Best of IMM Cologne 2019 -A Design and Interiors Fair

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Koelnmesse | Studio Truly Truly’s Das Haus Project, Interior View

IMM Cologne Home and Interiors  showcases trends and invention in interiors and design – known for its sleek format and emphasis on technologically pioneering exhibitors it is one of the most important events in European design. This year the theme is pure atmosphere, a distillation of formal restraint, design purity with unusual touches. This coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school and there is even a section devoted to this important and lasting design legacy. With over 13,00 exhibitors it’s a unique opportunity to see up and coming talent as well as established furniture and design icons’ newest ideas and pieces.

 

Here are a few of our favorites from the IMM Cologne Fair this year.

 

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The beautiful and iconic Barcelona Chair, originally designed by Mies van der Rohe for the German Pavilion of  the World Exhibition, 1929. IMM | Knoll International

 

 

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Koelnmesse | Giorgetti

Giorgetti  is known for unique and expected combinations and has a long history spanning over 100 years. The modern designs are based in part on a tradition of cabinet making and an emphasis on the unexpected use of materials.

All the pieces are made in Italy, from conception to production which is eco-efficient overall interestingly. In these fantastic chairs, Giorgetti uses restraint and geometry with exhilarating color, a sense of daring formalism comes together to create furnishing that is paired as a group or can be used a focal piece. The company is currently traveling an exhibition featuring its 120 history of design entitled Object to Project. 

 

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IMM | Studio Truly Truly

Studio Truly Truly’s beautiful Wove chair is an imaginative expression of modern sculptural form, water like gracefulness reminds one of suspension bridges.  This Australian pair is known for their extensive collaborations with top brands and design initiatives.  Based in The Netherlands, the duo is hands down one of our favorite design forces, and make a range of products beyond furniture including lighting, textiles, as well as entire spaces.

 

 

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Koelnmesse | Das Haus by Studio Truly Truly

In fact, the team will be presenting this year’s Das Haus – or Interiors on Stage.Created with artistic vision, every year the Das Haus space is designed by a nominated architect or designer and is meant to provide a platform for the designer’s personal vision of beauty and function, answering how people might live ideally.

This year, Truly Truly has created a space called Living by Moods. Emphasizing changing schedules and needs, this home has a sense of organic flow and within there are special zones: Reclusive, Serene, Active and Reclining. This space and the entire Das Haus project is considered experimental as a whole, and interestingly enough this year’s design focused on the beauty of flux, the ever-changing dynamism of our daily lives. We love the modular furniture, dramatic light fixtures, intersecting lines and variety of layering materials, particularly the airy juxtaposition of open space and light, partitions and natural and manmade texures.

 

Koelnmesse | Das Haus by Studio Truly Truly

 

 

image.pngBilly Chair by Joe Smith | IMM

We are also captiavted by simpler projects such as that of young British designer Joe Smith of the young talents content. An interest in exaggerated form paired with craftsmanship and  industrial material drives this designer’s aesthetic and production. For this extraordianry chair, the designer was inspired in part by the construction of trains and bridges in the North of England, thus the cubic form and use of bolts.

 

 

image.pngIMM | INDO Urvi Sharma and Manan Narang

As we can see, the young talents competition is one of the most interesting resources for finding innovative technical projects that marry beautiful design with materials.

INDO’s lush geometry of the Ikat Credenza is a wonderfully designed project. This piece plays with the variability of the Kat fabric on a curvilinear classical form of the iconic modernist furniture profile of a mid-century modern tambour credenza, creating a sense of movement.

 

 

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Koelnmesse | Tobias Grau

German lighting designer Tobias Grau synthesizes artistic form with technological innovation to create unexpected yet sculptural formats. Headed by the designer and based in Hamburg, a holistic philosophy guides the process of making modern artistic lighting.  This series of lamps is one of my favorite IMM pieces.

 

 

Fotorundgang, Stand: Classicon, Halle 11.2

Koelnmesse |ClassiCon

ClassiCon is renowned for their pieces that combine artistic radicalism and classic modern design, considered art works in themselves. Collaborations have included with stellar design leaders such as Eileen Gray and Eckart Muthesius, as well as Konstantin Grcic.

