News & Trends

Style tips to hosting this year’s Christmas Party at home

Finding the right theme to decorate your home in for the big Christmas gathering can be anxiety inducing. You want a perfect combination of style without going over the top with seasonal features. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options available to you and difficult to even know where to begin.

Cue this guide.

We hope it’ll help guide you in the right direction for your party. You’ll always have the following year to try a different theme!

Focus on the table

The family dinner is a quintessential part of Christmas festivities and one of the easiest ways to spread Christmas décor. Feel free to deviate from the standard red-and-green colour scheme. “Rather than the traditional red and green scheme, try something new like a fabric in malachite and hot pink peonies,” says designer Grant Gibson. “Layer in black and white for a graphic pop. The plates [below] are antique French.”


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For a more natural take on Christmas, dress up a dinner party with lush garland, silver candle holders, and wood chargers. Complete each setting with gold flatware and a cinnamon stick, as Lauren McBride did here, for a warm and inviting Christmas setting.

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Make white your base

In this holiday vignette styled by Craftberry Bush, a white Fir tree, white walls, and plenty of fake snow make for a wintery wonderland and make the bold pops of red even more dazzling. This can be used in any room. Try a white table runner topped with green foliage in the kitchen, or cluster white candles near mirrors to spread light.

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Opt for modern ornaments

Classic baubles in red, gold and green can sometimes come across as dated. Spruce it up (excuse the pun) with varying shapes, colour or texture. Have fun with a minimalist twist, such as the candle lights and geometric gold ornaments pictured below (styled by My Scandinavian Home).

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Ornaments are not solely reserved for the tree! Use bookshelves as an opportunity to inject a bit of holiday flair!

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Go natural

For lovers of floral accessories, Take inspiration from nature for your decorating scheme. “Use fresh evergreen boughs, garlands and wreaths combined with in-season citrus like lemons, tangerines and oranges,” says designer Tobi Fairley.” It will give your home a beautiful natural look, and it smells heavenly.”

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Don’t be afraid of artificial trees

If a real tree leaves a mess in your living room, don’t feel married to it. Besides, artificial trees often have wires that are easy to curve and bend to better hold ornaments. Not to mention they last much longer. Miss the scent of pine? A few scented candles (just not too close to the tree!) should do the job, or try out our natural pine needle idea above.

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Don’t shy from green décor

If filling bowls with pinecones is beginning to get boring, check crafts and home stores for natural ornaments, and display them with seasonal greenery. Added perk: The greenery, such as pine needles, will add a fresh aroma to the room, a must-have if you have opted for an artificial tree.

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Think in threes

For a beautiful statement decor piece, follow this easy formula. “Christmas means three things to me: paperwhites, citrus and magnolia. I go to the flower market (or the backyard) and cut magnolia and place it on mantles,” says designer Miles Redd. “I intersperse lemons or clementines (sometimes studded with cloves), and paperwhites — either the individual bulb — or just mossy pots of 6 bulbs. The smell of the combination is wonderful.”

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Make it last

Reduce, reuse, recycle! Save ribbons from previous presents you have received, or reuse old fabric as a unique wrapping for presents. Or even make a custom wreath from different materials, fabric bows, small baubles… you get the idea. Making some DIY decorations can also be a fun way to spend some quality- time as a fun activity with little ones.

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Make it magical with light

Spruce up both indoor and outdoor areas with some hanging lights. Weave in some natural evergreens and fabric straps to a staircase and hang strings of lights to have a magical floating effect.

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For a warm climate, adding sparkle to unexpected places also makes for gorgeous outdoor entertaining. Play around with some scented candles, hanging fairy lights, or solar lanterns for varying strength of lights and different ambience.

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Images above from here. By ELLE DECOR Editors Dec 5, 2017

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Inside Victoria Secret supermodel Alessandro Ambrosio’s Santa Monica home

Building and styling a house means something different for everyone. For supermodel Alessandro Ambrosio, home is a sunny haven in Santa Monica, California, that echoes the delights of her native Brazil.

Read on to discover some design tips inspired by Ambrosio’s home.

