Designer Wheels

Following in the mantra of Donna Hay, entertaining should not just be stylish, but also simple. What’s the point of owning a glamourous chair if it’s uncomfortable to sit in? With this in mind, I introduce to you my favourite piece of furniture at the moment, the very functional family of food trolleys. While shopping trolleys are great for the supermarket, I would like to steer you in the direction of cheese trolleys, drinks trolleys and mobile kitchen islands which make entertaining indoors and outdoors, so much easier to manage.

A very elaborate example of the modern trolley is the beautiful custom designed cheese trolley at Restaurant Arras. Adam Humphrey (restaurant owner) personally designed the trolley which currently has a reputation surpassing the cheese and even the restaurant.  Humphrey’s cheese trolley costs over $8,000 and took 9 months to create; it features a hidden ice tray for temperature control, a cheese knife drawer (resplendent with a $1,000 bronze handle), a pull out serving board and a tall, Perspex cloche. Adam Humphrey’s believes:

“I’ve always to create a cheese trolley that was as beautiful and dramatic as the cheeses we serve, so I decided that the best way to do that was to design one myself from scratch”.


Drink trolleys are another fantastically practical item of furniture. There are many sleek, bright modern designs which are perfect for outdoor use and beg to hold a carafe of summer punch or martini glasses. They are particularly useful for outdoor entertaining, where you can just wheel them between your outdoor area and your kitchen for restocking to save carrying awkward loads and making multiple trips.

Mobile kitchen islands with wooden benches are fantastic for preparing food in an organised and contained way, and giving a smaller kitchen an extra bench to use. They are also brilliant for serving food; they make a great board for cheese, antipasto or snacks and once again also assist transporting food, drinks and tableware from living areas to the kitchen. Here’s a few I found particularly inspiring:

For more outdoor entertaining options, check out our Outdoor Furniture section at Complete Home, or even the Designs section for some stylish inspiration.

Travel Tips

It’s often said that travel broadens the mind and after a month in England and Europe, I can certainly say that it is definitely a source of inspiration. I grew up in England and so the annual or bi-annual pilgrimage back to see family and friends is more or less mandatory. I always combine my overseas trips with design shows and events and this trip was no exception. So I thought this issue, I’d share some of my travel insights with you.

Day one found me at the BIBA Exhibition at the Brighton Museum. When I was a teenager, BIBA in Kensington was an almost weekly destination for my best friend and I; we would spend hours trying on the latest fashion offerings from this iconic and popular fashion store. Founder Barbara Hulanicki went on to become an interior designer whose work can be seen around the world and whose wallpapers are now available through Habitat and Graham and Brown.

Travel tipsTravel tips

Day two I visited Decorex, in Chelsea, London’s luxury interior design show for professionals. On show were the crème de la crème of the UK design houses as well as some of Europe’s big names, including Vivian Westwood, Fortuny, Andrew Martin (whose stand was reminiscent of a Star Trek TV show set), Christopher Guy, Fromental and many more. Offerings included classic as well as contemporary designs and while it was difficult to identify any particular trends, the mood was upbeat and colour, texture and pattern were in abundance.

Travel Tips
Christopher Guy Stand
Travel tips
Corita Rose stand

Travel tips
Vivian Westwood wallpaper

Day three saw me at The Curzon cinema in Curzon Street to see the fabulous Diana Vreeland (the empress of fashion) film, The Eye has to Travel. As the former editor of Harpers Bazaar and Vogue, Vreeland was a larger-than-life figure on the fashion scene for many years. The film’s story weaves its way through the Belle Époque period in Paris, New York’s Roaring ‘20s and London’s Swinging ‘60s — intermingled with insights and stories from colleagues and friends such as Andy Warhol, Diane Sawyer, Manolo Blahnik and Veruschka. It traces events in the history of fashion while touching on themes such as the evolution of women into roles of power and prominence. Famous for her quote “style is everything … style is a way of life … without it you’re nothing”, Vreeland ruled the world of couture for more than five decades.

Travel tips

Over the following weeks I visited many quaint and historical villages, the remains of Roman castles, wonderfully preserved pubs, design showrooms and shopping destinations, all the while making note of the great diversity in style for both fashion and home.

