News & Trends

What’s new in the world of design: July 2017

In this month’s wrap up of the latest and greatest in design, we have a strong theme of colour. From the Pantone colour predictions for 2018, to an intensely colourful and unconventional supermarket, a stunning new agate-inspired tile range to an amazing sea of colourful orbs that change in hue when touched – installed at the National Gallery Singapore, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to colour this month. Read on.

Cologne’s colourful Solera supermarket.

Sevillian entrepreneur Pepa Bascón brought in creative consultancy Masquespacio to reimagine the way shoppers experience her Spanish produce supermarket in the heart of Cologne. Being a Spanish supermarket and in recognition of the growing Spanish gastronomie movement in Germany, Masquespacio used a distinctly Mediterranean flair throughout the interiors. This is certainly one of the most colourful and fun loving supermarkets we have ever come across…

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Images from here.

The Campana Brothers’ Bisazza CEMENTILES range, Brazilian Agata
We love to keep up with the latest in tile design, and the new collection by Bisazza is something special. ‘CEMENTILES‘ is “designed to celebrate the decorative style of the past through expressive artistic language that reveals the creative genius of each of the project designers”. The latest designers to collaborate with Bisazza for this forward thinking range – and add their names alongside Tom Dixon, Jaime Hayon and more – are the Campana Brothers.
Fernando and Humberto Campana were inspired by the formations found inside the Agate Geode gemstone. The contemporary pattern of the tiles see the interior rock layers laid bare, showing off its natural petrified deposits. The Campana Brothers said they “wanted to create a dialogue between the layers found in the interior of the rock to compose a colourful and versatile collection that can be applied in a vast array of environments.”

Bisazza CEMENTILES are made entirely by hand using high-strength cement blended with coloured oxides. Brazilian Agata is available in four colour choices: green, yellow, red and blue.

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Pantone Colour of the Year Influences for 2018
While we still have several months until the official 2018 Pantone Colour of the Year is announced, this didn’t stop the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman, sharing the most influential colours of 2018. Speaking at the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago, Eiseman revealed the eight palettes for home and interiors that we’ll be seeing in the year ahead, saying that the institute has distilled the ‘complex universe of colour concepts into eight distinctively designed palettes’. Explore below.


A progression from the 2017 Colour of the Year, Greenery, Verdure is a symbol of health and a reference to natural vegetal colours, plus berry-like purples and blues.


A combination of the contrasting sides of the colour wheel, this palette draws on blues and oranges and using what you already have to decorate.


Bright, quirky and fun, this colour palette includes hues such as ‘Lime Popsicle’, ‘Green Flash’ and ‘Minion Yellow’.


Soft pink remains a key colour from 2016 and this year, and will be used for understated, pared-back interiors. This is all about desaturated tones and is the opposite of Playful.


2017 is seeing a huge focus on earthy tones, particularly terracotta. This focus will continue into 2018 with earthy, rosy deep tones that ’embrace many difference cultures’.


Another key focus in design this year is metallics. They are brushed metals rather than the glossy, polished versions we have seen in years before. Think a sophisticated palette of black and gold.


Using power for drama, power and strength is what this colour palette is all about. Turn up the deep reds, oranges and plums for a huge amount of depth and sophistication.


Finally, a nice fit with the ‘Intricacy’ palette is this one: Tech-nique, with Eiseman citing ‘iridescent, pearlized and translucent’ finishes being the new go-to. This palette includes tones like bright turquoise, pink, and purple.


Top row: Vedure, Playful, Discretion, TECH-nique. Bottom row: Far-Fetched, Resourceful, Intricacy, Intensity.
Image from Pantone.

Teamlab’s ‘Homogenizing and Transforming World’

Combining futuristic aesthetics, strong use of colour and interactive technology, Teamlab has launched its fifth and largest iteration of its art installation: ‘Homogenizing and Transforming World‘. On show at the National Gallery Singapore until October 8th 2017, this installation allows visitors to surround themselves in a sea of colourful orbs that, when touched, change in colour, and in turn alter the hue of the entire room. Teamlab said this project is about humans being “intermediaries for information, and the instant the information spreads, the world unites — transforming it in an instant”.

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Images from here.

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L.A.’s very cool new Museum of Ice-Cream

Who said museums had to be serious? Los Angeles’ latest museum is far from it. The Museum of Ice Cream pays homage to all things sweet and features 10 rooms each with a unique dessert theme. Its mission? To “design environments that bring people together and provoke imagination”.

The first stop of the tour will see you in a room full of phones, where you’ll receive a call from none other than Seth Rogen to give you a run down of the experience ahead. From there, you’ll work room by room through the exhibit, where you’ll experience the ‘mint chocolate’ room, with its mint planters growing in cacao chip soil; a pool of sprinkles for you to dive into to; and the banana room with giant, scratchy, sensory walls to reveal that unmistakeable confectionary banana smell, to name a few.

