A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

TYPE-RIGHTER // retro meets exotic

Stanbuli is a modern Turkish restaurant in Enmore established by the Porteno team and chef Ibrahim Kasif. Delicious food is obviously the focus but the architecture and history that abounds in this space is intriguing. Classic interiors with beautiful details such as lights, signs and eclectic photos salvaged from ancient marketplaces in Istanbul.

However it’s the juxtaposition of the famous exterior that adds even more interest. The heritage-listed pastel facade shows the shop was previously the Marie-Louise Salon. Locals say it was left in a time warp with hair products, newspapers and hand written appointment cards. The former owners were George and Nola Mezher, who later opened a soup kitchen in Pitt Street for the homeless after they won the lottery. Their philosophy was that everyone should have a great dining experience and their old salon also pays homage to food.

In this age where so many historic places are being lost to developers, it’s a relief this iconic spot has been left intact and lovingly restored. The vintage typography of the former salon signage complements the retro lines and colours of the shopfront. While the current restaurant logo on the door hints at the exotic fusion that awaits inside.

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HOUSE CALL // warehouse wishlist

As you can probably tell I have a love for architecture. Who knows, if I hadn’t become a graphic designer I might have been an architect? I’ve always loved Mid Century Modern design and I still aspire to owning one of those iconic houses one day. Art Deco is another era I adore and my apartment building is testament to this. Looking through all the interior references I’ve collected I’ve worked out that I’m also partial to the bohemian beach shack style.

Polar opposite to all these styles is my love for that urban industrial look. I’d be so happy to take on any of these warehouses to renovate. These factories in the inner west have elements of the period features that I’ve mentioned. My wishlist would be exposed brick, timber rafters and concrete floors. An open plan space with a designated studio would be ideal. The plan was to move beach-side but I could be tempted…

STREETSCAPES // goddard street

There are plenty of streets and laneways in Newtown filled with street art but Goddard Street is one of my favourite spots. I love how the whole walls are covered in artworks all lined up like an art gallery space. Works by various artists with different styles and themes create an interesting mix. They do change around so it’s always worth having a stroll to see how it’s evolved from the last time. These photos were taken awhile ago so I’m definitely due to do another shoot soon.

TUCKER TIME // three blue ducks

Three Blue Ducks is well and truly an established institution with three locations in Bronte, Rosebery and Byron Bay. Luckily the two Sydney locations are convenient for city dwellers with Byron definitely on the menu for the holidays. The good food is obviously the priority but the interiors and laid-back vibe make the dining experience that much more enjoyable.

The dishes are creative and use the best local produce as well as fresh ingredients from the kitchen garden in the back courtyard. They also stock high quality organic, fairtrade and biodynamic products in keeping with their real food philosophy. Believing in sustainable and environmental living by supporting growing and composting initiatives within the community. There’s even renewable energy using solar power, biodegradable takeaway containers and eco-friendly, non-toxic premises.

Many of us aspire to this lifestyle and it is achievable with so many great examples like this to follow. First thing on my dream list is the kitchen garden!

WEEKEND WRAP // word on the street

I’m an avid reader and a lover of books but I still haven’t bought into the whole digital e-book reader technology. I love everything about a paperback – the feel of holding a book, the smell of the print and turning the worn pages (feel free to call me weird!).

Walking around Sydney streets I’ve noticed more street libraries popping up in front yards of homes, schools and public spaces. This is a growing trend which I adore and fully endorse. The wooden boxes house books people have left and lets others take them and leave their own if they like. It’s a swap system with no obligation where you can leave a book at your leisure, but ultimately you want to give back and keep it circulating.

Street Library Australia has valuable information about how they are run and locations across the country. The City of Sydney is also backing the project by running workshops on how to build and install a street library. The concept has been successful globally too, with about 40,000 libraries in more than 70 countries.

This idea creates a sharing vibe among the community and it gives residents a sense of control and input in their area. It’s encouraging reading and literacy among children, especially when schools get involved. Neighbours who may have not known each other before now get a chance to meet and feel inclusive in their suburb.

 

MASTERSTROKE // here comes the sun

John Olsen is one of the most revered Australian artists with a career spanning 70 years. I’ve always admired his painting style which is full of energy, fluidity and colour. His current exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW showcases his paintings, ceramics, tapestries and works on paper. It’s clear in these artworks that he loves nature and the Australian landscape that also forms our identity. The you beaut country exhibition showcases his iconic landscape series depicting the beauty of places such as Sydney Harbour and Lake Eyre. My favourite is the large-scale Sydney Sun with the intricate layering of shapes and flowing lines. This particularly inspired me as I have watched the film The King Sun: John Olsen a few times. It’s an amazing documentary following John as he paints the second largest mural he’s ever done (The King Sun). It’s a personal insight as he works on the masterpiece, while sharing his thought process and his philosophy on life.

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