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

With a technology focus this month, we have rounded up the latest and most exciting in technological developments from the design industry. From stylish new apps to clever voice recognition tools and 3D printed vases, there is certainly no shortage of creativity when it comes to technology for the home. Take a read…

1. Gucci Places

Gucci has unveiled its latest project: an ambitious new travel platform called ‘Gucci Places’, which will launch on the brand’s app this month. The new technology will allow users to explore the places that have inspired the brand’s 96-year history along with ‘check in’ to collect badges and explore Gucci-curated itineraries.

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2. Paper-torch flashlight

Nendo has partnered with AgIC technology to print an electronic circuit board onto YUPO paper using silver particle ink. Then, two button cell batteries and seven LEDs are glued with a conductive adhesive. The result is a light that shines brighter the tighter you roll it. The paper is durable and water-resistant and can be turned into pendant lights, desk laps, torches and more. Ingenious!

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3. Google Home

Find out the day’s weather, select and play a show on Netflix on or turn down the lights – it’s all possible via voice recognition thanks to the latest technology from Google: Google Home. In the words of the technology giant:

Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. And with support for multiple users, it can distinguish your voice from others in your home so you get a more personalised experience. It’s your own Google, just for you.

Retailing for $169, we expect to see this clever new device in many homes soon.

Technology meets nature with these new vases by Paris-based Studio Bold. 3D printed and then implanted with natural fibres such as bamboo and coconut – the ‘Poilu Vases’ show what’s possible when you think outside the box. The idea started simply as bringing more texture and tactility into the world of ceramic and developed into these ‘hairy’ and unique pieces.

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5. Samsung’s Frame TV

There is no denying that the black screen of a turned off TV is nothing pretty. Samsung has created a solution with the introduction of their ‘The Frame TV‘. They say:

When you’re not watching TV, Art Mode transforms The Frame into a beautiful work of art indistinguishable from the real thing. The Frame includes a free gallery of professionally curated art with 100 free pieces worth thousands of dollars from 10 different categories.

You can buy an individual piece of art to display on this device, or subscribe to a library of established and emerging artists’ work. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can even display your own photos. We like that the frame of this TV really does look like an artwork’s frame – with the choice of difference colours and finishes. The Frame TV retails from $2,799.99.

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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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Celebrity Insider: Shay Mitchell’s Los Angeles Home

Canadian actress Shay Mitchell – known for her role in hit US TV series Pretty Little Liars – first saw Consort Design‘s work at the Honest Company HQ when visiting Jessica Alba (we take you inside, here). Following the firm on Instagram, Mitchell then went on to hire the team to redecorate her Spanish style L.A. home.

Mitchell wanted to create a ‘mature’ space to base herself in as she enters the next stage in her career, with injections of Moroccan and French flair. She worked with Consort Design to bring this vision to life.

There are several contrasting yet complementary spaces in the home, such as the dark and dramatic ‘den’ room with its custom made jade-green velvet lounge and ‘Down Pipe’ paint by Farrow and Ball versus the light and airy formal living room, complete with monochrome Moroccan tiles, Lawrence of LaBrea rug and the cocktail table from Lawson-Fenning.

Take a look…

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Images by Tessa Neustadt 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.

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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.

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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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Celebrity Insider: Naomi Watts’ New York family apartment

From the big screen to magazine spreads, Naomi Watts exudes style, and now we know her home does too. Watts’ New York apartment is intimate, eclectic and a perfect balance between boldness and grace.

Watts shares the apartment with husband and fellow actor Liev Schreiber and their two sons. It’s no surprise therefore that the space has a homely and warm feel to it, with its bleached-walnut banquette in the kitchen, which the family huddle around for meals.

In the playroom, a Living Divani sectional sofa sits atop a custom-made John Robshaw rug, while hanging above are Flos pendants. And of course there’s the kids’ room with upholstered bedheads and photographs taken by Watts’ brother hanging above the twin beds.

Yet, there are distinct grown up spaces too. The Master bedroom features opulent wallpaper by Clarence House, Ralph Lauren Home bedside tables and a vintage Italian bench, while the living room is finished with a 19th-century Gabon mask, velvet covered sofas and a custom, hand-crafted Robert Pluhowski cocktail table.

Tucked further into the home is the most impressive use of space of all: the green-lacquer bar styled with its own artwork. It’s a tiny space that delivers plenty of impact and function.

Step inside Naomi Watts’ stylish, family-friendly New York apartment…
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Images from here.

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Casa Cook: a new lifestyle boutique hotel in Rhodes, Greece

We’re always on the look out for hotels and retreats that set a new standard, so when we heard of Casa Cook on the island of Rhodes, Greece, we were intrigued. Seeing inside this boutique hotel, we realised it was something very special.

Casa Cook is a new hotel brand owned by travel company Thomas Cook, with the Greece location being its debut. With just 90 rooms, the ‘adults only’ hotel is pitched at those looking for a relaxed and indulgent escape. You can choose between rooms with their own veranda and even a private pool.

Guests can try their hand at open air yoga, ‘shop the look’ in an onsite store, swing in one of the many hammocks or simply wine and dine in the on-site restaurant and bar.

Casa Cook was a collaboration between architect Vana Pernariv, interior designer Annabell Kutucu and the design agency Lambs & Lions.

Some of our favourite stand-out features include the bohemian linen and accessories in the bedrooms, the hanging cocoon chairs overlooking the pool and the unique, jungle-like motif tiles that create a feature wall in the restaurant.

