DesignEx is an interiors, design and architecture trade event featuring brands in furniture, textiles, lighting, architecture, bathroom, appliances and Surfaces. It alternates between Melbourne and Sydney each year.
This year Sydney hosted DesignEx at the Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour and I spent a very satisfying day chatting with new and established folks showcasing their products at this premier event.
Here’s a rundown of some of the creative, interesting and downright gorgeous products I found.
Art Pratique is a skillful blend of the art of hand crafted wallpapers combined with the practicality of furniture used in everyday living.
It’s not a style that will appeal to those shy of making a bold statement and I loved it.
The concept began as a collaboration of an artist, a furniture maker and a designer which is clearly evident in these striking pieces.
The plan was to combine the resources and talents of each player to create an exclusive collection of very unique furniture.
Put into action, this artistic concept combines the beauty of wallpaper with the functionality of furniture, creating a unique look with endless possibilities … using both antique and modern new furniture, each piece is custom designed to reflect the individuals’ personality.
But believe me this is not a DIY cut and paste job. Each piece is meticulously hand crafted.
If you’d like to see more of Art Pratique’s work, visit the company’s website, www.artpratique.com.au
The oversized tea service above and furniture pieces are from a new company to Australia.
Cyrus Company has been established in Brianza, the heart of the Italian furniture industry since the early 70’s and now has flagship stores in Milan, Paris, New York and LA.
The company also distributes to the Middle East and Asia ... and now Australia.
Although all pieces in the company's Casa and Bambino collections are marketed in white, all are available in a variety of colours and textures. Cyrus Company Australia has its own range of more than 30 fabrics and finishes to select from.
The chair above was a very comfy piece upholstered with synthetic white fabric which felt and looked a little like bubble wrap.
Fortunately it doesn’t pop when you sit on it and is surprisingly very, very comfortable.
The company’s Bambino collection of children’s furniture and furnishings was launched in 1995. It's a delightful collection and while I loved the all white look ... some might balk at this colour choice for grubby little hands, however I was assured that all pieces are very easy to wipe clean.
For further information and to see a gallery of the company’s pieces, visit www.cyruscompany.com.au
Evostyle is an Australian manufacturer of high quality custom made furniture and designer furniture co-owned by Luke and Louise Ommundson who have brought together their expertise of architectural design and third generation timber craftsmanship.
The workmanship of their pieces on show at the fair was just immaculate.
Luke explained that the chair at top was upholstered with hides which were individually and carefully selected for continuity of colour before being stitched.
The intricate design on the hide is achieved using a heat technique which in effect brands the hide. It was one of my favourite pieces at the fair.
Wood turning is clearly a skill the company likes to show off in its designs. The stool top right featured many legs of different configuration.
The use of darks and lights in the stools above left made for high drama and again showcased the Evostyle’s expertise with joinery.
I also thought the oversized free standing lamp (above right) was a great piece. The sunny bold yellow shade was both eye catching and fun, making the piece an ideal conversation starter.
For further information visit Evostyle’s website, www.evostyle.com.au
Homeware Gallery featured the latest addition to its outdoor seating collection.
The new Rion Chair (at top) is designed by Andrea Radice and is made in Italy using die cast aluminium.
Like the company’s now popular forest chair (above left) which I’ve seen in a number of cafes in Sydney, It’s solid, rust and weather resistant and available in a wide variety of colours.
Stock will be available in around eight weeks. The chair will retail for $385.
I also loved the cactus hat rack/towel hanger? (above right) but couldn’t find it on the HG website, www.homewaregallery.com.au
I wouldn’t mind working at all if it was at the Orson Desk by Spence & Lyda.
Made in rich hardwood and seasoned cast iron, the desk includes three solid wood drawers with dovetail joinery providing ample storage for desk accessories.
Three small compartments at the back of the desk also provide an efficient and attractive cable management system.
It’s available in American black walnut finished with a Danish oil or American White oak finished with a Danish oil or a white oil, set on legs of season cast iron.
To see more of the Spence & Lyda product range, visit the company’s showroom in Surry Hills, or visit the website, www.spenceandlyda.com.au
The Float Lights at the top of this pic are by Benjamin Hubert and were featured along with the amazing new Pod chair on the Great Dane Furniture stand.
The lights are hand turned agglomerate cork lamps and are available in small, medium and large sizes.
The Pod chair was cocooning and very comfortable I must say. The shell of the chair is the largest form ever producing utilising pressed PET felt technology.
The felt provides distinctive aesthetic as well as offering sound dampening properties to increase the sensation of privacy ... a great chair do work in or do your mediation for the day.
