Roses shmoses. Chocolates? Boring! This year we want thoughtful, unique gifts for Valentines Day! We are sending out this list hoping our significant others see it and feel generous!
In order of appearance: Code Love ‘Amour’ bracelet $90, Turquoise Acapulco chair $545, Lumira Persian Rose Candle $55, Al+Em Round Pin Board $109.95, Lumiere Art & Co Quattro Cushion $145, A Salus Hand Rescue Duo set $65,Tweet
We recently chatted with the two sisters, Alice and Emma, behind this great little lifestyle brand that we’ve recently added to The Design Hunter Collection, Al+Em.
Tell us a bit about your brand…
I made the decision to kick-start the business 18 months ago, while on maternity leave with my first child. The idea had been circling in my mind for about 4 years and I knew I was at the now or never point. My sister Alice joined forces and we began designing our unique range of pin boards and wall art immediately to launch in July 2012.
We really wanted to bring empty wall space to life – why use a boring cork board hidden behind a door when you can turn your pinning space into a feature? The market was really lacking something modern, simple and attractive like this. We now have demand coming in from the US and the UK so its clearly lacking over there too!
Our love of interiors, the country and home life really shows in the designs we come up with. We are really proud of them!
Where is your product produced…
All of our products are designed by us and manufactured right here in Australia!
Where does you inspiration for your products come from…
We always keep in tune with the colour trend forecasts for the years to come and we listen to what customers are asking for.
Our childhood was spent on our family farm so many of our animals are inspired from there and we keep the range modern and simplistic so it doesnt date or become daggy.
And of course having our children always inspires us! We have a list of potential products to launch which should keep us busy for many years to come!
Emma – where are your favourite places to shop and eat in Sydney?
For fashion it would have to be MAC, Country Road, Stellino and Marshmallow and interiors I obviously love The Design Hunter, The Bronte Tram, Dinosaur Designs and I like Birds on William Street.
Food…yum food…definitely Miss Chu! The dumplings are amazing! Jackies café – the best steak sandwich!! Jimmy Liks…just good everything.
Kate & Kate is new to The Design Hunter - tell us a bit about your brand? My sister in law/best friend/business partner Kate and I were both embarking on separate projects when we came across our suppliers… it all happened by accident, but within a half hour of meeting them, we had decided that we would go into business together and that blankets would be our thing. The creation of our first range was so organic because it came from an unexpected place. We weren’t under any pressure and it was a really enjoyable experience. Once we started designing, we found that we could create blankets and throws that had multiple uses and appealed to a wide aesthetic.
Fresh and contemporary, simple and clean. This is what the Kate & Kate brand is all about.
Where is your product produced? Our blankets are designed in Australia – Kate and I work together between Sydney and Melbourne – and all our product is made in India. We’ve found an incredible manufacturer based in Delhi that has really surpassed expectations.
Kate and Kate? Does that get confusing? It’s beyond confusing! I recently added Squires to my surname just to have a point of difference! That said, it made naming our business somewhat easy – and now people just refer to us as Sydney Kate and Melbourne Kate. Simple, right?
What was your inspiration for your colour palette for your debut collection? There was so much that inspired the colour palette for the first range. We are constantly photographing inspiration and sharing images – from that, we started to combine colours and our journey started there. A few things really stood out… a beautiful shoot styled by Marsha Golemac, a floating scarf on Megan Morton’s Instagram feed… A few afternoons in the Melbourne sun with the Pantone wheel and a glass of wine really took us to where we needed to go in terms of colour.
When it comes to getting inspired from your travels – what destinations are your favourite? I adore Italy, France, Mexico, South Africa and Bali. I’ve spent a lot of time in Colorado and I’m dying to get back there – with a side order of New York and San Francisco please. I’m beyond excited about travelling to India in January to work on our next collection. Locally, I spend as much time as I can in Melbourne.
