Monthly Archives: February 2013

Grandeliers win prestigious Discovery Prize in Paris

Tasmanian designer, Loz Abberton, recently won the prestigious Discovery Prize, (Prix des Découvertes) at Maison et Objet in Paris for her Grandeliers. It’s a range of future-friendly design lighting that’s 100% designed and made in Tasmania, Australia. This range of flat-pack pendant lights and lamps is made from certified Tasmanian timbers. The award for Most Impressive New Product was given to the entire range and this great impression is being backed up with an appearance in New York at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May 2013.

GENIES Grandeliers

COTTON Grandeliers

whodidthat.com.au

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Retro Advertising from Formica

The Formica brand celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. But the reason we’re making a point of this is in appreciation of its retro advertising concept. As part of the manufacturer’s celebratory announcement, it’s featured print ads from the 60s and 70s, and that was enough to get us looking! Disregarding all the other info, these classic finds were worthy of a little showing off. Enjoy!

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Formica ad

Formica ad

Formica ad

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Nike Air Huarache OG

Nike Air Huarache OG

Nike Air Huarache OG

After 22 years, the Nike Air Huarache is back! The iconic runner is set to return in two original colourways: white/sport turquoise/university gold, and white/game royal/dynamic pink; being released in very limited runs this Friday February 22.

It’s no surprise to see many of our favourite sneakers from the 80s and 90s remade and marketed as retro re-releases these days. The Nike Air Huarache however, is one style that hasn’t seen a comeback in its original colourway since its debut back in 91.

Brought to life by legendary designer and architect, Tinker Hatfield, the Huarache is inspired by Native American sandals. Its design centres on the interior bootie that’s made from neoprene and spandex to hug the foot similar to that of a sock. It provides superior comfort while being supported by thermoplastic heel counter and strap.

While we’re super pumped to see one of our favourite shoes return, we’re pretty unhappy that Nike has failed to keep the overall shape of the shoe on par with the original. Early pairs show an oversized and rounded toebox, and chunky finish to the shoe. Is this going to stop anyone from trying to get a pair? Probably not.

You’ll be able to find them at Size? and Solebox.

Nike Air Huarache OG

Nike Air Huarache OG

Tinker's Huarache Design Sketch

Tinker’s Huarache Design Sketch

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Why I love Abigail Ahern …

Abigail

Image via The Home magazine

Any minute now, UK designer Abigail Ahern will have to slice herself in half so she can achieve being in two places at once! The design maestro somehow manages to wear an array of hats including: interior designer, author, design teacher, homewares designer, blogger, and retail owner, sharing her no holds barred style with design enthusiasts that revel in a bold style.

I was lucky enough to chat with Abigail Ahern earlier this month, and enjoy her in action at a seminar she held in Sydney. She discussed her latest book and design ethos: Decorating with Style, and unveiled the secrets to achieving designer digs without hurting the hip pocket.

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After the encounter, I felt the need to compile this list:

Why I love Abigail Ahern:

1. Abigail sets design trends and refuses to follow them. She loves to push the boundaries and throws the interior design ‘rule book’ out the window when it comes to making standout spaces

2. She believes decorating can change lives, and fosters an eclectic style where nothing matches but everything works perfectly together

3. She says the word ‘bonkers’ a lot

4. She appreciates the open-plan design and white and neutral palette associated with the typical Australian home but is determined to coax us over to the ‘dark side’ and encourage us to embrace a personalised, colour-rich space, too

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5. Abigail is adamant you can decorate for less, and openly notes that style has nothing to do with money. Throughout Decorating with Style she’s not afraid to show off her own home that features antique finds, IKEA rugs, homemade decoupage side table and more

6. She boasts a fun and funky personality that you want to have around all the time

7. She detests that the styling and interiors industry can often get ‘snooty’ and is all about promoting a ‘have fun and follow your heart’ approach to design.

Lighting

Lamps designed by Abigail Ahern

Bedroom

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Her new book, Decorating with Style (released in Aus 8 weeks before any other country ‘cause she loves us!) encourages a ‘no rules’ approach to decorating your home with easy ideas and an array of eye-candy inspiration.

atelierabigailahern.com
abigailahern.wordpress.com

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From Concrete to Carrots, Pop Up Veggie Patch

Federation Square’s car park in Melbourne has been transformed into a vibrant veggie garden! The pop-up patch, which is a joint initiative with The Little Veggie Patch Co., allows city dwellers the opportunity to get their green thumbs dirty with over 176 DIY veggie pots housed in recycled apple crates.