 

 

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IMM| Mor Dogan | Piggo Modular Furniture

Last but not least is another Young Talent innovator -this modular furniture piece was designed by Mor Dogan for children’s waiting rooms. Inspired by her nephew who had to spent time in doctor’s office she wanted to bridge this often boring and stressful experience by creating a line of furnishings that approached design, usefulness and well-being.

Delightful Design + Pantone Color of the Year Living Coral

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Living Coral Pantone Color of the Year | Kravet Inc.

Lush Living Coral is the Pantone color of this year and in its most innovative embodiments in textiles, ceramics, furniture and decorative objects we can see a sense of classic modernist daring as well as bright minimalism.

 

In many ways this hue reflects other trends in design innovation including a new way of pairing bright almost Memphis style colors with classic mid-century. modernist design elements. We have a few favorite objects and furniture ideas that take this vibrant color and imbue it with design sensibility that pushes boundaries in style, form and tradition. One can go either opulent modern with high-end details or feature statement pieces in the delightful color.

 

Enjoy our curated pick for beautiful designs with Living Coral color. 

 

Pantone-Color-Coral, Modern-Home, Decor, Interior-Design-Trends

The gorgeous Marie Chair by Essential Home combines the velvet plush coral with gold grid design.

 

Ceramics, Coral, Design, Modern-Home, Decor

Coral colors can be added as more nuanced statement pieces in muted tones like this American Modern Russel Wright pitcher from Eclect Design, an elegant classic form beautifully revived by California-based Bauer pottery.

 

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Gan Low Stool | Nendo 

Color, tradition and form come together in this vibrant piece. Designed by Japanese studio Nendo, this coral Aram low stool is inspired in part by the traditional Indian technique that works with iron wires in circles. The table is constructed with powder-coated stainless steel wire.  We have admired the designs of Canadian born designer Oki Sato for some time, whose works are found in stellar collections including The Museum of Modern Art. This year Nendo was named the AW Architektur & Wohnen Designer of the Year.

 

 

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We also look the curvilinear lines and smooth silhouette of the coral covered sofa from Allsteeloffice, an unexpected subtlety of color and surface. Living coral is perfect for statement pieces for the home or office.

Leaders in Contemporary Design – Laskasas from Portugal

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Laskasas is a Portuguese furnishings and home décor company distinguished by a sense of modernist style with a twist.

Emphasis on sculptural design, ornate yet refined materials and a depth of texture and color mark the aesthetic of this innovative company. Every space and item has an opulent warmth to it without sacrificing style and originality. Understated rich color and curvilinear forms are ever present.

Laskasas is part of an important contemporary trend in Portugal that takes traditional artistry and merges these techniques inventively if not lushly to create new interpretations of modernist decor and furnishings. Indeed, Portuguese craftsmanship has been increasingly at the forefront of the design world, a tradition of centuries old invention and skill that includes outstanding achievements in areas of decorative arts such as azulejos,ceramics, embroidery, leaf gilding, and woodworking among many other areas.

 

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The company’s founder and CEO Celso Lascasas began the company in a small town near Porto, with the intention of offering high quality and innovative design in every aspect of home décor. The company oversees every aspect from design to production to sales as well and today, Laskasas is well established in its home country, and is now beginning to garner the attention of the design world, lately featured in various important design shows all over Europe including Maison & Objet and Milano Fashion Week.

We are delighted to feature the fine work and design of this innovative new company.

 

 

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Contemporary Design: Innovative Meets Tradition

 Where do you see Portugal in terms of the design world? 

Portugal is a small country of great talents, including the art of making stunning and innovating design pieces. Many brands are now producing their own designs and therefore continuing the legacy of Portuguese craftsmanship therefore creating truly remarkable products capable of adapting to any style of décor. I believe that the main inspiration comes from Italian furniture design but always with a modern twist, prevailing the noble materials and exclusive finishes. And that’s really what puts Portugal on the front row in the design world.

 

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Tell us about your company?

