Friday 30 May 2014

The Home of Jenny & Jens

This home that I'm sharing with you today is quite special. I love all of it's quirky charm and how unique it is. This is my idea of a real home, it's obviously a true reflection of it's owners, Jenny Brandt, Jens Grönberg, and their kids, Viola and Frank.

Jenny is a photographer (I've featured her blog previously) and Jens is a graphic designer, so it's no wonder they have such a creative home. They've worked hard to renovate what was once the worst house in the street. Although it's been transformed, everything was done by simple means and within a tight budget.

The furniture is a cool collection of family heirlooms, flea market and internet finds. My favourite is the orange sofa which was from a film studio props sale. Jenny's father, a former car painter, has used his skills to paint some their old furniture giving them a new lease on life. And some of the art is old movie posters and record albums, as well as Jenny's own photographs.

Jenny says their home is constantly changing as their family grows. And this is how it should be - a home should be ever evolving, growing and changing. That's what keeps it interesting, don't you agree?!

Thursday 29 May 2014

Winter Warmers

Winter is only days away, and it certainly feels like it's already here. Some people complain about the wintery cold, but I say 'embrace it'! We knew it was coming, it's not going away for a few months, so what's the point in complaining about it? Winter to me is hot chocolates, open fires, snuggly socks, good movies, and red wine - enjoy.

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I love getting cosy, and the change in temperature is an excellent excuse to get shopping. A new wooly blanket over the sofa, some cute pjs that you can put on as soon as you get home, a yummy scented candle. Here are a few things to tempt you...

lambswool throw |  kaleido mug | cable knit cushion
vanilla bean candle | mug cosy | pompom hat | pyjamas

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Est Magazine | Issue 13

I finally found some time to sit down and read the latest issue of Est Magazine and, as usual, it's brilliant. Filled with lots of slick design and inspiration - one of my favourite articles was about a Dutch woman, Saskia Hurd, who worked with young designers to create a really cool hostel for travellers.

The hostel's simplicity is captivating, and while there was a tight budget, everything looks beautiful, functional and cleverly thought through. I love the bed built into the living room wall, which can be opened up or closed away behind bright yellow doors. And the bunks built into a tiny nook is a great use of space, especially with the large pull out drawers underneath.

And talking about simplicity, there is a stunning Melbourne family home featured that I know you'll love. The closing sentence summed it up beautifully... "Elegant without being extravagant and simple without being minimalist, this home reflects the lives of its inhabitants in a way that will truly stand the test of time".

A teenager's retreat was built under the roof line and between the two boys' bedrooms. Such a great space, the green carpet with the crisp white walls gives a sense of the outdoors. Large floor cushions with bright graphics add another cool touch.

Although it's quite a minimal look, each piece of furniture in the house has maximum impact because of it's beauty and form. The Tufty Time sofa is delicious - gorgeous and squishy (very technical terms!) - I'm a big advocate for investing in a quality sofa.

Such a gorgeous home, it makes me want to go and clean up any clutter at my place! Pop over and read the whole magazine for yourself, I've shared some of my favourite parts, but there's so much more.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Tretchikoff | Three Ways

I'm absolutely crazy about the artwork of Vladimir Tretchikoff. I find his work so beautiful, and the colours sublime! While his works are fetching large prices at art auctions around the world, there are some more affordable ways. Here are just three ways to display Tretchikoff in your home...

I really want a Tretchikoff wallpaper somewhere in my home...

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Yes, a gorgeous lampshade too...

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And, the ever elusive Ahoy Trader porthole. I have been looking for this particular porthole with Tretchikoff Chinese Girl on it for a long time. If anyone knows of one still available, please let me know.

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So what about you - do you share my love of Tretchikoff?

Monday 26 May 2014

The Student Hotel

I was so excited when I came across The Student Hotel online recently. Located in Amsterdam, it's amazing accommodation for students, interns, researchers, friends and family. It's so refreshing to see a big facility like this with such incredible design throughout. It looks like the perfect home-away-from-home.

The rooms are fully furnished with private en-suites. There are large shared kitchens and a restaurant, and, of course, lots of quiet study areas.

It wouldn't be a student campus without lively communal areas to catch up with friends, watch a movie, shoot some pool, or even work out at the gym.

pics via here

I'm so impressed, I wish there was somewhere like The Student Hotel when I was studying all those years ago! Dael & I are working on a small commercial interior design project at the moment, and I look forward to showing you more soon. After seeing what they've achieved here, I'm itching to sink my teeth into more commercial work where we can really get creative. Watch this space!

Friday 23 May 2014

Mid Century Meets The Seventies

Dael & I are currently working with a fabulous Bibby + Brady client up in Auckland. Because we're based in Napier, all of our contact is by email and phone. Steph sent us photos and measurements of her living room - the space she wanted us to help her with - and Dael has had lots of conversations with her, before and after we presented our design concept.

The room is a big space with lots of doors and windows, making it quite a tricky layout. As a lot of people do, Steph and her husband, Richard, had most of their furniture pushed to the edge of the room against the wall. The vintage Eames lounge chair and stool were a keeper, as were the two chandeliers, but they were happy to part with other pieces of furniture.

We recommended keeping the wooden dresser and the small Chinese cabinet, but a new sofa, chair, coffee table and rug were a must. The pink carpet has to stay for now, but the massive wooden batten ceiling was dominating the space. So the first thing we told Steph and Richard to do was freshen the walls with a soft white, and paint the ceiling.

Some people are reluctant to paint out wood, and I definitely love the warmth and texture it brings, but those ceilings were weighing the room down. Steph was so brave, and totally open to our suggestions - she and Richard worked tirelessly to get it done. You can see from the progress photo below how amazing it looks already - light, airy and fresh - and how the lights now become the feature.

In our floor plan you can see we've moved the furniture into the room, creating a cosy seating area anchored by a large rug. The family watch TV in this room, so we chose a stunning new entertainment unit, and we suggested a picture wall behind it to disguise the TV when not in use. There's good flow through the two doors into the living room, and windows are left unencumbered to take advantage of the light and views. The old lamp base remains but with a new shade, and the dresser and cabinet can be used for little vignettes.

We chose our ultimate sofa and chair, but knew they would be 'splurge' items, so also added a 'save' option to Steph's board. Steph was not afraid to be bold but wanted to keep the character of the house. She loves Mid Century furniture, plants, pattern, and her favourite colours are grey, blue and teal. Like me, she's a fan of Andrew O'Brien's art and her favourite piece of his makes a real statement.

Steph and Richard are working hard to put our look together, and as soon as they do I'll show you 'after' photos. The hardest part of working with e-design client's is not being there to help with this stage, but we have faith that they'll do a great job, and we help in whatever other way we can. If you have a space that you'd like Dael and I to breathe new life into, please get in touch with us.
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