Tag Archives: Sydney

UPDATE: QT Hotel makes the Hot List 2013

Sydney’s QT Hotel has been awarded among the world’s best new hotels in the ‘Hot List of 2013’ as declared by the US and UK editions of the esteemed magazine, Condé Nast Traveller. We gave you a guided tour of the hotel here, where cutting edge interiors and quirky design married an Art Deco revamp of two of Sydney’s most beloved buildings.

The hotel’s bold interior design was spearheaded by renowned Australian designer, Nic Graham, and boasts an extensive contemporary and digital art collection. The design hub is home to spaQ, which includes a vintage barbershop, and the European-style brasserie, the Gowings Bar & Grill. There’s also the Parlour Lane Roasters café/aperitivo bar and the hip Gilt Lounge cocktail bar.

QT Hotel


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1888: A Picture Perfect Hotel

If you plan on visiting the new 1888 Hotel in Sydney’s Pyrmont, make sure you have your camera phone ready. The latest guesthouse to open by boutique operator, 8 Hotels, has been inspired by the nostalgia of Kodak’s first box and roll camera launch of the same year, 1888.

And to celebrate, the designer dig is honouring the evolution of photography by offering Instagram-friendly walking maps for the Pyrmont area. There’s also a revolving series of Instagram images in the ‘Mac space’ at reception featuring photos taken by guests, and a ‘selfie space’ within the property for guests to pap themselves at the new boutique lodging.

1888 Hotel

Originally used for wool storage, the 1888-erected building that houses the hotel has undergone a $30 million development over the last two years to reveal a luxury property that offers 90 rooms, including a rooftop penthouse apartment overlooking the city surrounds.

As major fans of exposed brick walls done well, we’re happy to see this feature prominently along with reclaimed Iron bark, concrete, stone and bronze, for a distinct Australian look. High ceilings and huge period windows reflect the heritage history and overall feel of the building.

1888 Hotle

1888 Hotel

1888 Hotel
Instagram: @8Hotels/#1888Hotel

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Creative Spaces: The Kas and Sparkk Sydney Studios

One of the most exciting aspects of my day job is the opportunity to get out of the office and chat to some very creative local brands and designers. During the last month I was fortunate enough to step behind-the-scenes at two such inspiring destinations: the Kas, and Sparkk Sydney studios.

What I love about these two Aussie home and lifestyle brands is their unwavering commitment to colour and pattern! Both family-run and owned labels showcase a vibrant collection of shapes and shades that you can’t help but fall in love with.

The Sparkk colour atlas features over 180 shades.

The Sparkk colour atlas features over 180 shades.

Kas’ humble beginnings were over 30 years ago at Sydney’s Paddington market, where locals lapped up the new and juicy bedding designs on offer, while Sparkk has drawn on three generations of textile experience to embrace the digital world of fabric printing.

Today Kas stocks its fashionable designs in over 42 countries and has expanded its bedding collection to include: towels, mugs, kids’ bedding and home fragrance, all while retaining that original pop of colour. Not to be outdone, Sparkk, which launched with just two designs: stripes and chevron, now boasts over 140 imaginative patterns.

The Kas design hub.

The Kas design hub.

During my studio tours I met with designers, creative directors, stylists, owners, family members and more! From the director right through to the seamstress, it was thrilling to see how these inspired designs came to life with the Kas and Sparkk flair in tow. From creative concept to a complete cushion, a Kas piece will undergo a 6-month design and production process before it ends up on the shelves in your favourite store, whereas Sparkk’s digital capabilities mean they can print on demand with little waste, customised palettes, and bespoke designs for both retail and commercial needs.

Kas designers.

Among the cosmos of colour swatches that were hanging about, and the piles of pattern and fabric samples that peppered the studios, there was a real sense of passion and dedication to be found. And in the middle of winter when everything seems grey and dreary, it’s this cacophony of colour and zesty design that the doctor ordered to truly reinvigorate the senses. What a treat!

Read more about both tours in detail here: KASSPARKK

Sparkk Art Decor-inspired patterns.

Sparkk Art Decor-inspired patterns.


My co worker Marj discussing patterns with Sparkk studio manager, Olivia.

My co worker Marj discussing patterns with Sparkk studio manager, Olivia.



The Sparkk studio.


Kas colour palettes.

Kas colour palettes.


Images: Lisa Zhou via thehome.com.au

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Q POETICS — Placing the Poet and Poetry in Places and Spaces of Waiting

There’s nothing worse than standing in a queue. Or is there? What if you’re standing in a queue on cold Sydney winter day, the rain bucketing down to put a dampener on an event you’ve been excitedly counting down the days to. This is exactly what happened to me last month at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

The sunny side to this dreary recount is the discovery of a unique queue distraction. It came in the form of Q POETICS and its member Skye*, who nuzzled her way under our miniscule shelter, introduced herself, and politely asked if she could share a poem. As the rain fell harder, she energetically began to recite imaginative and funny verses.

According to its website, Q POETICS ‘places the poet and poetry in places and spaces of waiting – where people line up to pay, play, purchase or pass: queues’. The public engagement strategy aims to: reduce queue-induced stress, promote the link between creativity and profitability, and create poetry, increase its usage and widen the ways it’s communicated.

