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Posts tagged ‘jewellery’

The French Jewel Box, Melbourne

My favourite antique jewellery shop is The French Jewel Box in Melbourne’s historic Block Arcade. Even if I did not have a personal connection with this gem (it is owned and run by my dearest friend, Louise, and her mother Mary-Lou) I’d love it. Each piece whether it is antique, vintage or bespoke has been individually chosen for its beauty, craftsmanship and the highest grade materials.

Possibly one of the smallest shop spaces anywhere (it measures only just 2 x 4 metres), it is like a tiny treasure chest. Most of the stock is artfully displayed in copper edged cabinets facing into one of Melbourne’s landmark arcades, the Block Arcade. Outside is a remarkable 19th century mosaic tiled floor, and above are a cornucopia of florid Victorian excess. Even with all of the attractions of the arcade, I challenge anyone interested in beauty to walk past the French Jewel Box without stopping.

Recently the shop closed its doors for renovations and the results are stunning. The new fit-out designed by Louise includes ornate cornices, mirrored cabinets, a six-arm chandelier, sumptuous gilt framed mirror,  but most of all the stunning pearlescent coronation pink damask ‘St Germain’ wallpaper by Laura Ashley in all the cabinets. The walls have been painted in the most delicate palest of pale pink “Haute” in Porter’s Paints Duchess Satin. The results are stunning: sophisticated, feminine and subtle and speak for themselves.

If you’re a local, or just visiting Melbourne, drop by and tell Louise you’re an Urban Kaleidoscope reader.

All photos by me (Kate Challis)

La Boudoir Dada continued

Here is the second instalment of the amazing studio apartment of Melwitz Folino: the bath and bedrooms. Yes, even these  private ‘quarters’ are a richly decorated art installation paying homage to everyone from Coco Chanel to Isabella Blow, from Tom Ford to Fellini and, in their midst, presiding over and blessing the entire party is Christ himself.

Once again I invite you to escape into the magical world of La Boudoir Dada.

Styling Melwitz Folino; Photography Kate Challis (me) and Emilie Smith

Welcome to La Boudoir Dada

“La Boudoir Dada” are the private rooms of the mesmerising Melwitz Folino. Like all interesting people, she cannot be easily categorised: she is an artist, illustrator, teacher and a muse in the truest sense of the word.

Her tiny studio/apartment’s physical location is a leafy part of inner city Melbourne and its temporal one is the beginning of the 21st century, but as soon as you open the door you are transported to another time and place. Each of the rooms of La Boudoir Dada (including the kitchen) is layered with Melwitz’s work: drawings, collage, model dresses, paintings, illustrations, as well as textiles, books and unique pieces of furniture such as the 19th century velvet covered card table originally owned by a brothel where the ladies of the night played cards between clients.

The Boudoir Dada is a feast for the eyes and pays tributes to the times and people who inspire Melwitz. Her own work references fashion designers, artists, writers and muses throughout the ages such as Giovanni Boldini, Kees van Dongen, Countess de Castiglioni, Dora Maar, Yves Saint Laurent, Madame Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Isabel Toledo, Jean Patou, Frida Kahlo and Anita Ekberg. Mel is the embodiment of what she passionately believes: that fashion is art and should not be relegated to mere function or be seen as frivolous. This is perhaps why she chose to call her apartment La Boudoir Dada, as the Dada movement was against the grand masculine pre-20th century tradition of art and celebrated the ephemera. Melwitz and her boudoir is a celebration of the senses, of beauty, of texture, of history and of ideas.

She is one of the most productive and engaging artists I know and the Boudoir Dada is so rich that I have divided the tour into two stunning posts: one the living/studio and kitchen area and the other the bedroom and bathroom.

So, Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentlemen! Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome to La Boudoir Dada.

Styling Melwtiz Folino; Photography Kate Challis (me) and Emilie Smith

Some lovely things I found this week

Fellow book lovers, take a look at this

YouTube Preview Image


Art lovers, this virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel is breath-taking.

How cool is this desk that grows with your kid, unfortunately only in prototype.

What an inspired concept and branding for an environmental scientist!

Isn’t this rose quartz and wood ring gorgeous?

These bakeries just inspire you to eat delicious bread.

I love these gorgeous note books by Paperthinks from recycled paper and leather. Available in Melbourne at Zetta Florence. My current one in teal is just about full. Now I am pondering the important question of which colour should I go for next?

Whatever you are up to this weekend I trust it is filled with the activities, people, places and things you love.


Ode to pink

Pink doesn’t necessarily mean girly and saccharin. It can be, but it also can be sophisticated, understated and at times even edgy. The key is finding the right shade and letting it shine: pink really doesn’t like to share the limelight.

I once painted the walls of my dining room in metallic pink. Everything else was pared down from the natural wood dining room table, limed white chairs to the white silk curtains. It was gorgeous. But after a few years I needed a change. Now my walls are white. The tiny room does appear bigger, but every so often I still hanker after my pink walls. In their honour, here is my ode to the this glorious colour.

Per Gunnarsson via this is glamorous

Steven Gambrel via habitually chic

via desire to inspire

Cote Sud via french by design

via this is glamourous

via shelter

via the design files

via marianne cotterill

watermelon, salt and chilli granita via this is glamourous

via RUE 

via apartment therapy

via bolig

via decodir

Marie-Helene de Taillac pink sapphire and gold ring via net-a-porter 

vía living etc

vía living etc

via small shop studio

via living etc

via aged and gilded