Bathing Pavilion

I am researching for a new bar I am designing.
A fascination with old locker rooms (not in a creepy way) & bathing pavilions led me to Neilsen Park.
I love how you can access this from the beach via a tunnel- so very 1920’s.
I am hoping that it is just closed for the winter, but it looked a little tattered & unloved, & considering I had to quietly step over some obstructions to enter (not really breaking in, more just nosily poking around) I’m not too sure…
I love the generous proportions & thoughtful changing cubicles all wooden & roofed- I  intend to reference this idea & intimacy in my bar.
I am off on excursions  to North Sydney Pool, Wylies Baths & Rose Bay Surf Lifesaving Club at Bondi to check out their changing facilities!! Quite a few years back, I was on a photo shoot that flew me into Asheville, North Carolina. I visited Biltmore House, built by the Vanderbilts of American railway fortune.
It was built in 1889-95 and has the most impressive tiled gym & indoor pool you have ever seen.


Skills that sailors had other than Sailing (see Etcetera Etc pp. 86 and a half):

Sewing, Tattooing, Birdwatching, Whittling, Scrimshawing, Training Pets: Monkeys, Parrots, Crickets, Dogs; Bone Carving: Buttons, Needles, Combs, Gambling Chips; Musical Instruments, Knot Tying, Making Games: Quoits, Balls; Dancing Jigs & Singing Seashanties, Reading (most ships had a library), Basketweaving, and Palm & Leather Braiding, Collecting Specimens, Botanical Drawing/Painting, Shooting and Skinning Animals, Cooking, Herbal Remedies, Rope & Net Making.
My friend, James Merrell gave me a very old special piece of scrimshaw that is on my desk for me to look at whenever I please. If you are not up with the art of scrimshawing, it was traditionally done by sailors and is a kind of miniature naive carving done on bones, mostly whalebones, most often depicting sea adventures, expeditions & creatures.

Faye Toogood

I have long admired Faye Toogood. Many moons ago (from the 90’s on) she was the genius creative behind the swatch pages of The World of Interiors. I admired her gusto & enthusiasm for what could be have been approached in a ho-hum kind of a way.
Fast forward to the last couple of years- her work you can now step into. The Rug Co in NYC & Chicago were designed by her, & ooze with a sense of humour, colour, general good taste & uber cool furniture pieces to showcase the rugs.
See pp. 171 in The Stylist’s Guide to NYC.
Although I missed this years Milan Furniture Fair (actually, I’ve never been) I lived it through the pics & clever words of Vogue Living’s David Clark.
I was captivated by Faye’s interactive space created in an Italian apartment: she held soiree at midnight, where the food was as much on show as her leather covered chairs (sewn by specialist fetish couture masters), resin tables, aluminium chairs and lunar plates. Tea-dyed boiled eggs held in hammocks were served by black latex gloved waitresses, charcoal covered cheese & chocolate dipped bread skewered by a knife were piled for you to serve yourself.
This woman is a genius & is as cool as Ilse Crawford.
These are the women that inspired me & enticed me into this industry.
All photos from www.studiotoogood.com

Blackwing pencils

My older brother, Damo should have his own version of The Curiosity Show (remember that one that was on in the afternoons?). Conversations with him usually flirt around constructions of flying foxes, the strongest magnet in the world & magnetic water, laser pointers that can be seen from space, drills with super fast speeds etc.

His latest find is the Blackwing pencil. Oh how I want some!! Check out wikipedia for definition and history. I love his continued fascination with slightly scientific, mostly kid-like glee of unusual things. When we were growing up he loved to construct bombs & blow up letter boxes, build bike ramps & get airbourne on blind corners as we patiently & confidently lined up in rows for him to fly over. I should send him to the Brooklyn Super Hero and San Francisco Pirate Supply stores. These pics were taken by Damo with his Macro lens and Canon 5D!


Private Dining Room

Location: Ivy, 320 George St, Sydney

An existing space that had never quite been finished! It had a fabulous marble kitchen, ready & waiting for your private chef & personalized menu! It can be utilized into 2 sections: dining room with credenza (seating 24) and outdoor cocktail area surrounded by potted bush magnolias and large papyrus (& a sunbed for pre-cocktail drinks).

I tidied up & finished off the space by adding white high backed cane dining chairs to seat around the existing marble table and potted plants that line the credenza at different heights & sizes. A huge metal-framed mirror was hung over the credenza to reflect the kitchen behind.

In the drinks space, lots of planting & potting were added with signature styles of furniture from Ivy: stripe-y cushioned outdoor armchairs, lantern lighting, yellow ceramic drum tables, round metal mesh tables, hanging wicker baskets & lots & lots of potted greenery. A photograph of a model taken in the ivy pool was blown up and added as the final touch.


Bistrode CBD

Location: CBD Hotel, 75 York St, Sydney

This was a refresh of an existing space to welcome chef & restaurateur, Jeremy Strode of Bistrode.

On the walls we needed a change of paint colour and chose a cleaner, brighter white. Jeremy supplied black & white photographs of chefs around the world by Earl Carter that we mixed in with some old English cutlery illustrations .We employed the artist that Jeremy had used on Bistrode menus to create an over-scaled mural on the ground floor and exterior barriers. Shaded wall sconces were added for additional lighting and a bistro feel.

The front of the bar was paneled with black penny tiles, new vases were added for large flora as well as the addition of some loose, upholstered banquette style seating.

The old tablecloths were removed, the French wood polished to a darker tone, new linen napkins sourced & this light, beautiful space was given a new lease on life.