With admission limited to 20 people per half-hour and tickets frequently selling out, you’ll need to be quick to experience this unconventional museum, and we’re certain it’s something you won’t forget in a hurry! Take a look…

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Images by Jennifer Chong from here.

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De Gournay and Ken Fulk’s Central Park zoo-inspired wallpaper

Known for wallpapers, fabrics and porcelain that are pieces of art themselves, de Gournay has now collaborated with San Francisco interior designer Ken Fulk to create a magnificent new wallpaper collection.

de Gournay said the range was “imagined as the interior of a 1960’s doyenne of Upper East Side polite society”, and features “a menagerie of animals from the city’s zoo abounding within her exquisite garden, having escaped their lesser lodgings in Central Park”.

The motif is based on 19th century European wall-coverings, which showcased elaborate narrative vistas. With this attention to detail and being painted by hand by de Gournay’s in house artisans, each panel can take up to 150 hours to complete.

So take a look below and see if you can spot the leopards, tigers and giraffes, zebras, elephants, flamingos, parrots, monkeys and even a polar bear!

This new motif will be a permanent addition to de Gournay’s design library and available to order from its showrooms worldwide. Please contact Bernadette if you are interested in finding out more.

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Images from de Gournay.

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What’s new in the world of design: June 2017

This month, we look at a unique collaboration between one of the biggest names in haute couture and the art ‘masters’; a collaboration in the name of women’s rights, the quirkiest shop front we’ve seen in a long time and the most beautiful new washbasins designs, by a company right here in Melbourne. Take a look…

Designing Women exhibition

Egg Collective is a New York-based design company established in 2011 by three female designers — Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie. In May, they ran a benefit show to raise funds for ‘Girls INC NYC’: a charity with the mission of inspiring “all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.” The show featured work by top New York-based female artists and designers – including textile artist Hiroko Takeda, sculptor Maria Moyer and jewellery designer Caroline Ventura. Housed in Egg Collective’s West SoHo showroom, the show was full of soft colour tones, the aged metals that are a key trend of 2017, and structured textiles.

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Images above from here.

Louis Vuitton x Van Gogh

New York-based artist Jeff Koons is the latest collaborator with Louis Vuitton. The fashion house engaged Koons to present iconic works, by the likes of Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Peter Paul Rubens and Jean-Honoré Fragonard, in a new way.

This saw the launch of a capsule range of handbags, shawls, purses, clutch bags, backpacks and keyholders, each featuring a piece from one of the artists. The bags are pieces of art themeselves, and have the name of each of the masters on the front. And for the first time, the Louis Vuitton monogram has been reconfigured: for this collaboration into Koons’ initials.

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Images above from here.

Caldera by Rogerseller

Melbourne-based Rogerseller has been a go to for premium quality fixtures and fittings. This year, the family business launched a new range, ‘inspired by the irregular shapes of collapsed volcanic craters’.

Caldera by Rogerseller‘ comprises sculptural washbasins that boast ‘expressed crisp peaks that plunge into elegant depressions below the surface’ and are perfect for semi-inset installations.

Inspired by nature, the range comprises of two shapes: one very organic in shape being an elongated asymmetrical oval, and the other more conventional in shape, being rectangular. Either way, the pieces provide a chance to introduce another Rogerseller beauty into our homes.

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Images above from here.

Czech showroom covered in 900 plastic chairs

Well this is certainly a sight you don’t see every day! Architecture studio Chybik + Kristof have used 900 plastic chairs to form the outside of a former car showroom in Czech’s Brno. Now a furniture store, the exterior is a fitting reference to what’s within. When the furniture company MY DVA Group jokingly asked the design studio to do it “do it cheap, ideally for free,”  Chybik + Kristof took on the challenge, sourcing the black plastic chairs for £2.50 each.

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Images above from here.

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Three of Europe’s most stylish ski resorts

Location: Val Thorens, the French Alps
Stand out features:
  • With a strong Nordic interior, stone and wood are key materials used in the build, softened by plenty of fur throws
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Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company HQ

Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company is now five years old and in its third office space. Unlike the other two spaces, with the business more established, there was a dedicated budget to play with, and for the first time, a professional team behind the fit out.

Alba engaged the company who redecorated her home – Consort Design – to recreate the 83,000 square foot work space and transform it from a huge warehouse-aesthetic to an inviting, homely office space, along with showroom spaces for the many The Honest Company products.

The actress and businesswoman said that for her new office space, she wanted to create the same durability, warmth and coziness that she has in her home. Both spaces have a vintage vibe and a focus on functionality throughout.

