27 February, 2009

Horray! ...It's the Weekend!

With February to an end this weekend [for us in the Southern Hemisphere] although it is still warm through to Easter in April for swimming and frolicking on the sand, the days change as they grow shorter, and the warmth is slightly different so this weekend is a great time to get the most out of the swimming pool or beach-side, grab your towels, pull out the sun lounge and pop on your favourite wide brim hat!
Aside, I love this Palm Springs-esque pool setting painted in sunny yellow with white netting against the over sized large white format paving and the mirrored aqua glacier pool - all so inviting! Hope you have a wonderful weekend - Enjoy! Sarah x
Image from Southern Accents

26 February, 2009


Today I am inspired by this beautiful painting of the 'Blue Dress' [more blue] a gorgeous fluid fusion of Fashion [subject matter], Art work [the item/ the medium]& Interiors [the placement]. Viewing this piece I feel like a soft haunted whisper has just past my ears, and that the dress is somehow transcendenal & will float me away to another place... What a beautiful piece to have - the dress and the art work!

25 February, 2009

Happy Wedding Anniversary...to my Grandparents xx

To my darling wonderful Grandparents, whom I call 'Mum' & 'Pa' - aka Norma & George... thinking of you & wishing you both a very Happy 59th Wedding Anniversary! Congratulations on such a wonderful milestone together - we love you both very much & wish you many more years of love & friendship together...
La La Love You! Sarah [& our family] xxx

Mid Week Chaos...a peaceful spot

This week seems like one of these mad chaotic weeks for me - where work is crazy, the body is not keeping up very well, it's mid-week - so the light is still shining for the end of the week, but gee I am tired! So I thought this image of a peaceful, restful, & elegant cosy spot to put your feet up was just perfect!
So to get me through this is my visualisation for those chaotic moments! I love versatility of the ceramic glazed Chinese urn - as a small side table, accent decor piece, small seating, or with a cushion a stylish footstool . The soft hues of eggshell white, pale grey blue, soft muted lemon anchored with walnut tones - accented with a soft multi stripe floor rug and oversize large scale graphic cushions - calms the senses to a more serene place. What's your favourite spot to escape the madness? Enjoy x
Image from Traditional Home

24 February, 2009

An Enduring Affair with Blue & White...& Plantation.

Feels like home... The palm fronds add a fresh natural organic element to the room - filtering light through the room. I would love to have this pair of blue & white ceramic base lamps that I am already eyeing off at Architectural Decor, located in Lewisham, Sydney NSW.
Adoration - Blue & White Ginger Jars placed on the top of the armoire, and indigo ground plump cushions with subtle white print & embroidery detail.
Yes, I am having an ongoing affair with blue & white! Thanks to Anna's blog from Absolutely Beautiful Things I have found the work of Phoebe Howard and Leah Kennelly's blog of the Howard business Mrs Howard's Personal Shopper.
I adore the fresh, elegant, plantation style approach with this room - protected in natural neutral shades the palette is combined with blue & white ceramics and plump cushions, fresh green palm fronds and black trunk bamboo, well placed pots of phalaenopsis orchids with their delicate rounded flat petals, combined with the elongated curtains . I find these rooms refreshing, easy to live in and at the same time to be admired through their harmonious balance in colour, shape, texture and style...

Images from Phoebe Howard

23 February, 2009

Beautiful Handwriting ...Bespoke Designs by PipWilly

Over the weekend I visited the LifeInStyle trade fair in Sydney where I found so many wonderful new suppliers & beautiful products... one in particular was 'Pip Willy'. I must profess that I am slightly bias towards 'Pip Willy' - as it is my good friend, Pip's business & I also helped her with the styling of her stand at the fair [I will post photos of the stand from LifeInStyle shortly].
However, just being bias won't cut the mustard when your product is on show - & WOW does Pip - for 'Pip Willy', cut the mustard - actually the whole sandwich!! Here I have posted some of her products from her website. Pip has also been featured in Home Beautiful, Australian House & Garden - and about to be an upcoming issue for Inside Out, and she just told me that she has been invited to Fashion Exposed a trade only fair (in the next few weeks) for her bespoke printed skirts! [Will try and get some photos of the skirts on parade!].
Pip is a talented textile & graphic designer - through her work she uses multiple media techniques including sketching, drawing & tracing natural objects and then graphic design CAD programs to then translates these designs into hand screen printed works onto hand selected beautiful fabrics. Each print is then transposed in fabric lengths to be made into object - be it drum shades, lamps, cushions, skirts, stretched over canvas as an piece of art.
You can find Pip's work on her website Pip Willy and also on Hard To Find, and Eastern Weft.
Images from Pip Willy

20 February, 2009

Happy Friday... It's the Weekend!

