Spotlight on Australian Designers | Anaesthetic

Man, it has been a while since I highlighted some of the great talent that we cultivate here in Oz. I blame it on a combination of laziness, distance from trade events (Poor Perth!) and time running a million k's an hour away from me.

So once again, my spotlight shines brightly on a successful lighting design company. The talented
duo of Ben and Kiri Wahrlich (actually Kiwi's but that has never stopped us claiming people before), can't be labelled 'emerging' talent any more - they are definitely design fixtures (pardon the pun) with their beautiful range of lighting, furniture and homewares products as Anaesthetic. My own home (currently in planning stage - I dropped the plans off this morning and now am holding my breath for limited council changes) sported several of their lighting products in different stages of concept, from the kitchen to the entry to the dining room. I've shown both their Hide leather pendants and Kasa concrete homewares work here before, here and here back in 2013 & 2014. My current faves however are their Constellation pendants - I'd love to have the Southern Cross above my head as I enter home or sit down to dinner in a darkened room.

I could go on about their design and engineering credentials, their accolades and their awards, but I think their products are best to soak up visually. Hopefully the photos suffice, for now.


Constellation Lights 'Southern Cross' by Anaesthetic in beautiful polished brass.
{Constellation Lights 'Southern Cross' by Anaesthetic in beautiful polished brass}


Constellation Lights by Anaesthetic in luxurious polished brass.
{Constellation Lights by Anaesthetic in luxurious polished brass}


Bezel pendant lights by Anaesthetic with its spun aluminium powder-coated top with piano-inspired polished brass 'bezel'
{Bezel pendant lights by Anaesthetic with its spun aluminium powder-coated top with piano-inspired polished brass 'bezel'}


Bezel pendant light by Anaesthetic with its spun aluminium top powder-coated white with piano-inspired polished aluminium 'bezel'.
{Bezel pendant light by Anaesthetic with its spun aluminium top powder-coated white with piano-inspired polished aluminium 'bezel'}


Bala pendant light by Anaesthetic in black.
{Bala pendant light by Anaesthetic in black}


Bala pendant light by Anaesthetic in precision machined polished brass.
{Bala pendant light by Anaesthetic in precision machined polished brass}


Hide pendant lights by Anaesthetic with individually cut leather shades.
{Hide pendant lights by Anaesthetic with individually cut leather shades}


Mariner stools by Anaesthetic made from American White Oak with navy or white braided rope foot rests sourced from sailing yachts, hence the name.
{Mariner stools by Anaesthetic made from American White Oak with navy or white braided rope foot rests sourced from sailing yachts, hence the name}


Jack concrete bluetooth speaker by Anaesthetic.
{Jack concrete bluetooth speaker}


Totem stackable stools from recyclable LPDE.
{Totem stackable stools from recyclable LPDE}


Anaesthetic will be exhibiting at the Sydney Indesign event from August 13-15, so get along to soak up some of the talent. Wish I could be there!

xo Romona


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Australian Interior Design Awards 2015 - Residential Award

Just thought I'd share some of the beautiful images of this year's winner of the Residential Design category of the DIA Australian Interior Design Awards 2015. How gorgeous is this reno/extension of Orama house by Smart Design Studio in Sydney?!


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category. Serge Mouille lamp
{This dining room is composed of the perfect balance of bright white, raw concrete and moody black accents. Although these Serge Mouille lamps seem to be everywhere at the moment, you can't deny that they have a massive impact with their insectoid arms reaching into the space as few other lighting forms can}


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category.
{Modern luxe with heritage charm in the bathroom. Marble with burnished brass, shadowed iron and bright white}


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category. Black AJ table lamp.
{In love with this black-edged panel diving wall - the perfect simple, graphic bedhead. Not to mention that black AJ table lamp, always on the top of my bedside/office table lamp wish-list!}


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category.
{Dark and moody ensuite, a perfect retreat}


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category.
{Gilded patina underfoot and overhead pick up warm elements in the artwork, acting as a respite from other cool spaces in the home}


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category. Serge Mouille floor lamp.
{I love the beautiful blank canvas of monochromatic materials and textures, allowing a stunning collection of artwork to stand out, with classic modern furniture and lighting}


Images by
Sharrin Rees.


xo Romona


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Put A Cork In It


Clork by Puik Art in collaboration with Ilias Ernst. #cork #home #furniture
{Clork by Puik Art in collaboration with Ilias Ernst. Simple forms combined with the natural material gives the ‘Clork’ a great look and feel. Its left corner stable in the present, while the circular right side allows time to roll by, Clork comes in natural coloured cork or graphic black}


Smed bar stool by Great Dane Furniture and OX DENMARQ. #cork #home #furniture
{The Smed bar stool by Great Dane Furniture and OX DENMARQ, showcases simple design with simple materials. The Smed Bar Stool consists of a blacksmith crafted, powder coated steel frame with cork seat in either fresh mint, brass or white}

Muuto's Corky carafe by Andreas Engesvik. #cork #home
{Muuto's sexy little Corky carafe checks me out every time I walk in to a store stocking Muuto. “The shape of the Corky carafe is inspired by the archetypical bottle. It is a straightforward combination of glass and cork that functions equally well as a wine carafe, a water jug or even a milk bottle. Corky has a simple and familiar form but with a characteristic and oversized detail. The Corky drinking glasses are small and light companions for the Corky carafe. With a low-key and light expression, they are suited for both everyday use and special occasions with friends and family.” says creator Andreas Engesvik. Available at Living Edge}


Cork Family stools/side tables, Vitra by Jasper Morrison available from Space Furniture. #cork #home #furniture
{Cork Family stools/side tables, Vitra by Jasper Morrison available from Space Furniture are a quirky addition to your home or office interior. Nothing like a giant pushpin in the corner}


Tembo is a stool made of stacked pieces of wood, metal, and cork by La Chance and Note Design Studio. #cork #home #furniture
{Tembo is a stool made of stacked pieces of wood, metal, and cork by La Chance and Note Design Studio, available from Living Edge. This ‘modern totem’ has a playful and bulky aspect recalling children’s toys and African tomtoms (Tembo means elephant foot in Swahili)}



Corker pendant lights by Max Harper. #cork #home #lighting
{Corker pendant lights by Max Harper, are inspired by the iconic cork hats that, for better or worse, are linked to Australiana. Corker playfully mocks this cultural iconography in a modern design context. Australian designed and made, each piece is hand turned by local craftsmen in Sydney from agglomerated cork. Cork is a hardy yet renewable, bio-degradable and recyclable resource, designed for disassembly, ensuring parts end up reclaimed, recycled or disposed of appropriately}


Realising that this post has ended up a lot more Scandi than Aussie (except for the last one), but they just do so many great things. All available here in Australia though, so enjoy enjoy.

xo Romona


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A beginner’s guide to illuminating your home

Sponsored post by Gail Newland

All too often, lighting is seen as merely an interior design afterthought. However, with a little creative thinking, lights can dramatically enhance the look of homes. If you’re new to property design and you want to make the very most of the illuminations now available, take a look at these simple but effective suggestions.

