June 23, 2016

The 10 Do's and Don'ts of Eclectic Style

Eclectic style: interiors most-wanted look is easy to love, yet a bit trickier to achieve.

Just be careful the curated look ties together, doesn't lack focus or become a byword for ‘anything goes’ – you want your rooms to look layered and cultured, not like a busy, technicolour nightmare. Here’s how to bring the rich, civilised look together and avoid the most common pitfalls.
 
DO CONSIDER LAYOUT
When planning an eclectic style space, it's easy to get caught up with the colours, textures, and patterns that will bring the look together. But don't forget about the layout – how we group furniture is one of the most important things in a room. It is what will make the space comfortable and a place you want to spend time in. Before you start purchasing anything, work out where each piece of furniture will go. You may find you actually don't have space for that quirky floor lamp or 19th-century chest.
 
DON'T FORGET A FOCAL POINT
When you arrange your layout, remember: Though eclectic style involves combining a mix styles, periods and wide variety of items, the curated look shouldn't lack focus. Create a focal point (or accentuate an existing one) with an eye-catching element — such as an accent wall, fireplace, bold painting or massive mirror.
 
DO CONSIDER UTILITY
As you select the pieces you use in eclectic design, don't forget that the room is meant to be lived-in. Go for utlity. Think of how you use a room. Consider baskets, bookshelves, drinks trays, and card tables. These elements will create a cozy, lived-in atmosphere for rooms.
 
DON'T BE INCONSISTENT
The nature of eclectic style is varied, but each room in your home should still complement the others. Carry eclecticism throughout your home to create flow and harmony. Your space will look disjointed if the style changes abruptly from room to room. If you decide your home is ready for an eclectic upgrade, make it a commitment that's reflected throughout the house.
 
DO PICK ONE GO-TO COLOUR
One colour should serve as a unifying factor throughout your design. Use colour as the great equalizer to pull together the overall look. Whether your go-to shade is an olive green, coffee or ecru, consistently return to it while decorating for a cohesive look.
 
DON'T COMPARE HUES
When picking your go-to colour, don't be tempted to sample paints on the wall, making your decision from a line-up of shades. Paint the colours you like onto boards, then look at them in isolation and they also come in handy for reference when you're shopping for decor or fabrics.
 
DO PRACTICE BALANCE
Aim to find balance in scale and symmetry. Similar lines create design harmony, even if the pieces are different styles, textures, or from different eras. Don't sacrifice organization for diversity.
 
DON'T MISTAKE ECLECTIC FOR "ANYTHING GOES"
Styling eclectic rooms doesn't mean tossing every rule. There's a fine line between layered and collected to busy and distracting. Put a cap on the number of contrasting styles in one room to avoid things feeling random.
 
DO GIVE NEW STYLES A CHANCE
When you try eclectic style, and don't like the outcome, don't give in to the temptation to change it right away. Wait until the room is complete and live with it. Things that feel like a big deal when you are first decorating a room [like an unexpectedly bright paint colour] fall into the background once the space is filled with furniture and other items.
 
DON'T BE RESERVED
Eclectic style is characterized by a multitude of fabrics, patterns, and items. Pieces from rugs to paintings, cushions and objet are a great way to give any space character, soul and appeal.
June 23, 2016

Sydney's Newest, Hottest Homewares Store

Here’s proof you don’t have to spend a fortune on interior updates.
That low-key Dutch furniture brand HK Living has arrived in Sydney at a new collaborative space in Surry Hills called 10 Fitzroy Place. 

It's where you will find three of our fave names: from Sydney stylist Heidi Albertini's The Life Style Edit to The House of Orange and HK Living.

Expect beautiful basics with an industrial edge including simple, affordable factory lighting to beds, stools, chairs, coat hooks, twig hooks, bottles, vases, rugs, throws, bunks, cushions, planters, breadboards, bowls, and plates in all kinds of inspired shapes, sizes and materials.
 
Think rattan benches, industrial workshop lamps, hanging pod chairs in black, white and natural weaves, big 70s-style shell ball lamps, and antique-look breadboards in everything from teak to mango and accasia.
 
Plus some of the best rugs (and bathmats) you’ll find in linen, silk and wool with everything from overdyed, printed designs to old berber styles.
 
The emphasis is on classic materials that don't date (hello rattan, leather, timber, metal, glass, ceramic, cotton, wool), which is a great reminder that trends come and go, but great taste stays the same.

And we're told a couple of hot Australian and international brands are about to join the space, very soon. 
 
Breadboards from $29; 70s-style mugs, set of six, $59; rope chandelier in natural or black, $599; rattan bar stools, $339; rattan egg chair, $899; rattan dining chair, 329; rattan hanging chair $499. 
 