Happy Friday - it's here again, Yay! This would have to be my ideal studio space somewhere at the back of my garden - somewhere I could read, paint, draw, sew and create - maybe in my next home!
So throw your doors open this weekend & let the light in, enjoy the small things - inside or out read the newspapers over a cup of tea, grab a small cosy spot & knock over a couple of chapters of that book. Or get into your garden & grab some fresh green foliage to fill up your vases... whichever way you spend your time I hope you have a wonderful weekend & a Happy Friday! Enjoy x

Image from Coastal Living

Best Palatial Music - Simply Red... Simply Floored

Simply Red - Mick Hucknall, photo by Hamish Brown from Simply Red website
Simply Red 25 - The Greatest Hits, Album cover - SimplyRed.com
Simply Red - Mick Hucknall, photo by Hamish Brown from Simply Red website

Last night we went to the Simply Red concert held at the Concert Hall in the Sydney Opera House... and oh wow!! What can I say other than that I was simply floored - by how truly amazing Mick Hucknall and the Simply Red band are. Their sound, his voice, and their groove - they have got it! Their music can mark such poignant times in our lives - not many can go past a certain point where they can't recount a Simply Red song that hasn't attached itself to their own memory and what happened when... Having followed them for years starting with my Aunts introducing them into the 'background' music of family get togethers (in the eighties), as a school girl through the eighties & then into nineties with end of school uni, and more 'serious' adult times of driving on Sundays & dinner parties.... their songs and albums track different times in our lives from earlier years 'Holding Back the Years', to 'Say You Love Me', to 'Fairground', and to the ever palatial groove of 'Sunrise' [the intro reminiscent of Hall & Oates “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)']. To read more about the band go to the Simply Red official site - there's a great article written in the UK Telegraph - marking the 25th Anniversary of the band. Enjoy x
Images from the official Simply Red website

19 February, 2009

[Today] I Love - A White Out...

After all the recent rain & humidity in Sydney town over the past week & a half the sun is now out, even if it is on a backdrop of dark inky clouds - all of a sudden I felt like I needed clean, fresh, contemporary White... a White Out. I love the White Walls, White Shutters& White sift furnishings... the white floors look clean chic great on the top and bottom images as does the contrast dark walnut flooring in the centre image. Each room could be one that I could relax & ponder within....

17 February, 2009

[Recent] Article: How To Decorate on a Budget...

Australian magazine Real Living - [cover March 2009] Fabulous style & creative ideas without compromising your purse strings!
Thrifty ... designer Sara Silm with her revamped bookshelf that cost less than $200.Photo: Quentin Jones

I am sure that we are all getting very well acquainted with our household budgets this year [and potentially for many more] whilst our economy is taking a downward turn and our discretionary spending becomes scrutinised more than ever... but it doesn't mean the end to great style or re-decorating! There are some great ideas to be had on a thrifty budget - one of my favourite Australian mags 'Real Living' gives just that great ideas & fabulous style on a [shoe string] budget. So just use that noggin' and get creative with your ideas and your dollar!

'How To Decorate on a Budget... '
'...With money tight, a modern style makeover is all about using your ingenuity rather than maxing out your credit card. So we told our experts we wanted great results for less than $500.
Read on, they've got your place sorted! ...'

