Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Elie's Winter Wonderland Toddler Bedroom Reveal

I'm so excited to finally show you Elie’s toddler bedroom today. I designed and styled this whimsical winter wonderland space for Elie and it's finally done!

But before I can show you around, have you heard of The Poster Club? If you haven't, then I suggest you jump on to the Copenhagen based online store and have a look at their curated selection of Scandinavian-inspired posters and art prints both open and limited editions, handpicked from upcoming and established local and international artists.

When The Poster Club got in touch with me a month ago, I was delighted! I had been looking for a couple of soft prints for my daughter's toddler bedroom for a pretty winter wonderland theme. I wanted her room to be cosy, a little whimsical with soft layered colours of blush, white, cream, caramel and gold, warm twinkling fairy lights, velvety layers of textures and some playful artwork.

However, since I love moving art around my home and nothing ever stays on the same wall for longer than a few months, the prints had to be versatile enough to be used in any room. The collection of prints that The Poster Club has is amazing and the hardest part was choosing just a couple! In the end I opted for the popular Leaf Me print by Silke Bonde and the exquisite Exposed Poppy print by Ida Lærke.

The prints are absolutely perfect for Elie's bedroom. I just love how well the colours work with each other in this room. The exposed poppy print has the most delicate colours ranging from maroon to translucent pink hues that complement the soft rose blush coloured feature wall and the leaf me print with the soft grey abstract lines, mimic those of the wallpaper and the cot turned toddler bed. 

Elie absolutely adores her 'big girl' room and it warms my heart to see her play in there all the time! So without much further ado, here are some photos from Elie's toddler bedoom. 
Hope you enjoyed the photos from Elie's updated toddler bedroom. I had such an amazing time designing and styling it. If you'd like me to create a dream space for your little one too, please feel free to contact me via email here.

Till next time... check out The Poster Club!

xox
Rani
DESIGNED, INSTALLED & STYLED BY ME
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SUMAIYA QURESHI

A big thank you to The Poster Club for the beautiful prints. As always, all design choices, words, thoughts and opinions are all mine and genuine and I only ever work with brands that I love and I think you will too. 

And a big thank you to my dearest friend and talented photographer Sumaiya Qureshi for taking photographs of Elie's room and enduring Elie's tea making skills!

And a huge thank you to all of you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Alan Walsh - Art Deco meets Pop-Art!

Glamourous....fashionable.....playful...are all words that come to mind when you look at the beautiful prints by Alan Walsh, a Yorkshire artist now living in Sydney.

Growing up on the sidelines of Formula One, Alan's creativity is inspired by the glitterati at the racing circuits. His work is almost a tribute to the luxury brands and the beautiful women who wear them so well. Alan's illustrations are bold, colourful, glamourous and has a warholesque quality about them. You cannot help but be taken in by his prints whether it be for women, men or children.

Over the last few years he's worked with a number of prestigious brands such Mercedes Benz, London Fashion Week, Tag Heuer Watches, Tour De France, Grey Goose Vodka, Coca Cola, Neverfail Spring Water and The Royal Flying Doctors. Impressed yet? Well there's more!

I had the opportunity to interview Alan about how he got into design, his inspirations and his work and I was truly blown away by his talent, honesty and passion for creating art. 
[Alan Walsh in his studio]

Can you share with us your creative journey to where you are now?

From an early age I knew I’d work as a creative, it was all I wanted to do. After leaving school my career started as an Illustrator and Visualiser for various design agencies in England, U.S. and Australia. In my spare time I was working on some of my personal art and in 2010 I decided to challenge myself and showcase my first exhibition. The result exceeded anything than I could have ever imagined. This gave me the confidence to make the decision to leave the design world behind and focus solely on my art. Since then I haven't looked back with solo shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Paris, London and also owning my own gallery in Sydney.
What has been the inspiration behind your bespoke designs?

Most of my inspiration stems from my childhood. My father worked in motorsport, designing race cars, so my eyes were opened to an extraordinary world from a very young age. I’d be popped in the back of a car or a motorhome with a colouring book and pens to keep me quiet while we travelled to and from circuits.