My last week was spent on the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean. The lovely village of Cala Major, just outside the capital Palma and where my friend has a holiday apartment overlooking the ocean, was perfectly placed to enjoy the sun, sea and shopping. While the rest of Spain struggles economically, Mallorca still seems to attract lots of visitors, as could be witnessed by the continuous stream of aircraft that were visible (thankfully not audible) from the apartment. The architecture, art and scenery of this beautiful island are no doubt the reason why so many famous people have lived or live there, including Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Sir Richard Branson. Cala Major is a largely tourist-free destination with a generous, well-maintained sandy surf beach, elegant hotels and restaurants, along with simple cafes and restaurants patronised by tourists and locals. It is also where the Spanish royal family has its summer residence. For art lovers, it is where artist Joan Miro, who arrived in the 1950s, set up his house and studio that is now managed by the Fundacio Pilar I Joan Miro, which houses 2500 of his artworks along with 1000 paintings by Pablo Picasso.

Travel tips
Cala Major, Mallorca

Back in England, my final two days were spent in the pretty town of Lewes in Sussex, where the remains of the Norman, Lewes Castle still dominate and afford stunning views of the town. Finally, not far from Lewes in Firle, is Charleston House, former home and country meeting place for the writers, painters and academics who become known as the Bloomsbury Set, which included Virginia and Leonard Woolf. Established in 1916 by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, who moved to Sussex with their unconventional household, Charleston became a meeting place for many artists and intellectuals. The artists decorated the interiors and furnishings of the house with paintings and murals inspired by the Post Impressionists. The pretty walled garden was given a southern European accent and included mosaics, box hedges, gravel pathways and ponds — with a touch of Bloomsbury humour in the placing of the statuary.

Travel tips
Lewes Castle, Lewes Sussex
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Burnham on Crouch

Travel tips
The White Hart, Burnham on Crouch

The house is now maintained by the Charleston Trust and is open to the public at certain times of the year. On show are murals, painted furniture, ceramics, paintings and textiles, along with objects from the Omega Workshops, a design enterprise founded by members of the Bloomsbury group to express their ethos. The collection includes work by Renoir, Picasso, Derain, Matthew Smith, Sickert, Tomlin and Eugène Delacroix.



Creating the perfect bedroom

Bedroom interiors can be tricky beasts when it comes to interior design and decoration, especially when there’s more than one person inhabiting the room. A couple with very different tastes, and lacking the right direction, can end up with a room that neither of them enjoy.

The first thing that ought to be considered when renovating or decorating a bedroom is the way you want it to work with your home as a whole. It’s very important to carry a theme across your entire home, whether it be an era, style, colour, texture, or something a little unusual (such as having a particular artist’s work throughout your home). I remember reading something the other day about making your home a large tapestry of different but connected spaces, rather than a cluster of rooms. I think this is fantastic advice, also because you don’t want the house to feel too matchy-matchy. It’s all about balancing those elements.

Deciding on a theme for your bedroom itself should not rely on the latest trends either; your bedroom interiors will be dated in several months time. And unless you are ultra-wealthy, you probably can’t afford to renovate your bedroom every couple of months (though with my constantly changing sense of style, I wish this was possible for me!). Pick out elements of trends that you like or suit you, but do not rely on the one trend to set the theme for your entire bedroom. Unless it’s truly your heart’s desire.

Taking your time and planning your design never hurts either – this will give time to budget and then save for more expensive, longer-lasting pieces. Throwing the bedroom together at a weeks’ notice probably isn’t the best idea.

A lot of people traditionally choose the colour of the bedroom first before picking what bedspread or quilt-cover they’ll dress the bed with. This can lead to problems later when you go to pick your quilt cover; finding  something you absolutely love which matches your colour scheme perfectly is nearly impossible (when you do find this, it’s in the wrong bed size!). Going into a manchester store with a predetermined idea of what you want is a recipe for disappointment.

Begin your project with an open mind, and use the internet to your advantage – look up all of your favourite manchester companies and see what their latest collection includes, and get a feeling for what trends are big this season (and therefore what to expect). Research can only help!