A Space for family

Plan for your family, including the stage you are currently in, and for the future. For Alessandro it’s a family affair, with her ten-year-old daughter, Anja, and her six-year-old son, Noah. An open plan living area has the advantage of sight lines which will help adults keep an eye on little ones. However, open plan living is a timeless and spacious choice for the future as well.

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The heart of the home

Clean, white surfaces and wooden floors are kitchen staples that will transcend the test of time. However, keep it from becoming sterile with touches of warmth, such as these bar stools, or some greenery.

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Make a statement

Don’t be afraid of statement pieces, they act as a focal point of the room and can pull a room together. If a feature is bright and bold, keep the supplementary colours and textiles relatively neutral in complementary tones.

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A haven for relaxation

The best bedrooms are ones where you want to escape to and relax. Create a calming effect with neutral tones and soft furnishings and fabrics.

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Inject some personality

Whether it’s a small sculpture you brought when travelling or a fun cushion or throw, adding touches of your own personality and style can bring a home to life. Allesandro completes a somewhat eclectic vibe with personal art pieces, “every picture is special… If I’m going to hang a photograph in my home, it has to mean something.”

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Keep it simple yet high-quality for a luxe finish that isn’t gaudy, such as this double vanity featuring a patterned mirror.

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Think about the lifestyle

“The house is very calm and peaceful, but the backyard is all about fun and noise. It has the same joyous feeling as my beach house in Brazil. When it’s winter in California, we head to Florianópolis, where it’s nice and warm,” Ambrosio says. Finish off an outdoor entertainment area with hardwood furniture, and soft textiles in earthy colours for a Brazilian influence.

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Ambrosio was assisted by designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Photography by Douglas Friedman. Styled by Amy Chin. Images above from here.

 

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5 Winter Decorating tips for the Australian Home

Winter home decoration needn’t be a chore. It may be cold outside this time of year in Australia, but that doesn’t mean your interior should be hibernating too! Here are five decorating ideas to make your home feel alive this winter.

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Mother’s Day 2018 gift ideas

Mother’s Day is a chance to pause and remember how much our mums do for us. It’s nice to surprise our mums with a little gift too! If you’re stuck for present ideas this Mother’s Day, look no further. We have rounded up five of our favourite ‘perfect for mum’ gifts, which can all be ordered online to make it super easy for you to say ‘love you mum’. So jump in…

Silk pillowcases from The Goodnight Co

We all love beautiful linen, so why not gift your mum a fresh set of silk sheets and a matching eye mask this year? Sleeping on silk has many benefits for hair, skin and sleep, including reducing moisture loss and smoothing hair. There’s lots to love about these products for mum! Make her breakfast in bed for extra brownie points…

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Pana Chocolate ‘I love you mum’ gift pack

Pana Chocolate says “Because she’s sweet, considered and good for you”. We say you can’t go wrong with chocolate. Treat your mum with these raw, organic chocolates, which are handmade in Australia. We bet they won’t last long!

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S’well Liberty Fabrics bottles

We have always loved S’well Bottles but their new Liberty Fabrics collection, in collaboration with Liberty London Fabrics, would have to be their prettiest yet. The bonus is that these bottles keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. Perfect for taking tea on the go or simply staying hydrated in style.

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Eva Solo Tea Maker

Many of our mums love to sit down with a cup of tea. Make it more enjoyable for her with the Eva Solo Tea Maker. It is drip-free and has a zip-up cover to keep tea hot for longer. It’s great for mums who love to hit the open road and travel, without missing out on their creature comforts.

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Gigi PJ Lounge Set

With this transition into the cooler months, is your mum due for a new set of PJs? We love this breton style stripe lounge set from Foundling, made from super soft cotton with a hit of stretch. You might be tempted to order yourself a pair too!

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For something your mum will treasure forever, why not choose a matching set of bracelets for you and her? These ‘Mummy and me’ bracelet sets by Lily Belle make a perfect gift. You can even add your name or a message to the bracelets for extra meaning.

