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THE DESIGN CHASER

Baina | Organic Towelling that you and your Bathroom will Love

11.18.2019

Baina is a new antipodean brand of curated organic towelling designed in Melbourne by New Zealand founders Bailey Meredith and Anna Fahey. Taking a modern approach to design anchored in craftsmanship and consideration, the new brand sits within a category of elevated necessities. Which, when broken down, means basic retail needs are ethically produced, aesthetically pleasing and quality-made, resulting in less frequent repeat purchasing. Perfect for those looking for timeless design and longevity, the launch collection of hand, bath and pool towels are set in muted earthy tones of sage, chalk and ecru.  


I love the simplicity of the designs, each one featuring subtle detailing and finished with the Baina terracotta ribbon. Made in Portugal from GOTS certified organic cotton, the towels are a result of Baina's mindful approach to craftsmanship and materiality, produced with one of Europe’s most established mills.


Anna and Bailey each have strong design backgrounds in fashion and both found inspiration for Baina while working together at sustainably-led interior specialist, Jardan. “Jardan’s strong ethos of sustainability to inform all business decisions from who they work with, to the materials they source, had a profound effect on both of us. For Baina we have replicated that same focus in everything we do,” says Anna. Ideal for bath and beach, Baina also answers all your gifting needs. “Towels are an everyday essential that are normally gifted or reluctantly purchased,” says Bailey. “We wanted to create a collection of unisex towels that everyone would love to own and elevate every style of bathroom.”

Photography by Daniel Walker 

Discover the inaugural Baina collection online at shopbaina.com, and at selected stockists. 

Images courtesy of Baina 

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Copenhagen Design Tour 2019 with Garde Hvalsøe | Part Two

11.14.2019

Following on from Part One, where I shared our day with Garde Hvalsøe in Copenhagen, I'm now returning with the House Visit. Walking into the Østerbro home, we were greeted by the lovely owner, designer and interior stylist Susanne Rützou. Chatting to us in her sun-lit kitchen, the Garde Hvalsøe cabinetry instantly recognisable, we learnt that the beautiful house was designed by architect Vilhelm Lauritzen, and was also once the headquarters of Garde Hvalsøe. While Susanne has carried out some minor renovations, the original kitchen and bathroom furniture designed and crafted by the Danish brand has been left as is, with just an "oil once in a while". The wood cabinetry brings so much warmth to the spaces, and because they have aged so beautifully, she never wanted to alter them. Having just come from the wood workshop where we saw the new furniture being built to last a lifetime, it was a treat to see the proof in a real-life home! 


Susanne's home features a wonderful mix of vintage and auction finds, along with a huge collection of books, lots of lush greenery, and pieces from her travels. Layered and interesting, the open-plan kitchen and dining leads through to a large yet cosy living space where sun streams through the huge windows. Built-in shelving is filled with books, art and objects, and frames the doorway to a charming bedroom. Painted in a warm grey, this room features cabinetry that runs the length of one wall, with an eye-catching display of artworks above, and beautiful herringbone flooring. 


The original Garde Hvalsøe bathroom looks stunning, don't you think? 

Susanne describes her home as having 'tactility and soul'. I couldn't agree more!

Photography by Michelle Halford for TDC

This post was created in collaboration with Georg Jensen & Garde Hvalsøe. I only work with products I love and all opinions are my own. For more information please visit my About Page.

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Copenhagen x Cult | A Day with &Tradition

11.12.2019

It's been over a month since I travelled to Copenhagen but I clearly remember the excitement as I set off on foot to visit the home of &Tradition, on one of my design days in partnership with Cult. Just a short walk from my hotel, I knew I'd arrived the moment I stepped into the courtyard of the 1913 townhouse and saw a cluster of Formakami pendant lamps, designed for &Tradition by Jaime Hayon. Located across from the King's Garden in the centre of the city, the showroom is designed to welcome visitors into a real-life setting, and to discover the inspiring collection of furniture and lighting, which includes a mix of classic pieces dating back to the 1930s, through to present day designs.


