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Falling Back to Earth

On a little break from discussing homewares and interiors, I'm branching out into a little review on a superb exhibition I recently visited in Brisbane's, QAGOMA.  What was interesting about this one is that I took my two young boys along too.  It truly was an inspiring experience for all, and I highly recomend it.  I won't attempt a major art critic, but rather share our family experience of the art exhibition.

Cai Guo Qiang is one of the world's most innovative contemporary artists.  Originally from China, he now lives in New York.  Inspiration from his Falling Back to Earth exhibition was drawn from his travels to South East Queensland in 2011.  His large-scale interactive installations are engaging and dramatic.  There are 3 exhibitions in total, the first Heritage, features 99 replica animals from around the world, drinking together from a blue lake which is surrounded by pristine white sand.  The inspiration for this piece was provided by Queensland own paradise, Moreton Island.  

Goma-Banner-heritage

The image above is taken from the Goma Website

Despite the kid's grumbles, that they weren't allowed to walk on the sand, once they got the rules, they truly were enthralled.  My youngest, who's speech hasn't fully developed was picking out reindeer at the far end of the lake and saying "Santa" They studied each animal, asked questions to why they were drinking.  Each picked out their favourite animal and then we decided to pick out our favourite animal print.  It really struck me who awesome nature can be with the variety patterns it provides, and the Heritage installation is a feast for the eyes in terms of texture and pattern from the wild side!

Below is a picture of my awe struck son!

Childrens-wonder-goma-falling-back to-earth

The second installation, Eucalyptus features a huge tree resting horizontally and filling up the entire hall.  Here, ancient trees of Lamingon National Park in the Goldcoast hinterland inspired the artist.  This was wonderful, giving the kids a sense of scale, and studying the dramatic shapes the tree roots and branches from against a stark white background.

Eucaliptus-Goma

John McDonald  Image source above

Art-tree-goma

tree-section-detailtree-section-seat

brisbane-view-goma

The third installation of 99 artificial wolves leaping en masse into a glass wall is truly breathtaking and awe inspiring.  The realism of all these animals is phenomenal, enhanced by being able to walk around them.  Watching the boys look straight into the wolves eyes and circling the animals was amazing.

Dogs QAGOMA

 

The final area was by far the kids favourite, the interactive art section designed for kids.  Through multi media it allows the children explore the artists works and create their own pieces in their style!   My kids particulary loved creating the gun powder art on the touch screens - I had to drag them out of there!

Childrens-interactive-art-Goma

The exhibition continues until the 11th May 2014, if you are in Brisbane I highly reccomend you pop into GOMA for a look!  Below is a cool seat just outside library beside Goma!

Cool-garden-bench

 

 

 

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Falling Back to Earth

On a little break from discussing homewares and interiors, I'm branching out into a little review on a superb exhibition I recently visited in Brisbane's, QAGOMA.  What was interesting about this one is that I took my two young boys along too.  It truly was an inspiring experience for all, and I highly recomend it.  I won't attempt a major art critic, but rather share our family experience of the art exhibition.

Cai Guo Qiang is one of the world's most innovative contemporary artists.  Originally from China, he now lives in New York.  Inspiration from his Falling Back to Earth exhibition was drawn from his travels to South East Queensland in 20011.  His large-scale interactive installations are engaging and dramatic.  There are 3 exhibitions in total, the first Heritage, features 99 replica animals from around the world, drinking together from a blue lake which is surrounded by pristine white sand.  The inspiration for this piece was provided by Queensland own paradise, Moreton Island.  

Goma-Banner-heritage

Despite the kid's grumbles, that they weren't allowed to walk on the sand, once they got the rules, they truly were enthralled.  My youngest, who's speech hasn't fully developed was picking out reindeer at the far end of the lake and saying "Santa" They studied each animal, asked questions to why they were drinking.  Each picked out their favourite animal and then we decided to pick out our favourite animal print.  It really struck me who awesome nature can be with the variety patterns it provides, and the Heritage installation is a feast for the eyes in terms of texture and pattern from the wild side!

Below is a picture of my awe struck son!

Childrens-wonder-goma-falling-back to-earth

The second installation, Eucalyptus features a huge tree resting horizontally and filling up the entire hall.  Here, ancient trees of Lamingon National Park in the Goldcoast hinterland inspired the artist.  This was wonderful, giving the kids a sense of scale, and studying the dramatic shapes the tree roots and branches from against a stark white background.

Eucaliptus-Goma

The third installation of 99 artificial wolves leaping en masse into a glass wall is truly breathtaking and awe inspiring.  The realism of all these animals is phenomenal, enhanced by being able to walk around them.  Watching the boys look straight into the wolves eyes and circling the animals was amazing.