The racing was interesting but the thing that truly mesmerised me was off the track, the sheer glitz and glamour that arrives when the Formula One roadshow comes to town. It wasn't only the places we travelled to, I was also captivated by the luxury brands that would sponsor the sport - the huge designer watches the drivers would wear, the way certain woman around the circuit would dress, I loved this, and in the end I’d be drawing the subjects around me more than the racing cars. If you look at my collections these things still feature in my work today.

Print on the right: Paddington


How would you define your style and how has it evolved over the years?

My work is very clean. I like simple bold blocks of colour, clean line illustrations- Art Deco influenced illustrations mixed with the colourful world of Pop Art. In the last year or so I've experimented with just using the sketch elements of my designs on their own as black and white images and they've been pretty popular with people wanting to add a subtle touch of elegance to their wall rather than a large colourful piece.
[Bubbles During The Day]

Do you have a favourite collection or design?

“Glamorous at Night” would have to be my favourite. It was the piece that was wrapped around the Scavi & Ray Champagne bottle for London Fashion Week in 2015.
[Glamorous at Night]

What is a typical workday like for you?

At the moment I'm in a pretty settled routine. I get up at 5:45 am, meditate and then I'm in the studio by 6:30 am. I'm at my most creative in the morning. Currently I'm splitting my time between a new collection for myself and illustrating an advertising campaign for Coca Cola and the Royal Flying Doctors charity.
[Alan at work in his studio]

Can you describe the design process?

I work across different medias when producing my work. First starting with hand drawn sketches, sometimes I'll enlarge or add text using a Mac and then the final step is an old fashioned method of screen-printing which was made famous by one of my art idols Andy Warhol. I produce limited edition pieces with each one individually signed and numbered. Once I'm happy with the print, they are then stuck down to an archival foam board. All my work is hand framed in Sydney.
[Bondi]

What are you working on at the moment?

A new Gentlemen’s Collection. Think sharp tailored suit's and hand made Italian shoes, classic European cars layered over bold blocks of bright colours. Art that men can connect with but also their wife or partner might buy them as a gift.
What according to you is the next big thing in interior design?

For me I hope it's Gentlemen’s artwork. I created the collection not only because the subject interests me but I’ve also noticed a gap in the market for men buying art.

A lot of the time men leave the home décor and decorating to women, but if you’re single guy and want a picture for your wall in a bachelor pad its quite easy to find beautiful illustrations or prints of woman, but not so much men or men’s interests.

The other selling point is a lot of women have asked me to do custom pieces for their husbands. What do you buy the man that has everything? A custom piece of art of their car, watch etc, so I’m hoping this is an area that can really grow over the next few months.

On the left: Cover of Beyond Magazine, UK




What advice can you give those seeking a career in art?

Don't let anyone (especially school teachers) tell you that you can't have a career in art. If you want something enough then with hard work and determination you can make it happen. It's not the easiest career path to carve out and there has been times when I’ve not known where my next meal is coming from but if you stay positive and believe in yourself - it feels bloody good when you come out the other side and people are buying your work.What 3 words describe your brand?

Elegant... Bold... Clean
[Boulangerie]

Can you share 3 things people don’t know about you?

My Yorkshire pudding making skills are second to none...
When I'm drawing, I listen to classical music and burn lavender oil as it helps relax and work at a calm pace...
I only wear a certain brand of English socks, I love the patterns and it makes it very easy for my Mum at Christmas.
[Monaco Classic]

Which is your favourite room in your home and why?

We're currently in the process of moving and looking for a new home, which is easier said than done in the current market. I have just had lots of art framed ready to decorate my new lounge room when we have one. With a mix of vintage fashion illustrations & Slim Aarons photography, our home will have a very vintage European vibe.


Where do you see 'Alan Walsh' (the brand) in five years time? 

A few years ago I wrote down on a piece of paper 2 brands that I wanted to work with. One was Coca-Cola (which I'm fortunate to have ticked and continue to have a great working relationship across a number of their brands), the other one was Paul Smith an English Fashion Designer. I'd like to think within the next 5 years I can work with him.