These pots are the gateway to apartment folk’s gardening dreams, allowing veggie enthusiasts to subscribe to a patch on a yearly basis with a monthly fee. For your flowering interest, subscribers will receive expert advice and training from Little Vegie Patch Co. as well as seasonal seed packs, a copy of the Little Vegie Patch Co gardening book, access to the pop-up patch tool shed, and exclusive online content.

Veggie Patch

“Having fun and enjoying the full range of activities from gardening, harvesting, preparing food and, of course, eating fresh produce is what veggie growing and the Fed Square pop-up patch is all about,” say Little Veggie Patch Co. owners, Matt Pember and Fabian Capomolla.

Veggie Patch
The site will also boast a community demonstration veggie garden and information centre for the public and local schools. “It’s another great addition to a series of events and activations that take the food experience at Fed Square to the next level,” says Kate Brennan, CEO of Fed Square.

Veggie Patch
The Little Veggie Patch Co. is a Melbourne based business that specialises in the installation of chemical-free vegetable gardens.
popuppatch.com

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The Edge Excellence in Design award winners 2013

The Edge Excellence in Design award winners were announced last week at the Australian International Furniture Fair. The Edge is Sydney’s premier event for unearthing new and emerging furniture designers from around the world, with 2013’s finalist showcasing an array of hot products and innovative creativity. This year’s collection produced a seating and table trend with chairs, stools, ottomans, twisting tables and desks accounting for almost half the designs submitted!

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From 38 finalists, winners were announced across the Student, Commercial, Concept and Green categories by the judging panel which included: Jan Henderson, associate publisher Archmedia; Lisa Green, editor Australian House and Garden; Marc Schamburg, director Alvisse and Schamvburg/Zenith Interiors; designer Ross Didier, and curator Scott Lewis.

Inspired by the shell, Ben’s Clam Chair opens and closes, with the inside padded with 19 small cushions. The Chair can be folded allowing people to carry the chair with them and is ideal for the park or beach. It is made from American walnut veneered hoop pine, plywood, flexible PVC and woollen felt upholstery.
The chair also recently won the Australian Furniture of the Year Student Design Award for Victoria and Tasmania

Toby Nowland, Seating Box

Toby Nowland, Seating Bo

We were lucky enough to see first-hand the final products up close and personal at last week’s Australian International Furniture Fair. Our favourite was the Fold and Peg stool by Toby Nowland – it’s sleek, simple and functional, proving less is often more!

Commercial Award Winner: Ash Allen, Dollop Light
Green Award Winner: Toby Nowland, Fold and Peg Stool
Student Award Winner: Ben Brayshaw, Clam Chair
Concept Award Winner: Stephanie Ng Hui Sien, Halo Light

Dollop is an organic pendant light made from earthenware slip casting, aesthetically inspired by a dollop of cream dripping off a ladle. The Low wattage LED light source in this piece is cleverly obscured from direct sight, by light bouncing off the highly reflective, glazed internal surfaces. It embodies Ash’s design philosophy of intuitive elegance and simplicity.

Fold and Peg Stool

Toby’s Fold and Peg Stool was described by judges as a “smart use of sustainable material”. It is made from EchoPanel, a material produced from recycled and recyclable PET. It’s constructed with a flat panel and timber pegs made from Tasmanian Oak. No adhesives needed! The fold around ‘tabs’ become pockets, where magazines and newspapers can easily slide into, increasing the stool’s usefulness.

Made from Polyurethane Resin, Halo light functions as a modular lighting system that can be configured in a variety of shapes and sizes. Described by the judges as “versatile and innovative”.

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Rethink the way you live, by Amanda Talbot

Amanda Talbot

Amanda Talbot

The Decoration + Design trade event is currently being held at the Sydney Exhibition Centre. And today I was lucky enough to gain access to one of its seminars hosted by Amanda Talbot. For the last 10 years, Amanda has been showcasing her talent for creating sexy, sophisticated interiors around the world, working for big brands such as Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Dixon, and trend forecasting for the likes of IKEA. As the ex associate editor of ELLE Decoration, she has travelled through many a beautiful home, and come into contact with some of the world’s most amazing home and lifestyle designs.