We design, produce and sells all our products and of course, none of this would be possible without Celso Lascasas, the brand’s founder and CEO. As well, Diana Leite our COO guides our brand. All timeless designs are the result of an inspired team coordinated by Pedro Neto.

Tell us about some of your newest and most interesting projects that your creative team is truly excited about.

 

 

The Stewart TV Cabinet is a detailed woodwork piece with crossed leaves of wood as well as metal details on the legs and the door pulls. This inspired vintage design is meant to add a sense of luxury.

The Jean Sofa is a beautiful upholstery piece utilizing a vintage upholstery approach: the Chesterfield buttoned technique. We have also mixed classic and contemporary styles in the wood and metal details.

 

The Pearl Console stole everyone’s heart! This handmade piece includes golden stainless steel and a stunning Port Laurent marble top and structure. With bold materials and finishes, it’s meant to be a statement piece exuding sophistication and luxury.

The Donald Armchair is a contemporary upholstered piece set in a sophisticated golden round stainless-steel foot. The compact and curved appearance gives this armchair the modern look of mid-century.

 

And can you tell us more about your craftspeople, manufacturing process and vision? 

Handmade techniques give a unique touch to all our pieces. Being based in the epicenter of furniture in Portugal allows us to have the best suppliers and materials. Our woodworkers, upholsterers and metalworkers have accumulated, along the years, the experience and know-how to perfectly execute our designs. Complete customization is one of our key strengths and that is the vision and motto.

 

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Learn more about the design vision of Laskasas.

Four Beautiful Modern Kitchens

In North America holiday season is fast upon us, and many of us are thinking about our cooking and entertaining spaces. Some of us are even renovating before the season really gets into full swing!! Now, while we all love the perennial appeal of a white crisp kitchen whether traditional or nordic style, there is so much to think about when it comes to choosing a space with depth, character and layered hues. We hope you enjoy our gallery of sophisticated kitchens distinguished by elegant combinations of natural materials and mid century modernist classicism.

Stunning Kitchen #1: A Historic Space with Contemporary Flair

 

modern-home, modern-decor, contemporary-house, mid-century modern, kitchen, cucina, kitchen-renovation-ideas, interiors, interior-decor, new-house, luxury-home

This grand space takes historic architecture and marries it with the most au courant of kitchen style, Archetipo 10, courtesy of L’Ottocento.

 

Stunning Kitchen #2: Depth in Color -A Contemporary Aesthetic

 

Original BTC Fin Medium Pendant Kitchen Lighting Lifestyle

A gorgeously romantic and modern space with sable colored stone counters and dark wood cabinetry complemented with original BTC Cosmo Pendants, such a stunning picture of contemporary style and taste. Courtesy of BTC. 

 

Contemporary Kitchen #3: Go Black with Luxurious Texture

 

Original Style Tileworks Nero Venato CS2142 12060

This stunner of a space takes Nero Venato tile in the most beautiful of grays and mixes it up with gorgeously veined stone, offset with noir countertops and dramatic lighting. Courtesy of Original Style. 

 

Modern Kitchen #4 -Pared Down Modernism

 

Original BTC Cosmo Pendants (on) Kitchen Lighting Lifestyle

 

If using your kitchen table for parties and or a working and family space is a definite, then the choice of a farmhouse table is clear. But the rustic look is beautifully made unique and stylish with modernist lighting fixtures such as these BTC Fin Pendant lights, adding style and ambient lighting. Courtesy of BTC Original.

 

 

A Contemporary Palace in London by Rafael de Cárdenas with Boca do Lobo

 

DiningRoom, Luxury, LuxuryHome, ManuelineStyle, BocadoLobo, RafaeldeCárdenas, Interior Design, Decor, Contemporaryhome, ModernHome

A luxurious glimpse of the Manuel Cabinet by Boca do Lobo in an impossibly beautiful modern London home designed by Rafael De Cárdenas.

As many of you know, we adore the inventions of European luxury design innovators, and love the design fairs and trade shows the most of everything we do. Our taste is varied but we have an affection for interiors and pieces that mix historic narratives with contemporary sensibility and luxury materials.