Certainly the next 12 months though will see me publishing my first book and a series of 3 Sketch books, one for Men, one for Women and one for Children.

Print on the right: Clara sketch series







What's your favourite inspirational quote?

Every child is an Artist...The problem is how we remain an Artist once we grow up ~ Picasso

It has a personal meaning and it makes me smile.

At a personal cross roads several years ago and in a particular down moment I said to myself…"What made me really happy when I was a little boy without a care in the world?" The answer was drawing pictures.

It was then I made the decision to do my first exhibition. Even today I still lose myself for hours and get the happiness from art as I did when I was so young.

On the left: London Fashion Week AW 2015 champagne bottle for Scavi & Ray.







It is not surprising that Alan's work is fast becoming iconic, earning him front covers of art house magazines and having his work used for the coveted London Fashion Week merchandise! Be it the children's collection or the black and white minimalist sketches, the new gentlemen's collection or the iconic prints of the impeccably chic ladies at the races, these cool, playful and bold prints are sure to add a touch of glamour to your walls. Alan Walsh is a hot, emerging artist and if there was ever an artist whose work you should start collecting right away....this is it!

I'm definitely hoping to acquire one of his pieces and also looking forward to getting my hands on Alan's sketch books due to be published in the next year or so.

Till next time... follow Alan Walsh on Instagram or visit the website to buy his pieces!

A big thank you to Alan Walsh for taking time out of his busy schedule for the interview and to Jessie Staszkiewicz from Piccolo PR for organising it.

Monday, 22 May 2017

A Step By Step Guide For A Complete Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is the heart of any home! It's the entertaining hub, the congregation centre, a place of solitude to sit and relax with a cup of tea and magazine or a place for the kids to work on their school homework. It is a place where the entire family gathers everyday for meals and where many amazing memories are made!

If your kitchen is old, outdated or just falling apart, chances are that it needs a complete overhaul. Remodelling of the complete kitchen requires making lots of important and imperative decisions. You have to decide on the budget, which kind of kitchen you want, what appliances should be bought, layout of the kitchen, cabinetry, surfaces, lighting, etc. It can all get a little overwhelming! So today, we have guest contributor Daisy, sharing a step by step guide to a complete kitchen remodel. 

Step 1: Information required for the remodelling
Remodelling of the kitchen requires some generic information:

~ The current size of the kitchen area
~ Current layout
~ Direction of the kitchen to maximise daylight and ventilation
~ Lifestyle requirements and how many members you have in your family
~ The budget allocated towards the build
~ Current condition of the kitchen

Once you have answers for these questions then you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Research, plan and gather inspiration
Research and planning are the first steps of completing any task. Plan your dream kitchen and gather inspiration from various sources. Think about what you are looking for, your lifestyle requirements, colours that you would like to see in your kitchen, the budget allocated towards the build, the amount of storage that you would like, maybe also a butler's pantry or a pull out cupboard and surfaces and splashbacks that you want.

Step 3: Hire a remodelling company
No doubt right now the market is full of DIY remodelling kits however having an expert eases the roadblocks. Hiring experts - a renovation or remodelling company to carry out the renovation of your kitchen is the smart way to go, especially if you need to change the entire layout of the kitchen which would mean changes to the plumbing and gas lines and electrical outlets. While choosing a company, it is essential to look for their certifications, licenses and their portfolio of previous work. 

Step 4: Designs for the kitchen
If you wish to design the kitchen by yourself then you can look online for ideas and inspiration otherwise your remodelling company can help you with the designs matching your lifestyle and budget and various aspects of the remodelling. Ask them for a design consult and sit down with the designer to measure and create your dream kitchen. Spatial planning, colour and material selection are three main factors which you must discuss with the experts.

Step 5: Decide the layout
You know the area, budget, design and condition of the kitchen hence you can decide on the layout that suits your lifestyle. If your dream kitchen can be planned in the current layout and area then it's great, if not then ask the remodelling company about the options and costs to change the layout of the complete kitchen to make it more efficient and seamless. This is the time to add in that butler's pantry that you have always wanted! Choose a design that will stand the test of time at least for the next ten years or will add to the value of your property if you were to sell your home.