When it comes to online shopping versus physical shopping, I cannot recommend the physical shopping enough. When looking for manchester, the physical product needs to be seen and felt before purchase. Some quilt covers are made from very cheap poly-cotton mixes or with very low thread counts, and these will feel (and look) like cardboard. So while the internet is a fantastic resource and research tool, if you’re buying anything for your bed, you need to see it and feel it beforehand.

Before you go traipsing around the homemaker centres though, do a spot of research on the terms used in this field. Having an understanding of thread-counts and the different types of fabric and cotton on offer (and example of the uses of this knowledge is that Supima Cotton is actually a far higher quality over the more famous Egyptian Cotton) means that you’ll understand what the shop assistants are talking about. Feel free to ask as many questions as possible, and most stores will open up the quilt covers so you can see and feel them (just remember to be gracious about this, and don’t open every packet in the store). Often manchester companies, such as Kas or Linenhouse, will have an entire collection, not just the quilt cover, so always ask if there’s more matching items (this might make your life much easier!).

A note on bedspreads: The manchester industry has headed strongly towards quilt-covers in the past decade, and as a result of this, the bedspread population has decreased significantly. Only few companies produce them anymore, and the range is very small.
Similarly, the most popular size in quilt covers is a queen, and this is a the guaranteed size you’ll find most quilt covers in – most quilt covers made in a double are for kids, low quality, or are designed as “spare room” covers. Kings are a little more popular, but you’ll find them more often in very high quality, more costly brands.

So once you’ve found the quilt cover of your dreams, along with the perfect bed and furniture, it’s time to decide on your walls. With paint there’s a lot of options out there; you can keep it classic by picking a light matching colour (I have a real soft spot for steel blues), mix it up with differing textures like a suede, or go for something a little more unusual. Friends with an artist or handy with a paintbrush yourself? A mural can be stunning in the right setting, and can strongly set a flavour or tone for how you’d like your room to appear.

Paint isn’t your only option however – wallpaper might have been daggy once, but it’s coming back, and in a big way. Check out these wallpapers by Funky Wombat Textiles;

I’ve never considered myself a wallpaper girl but I’m now enamored by these, especially the Bo Peep design.  There’s some pretty cool independent design companies out there at the moment, making original wallpaper, wall-art, furniture and homewares, so keep an eye out for these innovative and cool items. Wallpapers or some unusual art will add that extra level of your own personality into your bedroom.

With decorator items I find people often make the mistake of buying them all from the same store. While the Visual Merchandisers make some beautiful displays in stores, they’re not instantly transferable into the home. Having every item on your dresser from the same brand can appear a little hokey or soulless – the art is throwing in something with a bit of history, whether a vintage or antique, or a family heirloom.

I’ve also heard that every room needs one tacky trashy item to give the design some tension. So while a leopard print ottoman may not be for you, a spot of glitter or plastic can add to the general design.

I find also people fall down a slippery slope with candles – you start with one then before you know it your bedroom has 24 different candles, all from Dusk and all with conflicting scents. Candles are lovely and add that extra dimension to the room, but be aware of over-doing it (or looking like a candle shop!).

Building up the decorator items in your room should be always a work-in-progress – you never know what you’ll find at the local markets, what grandma will unearth from her wardrobe, what you’ll find while travelling or something special a partner gives you. So always keep your mind (and eyes) open to new ideas and new pieces in your room. Your personality and style are constantly changing, and so should your bedroom interiors with them.

P.S. For more home decoration options, head over to our bedroom furniture section, or take a peek at our other interior design sections.

REAL HOME: Out There house takes out top award


Perched on a sloping rural site in Tasmania, the winner of ‘Building Design of the Year’ has truly set the bar high.







Described as ‘unapologetically modern,’ this new home by Clever Design collected two commendations and three awards at the recent Building Designers Association of Victoria Building Design Awards.

“Out There” received the following awards and commendations:

  • Building Design of the Year 2012 (Winner)
  • Most Innovative Use of Steel (Winner)
  • Residential Design – New Houses: $500K-$1M construction cost (Winner)
  • Interior Design: Residential (Commendation)
  • Most Innovative Kitchen Design (Commendation)

This new home pushes the boundaries of family living in Australia. The design’s use of simple lines and angles in sharp materials (such as glass and steel), gives the design an almost alien appeal. The shaping of the exterior, especially the layered roof-tops, only adds to this appeal and lends a futuristic edge.