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What’s new in the world of design: April 2018

wr_Pot_Lifestyle_5 wr_Pot_Lifestyle_1 wr_Pot_Lifestyle_12Images above: Cult from here.

Artist Jade Oakley brings nature-inspired art to Westfield Parramatta

Who said shopping centre escalators had to be void of design?

In a very subtle way, Westfield Parramatta, in NSW, now features public art on one of the most-used parts of the building: the escalator.

Working with Creative Group and artist Jade Oakley, two large scale integrated artworks can now be seen at the newly refurbished Westfield centre.

Made from Alucobond and treated in a custom shimmering treatment by fabricator Axolotl, the art features an “etched relief of the forest canopy” along with panels that are embellished with perforated leaf screens. The result is subtle, elegant and enchanting.

In the words of the artist Jade Oakley:

 “I was amazed to find Lake Parramatta, tucked in behind a busy road, with some really beautiful original forest around it, including towering gum trees and mossy glades with trickling streams and tree ferns. I spent a day there sketching and photographing and thinking. These artworks sprang from this encounter with a surprising pocket of nature in a busy part of Sydney.”

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Images above: Jade Oakley – “Looking Up”. Photography: Simon Wood. Westfield Paramatta, NSW via Creative Road.

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What’s new in the world of design: March 2018

Innovation, colour and play are at the heart of this month’s global design wrap. New releases, new materials and new concepts take centre-stage as we look around the world at the best and latest in design. From precious phone covers, to quirky pop up markets – take a look…

Tom Dixon’s new additions to SUPER TEXTURE

This year’s Maison et Objet saw a host of additions to legendary designer Tom Dixon’s limited edition textile range: SUPER TEXTURE. New weaves, patterns and colours were introduced via three new categories: ‘ABSTRACT’, ‘PAINT’ and ‘GEO’, while new designs were added to the ‘SOFT’ and ‘BOUCLE’ ranges. In particular, the PAINT range grabs our attention with its abstract watercolour designs created by Josephine Ortega and inspired by “scenes of British urbanism”.

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Images above from here

Roxxlyn iPhone covers

Granite, quartz and marble are popular choices for luxury home finishes, but have you ever considered protecting your phone with these ‘rock solid’ materials? Well now you can. Roxxlyn has replaced the typical plastic and rubber phone cases with quarried minerals as old as 350 million years. Now your phone cover can be as precious as the data it protects.

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Images above from here.

Bisazza 2018 Collection

Bisazza launched its 2018 Collection with new Mosaics, Wood, Ceramics and Cementiles designs, including a collection dedicated entirely to pools and centered around floral designs to contemporary abstracts. Highlights include new designs for the Cementiles flooring collection by American architect and set designer David Rockwell, and nature-inspired mosaic décors by Australian designer Greg Natale. One of our favourites in this year’s collection is the Onde 20 Blu, which was created using an original design by Emilio Pucci (pictured last in the series of images below).

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Marni Market
Luxury brand Marni is bringing quirkiness and excitement to Paris, with its ‘Marni Market’ pop up shop. Over the course of five months, the market will continuously reinvent itself, with exclusive products on show. Until mid April, ‘Marni Playful Market’ invites visitors to throw away the design rule book as they discover playful toys, objects and furniture on show – many designed purely for aesthetic rather than function. Then, from mid-April until mid-May, the ‘Marni House Market’ will take over, with wooden, metal and PVC filling the space and showcasing the result of craftsmanship and creativity colliding.
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 Images above from here.
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The best eateries to indulge at this Easter

Easter has become synonymous with indulging. Whether it’s a chocolate egg hunt, a pavlova shared among family or seeking out the most extravagant desserts around the world, we all have our favourite way to celebrate. To inspire you this Easter, we have explored three of the most memorable dessert destinations from around the world. Take a look…

Elan Cafe, London

An Instagrammer’s heaven, Elan Cafe is chic and contemporary. Across the two London locations, pastel tones and plush velvet make up the basis of the interiors, with brass accents and white wash floors. When it comes to the menu, take your pick from options including ‘Chocolate Tonka Tartlet’ and ‘Millionaire Shortbread’.