Step 6: Choose appliances and execute the build
Decide on the appliances and finishes you want in your kitchen. If you have small children think about getting ovens with a safety glass and child lock. If you are a budding chef, you may want professional appliances or if you hardly cook at home, your needs will be different. Also think about the tapware, kitchen sinks and deep drawers for easy storage. You many want a stone or marble bench top or a concrete or timber counter depending on your style of kitchen. Discuss and choose appropriate lighting for your kitchen and think about the placement of the light pendants. Once you have decided on all the little details and have discussed the same with the design experts, your kitchen renovation is ready for execution. 

There are many kitchen-remodeling professionals available in the market, and you can ask for specific services and check their pricing policies and quotes before you make the final call. 

If you have any questions regarding kitchen renovations, let us know in the comments below and we'll try and answer them with the help of experts.

Till next time... good luck with your kitchen reno!

About the Author
Daisy Andrew is a knowledgeable and qualified blogger. who loves writing about Home Improvement, Pet, Food, Automotive, Business, Health and Lifestyle.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

10 Things To Consider When Building or Designing Your Home!

Few things are as monumental as renovating your current house or building your future forever home.

The excitement of opportunity and the burden of decisions can be stressful, but the end product is well worth the sleepless nights and endless consultations. Lighten your load by checking out the following tips and design options that we've put together along with guest contributor Claire.

Style and design
Chances are you are not a developer by trade, and your DIY projects have been relatively small scale compared to this task. Thankfully, your home design can be created by the professionals based off your style and ideas. The very first step to undertaking a development or a large scale renovation is to familiarise yourself with designs you like and start meeting with the people that can make your dream home a reality.

Drench with light
You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. Light makes a room larger and lighter, and a more inviting space to be in. If you’re renovating choose floor to ceiling windows or sliding doors in communal areas. It will be a godsend flinging them open in summer, and will give you a pleasant view through the glass come winter.

Safe colours
Don’t be alarmed if you are having nightmares about colour swatches, because deciding on a colour scheme is a huge deal. Most homeowners never change the colour schemes of their indoor and outdoor home, so chose a combination that will transcend fads and phases. Remember, less is more and you can always add colour only to a feature wall or via accessories and art.

Garden goals
Whether you have a green thumb or not, everyone appreciates a beautiful garden. Whether it’s a manicured lawn with a minimal yet tasteful range of flowers and shrubs, or a wild garden that climbs the wall and fences just waiting to for a summer soiree. Garden landscaping is often the last thought when building a home, but it makes a huge impression on the overall home design.

Fence and hedge your bets
Your homefront is the first impression of your abode. An understated fence that looks great but doesn’t take away from the home is the way to go. Whether it’s a security measure, to keep dogs in or just to tie in with the home; choose materials that will serve you best. Dark stone walls are popular, and wrought iron fences with a hedge are always in style.

Open plan kitchen
They say the essence of one's home is the kitchen. Maybe you don’t agree, but we can all agree that the essence of life is great food! When building or renovating, make sure you choose an open plan kitchen, blending into the lounge and opening onto the deck. Floating benchtops and bar stools will make this a fantastic place to congregate for coffee in the mornings, and a vino in the evenings. Also consider natural light and ventilation in your open plan kitchen.

Bathroom beauty
Not where we spend most of our time, but an extremely important room to consider in your development. Bathrooms with an entire mirror wall, his and hers sinks and separate bath and shower should be high on the list. Think hotel luxury bathrooms! Who says you can’t have that in your home? Bench space and plenty of storage is also important for skin care, storing makeup and decorating with a leafy green plant or two.

Comfy lounge
Nothing is more inviting than a comfy lounge. Luxurious rugs, low-height seating and minimal furnishings are the way to go. Think about wall mounting the TV into a built-in unit, adding doors or a sliding wall so that the lounge can be a reading room or entertaining space without the TV in view. A fireplace and sky-light are some extra luxe touches which will add to the room's ambience.

Harmony is everything
The last thing you want is for your house to look like it is having an identity crisis.