Think outside the square
A recession leads people to focus more on their homes, rather than less, says Chrissie Jeffery, owner of
No Chintz soft furnishings. "People aren't going out as much. So they're not going to allow their houses to get too shabby - it's the one place they can entertain." But on our meagre budget, she warns: "Don't fall into the trap of going into a shop and buying something! You're not going to get furniture that's decent and will last a long time for that money." So resist fast-filling a room with budget items. Like slow food, slow decorating pays dividends. As long as you've got a chair to sit on, take time to select pieces you really love.It's not only financially smart to choose things of quality you know you will love for a very long time, it's also the greenest choice because you won't be repeat buying and creating landfill.So, when looking for inexpensive solutions, the time is ripe to extend our decorating gaze beyond those seductive designer showrooms.
"Often what we think we need is sitting right in front of us, or in a charity store," says Sara Silm who co-owns decorating consultancy, Making Beautiful. In fact by buying second-hand, you will often score better-made pieces than something shiny and new in a budget furniture store. "Auction houses and garage sales are a great place to shop for original and interesting pieces at a great price," Silm says.

Get involved
Often the most rewarding projects are the ones where you put in a bit of physical effort. Jeffery says you can make your dollar go a lot further if you're prepared to put in a bit of effort by either painting or sewing. "In Australia, it's the labour cost that really makes things expensive," she says.
"You can change a whole room really cheaply just by giving it a coat of paint," says designer Mia Asker of White Design. Consider this: a four-litre tin of paint - enough to paint an average room - costs about $65 (depending on the brand)."If the wall is in good condition, as long as it's clean you don't need to prepare it, you can just go over the existing paint," says
Dulux marketing manager Ken Virtue.
Consider paint as a way of updating a piece of furniture, says Silm. "Just recently I painted a bookshelf (destined for the tip) in a beautiful French grey and covered the back board in a printed dark grey wallpaper," she says. "My husband returned home from a business trip and thought I'd been shopping!" The price? Less than $200.

So when looking at a tired piece of furniture, be creative and imagine it anew. "Paint or limewash an existing piece in a neutral tone. Or why not go all out and paint it raspberry red, pea green or silver?" Silm says.
Another great big-impact option is wallpaper. Some of these are extremely pricey if you're doing a whole wall but Asker recommends looking for end-of-line wallpapers at paint and decorating stores (see Source Book) for the cheapest options. For another budget-smart option, you can get the impact of doing a whole wall by using one large piece of wallpaper and framing it. "It looks great above a bed head," Asker says.

Go for the soft option
New cushions are a great instant style fix. And if your decor tends to neutral shades, then it's time to bring in a colour punch. "Pick a colour scheme; whether red and yellow or something like pink, burgundy and plum," Asker says. "If you buy some cushions, then purchase some toning vases - you'll give your room a whole new flavour."
You can buy cushions off the shelf for as little as $5 at factory-seconds stores. But once again, to make your investment something that lasts, it is worth spending a bit extra. You can buy reasonable-quality cushions with plush feather inserts for about $100 each.Another good option, if you have some great, useable fabric offcuts, is to get an upholsterer to make cushions for you. As a price guide, an good upholsterer will generally charge about $40 a cushion.

Get crafty
If you can sew, then you can create everything from cushions to curtains to upholstery. You can brush up those high school sewing skills with an evening course and you can even buy a basic sewing machine online for as little as $30.Another smart investment for the crafty decorator, if you're keen to do-it-yourself, is a staple gun. With this simple tool, all manner of projects suddenly become possible.
"Small upholstery jobs are not an unreasonable DIY venture," says Silm. "Teamed with some great fabric and some shiny nickel studs, you'll have a transformation that's incredibly impressive and also very rewarding.
"Start with the seat pad of an old dining chair. A 50-centimetre square piece of fabric, some wadding, a staple gun and upholstery tacs will get you going." If you haven't tried anything like this before, then you'll find the web is a great source of instructions for how-to projects.

Personalise your walls

Yes, the DIY shows are full of make-your-own wall art. The key here is scale and proportion. One large-sized canvas, wrapped in fabric, can create an impressive room feature. Silm is a fan of the graphic fabrics at IKEA.
"At $9 a metre, they're great value, not just for curtains." She suggests creating a series of smaller frames and covering them with the same fabric.
"Use a staple gun and wrap them around a canvas from a $2 shop for instant art. Repeated on a wall in two rows of three or five - they look great," says Silm. If anyone in your family is handy on a computer, then digital art is another great way to give a room real punch. (Try black and white images for maximum chic)."Or take any abstract images that you have on file," says Silm. "Then all you need to do is email the file to one of the many shops that can print off the image as a canvas. A 24-inch (61-centimetre) by 36-inch (91 centimetres) canvas is as little as $260." So what is stopping you? Now, no matter what the size your budget is, there is no reason why your home shouldn't look well turned out.

