Friday, 21 April 2017

Ruby Woman Home by Anna Giannis - Style Lives Everywhere!

Ruby Woman Home is a luxury homewares brand, proudly made in Australia and offered in boutiques all over the world. Their luxury collections consist of beautifully crafted indoor cushions, throws, table linens and an Alfresco series. RW Home products are easily recognisable with their sophisticated style, luxurious textures and opulent colours that are designed for the discerning individual with a global lifestyle.

Ruby Woman Home is the brainchild of creative director Anna Giannis. Anna is a homewares designer, an interior stylist and a self taught fashion designer. With creativity ingrained in her DNA, her brand RW Home is a culmination of over fifteen years of inspiring business and travel experiences.

With an astute sense of business and boundless creativity and passion, Anna's business has taken her to exciting places. She spent many years working in New York, Dubai, Europe and in Asia and it is no surprise that she speaks business proficient Mandarin!

RW Home's philosophy Style Lives Everywhere is echoed in every one of it's collections. Every piece is bold and expressive and captures your attention and imagination. Dazzling sequins, plush velvets, chunky and luxurious hand tied tassels, vibrant colours, lavish textures, these gorgeous homewares are the perfect pieces to enhance décor and amplify the style of any interior space!

When I first came across RW Home in the lead up to the Australian Gift and Homewares Show in Sydney, I just knew that I wanted to know more about the enigmatic and creative woman behind Ruby Woman Home - Anna Giannis!
Can you share with us your creative journey to where you are now?

Designing is in my DNA as both of my parents are creative, my father a skilled furniture maker and my mother a seamstress. I have loved fabrics and interiors ever since I can remember. I worked as a designer for many years and fell into my bedding and decorative cushion collections upon an unexpected trip to China. Since then I have been fortunate to live and work in NYC, Shanghai, Dubai and Europe. However, being in Australia grounds me and it is where home is now.What has been the inspiration behind Ruby Woman Home and your bespoke designs?

I have wanted to bring together all the elements of what I have loved doing all of these years. Designing, product development and interior styling. I have been an avid traveller since I was twenty five and my ranges are often influenced by places I have visited. The ranges that I have put together are all about vibrancy and colour which is what I see everywhere.
How would you define your style and how has it evolved over the years?

Yes, I know it has evolved over time. I look back at some of my earlier work and think to myself…was this really Me? I am very critical of my work. I would say my style is eclectic, sometimes contemporary and sometimes quirky and sometimes traditional. Somehow it all works!Do you have a favourite collection or design?

My favourite in the current Autumn and Winter collection, the Bleeker series, which is a little masculine, sharp and elegant and can be paired back with a floral, a plain and a velvet. These favourites though do change frequently.What is a typical workday like for you?

Typically my workday starts at 7:00 am checking Instagram in bed! Then in the office checking for orders, going to the work room and checking on production. Going to see stockists since sales is a crucial part of every business. By 6:00 pm my fiancée and I will have dinner together over a glass of wine. By 8:00 pm I am online checking Instagram and Facebook. I really love looking at what fashion designers around the world are doing. It also feeds my creative juices.Can you describe the design process?

Inspiration and dreaming is where it all begins. Collating, drawing and assembling of ideas. Asking for strike offs, cuttings and creating a mood board to see if what is in my head also works on paper. And ofcourse constantly tweaking everything!What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I am creating an Ottoman furniture range. We haven’t done anything like this before so the prototypes take a lot of time. It is critically important that when we go into production everything is a 100%. But I am enjoying creating this new range.

What according to you is the next big thing in interior design?

Gold is on its way back, which personally I love. We've have had a lot of black and brass and copper but Gold is back!What advice can you give those seeking a career in interior styling?

Follow your own style! Try not to copy trends but create your own. Experiment with different colours and different textures. Ask advise from a designer if you have one close to you for a second opinion.What 3 words describe your brand?

Eclectic, Luxurious, Glamorous!
Can you share 3 things people don’t know about you?

I am a passionate Greek, I lived for years in NYC, I am Entrepreneurial!Which is your favourite room in your home and why?

