Sunday, 30 March 2008

Mad for Mads Mogensen

I love looking at photographers portfolio's for design inspiration - and Mads Mogensens' is no exception. Danish photographer Mads, has photographed some of the most fascinating and left of centre architecture and interiors around which you'll find in magazines like Elle Decoration UK, Elle Decor Italy and Vogue Living Australia. The indoor swimming pool's my pick of the bunch.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Zaishu - Clever and Conscious Design

Zaishu is artwork that functions as seat, table or box, combining award winning design with ethical and responsible production methods.
Transcending social and cultural barriers, Zaishu collaborates internationally with artists such as David Bromley, Stewart Russell from ‘Spacecraft’ and the Florence Broadhurst print archive.
Zaishu also features artwork from various community groups, endangered tribal art, as well as hand painted work from the last of the Bollywood artists.
Designed and made in Australia from native plantation pine, using water-based inks and varnish, Zaishu has a ‘Good Environmental Choice’ certification and comes flat-packed in collectable limited editions which simply slot together

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Floorboard Paint

photograph by Prue Ruscoe

Q: 'I love the look of white floorboards, so I’ve decided to paint the entry foyer and living room floorboards in my house white.
Could you recommend the best paint to use on the floorboards? It is an area that is walked on everyday so I understand it will get marks, so I want to use something durable. I don’t mind if it’s gloss or matt.' Amanda

A: Hi Amanda. I, too, love the the look of painted floorboards - in fact I've just painted some floorboards in my house in a soft grey/blue and they've come up a treat. You're right that painted boards will mark a bit, regardless of what you use on them, but in my opinion, that adds to the character. Re product - I've found that a high gloss enamel paint is the way to go. The high gloss will add extra durability and the shine will tone down after a few walks. Enamel paints are difficult to use, so I recommend a professional here - ours applied three coats with a roller. Don't skimp on product as the quality will make all the difference - I went for Dulux. Happy Painting!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Desiderata 2

I remember, growing up at home, that my mother had a copy of these beautiful words (see Tuesday's post) on the fridge in the kitchen. More than any other aspect of decoration in our house, it was this humble piece of writing that had the most impact. To me, Desiderata embodies exactly what home and living is all about - the strive for balance, peace and connection. I've always felt that the way that we decorate our homes is about more than just the pieces that we use to fill it, but rather, the sentiment created from the choices that we make and the arrangement of things. And so, every time I go about decorating a house, whether mine or a somebody else's, I try, through the use of pattern, colour and choice of furniture, to create the good feeling that I get when I read Desiderata.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Martyn Thompson - Director of Light

I've always been a big fan of Martyn Thompson's work - his photographs are both deep and sublime and for me, he directs light and creates a moody ambience through his work like no other. Here a few samples from his portfolio for your enjoyment...

Sunday, 23 March 2008

A Few Colour Tips

When I think about bold and bright colour combinations, it's the designs of Tricia Guild from Designer's Guild that spring to mind. If you love the idea of using colour in your home but aren't quite sure how to go about it, then these few tips should help...

* Look to the environment around you for colour inspiration. The green of the trees, the blue ocean, the grey city streets all provide the opportunity to see colour in action
* Think about colours in terms of their unique character and personality. How does each colour make you feel? Could you live with it?
* Stick with strong and vibrant colours - like red, hot pink and orange - to stimulate and promote the feeling of activity in a room.
* Keep to the cooler end of the spectrum - that is blue and green - if calm and tranquility is what you prefer.
* Combine bright colour with bold and geometric patterning to create a contemporary space
* Muted, earthy tones of orange, pink and mustard convey a feeling of warmth and laid-back living
* Even a simple colour gesture, through a cushion or rug on the floor will add individuality and interest to a space

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Emotional Design Ilse Crawford

Ilse Crawford is the queen of 'emotional' design and in many ways has pioneered the 'comfortable' aesthetic that we are all beginning to enjoy in our homes again. She broke new ground as the launch editor of UK Elle Decoration and now with the concepts she is creating for her company StudioIlse. Soho House New York and Babington House UK are a couple of favourites from her portfolio.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

David Trubridge Sustainable Design

‘In a planet overloaded with material things, what justification is there for one more new design?’ Well, if that piece of design has been created by New Zealand based designer, David Trubridge, then there’s every justification! Creating simple shapes and organic forms is Trubridges’ specialty and his range of furniture has become a recognisable symbol for the sustainable generation. His ‘Coral’ light, however is my favourite. Made of hoop pine plywood, the ‘Coral’ has won awards the world over – it’s organic and it’s sexy.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Mud Bowls and Beautiful Things

I have a passion for ceramics - it's one of my favourite ways of infusing detail into an interior. Wherever I go in the world, I try to find one handmade piece made by a local ceramist to bring back home to my collection. One of my favourite Australian makers is Mud Australia - their range of colours and simple forms will help to round out even the most modern interior.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

sense of style: colour + space

I'm very excited to share the cover of my new book with you - I hope you like the design as much as I do! sense of style: colour + space is a 320-page hardback compilation of my two previous books (sense of style: colour and sense of style: space) to be published by Murdoch Books. This is what Murdoch have to say about it:

Sense of Style: Colour + Space is the complete ‘how to’ interior design book with its own distinctive sense of style. Interior stylist Shannon Fricke presents all of the design tools needed to use space and colour to create home decor that will truly reflect your own individuality, style and personal tastes. Shannon’s approach combines sensory awareness with practical skills and the essential basic principles of design in order to assist you to discover and apply your own innate sense of individual style.

Look for it in bookstores May 2008 or through my website.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Love Your Home Decorating Workshop

A big thanks to all the 'gals' who attended the inaugural Love Your Home Colour Workshop in Sydney on Tuesday. It was such a lovely day - I feel very honoured to have met such an inspiring group of women and to hear all of their personal stories. Thanks also to Brigid Kennedy from Simmer on the Bay for generously offering up her beautiful space in the old wharf at Walsh Bay as the location for the day. Could there be a more beautiful and colourful place than Sydney harbour on a sunny day?
The Love Your Home Decorating Workshops are designed to be intimate - with up to only 20 places available (less in some locations), so that you get the most out of the time that you spend learning about colour and decorating. I'm in the midst of planning the next workshop now, so look out for dates and locations both on the 'workshop' tab in the website and here on the blog.
Thanks again 'gal's and happy colouring!