The sustainable elements of the home are vital to its brilliance; solar power is utilised, as are the materials of the home itself. The construction of the home and the materials used are entirely focused on energy conservation, and energy generation. This is illustrated through the stylish concrete floors, which absorb and then expel heat and circulation spaces which store solar gain for later use. Additionally, the site makes use of rainwater tanks as well as recycled water.

Overall, this Clever Design home is a triumph of architecture and an innovative step for Australian home design. It is most certainly deserving of the title “Building Design of the Year”.

By Lauren Farquhar

Get the look: British invasion


From classic bowler hat lighting to a union jack fridge, we give you 9 unique options to help you Brit up you pad.

1. 1. FAB28RUJ     2. 

3. 3. henry cushion   4.4 union jack bedside table_adv

5.5. Hirshorn Chair Vintage UJ Denim  6.6. Stamp_Rugs_PURPLE_A (2)

7.7. cushion (1)  8.8. Big Ben 1
9.9. Ashley Allen 2

By Tessa Hoult

Between the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it feels like we’re experiencing a British invasion! We’ve found these “best of British” pieces to help you get the look.

1. Custom Fab refrigerator by Smeg. Available from Smeg.

2. Jeeves & Wooster pendant lights by Jake Phipps. Available from Everything Begins.

3. Henry cushion by Laura Ashley. Available at Laura Ashley.

4. Union Jack buffet by Matt Blatt. Available from Matt Blatt.

5. Hirshorn chair Vintage Union Jack by Andrew Martin. Available from Andrew Martin.

6. 1p stamp rug by Rug Maker. Available from Everything Begins.

7. Britannia cushion by Laura Ashley. Available from Laura Ashley.

8. Big Ben wall clock by Funky Little Darlings. Available from Funky Little Darlings.

9. Train Ticket cushion by Ashley Allen. Available from Ashley Allen.

From Luxury Home Design 15.3

Get the look: Black-out


Let’s face it. Black will always be the new black. Get the look with our pick of dark and dangerous furnishings.

1.1. black Amalfi DIDE 52 Columbus Globe $89.95 2.2. Black

3.3. blackAmalfi EVJR 09BK Robin Bottle $49.95

4.4. black Amalfi FMDE 453 Monuments of the World - 3 asst designs $129.95 ea5.5. black ALL Marseille round Coffee Table (ALL3684) $990

6.6. black Beacon Vivienne 18 Light Chandelier $3,9957.7. black Tsar Neva Fine Book

8.8. black Willows in Bloom - STAR STUDIED gloves $2809.9. black Beacon 260431 BETTY 1LT BASE AND SHADE BLACK

10. 10. blackAmalfi LWDE 15 Create Yourself Wall Decor $59.9511.11. black Robertsons Christopher Guy 46-0279-01

12.12. black Robertsons Christopher Guy 76-016613.13. blackBeacon 010370 HELENA 1LT 490MM PDT BLACK

14. 14 Tsar Nouveau - Sage 15. 15. Abey - Mastella Sasso Rock Wash Basin 17785R11

By Michelle Fitzgerald 

Trends will come and go, but black is timeless. Dramatic and bold, lots of black in your interior is not for the faint-hearted. Look for textures and patterns within midnight tones to form a glamorous seductive look. Keep in mind that black absorbs light so make good use of lamps and feature pendants through the room. Consider using light to create dramatic focal points. Whether you opt for ultra-modern pieces or more vintage gems, the mystery and allure of a dark, enchanting interior is irresistible.


1. Columbus Globe by Amalfi,

2. Esquire Home “Martini Strap” armchair, available from Robertsons Design,

3. Amalfi Robin Bottle,

4. Amalfi Monuments of the World wall decor, available in three designs,

5. Marseille round coffee table from ALL (Apartment Living & Lifestyle),

6. Vivienne 18-light chandelier available from Beacon Lighting,

7. Neva wall-to-wall carpet from Tsar Rugs & Carpets,

8. Star-studded gloves by Willows in Bloom.

9. Betty table lamp in black, available at Beacon Lighting,

10. Create Yourself wall decor by Amalfi,

11. Christopher Guy Ascot sculpture, available at Robertsons Design,

12. Christopher Guy swirl coffee table from Robertsons Design,

13. Helena pendant in black, available at Beacon Lighting,

14. Nouveau rug in sage, available at Tsar Rugs & Carpets,

15. Though not quite for the living/dining room, we couldn’t resist including this glorious basin. Mastella “Sasso” rock wash basin in black, available from Abey Australia,

From Luxury Home Designs 15.3

Get the look: A bachelorette’s bedroom


The single life might have its ups and downs, but one of the best things about living on your own is the freedom to decorate your space as you see fit.