After all, it’s not just the richness of the visual experience, but it’s about real artistic talent and skill as it takes a certain orchestration and sense of daring and order as well to combine eclectic elements like ornate decoration, modern lines, historic spaces……

And so New York designer Rafael De Cárdenas’ design of the Glebe Place Residence, London achieves just this, taking traditional Portuguese pieces with the most modern elements to create a livable yet gorgeous space that takes our breath away.

 

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This stunningly luxurious home has six bedrooms, and three dining areas and is decorated with an understated palette of Portland limestone, hardwood and other natural surface materials. The designer uses metallic accents and brights to lend a regal sensibility while also echoing the most contemporary of aesthetics.

 

Sculpture, Livingroom, ManuelineStyle, BocadoLobo, RafaeldeCárdenas, Interior Design, Decor, Contemporaryhome, ModernHome

 

 

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Each room is thematic, and one particularly gorgeous dining room stars Boca do Lobo’s Portuguese motif  D. Manuel I cabinet from Boca do Lobo’s Limited Edition Collection. A beautiful light colored table with soft furnishings graces the room, accented unexpectedly by the floral wallpaper in classic colors and shades.

 

DiningRoom, Luxury, LuxuryHome, ManuelineStyle, BocadoLobo, RafaeldeCárdenas, Interior Design, Decor, Contemporaryhome, ModernHome

 

DiningRoom, Luxury, LuxuryHome, ManuelineStyle, BocadoLobo, RafaeldeCárdenas, Interior Design, Decor, Contemporaryhome, ModernHomeSidecabinet, cabinet, DiningRoom, Luxury, LuxuryHome, ManuelineStyle, BocadoLobo, RafaeldeCárdenas, Interior Design, Decor, Contemporaryhome, ModernHome

 

Like so many of Boca do Lobo’s artwork pieces that are also absolutely functional, in the grandest of ways,  the D. Manuel cabinet is made with a copper leaf finish surface and an elegant black lacquer gradient. Handcrafted traditional solid mahogany legs are artfully finished in high gloss black lacquer. The design reflects the decorative traditions of Manueline Style, a composite Portuguese style of architectural ornamentation with elements of maritime motifs, named after King Manuel I of Portugal who was known for his support of Portuguese maritime exploration.

 

Visit the Boca do Lobo site and learn more about Rafael de Cárdenas and Rafael De Cárdenas and Architecture at Large, NYC. 

Extraordinary Walls by MOKO

 

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Today, innovative wall covering newcomer MOKO Interior produces 3D wall coverings made of real wooden veneers of 5 layers, all gorgeously designed and produced in Hungary. The creations are like sculpture and create stunning atmosphere and presence. The size of the panels alone are astounding  — one standard piece is 94 x 94 centimeters and as such the walls are architectural elements in of themselves, and the company often will design features for a custom space as well, a boon to designers. In fact, their panels inspired Marcel Wanders to design a new motif for MOKO -to debut very soon.

 

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The designs are not composed of solid wood but rather thin wooden layers, and one panel weighs only 10 kg, so they are easy to install and transport. As well inside the panel there is an empty space which can be filled with sound absorbent materials to create an acoustic version of each motif.

 

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It’s such a pleasure to be able to interview the people behind these amazing inventions…..

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the creation of the company? What drove you to create the product?

We always had the idea in the back of our minds -the desire to see if we could create  bent 3D wall panels. At first, it seemed impossible to “force” the wood to this shape.

How long did it take to develop these wall panels?

It took us one and a half year to develop it and to push the boundaries of the material.

Can you share more about your staff and creative team?

We have a team of 50 people based in Hungary, including designers, production team and sales department. Zsolt Karajz is the lead designer, who invented the motifs of MOKO. The production team is led by Zsolt Szabó, wood expert. We have a showroom in the city centre of Budapest with 8 wall surfaces showing different MOKO solutions and a professional sales team led by Krisztián Szetei, managing director.

Where are the materials made?

We only use the best quality wood originated from forests planted for production purposes. Most of the veneers we use are custom made for us. Our team is committed to environmentally sustainable solutions. We work with FSC certified wood veneers only and make sure that the adhesives and surface treatments used are eco-friendly also.

 

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What is the process of manufacture and handicraft?

