Melbourne Décor & Design Show: 2014 Highlights

After 5 winters spent in London and 1.5 in Montreal I am ever grateful to be back in the Southern Hemisphere enjoying average temperatures of 14 degrees celsius! 

Winter has been a breeze! Distracted by not only the mild weather, I have been attending a smorgasbord of exciting design events that have kept me extremely busy. The last few weeks have seen Melbourne host events such as 'Open House Melbourne', 'Life in Style' the 'The Melbourne Art Fair' and this coming weekend - Melbourne Indesign

So far the design event to impress me most has been 
Australia’s premier furniture and furnishings trade fair Décor + Design.

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary in style at the Melbourne Convention Centre, the event showcased a plethora of new and exciting products from over 200 companies. 

Gorgeous and informative, each stand at Décor + Design was brimming with innovative eye candy in high-end furniture, lighting, soft furnishings, décor and accessories.

I was fortunate enough to be reporting for Canadian design magazine - MOVATO Home. So along with my media pass and camera in tow, I was there to handpick the highlights. Here are my favourite's from the show:

Best in Bedding: Designer’s Choice

Stylish, snug and super soft, Designers Choice bed linen has been developed with the modern family in mind. Their range is simple and stylish, using colours and patterns that would be a comfortable fit in almost any home.

The fabrics vary from yarn-dyed stripes to textured cotton fabrics and simple, embellished percales. They also have a great selection of accessories that can be coordinated widely across the range to create your own look and style. Not just cosy and comfortable, all their designs are finished to a high quality standard but maintain prices that represent great value.

Brightest & Boldest: Middle of Nowhere

Middle of Nowhere is a small, Melbourne-based design studio that is passionate about designing creative, affordable and unique decor for your home. They have a fabulous range of fun, ‘finishing touch’ pieces and the fresh, candy-coloured palette is perfect for highlighting children’s rooms. This furniture makes you stand up and take notice!

Dressed to Impress: Café Lighting and Living

Café Lighting and Living has created the perfect blend of modern elegance,  glitz and glamour with its comprehensive collection of furniture and homewares. Stylish contemporary looks, on-trend finishes and the highest quality craftsmanship are all synonymous with this established Australian brand. They are also the exclusive distributor for luxury UK-based brand Andrew Martin.

The Eclectic and Enviable:
Globe West

A sight to behold, the Globe West stand displayed a smorgasbord of gorgeous pieces incorporating modern clean lines, exquisite texture, colour and form expressing a uniquely Australian design aesthetic. There was one little art piece that caught our eye in particular: a graphic print with the words ‘All she ever wanted was perfection.’ This sums up Globe West’s unique design aesthetic quite aptly.

Escape to Paradise with:

Satara has a stunning, coastal cool collection of furniture and homeware to transform your space into an island oasis. Inspired by natural global trends, Satara’s approach to furniture is all about utilising great design with natural and manmade materials and skilled craftsmanship to create a seamless indoor/outdoor look and lifestyle.

The Ethical and Eco-Conscious: Armadillo & Co.

A relatively new company, Armadillo & Co. was founded by Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst four years ago.  Armadillo & Co. combines aesthetics with ethics as every textile embraces fair trade practices. Rugs are crafted from sustainable natural fibres and all rug purchases benefit local schools in the weavers’ villages. They have an absolutely fantastic selection of bold patterns and vivid colour palettes.

Awe-Inspiring Product Design:
Gregoria Chair by Ito Kish
The simplicity of pure white combined with the repetition of pattern and shape creates a beautiful sense of peace and tranquillity. The baluster design references vintage Philippines, inspired by the mouldings used on ventanillas (little windows) to enable air to flow through traditional Philippines houses. Kish has taken this historical concept and created a beautiful, electric modern collection. This was by far our favourite product of the show.

Ito Kish

Hottest New Designer: Koa by Kaitlin

Designed by Australian Industrial Designer Kaitlin Liddell, Koa’s little hotties are a playful range of designer stoneware cups. Koa encapsulates happiness, euphoria, delight and joyfulness.

All Koa stoneware cups are hand-carved, revealing the natural clay body by local artisans from urban and rural communities in Bali, and are brought to life through kilns run on renewable energy.  Such a happy little collection by an up-and coming designer! We predict Koa by Kaitlin is going to become huge in Australia over the Summer.

Ignite your Passion with:

Mezai regards furnishing a home as an enjoyable process of searching, finding and collecting furniture and decorations that are classic or contemporary — and mixing them to create and define one’s own passionate space.