Maximise natural light


Firstly, bear in mind that it’s not just artificial lights that can help to boost the appeal of your property. Sunlight can also play a major role in this. By allowing solar rays to stream into your rooms, you can give them a more spacious, airy and open feel. With this in mind, it’s important to select suitable window dressings. One great way to ensure you make the most of the natural light on offer is to take advantage of the sunscreen roller blinds available from window furnishing specialists like The Blinds Company. These products filter natural light to keep rooms bright while also reducing heat and glare, and stopping harmful UV rays from entering your home.

Full height sheer curtains provide light, texture and interest to this bedroom space in Bondi by C+M Studio. Photography by Caroline McCredie
{Full height sheer curtains provide light, texture and interest to this bedroom space in Bondi by C+M Studio. Photography by Caroline McCredie}

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Raw geology

We've been seeing agate coasters and book ends for a while, especially if you follow the musings of trendsetter Kelly Wearstler. Raw geology is turning up in more and more product and furniture design - here are a few stunning pieces that I have on my tremendously long lust-list.


Table top-objects featuring re-appropriated industrial waste, more specifically scrap iron found in a Swedish forest, forms the basis for David Taylor's Slag series of candlesticks.
{Table top-objects featuring re-appropriated industrial waste, more specifically scrap iron found in a Swedish forest, forms the basis for David Taylor's Slag series of candlesticks}


Up-Down #Light from Ben-Tovim Design is a contemporary twist on the classic #industrial age height adjustable #pendant light. A range of striking #natural materials contrast with simple #geometric forms to create a light that mixes functionality with a bold #design statement.
{Up-Down Light from Ben-Tovim Design is a contemporary twist on the classic industrial age height adjustable pendant light. A range of striking natural materials contrast with simple geometric forms to create a light that mixes functionality with a bold design statement}


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Chrissy Time

I know Christmas has been all over the shops for months, even though it still seems so far away, but from experience, Christmas time will be here in a flash. So I thought I'd gather some festive cheer to share while there is still time to beat the courier rush season. Be quick though, some of these I've already added to cart and am just about to hit the paypal button!



Beautifully crafted Papier-mâché Christmas #ornaments by Mozi. More #christmas on the blog.
{Beautifully crafted Papier-mâché Christmas ornaments by Mozi. I have a few from last year, so can't wait to get some more to add to the collection}

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Perth's Got Talent 2

Further to my last Perth post here, I have found even more designs by the great students of Central Institute of Technology, UWA and Curtin Universities in Perth.

Here are just a few more examples of amazing WA talent from
Decor + Design Melbourne 2014.


Holiday table by Callum Campbell.
{
Holiday table by Callum Campbell}

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Kid-size creations

I've been staring at the bare walls of my two boys' rooms in our current rental just thinking what I could do with the space that would be transportable to any new home we make. With that in mind, here are a few products and inspiring images for kids rooms and play that doesn't have to sacrifice your desire to keep a grown up house. I thought someone else may also be facing this dilemma, so here are a few I've found so far.



Tables Four Two in the classic grey colour set by Sheree B Product Design.
{
Tables Four Two in the classic grey colour set by Sheree B Product Design. She also does other colour schemes, but this was the best. She is incredibly friendly and helpful too!}


Treehorn Designs Oh Buoy small lamp in blue
{
Treehorn Designs Oh Buoy small lamp in blue. Not sure if I would put this in the boys room or steal it for myself}

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Quick distraction

With so much going on in the world, my moving house, lack of internet connection and allergies from too many moving boxes seem like major #firstworldproblems.

Having said that, sometimes we all need a bit of aesthetic joy in our lives to remind us of people's potential to create beautiful things.

With all the above going on, I haven't yet sorted out my reams of notes, brochures and cards from the D+D conference yet, so I will leave you with just a taste of beautiful things from the conference. My iPhone pics seemed to have turned out a bit dull, so I will dedicate a couple of larger future posts to the amazing designers that I met and discovered (or rediscovered) at
Decor + Design Melbourne once I have some quality images from the designers themselves. For now, enjoy this brief sample.


The Reykjavik Cabinet by Amy Perejuan-Capone of Horse on Toast, just one of the many talented sandgropers on display at D+D.
{The Reykjavik Cabinet by Amy Perejuan-Capone of Horse on Toast, just one of the many talented sandgropers on display at D+D}

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Spotlight on Australian Designers | Lab De Stu

Ok, so when trying to find a product or image that summed up Lab De Stu for their VIVID at Decor + Design appearance, I ended up with a whole post on them.
Made up of Melburnians Adam Lynch, Dale Hardiman and André Hnatojko, these guys have kicked arse on the national and international design award scene since 2011. DQ calls them 'Industry Giants', and being in their very early 20's that is saying something!

Although I could have added every image from the website, I'll leave this pretty little teaser for you and let you explore their simple but beautiful website yourself. I'm sure I will have more to add later, once I've seen their wares at D+D this week.


Up Up pendant is a collaboration between Dale Hardiman from Lab De Stu and artist / jewellery designer Emily Green. More #lighting on the RSD blog.
{The Up Up pendant is a collaboration between Dale Hardiman from Lab De Stu and artist / jewellery designer Emily Green. Emily's signature polymer clay beads combine with Dale's lighting design prowess to present a beautiful collection of pendants. Picking this image from the colour range was quite difficult. I changed my mind several times}

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D+D Melbourne less than a week away

I can't wait for a few days of design and visual saturation at Furnitex and Decor + Design Melbourne next week! If you haven't heard about the stellar lineup of international industry speakers yet, check out my summary here, and get in really quick before tickets sell out!

However, the highlight of my conference visit always seems to be the
VIVID (Vibrant Visions in Design) competition. Now in it's 12th year, the talent in both the professional and student arenas never fail to amaze and inspire. It's almost a given that most of the designs seen at a VIVID competition will be featured in an abundance of mags and interiors by the end of the year. Looking forward to the return of a few previous highlights, especially Lab De Stu, Inkster Maken, Paul Townsin, Dezion Studio and Ben-Tovim Design. Just a taste below.


Cup by Andre Hnatojko of Lab De Stu comes in all manner of luxe finishes, including 24k gold or rose gold, brass, copper as well as classic white and matte black. More VIVID #lighting #designers on the RSD Blog.
{
Cup by Andre Hnatojko of Lab De Stu comes in all manner of luxe finishes, including 24k gold or rose gold, brass, copper as well as classic white and matte black}

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Geek Chic

Whether you are embracing your inner chemist, classic (80s) movie and toy enthusiast or just like a side of education with your fun and pretty, here are a few finds to get your nerd on. Enjoy!


For a little randomness with your relativity, Progetti Rnd Lab Fun Time Random Clock at Top3. More geek chic for the home on the RSD Blog.
{For a little randomness with your relativity, Progetti Rnd Lab Fun Time Random Clock at Top3}

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Re-use Revolution breeds new App

I have put together a few of my faves from the recently launched Couchelo app below to showcase just a few of the large range of items available.

To celebrate the launch of the app, Will and the team are offering a $250 giveaway to 5 lucky people. More information on the giveaway at the end of the post!

Vintage finds on the Couchelo App. The RSD Blog.