MOKO Interior deals with the design and manufacturing of mainly handcrafted multilayer structured wooden wall coverings. On the one hand the curved shapes and the visible surface treatments (grinding, polishing, staining and oil layers) require the highest handicraft that cannot be replaced by any machinery. The real value of the MOKO panels lays in the bare-handed craftsmanship. We intend to create the highest quality products, excluding mass production in the classic sense.

On the other hand, for some parts of the production process (molds of the patterns, bending the veneers, drying the surfaces) we only use high-tech computer-controlled machines for quality assurance.

What are the challenges of working with wood? We all know the story of making bendable malleable plastics to create organic sculptural furniture, such as the tale of invention for mid century modernist furniture like the Eames….

Bending an inflexible material was a big challenge, because the wooden veneers break very easily so we had to develop a special production technique to create the standard collection. The curved shapes we design require the highest handicraft and a long process of experimentation.

 

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As an extreme result we managed to manufacture the Volga Corner which is special because the panel itself is also bent and follows the shape of the corner.

A bit about the craftspeople who make the wall coverings?

MOKO Interior started as a family business, in some way everyone was connected to wood. The people working in the production have a special perspective and sense for creating wooden surfaces.

What are some of your most interesting and challenging projects?

We realized a project in San Francisco last year, in Dolores Park, where the client requested a completely customized solution, inserting a staircase between the panels.

 

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Dolores Park West, San Francisco

Other exciting projects?

At the moment we are working on two challenging projects, one is based in Canada and the designer is planning to put MOKO panels around an artificial fireplace.

The other project is located in Dubai. We produced a bespoke sized panel with a new motif designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for the lobby and the corridors of the Opus Hotel. The realization of this project is scheduled for the end of this year.

 

Learn more about the vision of MOKO. 

 

 

Muuto -Leading Talent in Contemporary Design

tabletop, trays, vases, decor, minimalist, modern decor, contemporary furniture, trends in decorLoft Chair by Thomas Bentzen and Platform Tray designed Sam Hecht

 

One can spend hours looking at the sculptural pieces by the fine designers of Muuto, an innovative and visionary Scandinavian design company offering furniture and decorative accessories that are distinguished by a graceful beauty.

 

Imagine the unfurled leaf shiny surface down, creating a well of space, like a human palm, the matte color of this underside subtle and full of shadow, color rich yet tonal, the quiet of a forest floor.

 

This is how the organic shape of many of Muuto’s pieces seem to evolve, texture and form orchestrated to become functional, understated, light weight, and sculptural. So many of the pieces seem a marriage of manmade architectural beauty and biomorphic shaping….coming together to create form  that one cannot help but respond to….

 

It is with great pleasure that I share my short interview with Christian Grosen, Director of Design at Muuto.

 

Christian, the Muuto designs have an architectural sensibility to them, particularly the furniture, and yet almost every piece is distinguished by an attention to texture, can you tell me how these elements are woven so beautifully together? Is there a certain process to make functional items so usable and so beautiful? 

Christian Grosen…It’s the result of a close dialogue between Muuto’s creative team and the external designers. From the very beginning of a project we are aware of balancing the contemporary and the lasting qualities of a given design. A design must live up to our design values which also touches upon an architectural appearance and attention to detail and material.

 

bar stools, cool bar stools, stools, kitchen island ideas, Scandinavian design, Danish modern, new decor, design, furniture, decor trendsNerd Bar Stools designed by David Geckeler

 

Creativ BoardsLeaf Table Lamp by Designers Broberg & Ridderstråle

 

coffee table, living room table, Scandinavian, Danish modern, modern table, decor, modern design, top designers, top contemporary furnitureAround Table by Thomas Bentsen

 

seating, poufs, modern interiors, muuto, tables, contemporary decor, design ideas, industrial decor, coffee tablesPoufs and Airy Table, designers Anderssen & Voll and Cecilie Manz

Who do you find to be the most inspiring in terms of historic designers? 

I’m a great fan of Jean Prouvé. He somehow managed to create his own unique and absolutely stunning design universe. The Danish designer Poul Kjærholm is also one of my idols. I had the pleasure of working on his designs together with his widow Hanne Kjærholm when I was at Fritz Hansen. She taught me how to achieve beauty and logic in a design through understanding the character of materials.