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As a single girl you don’t have to worry about getting the seal of approval from someone else or compromising your style; you are free to live amongst your things and indulge your inner interior decorator’s every whim. Forget the distressed leather and bold lines associated with the bachelor pad, bachelorette styling is all about soft shapes and metallic tones. Bask in your independence and indulge in this selection of super luxe pieces.

  1. Multe A33 Pouf by Fjords (Available from A pouf in the bedroom? This is not the time to err on the side of caution. If you want a soft, organically shaped pouf in the corner of your bedroom, why shouldn’t you? It’d be great beside a bay window. You could sit, bathed in natural light, watching the world go by or reading a book. Not to mention how handy it would be for tossing your clothes on at the end of the day when you can’t be bothered to fold them up and put them away.
  2. Egypt Mirror by Leonardo Dainelli (Available from No self-respecting bachelorette’s bedroom would be without a mirror (where else would you do all your primping and preening before a night out with the girls?). This gilt-edged mirror hits all the right notes.
  3. Blizzard Floor Lamp by Noir (Available from With its chrome steel frame and Swarovski crystals, this floor lamp is the height of luxury.
  4. Grandma’s Closet Rug by Bella Vista (Available from: Lace-inspired designed? Check. Ombre? Check. This gorgeous rug couldn’t possibly be more on trend. It would be perfect for a girly bachelorette’s bedroom.
  5. Dewi cushion by Country Road ( Men just don’t get throw pillows. Well, you officially have permission to pile throw pillows on you bed to your heart’s content. Be as OTT as you possibly can.
  6. Stingray Rocking Chair by Thomas Pederson (Available from Just try and tell us this wouldn’t be the perfect place to curl up for an afternoon nap. This almost futuristic-looking chair was actually inspired by a shell. The organic shape is incredibly beautiful.
  7. Charlotte Armchair by Noir (Available from Another armchair! There’s just too many to choose from but this one simply couldn’t be left out. Its shape is extremely elegant and the delicate pattern is just gorgeous.
  8. Fotuny Lamp by Mario Fortuny (Available from This style of lamp, which is traditionally used for photographic lighting, would make a bold statement. Why not go all out and use it as a bedside lamp?

Expert advice: Shower types explained


Looking for a shower solution? Experts Tim Dawson and Nicholas Matten share their knowledge about the various options available.

1. 1 shower Hansgrohe Raidiance Connect EcoSmart HR2.2 shower Raymor Kohler Flipside Komotion HR 3.3 shower

Expert: Tim Dawson, brand manager at Raymor

Shower units

  • Rail shower – offers adjustable height by virtue of a rail attached to the wall. All these models have handsets that can be lifted and used as a hand shower as well — useful for rinsing off children and cleaning the shower cubicle.
  • Hand shower – is a fixed-point shower with a moveable hand-held showerhead that can take the water to exactly where it’s required. Also useful for children and for cleaning the shower cubicle.
  • Hi-rise shower – a showerhead affixed to a height-adjustable arm from the wall — convenient and easy to clean.
  • Overhead shower – compact and sturdy — showerhead can either come from the wall or the ceiling, depending on the plumbing installation. There is a variety of arm options to ensure suitable shower height. Other ceiling-mounted designs include water tiles such as the Kohler WaterTile that are installed directly into the ceiling (best suited to standard ceiling heights).



Showerheads are available in the conventional, single-function style or the more popular multi-function showerhead, offering different spray patterns such as light shower, more powerful massaging spray, invigorating deluge etc. It should be noted that the highest WELS rating for a shower is 3-star WELS (9L/min) — and even those showers offering a “deluge” water pattern can, depending to the brand, deliver this within the 3-star WELS rating.