So get in there all my lucky, wonderful Melbourne and Sydney readers and snatch them up quick - or if you are feeling generous, feel free to send some of them my way Winking.

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Black and White

Here are just a few pretty monotone goodies that have caught my eye lately. I'm desperately trying to restrain my purchasing until I have at least designed my house, let alone built it! Until then, I'll let you drool with me.


Harbour House by uber-talented Arent&Pyke. How yum is that Christian Liaigre console table?!
{
Harbour House by uber-talented Arent&Pyke. How yum is that Christian Liaigre console table?!}

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Gravity Light

I came across this project and just had to share. Sure, it's not pretty, but how innovative and what a great humanitarian effort. Well done Deciwatt and everyone that contributed through their Indiegogo campaign.

The GravityLight was the result of wanting to help solve the unreliable and unsafe lighting issue for the poverty-stricken 21% (more than 1.5 billion!) of the world's population. Deciwatt's mission is to provide affordable, sustainable and reliable light, anytime, that enables people to break free from the economic, health and environmental hazards of kerosene lamps.

The GravityLight is an innovative way of generating light and low levels of power from gravity. It takes only 3 seconds to lift the weight that powers GravityLight, creating 25 minutes of light on its descent. Can be used over and over again, anytime without the need for sunshine or batteries, therefore having no running costs and being extremely long lasting.

The sustainable gravity powered #LED GravityLight by Deciwatt.
{The human-powered, Gravity-run LED GravityLight by Deciwatt. Image source}


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Terrariums and Potted Green

Here's a follow-up from your requests for more, after posting Vertical Green #2. These fill the gap for some even smaller and affordable greenery options when you have limited space, budget or garden know-how.



Ceramic Diamond Planters on table and Petite hanging Vase on the wall, both by LoveHate and available at Cranmore Home.
{Ceramic Diamond Planters on table and Petite hanging Vase on the wall, both by LoveHate and available at Cranmore Home}

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Concrete jungle

How could I not start a concrete post with the most stunning of my Melbourne-life BFF-date champagne-sipping locations?! The Prahran Hotel (II) by the multi-talented Techné Architects is simply stunning. If you live in Melbourne and haven't been, go! If you don't live in Melbourne, visit and go! Well worth the trip to sit in your own cosy concrete pipe, lean in for conspiratorial conversations or voyeuristically stare at passerbys, hoping they don't look up and catch you. The bar is stunning, the outdoor courtyard is stunning, the facade is stunning. The whole thing is… well, stunning. Its an occupational hazard that I wasted part of my day-sans-kids-with-BFF walking around looking at every little architectural detail, ooo-ing and ahh-ing, but it didn't take too long to shake it off, order up some bubbles from the cute young bar staff and settle ourselves down into comfort and seclusion. I just wished I had discovered it sooner in my Melbourne life, but no matter, its definitely high on the list for the next visit back to catch up with all my ex-locals.


Prahran Hotel interiors by Techné Architects. More #concrete on the blog.
{Prahran Hotel interiors by Techné Architects}

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Nautical dreams

The boys and I did a spontaneous day trip to Lancelin beach on Monday and I felt inspired to share some nautical ultramarine goodies with you. Some I own, some I lust after and some are just plain fun. Enjoy Happy

Modern Pirate and #Nautical #homewares on the RSD Blog
{ 1. Compass cushion, 2. Côte d'Azur Ice bucket, 3. Ahoy Door Mat, 4. Skull & Crossbones Cushion, 5. Hold Tight wall flag, 6. Pier Rope Table lamp, 7. World Map Sticker }

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Melbourne Life Instyle 2013

More than a week late, but since it was my birthday last week (and it’s my blog) I’m cutting myself some slack.

Last week’s Melbourne Life Instyle event was set inside Melbourne’s beautiful Royal Exhibition building. I had been to events here before but never have I seen it so crammed full of designer goodies. I swear they somehow increased it to twice the size than the last time I was there - and I had the blisters and aching calves to prove it!

Unfortunately, my BFF and I were so caught up dragging each other between stands, squealing (yes, big girl squealing!) and jumping on the spot in excitement that I completely forgot to take any onsite pix. No excuse, but, well, we were basically sprinting between stands since they were all so beautiful and we only had a few hours away from kids in which to see it all. Although if you ask our wonderful husbands, we were gone much longer than anticipated! I may have to do another post on some of the best designs because we saw them pre-release and I prefer to let the actual designers launch their products (and not get in any trouble - no-one likes a PO’d artist!)

Here are some of my favourite stands from the show and their pretty pretty wares.


#Cloud coat hangers, Pom Pom #garland and furry #animals by Down to the Woods. Who wouldn’t want this entire setup for a cute little girls room? More products from Melbourne Life Instyle 2013 on the RSD Blog.
{Cloud coat hangers, Pom Pom garland and furry animals by Down to the Woods. Who wouldn’t want this entire setup for a cute little girls room?}


Hello #sign in limited edition #Gold by Down to the Woods. More products from Melbourne Life Instyle 2013 on the RSD Blog.
{Hello sign in limited edition Gold by Down to the Woods for some fun glamour}

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Melbourne Decoration + Design 2013

I love a good trade event, as I’m sure by now you can tell. Any excuse to wander around aimlessly through furniture, homewares, art, lighting and all things design and I’ll take it. I visited the Melbourne Decoration + Design 2013 last Thursday but it has taken a few days to decide on my favourite pieces and narrow it down for you all. As usual, the co-located Design:Made:Trade and Furnitex VIVID exhibition were the highlights. I won’t waffle on any longer, just let you bask in the glory, beauty and fun of the following images, although you’ll have to forgive the lack of personally taken images - the event was quite strict with sneaky pic taking. Let me know what you think.


Paul Townsin’s Me + Me Too #Lamps, made of moulded #concrete and so, so beautiful in person. Seen at #Melbourne #Decoration + #Design 2013.
{Paul Townsin’s Me + Me Too Lamps, made of moulded concrete and so, so beautiful in person}

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Vertical Green #2

So the design and decoration world was going a bit nuts over green walls in 2013. I personally hope the trend continues. I don't think you can overdo it and kudos to anyone who has built, designed, installed, planned, housed or dreamed green walls in any form. No matter what you call them - vertical garden, green wall, wall planter, wall garden, living wall - and no matter what form they take - green wall, green roof, floor planter, tabletop or even suspended in midair - they inject much needed life, colour, oxygen and fragrance into our surroundings.

I have been through some of the benefits of green walls with some examples previously, here, but since there have been so many fantastic examples of late, I felt the need to give you all a second helping of green delights.

The Florafelt F12 Greenwall growing panel by Fytogreen as used in Kim & Matt's outdoor space on The Block Sky High 2013. The panels are made from 100% recycled PET plastic felt. More #greenwall ideas on the RSD Blog.
{The Florafelt F12 Greenwall growing panel by Fytogreen Australia as used in Kim & Matt's outdoor space on The Block Sky High 2013. The panels are made from 100% recycled PET plastic felt and are available from The Block Shop}

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Spotlight on Australian Designers | Flynn Talbot

After being wowed by his display of the Latitude pendants at DesignEx, I had to look further into this fellow Perthite and his design journey so far. Original interest and training in furniture design took Flynn Talbot to the UK, Italy and then Germany, where he now has a studio in Berlin. His other studio is in his (and my) hometown of Perth, Western Australia, and I believe we are lucky to have such talent resisting the move to the east or Europe permanently. Yes, I realise I live in Melbourne, but I still call Perth home.