For further information visit the Great Dane Website, www.greatdanefurniture.com
These new pendants from LightCo were attracting attention at the fair.
The company has an excellent website and a dazzling range of products for indoor and outdoor.
The website is www.lightco.com.au
Osmen was a new exhibitor at the fair and new to Australia, however well know and established overseas.
Unfortunately their Australian website isn’t quite complete yet, but certainly worth having on your favourites.
I particularly liked this outdoor setting in rattan with Sunbrella fabric covered upholstery and cushions. www.osmen.com.au
And now for something completely different and lots of fun for the young and young at heart.
Duckprint is owned by Joey Thomas who shares my feeling about the bedroom. Joey believes your bedroom is your own personal sanctuary ... the only place where you can creatively express your individuality.
She says she spends countless hours in her room doing everything, be it reading a book, eating lunch or surfing the net, not to mention six to ten hours a day sleeping.
Joey’s designs are colourful, vibrant and very affordable considering the excellent quality.
It’s well worthwhile visiting her website, www.duckprint.com.au where you can order online from designs such as Bollywood Bedlam (above left) and Bento (left).
A fresh new look at outdoor beanbags from Deck Design Store which produces a range of outdoor products including the clever Mussel Buoy hanging chair top left.
The company will also custom made bean bags with requested numbers and letters ... a good way to keep kid’s fighting over which chair belongs to who.
Visit here to learn more about this innovative New Zealand company. www.facebook.com/DeckDesignStore
A felt designer ... felter(?) of many years experience, Katelyn Aslett turned her skills to creating fashion fabrics several years ago.
After success in this area she is now is dipping her creative toe into the competitive area of soft furnishings and we love her designs.
Katelyn says her designs have been created with pure heart and passion, combining flora-infused natural silks and wool fleece that have been hand-dyed, manipulated and often distressed for an uncompromising aesthetic integrity.
Originality is the essence of Katelyn’s designs… with her style of cutting and creating in freeform, allowing for diversity.
If you go to Katelyn’s website you can see some of her glorious textile and fashion work.
Hopefully we’ll soon see her soft furnishings featured there. www.katelynaslett.com
Simon Colabufalo is an emerging designer with some innovative yet practical ideas.
Above are a few of the pieces he showed at Designex.
The Apple holder ... what a great idea to get kids to eat fruit ... is a happy and desireable piece.
Simon told me the fruit bowl (top left) was his best seller. My picture doesn’t do it justice.
It has moulded indentations to display the fuit artfully.
More can be seen on Simon’s web page which will be updated to a full site in the near future. Visit www.simoncolabufalo.com
Satara has a long history in rattan storage and furnishings but in recent years has expanded into furniture pieces of excellent quality.
With Danish design roots the new indoor collection features exceptional reproductions of traditional Danish design as well as an eclectic mix of occasional chairs, sofas and stools, dining chairs, tables, writing desks and storage unit.
The company can also provide full project fitout solutions for resorts and hotels and custom designs through to individual quality pieces for the home.
Some Satara pieces are available to buy online and the company also lists it’s stockists to make it easier to find the store closest to you. The website is www.satara.com.au
I was very impressed with a new company exhibiting for the first time at DesignEx.
HoLiLi is owned by Harald Bold who has his own factory in Indonesia where each step of production from selecting raw materials, to design and manufacture can be carefully monitored to achieve the highest quality.
Harald’s company will sell direct to interior designers, specifiers, etc so his prices are keen indeed, particularly considering the quality of his furniture.
My favourite piece and ‘must have’ was the Quadro daybed setting (above left) a very comfortable and stylish outdoor setting with option to open up a sun protecting 7 step canopy. An optional table comes with an embedded 8mm tempered glass top and can be changed into a daybed extension (as shown above) within a few seconds.
You don’t even have to carry the cushions ... it’s already stored beneath the table. All you need to add is the Sunday papers, a cup of fresh brewed coffee and a hot croissant and you have heaven on earth.
A number o f of colour figurations are available and other pieces in the collection.
For further information visit www.holili.com
Last but certainly not least is Bludot which is new to Australia but not new to the international community where it has been established for some time.
The Bludot website doesn’t show much at this stage, but I can tell you that Bludot pieces are all designed by Australian architects.
According to Brett Conroy who is Managing Director of Bludot Australia, architects often see a need for a particular style of product which is not available on the market.
Bludot aims to fill this need with practical, design savvy pieces. Love the modern coat rack!
For further information and to register with the company, visit http://www.bludot.com.au/