Florence is coming to a store near you

I’m a HUGE fan of the fabrics and wallpapers of Florence Broadhurst.

I read the book on this amazing woman about 8 years ago and was fascinated by her life. She was a Queenslander and had the ability to turn her hand at whatever career she chose while travelling the world. One year she was a singer and dancer in China and the next she was a French clothier in London. And all this was back in the ’30’s and 40’s when women didn’t do things like that. She was so ahead of her time! And then she met an untimely death when she was murdered in her studio at Paddington in Sydney. The murder remains unsolved.

Japanese Floral

When she returned to Australia she set up shop and created hand printed wallpapers. These wallpapers and their patterns are still popular today. Her artworks have been recreated as rugs, clothing, homewares and fabrics.

Dinner Set

And in June this year, you will be able to add those very same patterns to your home in soft furnishings. Australian home textile label, Rapee will release The Broadhurst Collection which will be available in five stories and a number of colourways.
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These exceptional designs will be printed on premium fabrics using various techniques including: 100% silk jacquards, embroideries on 100% cottons, foil prints on 100% linens and prints on cotton linen blends. The palette extends to bolts of blue; tranquil sea foam, denim and periwinkle; as well as punchy coral and flamingo fuchsia. The collection also welcomes shades of yellow and high-wattage metallic which will help to create richness and playful elegance while putting a fresh spin on timeless designs.

The Florence Broadhurst collection will be sold initially through department stores and boutique homeware retailers, and will arrive in store from June 2013. Prices start from $99 for embroideries, through to $120 for 100% silk scatter cushions.

I can’t wait!

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If you would like assistance adding a touch of Florence to your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Latest Range of Fabrics from Sanderson

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending the launch of the new fabric collections from Sanderson. Chris Warren from the UK was visiting Sydney to show off the new fabrics and wallpapers which were recently launched at Decorex.

The Domestic Textiles Showroom at Paddington was set with a beautiful tablecloth of the new Kew fabric with matching napkins (which we were able to take home!) and a gorgeous bunch of pink calla lillies.

The first collection was from Zoffany and was called Town and Country.

It was an interesting mix of sharp colours from the city blended with rustic textures of the country which can be used in both casual and formal rooms.

There were aged marbled woolens and velvets, printed silks and linens and textured wallpapers with subtle sheen giving the hint of glamour.

The second collection was the Sanderson Richmond Hill. With the Sanderson brand’s history spanning over 150 years, there are plenty of archives from which to draw.

Cottons and linens were mainly used as base cloths with Jacobean and French designs giving a painted look. Naturally flowers and nature abound but with a fresh take on the colouring.

Wallpaper mixes and matches to create a completely co-ordinated space.

Would you like new fabrics and wallpapers for your home? Contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Friday On My Mind

Another busy week draws to a close. I hope you’ve had a good one.

Things have been hectic around here with so much going on. I’ve been having fun with Megan Morton and Jen Bishop’s Instagram challenge. It was all good fun posting photos of Things I Love for a chance to win a signed copy of Megan’s new book, Things I Love.

Things I Love – Chinese Brush Holder with my Costume Jewellery

I’ve also been busy with clients sourcing fabric for window coverings, upholstery and a bedhead as well as furniture for outdoors. The weather has been nice and toasty getting us ready for dining outdoors.

Outdoor Setting

The house is looking great too.

The scaffolding’s down, now the painting can begin.

The gyprockers are in so we have internal walls instead of frames.

My new studio with walls

It’s really starting to take shape and the cabinetmaker has started to manufacture the laundry and kitchen. Soooo excited!

Have you started your Christmas shopping? In 2 months it will all be over. Corban and Blair are having a sale for the month of November. You just need to enter the code Nov12 at checkout. There’s some great gift ideas.

Designer Rugs are having a sale too. That’s more a present you want to buy for yourself, though!

Have a great weekend. Apparently I’m going to be painting this weekend!

 

If you would like assistance with colour and design for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Not the Rough End

Pineapple cushions at Sentosa Designs

Last week I visited one of my suppliers, Sentosa Designs.

Sentosa Designs furniture featuring pineapples

They specialise in colonial style furniture as well as a range of campaign furniture.

Campaign style drinks cabinet

I noticed the profusion of pineapples in their styling so started to hunt around and see what else I could find.

Pineapple Lamp

The pineapple is associated with welcoming and in my mind also says SUMMER!

Wooden Pineapples

I went in search of other pineapple inspired home decor and found cushions, lamps and even ice cube trays.

Pineapple Ice Trays

What do you think? Could you add some pineapple decor to your home?

Pineapple Wall Hooks

If you would like assistance choosing accessories for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Recent Projects

Whilst I have been working on my own home renovation, I’ve also been helping a number of clients to achieve their harmonious environment.