Latitude is a fine and intricate design that allows you to customise its use and direction for indirect, uplighting, downlighting, or spotlighting. After seeing these in person here, I had to add a few teal Latitude lights to my dream home wish list, ok, and maybe a white and black one too!

Suspended Latitude lighting by Flynn Talbot Studio allows you to customise its use and direction for indirect, uplighting, downlighting, or spotlighting.
{Suspended Latitude lighting by Flynn Talbot Studio allows you to customise its use and direction}

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Great Gatsby!

Like everyone else, The Great Gatsby is on my nightstand being re-read in anticipation of Baz’s release. I am sooooo excited to be off to a Great Gatsby opening event tonight with a super-great BFF. In honour of our gettin’ all dolled-up and nineteen-twentifying ourselves, I thought I’d do a quick post on some of the Gatsby-inspired Art-deco goodness around the traps at the moment.

Really, who wouldn’t love this opulent, polished, brilliantly deco bedroom. OTT? No way!


Gatsby’s sleek and stylish 1920’s bedroom from the Baz Luhrmann film. #Great #Gatsby 1920s inspired design on the RSD Blog.
{Gatsby’s sleek and stylish 1920’s bedroom from the Baz Luhrmann film. Via Architectural Digest}


I know I have gushed endlessly over Catherine Martin’s work with Mokum, Porter’s Paints and Designer Rugs, but how can I not start with the gorgeous interior decor from the Production and Costume Designer of the movie (not to mention director’s wife).

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DesignEX 13

I’m going to have to apologise again for taking so long between posts, but when you see the mountain of pics below from the show, (and I have drastically culled from those taken on the day) then you’ll understand. Celebrating 25 years of DesignEX, Melbourne hosted this trade only event for professionals working in either the architecture & design, building & construction or hotel & hospitality industries, or students of the same. But don’t dismay, I took loads (and loads and loads) of pics and can hopefully sum up the best bits for you now.

The Hives exhibition was the stand-out for me with its gorgeous collaborative pieces. “When designers, interdisciplinary practitioners and leading industrial enterprises put their heads together, the results can be exciting, unexpected and intriguing. Curator Anne Maree-Sargeant returns the popular Hives exhibit to designEX 2013 with a highly considered display of products that bring together covetable objects from visionaries and brands under the themes of Innovation and Collaboration”.

My favourite for years has been the WebLight by Design By Them (along with everything else they do!). I fell in love with the gentle image of the aptly-named wispy-looking light set amongst a bright green forrest on their webpage years ago. “WebLight is the result of an exploration into the potential possibilities of reusing plastic bags. Made from recycled content, each WebLight is individually hand made and features an intricate pattern of texture and holes that are the direct result of its unique forming process.”

Weblight by Design By Them at DesignEX13, Melbourne. More on the RSD Blog.
{Weblight by Design By Them}

Another creation I was looking forward to seeing in person was the precise Hoshigame by Artemide. Developed with Japanese fashion designer, Issey Miyake, the sustainably designed, foldable lampshade explores the intersection of creativity and mathematics.  Made from fabric derived from recycled PET bottles, “Miyake's unique folding technology allows a single piece of fabric in a flat 2D shape to be unfolded into a 3D shade of statuesque form. The structure of the recycled material, together with an additional surface treatment allows 'Hoshigame' to perfectly keep its shape without the need for an internal frame, and to be stored flat when not in use and then re-shaped when needed.” Although smaller than I expected, it was still a thing of beauty.

Hoshigame by Artemide + Issey Miyake at DesignEX13, Melbourne. More on the RSD Blog.
{Hoshigame by Artemide + Issey Miyake}

Here are a few other highlights from the Hives exhibition and lots more from the show.

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Orange Brights

I’m channeling warm summer thoughts out into the dreary Melbourne Winter sky with today’s post. Below are a collection of some of my favourite orange products in shades ranging from zesty mandarin and persimmon to fiery burnt orange and rust.


For a bright statement piece, The Martini side table in Persimmon from West Elm. It’s also available in White, Silver and Antique Brass. More #Orange on the RSD Blog.
{For a bright statement piece, The Martini side table in Persimmon from West Elm}


When highlighting orange, I couldn’t go past Greg Natale’s stunning Chevron wallpaper in Burnt Mandarin. I know I harp on about his products, but why not when they are just so special. Read on for more beautiful, bright orange delights!

Greg Natale’s stunning Chevron wallpaper in Burnt Mandarin through Porter’s Paints. More #Orange on the RSD Blog.
{Greg Natale’s stunning Chevron wallpaper in Burnt Mandarin through Porter’s Paints}

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Easter treats

Easter has come around super-quick this year. Probably something to do with the eggs being out before the christmas decorations are down at the stores!

I know the actual meaning of Easter is more to do with going to church (which I’ll be honest, isn’t half as appealing since Father Bob is no longer at St. Peter and Paul’s) and dying/painting boiled eggs (on my Russian Orthodox, Polish side). But it is hard to avoid the saturation of bunnies, bright and colourful packaged little chocolates and as my son constantly points out at the front of major grocery chain stores (at child eye-height no less!) giant chocolate dinosaur eggs with enclosed Pixar character toys (wtf?!)

Mozi’s Woodland Rabbit Melamine plate | More Easter treats on the RSD Blog.
{Mozi’s Woodland Rabbit Melamine plate. Cute and whimsical matching cups, apron and bunting available too!}

Giving in to the ‘spirit’ of the season, here are few of my top finds to get your home into the spirit too.

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Aqua vital!

This one could be a big one! My all time favourite colour, AQUA BABY!!! And not to forget her chic older sister, Teal. Or her rich cousin, Turquoise! It is no surprise that these colours have made it three times out of the last ten Pantone Colours of the Year: 2010’s Turquoise, 2005’s Blue Turquoise and 2003’s Aqua Sky). They also work great with this year’s colour, Emerald. These blue-green hues are reminiscent of warm, tropical beaches and cool, refreshing surf. Of bright, flashing jewels and rich, cascading gemstones. My engagement ring is Aquamarine, so I guess I’m a little biased Happy

As usual some of these are around my house already and others I am just abso coveting and dropping hints to hubby and family (this is also a good way to see if they read the blog!)

Baby Rhino, aqua resin by Fenton & Fenton - it’s taking me back to a bit of bebop and rocksteady TMNT days! | More #aqua #teal & #turquoise on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Baby Rhino, aqua resin by Fenton & Fenton - it’s taking me back to a bit of bebop and rocksteady TMNT days}

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Royal Blue Relief

In honour of the wonderful cool change that Melbourne has had, a welcome relief from the humid heat of the last few weeks, I thought I’d go blue. Since the heat has kept me out of the office (as you may know its in a corner of the laundry/sun room aka sweat-box sauna room), and since this is my favourite colour range, I’m going to really pack in the pics, products and pinspiration for this one!

