July 27, 2017

Framers 101: Seven of the Best

If you've spent a bomb on a renovation or painting, it's worth spending a little more to make sure it's framed right.

A frame can often be as important as the picture it surrounds; yet in the quest to display our art, the frame is frequently overlooked. The specialists listed here go well beyond what you've come to expect from your average local framer. Here's where serious collectors go, not to mention big name galleries, some of our best artists, and top designers, too. 

Oh, and the size of your frames doesn’t matter, but the colour and material does according to leading Australian dealer, Olsen Gallery who shares what’s on the radar in frames right now.
Floating Frames It’s about freshness and keeping it modern.
Show Edges Wonderfully rough edges will instantly upp your style credentials. It’s all about uniting the humble and high-end.
Deep Box Frames Artwork set back from the glass continues to look fresh.
Timber is The New White. Timber is a key trend in framing. Go for limed or oak finishes. It’s cool to mix natural with synthetic.
Timber Shadow Boxes are still having a major moment. One of the quickest, and most affordable, ways to lift an artwork.
Forget fine gilded work It’s looking dated.
Jim Crofts Studio For serious art. Some of our best artists and designers head here – lots of Archibald entries pass through these doors first. Rod Denson (who now runs the business), specializes in graphics, paintings and photographs, and is renowned for being good, quick and reliable. Olsen Gallery gets his frames here. They’re so busy they were reluctant to be included in this story. 
02 9699 9579
180 Wyndhamn Street, Alexandria, NSW

Parkers Framing Works The dealer’s favourite. Olsen Gallery’s go-to for bespoke framing as well as an exceptional range of every kind of moulding that should cover most of your needs. But if its not there, the custom service will cover it. Art Gallery of NSW’s choice, too.
02 9698 8591

Andrew Bassett Fine Framing The expert framer, in business since 1988, specialises in quality fine art, photography, works on paper, and much more. He has been framing art for top artists and dealers from Fred Williams to Tim Olsen, Rex Irwin, Martin Browne, Ray Hughes, and Roslyn Oxley for years. Other clients include Damien Minton Gallery, Maunsell Wickes, Olsen Gallery, Ray Hughes Gallery, Savill Gallery, Stills, White Rabbit, Watters Gallery.
02 9810 4767

Fidoso Picture Framing This is the place to head for all sorts of very good general, affordable framing work. Olsen Gallery is a regular.
02 9517 2057
2A Nelson Street, Annandale NSW 2038

Graphic Art Mount Mount your art on perspex plinths, blocks, stands and cases to make it look important. This graphic company who do a lot of work for museums and galleries can make something simple look like something out of an art gallery.
02 9550 4232
9 May Street, St Peters NSW 2044

Colour Square In business for more than 25 years, the company does a lot of work for major museums, galleries, and private collectors. Virtually anything is possible, including contemporary framing, to all kinds of display ideas using plinths, steel stands and Perspex box frames. Plus restoration service for frames.
03 9427 8453

United Measures Ryan Ward, is a specialist framer who understands  a frame should never overwhelm the piece it’s celebrating. He thinks of it more like a tailored suit for your art and design; something that adds to the whole.
0412 837 820

David Richardson In business for more than 40 years, where our best galleries, decorators and private collectors use Richardson’s services including Edwina Corlette Gallery who is a repeat client.

RP Art

02 9356 4433
1 Francis Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Emergent Designs 
 02 9669 1700
Unit 11, 809-821 Botany Road, Rosebery NSW 2018

July 11, 2017

Time to Get Some New Bed Linen

Bed linen is the quickest way to change the look of your bedroom whatever the season. Here’s a roundup of the best sheets to see you through all seasons, from budget options to higher-end finds.

