Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Festivus for the rest of us!

I'll be taking a few weeks break over the festive season to enjoy the cooler weather, some mulled wine, lots of cooking at home with friends, and perhaps more mulled wine. Enjoy folks, and see you in 2013!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

in search of the perfect cuppa....continued

I found myself an early Xmas present yesterday while out running errands.  Anyone who reads this blog knows I'm a bit of a tea fan.  So I was definitely a little thrilled when I saw this darling little package on the shelves of Kapok in Wan Chai.  As you also know, I'm a bit of a sucker for nice packaging, which is why this caught my eye. Upon further investigation though, it turns out Steven Smith tea is more than just a pretty face, its also a producer of artisanal small batch teas. I picked myself up a box of the Kandy No. 23 blend (above), and was a tiny bit disappointed that they were tea bags (although still full leaf and very high quality)...I do love to brew a nice pot.  A bit of further investigation on their website and it seems they do also sell loose leaf tea...I'm just not sure if it's available in Hong Kong.  They're based in Portland, Oregon and have a very cute looking shop front, however for the rest of us they do also ship overseas. Will someone put the kettle on for me?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Luggage Room

On a corner of the Grosvenor Square Hotel, in the space that used to store guest luggage, is a hidden gem of a bar called...The Luggage Room.  Designed by Fabled Studio, the interior is inspired by classic luggage trunk details and the infamous Bentley Boys of the 1920’s who won the Le Mans race and were renowned for their all night parties on Grosvenor Square.

This is the kind of space that you just need to see in person to appreciate, its so full of thoughtful details and references to the history of the space that I'm sure these photos don't do it justice. 

Tom Strother, Design Director of Fabled Studio says of the space; "Crafted to charm and delight our Mayfair bar has a nod towards the nostalgia for the past with its feet firmly in the present.”

I must say, I think they've executed their intent perfectly, and I now must add this to the growing number of places to visit on my next visit to London!

The finish of the upper walls is somewhat visible here, they have been lined with silk moire, a material that was historically used to line the inside of trunks from Louis Vuitton and Moynat.  What is not so visible unfortunately is the lower walls have a leather dado, and below that a custom embossed and screen printed leather with aged timber ribs, inspired by the protective exterior carcass of old luggage trunks.

All of the furniture was custom designed and made for the space; each of the tables have the initials of one of the Bentley Boys monogrammed on them in the style of luggage monograms.  The metal window screens are inspired by vintage Bentley radiator grilles.

The bar back is crafted from Sapele wood with dusky pink silk velvet and satin ribbon diamond recesses - reminiscent of the Goyard trunks that are plain on the outside but explode with colour on the inside, giving you an unexpected suprise when opened.

Photography by Steve Ryan, care of Fabled Studio.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

BODW12 - Daniel Liebeskind

Its not often you come across someone who has pretty much crystallized every seemingly disparate thought you've ever had into something profound and meaningful. I had that moment last week though when I heard architect Daniel Libeskind present and had the opportunity to interview him.

I think it was Goethe who said "I call architecture frozen music", and had he been alive today he may have been referring to the work of Studio Libeskind. Polish-born Libeskind was actually a virtuoso musician before he became an architect. He believes both art forms share a great deal in common, being crafted with perceptible and imperceptible human energy, and being partly ethereal.

His studio is responsible for some of the most iconic urban landmarks worldwide, including; the ground zero master plan NYC, the military history museum in Dresden, Jewish museum in Berlin, the Run Run Shaw creative media centre in Hong Kong, and numerous other commercial, residential and cultural buildings.

Libeskind's presentation covered seven of his projects under segments entitled; Hand, Expressive, Heritage, Sculpture, Dialogue, Diversity and Rebirth.  But it was during the group interview that he impressed me the most. Libeskind is an artist, a poet, and a philosopher.  And I would have liked to have sat and talked with him for hours.

He touched upon a topic that has been on my mind a lot recently, that the built environment has a great impact on the mental health and well being of it's occupants.  We are living in an age where we are becoming more and more aware and concerned about our health, our food and where it comes from, and its nutritional content.  I can only hope that in the future far greater importance will be placed on the impact of our physical surroundings. Where we live, where we work, and how we get around.

