busy and active, and erring on the side of cluttered, but is definitely eclectic.

Another eclectic decorating trick is to collate things that are all similar shapes, but differing sizes, colours and textures. This super cool coffee table found on Cococozy has done this really nicely. Squares and circles with varied colour and size.

vogue coffee table vignette clear table cassina 4 sections books flowers objects cococozy

Eclectic is a great way of decorating that allows a variety of tastes, if you enjoy many different styles and activities, it can reflect that. Most photographs of an eclectic design style make the home looked lived in and loved. It’s the style that is the most true to real life, where we can’t always afford the cost, or time to simplify to just one design direction.It’s a good way to decorate on a budget. You don’t have to find things to suit one particular style, but can have some cheaper items in amongst key pieces.

Now, I’ve found some delightful rooms to show you.

Eclectic doesn’t necessarily mean messy and cluttered. It can be a tastefully fresh and clean decor featuring some subtle differences in style. Like this kitchen. It has mostly a country feel to it, with hints of current trend in the tiles, an understated industrial style lamp, and I love the customised counter with pet bowls built in! It has a mixed design, but tied together by colour and materials.

This is a superb collection of shabby chic and recycled pieces on a vintage industrial backdrop. Things like wooden crates, that gorgeous old iron bedframe and the lace bedding make a relaxed and light atmosphere. The variety of textures make texture a strong feature, and neutral and pale colours are consistent, and make the industrial brick stand out. This compilation of varied home items makes an informal and interesting room, with a vintage vibe.

Wow! This next room is so beautiful and opulent…yet eclectic. There are some choices here that you wouldn’t automatically make when decorating your dining room, but somehow they all work. The furniture and light fittings are really classic shapes, with organic flowing lines and decorative elements. This is juxtaposed with some really modern bold colours and patterns that surprisingly aren’t too overwhelming. It’s well balanced, and very pleasing. If you are going for an eclectic mix of patterns, or colours make sure you have an amount of plain to rest the eyes. Mish mashing needs to be done in a mathematical way, I think the ratio here is about 1:3.

So if you’ve found yourself with a range of differing items, see if you can group some together with something in common, like colour, shape, or texture. You might find you can redecorate really easily and cheaply by being more deliberate with what you have! Good luck.

Chair Design Hot Seat of the Day – Phillipe Starck’s Ghost Chair

Inspired by a time far removed,  the Ghost began haunting the world in the 80’s. It was innovative and interesting at the time, but is an absolute icon now, with replicas available everywhere, and still one of the most popular chair designs in the world.  Phillipe Starck is an amazing designer, challenging boundaries and creating iconic and beautiful furniture. If you look at his photos you can see a mischievous twinkle in his eye, I’m thinking he doesn’t take himself too seriously.

The Louis Ghost Chair is just classic, a beautiful shape. The cameo shaped back gives imagination for an upper-class portrait, and the arm rests make it almost like a throne. It speaks of opulence, despite the material it is made from. What a designer to be able to do that!  The Victoria is similar, having that cameo shape (that I  truly love) but without the arms.

This is the perfect choice for a modern or eclectic interior.  The transparent chair is absolutely perfect for small spaces, allowing light through and giving less mass. It is stylish, timeless and fun.

Kartell_Victoria_Ghost_Chairs Ghost Chair 2

Find more information at starck.com or I also found this blog entry at Design Jobs with a bit more history of this icon.

Chair Design Hot Seat of the Day – Egg Chair

Leather Egg Chair

It’s an unmistakeable classic, an icon of the mid century modern movement, Arne Jacobsen‘s ‘Egg Chair’.

This chair was designed in 1958 for the hotel Radisson SAS in Copenhagen. At the time, it was extravagant and expensive, and designed for opulent living.

It’s reputation as a luxury and iconic furniture piece makes it a popular feature chair in stylish homes.

This popular seat even has it’s own online community, where you can find everything ‘egg chair’ you ever imagined, and if you are really super keen, here is a video showcasing the true art of creating one. Fritz Hansen – Birth of an Egg Chair

To get hold of an original , you’d be looking at about $7000. But there are some gorgeous replicas around. My personal favourite replica is this one here, from Matt Blatt. I love the twist on a cow hide rug, and that texture will really add something special to the room. This chair would be a key feature item set to steal the show in any room.

Cowhide Egg

For a more affordable option, try Milan Direct furniture.

Who else wants beautiful Australian designer lighting?

Brick from Anchorman said it, and I’ll say it again. I love lamp. He may not have meant it with the passion that I mean it, but for mood or for function there is nothing more lovely than well designed lighting in a room. I truly love lamp. I have found some delightful Australian designed and made lamps to rock your bedside table or lounge room.

Wildwood Designs create a range of beautiful and interesting wooden furniture. Part of their collection includes hand turned lamp bases. With the charm of imperfect wood, each piece is unique, and perfect as a featured lamp in any room.

Wood Lamp1

Rad-i-cal. This upcycled delight can be found on madeit.com.au. Crafted by Red Zebra Designs, this is why I love this website, you just never know what creative things you might find! This would make a great little nightlight in a kids room, or for an 80’s retro industrial type vibe. Love it.