Spanning four stories, with a sweeping staircase and beautifully preserved architectural detailing, the showroom includes the Lille Petra Café, complete with outdoor seating in the beautiful plant-filled courtyard. Opting for a cosy spot inside due to wet weather, I finally got to test out the Little Petra chair, one my favourite pieces from &Tradition. Designed in 1938 by Viggo Boesen, its low height and textural upholstery makes it so warm and embracing. After a full tour of the showroom, I sat down with &Tradition Founder and CEO Martin Kornbek Hansen to find out more about the company, including how it connects the past with the present by relaunching iconic pieces from the Danish design greats, while cultivating relationships with current designers to create 'future classics'. 

You founded &Tradition in 2010. Can you share a little about your background and the path that led to you launching your own design company.

I grew up with design, producing and making quality products, not for the family brand, but for other suppliers. Then in 2008 I really wanted to start my own business. Throughout my whole life I've had a passion for classic pieces, and I bought the rights to the Flowerpot, which was the starting point of &Tradition. For me, it has always been the story-telling approach to the product that I find very interesting. Making products that are not only mass produced but where we are actually in the process from the beginning to the end. I find that really interesting.

Tell us more about the Flowerpot (designed by Verner Panton in 1968) and how the business grew from the relaunch of this iconic design.

I bought the rights to the Flowerpot in order to start my own business. The problem, which I found very quickly, is that Flowerpot was such a strong icon, it was then hard to launch new products with new designers! So the whole idea for &Tradition was to create a brand that was stronger than the products. A platform where we can have both new products and classic pieces.


Not only have you achieved this, you now offer a mix of products dating back to 1930’s, through to present day designs. How do you strike a balance between the two?

I think it’s a very difficult balance actually, and I’m not a person who is a big fan of just relaunching products for the sake of it, but I am a big fan of finding products that are still relevant. So for me it does need to be 50/50, but if the product is still relevant for the market, I don’t want to do it as a new design. I’d rather take the old design and reintroduce it. Then we try to develop new products with designers where we are trying new production methods or techniques, or trying things that were not possible in the old days. So for me, that’s the interesting thing also, that we use new products to push the boundaries of the past. Take the old classic products and put it in to a contemporary context, where we mix it. 

So where do you see &Tradition fitting within the Danish Danish landscape? Is it 'New Nordic' or does it sit with the more traditional brands?

I really hope we don’t sit in one of those, for me it’s much more important with &Tradition that we are globally focused. We are Scandinavian from our heritage, we grew up with the simplicity, the respect for the material. We are proud of it, it's still a natural part of our life, but I think it’s also nice to work with designers from other countries. Someone that is also challenging our past. For me that's what’s exciting about it, working with the designers and getting a little away from the Scandinavian.


With that in mind, is Scandinavia still your biggest market? Where else are you focused on? We're very excited about the Cult launch in New Zealand!

Scandinavia has been our biggest market but we’re also establishing ourselves globally. We are across Europe, and we’ve started up in Asia Pacific, with a showroom in Shanghai. Our aim now is to get close to the clients, and that I think is an exciting journey. 

You collaborate with renowned designers like Space Copenhagen. Do you also work with emerging designers?

We are looking for new designers all the time, but I find it more important to work with designers where you also build a relationship. More and more our company is built on partnerships, and it takes a long time to get to know the designers, and a long time for the designers to get to know your brand. I’m not a big fan of having tonnes on new designers, but I would like the right designers that we see a future with, that we then work deeper with.


So would you say that once you build that relationship, each project becomes easier in terms of communication and processes?

Yes, and you become stronger because there are a lot of design brands on the market today and they all work with the same designers, so we need somehow to create our own way of collaborating with the designers.

How do you decide when to launch new products, or is it more of an organic process? If so, does this work better from a creative point of view?

It's an organic process that we are trying to structure a little bit now. It's always in that dynamic process in the beginning, but at some point with the organisation you need to structure it. So the part I am mostly involved in is organic, but then it comes from the more talented people where they structure it!

Of course there are periods where there are more launches then others, but I think the trend is going away from Fair launches. In the past we’ve had big fairs and launches, but it's going to be more and more local, and through the low season, and that's why we've opened up 13 showrooms now. The idea is to represent our products in the showroom and invite people in. Our idea is really to try and get closer to a more personal relationship, and I think that's also how we differentiate ourselves from what the traditional design businesses are doing.


