It’s here again!

via Pinterest

Happy Weekend!

 

 

Folding Chairs

Now that title probably makes you think of something you’d pick up at the local hardware store. Something you’d keep in the shed for that camping trip or when there’s one too many around the outdoor table.

Folding Chair from Officeworks

Well let me introduce you to a new kid on the block – the Flux.

The Flux

It is made from a  single piece of weather proof plastic that can eventually be recycled. The piece of plastic has fold lines and notches and with a quick (once you get the hang of it) flick of the wrists it becomes a comfortable chair for either inside or outside use.

Designed in Holland by industrial designers Douwe Jacobs and Tom Schouten it was awarded the Grand Designs Product of The Year in May this year.

Flux Founders

It is available in a range of colours and now has a mini-me to add to the stable. Flux Junior has been specifically designed with kids in mind and also comes in a range of child friendly colours.

Flux Junior

The chairs aren’t cheap at around $250 each for the adult versions but they are a work of art and will last much longer than that one you picked up at Bunnings.

 

If you would like further information on the range of Flux chairs or need help with seating for your home, contact us.

Adirondack Chairs

The days are warming up here in Sydney (at last!) and the weather is beckoning us to live outdoors. Not right outdoors in tents but to take a cup of tea out into the garden and enjoy the sunshine.

There are so many varieties of outdoor furniture but one I kept seeing on the East Coast of America was the Adirondack Chair. You know that chair with the funny name.

Spotted at Bar Harbor, Maine

Originally made from wood, many of the US varieties were made from plastic which is ideal for leaving them out in the garden all day. They came in a great range of colours too.

In the garden at Cape Cod, Massachusetts

They were originally made in 1903 by Thomas Lee who was on vacation in Westport, NY in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. The original Adirondack chair was made with eleven pieces of wood, cut from a single board. It had a straight back and seat, which were set at a slant to sit better on the steep mountain inclines of the area. It also featured wide armrests, which became a hallmark of the Adirondack chair and are perfect for resting a cup or glass.

On the beach in Malibu, California

Jamie Durie has an Adirondack Chair in his outdoor range available from Big W. The Porch Furniture have a range of Adirondack Chairs including one from recycled milk bottles so they don’t need any maintenance. I like that idea!

Ready for a party, Bar Harbor again.

Would you like a pair in your garden? I think they look very inviting and I could imagine sitting with a cup of tea each Sunday afternoon resting up before I tackle the ironing basket after dinner.

If you would like assistance choosing furniture for your outdoor area, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Saturday in Design 2011

Well after a wet and miserable Friday, the sun came out shining on Saturday for Saturday in Design 2011.

We started our day at Reece who always serve a fabulous breakfast. Orange juice, Bircher muesli and Brushetta with smoked salmon. All while checking out the new range of toilets and basins.

via Reece website

Next door to Reece at Surry Hills is Poliform. They have my dream wardrobes as well as other furniture items. Their Miele display kitchen was getting a workout and we were able to give our stamp of approval to the egg and prosciutto rolls that had just come out of the oven. Mmm mmm!

A short courtesy bus ride delivered us to Great Dane at Redfern. The showroom was full as guest designer Benjamin Hubert was about to explain his design process.

Great Dane

Tait Outdoor is right next door to Great Dane. I love their outdoor range. I’m not sure if it was coming out of a cold wet winter that made me think everything was so colourful or whether it was more colourful than past releases.

Colourful umbrellas

The street outside these showrooms was set up like a market with stalls providing an array of food options.

Market stalls

We then ventured further south to a specially leased warehouse that housed a number of displays. I love it when I find a new supplier or one I hadn’t used for a while. Giati Designs were showcasing their range of outdoor fabrics. 100% solution-dyed acrylics are guaranteed sunfast, durable, scrubbable, stain and mildew resistant. I hadn’t seen them before.

Range of outdoor fabrics

Also in the same venue was Bloom with their wonderful lit planter pots. These make spectacular talking pieces on a deck or in a courtyard with their warm glow in various colours. And they’ve recently released cubes in various sizes which make great outdoor seats.

Bloom Pots and other shapes

And next to Bloom was Wallcandy with a great range of wallpapers. I loved the shoe wallpaper.