They offer contemporary, modern sustainable, architectural restoration, classic, provincial and timeless design in décor accessories, furniture, lighting, mirrors, cloisonné and ceramics. This brand exclusively represents a stable of significant design companies from all over the world as well, such as Dutch design house d-Bodhi, Asiatides Paris, Australian designed Hardy, as well as stocking leading innovators such as the global furniture brand Camerich and Halcyon Lake carpets and rugs.

Super sophisticated and Stylish:
Hermon & Hermon 

Synonymous with style and design, Hermon & Hermon is a Melbourne shopping icon that champions the use of natural tactile products from the  Philippines.  Stocking only “ooh-ah” pieces, they’re stunning collection of furniture, housewares and lighting are exquisite examples of beautiful craftsmanship. Their collections certainly reflect style without snobbery.

Weird, Wonderful or Just Absurd: The Good Boy Lamp by Whatshisname

The Good Boy Lamp by Polish-born, London-based artist Whatshisname was designed as an item of everyday use that makes the user uncomfortable with every use. The on/off switch is shaped like a turd that needs to be stepped on. The puppy is in its natural pose, looking around with a bit of surprise on her face. Love it or hate it, Whathisnames’ aim is to encourage the public to look at the surrounding world and question it in derisive, jeering way. I’ll let you be the judge.

Your One Stop Shop: MRD HOME

MRD Home is a leader in interpreting trends and creating new ones and has been doing so for over 17 years. They work with many different mediums including textiles, glass ware, lighting, furniture, ceramics, wood and steel — basically anything that has beauty and integrity! As such, their exclusive designs have been the recipient of many awards. They have a gorgeous colour palette of coordinating
 accessories. Our favourite is their Ombré collection which includes four gorgeous colour ways of Inky, Oasis, Canary and Slate.

Honourable Mentions:
Other exhibitors at the Décor + Design Show this year worth a mention include About Space, Bisque Interiors, the Designer Boys Art Collection, Emac & Lawton, Lucretia Lighting, The Wallpaper Company, Theo & Joe and Villa Maison.

So there you go folks - Melbourne - the design capital of the Southern Hemisphere (in my opinion)! I hope your feeling inspired. 

If you're interested in finding out more about design in this fabulous city, get your hands on 'The Melbourne Design Guide'. 

Photography by Sarah Radhanauth
Read the original article on the Movato Home website.

The A-Z Guide of Garden Essentials - PART FOUR

Sincerest apologies (again) for my posting slackness readers . After an extremely busy few weeks of getting amongst my new city and exploring Melbourne's maze of hidden laneways, funky bars, delightful restaurants, off-the-beaten-track boutiques and plethora of coffee shops, I have finally found a moment to sit quietly and bash out 'Part 4' (the final installment) of the A-Z Garden Essentials Guide. This guide follows on from Part 3 (which covered letters N-S). 

This A-Z Garden Essentials Guide will have you going ga-ga for greenery! Upon completing Parts 1 – 4 of this glossary you will be armed with all the information you need to completely transform your outdoor space. 

The concept of outdoor living has become a hugely popular trend in home improvement. Not only can the additional living space significantly increase the value of your home, it’s also a fantastic way to celebrate the outdoors!  Investing in your outdoor space is equally as important as ensuring the interior of your home is current and up-to-date. 

Read on to discover more ‘can’t afford to miss’ alfresco trends and a list of the most desired garden extras. Scroll down for letters T-Z.

T – Terrariums: I love terrariums and you will too! A terrarium is a small clear glass container filled with plants to create a miniature garden eco-system.

Low-maintenance and self-watering, terrarium plants get all the moisture they need from recycled water that disperses throughout the container. Typically the top part is closed and the front is open. Water from the soil inside the terrarium rises into the air creating ‘water vapour’. Vapour then collects onto the surrounding glass and cools. It then turns back into droplets of water which drip down into the soil and the whole process starts again! 

To learn how to make your own terrarium visit West Elm.

U – Umbrellas: Bright and beautiful, colourful and cool - a garden umbrella might be just the splash of colour you need to make your patio pop! 

Whether you have a preference for strong solid colours or vibrant patterns, there are many different options available. You shouldn't have any trouble finding the perfect parasol to compliment your outdoor décor scheme. 