The Life Style Edit, HK Living and House of Orange at !0 Fitzroy Place
Surry Hills, New South Wales 2010
Sydney (02) 8068 6564
Melbourne (03) 9500 9991 

www.houseoforange.com.au 
www.hkliving.com.au 
 
June 21, 2016

Accessory Update: the Hottest New Labels Around

You can change the mood and status of a space with a few well-chosen objects of desire. Different pieces, different personalities.

The world’s most beautiful kettle Created by Danish duo Sebastian Holmback and Ulrik Nordentoft for Stelton, the 'Emma' comes in a choice of palest blue-grey or dark steel grey, with a tactile curved beech handle and neat toggle switch. stelton.com
 
The latest spotlight The newest wall lights are not designed to blend into their surroundings, but to make a statement on their own. The Heron by CTO lighting, is a vision in brass. ctolighting.com.uk
 
What’s your storage look? Naturally calm or smart luxe – PYTT has you covered with its new racking system of simple round hooks and shelves with leather straps. Top3bydesign.com
 
A well-styled desk lamp The secret to creativity and harmony at work starts with great lighting. Check La Lampe Gras newest releases. spenceandlyda.com.au

If you buy only one thing We recently reported about Danish furniture brand Republic of Fritz Hansen first-ever accessories line. ‘Objects’ collection consists of 12 pieces – some are treasures rescued from the archives and others are new creatiions. Highlights include Jaime Hayon’s reinterpretation of the 18th-century chamber candlestick. fritzhansen.com, cultdesign.com.au 
 
June 23, 2016

Interior's Most Wanted Fabric

De Le Cuona’s fabrics have long captivated bigwig international designers including Nicky Haslam, Axel Vervoordt, Steven Gambrel, Kathryn Pooley, Rose Uniacke, Kelly Hoppen and many more.

And if you like harmony, clarity and a ravaged charm, you’ll love the textured, artisanal, chi-chi linens too.
 
Think rich, rugged, tonal fabrics in strong textures – (gusty linens, tweeds, herringbones, canvas, mesh, wool, silk, parchment, metallics), that are all about softening the austerity of modern design.
 
There’s an extraordinary amount of innovation and creativity in the Savage Couture 2016 collection which brings a haute sensibility to soft furnishings with very special fabrics including the dreamiest silks to Chanel-style tweeds in ribbon and tape that would do Coco proud.
 
Plus simple and modern yarns such as Barbarian and Shepherd cloths, vintage canvas and tonal wools that resemble an English country coat.
 
And what colours. Expect pared-down shades of flax, oat, root, sap, pearl, limestone, gold, cumin, fennel, pebble, peat, heather, wheat, silver, juniper, pomegranate and sapphire that work whatever your look.
 
Bernie De Le Cuona launched her London-based business two decades ago, creating some of the most advanced, beautiful furnishing fabrics on the planet including the company’s signature Chukka stonewashed linens and cult paisleys that grace some of the world’s best interiors.

De le Cuona, available from Boyac
(02) 9360 4515 
www.boyac.com.au  
June 23, 2016

THE ONE PLACE EVERY AUSTRALIAN DESIGNER IS SHOPPING

Hotfoot it to Orient House for a new shipment of the biggest and best handmade rush baskets in town. 

They are the kind of thing you pop under a table, that make everything else in the room look right. A-list designers swear by them. 

You’ll find more than 1100 antique, artisanal and vintage items fresh from China in-store from Monday including fab blue and white porcelain, (think ginger jars, bowls, vases, cache pots), as well as celadon of all kinds, vintage cane trunks, side tables, chairs, cabinets, calligraphy brushes, bedsides, desks, commodes and things that will instantly add character and warmth to your rooms. Oh, and amazing new rattan armchairs we haven’t seen anywhere else. Chic city.

Orient House
45 Bridge Road, Glebe, NSW
(02) 9660 3895
 
View their website here. 
June 16, 2016

The Italian Stone Every Top Brand in The World Is Using

Salvatori supplies beautiful stone walls and floors for Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, DKNY, Bergdorf Goodman, Tod’s, Salvatore Ferragamo, Google and The Met.

The Italian market leader, famous for its technical innovations and big-name design partnerships opens its first Australian showroom in Sydney this month….and it’s incredible. 

First introduced to Australia back in 2013 when Boffi Studio opened its doors, the range has had astonishing success locally. Apparently we love it. It’s new recently opened stand-alone Sydney showroom is the fourth of it’s kind in the world, joining stores in Milan, London and Zurich.
 