Olga Kaydanov reinvented an outdated piece of furniture through the simplest of means.
"I tore all of the fabric and stuffing off and was left with a box made from very cheap wood," she explains on her blog gingerandgold.typepad.com, about the ottoman overhaul.
"The box was full of imperfections and pencil marks. I liked that very much and wanted to add something extra to make it look even more like a shipping crate. I cut stencils from printer paper and stencilled the numbers, letters and symbols onto the box with regular black acrylic paint."
To finish, she added leftover MDF inserts to make a new lid, varnished the entire piece, added upholstery nails and screwed in the new legs to create a funky talking piece.

Article from SMH [Sydney Morning Herald] 29 January 2009

16 February, 2009

Today I Love - Terrariums...

Today I Love - Terrariums... especially with the new book by Tovah Martin & Kindra Clineff -
The New Terrarium, Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature, with such gorgeous photography and showing how to create stylish new terrariums I'd like one for each room. The front cover of the book got me at 'hello' one of my most favourite orchids - the Slipper Orchid (I have some in my garden under a tree canopy from my dear great aunt) - showcased in an oversize glass lolly jar... I think I will be out now scouring for large glass lolly jars to house my small orchid, fern & violet friends!! For more information on Terrariums or to set one up visit Terrariums.com. Enjoy! x

Images courtesy of Country Home [Cottage Living]

13 February, 2009

Happy Friday...

Happy Friday... it's the end of the week, again! Somehow this week has gone so quickly - not quite sure where it went! This weekend - Valentine's Day - we're on our annual pilgrimage with with our best friends & their gorgeous little 2 year girl, Siena [Siena's 3rd too - the dancing is getting much better!!] to the open air concert series 'Twilight At Taronga' for 'Beatlemania' the Beatles cover band The Beatnix! Just need to hold off on the rain showers for the concert! Hope you have a wonderful, fun & safe weekend... Enjoy x

Love Projects...

Garland - Start your own “love chain” with this garland. For patterns you can print out in color. Then simply cut them out, punch a hole in each, and suspend from a metal chain with ornament hangers.
Sweethearts - To create, cut two hearts out of felt (ours are 4x5 and 4x6 inches), then hand-sew using blanket stitches or whip stitches. Embellish with beads or embroidery, such as French knots and daisy stitches. Hang from twine.
COVERED BOXES Instead of actual playing cards, here a computer is used to scan rows of cards and print them in color, then glued them to a hatbox and lid.

I found these great Valentine project ideas and thought I would share them with you - instead of buying something, make something from papers, card and old trims you may have at home or can purchase inexpensively at the local dollar store. Some Red felt, some contrast stitches and a hand written card can go such a long way with true sentiment... Enjoy! x

Images & Project Ideas from Country Home

Wouldn't It Be Lovely ...

Colour Blocked Living Space - epoxy white painted floors for long wear & a great use of an old friend - using a favourite old doily photographed on a colourful background - blown up and positioned off-centrefor a modern placement on canvas. Doily's and lace also used as applique on a bright ruby cushion - playing with positive & negative space, so 'wow'!
White Romantic, Fresh & Contemporary Storage - Office & Living Space with a super 'pop' of love-heart red that adds a sense of liveliness and depth.
These blue based pale pink walls are both romantic & modern when combined with white trimmed windows, skirts and bedlinen. The floral bouquet pattern on the quilt cover adds a touch of femininity & cosiness - the stripe floor mat anchors the feminine room without adding too much more to it.

Today it's raining and cool here [in Sydney] & so I thought wouldn't it be lovely to cosy up with the one you love in a Romantically inspired room!

Images from Country Home

12 February, 2009

Valentines - Cookie Couture...

I am just in love with these gorgeous cookies [and 1 cake] especially the 'X O X O' boxed cookies from Nadine [Ingram] at Cookie Couture [here in Sydney] Wouldn't you just love to receive one of these gorgeous cookies!! I know I would - hint hint!