Abigail Ahern enjoying her cosy outdoor living space. More #blue goodness on the RSD Blog.
{Abigail Ahern enjoying her cosy outdoor living space. Love that bold pendant and those chairs - not sure I could leave them outside though!}

Blues range from soft and calming, to bold electric hues. They can be on the cool or warm side of the scale and really be made to suit any personality or mood. Since the range is so vast, for this post I’m going to stick to the sapphire and navy shades (teal deserves its own, don’t you think). Some of these are in my personal collection and some are just on the wish list.

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Sydney Decoration + Design 2013 - Part 1

Aside from cancelled and delayed mucking about with flights, no names mentioned (Crapstar!), I had a whirlwind trip to and around Sydney, catching up with great friends and popping into Decoration+Design. The highlight for me was the seminars by Abigail Ahern and Greg Natale, but I have so many images of theirs to share and they are way too hard to choose from, so I’m saving this until Part 2 and may even require a Part 3! Sorry guys.

Popper pendant lights, Designed by Andre Hnatojko. See More #Decoration and #Design on the RSD Blog. www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Popper pendant lights, Designed by Andre Hnatojko}


Unfortunately, I felt like I had seen a lot of the products on display before (the Melbourne D+D 2012 wasn’t actually that long ago), but there were still a few notable pieces to be found. Yellow and bright neons featured heavily again this show. The Popper pendant lights by Andre Hnatojko below were even better in person than the many images I had pinned before.

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Ruby ruby ruby ruby!

While in the past our Valentine’s day was spent enjoying delectable French cuisine et le vin under flattering, flickering candlelight, these days (i.e. post-kiddies) it has become an accidental tradition to get the kids to bed on time, get chinese take-away (all the naughty yummy dishes we normally try to resist) and sit on the couch watching a movie.

Vintage Valentine’s Day cards, at Vintage & Nostalgia Co. See More #Valentines #Ruby #Red on the RSD Blog. www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Vintage Valentine’s Day cards, Vintage & Nostalgia Co.}


So to get in the spirit of V-day, I am sharing a bunch of my favourite red and pink products-n-pics to get you in the mood, whether you celebrate valentines day or just want a spicy boost to life. Ruby, crimson, cherry, blood, fire engine, imperial, evil-queen apple, fuchsia, magenta, rust, salmon and all the Pantones in between, whatever your shade of choice, hopefully there is something here to tickle your fancy.

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Industriart

I had hinted at this post a looong while back while soaking up the Australiana for Aussie Day. Forgive my tardiness, but I really wanted to get the best of the million Instagram pics I took at this wonderland of vintage and eclectic treasures. Industriart is the brainchild of the amazing Roni DiCandilo (and I’m sure husband Nick gets a word in to). This hidden gem (actually, it’s more like an epic, Aladdin’s cave of gems) is tucked away in the industrial maze of Bellevue, Perth.

“The idea started initially as an outlet for the many and varied things that my husband and I have collected over many years. However, for two hoarders, it is difficult to part with all your treasures at once, so the concept then became a shop of 'Pure Indulgence' selling only things that we like - retro, vintage, new, serious and not-so serious.”


Make sure you get on over and check out the wonders (and bargains!) ASAP. I have my eye on more than a few of the furniture items and eclectic baubles in the front room and that cool secret back area. I can’t wait for the next Perth trip to do some real damage!



Glass treasures. Some of these are now in my personal collection | More #vintage and #industrial treasures at Industriart on the RSD Blog. www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Vintage glass treasures. Some of these are now in my personal collection}


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Emerging Designers

Just a quick note to check out the beautiful pieces by up-and-coming Australian Designers on sale at Temple & Webster’s Emerging Designer’s page. Only 6 days left! While there, why not vote for your favourite, for a chance to win a T&W voucher and InsideOut Magazine subscription. If you can choose, that is. With talent like this, its a very difficult decision!

Temple & Webster's Emerging Designer Award. via the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/


P.S. Don’t forget, its a members only website, so sign up and expect to get blown away by beautiful designs and sales straight to your inbox.

xo Romona


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Lamp revamp

Those that follow my mish-mashed Instagram account, may have seen my impulse buy at the Abbotsford Convent markets waaay back in Feb 2013. Some of you also commented on my lovely bedside table lamps from our real estate shots, home open and move. I've put together a quick summary of my DIY lamp update, but scoot down the page further for a bit more detail. Enjoy!

Nickel-plated lamp base with Washi-tape shade. #DIY Lamp revamp on the blog.


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Spotlight on Australian Designers | Christopher Boots

From a feature in Inside Out Magazine (May/June 2012 Issue) to The Design Files’s Instagram pics to Darren Palmer’s recent Surry Hills project, I seem to be seeing his work everywhere, and for good reason. Since setting up his own Architectural Lighting Design practice in 2011 (after more than a decade in the industry), he has produced some magnificent products. Succinctly put on his webpage, “Christopher Boots is driven by a love of nature and light, expressed through designing and creating beautiful, unique lighting”. His attention to detail and craftsmanship can be seen in all of his designs, utilising a wide variety of traditional techniques to create contemporary works of art. Included in his ‘team of artisans’ are sculptors, ceramicists, bronze casters, coppersmiths and glass-blowers.

An added bonus, his projects are all hand made right here in Melbourne.

Below are a few of my favourite pieces, with many more on his website.

Like a glammed-up molecular model, BCAA shines with elemental simplicity. It reminds me of a simplified, clean-lined sputnik chandelier. I can picture it surrounded by Jonathan Adler furniture and would love this in shiny nickel in a grand bedroom setting.


BCAA Pendant Light by Christopher Boots. Like a glammed-up molecular model, BCAA shines with elemental simplicity. It reminds me of a simplified, clean-lined sputnik chandelier. I can picture it surrounded by Jonathan Adler furniture and would love this in shiny nickel in a grand bedroom setting. See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Christoper Boots on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{BCAA}


The impressive geometric form of Orp reminds me of impossible triangles and technical drawing classes on perspective. The large 1.5m long glowing pendant would create a stunning talking point for any high-ceilinged foyer or warehouse space, or as a low-hung sculpture on display.

Orp Pendant Light by Christopher Boots. The grand geometric form of Orp reminds me of impossible triangles and technical drawing classes on perspective. The large 1.5m long glowing pendant would create a stunning talking point for any high-ceilinged foyer or warehouse space, or as a low-hung sculpture on display. See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Christoper Boots on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Orp}

The Phasmida is a bronzed and gleaming arm, like a reaching branch or delicate stick insect sitting lightly in the space.

Phasmida Pendant Light by Christopher Boots. The Phasmida is a bronzed and gleaming arm, like a reaching branch or delicate stick insect sitting lightly in the space. See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Christoper Boots on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Phasmida}

Quartz crystal, copper and gold form this stunning piece of architectural jewellery. Promethius III is very decadent and very luxe, without taking over an interior space.

Promethius III Pendant Light by Christopher Boots. Quartz crystal, copper and gold form this stunning piece of architectural jewellery. Promethius III is very decadent and very luxe, without taking over an interior space. See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Christoper Boots on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Promethius III}


Featured in the DQ Collective space at Saturday InDesign, Bucky is a thick, bold and black eye-catcher, like using a fat Artline texta on butter paper.