Cassette Tape Light

On further investigation of Red Zebra’s creations, I could not leave out this amazing Vintage Movie Lampshade. It is made from old film reel, and emits such a beautiful warm glow. Yes it’s recycled, but it’s not too out there, and actually hard to tell what it is. I think this is super cool.

vintage movie lampshade

Sydney designers Shady Designs are the creators of custom made lamps and lighting to suit any style. They host a huge range of fabrics and materials, and designers will work with you to customise what you’d love to light up your room with.

This absolutely gorgeous feature lamp handmade from one off fabric and an Italian lamp base, it can be bought online at andable.com.au.

Deers-on-Turquoise-ceramic-table-lamp-by-Shady-Designs

There is good reason to include a second light made from wood in this post. These Cracked Log Lamps are magical, as is much of the work by Duncan Meerding. His innovative use of this material is most definitely worth a mention, his gallery is inspirational.

crackedlog2I

I am certain I will be finding more amazing designs in the lighting arena, this is just scraping the surface of the design talent in Australia. I must say, it’s rather exciting.

3 items for a less cluttered bedroom.

One of the key elements to good bedroom design is working at minimising the clutter. To me, a bedroom is a refuge, a place of relaxation, peace and love, but it often ends up the cavern of clutter which can cause more stress. It should be as free from ‘stuff’ as possible. This couldn’t be further from the truth when you have a busy life that includes kids! Our room is generally strewn with baskets of washing, Winnie the Pooh books, shoes, clothes, toys. It’s hard work to keep it in a state of zen.

Personally, my main aim is to at least keep the floor uncluttered. If you can walk around the bed and to the wardrobe, you will be much less frustrated until tidying time comes around again. As much as we’d like to live in a beautiful home tended to by cleaners and gardeners, this is a post more about the reality of home life. Here are my top tips for organising the bedroom:

1. STORAGE

Think outside the box with your storage.

I love storage. Creating a place for everything is the way to organise a bedroom and there are some really good cheap storage solutions around. You must be deliberate about culling unnecessary items, and categorising the rest. Here are some hints to making this work.

Baskets or vintage suitcases under the bed to keep magazines, books, and other bits and pieces. (Pic found on Pinterest)

underbed baskets

– Have a little ‘miscellaneous’ basket for those things that end up in your room and around the place. Pens, random toiletries, pieces of paper you’re unsure if you should keep or not. Slide it into a drawer, or sit it on top of a dresser, and clean it out once a week. At least you’ve got somewhere to put the things you don’t know where to put.

– I actually have had a little wooden shoe rack next to my bed, which holds all these things; books, mags, photo, lamp and a ‘miscellaneous’ basket in a reasonably tidy manner. Its cheap, and practical, and suits the eclectic decorating style I love.

Bedside Organisation

– Have somewhere designated for your shoes to go. Get a shoe rack, or box system in the wardrobe. At least they have somewhere to go, even if they don’t make it there straight away.

2. CHAIR

A feature chair is a stylish and practical idea.

If you have the space, get a larger armchair, with upholstered fabric. Like this lovely one from Matt Blatt. It provides a soft comfortable feel, opportunity for pattern and texture if you want to go that way, and lets be frank, a great place to throw your clothes.

Perfect as a stylish bedroom chair...for clothes and sometimes for sitting.

If you don’t have the space for a large chair, even a cute vintage dining or piano stool works too. I scored this one for free from kerbside collection, it looks interesting and simple, and is so handy!

bedside piano stool copy

3. COAT RACK

I love a good coat rack.

It takes up minimal floor space, and can hold all manner of things. Handbags, scarves, belts, hats and a dressing gown all make their home on my rack. Things are in clear view for accessorising an outfit, and make a colourful fountain of my belongings. Sometimes the fountain overflows and floods the whole room, but hey, thats life. We can’t all swan around in a show home can we?

Bedroom Coat Rack

My favourite places get boxes, baskets and other vessels for my stuff are:

Op Shops – You just don’t know what you might find. There are usually always baskets, trinket boxes, suitcases, chairs to be found. I need to open my own shop to resell the gold that I find! I do recommend heading out of the city area to get better bargains. Some op shops have confusion about their identity, and think they are antique dealers.

Ebay and Gumtree. I am unashamed in my love of second hand things, these two apps get a good working on my iPhone!

Ikea. Yes a predictable solution, but they always come up with the goods! Cheap drawer inserts, scarf hangers, boxes, bins, shelves, the possibilities are endless.

Cheap shops. You know the ones, heaps of crap, but sometimes…just sometimes, you can find items that come in super handy. Like plastic baskets for organising toiletries, or tubs and buckets for the laundry. One time, I actually even scored a really stylish handbag one time, that still remains the accessory that has had the most comments ever.

Good luck on decluttering your bedroom! It is constantly a work in progress in my house. Let me know if you have any other tips and easy solutions for this.

Hot Seat of the Day – Replica Costes

Originally designed by Phillipe Starck in 1982, for the Hotel Costes in Paris, here is a lovely modern chair if ever I’ve seen one. Look at that encompassing warm mahogany wood and comfortable cushion seat.

And he has a little quirk if you can drag your eyes away from his sexy curves… only 3 legs.

I’m in love. This would be a gorgeous addition to your office or living space. Imagine 6 of him around your dining table. Mmm mm.

Matt Blatt Replica Costes Chair
Replica Costes Chair by Matt Blatt

You can find this guy on the Matt Blatt website, or visit their showroom at 18 Doggett Street
Newstead QLD.