Dogs QAGOMA

 

The final area was by far the kids favourite, the interactive art section designed for kids.  Through multi media it allows the children explore the artists works and create their own pieces in their style!   My kids particulary loved creating the gun powder art on the touch screens - I had to drag them out of there!

Childrens-interactive-art-Goma

The exhibition continues until the 11th May 2014, if you are in Brisbane I highly reccomend you pop into GOMA for a look!

 

 

 

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New Organic Changing Mat covers

Delighted to be introducing these organic change mat covers by Econino Nursery to our product range.  Designed and made in Australia from Organic cotton, they look great and tick every box for us!

The come in red, green or navy stripes.  I can't tell you how delighted I was when I actually received them.  They are one of those amazing products that just look great in the pictures but actually exceeded my expectations when I saw them fore real!  It's amazing the transformation my little boys room got simply by putting one of these change mat covers over the changing mat!

Were not the only ones who love them!  While researching I found this lovely review by Love It Do It, a super blog by an inspiring lady Cassandra Michelin.  The image below is from her review.

Green-Stripe-Organic-Change-Mat-cover

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What's Trending in Homewares for 2014

Last year it was all about owls, chevron stripes and pineapples for homewares and decor.  I think we've all had enought of them!  So, what's trending for homeweares in 2014?

While I was at Life InStyle Sydney this month, it wasn't just the exhibitions that inspired me.  Walking through Sydneys' streets,  I was really struck by the design used on the facade of 100 Market Street.  Check out the detail in the image below!  I have for some time been pondering over the new trends emerging in interior design and homewares and it got me thinking about the reasurgence of the home craft movement - knitting and crotchet to name but a few!  I'm hopeless at craft, knit one pearl one excercies always ended in disasters for me!  However, I have enormous appreciation how those who can, and also how these crafts can be interpreted and then applied to different mediums of art.

Currently, these traditional crafts are being given a modern twist and they are being reflected in new ways to stunning effect.  It's like a modern twist to the arts and craft movement that flourised in Britain in the late 19th century and then spread internationally.  The beat on the street is, that cooking shows in the UK are being replaced by knitting and craft shows, is this the start of a new design craze?

The photo below is the facade of 100 Market St Sydney, refurbished by John Wardle Architechts in 2010, and the detail I show here is of the rope wall designed by Dani Marti.  They drew their inspiration by the idea of stitiching, and metaphorically in terms of  how this building stitches the prcint together.

Knotted-detail-weave-100 market st-facade

Above Close up detail of 100 Market Street, Sydney Facade

100 Market St Facade

Several designers I've come accross have applied this knoting technique to different furnitue pieces.  The main picture of this blog shows work by German Designer Sacha Felova of Kumuko and her stunning knitted poufs.  Below, one of my favourites, knitted poufs by Irish designer Claire-Anne O'Brien

Knitted-pouf-Claire-anne-obrien-irishgrey-knitted-poufOrange knitted poufs

Above images all from Irish-designer-Claire-Anne O'Brien

green-knotted-cushion

This statement Not Knot green cushion by icelandic designers Unemi  is very wow!

Cushions and throws look stunning with this knitted look.  Texture is such an important part of any interior design scheme and these knited throws and cushions work perfectly to achieve this.  Throws and Cushions are a really simple little home accessorie that is so versatile.  

This look also give a real Scaninavian feel to an interior.  Which again is so popular, for obvious reasons!  For some interiors inspiration on Scandinavian style and knitted throws and cushions have a look below

Scandinavian Style sitting room with cushions and throws

Knitted Throws and cushions

Image Source

Laura-Asheley-knitted-cushions

Stunning collection from Laura Ashley Cushions really do add a homely feel, and these seem so personal and cosy

Pale-Grey-knitted-throw

Image Source

 

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Stripes for Kids rooms and Nurseries

Using horizontal stripes in decorating can have a super dramatic effect.  Carefully selecting the right home accessories really make the rooms stand out. Below are some great images kids rooms and nurseries that have really benefited by adding horizontal stripes to the walls.

Nautical-Stripe-boys Room

Love the nautical surfing theme here, perfect for a coastal home.  It's a simple scheme just keeping to three colours red, cream and navy.

Feature Wall stripe kids room

This room looks like a small space, so by just going for one feature wall here, it helped to add drama without overwhelming the space.

Pale Blue Stripe Kids Room Feature Wall

The high ceilings for this room really lend itself for the broader stripe and the pale blue keeps it light and fresh.  Just a little yellow acts as an accent colour and works really well with this scheme.  Also, love the detail of the windowpane pattern on the sheets.

Cool boys stripe room

Beautiful combo of shades of blue and cream - fresh and delicate.

Nursery room Striped Orange

Love how Orange is used here in the nursery room.  It really adds a bit of pop.  In a scheme like this one above, the Fig Pendant Lampshade would be perfect.  At night, when illuminated it throws out lovely shapes that would be beautiful in a kids room or nursery.