Housing 450 employees, it was important that the Californian office inspired them creatively but also gave them focus on their work. This was created through different zones, lots of couches and even a roof top bar.

To create the sense of comfort in the space, Consort Design used consistent colours throughout, layered rugs onto floorboard, and used velvet lounge suites and plush cushions for softness.

Take a look…

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Images by Mat Sanders from Consort here.

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Four amazing spas resorts from around the world

If only we could fly away to the world’s leading spa resorts to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. That’s not a reality for many of us, but not to fear: we have pulled together four incredible spa resorts to go on all of our bucket lists. From Marrakech to Miama beach, take your pick…

1.Lanserhof Tegernsee, Germany

Tucked into the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, the Lanserhof Tegernsee was designed in line with a ‘high tech monastery’ for the body and mind. Its spa program is based on the famous LANS Med detox regime and it brings together medical treatments and luxurious comforts to deliver a world-class experience.  This includes an outdoor heated saltwater pool, evening classical concerts, yoga, tai chi and kinesis workouts and an 18-hole golf course.

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Images: Lanserhof Tegernsee 

 2. Faena Hotel, Miami Beach

With filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and his Academy Award-winning designer wife Catherine Martin at the helm as the creative directors, this luxury hotel now has a show stopping spa. Full of theatrical touches, like the bold red, gold and tiger prints and the contemporary art, the ‘Tierra Santa Healing House spa’ features one of the largest hammams on the East Coast, along with age-old South American shaman-developed body-healing rituals.

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Images from here.

3. One & Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

It doesn’t get much more relaxing than this: expansive relaxation lawns, manicured gardens, and spectacular ocean views. The One & Only Reethi Rah is positioned on a secluded island in the Laccadive Sea. Guests can enjoy private pools, canopied day beds and soaking tubs or wander to one of the eight luxurious treatment villas to indulge in treatments based on Ayurvedic traditions and infused with Western luxuries.


4. Royal Mansour Marrakech Spa, Morocco 

Built under commission for King Mohammed VI, the Mansour in Marrakech is the gold standard of luxury with just 53 private riads and, of course, that enchanting spa. In the heart of the resort is the picturesque (and often photographed) white, wrought iron atrium. The spa itself covers three floors and features ten spa cabins offering a range of treatments from massages, facials, and hydrotherapy as well as aesthetic and beauty services. Post-treatment, guests can take to the tea lounge to enjoy the selection of chef-made dishes, herbal teas and fruit juices. Pure zen!

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Images: here and here.

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What’s new the world of design: Mother’s Day Edition

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we’ve curated a mum-friendly edition of our wrap of the latest and best from the world of design. From quirky, kitsch mini-golf to a new look Aesop store and a favourite design magazine celebrating half a century, there is plenty in store for your mum – and yourself – to enjoy this month.

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Images from here.

Holey Moley Golf Club

Part bar, part mini-golf kitsch, Holey Moley Golf Club is Little Bourke Street, Melbourne’s newest addition. The 27-hole course will see you navigate a Game of Thrones hole, a large-scale turntable, a Simpsons lounge and a Pac-Man with ghost obstacles.

Dreamt up by Fun Lab, the owner of Strike Bowling and Sky Zone Trampoline parks, the company’s CEO Michael Schreiber says the course will continue to evolve over time, while maintaining its tongue in cheek, colourful and pop culture vibe. Perfect for a girls day out.

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Images above by Simon Shiff from here.

Vogue Living celebrates 50 years

Whether it was with your grandma, your mother or yourself, there’s a strong possibility that Vogue Living found its way into one of your hands over the years. This month the magazine celebrates is 50th anniversary, and it did so in style with an intimate breakfast at Melbourne’s Vue de Monde. The 50th edition cover features an exclusive artwork created by Dinosaur Designs and photographed by Edward Urrutia. The magazine is now under the direction of editor-in-chief Neale Whitaker, formerly at the helm of Belle until late last year. Pick up a copy for you and your mum!

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Images: Vogue Living

This is one to add to the wish list: a trip to Japan to explore the whimsical Nacrée restaurant. Tucked into an industrial site, this eatery sees acrylic cylinders filled with globes suspended from the ceiling, while the ‘walls’ are formed from curves of more acrylic cylinders, decorated with acrylic flowers. The result is a space where the light is diffused and a sense of movement is prevalent… almost like a futuristic garden.

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Images from here.

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Three amazing chocolate shops around the world

This year, instead of loading up on cheap, poor quality chocolate, how about choosing less but better? If you need convincing, how about this: more expensive chocolate is typically better for you as it is made from organic, top quality ingredients. To help you choose some artisan products, we’ve gone inside three leading chocolatiers from around the globe. Take your pick!