When you decide on the tone and feel of your home, sticking with it and using furniture that complements that style will keep the integrity of the theme. If you fall in love with a vintage restored spotty couch and have a neutral minimalist lounge, maybe rethink. Come to terms with the style of your interior and create harmony in your home.

Retouch and replace
Life is too short for useless stuff that is broken or no longer reflects who you are.

Renovating or building your new home is a new beginning, so start assessing the ‘stuff’ that seems to follow you every move and ask yourself if you really need it. If things are worth keeping that is fine, but give them a touch up if they are in need of tuning. Love that record player but still need that new part? Get it. Love that bookshelf but haven’t got around to the chipped paint? Paint it. And declutter!

It’s dizzying thinking of the road ahead, but what an adventure! Don’t be a hero and think that YouTube tutorials can lead you to build or renovate your home; get the professionals in to ensure a quality and stylish end result. In all the chaos, remember to stop and smell the roses, or paint as it were, and get ready for the next exciting chapter.

Till next time... remember to measure twice and cut once!
About the Author
Voted Most Likely to Nap, Claire's interests lie with pottery and literature with her ultimate passion being low budget True Crime shows. With a background in fashion and advertising, Claire hopes to one day reach her limit in black tee shirts and jeans.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Pantone Releases Colour Trend Predictions for 2018

While we're still figuring out how to use 'greenery', Pantone's Colour of the year for 2017, the international authority on colour have already released their colour forecast for 2018! So if you are thinking to yourself time's flying! ....you are absolutely right!

At the International Home & Housewares Show held earlier this year in Chicago, Pantone Colour Institute's Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman shared the colour and design trends for 2018.

Each Pantone colour has been given a philosophy behind the palette illustrating each shade.

The colour palette forecasted for 2018 has something for everyone - lifestyle colours, seasonal inspirations, colour harmonies for textiles and products, cosmetics and of course for interior and industrial design.




Among the colour and design trends Leatrice Eiseman shared are eight distinctively designed palettes. They are:

Resourceful
This palette is made up of complementary blue and orange colors. “This is quite an interesting color combination,” said Eiseman. “It combines warm and cool tones that you just can’t avoid looking at it.”

Verdure
Vegetal colors like Celery are combined with berry-infused purples and eggshell blue, symbolic of health, in this palette.

Playful
Think "Minions." Bright yellow, lime popsicle, and all other things fun come together for this color scheme. "People need to stop and smile," said Eiseman.

Discretion
Playful's alter ego. Subtle hues such as Elderberry and Hawthorne Rose offer a new sense of strength. "Pink has developed more power than ever before," said Eiseman.

Far-fetched
With warm, earthy hues such as Cornsilk Yellow blending with rosy tones, this palette "reaches out and embraces many different cultures," said Eiseman.

Intricacy
A palette of neutral metallics (aka, the "new neutrals") with accents of dramatic Holly Berry Red and yellow Sulfur.

Intensity
This is an eclectic mix of colors that evokes a sense of strength, power and sophistication, all balanced with black and gold.

TECH-nique
Bright turquoise, pink and purple colors anchored with Brilliant White and Frosted Almond nod to technology. This palette is all about hues "that seem to shine from within," said Eiseman.

Top row: Vedure, Playful, Discretion, TECH-nique | Bottom row: Far-Fetched, Resourceful, Intricacy, Intensity

So which one's our favourite?
It's so hard to pick just one colour group but subtle hues like Elderberry and Hawthorne Rose from Discretion and neutral metallics with accents of Holly Berry Red and yellow Sulfur from Intricacy would have to be the standouts! Also joining the list are the bright turquoises, pinks and purples complemented with Brilliant Whites and Frosted Almonds from TECH-nique, an extraordinary collection of beautiful hues!

In 2017, the colours forecasted for the year were Day Dreaming, At Ease, Native Instincts, Florabundant, Acquired Taste, Reminiscence, Raw Materials, Forest Bathing and Graphic Imprints. If you want to refresh your memory on each colour philosophy and story, you can view it here- Pantone's Colour Forecast for 2017.
So which is your favourite shade from Pantone's Colour Trend Predictions for 2018? Share with us in the comments below. Needless to say we'll update you as soon as Pantone releases the much awaited 2018 Colour of The Year.