Images from Cookie Couture

11 February, 2009

Sweet Ideas for your Sweet-Heart!

Click on the link for the recipe 'Congac Kissed Chocolate Truffles'
Click on the link for the recipe - Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread Hearts

With Valentine's Day approaching on the weekend - you could bake, get someone to bake for you or or buy some delicious treats for your sweet-heart! Here are some yummy ideas... who knows they may even share with you!

Images from Traditonal Home & My Recipes

10 February, 2009

V is for Valentine...

A loving book mark in red felt & hot pink spotted satin ribbon
Paper doilies & contrast paper make for simple lovely cards for your sweet hearts.
All things you love - a personalised 'love' mood board
With all things Heart shaped & Red coming up in days leading to St. Valentine's Day for Saturday 14th Feb... I found a couple of things I thought I would share with you that made me smile - that are 'heart-felt', inspired and hand-made, showing that not everything has to be just store bought....

Wall Paper Love ...Pt 2.

Colorful Entry
It's OK to be bold in a small space, especially in a transition zone, such as a foyer.
Here, graphic blue-and-white wallpaper adds life to an entry. Crisp white trim balances the space.
Comfortable Bedroom
Wallpaper functions as architecture in an otherwise simple room. The sunny yellow pattern from Farrow & Ball in the bedroom has a large repeat, creating visual structure to the eye.

Cozy Sitting Room
A 10x13-foot space lives large with layers of texture and a light palette. Green and turquoise accessories accent the cream foundation.
Armless chairs allow room to move around the room.

More of my obsessional love for wallpaper and its application to a feature wall... I love these rooms from 'Country Home' where smaller rooms and spaces now have real 'pop' through a pattern & colour vehicle such as this wallpaper feature - wall, really creating a strong unified room/ space.
I am seriously considering this as an idea for a wall in my open living/ dining room, where I already have a 'painted recessed wall area in 'Jervis Bay Blue', I think a patterned blue/ white (white ground) wall paper will pick up the 'Chalk Canvas' main paint colour and the 'Jervis Bay Blue' , with the framed hand painted plates in Blue/ White from Fez- picking up pattern & tying the colours together... I will find the wall paper design and image I am thinking of and post it next for you to see!
Images from Country Home

06 February, 2009

Happy Friday....nearly the weekend!

It's Friday and that's means it's nearly the weekend... and here in Sydney it's forecasted to be a quite a hot little weekend finishing with a big ole' summer storm on Sunday evening!

So here's to your Friday, evening drinks, sleep-ins and for a relaxing [cool - for the Eastern & Southern Coastlines] weekend! Enjoy & Cheers x

Image from Coastal Living

Happy Birthday... to Kylie xx

It's my darling sister-in-law, Kylie's, 30th Birthday [although it is actually on Monday 9th Feb]... tonight we're looking forward to sharing & beginning the celebrations for her entry to her [dirty] thirties with drinks & snacks, followed by dinner on Saturday evening by the bech. So here's to wishing my beautiful sister-in-law, Kylie, a very Happy & Wonderful 30th Birthday, welcome to the next best decade in your life - may it be full of promise, new adventures, love, laughter, success & wonderful times with family & friends ...
I found these Peonies to celebrate Kylie's birthday, they remind me so much of her - vibrant, gorgeous, feminine and always wanted!

Image courtesy of Southern Living

05 February, 2009

Black & White - Graphic Love...

Today I love ... these rooms (created by Nate Berkus - also of Oprah [Winfrey] fame) are bathed in the harmonious contrasts of Black & White each plays with positive & negative space in their placements of colour & shade; the light & dark and a fabulous graphic element which is achieved through linking artwork - one of a painterly style in the framed canvas above the bed instead of a head board drawing the eye up (as seen in the bedroom - top) and the photographic piece as ships mast and upper deck area - framed and mounted in white allowing it to float and sail between the white lamps (as seen in the hall console/ study area). Through considered placement and linking colour through artwork (as a joining vehicle - like that of a print in a fashion story) contrasts and limited colour can flow. The fresh clean, contemporary air, adding texture and the personal touches with photos of family /friends carefully placed and the art work really does appeal to me.
Images from NB - Nate Berkus & Associates

02 February, 2009

Palatial News - Rubie Green & '..The rise of eco-chic design'

Thought I'd share this interesting article from the SMH (Sydney Morning Herald) that I read last week on 'the rise of Eco-Chic', mentioning several of my favourite textile designers & decorators....

