Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ruffling My Feathers

There is something otherworldly and almost mythical about these feathered pieces by English artist Kate MccGwire.  They are beautiful but also kind of scare me a little bit.  An object as familiar as a feather has become something strange when fastidiously applied to these organic shapes.  
Kate started collecting feathers in a nearby old boat shed and then started arranging them and laying them out.  She appreciated how beautiful the feathers really are and began to create artwork from them and now has about 200 people from all across the UK sending her envelopes full of feathers. 

I'm a huge fan of site specific artwork and I love the interiors in which these works have been installed.  Stunning.

Found on Yatzer

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Sydney Style

We spent the most wonderful weekend in Sydney.  We traipsed from Bondi to Balmain, Surry Hills to The Rocks and checked out some beautiful stores and amazing food. 
Here are a few images from that weekend.
1. Greenhouse by Joost
2. Koskela in Surry Hills and an old terrace in Surry Hills
3. The Society Inc.
4. Charming streets of Surry Hills
5-6. Bourke Street Bakery Surry Hills
7. More streets somewhere
8. Crown Street and the facade of the Brett Whitely Studio
9. Dinner at Porteno Surry Hills.

Monday, 28 March 2011


I absolutely fell in love with Koskela.  In fact I want to move in please.  I went to this unique showroom over the weekend and it's full of gorgeous furniture, floor rugs, lighting and homewares beautifully displayed in a stunning warehouse space. The focus is on Australian designed and made and they even collaborate with indigenous weavers from Arnhem Land and the Central Desert, how amazing is that! At a glace they stock Castle Bedlinen, Loom Rugs, Shelley Panton Ceramics, Ponyrider, Sam Studio and their own Koskela Studio furniture range.

The merchandising was stunning.  I loved the plants dotted around the space which reminded me of some of the stores we visited Japan.  It had this natural and modern feel with layers of texture and gorgeous rugs skimming the wooden floors.  It was relaxed and not at all contrived, it had a warm atmosphere and was so lovely to browse around.  I got talking to the super lovely Suzie, the owner and it turns out that she was in Japan at the same time as me!  It was fun to chat about the amazing Japanese people and some of the stores we visited. 

The showroom is on level one of an old warehouse space in Surry Hills Sydney and we never would of found it if it wasn't for Dana at Yellowtrace who gave me the tip off - thanks so much Dana!

So if you're in Sydney and haven't been - what are you waiting for?
91 Campbell St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02)9280 0999

Friday, 25 March 2011

Corporate Culture

Phew!  Just got back from the opening of the new Corporate Culture showroom and let me tell you, it was kind of crazy.  I mean there was a line to get in - A LINE!  Check out the second photo of people lining up, since when have we lined up to an event?  I think every interior designer and architect in Melbourne was there, apparently over 650 people RSVP.  The champagne was pouring and the food was doing the rounds and I got to catch up with a few friends and past colleagues which is always nice.

The new showroom is stunning.  An old warehouse building on the fringe of the cbd, the showroom is spread over four levels with a beautifully detailed staircase void punching through the levels.  The top floor is fitted out as an apartment and apparently they plan for various designers to fit it out.  Wow, that would be amazing!

And then there was the furniture and lighting- drool...  I loved the wishbone chairs in those gorgeous pastel shades and the Cassina Le Corbusier LC2 in the coloured steel frames.  Really great to see the collection in such a beautiful space.  If you're in the area, check it out at the top of Elizabeth Street, near the corner of Grattan, Carlton.

ps.  This post is dedicated to my beautiful friend Elle, who said that I never mention any friends on my blog.  Hi Elle!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Muji Tokyo Midtown

Ah Muji.  Such an awesome Japanese store.  I was kind of familiar with the brand when I was living in London, but it just makes so much more sense in Japan.  This Muji store is rather special though.  It's located at Tokyo Midtown which is a high-end shopping center in Roppongi and it's absolutely stunning.  The products are displayed in such a way to emphasize the design, rather than price messaging.  Raw timber gives warmth to the glass and minimal products and as always the lighting is beautiful.

Part of the Muji Global Message
Cleaning of every nook and cranny - this is the foundation of comfort of traditional Japanese homes and gardens.  No matter how luxurious, an environment that is not clean is not comfortable.  Simple surroundings - weather homes or garden, that are clean spick and span on the other hand are pleasant and beautiful.  Minimalist rather than showy is thought to be more pleasant; a simple and sparsely furnished living room has long been considered preferable.
Muji was created thirty years ago in 1980 with the idea of completely eliminating wastefulness.  
Muji has grown in it's exploration of it's day-to-day role of products that are natural, no-name, simple and environmental, products that are beautiful in their simplicity, dignified in their unpretentiousness.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Urban Nature

For me, Journal Standard Furniture encapsulates the Japanese homewares aesthetic that is popular at the moment.  It's vintage, rustic, homemade, natural and of course there are indoor plants.  I like the term 'Urban Nature' as they have called one of their ladies apparel collections.  Journal Standard is very popular in Japan at the moment and they have many brands, Journal Standard Lady's, Men's, Luxe, Trisect, Essager, Homestead, Relume Lady's, Relume Men's.  They can't get enough of it, I hope that it's just a matter of time until the trend comes to our shores too!

Monday, 21 March 2011

White Out


White walls.  White ceiling.  White floors.  White snow!

How could we be any more fortunate to see the 21st Century Museum in such a perfect setting!  We arrived at Kanazawa as it was covered in a thick fluffy blanket of snow.  The museum was absolutely stunning, we were blown away.  It was designed by architecture firm Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa/ SANAA. We all studied it at university together and to experience the space was even more amazing than we imagined.  It primarily consists of a glass circular building with a series of white cubes and voids inside. Basically it's a building of a diagram.  From the 21st Century website: 'The use of glass walls, inside and out, produces transparency and brightness. It also enhances a sense of encounter, an awareness of each others presence, and unity among the visitors, whether they are at inside or outside of the building' 

The building was impeccable, the attention to detail (a term overused but totally applicable here) was seriously amazing.  Only in Japan.

The art collection was impressive.  The outdoor installation 'Color Activity House' by Olafur Eliasson was brilliant against the white snow backdrop, we asked ourselves if it could get any better?  It was an unforgettable experience to wander through the coloured circular space, so beautiful.  Eliasson is one of my favorite artists, often using colour, light, fog and other materials.  In my mind his work is not only beautiful, it is thoughtful, clever and responds to the specific space.  I love that.

The Green Bridge by Patrick Blanc was covered in snow and it was amazing to walk through the glass walkway underneath it.  I could go on and on, check out the 21 Century Museum website if you want to check out more.

Photos by Lauren Macer except the inside of the swimming pool found on the 21st C Museum by NAKAMICHI Atsushi / Nacása & Partners


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