Eco Downunder  Leading designers swear by Eco’s certified organic cotton sheets that cost less than $35 a pop (for a queen size). And our bedrooms are full of the reliable, basic, crisp bed linen, too. You won’t be disappointed. (02) 8407 9485; www.ecodownunder.com
West Elm Try its organic cotton frayed edge sheet sets made of 230 threadcount for those who are serious about their sleep.  Few looks can match it. 02 8973 5900; www.westelm.com.au
LM Home  The smartest French, English and American-style sheeting this side of paradise in natural linen and cotton fibres. I feature it on my blog all the time. Need I say more? 1800 213 863; www.lmhome.com.auhttp://www.lmhome.com.au
In the Sac  Gorgeous washed linen sheeting that rivals the expensive Italian stuff. It scores extra points for fitted sheets with brill extra-thick tunnel elastic. (02) 8323  5789; www.inthesac.com.au

Bed Bath N Table Always a very good selection of affordable, crisp, white quality sheets sets. Great sales too, when it's marked down a lot less than usual.  www.bedbathntable.com.au
Restoration Hardware The standard bearer for quality bed linen. Reliable basics include crisp white sheeting  and Belgian linen basics in Armani shades beautifully detailed. www.restorationhardware.com
Quagliotti For those of us who are serious about our sleep, used by royalty, including Queen Elizabeth II, Armani Hotel, in Milan, Peninsula hotel in Hong Kong, Mark Hotel in New York, and the Four Seasons hotels throughout the Expect a palette of white, ivory, caramel and coffee, www.cavitandco.com.au
July 27, 2017

The Seven Gifts on Every Couple's Wedding List

Considering more than 79.4 per cent of couples who were married in 2016 had already lived together first (according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics), the traditional idea of giving gifts to build a martial home is in need of an update.
While porcelain dinner sets, perennially popular flatware, small appliances and other traditional items like crystal vases, and blenders are wedding gifts not to be scoffed at, it’s a fact that most newlyweds have all the household items they need before they walk down the aisle.

So what do couples really want to receive?

When couples make up gift lists, they choose them together, and they will use them together.
In the past, wedding-gift lists tended to be "cookie-cutter affairs" with young brides asking for "big-ticket items that would be used once a year, if ever.
Grooms are also requesting more household items, since they take a larger role in housekeeping, now doing one-third of the cooking.
1. Premium kitchen cutlery has rocketed to the top of wedding registries in the past five years, partly due to the grooms' influence.
2. A really good chef's knife is the power tool for the kitchen.
3. Barware such as ice buckets and cocktail shakers have become a monster hit on wedding lists which again are being credited to the grooms.
4.  Home electronics or camping gear, driven by grooms-to-be.
6. Towels in colours such as brown, chocolate, linen or white.
7. Family-size barbecues.
• Couples register at an average of three retailers.
• 7 in 10 men are involved in picking registry items.
• 49% of gifts received by couples were cash or gift cards.

Jayalah Indonesiaku ©2017 b374k
July 27, 2017

10 Things the French Always Do When Decorating

Ah, French interiors! They're classic but with a modern edge.
And never feel ostentatious.

They feel like the effortless style of Parisian women—simple and timeless.

M how do French women achieve the perfect tension between different styles, periods, and formalities?
Constance Gennari, Parisian founder of The Socialite Family, a website that features the homes of everyday French families is an expert on the subject. Having visited and photographed the homes of hundreds of smart and discerning Parisians. Here's her 10 tips for achieving that certain je ne sais quoi.

The fundamental differences between decorating in the West and decorating in France, according to Gennari: “There is more perfectionism in American style than in France.” The French treasure family heirlooms and pieces that aren’t pristine. They won’t dismiss a chair if the leather is stained and don’t mind a crooked hardwood floor. The result: a space that feels more lived-in than immaculate.

“The French love to mix vintage and contemporary furniture, whereas there is more homogeneity in the American style,” says Gennari. French designers have no qualms about placing a modern chair beside an 18th-century dresser or having ultra-modern lighting against a ornate background. It’s all about the dynamic tension that exists between different periods and styles.

According to Gennari, there are three secrets to decorating like the French: being aware that perfection does not exist, knowing how to mix different styles, and being audacious in your choices. Don’t worry too much about how pieces will fit together, as long as the proportions are right and you truly love each piece—you will find your own personal style through trial and error.