We had favourite armchairs reupholstered and placed them in our client’s new bedroom.

Reupholstered chairs

We also sourced an elegant bedroom chandelier and bedside lamps.

New lights and lamps

A client we have been working with for the past 12 months finally moved in to their brand new home.

New home

After assisting with paint colours, floor board selections, generated ideas for the walk in wardrobes, bathroom vanity design, lighting options the clients are now ensconced in their home and look like they have always lived there.

Our kitchen design

The kitchen was designed by us with specifications of door finishes, colours, handles and benchtops.

New kitchen

We also sourced the fabrics for their window coverings and arranged making and installation.

Master Bedroom Curtains

Both clients are absolutely thrilled with their new homes, stamped with their own personalities.

Son #1’s bedroom

Son #2’s bedroom

If you would like assistance with colour and design for your new home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

New Showroom

The brand new showroom for Domestic Textile Corporation was opened in Sydney on Tuesday night.

New Sydney Showroom of Domestic Textile Corporation

DTC as it is affectionately known houses Sanderson, Morris & Co, Harlequin, Zoffany, Scion and Gaston Y Daniela fabrics and wallpapers.

Window display of fun and colourful Scion fabric

The new Showroom is brighter and lighter than its last incarnation and situated closer to the other fabric showrooms at Rushcutter’s Bay.

Colourful goody bags for all the guests

The red carpet was laid out for the guests and the Bellinis and Champagne were flowing.

The gorgeous team from DTC

The beautiful fabrics were on display too.

Beautiful fabrics

It was a lovely evening and a great way to start the life of the new showroom.

Inside the new showroom

If you would like assistance finding beautiful fabrics for your home, contact us for assistance.

Oh Suzani

I mentioned recently that I’d been seeing the Ikat pattern everywhere.

Ikat fabric by Kravet

It’s not the only pattern that I’ve been noticing, The other is the Suzani.

Suzani Fabric by Westbury

The Suzani pattern hails from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries. Like the Ikat it was lost during the time of the Soviet Occupation but since the collapse of the Union these handcrafts are seeing a resurgence.

Suzani Needleworkers

The pattern originally is embroidered with chain, satin and buttonhole stitches and embellished with decorative thread laid on the fabric. The motifs in the designs depict the sun and moon, flowers, leaves, fruit and sometimes fish and birds.

Suzani Rug by The Rug Collection

I love the bright colours and organic shapes of the Suzani patterns we are seeing today. What about you? Do you like the pattern?

Suzani fabric by Warwick Fabrics

If you would like assistance adding Suzani to your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Art and About

Remember the beautiful designs of Bethany Linz?

Coloured Floral Woodblock

Her solo exhibition is currently on at Balmain and has the official opening tomorrow.

I’m sure Bethany would love to see you. Make sure you tell her I sent you. Enjoy your weekend.

 

Bandhini

At last week’s Reed Gift Fair, soft furnishing company, Bandhini released their Spring Collection. I didn’t make it to the fair so jumped at the opportunity to check out the new range at their Sydney showing at Boyd Blue.

Tai Shaffler, designer of Bandhini showed me around her new collection which was beautifully displayed in Boyd Blue’s Sydney showroom. Boyd Blue is an agent to a number of suppliers and their “Trade Only” showroom is always a delight to visit.

I couldn’t believe how well the new Bandhini collection complements the Designer Boys‘ artwork. Or is that the Designer Boys’ artwork complements the Bandhini range? Either way, they looked fabulous together and I had to ask if they had collaborated.

Tai said no and she remembered watching the boys on The Block thinking that they would love her stuff. She explained that when the did finally meet at a trade fair, the boys pretty much took everything on display. Definitely on the same wave length, still now!

Bandhini’s products are all made from natural fibres and vat dyes. Embellishments are attached by hand in the traditional style and inspiration comes from culture and nature.

You can see the exquisite detail in the Mother of Pearl Lumber cushion.

Shells, buttons, pearls, tufts, coins, sequins, felt flowers, tassels and even a horse bit are all sewn on to the covers to give a textural look and feel to any bed or sofa. With so many colours and patterns there’s something for everyone.

You can purchase Bandhini cushions and other soft furnishings through Inside Out Colour and Design. Contact us with your preferences.

Mixed Media Artist – Robyn Kennedy

Many years ago there was a cute little homewares store in Cammeray called The Ginger Jar. Whenever my mother visited from Brisbane we would head out to a different area and visit all the shops. One such time, we stumbled upon The Ginger Jar and I fell instantly in love with an artwork by Robyn Kennedy. I had never seen anything like it before and it was made from gorgeous Asian textiles. I just knew the artwork would be a great addition to my collection of Asian furniture and decorator pieces that we had collected during our three years living in Hong Kong. So I bought it!