You clearly have a great eye for colour and pattern – how would you describe your personal/ Interiors? My personal and interiors style are pretty similar: Quite modern, pared back and easy. In my wardrobe, I look for high quality items that don’t take a lot of effort to wear. In my house, I crave pieces with spark, that look and feel beautiful. That don’t need to be wrapped in cotton wool – They look all the better once they’ve settled in.
Sydney Kate – what are your favoruite places to shop and eat when in your home city? For clothes, I love The Intersection in Paddington. Acne, Bassike, Camilla and Marc, Ellery, Ksubi, Sass & Bide, Willow, Zimmerman and Scanlan & Theodore – all within a block. It’s heaven. For interiors, it’s hard to beat the mix you offer at The Design Hunter. The store is beautifully put together. Small Spaces in Redfern is just lovely and I find Koskela ever inspiring. For food, it’s Chiswick in Woollahra for family-style dinners with a great vibe, Kitchen By Mike in Rosebery for lunches that you could easily eat every day and never tire of and Miss Chu (Bondi Tuckshop takeaway) for Sunday night dinners on the couch.Tweet
Eugene’s cafe is nestled in the small collection of shops and restaurants on Macpherson Street, Bronte, opposite another favourite restaurant of ours, Wet Paint. We were lured in at first by the vintage decor and welcoming vibe, but we stayed because of the great food!
Owned and operated by chef Eugene Giesinger, the menu includes a delicious array of breakfast and lunch options, including a variety of gourmet salads, and just recently they’ve opened for dinner too, which we are yet to try, but are sure will be just as good!
The interior is an eclectic mix of vintage Bentwood chairs, reclaimed marble topped tables and 50s pendant lights with lovely personal touches throughout. Outside the vintage theme is contrasted with contemporary Zaishu stools, (a personal favourite!), which add to the quirky-yet-chic look and feel.
Our top picks so far from the menu: The organic buckwheat pancakes for breakie and the kale, quinoa, carrot and corn salad for lunch…and a kiwi fruit tart or two!
Eugene’s: 69 Macpherson Street, Waverley (02) 9369 1110Tweet
This month the readers of Home Beautiful magazine are in for a treat and get an inside look into the home of our very own Lynley Bennett. Lynley’s eye for detail and effortless French industrial style is evident throughout her Woollahra home. The use of greys and natural textures and tones complement the seamless transition from indoors to outdoors, but it’s her eclectic collection of treasures from around the globe that really brings this home to life and gives it that “something special”. Lynley works her magic in our retail store every weekend, and as a Stylist in our Property Styling business.
Our ‘All I Want For Christmas…’ Wish Lists were such a great success last year that we’ve decided to do them again this year!
Simply create a list of beautiful things that you’d love to receive on Christmas morning, then let your friends and family know to visit us in store so they can select a gift for you from your list!
This year, just by filling in a Wish List, you will automatically go in the draw to win a fabulous prize – an item off your OWN Wish List!
We’ll announce the winner on the 20th December, just in time for the gift to find it’s way to your tree – a present from us to you!
To get started you can look through the online store and email us your list or stop by and we’ll help create one for you in store.
Our staff have filled out their lists with pieces they would love to find under their tree this Christmas. Here’s their number 1 picks. Let’s hope all partners and loved ones take note!
Melissa: “A set of the beautiful Senna stools from our new TIDE Design furniture range.”
Gemma: “The stunning Peacock Mirror! I don’t know where I’d hang it but I still want it!”
Lucia: “A set of Bemboka bed linen in charcoal would make my bedroom complete!”
Stephanie: “I love the colours of the paintings by Nikki Perzuck.”
Brett: “Any of the new cushions from Lumiere Art & Co.”
Sarah: “I’d love a set of Paper Series coffee cups by Hayden Youlley.”
Lynley: “One of the new Chain Bracelets by Code Love. They’re gorgeous!”
Melisha: “An entrance mat from Armadillo & Co please!”