When asked about Hong Kong specifically, Libeskind called it a "daring" city, and suggested that its planners and designers needed also be daring. That the city should not just be a portfolio piece for starchitects, but that it needs to be more inventive, and perhaps a take some risks.  Hong Kong is no long a city that trades goods, it now trades ideas, so a quantum shift is perhaps needed to get us into a new era, adding that cities that don't make space for creative people have no future...  

Monday, 10 December 2012

Business Of Design Week 2012 - Ilse Crawford

Business of Design Week this year (my 8th year in a row now...) kicked off for me with an old favorite, Ilse Crawford.

Ilse Crawford needs no introduction to you my dear readers. Founding editor of Elle Decoration magazine (UK), interior and product designer, lecturer at the Eindhoven Design Academy. A woman of many talents and accolades. But then, you knew that, didn't you...

I had the chance to have a quick chat with Crawford before her presentation, and as this was my first "real" interview, I was a tad nervous.  My nerves were quickly assuaged however, as she comes across as being very down to earth, humble, and interesting. Very interesting. 

Crawford is fascinated by human behaviour, and how we are affected by our surroundings. So much so, that she made "emotive design" the mantra of her studio, and has travelled the world championing this ethos. She believes (as do I) that successful interiors allow us to live, thrive, engage and be energised.

Crawford's presentation is entitled "Why Interiors Matter" and she talks to the audience for 30mins about how a good interior can, and should, change how we behave and feel. Interiors are a microcosm of society, a frame, a world unto themselves and have a profound effect on our mental outlook, health and behaviour, but are often overlooked, or the left to the end when there is insufficient budget.

At the end, a question from the audience sparked an almost rhetorical response from Crawford. Everyone these days thinks they're an interior designer. (Personally, if I have one more person tell me they think they have a calling just because they like to rearrange their furniture, or because they've helped a friend buy cushions, I'm going to quit, or give them a job!) Crawford's insight: everyone thinks they're an expert in interiors. But do we tell the chef in a restaurant to change things more to our liking? Do we tell a lawyer we didn't like their closing statement? Better yet, do we argue with a doctors verdict? Disagree with a structural engineer? (Or try and negotiate with any of these other service providers on their fees?). It's a good point.

The success of Studio Ilse's latest project in Hong Kong, a low rise residential development - 226 Hollywood Rd (which I posted about here) - in my opinion, is a victory for all Hong Kongers. In a city where most residential developments are quite homogenous, hyper dense and high rise, 226 is a shining beacon. The developers - Blake's - took a risk. They are the new kids on the property development block, and apparently several other old-school developers who are mentors told them it would never work. All of the apartments sold within weeks. Admittedly there were only half a dozen or so, but I think it still proves a point.  That there is room for differentiation in a city like Hong Kong.

Crawford reiterated that a designer can only be as good as their client allows, and hopefully the courage and tenacity of this developer will be an example to other property developers around the world. To take risks, to do something out of the norm, and to help play their part in making our cities more livable and more attractive, for us and future generations. Buildings last a long time.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

HK happenings...

There's lots happening in the concrete jungle I call home this week...Business of Design Week is on, which is where I'll be at this Saturday. But for the rest of you, get on down to the POHO bazaar in the hip neighbourhood of Po Hing Fong and surrounds. While you're down there, head into the new Eclectic Cool store and say hello to proprietor Joanne - and check out the Studio Annetta lamps she has on display!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

New and noted...

If you've stumbled down Elgin street recently in Hong Kong's SOHO, you would have noticed Alfred Lam's new pop-up store, L'sWhere.  Lam, an ex-employee of David Collins, has opened a store in HK that in my opinion, has been a long time coming.  Its a complete treasure trove of goodies, and I would like one of each for Xmas please...hint, hint!

 L'sWhere, G/F 8 Elgin Street, SOHO, Hong Kong

Saturday, 1 December 2012


Have you seen the new re-editions of Gio Ponti furniture by Molteni & Co. yet? I'm totally digging the D.153.1 chair, especially the brass know I can't get enough of it (still)!  I think I need one of these...