The Lounge room at the back of the house where it is flooded with light. It is a big space so I can play with furniture and move things around. In the early days, my fiancée was in disbelief as to how I could do all this by myself. Now he is used to it and asks me how come lately I haven’t made any changes…because I am too busy and too tired...I tell him!Where do you see Ruby Woman in five years time?

In five years, I hope to be a well known brand amongst all the better homeware stores in Australia and the go to company for all property stylists and designers for homeware products.
What's your favourite inspirational quote?

"I would rather die of passion, than of boredom" — Vincent Van Gogh
[Anna with her creative team at RW Home]

The varied assortment of fabrics used to create these exquisite homeware products that span from the softest genuine Mongolian lamb fur to sensuous velvet and tactile leather to earthy linen pieces is fascinating.

RW Home products range from quirky, bold and eclectic to glamorous, contemporary and sophisticated, to create individual and bespoke interior spaces. Anna's passion and creativity is reflected in every one of RW Home's beautiful pieces, taking interior styling and design to new creative heights.

Ruby Woman Home is bespoke and versatile, it is indulgent and expressive, it is glamorous and exciting... and it is a gentle reminder that no matter what... style lives everywhere!

Till next time... shop Ruby Woman Home here!


Thursday, 20 April 2017

House Envy: Ylva Skarp's Schoolhouse Turned Stylish Home!

The home of Swedish designer and calligrapher Ylva Skarp has always been one of my absolute favourites! 

The perfect blend of Scandinavian, modern and industrial designs, makes every corner of this schoolhouse turned gorgeous home unforgettable and enviable!

Though Scandinavian design can be considered sterile by some, with all white walls and lack of warmth, there’s nothing stark or boring about Ylva’s home. The schoolhouse turned family home is based in the outskirts of Leksand, Sweden and boasts high ceilings, beautiful floorboards, huge windows, an abundance of natural light and interesting architectural elements throughout.
Ylva’s home is an eclectic mix of recycled items and modern fixtures with bags of personality exuding from every nook and cranny! Every room has been styled with personal touches, transitioning seamlessly and creating an interesting and cohesive design. The house has a well-loved and lived-in feel with white and grey walls, wooden elements to inject a good deal of warmth and interest and pops of greenery. The black accessories contrast beautifully with the calm white walls and the interesting rugs and furs scattered around add layered texture and touches of luxury.
The living room is airy and bright with tons of natural light and offers beautiful views of the outdoors. The unusual industrial light fixtures and the trio of recycled wooden pallet coffee tables create an atmosphere that is rustic, interesting and inviting. How gorgeous is that rug with Ylva's calligraphy on it?
The kitchen being the heart of the home has been designed to exude a beautiful rustic feel. With white cabinets, black counter tops, an oversized chalkboard and vintage accessories, the kitchen has an eclectic look and feel about it. I can easily picture see myself in this beautiful kitchen, happily staring out the window with a steaming cup of coffee in my hand! Can you?
The dining room has dark grey walls with a wooden ceiling mirroring the floorboards and white beams softened with the use of furs. The large windows bring in tons of natural light making the dark walls feel less oppressive and more cozy. The rustic farmhouse table, informal bench seating and paper light pendants add to the interesting décor.
The bedrooms upstairs has been designed with a similar palette of white, grey and black, creating a tranquil space. The large french doors on top of the stairs leading to the master bedroom add that extra dimension to the whole design.
Ylva’s love for calligraphy and her designs are evident in every room - from walls, to rugs, cushions and prints. 
There are interesting vignettes and elements all around the home creating unique spaces that hold your interest and urge you to explore further.
Oh! How I wish I could transport myself to this beautiful nook...monochrome magic!
Hope you liked this House Envy tour of Ylva's family home. If you'd like to view the other gorgeous homes featured in the series, click here.

So do you have house envy? I do!

Till next time... check out more of Ylva Skarp's beautiful work here!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Easter DIY - Bunny Ears for Your Little Bunny!

Easter is nearly here and so here's a little DIY that I put together for my little girl. She loves to play dress-up and loves her hair bands. So along with dressing up her nursery for Easter, I decided to make a little something for her. For this quick DIY, all you will need are:
- A hairband
- Grey felt (or any other colour felt)
- White felt (or any other colour felt)
- Glue gun
- ScissorsCut the felt into ears like above using my template here. Using the glue gun stick the white felt onto the grey felt to make two bunny ears.
Twist and stick each ear onto the hairband with the glue gun. Scrunch them up a little to make them look a tad more realistic.
Put the hair band on your little ones and delight in their joyful squeals! Have a Happy Easter with your Easter Bunny!