Bucky Pendant Light by Christopher Boots. Featured in the DQ Collective space at Saturday InDesign, Bucky is a thick, bold and black eye-catcher, like using a fat Artline texta on butter paper. See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Christoper Boots on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Bucky}


Christopher Boots pictured with his 'Simple Z' design in his feature in Inside Out Magazine May/June 2012. See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Christoper Boots on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{His feature in Inside Out Magazine May/June 2012}



Which is your favourite?

xo Romona

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Spotlight on Australian Designers | Simone LeAmon

A creative spokesperson for the Design Industry in Australia, Simone LeAmon has contributed continuously to publications, run creative masterclasses and lectures, and been involved with Launch Pad, JamFactory and too-many-to-name exhibitions. Ever-present in the publishing world, Simone writes for InDesign (Aust), is editor-at-large for howwecreate.com sharing news of the Australian design and manufacturing sector, as well as lecturing across the disciplines of fine-art, craft and design.

Her literary contributions are a great read. Simone explores What is the Price of Creativity? And How Do We Value The Future of Australian Design? addressing succinctly the report Do You Really Expect To Get Paid? by economists David Throsby and Anita Zednik. Another piece by Simone in Indesign magazine explores What it is to be ‘Australian-Made’. Links to her other articles can be found on the webpage.

A true multi-disciplinarian, she has excelled in design in many forms - furniture, jewellery, product design, lighting, artworks, events, interior design and more. Here are a few of my favourite pieces of hers.

Named after the insect species, the Lepidoptera chair takes it form from studies of the anatomy of butterflies wings, folding fabric salvaged from automotive textile remnants. Bright, stylish and beautiful - both Simone and the chair!

Lepidoptera chair by Simone LeAmon, using Automotive textile remnants | More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Lepidoptera chair, using Automotive textile remnants}


The Ricotta floor lamp is evocative of the making process of its namesake. Uniform lines and bright chartreuse powder coated steel make this an elegant and modern statement piece.

Ricotta Floor Lamp, Simone LeAmon for Rakumba Lighting | more on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Ricotta Floor Lamp, Simone LeAmon for Rakumba Lighting}


I am a sucker for statement jewellery. Anyone who knows me, knows that. You can never be too fat or skinny, too short or tall, too dark or light, for stunning high-impact jewellery. LeAmon’s Limited Over pieces are sleek and sculptural, crafted from Bronze and 316 Stainless Steel wax castings of her original Bowling Arm jewellery. The originals used leather waste from cricket balls. The two pieces in the collection, Grubber and Popper, are each named after a different bowling style in the game. I would have to defer to my husband to get any more information on that, or maybe consult with our old Test Match game.

Grubber Limited Over bangle by Simone LeAmon | More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/Popper Limited Over bangle by Simone LeAmon | More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Limited Over, Grubber (left) and Popper (right) special edition jewellery in bronze and stainless steel}

Grubber Limited Over bangle in Stainless Steel by Simone LeAmon | More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Limited Over, Grubber special edition jewellery in 316 stainless steel}

Hope you enjoyed the second Spotlight on Australian Designers. I hope to bring you more soon - it’s a long list of lovelies!
Who are some Australian designers that you love or have influenced you in some way?

xo Romona

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Spotlight on Australian Designers | Volker Haug

Sorry it has been a while since my last Spotlight on Aussie Design, but as I am sure you are also feeling, this time of year just sprints along. In light of the break (pun intended), this spotlight (again) will be shining (uh-huh) on the ever-awesome, Volker Haug and his brilliant lighting designs!

I have already revealed my Design-crush on Volker when I saw his work again at Grand Designs Live (here) and not just for his edgy but stylish Germanic good looks. His incomparable and innovative lighting showcases his skills with material manipulation and design, creating not simply feature lighting but stunning works of art.

“Haug is a scavenger of sorts, taking his material inspirations from junk shops to salvage yards. He synthesises the used and unexpected into ingenious sculptures: pendants, lamps and wall lights, which find themselves at home in commercial and residential spaces alike”. If you are lucky enough to see some of his work at design and trade events, you will find that he is very approachable, both passionate and down-to-earth. I encourage you to have a chat and a close look at the detail in his work.

Here are but a few of my favourite pieces of his, all available in Australia. I love them all, but hey, this is supposed to be just a tasting plate.

Cable Jewellery by Volker Haug - See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Volker Haug on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Cable Jewellery}


Cable Jewellery is a pick-and-mix lighting system. The ability to customise colours, shape and length, through arranging the U or S shaped components, means these lights can become what ever you want them to. Just like every girl, every home needs a funky statement piece of jewellery. The Wall Jewellery, Table Jewellery and Floor Jewellery are also quite stunning.

Daisies by Volker Haug - See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Volker Haug on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Daisy}


Daisies are described best on the website: “Daisies could very well be the children of Star-Trek and Macramé. Electrical cable is hand woven to create these organic yet futuristic daisy-like shades”. As with most of his products, the names are charmingly witty - the smaller is Hello Daisy and the larger is Crazy Daisy.

WOW pendant range by Volker Haug - See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Volker Haug on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{WOW pendant range}


Haug’s WOW range was one of the first products of his that I saw. In a multitude of eye catching colours and patterns, the inside surface of these massive pendants (ranging from 520mm to a full metre wide) is the unique point of difference - able to be customised to your preferred colours and patterns.

OMG! by Volker Haug - See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Volker Haug on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{OMG! Pendant}


The grand, industrial and aptly named OMG! pendant is created from reclaimed industrial shades and measures an impressive 1.7m wide. The anodised crushed recycled shades can also be customised in a wide range of colours. Talk about a statement piece! It also comes in a freakishly big wall design.

Fire Trees by Volker Haug - See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Volker Haug on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Fire trees}


Fire trees are sledge-hammered aluminium tubing bent and twisted into fluid shapes, anodised in a bright spectrum of colours and then delicately wrapped with leather pieces. A definite work of art that would make a highly talked about table centrepiece. How yummy would the hot pink one pictured above look slithering down the centre of a long glossy black dining table.

Joker by Volker Haug - See More in Spotlight on Australian Designers | Volker Haug on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Joker}


And last but definitely not least, the innovative and just a little bit sexy Joker. Collaboration with a shoe-designer friend lead to this stunning creation, enveloping the good ol’ brass chandelier in zipped up black and white leather. Makes me wish I had kept the god-awful ones in our old house before turfing them, and been a little bit more creative with upcycling.

Of course you can check out all of Volker Haug’s work, lighting and projects, at his uber-cool website here (where all of the above images are sourced from) or visit him at his East Brunswick studios in Melbourne. Happy browsing!

xo Romona

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Spotlight on Australian Designers | Helen Kontouris

Seen in Space and Stylecraft showrooms this year during Melbourne’s Saturday InDesign, her supple and simple furniture inspires. She has collaborated with the likes of One Third Design, Alessi, Schiavello, Ritzenhoff and Celda, with her works being showcased in Belle, Vogue, InDesign, Artichoke, Monument and many other national and international publications.