Orange-lightshade-pendant-figDecorating Idea for kids room

Like how they have used green here with navy and cream, much softer than red, very calming.

Green-stripe-kids-room-feature-wall

This lime green room is very striking, we love the fold down bed! Great idea for a small space.  Could perhaps use a pop of another colour?  Some Klip Noticeboards over the desk would be brill!

Beige and cream kids room

When decorating with stripes for a kids room, its all about the accessories and homewares that area added afterwards that really finish it off.  With all these rooms, the stripes give a neutral background and allow the nursery wall art or kids wall art to really tell a story.

Grey-stripe-walls-nursery

Love how this grey stripe can look so delicate in this nursery above the change mat

|1| 2 |3|4|5|6|7|8|9

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Renovating a Beach House Rental on a Budget

I’ve been meaning to share these photos with you for some time.  As an Interior Designer, I was involved in two interesting projects last year, which I intend to share with you.  The first here was a beach house in Moffat Beach on the Sunshine Coast of Australia.  I have so many before and after shots, I’m going to break them up into two blogs.  The first blog here will cover the kitchen and bathroom renovations and the second blog will follow on with further space creating initiatives.

THE BRIEF

The brief for this project was to renovate this 1960 high set beach house on a small budget, and make it suitable for either re-sell or the rental market.

Decoratively speaking the house hadn’t been touched since the 1960’s, and required dramatic upgrading.  The kitchen required the addition of a dishwasher, and a complete re-layout. The small bathroom needed to be fully upgraded and if possible for a bath to be included to make it more family friendly.

 Kitchen-Reno-Before

This 1960's style kitchen featured apple green cupboards, a benchtop that wasn't at the correct height.  A range hard up against a wall, with no set down space for a pan and then the sink smack up beside it - not a great layout!  For some mad reason, if you switched on the light socket above the sink shown here in this photo above the tap came on!  The brown lino, pretty much set of this true retro kitchen!

Typical of many houses built in Australia at this time, it was full of asbestos.  Some areas were fine, like the roof which we weren’t intending to touch.  However, the bathroom walls, floors and ceiling needed to be fully striped and the walls behind the kitchen sink area also required professional removal. We also had to test the lino flooring for asbestos before removal.  Not many people area aware of this, but the adhesive which use to be used in lino flooring contained asbestos and removing this is a huge pain!  This is a relatively small house, however it managed to have a range of 5 different boldly patterned retro lino flooring, in various shades of brown!  All were tested, however, only two came back positive and neither of these were in the kitchen/dining or bathroom area’s.  

Kitchen-Reno-Progress-1

Image above, the kitchen has been ripped out ready for asbestos removal.  I had great intentions to save the retro orange tiles and get creative and upcycle them, however, because they backed onto asbestos - they had to go!  

Kitchen-Reno-first-Fix

With all the asbestos gone, the new plasterboard could be fitted and the electrician and plumber did the first fix for the new kitchen layout.

Kitchen-Reno-After-Range

Here's what we did, we changed the range to a hob and under mounted oven and relocated it with minimum set of of 400mm from the wall.  Also, shown in this photo is the shiny new dishwasher!

Kitchen-Sink-Area

The benchtop was small, so to increase the workspace we positioned the sink in the corner.

Before-Dinning-Room

This shot shows the view towards the kitchen and the dining area.  Do you like how those two lino floor covering just match up so well - NOT! There was this weird cupboard/butlers hatch, which you can see on the wall between the dinning room and the kitchen - it opened up into nothing really!   So, we got rid of the whole cupboard, widening the arch from the kitchen to the dining room and opening the living space much more to the kitchen, allowing more light to flood into this area.

View-to-the-Kitchen

We also got rid of all those linos and opted for tiles throughout the kitchen, dining and entrance.  These came up to the level of the parquet flooring in the sitting room area, which we kept.

Before-After-Kitchen-Cupbard

A new kitchen door was put in place, with a large window and changed which had plain frosted glass as opposed to the orange glass in previously!

Kitchen-AfterOur kitchen was from Ikea, we teamed the Ikea Abstrakt door in gloss grey for base units and used the Ikea Applad range for the wall units and larder unit.  The handles were the Ikea Bastig knob and the benchtop was their Pragel Oak effect, which is one of the most realistic laminates I'd come across.  The plus on going with Ikea for this kitchen was their units came in a 800mm wide size as opposed to standard 900mm wide.  I was able to get  more functionality into the kitchen by using these cupboard sizes.

THE BATHROOM

Before-Bathroom

This bathroom was literally falling apart and needed completely gutting!

Bathroom-Reno-ProgressAs with the Kitchen, the professionals were called in to strip walls, floors and ceiling of asbestos.

Bathroom-After

Our new bathroom has a shower and a bath, and a vanity unit with a bit more storage!  We used a long pale horizontal tile to make the tiny bathroom seem big and bright!