It’s where you will find an extensive array of beautiful stones for beautiful spaces. Expect three product collections: stone for walls and floors, bathroom pieces (tubs, basins, shower trays, etc.) and a knockout home collection (tables, mirrors, lighting).
 
And what textures (think honed, rough honed, raw, chevron, sandblasted, chiseled, as well as it’s new award-winning sustainable Lithoverde). This stuff has to be seen (and felt) to be believed. Profoundly beautiful. 

Sydney Showroom: 
Level 1, 318 Liverpool Street
Darlinghurst
02 8521 5001 

View Salvatori's website here.
June 16, 2016

10 Things You Should Do For Your Home Every Winter

You don’t have to spend a fortune to do a quick home makeover and change the feel of your house with the weather. Try these quick fixes to spruce up your home this winter.

1. Add Chunky Wool Throws to Seating A cup of tea, a squashy armchair and a throw: what more do you need? Throws are the scarves of interiors, adding warmth, comfort and sensuality. And for a good few months of the year, you’ll want some chunky knit throws within easy reach.
 
2. Make Curtains from Quilts A quilt or blanket can make a great DIY window covering. It’s a French thing: just fold over on top and iron (you can also hem but that’s not essential), then sew on rings. Go with all cotton, linen or wool in the same shade as the wall. They'll add to the physical warmth of rooms too, as well as insulate against cold and block draughts.
 
3. Layer Your Lighting (and Always Use Dimmers) Instead of spotlights on the ceiling—something rarely seen in chic European interiors—use a combination of lighting appropriate for different needs: table lamps, standing lamps, and sconces; new and old, Noguchi and Louis XIV. And adjust your lighting with dimmers. Use a lot of candles, too, and light them every evening, sometimes even at breakfast during winter.
 
4. Flannel Sheeting Swap your bed’s cotton sheets for cosier, flannel ones.
 
5. Cosy Things Up If you’re still using a lightweight bedspread, we suggest you change it for a duvet-filled with the fluffiest down, instead.
 
6. Electric Blankets Every bed needs an electric blanket during the colder months to promote warmth and comfort.
 
7. Use Foliage Grab big bunches of leaves for your tabletops. It’s the cheapest and chicest decorating accessory, and will help your interior look as natural as possible during the colder months.
 
 8. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans When the blades rotate clockwise, they push down the warm air that gathers near the ceiling, to “reheat” the lower areas.
 
9. A Quick Rug Update Add a rug to warm timber and tile floors up.
 
10. Cut Down on Cold Drafts Find the leaks (and where warm air seems to be escaping and cold air is coming in), by holding a candle to window and door frames. If the flame flickers or goes out, you have a leak. Install a door sweep (snake), or use inexpensive rope caulking to plug air leaks, and/or purchase a DIY window insulation kit.
June 16, 2016

BEDDING DISRUPTER: LUXURY LINEN FOR LESS!

The founders of Melbourne bedlinen startup Ettitude noticed that linens tend to fall into two categories: sheets that are cheap in price and quality, and well-made, high-end linens at wickedly expensive prices. 

Says Ettitude, “The cost of luxury linens is often driven higher by bloated supply chains and expensive designer licensing fees passed on to the consumer”.
 
Sensing an opportunity, Ettitude is out to remove as much as possible between manufacturer and consumer, slashing costs along the way. In the process, it has managed to also grab the attention of the American market, featuring on top blogs such as Remodelista. Its focus is firmly on eco-friendliness: with sheets made of organic bamboo, which are just as soft as fine Egyptian cotton but use one-third less water and no harmful chemicals to manufacture.
 
There are four bedding collections to choose from, each of which come in several colours. It’s best seller is the Bamboo Daydream Sheet Set, that comes in dreamy hues of sand, white, navy, grey, aubergine, pink and green.  A flat and fitted sheet and two pillowcases queen set is priced from $140.
 
Made with pure organic bamboo lyocell 300 fabric which has a natural sheen, it has dreamy silky smooth and soft texture that has to be stroked to be believed that is equivalent to a 1000 threadcount.  It’s hypoallergenic, breathable, naturally bacterial-proof, and kind to your skin and the environment, plus available in great colours. Prices range from $90 to $150.
 
And make sure you also check its popular Daydream Collection pure white sheet set that is exceptionally smooth and soft to sleep on, that will also brighten your room with a clean, crisp look. Prices from $110 to $170.
 
ETTITUDE, 1800 388 488, www.ettitude.com.au
June 16, 2016

7 Favourites: Simple Belgian Linen

Linen is perhaps the most virtuous of all fabrics. It’s produced from the flax plant, every part of which has a use.

