homewares

Property Styling – Norman Park Luxury

I have been working hard with Signature Property Styling over the last few months. This job is a particular stand out one for us, which we did for Paula Pearce at Place Bulimba. In her words we had “an impossible task in an impossible timeframe”. (more…)

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Property Styling – A beach side Queenslander

I had the privilege of working with a designer friend Lindsay Southwell from Signature Property Styling on this project last week. Our very first job, this home is a gorgeous, light, airy Queenslander at Wynnum West, that we staged for sale in Brisbane. (more…)

Eclectic Living Spaces

I am working on a project right now that needs to be eclectically decorated, which is why I’ve been investigating this design style recently. The key to eclectic is having a strong common denominator. So, you can gather a range of items, but they must have something in common. For example, a particular colour could be the dominating design feature, texture can make the design feature by having a variety of it, or a particular type of line or shape throughout the room.  The most common connecting factor I find in photos of eclectic design is colour. It’s an easy one to choose, because people often inadvertently gravitate to particular colours, and find themselves with a whole lot of things that mesh well into a scheme by colour.  I’ve been searching one of my favourite sources of inspiration… http://www.houzz.com. Here are a few photos I found, that mainly have colour as their design element.

I’m such a sucker for the eclectic-frames-on-the-wall look. I just love it. It’s such a good way to collate a range of interesting photos and art and other items, and looks really attractive in the right room. The high ceilings in this room are good because too many things on a shorter wall can look too cluttered.

The cool colours and raw concrete of this room would be the perfect work or sitting space in our hot Brisbane climate. I love the simple mixture of frames, and a plant on the table is such an easy way to spruce up the room. It provides necessary oxygen too!

This modern styled room is eclectic, but not cluttered. The limited colour palette allows varying patterns and shapes to bring life and vibrancy to the room.

How much fun is this room! It’s vibrant, comfortable, light and refreshing. I love that it looks loved and easy to live in.

Connected by black and white and grey, with splashes of colour, this small loft space has been divided into zones by texture and varying styles. It may feel somewhat cluttered and busy to some, but it certainly feels well lived in and interesting.

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. 

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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

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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.

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.

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.

Want a designer website? 5 fabulous Australian examples.

Interior designers’ websites and blogs are some of my favourite places to poke around. They are a great place to find inspiration and trends. Today I looked at the layout of some websites themselves, to identify the design principles they’ve used, and what they might speak to customers. This is a small collection of popular blogs and design houses in Brisbane and Melbourne; some of my current favourite inspiration.

Wrightson Stewart Interior Design – Brisbane

www.wrightsonstewart.com.au

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This layout uses simple clean lines, with minimal colour. The image is the focal point, which features any colour, texture and pattern. The balance is asymmetrical, with use of rhythm with the page menu, and the numbers on the project pages.

The dominating image communicates confidence that their work speaks for itself, and the rotating image showcases their experience. You can get a sense of whether or not you like their work, within a few seconds of being on the site. This is important, because the average time spent on any given web page is about 10 seconds.

The profile blurb is very professional sounding, with plenty of lovely words to attract the corporate professional for their home or office project.

Wrightson Stewart’s work has an industrial feel, with a masculine edge to it. Their work on the Tenneriffe apartment is highly acclaimed, and some of my personal favourite at the moment! Be sure to check out their photo galleries.

Highgate House – Brisbane interior designers and decorators.

www.highgatehouse.com.au

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This site is a similar style to Wrightson Stewart in it’s minimalist approach to the website itself. Black and white is such a classic colour combo, communicating a sense of timelessness. The front image is even bigger on this site, really dominating and showcasing the work, offering visual variety on a clean background. There is use of line and shape in the profile page, creating an asymmetrical balance with image and text. A photo of the owner, Leigh Boswell is a lovely personal touch, mainly because she looks so happy and friendly. The interiors are warm and inviting, with a seamless mix of classic and modern. The entire site exudes feminine warmth, while maintaining a professional edge.

The Design Files – Blog

www.designfiles.net

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The Design Files front page features the latest post, which in this blog always dominates with an image. (We are finding a theme here!) The colours are minimal, slightly contrasting the white with grey. A pop of yellow breaks up the sparsity with an element of fun.

This blog is an inspirational resource for designers of all kinds. There is something new and wonderful every day, showcasing talents and crafts of all kinds.

There is a great use of minimal colour for separating categories. The watermelon colour continues throughout anything relating to ‘Retail’, and other categories have their own colours. It brings a sense of organisation, and professionalism. Overall it’s a really simple and well organised format, again, highlighting the real feature… the design.

Bloom Interior Design – Melbourne

www.bloominteriordesign.com.au

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Melbourne Design firm Bloom stands out, because they have worked out a cute and sneaky strategy to make you delve further in.

The home page, is completely black and white, changing images included. This immediately stands out from all the other sites, because it’s very unusual in a designers context. It makes me curious, and as you enter into the project page, and accidentally scroll over one of the gorgeous images, it comes to life with colour!

Amazing use of tone, and colour. Line is dominating in the Project section with a perfect grid of thumbnails that make you want to see more of the room.

Again, it is a relatively minimalist website design, but the wax seal ‘B’ is an organic and classic logo style as a break from the clinical white.

The font style is simplistic and nicely spaced.

Shannon Fricke – Blog

http://www.shannonfricke.com

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Shannon Fricke is an interior designer and stylist, with a list of recogniseable work a mile long. Her blog website is very feminine and delicate, and really easy to navigate. The offerings are simple, and accessible through a short line of menu items. There is more colour to this site than some of the others, but it is all pastel and slight.

Again, it is visually dominant information, but there is a use of large font size, in almost a graphical way, to communicate sections and pages simply.

A really fun and lovely website, it is casual, comfortable and eclectic.