Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nerd Chic

Ctrl Alt Del Cushions  Image via Design Squish
Ok, I confess, I'm a total nerd deep down and The Big Bang Theory is one of my favourite TV shows.  If you have a Leonard or Wolowitz in your life, these cushions may just be the perfect present.  In addition to satisfying your nerd styling, they are also eco friendly with Design Squish focusing on green products.  These cushions are made from recycled felt.

Lovely Letters

Image via
My friend Dannielle sent me through this link this morning and I thought I'd share it with you.  Dannielle has impeccable taste as these stick on letters are just divine.  They are from Syndey based duo Michel Ravid and Jessie Kotzen who have formed the business of Mooza Designs.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shabby Chic in Soho

Meandering through the lovely streets of  Soho, I was beyond excited to spot Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic storefront.  Shabby Chic is a term so entrenched in our current vernacular, that many are actually unaware of how it was born and of Rachel Ashwell, it's pioneer.  Of course, not those of you savvy enough to be reading this blog, but there are those out there! The term was coined in 1989 when Rachel opened her first store in Santa Monica, California. 

I was still in high school at the time and had no plans or inclination towards interiors and design, yet I still remember being excited by this new phase of design which embraced the old and beautiful and paired it with washed out pastel colours and crisp white backgrounds.  It was such a change to the bold brash style of the 80's and I loved it.  I've always been drawn to the romantacism of this style and it's a true testament to its popularity that over twenty years on, Shabby Chic continues to remain a strong design influence.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I love New York - Anthropologie

If you go to New York, a visit to Anthropologie is a must.  Their stores are a visual feast.  They have some very talented visual merchandisers and/or stylists working for them.  The style is eclectic meets vintage with a dash of Moroccan thrown in, but however you describe it, it is definitely cool.  I managed to pass three stores whilst there, so you are bound to run into one.  The most popular is the one located across from the Rockerfeller Centre, however I prefered the one in Soho.  I think it was the small details that I loved best such as the cashier desks which where repurposed wooden school desks.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Loving New York Design with Jonathan Adler

Images of the Jonathan Adler shop in Soho
I'm finally back from my wonderful trip to New York and Hawaii.  I am so excited to share it all with you and there were so many beautiful things that it was hard to know where to start.  I've chosen Jonathan Adler as I really loved his shop and the people that work there were also lovely.  We had a great conversation about Australian design compared to American design.  My first impression with American interior design is all about colour and the wonderful way they use it.  They are not afraid!  My opinion is that a lot of Australian design (not all) is very neutral and reflective of our natural environment.  Perhaps because New York is very grey with all the buildings, New Yorkers love to use vibrant colour.

Jonathan Adler's shop in Soho (I also went past the one in Greenwich Village) is a joy to walk into.  His use of colour is second to none.  The bold retro inspired designs were refreshing and fun, yet still contemporary and sophisticated.  Take your cue from New York and have a bit of fun with colour - it can really lift your mood.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Homework Habits

Asymmetrical Balance

Symmetrical Balace
Abstract Furniture
Geometric Furniture
I've been flat out with homework these past couple of weeks as I've had to try and finish it all before I head off on my trip.  These are some examples of the work I have been doing.  It was really fun to do the symmetrical and asymmetrical boards.  I have always been drawn to symmetrical designs but after completing this assignment, I'm starting to like the flavour of asymmetry.

The other two images are snippets of our assignment on point, line and shape.  Please excuse the attempt at drawings - it's never been my strong point, but I guess that's why I'm back at school!  This is another basic design principle that is really useful tool.  I really like how this subject is making me more aware of how design actually works and it helps to understand why you like or do not like particular design schemes.

I'm off overseas in a day, so this will be my last post for a little while (unless I get my hands on a computer over there).  Stay safe and I can't wait to share all my discoveries in New York and Hawaii with you.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

He's done it again!