In what ways do natural materials inform your aesthetic? 

Each material has its own character. I think it’s important to understand the material and to use it in the right way where aesthetics, function, quality and price become a coherent whole.

 

 

Muuto shootWorkshop Chair designed by Cecilie Manz

 

Most interesting series or project? 

I’m very proud of the Workshop Chair by Cecilie Manz. It’s an archetypical wooden chair – cool, contemporary and attractive, yet lasting in its appearance. I’m sure it will be in the collection for decades due to it’s high level of craftmanship and inherent lasting qualities.

 

 

 

 

And as for yourself Christian — may I ask -did you always make things or design -when you were a child for example -what was your first creative memory? 

Always…I remember building all kinds of stuff in the workshop in my parents basement. I grew up on a large brewery which was a great playground and inspiration for a kid. I remember I found scrap metal and wood in the brewery’s containers and build my own imaginary machines and constructions. There were always an aesthetic hierarchy in the way I used the materials – indirectly I guess it’s more or less the same I do today.

 

Shelving, Scandinavian, Bookcases, Bookshelfs, Modern Decor, Storage Ideas, Contemporary House, Design Ideas, Decorating, Danish design, modern interiors
Stacked Storage System, Oslo Designers Julien De Smedt and Anderssen & Voll

 

shelves, unique shelf, display shelf, contemporary design, contemporary furniture, Scandinavian design, innovative design, interior decorFolded Shelf Designed by Johan-Van-Hengel for Muuto

 

MUUTOBase Table with Bell Lamp, Designers Mika Tolvanen, David Geckeler and Iskos-Berlin

 

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  The Visu stool designed by Mika Tolvanen

 

See more of these lovely designs, the stories and process behind Muuto HERE.

Natural Modernism -An Interview with the Australian Designer Kate Walker

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Kate Walker is an Australian designer who takes her cue from the vibrant and elemental colors, forms, and patterns of the natural world. Her commitment to well made materials and a lovingly designed space means that every project is just stand out gorgeous. Through a process of curated selections of unusual textures and fine hard surface materials, Kate beautifully combines historic detail with contemporary design to make livable and bright spaces.

It was super fun to interview Kate and learn about her process and dedication to craft and well made things the home. Enjoy Kate’s story, the beautiful pictures of her various projects, and learn about her very special approach.

 

 

Brent Lukey Photography

Kate Walker by Brent Lukey Photography

 

You grew up in a family that lived, worked and breathed design and artistry. Tell me about some of your favourite memories of this special upbringing. 

My mum created an amazing home. With seven children, home was always really busy.  We lived in very old 1900s Victorian house. It was a big original Homestead in Geelong called Chesterfield. So whilst my brother was climbing the Norfolk Pines at the front of our property, and mum was busy trying to make sure he didn’t fall and kill himself, she would leave my sisters and I alone. We would redesign our whole bedroom, and it would take us all day.  We’d move our antique iron beds, change doona covers, swap furniture around and hang things on the walls.  Sometimes the layouts worked and sometimes they didn’t but mum just let us do it. I think she enjoyed the quiet.

So she’s still one of your main inspirations? 

The pieces my mum has in her home all remind me of my childhood.  There’s such a difference between a house and a home, and that’s what mum gets. Inspiration came from my mum and our family. What she did enable us to do was to put looks together, often on a shoestring. As little kids we would be given jobs to keep the house tidy, but anyone could walk into our house at any time and it would always look beautiful. And I have kept that tradition in my own home.

In the 1980s when three colored cornicing was in, mum would have painted them green, pink and blue and then she would decide it wasn’t quite right and we’d come home and she would have changed it to shades of pink or shades of blue.

Even if mum didn’t have a lot of money to spend, she would spend what she could on making our home beautiful. Her house was on the cover of House and Garden years ago when stenciling was in.