Wallcandy Wallpapers

We left Waterloo and headed to Chippendale to Insitu. They have a great range of chairs for all occasions. Insitu had a lovely lunch set out so naturally we had to oblige. We enjoyed the atmosphere of the showroom for a while as we ate and planned our next port of call.

Lunch at Insitu

Hub Furniture was the place to be by the looks of the crowds in the showroom. A selection of rugs, lamps, sofas and chairs were on display as well as some funky homewares.

Favourite light fitting from Hub Furniture

Our last stop of the day was at Alexandria where we looked at Cosh Living, Ke-zu, Splash and Space before we headed home foot-sore and weary.

It was a great day, as usual, and fabulous to be able to see so many design precincts and showrooms all on the one day. Thanks to the organisers for arranging such a wonderful day.

 

 

 

Spring already?

Last week I posted this photo on my Facebook page with the comment – “I see signs of Spring.”

Early Spring Blossoms

Never a truer word was spoken with Sydney enjoying a run of 20+C days. So it was no trouble at all to sit and take in the view and the food yesterday at Quay Restaurant on Sydney Harbour.

My friends at Electrolux have just released their new range of premium barbecues and world renowned chef Peter Gilmore was putting them through their paces. I’d never been to Quay before so was delighted to be a guest at this esteemed restaurant and sit in the front row of an intimate masterclass with Peter Gilmore.

View from Quay Restaurant

Peter cooked four different cuts of Angus Sirloin Beef – grass fed and air aged for six weeks, grain fed, F1 and Wagyu. Peter likes to preheat the barbecue for ten minutes with the hood down on a very high heat. He then seasons the meat with salt and pepper before turning the burners to medium and sealing the meat. He then turns the barbecue off and lets the meat rest with lid closed for about 40 mins.

Dished Up

The Electrolux barbecues have inbuilt sealed grills with drip trays so the fat drips down and there is no spitting and flames. You don’t get any burnt bits of meat that way which is good when you’re cooking Wagyu which is in excess of $110 per kilo!

My meal - 4 types of Sirloin steak with Wasabi Butter and Barbecued Vegetable Salad

The En:tice Barbecue comes in two different sizes, 600mm and 900mm. They not only look smart and would be welcome in any outdoor entertaining area, but are made of easy cleaning materials like cast iron and stainless steel.

Finishing touches

Peter also cooked a vegetable salad on the barbecue with purple carrots!

Barbecued Vegies

I found his tale of the history of carrots very interesting. Apparently carrots originated in Asia and were purple and orange. The Dutch bred the purple out of the carrots as their national colour is orange. So now when we see a carrot other than an orange one, it looks kinda weird. But oh, what a beautiful colour scheme!

Carrots every colour of the rainbow!

Thank you Electrolux and Quay Restaurant for a lovely afternoon.

If you would like assistance with furnishing or design for your outdoor entertaining area, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

 

Dive In

As I sit here writing this post, the wind is howling outside and the temperature is in single digits. Just over the mountains there is snow. So it’s pretty hard to think about outdoor entertaining.

But now is the ideal time to consider pool renovations or building. This was the topic of my newsletter this month.

Did you receive your copy? If not you can sign up here.

These images have been provided by Argo an architectural firm specialising in pool refurbishments and pool cabanas.

Roll on summer!

If you would like assistance in choosing colours or furniture for your outdoor entertaining area, contact us for an on-line or in-person consultation.

 

Make sure your colours “hook up”

Really, you could choose any colour in the world in any tint or shade to paint your house or room and it would work. But the thing you need to choose carefully, is which colour it will hook up with.

via miloflamingo.blogspot.com

I recently gave some colour advice to clients regarding a colour for the exterior of their home. They were sold on a particular Colorbond colour for the gutter and downpipes which is always helpful as it gives us a starting point.

Choosing colours

They had already painted the interior of their home so wanted a connection between external and internal spaces. Excellent, that’s what you should do to create a harmonious environment.

via Dulux.com.au

So we set about choosing colours. They were keen to look at the browns but as the worldwide palette is moving away from the lattes, mochas and espressos we’ve had for the last 10 years, I was steering them towards a more grey palette. We settled on a colour and made sure it worked with the Colorbond.

