When developing a product, an idea begins with a story, a particular sensibility, process or material that I am inspired by. I like to give leave to the story and histories, both real and imagined, to take flight and shape the form. My imagination is endlessly sparked by the timeworn patina of vintage wares, sometimes spied in old homes, museums, or happened upon at fleamarkets. All of the products I create for The Society inc. are handmade to add to the rich tapestry of your home and spark delight as only a beautiful and thoughtfully designed object can.
I love the resurgence of the "trend" towards blending old and new in interiors, a style currently called hip-storic or new-stalgic design.
It is, after all, what I've been doing throughout my career!
Not only do I have a home layered with vintage finds but also a shop and an interior design studio. I have been collecting for over 30 years and the vintage finds have my stories embedded in them, of where I was & who I was with that are then woven into the rich tapestry of my spaces. I always blend a large percentage of my interior spaces with vintage furniture & curiosities with their own palimpsest shown through their patina and marks which I embrace wholeheartedly.. These marks of time in salvaged finds give any interior space that extra something special with the palimpsest of their history celebrated through their patina & marks mixed amongst newly purchased pieces & designed spaces. They add an emotion and essence that cannot be achieved otherwise and make new joinery and finishes instantly anchored to a space.
Even the smallest of pre-loved objects can lend a charm, a sense of nostalgia that instantly enriches a space and home with story.
As salvaging & recycling are deeply embedded in my personal philosophy and that of The Society inc , every project I have designed has a solid investment of upcycled, salvaged & vintage items from Hotel Palisade, Long’s Lane, Palmer & Co, Bullo River Station & my own home.
There is an emotiveness which comes with objects that have been made by hand or have lived a long life before making their way to you, a sense of something that remains unseen but felt as soon as you walk into the room.
I try to source a mix of natural, handmade and found objects for all my interiors projects, to sit alongside the new and manufactured pieces that may be a necessity.
I don’t recommend buying furniture that needs too much work, unless you have the right tools or trades and are willing to spend the time & know-how in restoring it, it will never get done. However, if something has a lovely shape like a mirror frame or lamp base that you can imagine in another colour or a lamp base that needs a new shade fabric or even a beautiful chair that needs new upholstery – go for it!! I do find having a black book of local trades is very handy - furniture restorers, framer, seamstress, upholsters , lampshade makers, blacksmiths, metal workers, lamp shade makers & speciality painters or even being in contact with your local Men’s shed
The hardware I design for The Society inc. all harks back to a bygone era of heritage trades and master craftsmen.
My recent collection evokes the romance of golden age Paris with the everyday opulence of luxe aged nickel, while the craftsmanship of our new mid-century inspired cane and leather wrapped brass bring with them the elegant and honest practicality of that era. So if you are like me, & love a house with patina and rooms filled with interesting pieces & curiosities (that often don't cost a lot of money!) consider the mix of old and new in your space.
Endless objects and curiosities are upcycled and used as artwork collectibles on walls and in cupboards as the all-important top layer styling. I have created Cabinets of Curiosities, art & plate walls and 3D hardware textures, tool installations amongst many other interesting colllections.
When collecting art I will generally come up with a theme or a muse. My go-tos themes are ships, portraits and still life in the form of paintings, drawings on various templates & shapes! But your linking the could be a colour, tools or even an era! And then I arrange them together or separately depending on the interior I was asked so often, how to display vintage collections, that I wrote a book about it called Bowerbird!
There are so many reasons to love old over new. One that is top of the list is to keep objects out of landfill; I try to avoid plastic as much as I can and look for objects made from materials that are steadfast & age well, so I'm less likelv to have to replace them in the future. If you'd like to read more about our dedication to sustainability,
Vintage items have withstood the test of time this far, and I have confidence they will hold up with more use to come. Even the smallest of handmade and pre-loved objects can lend a charm and sense of nostalgia that instantly enriches a space and home with story.
Renovating a house is like breathing new life into a familiar space. It's an exciting journey that allows you to transform your living space according to your tastes, needs, and lifestyle. Whether you're looking to update a single room or give your entire house a makeover, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the key steps of a successful house renovation.
We whizzed down the back streets of Seminyak and the smaller the streets became the deeper we time travel into a Bali of a time gone-by...
This year, my dear friend and photographer; William Meppem and I captured the essence of this perfect boathouse, located in Newport, Sydney. The ideal spot to drop your anchor this holiday season.
I have dreamt of a boathouse escape for many years and all of my dreams have come true in a recent visit to a space that captures it all, The Salty Dog. This miniature house provides all of the nuances of boat building within its own minute space. Situated amongst the quintessential Sydney landscape of emerald green water and unique sandstone structures - surrounded by angophora gums.
With the extension of the dinghy & direct entrance to the water, this house evolves into an explorative landscape that extends beyond its petite footprint. If I were to create the ideal boathouse... This would be it.
An Interview with Judi:
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