Her design ethos is perhaps best described in her own words. “We live & breathe a culture of dreams, process & creativity. Our approach to each project is an opportunity to discover, learn, evolve, simplify, interpret, innovate and create. Strong creative partnerships are formed through our commitment, value, contribution & growth of our clients businesses. Our role as designer is not to give you the safe or predictable result.  We sometimes challenge & redefine the project to enable us to explore the possibilities we strongly believe in, whilst always respecting the client’s decision.”

“We believe ecology in design today, rests on the role of the designer as cultural architect, creating products with clear purpose, intelligent material appropriateness & function that arrest you with their beauty & promote a movement ‘against throwawayism’.  You are emotionally attached enough not to discard it.  When you no longer need it, give it to someone whom you know admires it or to charity for those who need it more now, than you."

I love that responsibility is taken as the designer to promote, encourage and even demand a holistic lifecycle approach to both the purchase and the retirement of their products. There is no reason that a product should not continue its life-after-you in one form or another, whether it is in perfect condition (go ebay or lucky friends), restorable (gumtree or second hand store), or completely decrepit (recycle those bits into something else or see what can be picked up for recycling by your council). Oh, how I miss the mass hard rubbish display around the neighbourhood at council collection time - it hurts to see people’s unwanted treasures now get picked up quickly and efficiently on individual basis, crushed into nothingness, when those poor items could easily have had another life or two. I digress.

She has a fun and informative website and blog, in which you get to read about her design processes and the happenings in the life of a talented designer, as well as peruse her many fabulous designs in detail, including the ones below. All images are from her website, which you can check out here.

Here are a few of my favourite pieces of hers.

The Penelope is a simple and classic steel and timber beauty, that was on display at Stylecraft during Saturday InDesign 2012. The masculine, honest structure of the legs complements the smooth streamlined timber top, allowing the polished woodgrain to feature.

Penelope Table and Side Table/Stool by Helen Kontouris | More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Penelope Table and side table/stool - available at Stylecraft}

Her Scoop Egg Cup & Spoon collaboration with Alessi is a stand-out. What can I say - I am sure you have all seen this lovely, sculptural piece before. Beautiful but functional is epitomised in this lustrous and decadent egg cup. What a glamourous Sunday breakfast would be had with this baby. Puts my cheapo wire one to shame! It is now on the Christmas list.

Scoop Egg cup & Spoon for Alessi by Helen Kontouris | More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Scoop Egg cup & Spoon for Alessi - Available at most department stores or online}


The La La Lamp is a floor lamp made of two conic, internally opaline coated fabric shades with a noiseless IGBT technology dimmer. Classic geometry combined with quirky lines create a real feature for any space. Unfortunately, I can’t find exact stockists in Australia, but it was featured at a Schiavello event and since they also stock her La La Stool, I am sure they could help you out.

La La Lamp by Helen Kontouris | More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{La La Lamp for Kundalini Italy}

La La Stool by Helen Kontouris | More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{La La Stool, Available at Schiavello}

The graceful lines and soft appearance of the Panier stool belies the fact that it is made from 100% recyclable Polyethylene and suitable for indoors or outdoors. Shortlisted for the best 'Object – furniture and lighting' in the IDEA Awards 2012 (to be announced November), this design highlights yet another triumph for Helen.


Panier Stool by Helen Kontouris | Read more on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Panier Stool, Available at Space}


I hope you enjoyed the first of what I hope will be many posts shining the spotlight on Australian Design.
Who is your favourite Australian Designer?

xo Romona
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Sexy and Smart - LED Tech

The self-proclaimed smartest light globe in the world to date has gone viral. By the time I saw it, a few days into the Kickstarter backing process, it had already sold out. This sexy and smart product is bound to get the creative juices flowing of both designers and tech-heads alike.

LIFX is a WiFi enabled, multi-colour, energy efficient LED light bulb that you control with your smart phone. Developer’s boast “LIFX gives you unprecedented control of your lights, reduces your energy costs, lasts up to 25 years and delivers an amazing range of experiences we think you’ll love". They couldn't be more right - the response has been phenomenal. The innovative use of energy-efficient LED technology, combined with responsive smart phone tech that is so ingrained in our lifestyles now is irresistible, as evident by the amount of money raised, in such a small amount of time, from people wanting to get a hand on this new and exciting product.

Simply switch out your existing light globes and pop in these innovative new globes. Set your colour to any shade via your iPhone, to suit your mood or decor. Endless fun could be had with this feature - think of the parties, romantic evenings or even just for relaxing. With this, you are able to turn your lights on and off without getting up, or even being home - a plus when travelling. You can program the lights to a time schedule, as a wakey-wakey in the morning or to fade out slowly after an unnerving night of horror movies. I do also love the idea of a fading night light for the kiddies. An added brag, it has been designed, developed and manufactured right here in Melbourne, Australia!

I’m very impressed by the colour versatility, the programmable dimming and lighting up, not to mention being able to receive all your social media alerts with a flicker or colour change of the lights - say hello to the future! I'll take my drink in the VR room thanks, robomaid!

Unfortunately, the future doesn’t arrive until 2013 - and possibly a bit longer for those of us not lucky enough to have got in the early bidding. Maybe, with its popularity, the price can come down somewhat and it could be in stores next year.

LIFX - Visualise your music through smart phone controlled LED lighting. Read more on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Image via Kickstarter}


For a full explanation, and some cool demonstrations, watch the clip below or for more info see the LIFX or Kickstarter websites. Enjoy. 

xo Romona



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Grand Designs Live

With what looked like half of Melbourne, I went along yesterday to see the smooth-voiced Kevin McCloud speak at Grand Designs Live Australia. Crowds were early, eager and wide-spread. If I had’ve scored a seat and he’d been a little less busy, I could have stayed there forever. His enthusiasm and obvious love of architecture is abundantly apparent in every gesture and grin. He wooed the crowd with his summary of Melbourne (and Australia in general) as very forward-thinking and adventurous in their architecture. Perhaps with such a short built environment history, the only way to look is forward, but it seems to be working for us.

Kevin McCloud at Grand Designs Live Australia on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Kevin McCloud - Grand Designs Superstar!}


While the highlight was obviously seeing the charming and witty Kevin McCloud speak, unfortunately, I don’t have many other great things to say. Maybe it’s design event overload, creative fatigue from the same companies obviously wanting maximum exposure. It feels like I have seen it all before and what is there is often not the cream of the design-world crop. Having said that, I did manage to snap a few interesting pieces, some now key items on my personal wish list.

Firstly, the incomparable
Volker Haug. I definitely have a Design-crush on him. Probably since spying his recycled black leather and zipped up chandelier, Joker, a good many years ago at a trade event. I would happily incorporate any of his pieces into any room in my house. I think it would be great fun to start the creative process with one of his major pieces, like the massive OMG! shade, and go from there.