The seeds are ground to make oil for paint and linoleum flooring, the pulp goes into banknotes, and the fibres inside the wood stalks are woven into linen fabric.
 
Flax is grown in many parts of the world, but it’s best known and said to be finest in the Flanders region of Belgium, where, thanks to an abundance of small rivers and a rainy climate, it thrives without irrigation. 
 
Before the spinning and weaving take place, flax is transformed into linen using a medieval vocabulary of retting (washing and drying), scotching (removing the woody stems), and hackling (splitting and straightening the fibres).
 
Linen has been prized for 10,000 years for its absorbency, thermal insulation, comfort, and durability. Belgian linen is also appreciated for its softness, which increases with each wash, and its elegance when draped from a rail. It’s hypoallergenic too, and in the home it has practical uses in every room; here are some of our fave finds.
 
SEVEN TO BUY:
ALTAMIRA If you like Society bed linen, you will love these top-drawer Belgian linen furnishing fabrics. Expect beautiful plain linens in delicious shades of coffee, wheat, tobacco, charcoal, plum, slate, pistachio, etc. And what weaves.  Hands down, one of our fave collections on the planet. (03) 5981 0499, www.altamira.com.au 

SOUVERAINE Top-drawer Belgian upholstery linen, ideal for adding effortless elegance to any room. Available from Boyac, (02) 9360 4515, www.boyac.com.au 

WESTBURY TEXTILES An incredibly smart Belgian upholstery linen range that is a fave with A-list designers. Seek out the Brugge pure linen in flax, natural or oyster as well as the Bruxelles glazed Belgian linen in taupe. (02) 9380 6644, www.westburytextiles.com.au 
 
LIBECO Belgian linen tea towels are a cult classic, 17 Euros each, www.libecohomestores.com 

RESTORATION HARDWARE Vintage-Washed Belgian Linen Shower Curtain, 72 square inches, is $49.99 marked down from $89; extra-long size also available.
 
WEST ELM Belgian Flax Linen sheet sets, $289, westelm.com

IKEA Aian linen curtains, $59.99 for a set of two, ikea.com.au
June 9, 2016

High/Low: Wood and Metal Pendant Lights

In the market for classic metal industrial light fittings? We found the originals plus a few stand-ins for a fraction of the price.

HIGH-END

Restoration Hardware One of the biggest and best ranges including our picks: the Antiqued metal dome pendant, from US$523, and Vintage Barn pendant, from US$239, Restoration Hardware, www.restorationhardware.com
 
Magins Lighting You'll be spoilt for choice at the lighting showroom, which has beautiful rustic pendants including its Alfresco Dome in black/silver, $655, Urban Renewal pendant light, $599,  Beso pendant in dark bronze, $435. Magins Lighting, (02) 9958 1766, www.maginslighting.com.au
 
Schoolhouse Electric Barn-style pendants of all kinds, including Royce Rod pendant, US$475, and Factory Light No. 9, US$365. Schoolhouse Electric, www.schoolhouseelectric.com
 
Cult Design The big names in design shop here for everything from Brit Bestlite metal beauties to Caravaggio classics and Australian designer Kate Stokes Coco pendant lights, $1350 each. Cult Design, 1300 768 626, www.cultdesign.com.au
 
Dunlin This stalwart specialises in industrial lights used everywhere. Try seeking out its Wooster St. Copper pendant light, XL, $1498, Dunlin, (02) 8091 1921, www.dunlin.com.au      
 
BARGAIN
Magins Lighting Head here for black metal pendants of all kinds: the Brassiere, from $235; Milano, $225, and Sardinia, $265, are all great lookers. Magins Lighting, (02) 9958 1766, www.maginslighting.com.au
 
Bunnings Around $70 will score you a sleek metal pendant such as Verve Design Black Isa pendant, $69.80, or Verve Design Black  Saja pendant light, $69.80 that could easily pass muster as a three-digit Italian design. Bunnings, www.bunnings.com.au
 
Ikea Boja pendant lamp, $69.99 and Hektar pendant lamp, $59.99, Ikea, (02) 8020 6641, www.ikea.com
 
Barnlight Electric This firm has made barn-style lights its own but is just as good for industrial lookers such as its Wesco black cord pendant, US$66, or with galvanised chain pendant, US$140. Barnlight Electric, www.barnlightelectric.com

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Every season, we do the work for you, to find the season's must-have buys in our pick of the latest looks to prove that you really can have style for less. Introducing Melissa Penfold essential basics - wicker wingbacks, linen sheets, soy candles and much more....to help you transition your home instantly for summer. Happy shopping!
Melissa Penfold