Inspired by the vibrant and punchy hues that the culture of Mexico naturally forms. Mexico DF’s people & their lives spill onto the sunny streets: pots of geraniums & marigolds, street stands selling fresh watermelon, tacos & guacamole, grilled corn & salsa verde. Brightly coloured walls & sign-writing, even the VW & Fifties cars of reds & greens & oranges, seamlessly create this palette.
Though bold and vibrant, this palette can be used in many settings. For a brave painter, splash a Rosa Ragosa dado around a young girls bedroom. Alternatively, try spicing up the exterior of your home with Geranium or Cicada, painting faux tiles on your cement terrace – checkerboard style! This is a cheaper option to tiles; it’s super fun & looks fantastic. If this is too bold a move for you, use a bold colour in a subtle way; have your house number/name softly hand painted on or next to your front door.
I is for…
I have spoken about my friend & collaborator Saul of Coloforge before. He is a blacksmith who has a deep knowledge of the skills of smiths many years his senior, who are no longer here to preserve the craft. Always one who is drawn to the shimmer of flame, I love seeing the unyielding form of iron burn white hot and then become malleable – it’s incredible to watch. And as those sparks fly with the hammer & anvil you see the magic that still lives in this trade. I love being able to bring this weathered trade that lives in the shadows of mass-production to the fore, as I often incorporate pieces created by Saul into my commercial spaces. Not only that, but a special metal shield lives on my warehouse’s door as an amulet of sorts – my personal talisman and safeguard.
Playing with scale is an essential trick of a stylist’s trade.
Experiment with objects of different shapes and heights, such as the long, spindly branch, flat stacked picture frames, a domed velvet horseriding hat and the length of blue and white striped Japanese fabric seen here.
Every interior should have pieces, such as this large-scale carnivale letter embellished with multi-coloured Christmas lights, which inject a sense of humour. Playing with scale also acts as another layer in your interior scheme.
Rethink the height of your furniture and create a whole new perspective for your room. This Bedouin-inspired living area, with its rich layers of rugs and throws, low-slung tables, daybed and floor cushions, instantly evokes an exotic, hedonistic atmosphere.
A play on scale – the oversized porcelain apple and giant ‘S’ above the bed – can also give the interior a sense of fun in an Alice In Wonderland kind of way.
Shop the look by mixing a few of our fabric covered lanterns which come in a range of sizes and shapes. Hang the UFO with two small Bola 25 lanterns to create a dreamy atmosphere in a lounge area or bedroom. Alternatively, liven up your space with our extra large Bamboo cloche which sits beutifully as a pendant over a kitchen bench or add a few above an outdoor dining area.
There’s a new favourite on my bookshelf; Karen McCartney and a stellar design team have combined their creativity and wealth of design and architecture knowledge to create Perfect Imperfect: the beauty of accident, age & patina. Beautifully capturing the essence of the Japanese philosophy ‘wabi-sabi’, we’re taken on an exploration of beauty in all that is impermanent and imperfect, with insights into the spaces and studios that house creatives from Australia and around the globe.
The collective aesthetic of Karen, stylist Glen Proebstel, photographer Sharyn Cairns and art director Tracy Lines accumulates into a visual feast of gorgeous lighting and contrasts; the play between shadow and form, transitions between details of cherished objects and unique interiors, with striking shades of black, grey and white running as a visual thread throughout.
I love how the interspersed headings capture the spirit of the book as well as complimenting the signature styles of the featured artists and designers – The art of accidents, mark of the hand, deep shadow, weathering and decay, incomplete and irregular. It’s about celebrating the natural, treasured & found object, the role of the maker’s narrative, the importance of process.
Keep an eye out for my little feature (pages 186 – 195, but I highly recommend working your way through the whole book!) as well as works by Jacqueline Fink of Little Dandelion, designer Martyn Thompson’s Soho apartment and Canberra’s very own Hotel Hotel.
There’s a lot happening in Singapore – plenty to see and some fresh faces on the scene. Here are my eat, play, stay tips for this fun city.
SINGAPORE | EAT
POTATO HEAD FOLK
An impressive four-storey colonial building wrapping around a corner of Chinatown, painted in distinctive red & white.
A take out kitchen owns the ground floor & then follow the painted checkerboard staircase up to Three Buns Kitchen – all carnival & fun with an interior of vintage finds, mix n’matched chairs & tables, school house lights & a fabulous top layer of art & murals by Melbourne-based, Bromley&co. Stop for burger & bloody Mary, but make sure to secure a booking!
Although it lacks animals & forest floor underfoot, it is an incredible venture on the cityscape & a welcome relief from the humidity of Singapore.
SINGAPORE | STAY
Here’s to the next adventure!
This still-life is a nod to the mysteries & fascinations of sea craft, pirates and buccaneers, and the sense of adventure that they bring. The word ‘Buccaneer’ originates from the Caribbean Arawak word Buccan, a wooden frame for smoking meat. The French term ‘boucanier’ soon followed- referring to the French hunters who used such frames to smoke produce.
Around 1630 when Spaniards tried to drive the French from the Island of Tortuga, the French rallied forces and partook in acts of piracy in small sea crafts against the Spanish ships roaming the open seas. The name Buccaneer, with the connotation of pirates was spread by English settlers occupying Jamaica. Buccaneers later became know as outlaws, part privateer, part pirate authorised by the government to attack foreign war vessels.
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