I liked this quirky little primary-coloured, almost diagrammatic, pendant light of his below. Simply called
Cable Jewellery, you can pick and choose your components, S- or U-shaped, in a range of colours and lengths. You will have to excuse the pictures. They looked fine on my little iPhone screen but are a tad blurry up close - possibly a result of eyes darting around the room for the next design fix. There are much better pics on his webpage (with cool and quirky navigation and interaction too). He also had little terrarium light globes hanging that were so cute, as well as his aptly named Wow range.

Cable Jewellery Pendant by Volker Haug at Grand Designs Live Australia on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Cable Jewellery from Volker Haug lighting}

Next, the Mokum stand stood out with Catherine Martin’s divine Art Deco inspired fabrics and wall papers. Fitting in well with husband, Baz Lurhman’s The Great Gatsby, these opulent designs are to die for. Beautiful metallics in hues of silver, champagne and gold. So very luxe and touchable. How great would it be to have a luxurious OTT bedroom in these fabrics and papers, maybe even with one of her divine Designer Rugs Australiana-inspired or Deco Collection rugs on display.


Catherine Martin for Mokum Wallpaper at Grand Designs Live Australia on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Catherine Martin for Mokum Antique Lace Wallpaper - On the big, long wish list!}

Catherine Martin for Mokum Wallpaper at Grand Designs Live Australia on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Catherine Martin for Mokum Imperial Pheasant wallpaper on left. Apparently that’s her and Baz’s bedroom on the right. Not sure I believe that…}

Catherine Martin for Mokum Fabrics at Grand Designs Live Australia on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Catherine Martin for Mokum fabrics on display. Feathers in powder blue on couch. Cushions from left Feathers in Linen, Blossom in Linen and Coral}

Awesome Lights at Grand Designs Live Australia on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Relaxed vignette with funky wire lights above}

Mobs of people and tantalising aromas drew us over to the Miele kitchen display. Forgot to actually look at the Miele products, which are always quite spiffy, because I was too engaged by Maggie Beer, laughing and having fun with the audience and fellow chef/cooks. The herb wall that they had set up was quite impressive. Yes, we’ve all seen them before and they seem to pop up everywhere now (I wish someone would do something a little more out of the box than the terracotta pots) but it is a good idea and nice gesture all the same.

Maggie Beer at Grand Designs Live Australia on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{The Scrumptious Maggie Beer cooking up a feast}

Miele herb wall at Grand Designs Live Australia on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Miele herb wall}


We did rush through quite quickly, being slightly put off by the vacuum cleaner displays and contoured pillows having a greater prominence than textiles or designer furniture. I have since seen on a few instagram and Facebook pics of others that there were a few sculptures in the garden section that might have been nice to catch, but other than that I’m hoping that the next one steps up its game to a level that the Grand Designs brand could be proud of, with a bit more architectural cred.

Let me know if you agree or disagree and what your favourite parts were if you managed to get there. Ciao for now.

xo Romona

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Saturday InDesign 2012

I wouldn’t recommend scurrying around Melbourne CBD in the rain, carrying a bag, brolly and baby, but to get our design fix and not miss out on the splendour that is SiD, us mums have to do what we have to do.

I’m lucky to have been blessed with two very co-operative babies (my first was strapped to me in the same Baby Bjorn two years ago at the last Melbourne Saturday InDesign). Even so, it is a long day and if all things go to plan, I shall get to have my next one sans-bebe and stay for the inevitable evening festivities.

I love getting out and seeing the new products on offer, seeing other professionals and design enthusiasts cruising between show rooms with happy neon lanyards around their necks. Although it is a given these days for companies to have a wonderfully detailed and impressive looking website, there is nothing like running your hands over perfectly smooth and detailed timber or rough textural fabrics. Being stuck in the home most of the time, I relish the chance to get out to these events, and highly encourage it to all. 

Our day started a bit later than intended (as usual) and the first stop was Zenith Interiors. Bright colour, neons and geometry were evident, on-trend in all things at the moment. The impressive Godfrey Hirst neon pink geometric-edged carpet was a stand-out for me. Pumping music and yummy cheesy pretzels lead the way to a visual treat in the form of the Zenith Design Competition display, featuring creative ‘outfits’ for the TIPO chair.

Zenith Interiors and Godfrey Hirst carpet on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/


I also fell for their wonderful Buzzitiles 3d, recycled-content wall panels (below) - Although I’ve only ever specified similar for commercial fit-outs, I’m hoping to form them into a headboard for our bedroom. Love that mid-grey pyramidal form creating depth and texture.

Buzztiles 3D on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/


A few quick pop-ins along the way to the next destination,
Stylecraft, to catch up with a friend over from Radelaide. Love when events drag people to Melbourne from all over the country! She did a great job simultaneously catching up, pouring us champers, snagging the delectable little soft shell tacos and showing off their new and current products. The styling and quality that they displayed throughout the space was first class. My mum (Artist and Designer from Perth, Melva Babarskas) was about ready to snatch the striking orange chair from the entry, while I was coveting the rich black leather armchair and its surrounds.

Stylecraft Interiors at Saturday InDesign on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/

Stylecraft furniture on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/


The last few locations were all about lighting, lighting, lighting. Euroluce’s display was fantastic as usual. De De Ce also presented a classy exhibition. Again, my impending bedroom refurb was front-of-mind, so the selection of lamps in metallics and gloss were particularly appealing. Copper and Bronze are everywhere at the moment. It’s a nice break from the chrome/silver world - still up there with gold in luxuriousness, but not quite as cocky. Yamagiwa’s Mayuhana pendant by Toyo Ito at Euroluce was a glowing beacon in the corner and would look impressive in almost any space.

Lighting at Euroluce on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/

Lighting at Euroluce on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/

Lighting at Euroluce on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/

Yamagiwa's Mayahana pendant by Toyo Ito at Euroluce on the RSD Blog. See more at www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/


A tired and hungry baby put an end to the days festivities, although it must be said that he was exceptionally well behaved for most of it. Had a great day, met wonderful-beautiful people and definitely got my design-fix for the week.
Hope you enjoyed my second post and hopefully enjoy more to come.

xo Romona
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Perth's Got Talent

It took travelling to the other side of the country to realise what amazing designers we have here on the sunset coast. I had already fallen in love with more than half of the designs before I looked up to the title of the stand and saw they were all students of Central Institute of Technology in Perth. I guess I could blame my seven year absence, but I was unaware that Central had such a prolific design scene and was more than just a place for short night courses in exotic languages - forgive me, that was my only experience. I am so happy to be shown my ignorance. Vivid was the first exhibit at Decor + Design that I walked through, and it wasn't until I saw the separate CIT stand that I realised so many of the entrants (and successful ones at that) were from my home town of Perth. Not to mention that more than half of the student entrants in the VIVID Design Competition were from WA - including CIT, University of Western Australia (UWA) and Curtin University (my home turf!). Go West!

I've tried not to be too limiting of my selection of designs that I found at the conference, so if you notice that your design is not here, just know that I was so overwhelmed by the talent, I may have forgotten to grab a card or scribble a note. For now, enjoy all this sunny WA talent and I'm sure I'll have another post soon with more.


Aerial Chair by Megan Devenish-Krauth, industrial designer at Megmeg, Perth.
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Aerial Chair by Megan Devenish-Krauth, industrial designer at Megmeg. I want this!}

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