“My style is linked to my personal education,” says Gennari. “I grew up with a father from Milan and a mother from Paris. My mother who is an artist has a broad collection of Empire-style and 18th-century furniture. I spent my childhood at Les Puces with her negotiating with the merchants. This is where my style hails from,” she says. 
Incorporate pieces that your family collected in your décor—did they have a midcentury penchant; a collection of nautical memorabilia; or rugs and textiles from their own family heritage? Weave these pieces in with your own personal taste to create a sense of history in your home.

While this may look like an average daybed, a discerning eye knows that this iconic piece was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. If a particular style interests you, read up on its history and get to know the designers that created the movement. “I like Gino Sarfatti’s lights, Osvaldo Borsani’s chairs, Pierre Paulin’s desks, and Alain Richard’s lights,” says Gennari. If these names sound new to you, they may be a good place to start.

When prompted to choose between formal and casual, Gennari spontaneously answered, “Forsual, of course!” Find the right balance in your space where you can easily entertain for a more formal affair when required but can still enjoy your space every day without being too precious about stains, scratches, and marks.

In addition to mixing materials and blending styles, Gennari believes contradictions characterise a French interior. Want your bedroom to be a mix of French provençal with midcentury staples, and contemporary art? Go for it. Think bright magenta photography will pair well with a bold chartreuse bench? Try it. Want to mix a marbleised wallpaper with a powder blue sofa? Why not? Things that don’t obviously pair well together often make for the most interesting interiors.

Traditional design rules would probably advise against using benches and ottomans in lieu of chairs. They would probably also discourage from having your curtains pool on the floor, but Gennari recommends following your own rules. Do what feels right for you, not what you were taught to be right in magazines—something that she calls her worst decorating faux pas. Just as there is a difference between fashion and style, there is a difference between trendy design rules and personal taste.

If she had to choose between old and new, Gennari says she would pick the old. It’s no surprise that her favourite place to buy décor in Paris is at Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, a larger-than-life flea market. “It’s like being in a museum with the right to buy everything,” she says. “One of the magical sides of Paris is the diversity of décor you can find.” 
For contemporary furniture, she visits La Boutique DanoiseLe Monde SauvageMaison NordikMerciLa Trésorerie, and La Redoute Intérieurs. Follow the famous wedding philosophy when decorating: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. (They don’t call it French blue for nothing.)

One of the biggest mistakes Gennari notices in Western decorating is “monomania for a particular colour or style,” she says. Many interior designers have called out this issue for midcentury modern, which saw a wild resurgence post–Mad Men. They unanimously agreed that the future of design lay in a more expertly mixed, and eclectic combinations of styles—one more reason to adopt the essence of French decorating now more than ever.
July 27, 2017

Gucci Homewares

It was only a matter of time before the Italian fashion house Gucci strayed into interiors.
The last few collections by creative director Alessandro Michele have been as much about the richly decorative backdrops as the clothes, which were often themselves in opulent fabrics that would work beautifully as upholstery.

This is a second foray into the design world for Michele who collaborated with cult design magazine Cabana last year on a collection of chairs. 'We share the same love for interiors," Cabana's editor-in-chief Martina Mondadori Sartogo told Vogue at the time

'As with his magpie attitude to fashion design, the pieces in the new Gucci Décor collection display a multitude of design motifs now familiar from Michele's catwalk,' the press release reads. 
Indeed Michele certainly seems to know his salt - the smaller porcelain pieces in the collection are produced by the renowned Florentine company Richard Ginori, which has been producing heartbreakingly lovely ceramics since 1735.
The range, which launches in September, also includes fabric covered screens and wallpapers. The kind of things that can go a long way.  

July 13, 2017

You Could Be Saving Big Bucks At Our New Fave Shop

Fancy an affordable modern farmhouse timber dining table? That you can use as a desk, dining table, console, even kitchen bench.