Available in Hong Kong through Louve Gallery.

Friday, 30 November 2012


Still stuck in London this week, figuratively speaking anyway (maybe its the grey skies and bad weather in Hong Kong ?)  This time with UK based founding editor of Elle Decoration magazine, Ilse Crawford.  Her latest project, the Ett Hem hotel in Stockholm is just lovely.  Created with the mix of new and old that Crawford is known for, and infused with a sense of timelessness. Each of the 12 rooms is slightly different, the library is full of books and a piano, the kitchen is cosy and homely. All adding up to a hotel that looks and feels more like a home than a hotel, which I'm sure was the intention of the designer and hotelier.  It will definitely be high on my list of places to stay if I ever make it back to Stockholm.

How great does that bath tub look??

Speaking of Ilse Crawford, she herself will be speaking in Hong Kong next week at the annual Business of Design week, and I for one am looking forward to it.  I saw her speak in Australia just after she left Elle Decoration (must be more than 10yrs ago now?) and she was already talking about emotive design then, so it will be very interesting to hear how her design process and outlook has developed.  I'll be going to BODW with a media pass this year for the first time and am hoping to interview a few of the speakers, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

London talent

With an impressive roster of prestigious projects under his belt already, Aristos Migliaressis-Phocas of A.M.P. interiors, is definitely one to watch. Born and raised in Athens, and coming from a background in Finance, Aristos is now based in London and creates elegant, sophisticated bespoke interiors for clients worldwide.
Aristos derives his inspiration from his travels, the places he visits and the people he meets.  His busy schedule has found him in Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Sydney, Berlin, Geneva, Paris, Milan and Athens in just the last 6 months. Good thing he is inspired by travel!

The photos I am very happy to share with you today are of a recently completed 4 bedroom private residence at One Hyde Park, Knightsbridge. Enjoy!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Eclectic Cool

For those of you in Hong Kong that expressed an interest in our lighting collection, you are now able to buy a selection of the designs at the new Eclectic Cool store in Sheung Wan.  One of our lamps is featured in their new catalogue!

Eclectic Cool, G/F 58 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Open 12-6 Wed - Sun.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Social Media

I finally got with the program and joined the 21st century...I finally networked the Studio Annetta blog with our Facebook page and Twitter account. Quite proud of myself, I must say.  This post is just to let you all know you can find us on Facebook where we plan to provide additional content that won't make it to the for those of you that just can't get enough of me hopefully that will sate you!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

This is making me homesick...

Broadsheet. If you're not reading it - you should be.  Even if you're not in Melbourne. Or the rest of Australia, for that matter.  It's so exciting to see all the great stuff going on in my hometown. It gives you the lowdown on all there is to eat, drink, shop and do in the greatest city down under. Totally making me homesick...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Monday morning

a little Monday morning inspiration for you folks...

Love this chic panelling with gold leaf and antique mirror! From Kelly Wearstler's latest book "Rhapsody", cannot wait to get my hands on copy...

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Around Barbara

If you are a fan of the quiet, refined chic that Barbara Barry exudes, like I am, then go check out her newly revamped website. It's divine.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

the Studio Annetta collection

OK, I've held out long enough....its finally time to make an announcement. I am very proud to show you the fruits of my labour...a collection of lighting that has been several years in the making.  I finally got fed up with not being able to find lamp designs for myself and for clients, and after sketching ideas for many years now, I produced a collection of my own!

While the inspirations for the collection are a bit eclectic (they vary from 1930s and 40s French moderne design up to the 1970s and more contemporary in style) the pieces are united by the quality of their materials and their manufacture. Locally-sourced materials (including cast bronze, solid marble, exotic skins, lacquer work and local hardwoods) that give a luxurious feel to each piece, are brought together by the hands of skilled artisans reviving skills that not long ago were dying. Each piece is individually crafted, so every piece is a one of a kind and can be customized in size and material if so desired.  I hope you like!

















For more information or sales enquiries about the lighting collection (trade, retail or otherwise) please contact us at products (@)

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