Till next time... don't eat too many chocolate eggs!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Benefits of Installing Double Glazed Windows to Your Property

Windows let in light and fresh air and are aesthetically appealing. They can also severely impact the heating and cooling needs and costs making them more than just a design consideration in any home.

Up to 40% of a home’s heating energy can be lost and up to 87% of its heat gained through windows thereby making it important to invest in energy efficient windows that make your home more comfortable while reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy efficient windows also helps to create a brighter, cleaner and more sustainable environment. Today we have Nathan Bishop from Go Green Glazing sharing his insights into the benefits of installing double glazed windows in your home or your investment properties.

Home owners and landlords need to be pragmatic when contemplating their home or investment property’s value. To increase it, energy savings is one option for those who are forward-thinking. Installing double glazing in investment properties, a high energy efficient window, will increase weekly rent while offering high quality to the tenants and for home owners, it will significantly lower your energy costs.

Double glazing uses two panes of glass rather than one. Trapped in between the two panes is either an inert xenon, argon or krypton gas that increases its energy effectiveness. In turn, installing double glazing to your house significantly reduces energy bills by as much as half because of the reduction in drafts and leaks while increasing the house’s insulation.

Low-E glass used will also add to heat retention, and coupled with warm space bars along the window’s edge, the efficiency will increase. Choosing the right space bars, made out of either a metal or polymer strip to separate the two panes, will seal the double glazed unit. A drying agent, which helps to rid any condensation trapped inside is used in conjunction, and will result yield notable results. To lock the windows, the more common compression shoot bolt is recommended, but other options are available and are equally effective.

As heating and cooling bills will significantly reduce with the use of double glazing, these windows are considered eco-friendly. Using less fuel equates to a lower carbon footprint, making this a win-win for the home owner.

It can also minimize condensation which leads to mould. When cold air from outside meets the warm interior air, common with single pane glass windows, mould begins to form. This translates to health problems as well as cleaning costs and soaring energy bills. Choosing to install double glazing breaks down those issues and saves you long term money. And as well as minimising heat loss, double glazing also cuts down on external noise.

Sound insulation increases significantly by choosing double glazing over single panes. Because there’s a gap between the panes, human voice, traffic outside or the noisy neighbours are actively blocked out. If you require further noise pollution reduction, then opting for a larger gap between the panes of glass is the alternative. However, note that the larger a gap between panes can also result in less heat retention.

Security is also increased with the installation of double glazing. The interlocking system strengthens the beading and hinges on the interior windows. Prying the window open is prevented, and because of the added strength of double glazed windows, smashing a window is also more difficult. If double glazing is still not enough security for you, then using a toughened glass or laminated one adds to its durability.

Ultraviolet rays can damage the fabrics inside a home as well as wood, carpets and artwork – not to mention the harmful effects on human health. Double glazing can cut down on the ultraviolet rays by as much as 75 percent while still retaining heat. Today, double glazed windows are becoming the norm in newly built houses, and retrofitting existing windows of older properties increases its value while offering the best on the market.

When considering windows in the new or old home, double glazing is a cost-effective option. It’s long lifespan and durability provides home owners and landlords with increased value for years to come. An attractive option too, double glazing offers creature comforts that are difficult to find with single window paned houses.

Till next time... get double glazed windows and save some coin!

About the Author
Nathan Bishop is the owner Go Green Glazing. They are a family owned business in Geelong & Melbourne, specialising in retrofit double glazing. His team has over 100 years of combined experience in window repair, replacement & retrofitting.

Friday, 7 April 2017

IKEA Festival – Let’s Make Room For Life!

Taking place over six days – 4 - 9 April, the IKEA Festival – Let’s Make Room For Life, celebrates an immersive experience on the fundamentals of Democratic Design in the heart of Milan’s Lambrate district. The principle of Democratic Design by IKEA aims to create a better everyday life. The design objectives revolve around IKEA's solutions to create an inspired living room to celebrate the concept of 'home is where the heart is'. The festival invites visitors from all over the world to share in live workshops, installations, doodle art events, morning yoga, robotic painting, sofa talks and exciting happenings to entertain, educate and inspire.