Image by Andrew Vincent Photography

Next time the seconds feel like minutes and the minutes feel like hours in your line up, I hope you get the chance to enjoy the talents and creativity of this unique idea. And if you’re looking to satisfy the stay of your queue guests, this team is perfect for any waiting game including: commuter queues, coffee queues, job centre queues, check-in/check-out queues, passport control queues, healthcare queues, bank queues and more!

*Lead artist, Skye Loneragan, is an award-winning playwright/performer and director who trained originally at Theatre Nepean, Sydney, then RSAMD (Scotland), and whose work has toured to Bangalore, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia and Sweden (British Council Scotland-in-Sweden showcase).


For more information visit qpoetics.com
mages via qpoetics.com

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A taste of Sydney’s Artisan Popsicles

Pure Pops by William Meppem for Gourmet Traveller

Pure Pops by William Meppem for Gourmet Traveller

We’re having a heat wave! And we only have one thing on our minds – ice pops! That’s right. The extreme weather has our overheated sights concentrating on only the essentials today, with number one being ice blocks. And we’re not talking about your everyday icy pole; we’ve discovered an appreciation for artisan popsicles.

Liana Raine

What’s an artisan popsicle? It’s an intricately conceived cold delight that’s full of seasonal flavours and natural ingredients to cool your ice pop craving. Two such Sydney brands we’ve come across that embrace this sweet idea with mesmerising flavours include: Liana Raine, and Pure Pops.

Liana Raine was created by sister duo Aja and Bianca. They produce mouthwatering gourmet ice popsicles that use only the best seasonal fruit and produce available. Some of their enticing flavours you’ll fall in love with include: peaches and cream, pineapple chili, blueberry mint, lychee and orange with cardamom, and nectarine and rose yogurt, just to name a few.

Liana Raine

Liana Raine has currently parked their cute, blue and white vintage-inspired carts outside the Sydney Opera House for this month’s Summer at the House setting. We can highly recommend the rockmelon and lime flavour – tried and tested!

Liana Raine Sydney Opera House

Not to be outdone, Pure Pops has a range of flavours to excite your eager taste buds, too, including: lemon and elderflower, two-tone watermelon and pineapple, Pimms punch, rhubarb and vanilla yoghurt swirl, roast peach and honey, and more fun varieties. These handcrafted pops are at Sydney’s Big Day Out today and you can find them regularly at Bondi and Manly markets.

Pure Pops
We’ve had a taste of artisan popsicle magic and now we need more! We’d love to know of any more clever popsicle creations around the country. Send us a picture and let us know the details if you’ve come across gourmet popsicles in your hometown, we’d love to share the hotspots. In the meantime, keep cool friends.

Pure Pops cart

Liana Raine

Images via:
lianaraine.com | Facebook
eatpurepops.blogspot.com.au | Facebook


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The Cool Hunter House, Sydney December 7 – 16

Local Melbourne design fanatics were privy to The Design Files Open House last week but, to not be outdone in the domain of nifty finds and designer buys, The Cool Hunter is opening The Cool Hunter House this weekend in Sydney.

This pop-up boutique store has made its way over from Melbourne and will take its funky finds onto New York and London in 2013. First in best dressed we say, and this weekend you can hunt for must-have pieces at the refitted Pacific Bondi Beach Penthouse House suite – flashy! Everything on site, including furnishings, accessories and artworks can be bought.

December 7-16, 10am-6pm
Pacific Bondi Beach (rooftop of Swiss Grand Hotel)
180 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Stay in the loop here and revel in live footage here.

Image via The Cool Hunter

Image via The Cool Hunter


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Wear your sneakers… new Air Jordans to come

With countless sneaker fans around the world customising their own footwear designs and colourways with programs such as Photoshop, it’s baffling as to why the Jordan brand keeps releasing old colour combinations and styles.

In its ‘golden’ days, when the sneaker community was smaller and less established, you would have had to partake in hours of research if you wanted to find a pair of limited-run sneakers or vintage styles. It wasn’t uncommon to bid competitively on forums, or camp out through the night in front of retail stores before releases to get what you wanted. When you saw someone wearing a pair of Air Jordans in an original colourway, you knew that collector was serious, today it seems even the most dedicated fan base has been watered down with commercial cool. 

No shoe enthusiast wants to believe that Jordan brand seems intent on flooding the shoe market with ‘re-retros’ and even ‘re-re-retros’ to stash more money in the bank, despite their claims of respect for the so-called ‘sneaker game’, but it’s become harder and harder to ignore.

One such example is the release of the 2013 version of the Air Jordan 5 ‘Grape’. After hunting for a decent unworn pair for years, I finally picked up a set of the first ‘retro’d’ editions in 2006, and haven’t worn them since. It’s a similar story for the Jordan 8 ‘Aqua’, which will be back in 2013, and the same goes for the Air Jordan 3 ‘True Blue’ edition, which was one of my most sought after and favourite shoes, and one which I have now lost count on how many times it’s hit shelves.

Jordan Brand seems to have a 5-6 year rule before releasing another retro design with less quality than the original. So if you’ve been holding onto old Jordans like I have, it’s probably best you start wearing them now, because soon you’ll be flooded with new versions of these classics.

Do you collect sneakers? What are your thoughts on the game? Share your comments below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Air Jordan 8 ‘Aqua’ to be released 2013

Air Jordan 5 ‘Grape’ to be released 2013

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