Grey Bedroom via Home Beautiful

Now this is where it gets tricky and if it’s not chosen carefully, the whole scheme falls apart. We needed to choose a neutral or off-white colour for the eaves and window frames as well as a dark colour for the fence and front door. They needed to work with the wall colour and the gutter colour. And that is the trick. Make sure the undertone of all the colours is the same or sits well with each other.

The wall colours (grey) and the kitchen cabinetry colour (mustard) have not relation whatsover.

When I was studying to become a Colour Consultant, we spent the first few weeks mixing colours. This is the best way to understand colour and undertones and now I can discect a colour and work out it’s make-up. Makes it alot easier in selecting colours that “hook up”.

Harmonious colour scheme

I see so many houses where the colour is fine but it’s what they’ve hooked up with that just makes the scheme look off.

The colour of the second floor extension does not have the same undertone as the colour on the ground floor emphasising the addition.

If you need assistance in choosing colours for your home, contact us for an on-line or in-person consultation.

Colour Defines Location

I was recently at a seminar held by the Design Institute of Australia on Colour. Architect George Freedman was one of the speakers and explored the concept that colour defines location.

The warm sun inspires colour.

Majorelle Gardens, Marrakesh

Houses in a myriad of colours in Mexico

La Boca in Argentina where left over paint was used to paint the houses.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Painted Ladies in San Francisco

Where as cooler climates use more subdued colours.

Waldspirale Residential Complex in Germany

St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow

So what about here in Australia? We have warm sun yet most of our buildings are not brightly coloured. Is that our European Heritage? It’s good to see that there are pockets of daring emerging.

Famous Beach Huts at Brighton Beach. Victoria

New Buildings in Sydney. This one is a residential complex at Pyrmont.

So what do you think? Should we be adding some colour or keeping it neutral?

If you would like assistance with choosing colours for your home, contact us for an on-line or in-person consultation.

Which Way Now?

As I mentioned last week, I went to a talk at the Australian International Furniture Fair given by Janice Lindsay. She is a fabulous speaker and I resonated with much of what she had to say. She was asked to speak on Colour Direction for 2011-2012.

via punchstock.com

Firstly, her mantra was

Janice likened good design to Roger Federer playing a game of tennis. He just does it without thinking as he has been playing for so long, returning a serve has become second nature. Good design, should be second nature.

Janice explained that Home is not a place but a feeling, and my by-line of “creating harmonious environments”, says just that. I endeavour to create a feeling for my clients when they walk in the door. One of the first questions I will ask a new client, is “How do you want to feel in this space? What mood do you wish to create?”

Uplifting interior via pidesignhouse.com

That’s one of the things I love about my job, no two clients are the same and I get to create beautiful spaces based on what the client believes to be harmonious or beautiful to them. It is important for a space to be personal and relevant.

Calm interior via Norm Architects

Janice also talked about colour and how there is no white in nature just like there are no colour mistakes in nature. If you are having difficulty coming up with a colour scheme, take a closer look at nature. That is something we all wish to do with our indoor outdoor living spaces too. By connecting with nature, we will find our way Home. We were born colour smart, but we GET colour stupid.

Colourful Cats via Dreamstime.com

Her predictions for future style and colour included animals, birds, made not manufactured goods and things to do with farm because farming suggests a more simple life. Do include texture like in nature and use more curves than straight lines, just like in nature. Use more pattern but co-ordinate it rather than match it to other things.

Texture and Curves in Nature

I thoroughly enjoyed the hour I had with Janice and loved her quote “Colour is a conversation, so make it interesting!”

Colourful beach house

If you would like assistance with the colours for your home, contact us for an on-line or in-person consultation.

Throw another shrimp on the barbie

The weather is superb here in Sydney at the moment. And that’s the ideal time to fire up the barbeque and head outdoors for dinner.

I came across these fabulous table cloths recently and thought how colourful they were and how suitable to outdoor dining.

Some come in quite a large size which is great for those big outdoor tables.

Almost good enough to use as an artwork.

Some patterns are also available in runners and most have matching napkins.

We can source these items for you. Contact us to enquire about our on-line or in person design services.

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