Though it may sound like an odd thing to say, I am a lover of fun. I have always found great joy in my job and have relished all the adventures I have had because of it. And hopefully you see that I aim to weave a sense of fun into venues I design or the pages of my books. I love a little jolt of surprise or cheeky detail. We can’t be all serious, and yes perhaps we want our homes to exude an air of grandeur, but you can’t help but feel a bit of childlike abandon when you spy a slightly tongue-in-cheek detail.
And it’s not only you that should enjoy adding these unexpected details that make you smile. A laugh is even more fun when it’s shared, so weave in your sense of humour in a manner that might catch the eye of a friend or guest. Here you see a considered vignette, but look a little more closely and you might catch the porcelain doll standing to the wall as if in disgrace. A detail in a larger picture that demands a closer look.
I love the way these moustached men have such presence and airs about them, but there’s just something slightly comical. While the colour palette they bring to this space is refined, they also add a smile-inducing detail, which also rethinks the “pride of place” status of the mantelpiece. Design trickery that does not take itself too seriously.
The game can manifest in literal forms. I have long been collecting random gaming pieces (not whole sets), which come in handy while styling. Who doesn’t love a game? And if you can draw some of that thrill into your interiors, no matter how big or small, you can enjoy the sparkle of fun and share it with friends, too.
LA | STAY | HOTEL COVELL
Many of my travel destinations are determined by fabulous places to stay, and this was definitely one of them!
Eastside Establishment has a few hospitality offerings under their belt and designer, Sally Breer, has nailed this with a big dose of imagination & great taste at Hotel Covell!
The 5 room boutique experience offers a room for each chapter of fictional author, George Covell. Room 1 is George as a young struggling writer trying to make his mark in Oklahoma and progresses through to Room 5 where he’s an accomplished successful author in his stride in New York City!
I stayed in Room 4; I thought this point in his life, where he would be at & what he would be surrounding himself with, would suit me! This is the room which combines George’s collections from his New York days and a few pieces that he has picked up in his travels whilst visiting his lover in Paris.
Hotel Covell is not your run-of-the-mill hotel, firstly there is no concierge but willing, friendly staff who assist your every need from an office, open during office hours, which is the hub of other ventures as well. They are only ever a phone call away & you feel somewhat more connected due to this communication.
The room sizes are generous to say the least, more apartment than room with vintage furniture, knock-out wallpapers, upholstery, green claw footed tubs, a spare bedroom and records & players. When we arrived we cancelled all plans & just hung out & wished we had more friends to invite over to our new pad!
This is pure magic, fantasy and fabulous design.
Hotel Covell – @hotelcovell
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So often the beauty of an object resides from the process of its making. This could be the tightly woven strands of natural fibres stacked amongst an array of baskets, the uneven ridges of seagrass underfoot or the fine translucent nature of a hand loomed garment. The character defining uneven stitches on a leather-bound notebook or the raw hem on a length of salvaged cloth.
If you surround your spaces with objects with character & visible stories, you will never have unsightly storage boxes or organisational drawers to conceal. This still life shows an effortlessly romantic vignette of hand loomed baskets for storing prized garments.
The Bomba woven baskets in small, medium & large, Swarm Cushion – Gus, natural water hyacinth mat and soft lengths of cloth from Korea are all inspired choices to recreate this still life in any room.
Shop the look here.
W is for…
One of my favourite travel adventures would have to be spending the night in a Gypsy caravan in the Scottish highlands, so it goes without saying that I look into the little-known & rarely discussed history of the wainwright, or wagon builder. Perhaps the original traders focused on one style of wagon – fairly run of the mill – that would take drivers and their cargo from point A to point B, but I would like to imagine that somewhere along the line, there were a couple of truly creative wagon builders who tinkered with the formula and tricked out their designs – I’m thinking hidden storage compartments, beautifully upholstered seats and intricate timber work on the side panels. Whether they fell into the former or latter camp, I love their focus on transportation, and you can imagine that you could say that these traders could be considered early inventors, making minor tweaks to their original wagon for speed, aesthetics or to optimise its design.
The Alphabet of Arcane Trades:
A is for… B is for…
C is for… D is for…
E is for… F is for…
G is for… H is for…
I is for… J is for…
K is for… L is for…
M is for… N is for…
O is for… P is for…
Q is for… R is for…
S is for… T is for…
U is for… V is for…
A girlfriend of mine once asked where I hide all my ugly stuff. I believe that nothing has to be ugly. I’ll keep an eye out for something old, well-made and so considered in its design and material over the quick buy. This applies to hole punches, receipt pins, string holders, tape dispensers and the like.
Not only are you recycling & saving some room in landfill, but you are bringing back the past with well-made, well-designed machinery that continues to be relevant & functional in our digital age.
Why not choose a material or colourway that helps you sort through the visual noise and hone in on what you’re after. For example, I might choose timber with earthy-toned rust details, but perhaps you’re more inclined to look for the shiny thing – just like the bowerbird gathering his blue nest decoration. Perhaps you might set yourself the task of replacing one of your quick buys, such as a pair of secateurs or a multi-purpose clip, with a more time-worn and history-rich option. That way, you can accumulate your collection slowly, in a treasure hunt-style fashion.
For me, the treasure hunt never ends…
I will be running a Colour Box Workshop on Saturday 30th July and there are still a few spots available!
As well as talking about how I came up with my paint palettes, I will help you unlock your very own unique colour palette. It can be found by looking carefully at the things you surround yourself with: your clothes, the invitations & ephemera you keep, patterns you buy, jewellery you wear, bits n’bobs, even your teacups & plates! If you put your favourite things together you notice the same colours are repeated again & again. From this you can discover the colours that make you happy, how they can sit together & be applied into your interiors.
You’re encouraged to bring a box with some of your favourite items & ephemera.
Date & Time: 1pm – 2:30pm – Saturday 30th July, 2016.
Cost: $85, this price includes a signed copy of Bowerbird by Sibella Court.
Where: The Society inc: Warehouse 3.02, 75 Mary St, St Peters NSW, 2044.
Buy your tickets here.