Till next time... whether you like it or not... 'greenery' is here to stay for another 7 months!

xox
Rani

Friday, 12 May 2017

PINTOH - A Celebration Of Laos!

If the Japanese have Bento and then the Laotians have Pintoh! Tiffin Carriers or lunch boxes or Pintoh as they called in Laos are stacked containers of food used primarily by the locals to transport cheap workday or midday meals.

Pintoh is also the name of a contemporary restaurant in the heart of Melbourne central business district serving up delicious dishes from Laos and Isan.

A finalist in this year’s Dulux Colour Awards, Pintoh boasts a contemporary interior space that celebrates style and colour. Ethnic tiffin carriers turned into show stopping light pendants and fixtures, bold use of colour and heaps of layered texture is at the very centre of the restaurant's design! The comfortable seating is a mix of formal banquette seats, individual tables with rustic provincial stools and separate longer tables with farmhouse style chairs. The unique interiors of Pintoh have been planned and designed by bespoke interior design agency Studio Y.

I had the opportunity to chat with Yaron Kanor from Studio Y on Pintoh's design concept. Here is what he had to say about the overall direction for Pintoh's creative inspiration and interior design.
Can you describe the project - PINTOH?

Pintoh, named after the Laos version of a tiffin or lunch box, is a glimpse into, and a celebration of, the food culture of Laos and Isan.What was the client brief?

Melbourne's CBD already had plenty of south­east Asian eateries but it didn’t have much in the way of Laos cuisine, which is distinct from other Asian cuisines.

Our clients wanted to establish an authentic Laos restaurant that celebrated the spicy, colourful food of Laos.What was the overall vision for the cafe design?

We quickly identified the pintoh itself as central to our design inspiration. As well as paying tribute to this humble item we wanted to incorporate natural, organic materials in a colour-drenched setting.What was your main inspiration for the design and how did you go about establishing a concept and an overall direction for PINTOH? 

The colour palette drew its inspiration from the food itself. The hues used throughout the interior are representative of the muted versions of the spice palate used in traditional Laotian food.

But the pintoh was the central item in this concept and there are elements of it throughout the interior. We really let our imaginations run wild and everything from the custom lighting, to the colour palette to the steel frames around the seating banquettes embraces this simple item and puts the spotlight on it.What design related challenges did you face?

As the site is very long and narrow it was necessary to break it up with a variation of seating. So we implemented banquette seating with steel frames that mimic the shape of the pintoh as well as wooden stools and farmhouse-style chairs that connect to the colour palette on the timber-cladded walls.If you had to describe the aesthetics and design of PINTOH in 3 words, what would they be?

Colourful, contemporary and relaxed.What is your favourite part of the design?

The lights that were custom-designed by Ambience Lighting using re-purposed pintohs are the beating heart of this project and concept.Where do you see Studio Y in five years?

Everywhere.A quick look at the before and after of the restaurant space really shows how good interior planning and design can transform a simple shell into an unforgettable interior!
Not much has been said or done about Laotian cuisine before this and it is the one Asian cuisine that was missing from Melbourne. The food is authentic yet contemporary with heaps of spicy flavour to tempt and tantalise your taste buds.

Pintoh is a true celebration of design, style, food and culture that fills the gap and transports you to the bustling streets of colourful Laos from the moment you step through the doors. 

Pintoh: 165 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 03 9650 8452, pintoh.com.au

Till next time... pop on over to Pintoh and check it out for the full Laotian experience!

ALL IMAGES PROVIDED BY STUDIO Y

About Studio Y
Studio Y is an agency dedicated to interior design and commercial aesthetics that defy gravity. Melding the big business idea with unique traits of each project, Studio Y gives birth to unique spatial experiences that work.

Each Studio Y project is a powerful extension of vision and purpose, the union of spirit and aspiration. With a track record that lends itself to projects as diverse as hospitality venues, accommodations and large-scale events, they’ve taken many clients to audacious new heights and new frontiers that excite. 
#yspacesfeelgood