The owners decided to keep in on the rental market for the short term and thanks to the girls at Realway Currimundi it was rented straight away!

Inside Designers Notebook!

I couldn't have completed this job with out the assistance of some great local trades on the Sunshine Coast.

Plumbing: Dicky Beach Plumbing

Electrical: Scaussie Electrical

Painting: Discount Home Painters

Tiling: National Tiles and Q&S Tiling

Asbestos Removal: QAMS

Bathroom: Reece Caloundra

Kitchen: Ikea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inside Interiors Photo Shoot

I had such fun yesterday taking all the lovely new products we have in stock out for a photo shoot.  I just couldn't wait to share the images with you all!

Picnic Rugs grey red cream

Picnic Rugs all set for a fishing trip

Union-Jack-Cushions-four

Linen Union Jack Cushions by Ian Mankin - I just love these all stacked up together!  I love the back of them too!

Ian-Manking-black -stripe-cushion

 Lovely simple ticking fabric!

My-Bird-Corner-Art

My Bird Corner - featuring limited edition artwork by Fan Regan "Three Thousan Beats" our lovely Cuckoo Clock, trlu a funky blue clock and 'Sea of Feathers" again another stunning limited edition print by Fawn.

Peace-Friendship-happiness

Peace,Friendship and Happiness - Ogham Wishes.

Happiness-Art-Long

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Green Interior Awards

Introducing Home Design Magazine Australian Living Green Interiors Awards

We were so exited to read about the Green Interiors Awards that we had to share the low down with you.  It’s just marvelous to see such industry heavy weights getting behind green and sustainability in Interior Design products.

What’s it all about?

Home Design Magazine Australian Living Awards is about shining the light on those who use green interior products in their projects, be it for homes, offices, shops, educational facilities, hotels, restaurants and bars. Entries are welcome from interior designers, architects, interior stylists, interior consultants, building designers and homeowners.

“We believe that it is important for industry professionals and homeowners to choose interior products that are healthy for the users, manufacturers, suppliers and the environment. These Awards are all about product use and not structural interior design.” Anthony Lieberman, Marketing and Communications Manager at Australian Living explaining the rationale behind these Awards.

According to David Baggs, Chief Executive Office of Global GreenTag, interiors products typically have the biggest environmental impacts and the most significant impact on health and indoor air quality compared to construction products with longer life cycles. GreenTag operates the only ACCC approved National Certification Mark in the green building materials sector.

“The Green Interiors Awards provides an important showcase for those designers who have successfully tackled the most challenging aspect of interior design, i.e. ensuring it is both a healthy, low impact design and looks amazing at the same time.” says David.

Who’s behind it?

The Awards were created in 2012 by Australian Living, a sustainable building consultancy who is dedicated to spreading the awareness of the benefits associated with green buildings inside and out. Australian Living opened its doors in 2008 with a clear vision – every building should be as green and sustainable as possible.

For the 2013/14 Awards, Australian Living wanted to increase the awareness of the Awards so the decision was made to partner with a major magazine publisher who shared a similar philosophy.

Enter Universal Magazines – Australia’s largest publisher of home media, including Home Design Magazine. After more than 26 years Universal remains committed to delivering high-quality content to its audiences and targeted media products to businesses.

hospitalityimage

 

Award Categories

  • Corporate Culture OFFICE
  • Taubmans RESIDENTIAL
  • RETAIL
  • HOPSITALITY
  • EDUCATION
  • AGED CARE

 What are the Key Dates?

  • Entriles for Awards are Now Open and wil close on 23rd May 2014
  • The Awards will be accepting entries completed from 2011-2014
  • Winners will be announced at the Awards function in Sydney on 19 June 2014

Who are the Judges?

The-Green-Interior-Award-Judges

 *Image from Green Interiors Awards

 

  •      Shaynna Blaze (Co-Presenter of the Lifestyle Channel’s Selling Houses Australia and Channel 9’s The Block)
  •      Kate St James, FIDA (interior designer and Editor –in-chief of Home Design Magazine)
  •      Daphna Tal (Sustainable interiors Consultant at Australian Living)
  •      Mark Lynch (Leads a national commercial team at Taubmans
  •      Richard Munao (Founder of Corporate Culture & Cult)  

Who are the Sponsors?

There are some big names behind the sponsorship also, with Taubmans and Corporate Culture both as Platinum sponsors and Designer Rugs and Cloth Fabric as Gold sponsors.

The awards are also well supported by Specialised Textiles Association, Furnishing Industry Association of Australia, Global Green Tag, The Colour Society of Australia, Good Environmental choice Australia, Kitchen and Bathroom Designers Institute, Australian Furniture Association and the International School of Colour and Design.

Can’t wait to see the entrants for 2014, it’s a great opportunity to promote Green Design.

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