A few years later, I came across Robyn’s name again and visited her solo exhibition in Woollahra. Mum was down from Brisbane and we were both in awe of Robyn’s exquisite pieces. So much work involved in every single piece! Since then I’ve kept in touch with Robyn and am delighted that she has agreed to answer my questions on her life and art. I hope you enjoy this interview.

Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what led you to the beautiful textile artworks you create?

For many years I’ve had an interest in interior design and the decorative arts. In the early 90’s I worked for an interior design company as their CAD operator….I think quite good training for the intricate work I do now!

The samples library the designers used for selecting materials and finishes for their projects was well overdue for a major cleanup and luckily I worked that weekend! As the designers added to the pile of “rubbish” I promptly removed pieces that I found attractive, particularly the textiles and timber veneers. I couldn’t believe all the gorgeous materials that, once admired, were now destined for the tip as “discontinued stock”.  I knew that if I could, I would create something beautiful with them, to let them live on and be admired once again.

The next few years saw a flurry of creativity coming from my dining room – hours spent experimenting with different techniques mixing textiles, papers, photographs and timber veneers with beautiful found objects from nature, and then weaving metallic thread and other embellishments into the work. All of these pieces were “miniature art” and perfect for the then very popular handmade card market, when cards were not only a beautiful message but also a gift to frame.

After returning from a year overseas I was keen to get creative again, but on a much larger scale! The first larger works I created were two Japanese style Kimono figures made from antique pieces of Indian textiles (collected on my travels), contemporary textiles, gold leaf and metallic thread…they were very gorgeous, aged in appearance and they caught the light beautifully. This style of work developed over time into a series of exotic women, inspired by the women and textiles from Japan, China, Africa, Turkey and Uzbekistan. This was the starting point for my life as an artist – that was 1998.

Where do you find your inspiration?

The obvious and most immediate inspiration usually comes to me from a piece of fabric I particularly love, and more recently photographs I’ve taken on my travels. However, I do find inspiration everywhere – flowers, butterfly wings, exotic birds, sea shells, rock pools, autumn leaves, light, shadows, reflections, expressions of love, dreams, the female form, fashion, jewelry, art, architecture, interiors, Japanese style….and heaps more!

You use gorgeous textiles in your artworks, where do you find them?

 As mentioned earlier, the start of my collection was in the early 90’s with textiles from the Interior Design industry. I found that many of the large fabric wholesalers were keen to give away boxes and boxes of old textiles – heaven!

I’ve also discovered the beauty in antique hand stitched textiles from India (Rajasthan wedding gowns), Turkey and Uzbekistan. Travelling to these countries is not so frequent, so I make sure I buy plenty whenever I’m there.  

 I also adore the wonderful selection of Japanese antique and contemporary textiles from Edo Arts in Sydney, and for contemporary fashion textiles I usually go to Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney.

Can you briefly explain your design process?

In general it’s quite a spontaneous process which starts with a gorgeous piece of textile or more recently a photograph. I try to visualize what would enhance this “feature piece, the focal point”. I’m thinking colour, pattern, texture, what shapes I’m going to use, will I introduce sheer fabrics and the like. Having selected the materials I then build the image layer by layer using acid free adhesives. Finally I apply all the embellishments – I particularly love this part of the process as this is when it all comes together and it starts to sparkle and speak to me!

Do you have an all time favourite piece that you have created?

It’s always the piece I’m working on, although a number of the works pictured are my favourites.


Is there an artist (or artists) that you love right now?

Australian artists Shannon Crees, for her beautiful street art (I have one!) and Emma Hack for her exquisite body painting/photography images (would love one). I also love Wendy Arnold’s works.

What’s next for Robyn Kennedy?

Although the ‘exotic women’ series are still very popular, I do enjoy experimenting with many other styles and techniques. In my most recent exhibition, I introduced photographic collage using photographs from my travels which were overlaid with sheer textiles and embellishments. I plan to explore the ‘photographic collage’ in more detail, seeing what I can create in a smaller format using photography,  textiles and papers…. and of course intricate detail. My next solo exhibition (date still to be decided) will be a series of small works.

In March  2013 I will be exhibiting at the Balmain Watchhouse with 2 good friends, Karen Visser who captures beautiful imagery through photography and Grazyna Wollman who creates the most amazing kaleidoscope of gorgeous patterns and colors. My works in this exhibition will be current and past works, so it’s a good opportunity to see the development of my art over a number of years.

If you are interested in embarking on a journey of textile art, Robyn runs workshops at her home in Sydney.  Contact Robyn for more details.

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