It's often said these days that green is the new black. Being eco-minded is becoming quite the smart, style-minded thing to do. Perhaps you're among those with a rising awareness about the "stuff" you bring into your home, paying mind to how long you'll love it before you toss it away and also how it has been made. On the other hand, maybe you've been put off by the oddness of what you've seen paraded as eco-design."I really want to show people that homes can be eco-friendly without sacrificing personal style," says young New Yorker Michelle Adams, who runs an eco-friendly textile company, Rubie Green, which already has a strong local fan base.Adams is in Sydney for next week's trade-based Australian International Furniture Fair (February 4-6) where she will give a seminar titled Eco Chic Design.
"It's a common misconception that eco-friendly implies either a colourless, style-lacking space or a super-modern, energy-efficient structure that barely resembles a house," she says."Neither need be the case, so I'm excited to share what some top New York designers are doing that's both green and stylish and, most of all, easy to live with."Indeed Adams's designs confound the conventional tree-hugger aesthetic. Her fabrics boast swanky, uptown Manhattan motifs: leopard prints, zebra prints, bamboo trellis, bold geometrics, all befitting a chic penthouse in a magazine spread. Which is no coincidence really, since Adams's previous role was as a market editor on Vogue's sister magazine Domino, a style bible to home-decorating enthusiasts everywhere.There, Adams became aware there were no fashion-forward eco-textiles. The textile-design graduate saw a business opportunity.
"I always wanted to have my own line of fabrics. My heroes were people like Cath Kidston and Rachel Ashwell - who even had her own TV show. I didn't realise that textiles could be this big!'
'So I just decided to take the plunge and go for it. I had a lecturer at college who said: 'If you're going to go out and put more products on this Earth, then you should make them sustainable.'
"Thus, Rubie Green's printing process is non-toxic and the bedding range, made in India, is from a factory certified for its socially responsible treatment of employees. Nevertheless, Adams has been delighted the fabric designs are beloved for their look as much as their origin.It's an experience shared by local Sydney brands such as Bird, Cloth and Publisher textiles, whose work also has a solid green base but who have carved their own distinctive place with a series of wonderfully creative fabric designs.

What's different about Adams is that in just 18 months she's gone global. Enlisting the talents of a photographer friend and an old college BFF as a model, Adams has produced a glamorous online shop for her products that could have come straight from the pages of her old magazine."All of my customers are obsessed with Domino and they love the over-the-top Hollywood Regency style [a term for the popular American trend paraded through the magazine that's inspired by 1960s and '70s high glamour]."As part of her Sydney talk, Adams will be sharing her views on where trends are heading next. "

For the past few years, Hollywood Regency style has been incredibly popular in New York and my designs certainly cater to the trend but we're starting to see homes that are a bit more subdued and natural - perhaps it could be called Boho chic?"Design is starting to move in a simpler direction. Things are less graphic and we are moving to a more subdued, natural look. I'm working on creating some new colourways for my fabrics that will reflect this trend - soft pinks and greys for people who don't want to be so bold."Adams won't be the only one imparting her eco-vision to the design community. Six leading architects and interior designers will construct room sets based on the concept eco-luxury - two words that have only recently started to go hand in hand.

Meanwhile, emerging designers will be showcasing some thought-provoking eco-furniture designs. Here's a look at some of the best on offer.Eco-hang upsVictorian design graduate Stefan Torre's Vertical Fold Chair can transform from an occasional seat into a wall-hung art panel. Challenged to design something with a double purpose, Torre says: "The best way was to create something that saves space."The chair is made from E-veneer and hoop pine ply. He's hoping the chair launches him on his way to his ambition. "One day I'd like to run my own workshop and to make furniture to my design," he says.
Paper as plasticDon't be fooled by the plastic-like appearance of the Zeopod; it's recycled paper and hemp.What's exciting is that this new material, called Zeoform and made in Mullumbimby, is made from cutting edge nano-technology and doesn't use the glues, resins or toxins common in many plastics. And it is 100 per cent biodegradable at the end of its life.