And I'm so excited to bring to you exclusive photos showcasing amazing and smart designs from the festival that is seriously redefining the way we use and look at living rooms!
The Why...
The world is changing and lives are becoming faster. In today's day and age, technology has a greater influence on the way we live our daily lives and how we interact with each other and use our personal spaces, especially our living rooms. The role of the living room is also dramatically changing. It is becoming a space where we spend maximum amount of our time with our family and friends. This is the room where everyday life happens! 

The What...
IKEA has set out to create inspiring solutions to help use the living room to accommodate a myriad of experiences to live a well balanced and holistic life. The aim of the festival looks to showcase a new take on the multifunctional living room.

The How...
IKEA is offering solutions that are easy to understand, choose from and is affordable to create a living space where you can make room for friends, for nature, for celebrations, entertain, work and play and in broader terms Make Room For Life!
On the occasion of Salone del Mobile 2017, IKEA celebrates these values with a vibrant exhibition in the heart of Milan. Located in a 3500 m2 warehouse space in the city’s Lambrate district, the exhibition is laid out around four main areas - Make Room For Friends, Make Room For Celebration, Make Room For Play and Make Room for Nature; each one exploring a different aspect of the IKEA universe, its philosophy and vision.The exhibition provides a place to rest and refresh with exciting food including an Italian take on Swedish meatballs as well as drinks and Swedish “fika”, comfortable seating and plenty of recharging points. Visitors will get to view hundreds of news in six new collections - YPPERLIG, BJÖRKSNÄS, DELAKTIG, STOCKHOLM, ART EVENT 2017 and STUNSIG and the new sofa series VIMLE, HAVSTEN and VALLENTUNA.

The extraordinary FLOALT art installation at IKEA Festival by Felix Bodin is a play with light made possible by the new technology in IKEA Smart lighting and almost mimics natural daylight. Visitors are also able to view exciting collaborations on sofa, lighting and upholstery designs such as the one with Tom Dixon and creative room concepts by Faye Toogood for IKEA. The various tactile setups in the warehouse allows and inspires visitors to experiment, personalise, socialise and make room for life in the living room. 

The exhibition takes place from 10am to 8pm each day, with a diverse selection of events, installations, talks and new collaborations happening at different times. The festival programme is accessible at Following are some exclusive images from the Let’s Make Room For Life – IKEA Festival in Milan.
Crowds gathered at the opening of the IKEA Festival. Hanging from the ceiling, a KLIPPAN sofa, covered in patterns from the AVSIKTLIG collection, a collaboration with iconic Swedish designers 10-gruppen.

Tom Dixon being interviewed on stage at the press launch of the DELAKTIG platform.

Detail of the DELAKTIG platform, the collaboration between IKEA and Tom Dixon. Please note, the gold version of DELAKTIG was created especially for the grand premiere of DELAKTIG in Milan, it will not be available for general sale.

A visitor to the IKEA Festival making himself at home in a sofa from the new IKEA PS 2017 collection.

Teenage Engineering, the innovative Swedish tech and synth creatives playing their live-act at the grand opening of the IKEA.

Teenage Engineering, the innovative Swedish tech and synth creatives playing their live-act at the grand opening of the IKEA.

Teenage Engineering, the live-act at the opening of the IKEA Festival.

Tom Dixon brought his Multiplex to the iconic Cinema and Galleria on via Manzoni during Milan Design Week. Here, Tom Dixon is on stage talking about the collaboration with IKEA, DELAKTIG.

The BJÖRKSNÄS series on display at the IKEA Festival. Co-designer Knut Hagberg and Prototype Engineer at IKEA Mats Lindholm.

Crowds gathering around the Soft Spot, the main stage of the IKEA Festival.

FLOALT art installation at IKEA Festival by Felix Bodin.

FLOALT art installation at IKEA Festival by Felix Bodin.

The IKEA festival is harnessing the amazing and collaborative power of design and helping people realise their dream living room by making more out of a space and enabling an atmosphere where people feel happy and comfortable. I for one cannot wait to see the actual pieces at IKEA!

Till next time... Let's Make Room For Life!