Take a look…

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Patricia Urquiola designs Lake Como Hotel Il Sereno

Spanish designer and architect Patricia Urquiola is the mastermind behind Lake Como’s newest hotel. It’s the first to be built on this Italian shoreline in decades and is now one of the only contemporary properties in the area.  Urquiola played a role in nearly every aspect of this hotel’s creation, overseeing its external architecture, internal furnishings and even staff uniforms.

Il Sereno is perched on top of an existing arched stone boathouse. Featuring 30-suites, this hotel is the third created by luxury group Sereno Hotels. Il Sereno has already won the “Most Anticipated New Luxury Hotel Opening in 2016” by Luxury Travel Advisor magazine. It was recognised for its understated elegance that presents a freshness to an area accustomed to Faux Renaissance and Neo Classical designs.

But it’s no surprise that this hotel is already winning awards: Urquiola is highly experienced in delivering incredible brand experiences, having been previously commissioned by brands such as Louis Vuitton, Baccarat and Missoni.

Il Sereno is built from mostly natural materials, including wood, stone and even wool. Its promise to guests is a modern style, comfort, space and panoramic views. Guests can enjoy a private beach, a private dock to board the hotel’s own boats and a 60-foot-long freshwater infinity pool suspended over Lake Como.

Inside, design features include striking copper-plated aluminium tubes that encase the walnut staircase; custom, hanging headboards; and the restaurant’s terrazzo floor incorporating a pattern based on the region’s traditional women’s hair combs.

Take a look…

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What’s new in the world of design: December 2016

From a cathedral-set fashion store to a science-based art exhibition, this month’s ‘What’s New in the World of Design’ is full of paradoxes, along with fabulous new fabrics and wallpapers and excitingly, a date announced for DENFAIR 2017. Read on… 

1. Alpha60 opens new store in Chapter House

One of Melbourne’s newest fashion stores feels more like a stage-set than a boutique. Alpha60 has opened its 10th store in Chapter House on Flinders Lane – a large hall adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral.

You enter the store from Flinders Lane and follow the trail of mannequins up two flights of stairs. Then, you’re greeted with soaring ceilings, stained-glass windows and a grand piano.

The fashion brand has made the most of the unique space, bringing in its entire collection to showcase. The owners are also in talks with bands to bring live, acoustic music in-store, along with artists to create sound and light experiences to accompany the journey up the stairs. What can be sure is that this is no run of the mill shopping experience.

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Celebrity Insider: Meg Ryan’s New York Loft

Actress turned director Meg Ryan has a lesser known passion: the world of interiors. Ryan recently completed the renovation of her ninth home – this time with the help of designer Monique Gibson and architect Joel Barkley.

Her sprawling New York loft was once Cindy Sherman‘s photo studio. Now, light floods through the huge windows and the former darkroom is Ryan’s cloakroom.

A neutral colour palette runs throughout the home, with texture and interest added in the way of intricate light hangings, Ryan’s collection of art and an eclectic mix of furniture gathered from many vintage stores.

The kitchen area sees an industrial light from a second hand store in Maine illuminate the area, while fabrics by Rogers & Goffigon wrap the living room’s sofas. These are complemented by a Stéphane Parmentier lava-stone stool, a painting of Ryan by John Mellencamp and a Pablo Avilla wire tree sculpture.

The dining room features a striking custom-made bronze table by Maison Gerard, which is surrounded by Bentwood chairs from Lee Calicchio. Overhead hangs a high impact, salvaged lantern and mantel from United House Wrecking.

Through to the monochrome bathroom and a Water Monopoly stand-alone tub sits above a tiled platform. Matching Urban Archaeology vanities are customised with Grigio Carnico marble tops creating a sophisticated space.

Take a look…

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Inside four of this year’s fabulous Spring Racing marquees

While all eyes may be on the many celebrities attending this year’s Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne, including Tim Cahill, Jessica Gomes and Usain Bolt, the marquees housing these guests have been meticulously pulled together by some of the nation’s best design and experiential minds.

More than 310,000 people are expected to attend the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and corporate sponsors in ‘The Birdcage’ are once again competing for the unofficial ‘best on ground’ award from punters. Take a look inside four of our favourite marquees of 2016…

Mumm Marquee

Special features: A beach club party theme, a four-metre-long oval pool and a ‘Rosé Soleil’ performance.

We love: The pairing of aerial stunts and synchronised swimming with vocals from Australian singer-songwriter Paris Wells.

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Lavazza Marquee

Special features: A 360 degree recreation of Milan’s mid-century shopping arcade, Galleria, designed by Neale Whitaker.
We love: The traditional terracotta flooring, the Tom Dixon-esque chandelier and the cafe-style seating and pot-plants that complete the mall aesthetic. 39cb2f6100000578-3881120-image-a-40_1477630575774

 Myer Marquee

Special features: A French atelier-theme, a ‘By Appointment’ bar and 5,000 glasses of G.H.Mumm French Champagne.

We love: The very Spring colour palette of copper, tan, mint and blush, complete with multiple floral arrangements and a 7 metre-long copper table known as ‘The Botanist’s Table’, where guests will enjoy freshly shucked oysters, Fresh tuna sashimi, pistachio gelato and more.

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Wolf Blass Marquee

Special features: A partnership with artist David Bromley (of Bromley & Co – who we featured here), saw this marquee turned into a whimsical artist’s studio, with furnishings including ornate Victorian-era pieces and Bromley’s own antiques.

We love: That the collaboration extended as far as three special edition ‘Bromley by Wolf Blass’ wines, which guests will be the first to taste.

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Images from here.

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