Month: August 2013

Sideboard love. The mid century influence strikes again.

Sideboard love.

Oslo Buffet

Oslo Buffet

I asked my husband if he liked this, he said… “Yeah! I do. Except all the random colours. Why does it only have one blue door, and all that white. The wood would just look better.”

I can see his point, the timber is lovely. And it challenged me to look deeper as to why I liked it so much, just as it is.

To me it’s fresh, interesting, very mid century and scandinavian, styles that I find myself drawn to. The white and grey makes the timber look even more lovely, because it offers a clean crispness to contrast the warm and textured wood against. There is attention to detail in the rounded edges. It’s asymmetrical and imperfect. It’s fun, contemporary, but not too serious. It’s just cool.

Hoo Ha Bar, Southbank – An eclectic and natural interior space.

I first saw Hoo Ha Bar in a write up in Brisbane’s fabulous Map Magazine. Having a love for coffee,  craft beer and exposed brick I immediately felt like I wanted to investigate.  It is quite unassuming from the outside, but stepping up and into the cafe from Tribune St is quite simply lovely.  It is light, airy and welcoming and the interior is humble but well put together.  (more…)

Shanty Town Interiors – Hong Kong

If you’ve googled ‘interiors’ lately, you’d know that the images that fill the page are spacious rooms made up of a palette of neutrals and browns, fairly minimal in design, with fancy furniture and clean surfaces. Then google ‘slum interiors’ and see how vastly different it is. Cluttered and dirty, crowded and small, colourful and well lived in, it presents a very different picture.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy perusing through Houzz as much as anyone, but I am also really intrigued and moved by the way that most of the world actually live, and the reasons why. Generally speaking, here in Australia, we are a fairly privileged society, where there is an economy and legislation that supports the provision of safe and habitable housing for all, although there are a number of people still without that, even here.

Hong Kong has a bit of a different story. There is a large influx of refugees into Hong Kong, mainly from Bangladesh. Many are victims of torture and kidnapping. When they escape their country, they can receive minimal support from the government if they register themselves as a refugee. They are allowed $1200 a month for rent, which although to some may seem generous, it goes directly to landlords. When you see the images of the homes they rent, you will realise this is not generous. (I could be wrong, but it looks to me like landlords are welcoming the government funding, and squashing as many people as they can into unmaintained buildings.) Refugees also get given a bag of food every 10 days, but they are not allowed to work. This has forced people with next to nothing into communities to try and survive together.

The Hong Kong government is not under any obligation to process refugee claims for visa, so people can be living for years, with no money, or ability to work, living in places that are not maintained to a habitable standard. Next time you think your house is too small, remember some of these images. There is no deliberate design here, although I am certain there are some tricks to using space well. They are intriguing and sad and beautiful all at once. Photo reference links are at the bottom of the post.

Rooftop Shanty Towns – dornob.com

Hong Kong’s Refugee Shame – timeout.co.uk

Exhibit on Hong Kong Micro Apartments Exposes Human Rights Issues – inhabitat.com

Aerial views of Hong Kong micro apartments – inhabitat.com

 

Mid Century Modern – A poster overview.

One of my assignments last semester was to do a poster on a particular era in interior design. Like Donald Draper to a blonde I gravitated to Mid Century Modern.  I love love love this part of design history for so many reasons. A couple of which I will discuss today. More will most likely come later. 

1. It was the incorporation of Scandinavian influences into Western industrialisation, and the progression of the Art Deco movement into a new thing.  I find the history of design so fascinating. 

2. It was a pivotal turning point for interior design as a profession. (Ah, that’s good. Now I get to do this!)

3. I love a good rounded corner.

4. Just watch a few seasons of Mad Men to see all it’s visual poetry in motion. 

This lovely poster I made really doesn’t do this magnificent era any justice, I just picked a few of my favourite bits about it and represented that in 2D. There is so much more in depth and interesting information about how these trends came about, the history and progression of design in this time, and the key designers that made it happen.  People like Charles and Ray Eames carved out an innovative path with their designs and other creative work, which continues to influence designers and interiors. 

This is in no way a full representation of my appreciation for Mid Century Modern and all it entails. But it is a token of my respect and love for a flippin’ amazing timeframe! 

 

Mid Century Modern Poster-01

 

A Geometric Wolf Sculpture. It is every bit as cool as it sounds.

This is possibly one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Do you agree?! It might be because I’ve got a bit of a thing for geometric animals at the moment. I’m working on some projects of my own that involve some. And when I come across things like this, it fuels my somewhat hipsterish excitement.  I know, I get pretty excited about amazing creativity and well executed designs, but this wolf by Arran Gregory is beyond cool. Just take a moment to enjoy it’s elegance and dominating presence.

Mirror Wolf

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2012/08/mirrored-animal-sculptures-by-arran-gregory/

Design Moodboard – Hinterland Retreat

I love working on mood boards. Who wouldn’t love dreaming about colour schemes, furniture, lighting and spaces, and putting it all together in one place to create a design direction. This is one I worked on a few months ago for a small assignment. The brief was to decorate a modern and natural retreat for a couple, in the Australian bush. Here’s what I came up with.

I wanted to provide integration of the natural environment into the open and spacious home, with natural materials, warm colours and plenty of texture. I based the colour scheme around a beautiful artwork of native Australian flower the Desert Pea. Orange, green and brown form the basis for this warm and inviting retreat, tied in with stone and timber, and some organic shapes that marry inside and outside; the surrounding natural environment.

Bush Retreat

Designer Home Items to Rock Your Socks.

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the beauty and design that people are capable of. Something in my belly fires up when I see objects, rooms and furniture that is innovative, interesting, functional and beautiful. It must mean I’m in the right industry! Here is a collection of things that have been churning my tummy with excitement lately.

Trans-form-it. 

transformit couch2transformit couch

Our spaces are getting smaller, we move around A LOT, and  transport costs are getting more expensive. This furniture innovation is an absolute genius way to address some of these pressing issues.

This couch is just one of a few key furniture items design by Australian designer Nora Kinnunen.  It’s creativity like this that really floats my boat.

The Isla Rug by Joa Herrenknecht.

“Growing triangles and squares together into an island of handwoven wool”

Joa Herrenknect Rug

Oh. My. Goodness. Doesn’t the description just make you want to weep with joy?  German design studio Joa Herrenknecht recently shared their new range of beautiful objects at the Salone Satellite in Milan, April 2013. This floor covering is the most delightful and amazing thing I have seen for some time. It’s modern, colourful, fun, unique, interesting….oh I could go on.

At this point in time it’s not even being manufactured, and that makes me want to weep with sadness. I just want one. So bad.

Slab Homewares

Clock2

There is something so cool about concrete. It’s gritty and edgy, raw and industrial. Polished concrete floors have made a real statement in modern design, but Slab Homewares have taken things further, and make a whole range of products from this humble material, including lighting, clocks, jewellery, furniture and even clothing! Have a look at their website for some really unique home accessories.