Expert: Nicholas Matten, Hansgrohe sales director

Shower types and how to incorporate the best design into your home

  • Showers on rails are easily height-adjustable to accommodate all the family and make cleaning the shower cubical simple. Think about water usage and opt for a water-saving shower.
  • Wall-mounted showers have the flexibility of an overhead showering experience and can have the variety of different spray patterns, such as a massage spray. As wall-mounted showers are fixed in position, the user has to adjust their body position under the spray to achieve the desired result, rather than in a shower on rail where the hand shower can be adjusted to the position needed.
  • Ceiling-mounted showers are fixed in height and only give an overhead showering experience. They do not have massage sprays.
  • We have noticed a trend developing where people are installing both an overhead ceiling shower and a shower on rail in the shower cubical to provide flexibility for the whole family.
  • Another option is to install a shower system which provides both the overhead and hand shower options in one unit (see image below).

4.4 shower  5.5 shower

6.6 shower

 7. 12. Dorf Minko Overhead Rain Shower HR8.8 shower

9. 9 shower copy10. 10 showerRaymor Academy 1F Rail Shower HR

11.11. Raymor Boston 3F Hi Rise Shower HR 12. 7 shower


1. The Hansgrohe Radiance Connect EcoSmart shower system provides both overhead and hand shower options in one unit for ease of use.

2. The Kohler Flipside hand shower has a 3-star WELS rating and is a multi-functioning shower with four spray patterns accessed by flipping the head.

3. The revolutionary design of this Hansa Clear Lux uses transparent materials to make the water flow in the showerhead visible. The shower is also illuminated from within, the light colour selected at the push of a button.

4. The Caroma Track Shower System features smooth lines and a striking aesthetic to offer a contemporary European design.

5. Designed to be mounted on the ceiling, the Raymor Tranquility round shower rose has a bright chrome finish.

6. Featuring sharp and intense lines combined with smooth edges, the Dorf Jovian Rail Shower with Overhead has a distinctive and striking appearance.

7. The Dorf Minko Overhead Rain Shower will transform the feel of any bathroom with its sleek lines and chic, oriental-influenced design.

8. The Caroma Flow shower offers the ultimate shower experience, delivering a comfortable flow rate of just 6.5L/min.

9. The Hansa Viva rail features a sophisticated and ergonomic design. This includes a thermo-cool hand shower, which prevents the handle from overheating, as the water is directed through a separate channel within the handle.

10. Featuring brass rail and twist slider, the Raymor Academy single-function rail shower comes with Rub Clean Technology and is 3-star WELS rated.

11. Featuring a double-wound metal hose, the Raymor Boston triple-function HI Rise Shower features Rub Clean Technology and has a 3-star WELS rating.

12. The Raymor Tapac single-function hand shower comes with Rub Clean Technology and has a 3-star WELS rating.

From Luxury Home Design 15.3

Jen Bishop’s top interior design picks


Jen Bishop of The Interiors Addict has been named as one of ProBlogger’s Top 20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012. We caught up with her to find out some of her hot picks for interior design.

1Jen Bishop12 2




Earlier this year, Jen Bishop of The Interiors Addict was named among ProBlogger’s Top 20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012. “She’s leveraged her skills as a journalist to get access to industry news and interviews, and has turned her hobby blog into a very prominent force,” says ProBlogger. The accolade came less than a year after Jen started The Interiors Addict. “I was really flattered and thrilled to be included on such a prestigious list,” she said.

Little did Jen know when she started her blog in April 2011 that it would be received so well. Thousands of people stop by every month to read Jen’s showcase of the best bits of the Australian interiors industry, including her interviews with stylists such as Sibella Court, Greg Natale, Glen Proebstel, Jason Grant and Anna Spiro. “I think this reflects people’s interests in interiors and renovating and the growing celebrity status of interior designers and stylists,” says Jen.

The Interiors Addict also features interviews with the people behind the big name homewares brands, furniture designers, buyers, photographers, magazine editors (including our very own Kate St James). There’s gorgeous photography, top tips and information on new stores, websites, homewares, furniture, events and sales. And Jen’s showing no signs of slowing down yet: “I have big plans for the blog in 2012, including holding The Interiors Addict events, where experts will share their expertise and inspiration in real life. I have some great interviews and collaborations lined up for the coming months,” she said.

