Extraordinary Walls by MOKO

 

Kalahari1

 

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.

 

Dover4

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.

 

131209 BAR PHO HelloMonochrom148701 ABC

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.

 

Alaska1

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.

 

Volga Corner 1

 

Volga Corner 6

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.

 

wood-interior, modern-home, bespoke-wall-coverings, luxury, luxury-decor

 

pic_7

 

pic_3

 

pic_5

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. 

 

 

Natural Modernism -An Interview with the Australian Designer Kate Walker

KWD MOOR ST

 

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

 

KWD ALKIRA

 

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

 

 

nine

 

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.

 

kate-walker-design, historic-modern-renovations, exteriors

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.

 

KWD WRIGHT ST 2

 

 

KWD WRIGHT ST 1

 

 

Kate Walker Design Mathoura Exterior .jpg

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