1.The Margaret River Chocolate Company, Perth

A former bank is the new home of the Margaret River Chocolate Company in Perth, Western Australia. Not only does the store showcase and sell the company’s expansive range of colourfully packaged chocolates handcrafted from Belgian couverture, but the team also provide bottomless tastings. In fact, the company recently crunched the sums and realised it gives away more than $300,000 worth of chocolate to the one million people who visit its three stores each year!

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Images above from here.

2. 100% Chocolate Shop, Tokyo

With Japanese design firm Wonderwall at its helm, the finished design of 100% Chocolate Cafe wasn’t going to be anything but impressive. Running above the communal table is a dark-wood carved ceiling, shaped just like a block of chocolate! Meantime, visitors can watch chocolate being created in the grand, open kitchen, then take their pick from the 56 different varieties in the cabinet, each with their own colour code. A stand out feature of this chocolatier is the view from the street, with the huge floor to ceiling windows just tempting passers-by to step in.

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Images above from here.
 3. Les Marquis de Ladurée
Renowned for its macarons, Laudree delighted fans when it opened its first chocolate boutique in Paris. Expanding on its traditional offering of macarons,“Les Marquis de Ladurée” is a new Laudree sub-brand devoted entirely to chocolate. Positioned near the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, the interior is intricate and old-worldly, with the walls decorated in Acanthus stucco leaves, and the ceiling embellished with a stucco garland and decorated with Murano chandeliers. White Carrara marble fronts the counter and is adorned with ‘marquis’ medallions.

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Images above from here.

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What’s new in the world of design: April 2017

Easter, Anzac Day, Mother’s Day… there are so many special celebrations and long weekends coming up in the months ahead. The extra days off work are a brilliant opportunity to explore new product ranges, attend design events, or tick some tasks off your home renovation list. To help inspire you – whether inside the home or out and about – we’ve rounded up our top five new happenings this month.

1.Ash Keating’s Gravity System Response exhibition

Melbourne-based artist Ash Keating creates vibrant 20 metre-high wall murals using none other than recycled fire extinguishers filled with paint! Keating has translated his huge murals into large linen canvases for his exhibition, ‘Gravity System Response’ showing at North Melbourne’s The Meat Market from 7th to 13th April. The exhibition will bring together 20 paintings, the largest of which is 3.5×2 metres: just a shadow of Keating’s normal physical, performance-style work.

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Photos above: Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

2.Floral wallpapers by Murals Wallpaper

Whether it’s your mum, grandma, mother-in-law or step-mother, celebrate all the women in your life this Mother’s Day with one of Murals Wallpaper’s beautiful floral wallpaper murals. There are hundreds of floral prints to choose from, all using modern digital printing techniques that capture the intricate detail of the floral prints in HD on quality textured paper. The prints can be hung just like normal wallpaper, but allow for a huge impact. All products are made-to-order and custom sized according to the customer’s wall dimensions.


3. Sand Collection by Dinosaur Design

Dinosaur Designs have launched their latest collection, which explores the natural beauty and perfect imperfections of rocks and mineral properties. ‘Sand‘ features castings and patterns that have sand mixed into the brand’s signature resin finish, futuristic metal armour pieces and stone-based homewares. The result is an arresting tension between structure and fluidity; nature and manmade. In a fitting partnership, Dinosaur Designs’ creative directors, Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, engaged National Geographic photographer Tim Georgeson to shoot this campaign on Sydney’s Maroubra beach, and the models were Georgeson’s and Olsen and Ormandy’s daughters.


4. Comme des Garçons Homme Plus x Fornasetti

Comme des Garçons Homme Plus has partnered with iconic Italian design brand Fornasetti to produce strong, graphical garments and decor. Premiered during the Spring-Summer 2017 Comme des Garçons Homme Plus show ‘Naked King’, this collaboration sees tailored jackets and matching pants printed with the iconic images of Italian painter, sculptor, interior decorator and engraver Piero Fornasetti.

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5. Milan Design Week

If you’re lucky enough to be travelling through Europe at the moment, be sure to add a stop off in Milan. The city is oozing creativity as clever minds descend for the Milan Design Week – otherwise known as the Salone del Mobile – between April 4th and 9th. Now in its 56th edition, the worldwide-renowned furniture exhibition features 2,500 exhibitors and attracts more than 300,000 visitors coming from over 160 Countries. Alongside the main exhibition, several events, meetings and presentations provide a holistic look at the present and future of furnishings and design.

This year, five exhibitions will run concurrently in the creative and design hub for the home furnishing sector: the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, Euroluce, Workplace3.0 and SaloneSatellite.

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