Image via
David Collins, the master of luxury design, has created another masterpiece.  This is the Bassoon Bar at the Corinthia Hotel in London.  I'm loving the circular patterned roof - it's spectacular.  One Kir Royale please bartender....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Children's Rooms

Designer: Reed & Delphine Krakoff
Photo: Reed Krakoff

Designer: Mari Ann & Michael Maher
Photo: William Abranowicz

Designer: Steven Gambrel
Photo: Eric Piasecki

Designer: Anne-Marie Middy & Jorge Almada
Photo: Simon Upton

All images are via Elle Decor
Designing children's rooms can be tricky business.  A common mistake made, often when new parents discover they are expecting, is to design and decorate a child's room only for their immediate requirements.  The result is a charming baby's room that is quickly outgrown.  You can still infuse age appropriate decoration in your child's or baby's room, but it's important to keep the basics age neutral so that the room can grow with the child.

The above images of boys rooms demonstrate this successful application of design.  Whilst they are all undoubtedly children's rooms, the window furnishings, flooring and major furniture pieces will last throughout the years.  Use framed pictures, bed linen and decorative items that your children love to bring personality to their room. 

Those Thomas the Tank Engine curtains may look cute in the store and pull at your heart strings, but your three year old will quickly out grow Thomas and both of you will rue your choice in the future!

I am currently working on a design for my friend Dannielle's little girl who is three.  We are keeping the all the basics neutral but injecting personality with simple things like paint (we have done some fun horizontal stripes), fairy wings hung on the wall and Tinkerbell toys framed in shadow boxes.  I have recommended some gorgeous mirrored bedside tables that will last her well into her teenage years, but also work with her current juvenile scheme.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Loving Our City

The Block Arcade & Haighs Chocolates
Image via

Tiffany, Collins St
Image via

Degraves St
Image via

David Jones Food Hall
(Megan Gale was disappointingly not there yesterday)
Image via The Age, picture by Angela Whylie

Il Papiro Firenze

I spent a lovely day in the city yesterday with my four year old son.  After looking at Sibella Court's fabulous book on New York, it got me thinking about our gorgeous city of Melbourne.  What are my favourite places to see in town?  I had limited time yesterday as I had to be back for school pick up for my other son, but with a few lazy hours in the city (of which half was spent in public toilets - those of you with kids will understand!), there were some essential places to be visited.

First stop was Tiffany to check out the newly refurbished store.  Oh my goodness.  This was absolutely breathtaking.  I think that I may have to do a separate post on this one to fully inform you of its magnificence!  It is an absolute must if you are in the city.  Even if you have no interest in buying anything from the store, go in just to ogle the opulent design.  Hand blown Venetian glass chandeliers, perfectly styled little nooks, soaring ceilings and wait for it....the perfect sofas that I have been looking for!  For those of you that know about my search for the perfect sofa, it will not surprise you that I found them at Tiffany.

After the excitement of Tiffany, I needed to calm down so if was off to The Block Arcade for a coffee and indulgence (that I could afford).  The Block Arcade has to be one of my favourite places in the city.  It's architecture, sounds and smells just take me to another place.  We had a lovely coffee and people watched for a while, but then I just couldn't resist the temptation of Haighs Chocolates.

When I worked in the city, I regularly frequented this divine chocolate haven.  They have now expanded the store into three shopfronts (chocolate is big business) and their products still do not disappoint.  When my little angel was having a tantrum over which chocolate to buy, the sales assistant just smiled and calmly put a handful of complimentary chocolate buttons in a bag for him, saving both of us.

Still on food, our next stop was the food emporium at David Jones.  This place is just a foodies paradise.  Every type of gourmet desire is catered for.  My friend Dannielle and I can spend hours here - just oohing and ahhing over the pretty food packaging.

Last stop of my whirlwind city escape is Degraves St.  It's cool, it's busy, it's quirky and it's worth a visit.  It is so urban with the graffitied walls, exposed rubbish bins (sounds nice huh - but somehow it works), cobble stoned street and sea of bistro chairs.  The little shops in this street make you feel like you have discovered something special that no-one else knows about.  Have a look in Il Papiro for elegant Italian designer papers and a cosy European little store design.