A garden umbrella could be the missing piece to your garden puzzle. To achieve a complete and overall stylish look, firstly, decide on what type of aesthetic and mood your garden conveys, then select an umbrella in a colour, pattern or style that helps to pull all of the other elements in the scheme together. 

Not just for rain, umbrellas are made to create shade. Look for options that have UV protection marine fabric and come with a screw fastening and tilt function. This will help to provide protection from the sun no matter what time of the day. For breezy days, a canopy with double reinforced pockets (that are vented for wind release) will add strength and stability.

Check out the Pool and Patio for their Top 10 picks for patio umbrellas. 


V – Vegetable Patch: Re-connect with the earth by designing your very own mini-vegetable garden. There’s nothing more satisfying or rewarding than being able to nip out to the back yard to collect some fresh, enviro-friendly, GMO-free, organic veggies that you cared for and cultivated yourself. 

A veggie patch offers a smorgasbord of colour, texture and fragrance. Choose from tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, cucumbers, carrots, leeks, or leafy greens such as lettuce, chard and kale to create a living work of art. 

Your veggie patch needn't take up a lot of space either. Simple garden boxes can be created and if space is really limited; boxes can be staggered or tiered (see image below). 

Avoid sewing too many seeds at once – you don’t want to feel overwhelmed. The trick is to start off small then gradually add to your veggie patch. This will allow you to better gauge how much time and effort you need to devote to your new edible garden.

For a step-by-step guide to creating your own veggie patch visit: Better Homes & Gardens

1. W – Water Features: The soothing sound, undulating movement and mesmerising texture of water brings a calming, tranquil element to the garden and provides a beautiful focal point or dramatic design statement.

Water features can be as simple or grand as you wish and are suitable for any sized outdoor space. There are options to suit every budget and definitely worth the investment. A wall mounted option is great for those with limited space, whilst a fountain or pond-less feature work well in a more spacious area. Both require very little maintenance but bring so much visual interest to a garden. No matter what your taste the design styles and finishes options are endless. Materials such as natural stone, textured glass, stainless steel, aluminium, mosaic tiles or pebbles are hugely popular and lighting can be incorporated to make the garden look magical at night.

Thanks today’s modern technology; water features can be designed to clean the air throughout the day, then automatically drain and refill with ‘Reverse Osmosis’ filtered water at night. It is also possible to have full control over the water feature, including the water speed, sound, and cascading water patterns! Visit Kalsi Aluminium for more details.

X – Xtras (and other brilliant garden essentials): 
This section includes my picks for the top 10 most amazing garden ‘must-haves’ (that weren’t included in the previous A-Z categories). This is the ultimate garden ‘wish list’! 

1. Garden Games – For fun with friends and the family! Introduce a game or two such as; Giant Jenga, Chess, Badminton, Lawn Boules, or my favourite – Croquet!

2. Hammock – A plush pillowed hammock in a bold-eye catching colour or stripe can be matched with an outdoor umbrella to add cabana worthy flair.

3. Hot Tub – Take a soak in the ultimate form of relaxation.

4. Gazebo / Summer House – Offers a luxurious sheltered setting for dining or relaxation away from the main house.

5. Greenhouse – Essential for the serious gardener.

6. Lap Pool – The perfect space saving solution for exercising and cooling off.

7. Signs and Plaques – More than just a ‘welcome’ greeting or ‘beware of dog’ alert, quirky signs can add a whimsical element and help to highlight a garden theme.

8. Stylish Shed – Far more than a tool store, a shed can be styled to become a main garden feature.

9. Tent or Tepee – Not just for festivals (and much cheaper than a gazebo); a cute tent with lots of plush floor cushions makes a fun and cosy garden addition.

10. Trellis – The ever useful garden trellis is no longer ugly and outdated! The modern day trellis is now available in punchy colours and sculptural designs that support your plants in a much more contemporary, decorative way!

Check out Flora and Terra Trellis.

Y – Yoga Area: Imagine listening to the sounds of nature as a sensation of warm sunlight washes over you and a gentle cool breeze brushes past your cheek.
There are so many health benefits associated with being outdoors; the sights, sounds and scent of a garden is naturally relaxing and healing and can help to develop a peaceful state of mind. Take the opportunity to get high on nature and practice the art of yoga, stretching and meditation in your own backyard with a dedicated quiet space.