Something that always strikes me when I arrive in Copenhagen is the colourful buildings, and I can see these colours are used throughout your beautiful showroom. How does colour fit into the &Tradition Universe?

I'm really glad I work with people who are better at colours than me! I'm not really good at that! I'm much more into materials and textures.

Do you think that tactility stems from your upbringing, surrounded by the production side of things?

Yes, I think it's nice and interesting how you can mix textures and materials, and when you talk upholsteries or wood. That for me is exciting. But I also think what's interesting with Scandinavian brands - we use maybe more colours than average – is that I think we still sell mainly the white, or grey or black colours, like they do everywhere else. So it's just awaking your emotions.

Yes, it's the same in NZ. I think people just feel safer sticking with neutral colours, especially when investing in big pieces.

Yes! I think with the world we're living in, it goes so fast and so when you're at home you want something more classic and simple.


Last time I was in Copenhagen I visited your previous showroom during 3daysofdesign. Also beautiful, it was a very different, more contemporary space. Tell us about the change of location...

The old place was nice, but there wasn't a lot of working space there. So to be practical we needed to move, but it was also hard to be very “homey”. 

Yes, it was good for a party! (&Tradition hosted the part at the end of 3daysofdesign)

Yes! It was good for parties! But now we are in a classic building located in the heart of Copenhagen and we’ve created a showroom much like a home. We open our own café named Lille Petra, because we want the public to experience our products in real life and in a real setting. We wanted to make it more available for the public, and since it's so central, it's nice for people that know or don't know design... everyone can come in.

&Tradition showroom 
Photography by Michelle for TDC

Following the interview, I spent time with the lovely &Tradition PR Manager Morgane Paulissen, who took me to some notable design destinations in Copenhagen. This included a visit to the iconic SAS Royal Hotel (now the Radisson Blue Royal Hotel) designed in 1960 by Arne Jacobsen. Here we had a tour of the now famous Room 606. The only room in the hotel that has been preserved, it pays tribute to the incredible work of Arne Jacobsen.

The Radisson Blue Royal Hotel, Copenhagen
Photography by Michelle Halford for TDC

Carrying out the recent renovations of the hotel, Space Copenhagen created the Loafer collection for &Tradition, especially for the redesign. Seen here in the stunning hotel lounge, they wanted to design a piece of furniture that could create a sense of intimacy in the very open space. It also nods to the signature spiral staircase and the circular columns. 

Returning to the Lille Petra Café for afternoon tea, (where we also enjoyed a delicious lunch earlier), I feel lucky to have had such a wonderful day with &Tradition!

Next up for the brand is the opening their first retail space in the heart of Aarhus. Set to showcase a wide-ranging collection of timeless pieces and contemporary designs, with interiors designed by Studio David Thulstrup, I'm looking forward to sharing it with you soon!  

To find out more about the brand take a look here, and visit www.andtradition.com.

This post was created in collaboration with Cult and &Tradition. I only work with products I love and all opinions are my own. For more information please visit my About Page.

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Toorak Residence by Golden

11.08.2019

The latest project by Golden is a uniquely animated yet harmonious home. Set amongst the pedigreed buildings in Toorak, one of Melbourne’s most prestigious suburbs, Golden worked closely with S&K Group to breathe new life into this previously renovated 1960s home. Thanks to thoughtfully emboldened choices it delights with a design narrative that inspires curiosity.



Transitioning from their previous family home, a large art deco residence, the client required a purposeful space, conducive to comfort and function. Inspired with the notion of livable artistry, Golden have demonstrated how carefully selected, key design elements can energise and rejuvenate a space. With an existing collection of artwork to guide the narrative, subtle variation on a neutral palette is enlivened with accent patterns and colours, finding an equilibrium between classic and contemporary style.

