Wednesday, 22 June 2011

California Dreamin'

Have you ever recognised someone, not from their face, or name, but by their apartment?....well, that's exactly what happened to me last month when I picked up a copy of Elle Decor.

Hmmm...I thought to myself, Michael De Perno...that name kinda rings a bell, but I couldn't place it. I don't quite know what it was that jogged my memory - lord knows some days I have trouble remembering my own name...but for some reason I had an Aha! moment and pulled out my very first kept issue of Elle Decor from May 2001 (almost exactly ten years earlier), and there it was, on page 214, Michael De Perno's classic 1920's LA apartment.

At the time the article was published I was living in a tiny apartment in Tokyo and De Perno's apartment was great daydreaming fodder. It was light, airy, full of real furniture (I barely owned any at that stage) and I loved the classic details of the house. I also loved the mix of furniture, we had barely begun to buy the Japanese antiques we now own (in storage in Australia nonetheless), and I was intrigued by how he had put it all together.

Fast forward ten years down the track (where the hell did all that time go?) and De Perno's new abode is still providing me with daydream fodder, except that now I'm living in a tiny apartment in Hong Kong. His new house is much more modern, and it seems his style has evolved in a similar way that mine has. I'm glad to see he has retained much of his furniture....(I think thats partly what helped me recognise the house as his)...a Japanese tansu here, a chest of drawers there, its still a nice mix. While the architecture of the house has changed, the overal aesthetic has not. Its still light and airy and I think that - along with the fabulous sense of indoor-outdoor living - is what I'm day dreamin' about most.

Michael De Perno's previous home, photographed by Jeremy Samuelson for Elle Decor back in May 2001.

De Perno's new abode, photographed by Laura Resen for Elle Decor June 2011.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

BRAT @ The Landmark

FYI Hong Kongers...

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Hotel Bel-Air

The Legendary Hotel Bel-Air is re-openining in October this year after 24 months of extensive redesign and refurbishment, and I am very excited to be able to share some images with you before it even opens!

The design of the hotel has been a collaborative effort between two design teams - Alexandra Champalimaud and Rockwell Group - both internationally renowned and responsible for some of the most amazing hospitality spaces.

Both firms have taken great care to keep much of the hotel’s originality, restoring the most beloved iconic elements while adding contemporary touches. The familiar Spanish Colonial architecture splashed in “Bel-Air Pink” is still present while a new Bel-Air aesthetic has been introduced in a fresh, youthful and elegant manner.

The Hotel will re-open with 12 new accomodations built into the hillside offering sweeping canyon views, expansive sliding glass walls, outdoor fireplaces and spacious decks with private infinity edge spa pools. The original 103 guest rooms will re-open with larger bathrooms and heated floors. In addition, seven specialty suites which have been individually designed - including the famous Grace Kelly suite and a new Presidential Suite compound with 6,775 square feet of indoor and outdoor living space. This suite will offer private dining for 10, a chef’s kitchen, a study, great room with grand piano, and a private pool located within a private Spanish courtyard. Sounds very Presidential indeed!

Lobby area

The Canyon-view Suite


Spa Loft

Relaxation Room

Presidential Suite

Presidential Suite Bathroom

In celebration of the opening, Hotel Bel-Air has launched a Facebook promotion and is giving away a three night stay, $500 dining credit, $500 La Prairie Spa credit AND an autographed Wolfgang Puck cookbook! All you have to do to enter the contest is become a fan of Hotel Bel-Air on Facebook before October 15th, 2011. Fingers crossed, and good luck to us all...(I wouldn't mind a trip to LA!) ;)

All images care of Champalimaud Design

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Splendid Spina's pretty passamenterie

I think I've had a closet fascination for passamenterie ever since I found out the meaning of the word...about 15 years ago. My love for passamenterie has meant I've tried to use them in my projects whenever I could, but the lack of more modern designs tended to limit their use to more traditional style interiors, until quite recently. A great tie-back or tassel, in my opinion, is like jewellery for a room. In the same way a knock-out necklace can make an average outfit look a million bucks, a jazzy little tassel will give a curtain or a window just a little more pizazz.

There are not many passamenterie companies left in the world who still hand make their products, but Spina (of the UK) is one of the few remaining and I've had my eye on them for a while. Not only are they making great contemporary designs, but they're making them with unusual and luxurious materials. Their latest collection "Temari" uses eggshells, hand-woven rattan amongst others, and prevoius collections have made use coral, crystal, goose and ostrich feathers, mother of pearl, semi precious stones and Mink fur!

Check out the latest collection...

Threading on Eggshells Tie-back

Hand-woven Rattan Tie-back

Black Temari Tie-back

Now Spina is lending their crafty skills to embellishing cushions....

Assorted cushions from the Embellished collection>

the lovely "Coronet" cushion

and the lovely "Blossom" cushion

To die for. I think I'll take one of each thanks....

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


David Collins Studio has done it again! Their latest project is "Massimo" located in the brand new five star Corinthia Hotel, which opened at the end of April. The restaurant is named after the Roman chef Massimo Riccioli who will bring his signature cooking to London for the very first time.

The design was inspired by the beauty of the late Victorian building, and mixes English architectural references with classical Italian styling.

The overall mood of relaxed elegance has been created throughout the space using a stunning colour combination colour of black, white and rich green. The details that David Collins Studio is renowned for are definitely on show here, and many of Collins' signature luxury materials have been used to their best advantage - timbers, marbles, leathers and glassware sourced from around the world.

In addition, David Collins was very keen that the design reflect the exquisite simplicity of Massimo’s cooking, commenting: "Our vision was to make this restaurant simple, informal, enjoyable and beautiful – as always translating words into reality is a journey, and this journey has been exciting and fun."

Its definitely a winner in my book, and will be high on my list of restaurants to check out on my next trip to London (which, with another wedding coming up, might not be that far away!)

Photograph by Richard Powers, care of David Collins Studio