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Images above from here.

Compartes, Los Angeles

LA-based chocolatier Jonathan Graham worked with architects AAmp Studio to create this little slice of heaven. Taking inspiration from the brand’s packaging and the chocolate bars themselves, the team created an interiors concept that focusses on the use of triangles.

The triangular marble counter is decorated in black and white triangular tiles. The interiors are kept black and white in colour, which allows the colourful packaging to do all the talking. The shelves display the colourful edges and fronts of the chocolate bars, which look more like graphical artworks.

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Images above from here.

Tiny Temptress, Malaysia

Lucky Malaysians have the Tiny Temptress to fix their sweet cravings this Easter. With two locations, this artisan patisserie serves up macarons, cakes and sweet treats full of novelty and playfulness. The interiors are equally sweet: lots of blush pink and marble that looks like it could almost be swirls of icing.

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Images above from here.

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What’s new in the world of design: February 2018

This month, there are lots of new experiences to be had in the space where fashion and interiors meet. Join us as we take a global tour: from Paris, to Miami, Soho and back to Italy. Some of fashion’s biggest names have created new spaces for us to explore, while a late fashion icon has a new tribute, which we can all enjoy – if we’re brave.

Louis Vuitton’s new Paris home

There is a new ‘must-see’ if you are travelling to Paris: after four years of renovations, Louis Vuitton’s Place Vendôme store is now open. It holds huge sentimental and historical value, being the place where the brand’s founder first opened the doors to his business 160 years ago. Now, the two-storey boutique is light-filled, and designed to feel more like a home than a retail store. Inside are more than 30 arts pieces and sculptures, and a staircase that connects the two levels made from 18th century stone.
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Images above from here.

The Villa Casa Casuarina

Once home to famous fashion designer Gianni Versace, The Villa Casa Casuarina in Miami Beach is now a luxury hotel.

The 1930 building was purchased by Versace in 1992, and become the place where he was dramatically assassinated.

Providing that dark history doesn’t put you off, you can now stay at the boutique hotel, restaurant and event space.

Opulent, erring on over the top, features include 24-karat gold tiles lining the pool, one room covered entirely in seashells and animal print (almost) everywhere.

Gianni-Vesace-Miami-Mansion-Is-Now-A-Luxury-Hotel-02 Gianni-Vesace-Miami-Mansion-Is-Now-A-Luxury-Hotel-03 Gianni-Vesace-Miami-Mansion-Is-Now-A-Luxury-Hotel-04 Gianni-Vesace-Miami-Mansion-Is-Now-A-Luxury-Hotel-05 Gianni-Vesace-Miami-Mansion-Is-Now-A-Luxury-Hotel-06 Images above from here.

Gucci’s interactive ‘Gucci Garden’, Florence

Florence, Italy, is now home to ‘Gucci Garden’ – a unique museum that tells the story of the legendary brand.

Featuring six rooms across two floors, visitors can explore historic collections, a retail store offering exclusive products, and a restaurant by three-Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura.

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Chanel’s women’s only The Coco Club

In celebration of its BOY∙FRIEND watch collection, Chanel created a private women’s club at Soho’s The Wing. ‘The Coco Club’ was a place to unwind, recharge, and entertain – in style of course. With black, white, cream and gold the central colours of the space, members could take their pick from the games room (complete with ping-pong table, pool table, and shuffleboard), library, Coco Café and beauty room.

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Chanel-CocoClub-Social locjer-rooms THE-COCO-CLUB_BOY.FRIEND-Bar THE-COCO-CLUB_Cafe the-coco-club-game-room the-coco-club-library Images above from here.

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Our five key style predictions for 2018

We’d like to preface this piece by sharing what we always say to our clients:

Go with what you love, rather than focussing on trends.

However, we do see trends in the design industry as inspirations that can be interpreted and edited for use in our own homes, if we so desire.

Explore the five key style predications we’re making for the year ahead, all centered around warmth, detail and a sense of the finer times.

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Image above from here.