Jen’s Hot Picks:

1. I’m a firm believer that metal goes with everything (which is why every girl should have a pair of silver or gold shoes). These Stanley lights, in copper or brass, are stunning and each piece is made in England from a single piece of metal. It’s hammered by hand more than 300 times to form the small dimples, creating a gorgeous textured, yet high-shine finish. While their most obvious home might be the kitchen, they could certainly make a statement anywhere in the home. Available in standard and large sizes from

2. We’re all increasingly fickle about what we have in our homes and where, so a great piece of furniture that offers flexibility is appealing. The Montrose Console, made of reclaimed and sculptured solid teak root segments with a glass top, can be used one way up as a coffee table or on its side as a console table. And the best thing about using raw natural materials? They never date. Available from

3. I’m pretty sure the chevron trend isn’t going anywhere in 2012. I love this large (23x44cm) statement ginger jar. Bold black and white goes well with most colours as well as sitting comfortably in a monochrome scheme. And while I’m not sure where the craze for ginger jars as decoration came from, it’s certainly popular. Available from

4. I can’t get enough of Dinosaur Designs resin creations and I love that they’re all unique because they’re designed and made by hand here in Australia. No two pieces are exactly the same. Vases such as these are a great way to add a pop of colour to a room. And the colour combinations you can create by pairing your blooms with your vases are endless. Available from



Get the look: Decorating a coastal home


Living coastal is all about being relaxed, un-fussed and unfazed by the odd sprinkling of sand on your sofa.




A beach apartment doesn’t have to mean sea shells and saturated blues and yellows. It can be as beautifully stylish and sophisticated as any other home, with the added benefit of being soft, relaxed and bright. The key is to think more Hamptons than Hawaii. Drawing from the surrounding textures and colours is a great way to make your home appropriate for its environment. The beautiful verdigris of oxidised metal, along with driftwood and Australian native plant life are natural and textured starting points for a beach home. To help you avoid fish motifs and jars of sand, here are some of the finishes and pieces Darren Palmer is planning to layer into his Bondi Beach apartment.

  1. Navy works really well in a beachside setting, because it evokes a sense of the ocean. This one is Calico Dress from Dulux.
  2. While I’ve advised you to steer clear of some ocean-inspired elements, pressed specimens such as this fan coral ( gets the seal of approval.
  3. The Sky Sofa in tan leather from Jardan creates just the impression we’re looking for: raw, natural, earthy. And just try and tell me that it doesn’t look comfy. I can just imagine stretching out on it for an afternoon siesta post-beach session
  4. This Round Side Table with Wood Top and Steel Base from Bisque Interiors is beautiful in its simplicity. The combination of the natural finish of the wood with the elemental steel base is unrefined in a good way. It avoids the usual trappings of modern excess.
  5. These cushions from Bandhini will add a subtle touch of nautical style to your space.
  6. The natural linen covering on this Cleo Sofa from Jardan is just right for a beach pad. We love its simple structure: from the front it’s all strong, straight lines, but the corners at the back are rounded. The soft, subtle curve this creates is just gorgeous.
  7. These Ara Chairs from Porada would look beautiful alongside Jaran’s Cleo Sofa. Again, it’s their structural qualities that really appeals: strong and refined, yet also very relaxed.
  8. Tongue-and-groove panelling brings to mind nostalgic images of coastal shanties and long, relaxed summer days. Image courtesy of Smart Stone.
  9. As with the previous collection of nautical inspired cushions, the trick with these cushions, also from Bandhini, is restraint. The organic shell embroidery creates a subtle link between your home’s interior and the natural environment without being OTT.
  10. I love this ottoman from Kelly Hoppen ( The contrast between the soft, neutral upholstery and the leather detailing is stunningly modest. The effect is really quite beautiful.
  11. This rustic, roughewn Nest Weave Natural Tassel Rug from Armadillo & Co could not be more perfect for a beachside home.
  12. The colour of these Bronze Rain Drums from Orient House would work really well in a coastal-inspired interior and their aged patina will bring character to a contemporary home.













From Luxury Home Design magazine 15.1