Pick a private, quiet spot within the garden away from high activity areas and traffic noise. You will need to have a relatively level surface where you are comfortable sitting, standing and laying down. A decking area is ideal; however, grass can work just as well. It’s a good idea to have the area already set up and ready to use. It will be far more motivating for you to have easy access to matt’s and equipment. Consider implementing clever storage solutions such as hooks, painted timber boxes, or a chest with an upholstered seat covered in a bright outdoor fabric would work well.

Z – Zen Garden Elements:
Introduce a little East to your West with a few key Zen design elements! Taking cues from a Japanese garden will help to instil a peaceful atmosphere within your outdoor living space. It will also provide a tranquil place to de-clutter your mind and nurture your spirit. 

A Zen landscape consists of simple, clean lines which avoid symmetry. In essence, the design should replicate the randomness of nature, alter perception and engage the senses. It should offer a sense of mystery and magic without being pretentious or unnatural, and just like a fine wine - it should improve with age. 

Whilst a Zen garden doesn’t require or expect any single component, some common features that are typically depicted include; bridges, islands, ponds, streams, waterfalls, basins, sand, pebbles, stepping stones, sculptural rocks and plants, pathways, lanterns, bamboo fencing and Buddha statues.

To learn more about the mystery of the Zen take a quick peek at this article by Ezine and Do It Yourself
For inspirational imagery visit Better Homes and Gardens
And that’s a wrap! Congratulations, you have completed all 26 categories of the A-Z Guide of Garden Essentials! It’s time to get out into the garden and embrace the joys of alfresco living! You now have absolutely everything you need to spring into action and convert your outdoor area into an amazing oasis. 

If you would like to review any of the previous sections of this guide, please click on the links below.
Part 1 
Part 2 
Part 3 
Celebrate Summer in an Outdoor Oasis. 

Happy Gardening!

                                                     *    *    *

Image references: 
Vegetable Patch:
Water Features:
Xtras (and other brilliant garden essentials):
Yoga Area:
Zen Garden Elements:

Coastal Design comes to the City!

Apologies if things at Squeezed Daily have seemed a little quiet lately, It's been an uber busy last couple of weeks! After receiving a fabulous job offer to good to pass up and (without thinking twice) Squeezed Daily has relocated to the design capital of Australia and will be now reporting from the city of Melbourne!

With just a week to pack up, depart Sydney, find an apartment in Melbourne and start a new job on the Monday, it left little time to give Sydney the proper good bye it deserved. I did, however, manage to attend the much anticipated design social event of the season - the launch of the Coastal Design Co's first flagship showroom in Sydney!!

The renowned New Zealand luxury outdoor furniture company founded by Jo Eddington, has opened it's doors in the creative design precinct of Alexandria. The evening was attended by over 200 media celebrities such as Barry Du Bois and Joe Snell, stylists, suppliers, designers and friends attended the night of fine design, food and wine, which was hosted by Belle Magazine Editor-in-Chief Neale Whitaker.

Wolfgang Pichler of Viteo, Neale Whitaker of Belle Decor Magazine & Jo Eddington of Coastal Design Co.

With my personal hero - Jen Bishop from Interiors Addict and Barry Dubois or channel 10's The Living Room.

Wolfgang Pilcher of Viteo

The lovely Jo Eddignton 
Designed for Aussie / Kiwi living, Coastal Design Co's outdoor furniture collection oozes luxury, yet is highly practical and offers the ultimate in superior comfort, aesthetic design and (the other important factor not to be forgotten) - value.

Established in 2006 in New Zealand, Coastal Design Co's outdoor collections are manufactured to strict quality standards using specialty marine grade materials sourced from the highest quality suppliers worldwide, including Sunbrella ™ premium outdoor fabrics, Batyline textilene and 304 EP Stainless Steel, ensuring the products are built to weather the tough Australian and New Zealand conditions.

Complimenting Coastal Design Co's own innovative designs are exclusive imported European brands. These include a range of outdoor kitchens, beautiful illuminated pots from Italy, Infratech outdoor heating from Germany, a beautiful new range of organic hand-made soy candles, sumptuous faux fur throws, exclusive Nick Radford New Zealand made outdoor rugs, COAST NZ Marine Bean Bags and a selection from the Austrian architect Wolfgand Pichler's 'VITEO' collection. 

Conveniently located around the corner from the famous 'Grounds of Alexandria' and next door to super cool restaurant 'The Vicinity', a visit to Coastal Design Co. is the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon, enjoying my two favourite things: good coffee and great design! 

See you outside!


Pendulum Communications
La Tessa Photography