Living in small spaces and having your own personal space, too. Image from Rethink: The Way You Live

Living in small spaces and having your own personal space, too. Image from Rethink: The Way You Live

It’s her latest quest that has me – and after today’s seminar, many more – questioning our surroundings. Rethink: The Way You Live is both the title of today’s seminar and her book. It looks at the relationship between human and home, and challenges our already existing functions and design of our surrounding environment. Today’s seminar explored the way the world is rapidly changing and, in turn, our needs are changing with it. Do we need a home office when all we see in sight is a laptop and an iPad? Is a bedroom only used for sleeping? Through imagery, Amanda took us around the world to highlight inspired designs and tell-tale signs of what the future holds for design that ‘rethinks’ its purpose, functionality, and form. This round-the-world trip highlighted the global nature of this need in the design and architecture industry.

Small home in Japan where dining space becomes office space. Multifunctional room where walls and lighting can be moved. Image from Rethink: The Way You Live

Small home in Japan where dining space becomes office space. Multifunctional room where walls and lighting can be moved. Image from Rethink: The Way You Live

It’s a recurring theme that, as times get tough, we turn to memories of the good times, and we head back to our roots to embrace a ‘nostalgia trend’. A little ‘doom and gloom’ brought on by such effects as the GFC, terrorism, global warming, and technological advances, sparks a clear want for the good ol’ days, with one such example being the current resurgence of craft and handmade creations.

These shifting times evolve into new living and lifestyle trends. No longer is a common open plan home design the best option to live in. No longer is useless design that serves no function and purpose in our lives a welcome addition to our environment or space.

Spaces that cater to the senses. Image from Rethink: The Way You Live

Spaces that cater to the senses. Image from Rethink: The Way You Live

An example of key movements outlined by Amanda today:

Living with nature – new solutions for city dwellers to connect with nature are on the rise, in particular with those that live in small spaces and apartments. Pots and indoor plants are a growing design trend, as is robust, heavy, natural textiles such as timber and wool. Large artwork with nature-inspired scenes that take up entire walls is another clever way designers are reinvigorating the notion of living with nature.

Back to basics – we’re not talking about the stark minimalism we saw in the 90s, we mean an almost warm minimalism, where our purchases and products we choose to fill out space with are needed, make sense, and have a purpose. We want 21st Century mod cons, but we want them discreet, seamless, and hidden.

Excerpt from Rethink: The Way You Live

Excerpt from Rethink: The Way You Live

Create and control – we revel in the idea of being industrious at home and creating and producing our own products from within our haven such as craft. We want to make our own rules, and Amanda reiterates that interior designers need to understand this desire and how their designer inclusions fulfil the lives of the home owners.

Self-sufficient living – there’s a want for things that we know we trust. And what better way to ensure this trust than to produce our own self-sufficient produce such as honey and herbs. Urban farming and rooftop gardens are on the rise as is aquaponics.

Rethink: The Way You Live

Rethink: The Way You Live

Ever-changing space – multi-functional rooms are a necessity. It’s not uncommon for the kitchen to be your place to prepare food, grow food, gather and entertain; or your bedroom to be an office, reading den, escape, entertainment destination and more. Spaces need to evolve with families and ‘nooks and crannies’ need to be exploited as opposed to this misconception of open plan living perfection.

Mobile Living -- house boat. Image from Rethink: The Way You Live

Mobile Living — house boat. Image from Rethink: The Way You Live

Amanda went on to discuss optimistic design, downsizing, holistic living, working from home, and mobile living, too, all movements that need to be considered by designers and creative industries for the future of our homes and lifestyles. The seminar emphasised how our world is changing quickly and so are we, adapting to accommodate new social and environmental behaviour, which is why we require fresh vision and new design considerations for the future of this evolving state.

Rethink: The Way You Live

This is a very condensed version of a very interesting subject. Check out Amanda Talbot’s book Rethink: The Way You Live for a further, in-depth analysis on this topic.

murdochbooks.com.au
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