A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Tag: lifestyle

DEAR DIARY // hello sunshine

Being on the cusp of a new season and well into the latter half of the year, it feels like a good time to recharge and set a new list of goals. A busy work schedule and organising a new home has slowed progress on a few projects that I had to put on hold. Warmer weather definitely gives me more energy and inspiration, which I’m hoping will help me to rediscover my artistic side. I am looking forward to getting creative again, just picturing myself making art in the afternoon sunshine after spending time lounging at the beach. In the words of Maya Angelou, “I have heard it said that winter, too, will pass, that spring is a sign that summer is due at last. See, all we have to do is hang on.”

WEEKEND WRAP // watsons wonderland

The weather this winter has been so mild and idyllic, with plenty of sun and clear blue skies. I enjoyed a quintessential Sydney weekend visiting my local haunts in the east and exploring the outdoors.

Saturday started with friends popping over to my house and after hanging out for a while we were then off to Bondi for afternoon drinks at the pub followed by dinner nearby. Sunday was spent at Watsons Bay, walking around South Head taking in the sights of the harbour and city skyline. We ventured around the clifftops with stunning ocean views and saw the historic remnants of the Dunbar shipwreck from 1857. A lunch of fish and chips in the park was an obvious choice, after all we were in Australia’s oldest fishing village. The perfect end to the day was joining the coastal walk and going to Macquarie Lighthouse, which is Australia’s oldest lighthouse and is still operating today.

It’s so easy to take these locations for granted especially when they’re at your doorstep, so it’s nice to play tourist every now and then to rediscover our city. Watsons Bay is not only steeped in history but a natural wonderland by the sea.

HOUSE CALL // the ideal home

Douglas Snelling chair and foot stool, 1957 (timber and synthetic webbing); Douglas Snelling cabinet, 1949 (timber); George Nelson ‘Bubble’ lamp, 1947-70s (plastic and metal)

Robin Boyd ‘House of Tomorrow’, designed 1949 (model made 1992)

Wolfgang Sievers ‘House of Tomorrow’ photographs, 1949 (printed 1990)

Grant and Mary Featherston ‘Numero IV’ lounge suite, 1973-74 (polyurethane foam, ABS plastic and wool); Grant and Mary Featherston dining setting, 1969 (stem, plastic, timber, metal, rubber and fabric); Korban/Flaubert ‘Swaylamp’ floor lamp, 2002 (background); Marc Newson ‘Helice’ floor lamp, 1993 (foreground)

Catherine O’Donnell ‘Sirius Topography (series)’, 2018 (3M vinyl tape 471)

Mid century modern style made a comeback years ago and it’s not going away any time soon and for good reason – great design. I recently saw The Ideal Home exhibition and although it’s very small, it’s worth it if you’re in the area (there’s a larger second site at MAAS Powerhouse in Ultimo). The exhibit shows a slice of history with examples of what a 20th century Australian home looked like with furnishings and household items from the MAAS Collection.

In this era Australia had one of the highest rates of home ownership in the world and suburbs grew quickly. Modern technology and mass manufacturing made goods readily available to consumers and time saving products allowed more leisure. While modernist designers created trends in architecture, interiors and design internationally, Australian pioneers made their own mark. Architect Robin Boyd’s creations are featured as well as iconic furniture designers Grant and Mary Featherston.

Another interesting and unexpected element was the installation of drawings of the Sirius brutalist apartment block. I’ve written before about the threat of redevelopment that the iconic building is facing in my Save Our Sirius post. Catherine O’Donnell has covered the walls with tape outlines of the Sirius footprint, floor plans and elevations to showcase this treasure in a fresh way.

Australians embraced mid century modern as it represented comfort, style and function. 100 years later it is a lifestyle that we still aspire to today.

INSTA-JAM // 2018 flew

        

Usually I post a visual diary and show a snapshot from each month at the end of the year, but 2018 flew by and before you know it we’re at the end of January 2019. It’s a little late but here are some highlights from my Instagram that I hope you enjoy and feel free to browse my feed. I have to say that I used to be much more consistent and I think we all go through that social media fatigue at some stage. It is still a great medium to express yourself and connect with people but I’m taking Marie Kondo’s ‘KonMari’ approach – only if it sparks joy!

DEAR DIARY // etsy made local

 

 

Being a designer I’m always on the lookout for inspiring new artists and makers. On the weekend I went to Sydney Made at Centennial Park, which is the market held by Etsy Made Local. Crafters and artisans are able to sell their wares straight to the community as well as meet customers in person from their Etsy online store.

It was lovely to wander the beautiful grounds and see the variety of products available while meeting the creative talent. It feels good to support small businesses and also discover a unique find that is not mass produced.

My personal highlight was visiting my friend Catherine’s stall of stunning homewares for her brand Splendid Wren Ceramics. The display was amazing and her handmade clay creations were very popular with the locals. Her style is natural, textured and earthy and she deserves every success doing the work she truly loves. A new bud vase (like the ones you can see above) has found a spot in my home and it brings a smile to my face as bright as the yellow flowers that came with it.

HOUSE CALL // moving on

After much deliberation I decided to leave my beloved Art Deco apartment. It served me well for many years and always felt welcoming after a busy day. With no major reasons for moving, it was more of a feeling that I needed to move on and was ready for a change. I am sentimental about leaving but also excited about this new chapter.

Going from apartment living to a house may have new challenges but we’ll soon see how it goes. I have plans to renovate/redecorate but it may take a while. As soon as I’m unpacked (by the way I’m in no rush), I will share my new space. First I need to recover from moving twice! Not ideal but it’s the way things panned out. Here are some things I learnt about moving.

Lesson 1 – Don’t decide to move around Christmas (I was so busy with end of year work/shopping/festivities that I didn’t have time to plan packing).

Lesson 2 – Don’t actually move in January (I had to cut my holidays short to rush home and frantically pack).

Lesson 3 – Don’t move in Summer (It was sweltering hot every single day I had to pack and/or move stuff).

These were extra hurdles all due to my bad timing. Apart from this it’s the usual advice of packing as early as you can, labelling boxes with detailed descriptions and most of all culling so you’re not lugging unwanted items with you to the next place. None of which I did – but I’ve survived!

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