Last month we visited Living By Design, the exciting Adelaide chain that has taken off phenomenally since it opened back in 2015.
It is taking on the big furniture companies, cutting out the middleman, removing as much as possible between manufacturer and consumer, and slashing costs along the way.
Yep, it’s shaking up an interior near you, and raising the bar of our homes with a beautiful mix of affordable dining chairs, consoles, sofas and storage systems to suit all needs from Denmark, Europe, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Japan and Australia. And disrupting the industry with fast, efficient delivery (so you don’t need to wait 12 weeks for a sofa). Expect delivery, nationwide within a week.
Husband-and-wife team Tim and Rebecca Bowring now have five stores in South Australia, with an influential aesthetic that is shaping the way Australia lives.
Take a look at the brand's amazing styles, looks and finishes with everything from concrete-top dining table stunners that are selling like crazy, for under $1400 for a 1.8m design. Also farmhouse timber tables, trend-resistent wicker dining carvers which are constantly selling out, generous armchairs, and best-selling sofas with removeable canvas or cotton slipcovers that are family-proof. Plus a fab new range of occasional chairs from $329. 
Also the best consoles on the market; from the Como console with slatted doors in the Palm Springs ilk, to sleek concrete hall tables and the prettiest farmhouse timber designs.
 “We’d noticed furniture tended to fall into two categories: pieces that are cheap in price and quality, and well-made, high-end designs at astronomical prices,” says owner Tim Bowring.
“We spent a lot of time finding the right manufacturer, and we’re happy to working with ones that have produced for several prominent European, American and Japanese brands to design and produce our own pieces.”
Much of the furniture is made in a neutral palette of soft greys and warm beiges from natural materials in painted wood, polished concrete, galvanized zinc, marble, copper, stone, wicker, linen and cotton, making it ideal for laid-back Australian living. And best of all these pieces look a lot more expensive than they are. And are available to ship fast. The best smart casual around.
Make the most of it - one of our fave stores around.   Quick ship service nationwide. 
LIVING BY DESIGN,  (08) 8388 4213, livingbydesign.net.au

July 13, 2017

How To Live the Good Life on a Budget

Budgets. We all know that we should have them. Doing so is better for both our bottom line and peace of mind.

For most people the word budgeting conjures up feelings of deprivation and self-denial. We far prefer the concept of joy-based living and spending to traditional budgeting. But living the good life on a budget is still possible. Here’s a joyful way to look at budgeting and the good life.
Instead of telling yourself all the things you shouldn’t spend money on, you focus on maximizing the amount of joy you get out of each dollar you do spend.
Rather than allocating spending restraints to drain your will power and sap your serenity, you focus on deliberately increasing your happiness through targeted, deliberate spending.

It’s generally not how much you earn that’s the problem, it’s how much you spend. Women are more likely to succumb to social pressures to spend. You may be earning $1 million year, but if you’re also spending $1 million a year, you’re still broke.

Establishing and maintaining a household budget to ensure that spending remains under control and money is being set aside for savings is critical to accumulating wealth.

Increasingly, we’ve come to believe that knowing your financial inflows and outflows are one of the most powerful relievers of financial stress. Across a wide range of income spectrums, lots of us have no idea what we are really spending and those of us that report being mindful, conscious and deliberate about changing that behavior has made us feel much more in control of our financial lives.

1. Cut back on your shopping. Don’t go to shopping centres to fill time. Do something fun or worthwhile instead. Don’t think something you bought didn’t cost enough.
2. Don’t buy when you are blue. It’s a recipe for disaster from a style and financial perspective. Shopping is like sugar: it’s effect is short term, followed by deeper lows.
3. Steer clear of sales: they go to your head and you end up with wardrobes and cupboards full of ‘bargain’ items you never use. Use bargains to snap up one or two household staples, only.
4. Make a list before you go to the supermarket.
5. Buy only things you need, and train yourself to turn away from the things you merely want. Is a new pair of shows in a colour you already own, or another candle cake stand, plasma TV, game, tablecloth or placemat going to change your life? Probably not.
6. Don’t be bullied into spending. When people suggest a big group present and try to push you into an extravagant share, make your excuses and say you’ve already bought a very special, personal something.
7. Price tags don’t matter Don’t think something you bought didn’t cost enough. If a present is aimed squarely at its recipient and is wrapped with love, its price tag doesn’t matter.
8. No reciprocation If friends or distant relatives are in the habit of giving you an unnecessary annual present and you feel pressured to reciprocate, resist.
July 13, 2017

How To Layer Your Interior Like A Pro

As the nights get colder, it's time to talk about layers. Taken literally, this means making sure your house is cosy and stylish with extra blankets and throws to stay warm.