An unexpected combination of jewel and earth tones in the formal lounge are offset by floating marble joinery paired with Haiku Sisal wallpaper from Schummacher. The custom Grazia & Co ottoman in Kelly Wearstler fabric mirrors the colours and brushstrokes of Melissa Boughey’s Interior Track to Waterfall and acts as a secondary focal point, both drawing the eye and encouraging a cohesive visual journey. Sumptuous quilted velvet Redondo armchairs by Moroso bookend a gently curved Classicon Bell side table, its rounded glass form a refreshing counter to the angular lines of the coffee tables floating marble top. Tasked with delivering an ambient, visceral narrative with a limited spatial footprint, Golden has implemented carefully considered, impactful change. Floor-to-ceiling sliding timber doors with oversized handles and reeded glass, a bespoke rug from Behruz and the raised geometric block – an architectural piece that finishes the polished granite kitchen island from Corsi & Nicolai – are dynamic choices that shape a custom experience.




Guests are embraced with a transformed entrance featuring exquisite Nisana Marble from Signorino. The striking black and green vein is an unexpected welcome that sets the experiential tone for the rest of the home. Requiring little accompaniment, it is warmed with the refined placement of a trio of hand turned tallowwood totems by Melbourne artist Jo Wilson and bolstered by the curved powder coated balustrade. Used elsewhere for floating and inlaid joinery, this impactful choice is a unique calling card that encourages connection and flow throughout the space.

Rooms are grounded with tonal grey, textural materiality and the warmth of parquetry flooring, then elevated with spirited infusions of colour. The cool blue colourway of the artwork, joinery and B&B Italia Button Table in the sitting room riff off the lush, mossy greens in the polished marble floor in the adjacent entry. Cognisant of the client’s desire to find the balance between function and artful aesthetic, furnishing required a measured take on playful sophistication - each addition a sculptural standalone that, when paired together, create a cohesive and comforting experience.

Photography by Sharyn Cairns

I love how Golden incorporate customised shelving into their projects, providing unique solutions for storage and displaying treasured pieces. In Toorak Residence they house beautiful, sculptural objects by talented Australian artists including Jane McKenzie, Kerryn Levy, Hana Vasak and Ella Bendrups

If you'd like to see more by Golden, check the recently featured projects Wattle House and wellness destination Seen Skin. 

Images courtesy of Golden

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Cult NZ Welcomes &Tradition

11.07.2019

I'm thrilled to share the news that Danish brand &Tradition is now available at Cult NZ. To celebrate this exciting launch, Cult held a special event last night for media and industry friends. Cult founder Richard Munao flew over from Australia for the launch, joined by Jane Cheng, &Tradition Brand Manager for Asia Pacific. Held at the Cult Showroom in Auckland, I had the pleasure of styling the beautiful new collection pieces. 


Working closely with showroom manager, Renee Hooker, the first step was choosing a new paint colour from Dulux. Inspired by the Colour Forecast 2020, and my favourite colour palette Grounded, we chose Glen Murray. A warm biscuit hue, it has a soft, natural feel that brings a sense of calm to the space. The new colour has also helped define the &Tradition gallery within the large and airy showroom, and works beautifully with the neutral and dark green colours of the &Tradition pieces.


The dedicated &Tradition space is home to designs including the recently launched Loafer sofa by Space Copenhagen, the Palette table by Jaime Hayon and the iconic Flowerpot pendant by Verner Panton. In addition to the Loafer chair by Space Copenhagen, there's Catch by Jaime Hayon and the Pavillion chair by Anderssen & Voll, several lighting designs including the new table lamps Seta by Jaime Hayon, and Journey by Signe Hytte, and my favourite side table, the Lato by Luca Nichetto. &Tradition pieces are also showcased in the Cult window display with furniture from the Fly collection by Space Copenhagen, Marble lights by Studio Vit and the Formakami table lamp by Jaime Hayon. The Column shelf by John Astbury and pieces from the &Tradition accessories range provide beautiful finishing touches, while the Moor rug by All The Way To Paris further defines the space.

Styling and Photography by Michelle Halford/TDC

Perfectly timed, the launch follows my recent trip to Copenhagen, where I had the pleasure of spending a day with &Tradition. I'm looking forward to sharing highlights from that visit soon, including my interview with &Tradition founder Martin Kornbek Hanson. 

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