 

Blues in Kate Walkers HomeA view of the designer’s home …beautiful blues..via Instagram

 

And she was one of the first people I knew to use the color blue in her interiors. Blue is my favorite interiors color now too.  I don’t know how she did it with so many kids but she always kept an amazingly beautiful home.  We were always told to go and play outside, so I developed a love for our garden.

 

Kate Walkers Pretty GardenKate’s garden….via Instagram

 

 

 

Kitchen and Dining area

 

Do you have a favorite historic designer or architect? 

The Australian architect Marcus Martin without a doubt, 1930s architecture. His windows, his proportions, his staircases, and the entry ways. Really, Marcus Martin for me is heaven, so it’s no surprise that I bought a 1930s home.

 

Toorak-Home-Renovation-Architect-Image-Marcus-Martin-Rear-22Martin Marcus, a renovated home by Toorak Home Renovation

 

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Let’s talk texture, great contemporary design often has a way of combining unexpected textures, and many of your projects exhibit this sensibility, there is such care and precision in the pairings. Tell me a bit about this process, how it’s determined by the design vision, the client and some of your inspirations? 

A lot of people are afraid to use color, so texture is a great way to bring interest into a beige color scheme.  We’ll often use tonal colors to create a lot of interest and depth.  I have become very adept at using texture because clients haven’t been adventurous.

I will always encourage clients to use natural materials where possible, because natural materials don’t date. Anything natural adds charm which modern finishes just don’t have.

 

Kate Walker Design

 

You can’t really clash natural materials. You can put a beige travertine with a grey Carrara and it works. Mother Nature just works. On my Instagram feed you’ll find lots of landscapes and seascapes because I see so much beauty in nature. It might be a photo of lichen on a granite rock, with greys next to the electric green and I’ll be inspired to use grey and green as a colour palette.  Browns, greys and greens work so well together.

 

KWD_via Instagram-Victoria and Albert-Amiata Bath w tapware by perrinandrowe. A

 

 

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The Wright Project – this historic front with a modern back exterior is such a gem, I love the entire house, and wondered why we are seeing this kind of “renovation” more and more. It’s wonderful and reminds me so much of the best of the classic American mid-century homes, those who look out to greenery from the rear of the house. I grieve the demolition of these houses here, and celebrate the way this tradition is expanded in places like your Wright Project. 

In Australia there are lots of regulations to maintain the heritage of properties, but heritage doesn’t come with livability.  Today we need open plan living, and we need light.  Many of the old houses have small windows because there was no cooling or heating, so windows were kept small to minimise the loss of heat or keep in the cool.  Houses were generally dark and they weren’t designed for orientation, whereas today we always try to orient toward the north to make the most of natural light and get the best solar ratings.

 

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The Wright House

As a result we are seeing a juxtaposition of historical meeting modern to pay homage to the property’s origins whilst maximizing livability.  Residential land sizes in the city are so small that the best way to bring the outside in is by building a glass block on the back.

Whether I agree with such a stark juxtaposition or not, my job is to blend the old and the new internally by creating a seamless flow.  It may be having the same flooring throughout or connecting the look by using modern brass fittings in the extension to reflect the old brass fittings in the original house. Trying to use as many natural materials as possible is important to pay homage to the building’s origins, be it using old bluestone or reclaimed timber flooring or Shaker style kitchen doors to make it more traditional.  I am always advising clients to keep the historical elements of their home.

 

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Mathoura

 

Mathoura, absolutely gorgeous -tell me more about this palatial looking building! 

Mathoura holds a special place in my heart because my family actually lived in the classic Victorian house that was originally on that land.  We moved out and the property was sold to a developer (Kokoda Property Group who I have worked a lot with over the years) who built these amazing apartments.

They engaged Stuart Rattle to do the interiors.  He is a very well-known interior designer who was tragically murdered shortly after completing the build so it was a privilege for me to work with him on one of his last projects.  He did all of the internal finishes and it was my job to source the incredible natural stone which we imported from Turkey specifically for this project for all the bathrooms. And we sourced the bluestone for the paving.  I felt honored to be able to work with such an incredibly talented designer.

Favorite project? 