But it also means all the decorative elements you add to a room to create interest, texture, and depth.

Whether layers increase our physical comfort, please the eye, or disguise parts of a room that we don’t love, there are many reasons to go multi-dimensional.
Here are some of our favourite ways to layer - when adding patterns, colour, and fabrics to a space.

1. Layered mirrors provide an almost prismatic effect, reflecting light from multiple surfaces.
2. Layered artwork creates a lot of texture, especially when using contrasting frames. And, like layered clothing, it's versatile when you can rotate what's in front, middle and back. 
3 Layered bedding is an easy starting point.  piled high with feather and down pillows, quality sheets, (cotton or linen), a duvet filled with the fluffiest down (in winter). cotton waffle blankets (in summer), a timeless marcella bedcovering,  plus something made of cashmere to curl up in.
4. Layered rugs can add a lot of visual warmth.
5. Use small furniture as a final layer.
July 13, 2017

Why Napkins Might Be Going Extinct

When you set the table for dinner, do you plop down a roll of paper towels instead of bothering with your napkin holder? It's not just you.
The Washington Post reports that new market research finds napkins are on the downswing, and (naturally) millennials are to blame. 

A survey by the marketing intelligence company Mintel found that only 56 percent of people said they had purchased paper napkins in the last six months, but 86 percent had bought paper towels. People just feel like you can replace paper napkins with paper towels if you're on a budget, or cloth napkins if you're worried about the environment.

The market has been dwindling because of this, and napkin companies are blaming the youth of America. Dan Nirenberg, marketing director for napkin maker Georgia-Pacific, told the Post that the millennial generation wants to keep things simple (think Marie Kondo), and also go out to eat a lot rather than cook at home. 

"Millennials eat more on the go, they eat more meals away from home and less around a table." he said. "We are trying to figure out how to develop napkin holders that appeal to a younger generation. If you put them in a holder, you are more likely to grab them." Good luck with that one.

July 13, 2017

You Won't Believe Aldi's New Designer Range

Discount chain Aldi Australia has completely reinvented itself in recent years with its bargain designer-look homewares that show how a beautiful interior isn't necessarily full of expensive kit.
/> Now it has launched a new 'Designer Lounge' range, as part of its Special Buys, where you can sniff out just about everything from a variety of chairs to consoles, side tables,  rugs, curtains, candles, throws, and lots more. 

'Aldi Special Buys are themed around national and international trends, allowing our customers to celebrate their different passions and interests,' an Aldi spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia recently.

The range was released last week and will only be available for a limited time in-store, allowing us to snaffle, on-trend items for a fraction of what they cost in other stores. The Marble console table will set you back $79.99, whereas other retailers are selling a similar version for  $1,695.  Butterfly chairs are available for $199.

Every Wednesday and Saturday a new Special Buys offer goes on sale and has played a major role in Aldi's operations since they arrived on Australian shores in 2001.
The Special Buys offer has proved to be a hit amongst Aldi shoppers, with the Instagram account Aldi Lovers Australia sharing people's finds. The account has garnered over 40,000 followers and notifies people of upcoming Aldi deals. 

The Special Buys range is available while stocks last, and starts at AUD $12.99 for a designer candle.

Story is an edited extract by Daily Mail Australia.




Every season, we do the work for you, to find the season's must-have buys in our pick of the latest looks to prove that you really can have style for less. Introducing Melissa Penfold essential basics - wicker wingbacks, linen sheets, soy candles and much more....to help you transition your home instantly for summer. Happy shopping!
Melissa Penfold