Perth-based designer Wilma van Boxtel was invited by Zeoform to design a seat with their new product and the shape was inspired by a seed pod she discovered in Queensland. To round out its blue-chip sustainable credentials, her upholstered seat is made from Joyce Eco foam with an eco-wool covering.Van Boxtel, who lectures in design at Curtin University, says: "If we as designers make better choices, then the consumer doesn't have to think about it."I teach my students to think about sustainable design [and packaging] as using common sense."Cutting through the eco-hypeIn building lingo the term "kerf" applies to the fraction of material that is lost when a blade cuts through it.
Alex Lesniowski named his display stand Kerf because "that's the only wastage in the design", says the RMIT furniture lecturer of his modular design."You can make it into a hall table, chairs, a coffee table, even a racking system. It's like Lego and I have only come up with about nine configurations but once I put it out there I hope the public will come up with a lot more," he says.Lesniowski is a committed eco-designer."I am very passionate about using material to its full potential with no waste," he says. "I chose hoop pine because it's sustainable and it's local. The are so many so-called green materials but there's a cost [including environmental] in transporting them."And he points out that an important part of sustainability is a product's durability."If you look in antique shops, you will find chairs that have been around for 100 years - that's because they have been built well. They're sustainable because they have been recycled through generations."

Organic tablesOne normally doesn't think of perspex as being eco-friendly but young Sydney designer Amy Tang has sourced an EcoResin from the US to manufacture her striking Organic Culture tables.Against the geometric shape of their silhouettes, the table top features seagrass or die-cut bamboo framed within the clear surface. "I wanted to design something that was minimal and edgy but organic," Tang says."Having that sustainability [in the design] is the number one thing people look for. I want to design products people value for life. That's my philosophy.

Find out more . . .
* Rubie Green rubiegreen.com

* Alex Lesniowski alexlesniowski@optusnet.com.au

* Amy Tang amz@amzdesigns.com

* Stefan Torre torre-01@hotmail.com
* Wilma van Boxtel deseosdesign.com*

The Australian International Furniture Fair and co-located fair Decoration & Design (February 4-6) at Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney are trade-only events. See aiff.net.au.

Image & article source SMH.com.au

Palatial News - '...Get out and renovate, urge architects...'

News on on the Economic Front - it's great news for Architects > which has an indirect flow on to Interior Designers - Stylists/Decorators & Colour Consultants....
With the Australian econmoy taking an econmic down turn, people/ consumers are being more cautious with discreationary spending, in the hope that they don't lose their jobs and ultimately becoming very cost conscious and value driven. And with this in mind sometime the first areas of goods and services to suffer are the areas that many people believe to be on their 'wish list' menaning the non-essential, adding to aethetics can just mean adding to spending where it's not essential to do so. Not so we say, and so backed up it is with several new reports

Get out and renovate, urge architects...
Australians could help kick start the economy out of recession by getting out and renovating, architects say.
Robert Caulfield, managing director of Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Australian Institute of Architects, said interest rates could hit an all-time low this week, tradesmen were looking for work in a highly competitive market and the Australian dollar was down.
"There has never been a better time to renovate and use Australian products," he said in a statement.
"We believe it is important for the federal government to consider the renovation factor - especially encouraging the use of Australian products which are first quality." Mr Caulfield said the renovation industry was worth $20 billion a year and could be a major key in kick starting the economy. He said the important factor about renovation projects was that they could be started far more quickly than new housing. Renovations presented an opportunity to invest in the family home, improving both its value and the quality of life, without spending up to $60,000 in taxes and charges on another home.
"Renovations range in size, providing jobs for smaller to larger builders and flow onto many areas, apart from building materials, such as furniture, electrical goods, carpets, fixtures and fittings and landscaping," he said.
Mr Caulfield said renovating could also improve a home's environmental quality through use of energy and water-saving devices. As part of its J For Jobs program, Archicentre has launched a series of 100 free seminars across Australia to encourage renovation, environmental design and informed property buying, he says.
Article source - SMH.com.au


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