1. Curved lines

Just like we see in this month’s Celebrity Insider feature of Serena William’s home, curved and soft lines are being favoured at the moment in the design world. Think plush chairs with rounded arms, circular lighting options and curved mirrors and coffee tables.

ff4-1-575x869Image above from here.

2. Wallpaper as art

We are pleased to see wallpaper on the ‘hot list’ because it really does add sophisticated glamour and personality to a space. Wallpaper is now being introduced as an art piece or mural, spanning walls or entire rooms.

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Image above from here.

3. Velvet

In a similar vein to curved lines, velvet is making a return into homes and commercial spaces as consumers seek more softness and comfort.

2018 will be all about tactile furniture and surface finishes, and as trend forecaster Allyson Rees told Interior Design:

“Everyone around the world is looking for extra comfort and reassurance. The home as a safe haven in a world that is so politically and ecologically turbulent.”

Easy ways to bring velvet into your home is with a beautiful velvet armchair or plush footstool as seen in our cover image.

Terracotta_Valspar_Rustic-WickerImage above from here.

4. Darker woods and warmer hues, particularly terracotta

Blonde timbers, particularly through the modern interpretation of Danish design, have been a feature in interiors for a long time.

However, the more traditional timbers, like rosewood, mango wood and walnut are on the return. These darker grains are also being coupled with beige or equally dark timber cabinetry, rather than white, that has dominated in recent times.

Terracotta continues to rise in popularity: used in its physical sense with tiles, along with terracotta as a decorative accent particularly with painted walls.

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Image above from here.

5. Maximalism

We have all heard of minimalist interiors, but 2018 is the year that more really is more.

Think LaDoubleJ‘s tabletop collection, featuring contrasting prints and patterns, and you’ll get a sense of this year’s extravagant interiors trend.

This is a move away from the Scandinavian-inspired interiors aesthetic, that has taken centre stage in recent years and a backlash against ‘cookie cutter’ interiors.

It’s refreshing to see colour, pattern and personality back.

If you would like to discuss your project and how we can introduce what you love to your space, get in touch.

Cover image: Ferm Living.

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What’s new in the world of design: January 2018

It’s our first global design wrap of 2018, and we have brought you three progressive, commercial interior concepts, from Toronto to Beijing.

We know that art can serve as an emotionally-charged movement – and this month we’ve found an installation in France that certainly makes a statement

Read on and explore the latest and best in design in our ‘What’s new in the world of design’ January 2018 edition…

1. Campari’s new Canadian office

Campari Canada has a new Toronto office – and it’s inspired by the drink brand’s ingredients and iconic advertising posters – both past and present. The 150-year-old Italian drink brand – with spirits, wines and soft drink labels – wanted a space that captured the essence of their company.

Design studio I-V took on the challenge, and the result is a pastel space, with pale green flooring, blush pink terrazzo bar and light grey and blush furniture.

Images below from here.

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2. Grand Central Terminal’s new restaurant: Agern

Agern, meaning “acorn” in Danish, is the newest restaurant in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

Headed by chef Claus Meyer, the eatery takes inspiration from Claus’ Icelandic heritage. The menu and interiors are decidedly Nordic, with a calming and warm atmosphere, giving stark contrast to the frantic pace outside of its walls.

Images below from here.

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3. Public installation:  ‘The plastic we live with’

Spanish artist collective Luzinterruptus took a stance at the 2017 Festival International des Arts
de Bordeaux Métropole

The group say that their idea was to “graphically visualise, in a way that could be understood by all, the plastic excess that is around us”. The installation filled the windows of the old Virgin Megastore building with 6,000 bags, to make it look as though it was ‘exploding’ with and from plastic.

Images below from here.

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4. Beijing’s spectacular Tianjin Binhai Library 

China’s Tianjin Binhai Library in Beijing is a memorising, one of a kind design. The 33,700 sqm centre features an undulating bookshelf that wraps the walls from floor to ceiling, has stairs and room to sit, and holds 1.2 million books.

In the middle sits a spherical auditorium. The library took three years to create, from initial sketch to opening the doors, and was built according to China’s ‘Green Star Energy Efficiency’ label.

Images below from here.

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