My favorite project changes all the time.  My current is an incredible, eclectic property where the brief is ‘Regency on Safari.’  The property is in Brighton (Melbourne) and is owned by a South African family.  The owner is an artist and she is amazing, and  so enthusiastic about using color and texture.  I’ve never had a client who is so excited about all the different elements we have featured in the design. We have a peacock-blue kitchen with chartreuse velvet banquette seating and animal print wallpaper with black and white marble flooring.

There’s multi-green scalloped handmade wall tiles and wallpaper with mountain-scapes by Pierre Frey.  And we’re also featuring Cole & Son wallpapers.  We’re using the most incredible quartzite bench tops which will be backlit. We have Scandinavian timbers and brass grills in the kitchen and a handmade brass and stainless steel range hood with Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances. There’s fluted glass in the bathrooms with slab marble and brass taps. The timber flooring is representative of zebra skin. For the outdoor loggia she has allowed us to use stone we are importing from Egypt. We’re doing cobblestones. Every single thing that I love in design is going into this home.

 

Top-Women-Interior-DesignersImage courtesy of Brent Lukey Photography

 

KWD SINK

 

KWD TILES

Learn more about the wonderful vision of this Australian designer, special hard finish products and beautiful spaces by Kate Walker Design on her website or via Facebook | Instagram 

Eclectic House of the Month – Ghislaine Nassif and her Art Society via Krikla

AN EXCLUSIVE VIEW INTO THE HOME OF THE CURATOR, COLLECTOR AND DESIGNER & A GREAT CONVERSATION ABOUT ART AND STYLE via KRIKLA

 

“My decorative style is a direct reflection of my journey in life, and I love to see the evolution of the space as my lifestyle changes, and whatever my passions might be at the moment.”

Ghislaine Nassif’s home is also the centre of her salon style organisation The Raven Society, serving the artistic community and known today as a creatively kinetic epicentre for the arts. Ghislaine is an originative tour de force who began her career in fashion, followed by a time working as an interior designer.

 

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“My first vision for the Raven Art Society for it to function as an art gallery, but also a salon where creative people can enjoy and participate in events.”

Always close to art and artists, and an avid collector of art and objects of all kinds, Ghislaine wanted to create an environment that was different from the standard gallery space, which often can be alienating or intimidating. She says her collecting is informed by not only the emotional connection she has for certain pieces, but her love of diversity that has grown out of her experience:

 

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I grew up in Morocco and have always enjoyed the Moroccan market and its mixture of influences. As someone who has lived in many countries, and come from a dual cultures, I have amassed a collection of art, antiques and objects from the various places I have travelled.

Today, innovative Ghislaine organises monthly exhibitions for the Raven Art Society at her home in Battersea – an amazing eclectic space and an extraordinary expression of her distinctive and well-loved sensibility. A true believer in collaborative initiatives, Ghislaine wanted her space to reflect the close relationships she had developed with artists, and to be an open and free celebration of art and music.

 

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Ghisalaine follows in the footsteps of one of the first home art salons in Paris in the home of the American writer Gertrude Stein/ Stein’s welcoming to creative people in a space away from the traditional French salon style and academic institutions and rules set an important model for the private collection and cultivation of unknown and Avant garde artists. Stein’s space was host to art world luminaries such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Guillaume Apollinaire and Marie Laurencin. Ghisalaine says: “Living with Art Feeds the Soul.”

 

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She has lived in Battersea for about fifteen years, and as true Battersea girl loves living along the park and she is very familiar to the local community. She welcomes the changes that Battersea has been seeing recently.

“Although it stays a very family orientated area, it now has many restaurants and local shops and is starting to attract a young and diverse crowd. Raven Art Society is pleased to be part of these transformations and is eager to see the Battersea power station finished.”

 

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In addition to partnerships with Caius House, a Battersea youth centre, Ghislaine Nassif continues to initiate new ideas for collaborations between her artists and the community’s youth. Other community ties include work with the well known artist Carinthia West who has earned prestige for her iconic shots of the Battersea Power Station and is subject of a special exhibition at the society.

The summer show of the 2015 included three artists Sarra Badel, Ronan Salaun (Fifi), François Domain and Matt Sherratt in a unique exploration of texture and space.

 

This post is a repost from the Krikla blog here.