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A grand, yet relaxed Melbourne Family Home

One of my favourite blogs, The Design Files, featured this beautiful home a few weeks ago. Architecturally it is a grand Victorian mansion complete with its own flagpole. While no expense has been spared on the furnishings an fittings the results are surprisingly relaxed: a sort of high class boho. It’s the work with interior designer, Caecilia Potter who lives there with her husband and two children. Here are my favourite rooms and the living room  is totally divine. I just want to curl up on the sofa with a book and a cup of tea.

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Photos Sean Fennessy, Styling Lucy Feagins

via The Design Files

 

Quirky Masculinity: An East Village Apartment

Today I am featuring a strikingly unconventional apartment in the East Village, New York. Originally it belonged to the current owner’s Italian migrants grandparents who bought it in 1945 and lived there for over six decades. Eight years ago, their grandson, Michael Reynolds and his partner, Eric, moved in and made their own. As the building held early childhood memories for Michael, they decided to keep the layout in tact and focused their attention on redecorating. What they have achieved is quite remarkable: the place is both respectful of the past while also embracing the tastes of the current occupants.

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I love the kitchen with the tiled floor Michael remembers from his childhood. This is now accompanied by an industrial kitchen sink, original art works and vintage items.

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The walls of the dark and mysterious bedroom are jammed packed with photographs.

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The apartment is strongly masculine in its aesthetics mixing art, modern design and ethnographic objects with touches of quirky humour throughout. The results are reminiscent of an 19th century natural history museum, but somehow it all works.

I love this place as as it is so unusual in the current landscape of interior design which is on the whole very tasteful and ultimately bland. I also adore that you have a sense of who the occupants are. Having said that, I am not sure I would want to live there. Would you?

Photos: François Dischinger

via the New York Magazine

“Aesthetically Flawless”: Septime Restaurant, Paris

I have just returned from Paris with my hubbie and son. While junior has been aboard before, this was the first time on a long-haul flight (12 hrs from Singapore to Paris). We had heard horror stories of children suffering from jet lag so we psychologically armed ourselves with plans of lego in the middle of the night. We’d take turns and reasoned we will be in Paris, so it’s just one of those things you do if you want to travel with a child. And like most parental expectations, it did not come to fruition: Jasper went to bed late (10pm) and woke up late (9am).

We had an amazing time and 10 days was still not enough. What struck me about Paris was the amount of non-franchised small owner run businesses: whether it be clothing, food or other retail. Almost totally absent from the landscape were the global brands. Of course, they exist but not to the same level of market saturation as elsewhere on the planet (think of London and New York).

Today, I bring you Septime, a small restaurant owned by chef Bertrand Grebaut in the 11th arrondissement. The New York Times critic described the food as ”aesthetically flawless” and I would say the same about the space. It is minimal, yet complex.

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The beautifully designed space is industrial meets rustic with its heavy old wooden tables, modern Tom Dixon chairs, industrial Dutch lamp shades, cement clad walls, traditional tiled floors and large antiqued industrial mirrors. The results are a warm, yet understated interior.

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I love the interiors and can see loads of ideas which could be effectively used in residential homes.Do you like it or do you like more grandeur?

Sadly, I did not go to Septime as I did not know of its existence, but there is always the next trip.

Images via Remodelista

Grit and Glamour: the new look for Unico Hair Salon, Melbourne

As I move into interior design, I am finding less and less time for my blog. While I love what I am doing, I am really missing posting regularly. So with my new found resolution to post more often I thought I’d start by sharing my latest project.

It’s a revamp for of a tiny salon for Unico Hair in Degraves St, a gritty little lane way in Melbourne.

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Ok, now here are some before shots.

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 And here are the after shots.

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The most transformative change involved covering the walls with an exquisite wallpaper from Merci Paris, a concept store in the Marais. Entitled “Brooklyn Tin Tiles”, the paper features a realistic photographic image of a pressed metal tile that has been aged with peeling paint, rust spots and cracks.

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The next step was designing the all important lighting concept. I teamed up with Volker Haug, a leading Melbourne- based lighting designer, who creates industrial/glam lights. We eliminated basin boredom by installing one of Haug’s lights, Famous Five, made up of spectacular Edison Spherical bulbs. In the shop window we installed one of Haug’s Mega WOW lights in green.

Everything else was painted black, from cabinetry to counters, wooden floors and splash back tiles so the wallpaper and the lime green products really stand out.

Photos: Derek Swalwell

“You can’t run away from who you are”: the Copenhagen home of Marianne Brandi and Keld Mikkelsen

Today I bring you the Copenhagen home of fashion designers, Marianne Brandi and Keld Mikkelsen, the duo behind Day Birger et Mikkelsen. Since its first appearance in the December 2012 edition of Lonny magazine it has made the rounds of my interior blogs and pinterest boards. It is not difficult to see why. The interior of this 19th century house is decorated with restraint and taste. It is layered and teases the senses, yet still understated and minimal.

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I love its classic elegance. There is nothing trendy or overtly fashionable, yet still feels modern and interesting. The room, I think, works best is the living room which mixes vintage, contemporary and antiques including a Beni Ourain carpet, an array of silk cushions, huge pot plant, empty gold frames stacked onto of the original fireplace and the iconic mid-century three-arm floor lamp by Serve Mouille while in the corner Keld’s collection of guitars are on display.

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The other to-die-for features are the gorgeous oak floor boards inlaid in the Versailles pattern and stained in a matt black, as well as the white walls with black detailed windows.

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If it were mine I couldn’t help adding a few more bold splashes of colour like a canary yellow chair. Nevertheless, there is a certain calm elegance about the monochrome  scheme. As owner Marianne Brandi says, “You can’t run away from who you are. This home is representative of us”.

Do you like it the way it is or do you want to razz it up a little?

Lonny Magazine December 2012

Photography Gaelle Le Boulicaut

[22 February 2013. I was contacted by the photographer today and asked to remove the photographs from the site, which  I have naturally done. You can still see this amazing house by going by looking at Lonny Magazine, December 2012 available free online here.]