Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Ilse Crawford for Georg Jensen

I'm loving these new designs by Ilse Crawford for Georg Jensen. The "precious" collection consists of bowls, vases, boxes and a candle holder, available in luxe finishes like brass (my current fave, as seen in the images below), copper or stainless steel. Each piece is as refined as the next, and have been designed with the idea of bringing poetry to everyday living. I think I need one of each!

Monday, 24 October 2011

antipodean abodes

Another new book to be released just in time for Xmas is INTERIORS: Australia and New Zealand by Mitchell Oakley Smith (with a foreword by David Clark - editor of Vogue Living Australia).

INTERIORS presents a broad snapshot of the contemporary Australian and New Zealand home, as told through over 30 of the industry's leading practitioners. From coastal retreats and ecologically sustainable farmhouses, to renovated Victorian terraces and contemporary city penthouses, the variety of projects showcased reflects the region’s architectural and design diversity. The highly-regarded work of established design practices is richly illustrated through detailed photography and extensive profiles. INTERIORS contains over 200 colour images and the industry leaders’ inside spots for the best design, furniture and art around the world. A detailed directory provides contacts for the interior designers and architects responsible for the projects featured in the book.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to ask the author Mitchell Oakley Smith a few questions about the book and how one begins to start when you have such an enormous amount of great work to chose from...

What was the inspiration behind this book?
Interest in design is undeniably on the rise. People are spending more time at home, perhaps a result of multimedia engagement and accessibility, or maybe a post-GFC era of reduced spending. Social and economic climate aside, the television programs, magazines, blogs and events dedicated to interiors and architecture indicate our focus is firmly on residence: the place in which we rest, nest and spend our leisure time. I created Interiors in response to this change with the aim of creating a tangible record of the current period in Australia and New Zealand's design history.

How long did it take you to compile all the information in the book?
Unlike my first book, and maybe because of it, this book didn't take too long to put together. It took 8 months in total.

How did you decide which designers/projects to feature and which not to?
There's over 30 designers featured in the book. When I began, I created an extensive list of every designer working in the region and gradually edited down to those I believe are making a unique and creative contribution to the industry today. Of the projects featured, the criteria was that they are relatively contemporary and represent the designers' work.

What particularly about Australian and New Zealand interiors do you think is unique and different to the rest of the world?
Our local form of design, as made apparent by the book and its subjects, is to serve the population's lifestyle needs: efficiency, security and a desire for the outdoors and indoors to be seamlessly connected. The use of elemental building materials, including concrete, steel, timber and glass, create an interesting aesthetic, raw and yet refined. This is further defined by a penchant for partial enclosures and for a connection to the surrounding landscape. Unlike other regions, Australia and New Zealand have not been bound by history or specific design traditions. Instead, there has been a freedom to cherry pick elements from around the world. The aesthetic of local interior design is one as broad as the region's cultural diversity. There is BKH's cool mishmash of Modernish and decoration, contrasting the relaxed grandeur of Thomas Hamel & Associates, the architectural innovation and commitment to landscape and sustainability of Patterson Associates, and the finely crafted whimsy of Hecker Guthrie.

What changes have you seen in the way Australians and New Zealanders design and decorate their homes in the last decade, and what changes do you anticipate for the future?
In Sydney alone, the next 20 years will see the addition of over 600,000 dwellings on top of an existing 1.2 million. If Australians weren't building houses three times the size of the British average, this wouldn't pose such a significant problem. Fortunately, design institutions are producing graduates of a high calibre and teaching curriculums that emphasise environmental sustainability. Hopefully, in the near future, green design will cease to be an optional, costly extra, but rather a seamlessly integrated element of contemporary architecture and design.

Designer David Hicks Residence Melbourne, Victoria

Designer Hare & Klein Residence Coledale New South Wales

Makes me proud to be an aussie!

INTERIORS: Australia and New Zealand will be released next month by Thames & Hudson, and will retail for AUD $79.95.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Be still my heart

Purple lacquered library by Haynes-Roberts, photographed by William Waldron for Elle Decor Nov 2011. There are no words...

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Absolute perfection (again)

I think San Francisco based designer Steven Volpe might just be my new favorite designer. His work ticks all the boxes for me. This particular home, which was featured in the latest US Architectural Digest, is amazing. I'm personally not keen on the faux neo-classical outside of the building, but Volpe has updated the inside of it perfectly. The interior is clean and minimal and every last detail has been distilled down to its very essence.

Let's start with the entry. Imagine coming home through those doors every night..!? They're heavenly. As is the Anish Kapoor sculpture (on the right), and the Ado Chale table (centre)...and the list goes on...

The dining room, with its Zaha Hadid dining table, is stunning in its simplicity. Interestingly though, the artwork in this image is different to the piece photographed for the AD shoot. I think I prefer this piece...what do you think?

And then there's the lounge. I love the minimal detail around the inset bookshelves. Is that bronze? The shot of colour at the back is simple but effective. And if you're going to have a billiard table, why not have one restored from 1915... seriously, I think I'm in love.

Photos from Steven Volpe's website, feature in AD was photographed by Pieter Estersohn.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

El Casco

Any of you who read this blog on a semi regular basis will be familiar with my current obsession with all things brass, and (or especially) desk accessories. I recently stumbled upon the Spanish brand El Casco which is stocked in Hong Kong by Papyrus. They have a pretty big selection of desk top accessories in different finishes, but of course it was the brass that caught my eye. Actually, its a gold finish, which normally would make me go into convulsions, but I think in the right space it would look amazing. Anyhow, I splurged and picked myself up a tape dispenser and some scissors. They are definitely a little more gold than the other bits and pieces I've got, but I'm kinda hoping they'll tarnish a little over time. I'm still thinking about the hole punch and stapler from their range...I like the look of them but am wondering if it might look more fun to have more of a mix on my desk.

Don't let these images fool you, they're a little dated looking, but in real life I think they're quite stunning!

* NB the El Casco range is also available in Hong Kong in the new Harvey Nichols store in Pacific Place!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Exotic Taste

"Exotic Taste: Orientalist Interiors" by Emmanuelle Gaillard with photography by Marc Walter is a must for the library of anyone interested in orientalism, chinoiserie, and all things exotic. This subject matter is a little close to my heart having lived in Asia for almost 9 years, and my recent trip to India that still occupies my thoughts. Starting with the arts of China and Japan, moving to the magnificence of India and then on to the splendour of the Near East, "Exotic Taste" beautifully illustrates the arts of each region. Over 200 colour photographs and illustrations of exuberant interiors, elaborately patterned fabrics and wallpapers, intricate decorative objects, and incredible costumes. I think this book will prove to be inspiring time and time again.

In the interests of full disclosure I was sent a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher, Vendome Press. And while I'm thrilled to bits to be sent books for review, in all seriousness this is one I would definitely go out and buy.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Orlando Diaz-Azcuy

This, just in case y'all were wondering, is what I've been obsessing over this week (wouldn't want to leave you hanging!). Orlando Diaz-Azcuy fabulousness from Veranda magazine. Add a dash of colour and I could move right on in.