Last night we headed up the road to our favourite local Aboriginal art gallery The Gallery Shop for an evening exhibition showcasing work by two of Mangkaja Arts rising stars – Jeani Rangi and Phyllis Waye. This special preview evening included works from both artists showcasing their range of colour and intriguing composition. We loved the use of bright pinks and sea blues making these artworks modern and fresh.
Mangkaja artists are renowned for their uninhibited style and lively use of colour, painting images of country that share stories of culture and identity. The fusion of river and desert people gives Mangkaja Arts its unique and distinctive range of styles that we love.
Our friend and Gallery Shop Owner, Nichola Dare said, “Unpacking the work for the show was a complete thrill. It feels fresh, confident and alive, a must-see for all art lovers. This show reaffirms the Gallery Shop’s commitment to bringing new artists work direct from the art centres to a broader audience”.
For more information please contact Nichola Dare, The Gallery Shop, 254 Bronte Road, Waverley NSW 2024 or 0450929183.Tweet
This week we chatted with Chantal Gianni of SWOO Sandals which are the perfect wardrobe ‘must-have’ this summer!
Tell us how SWOO was born?
Swoo was created when I was talking with my eldest daughter and we wished that there could be a sandal that was more fun! We love summer and sandals and we thought; “Let’s make jewellery for your feet! Let’s create a sandal that you can change up every day. Not only would it be fun but it would be economical!!”
I’m a little bit boho and I designed the SWOOS that I would wear and love. Rose my daughter is a little more edgy and young and she helped me design some SWOOs that really appeal to her. My gorgeous and vivacious friend Marcia also came to help me in March of this year with getting the SWOO concept out there. SWOO is about being you, having fun, hanging with your girlfriends, taking it easy and mixing it up.
What is your style philosophy?
My style philosophy is definitely about being myself. I have had a few different phases of style in my life but basically I always tend towards the casual.
I am a little bit boho and I try not to follow trends. My favourite celebrity style is Nicole Richie’s. I love her jewellery and I love her reflection of the 70′s in the way she dresses. I always say to my kids be yourself, let the way you dress reflect your personality. I like to get dressed and then add three things (usually for me that’s another bracelet, a scarf and of course a new SWOO).
Favourite things about summer?
My favourite things about summer?? Everything!! I love the blue sky. I love the beach. I love wearing sandals and maxis. I love beach hair and sun kissed skin. Summer means we are heading towards the Christmas break and everything frantic will stop for a bit and we can all reflect on the year, stop and enjoy each other and how lucky we are. Summer is about long evenings, catching up with friends at the beach for a swim and bumming around in your bikini with a book.
Describe your interior style?
My interior style is also very relaxed. I really think people should walk into your home and straight away get a feel of the family that lives there. We recently moved and Melissa and Stephanie from The Design Hunter are helping me create my colourful, casual home. Because I have two teenagers we need spaces for them to hang out on their own with their friends. Then my two younger ones need to enjoy being near me when I’m in the kitchen. Luckily we can achieve this and we have spent a lot of time making the kitchen/dining area a place where everyone wants to come and be together. I want to make my house so much about comfort and fun that my kids NEVER want to leave!!
What is your favourite destination to holiday with your family?
My favourite destination for holidays is a very simple one. At Matapouri Bay in the north of New Zealand we have a 50′s inspired beach house. It is very simple and so easy. The moment we drive through its gate we are relaxing. The bay is a beautiful horse shoe framed with pohutakawas…it is my spiritual home!! The kids wear their swimmers from dawn to dusk and only turn up to be fed. I am planted in my bean bag on the deck with a book.
My husband spends most of his day under the water getting us something yummy for dinner. It’s simple and the pace is very slow… I let the sea wash my hair for a month!
A little reminder about a fab giveaway with SWOO. Simply follow @designhunter and@swoosandals on Instagram and you’ll go in the draw to win a pair of these gorgeous sandals with interchangeable decorative straps for both you and a friend!Tweet