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Dulux Autumn 2020: Start Nesting with Warm Neutrals and Tonal Layers


As life gets increasingly busier and more complex, so too does our desire to simplify and slow down. The Grounded palette — one of four trends identified in the 2020 Dulux Colour Forecast 'Essence' — perfectly reflects this desire, with Autumn design trends inspired by the palette's calming, nature-inspired tones, with a focus on simplicity and authenticity. As a society, we are becoming increasingly concerned with sustainability and wellness. The idea of ‘minimalism with intent’ – where spaces are pared back to the essentials and accessorised with decor pieces that are meaningful to us – will come to the fore.

Dulux Wash&Wear in Cardrona and Tapawera
Rainbow Print from Norsu

“We’ve seen a much more tonal palette coming through this year,” says Davina Harper, Dulux Colour Specialist. “The bold colour contrasts of previous years have made way for subtle layering of natural hues. Depth is added through texture and materiality.”

The Grounded palette, my favourite from the Dulux 2020 Colour Forecast, combines gentle, earthy neutrals and warm whites with accents of soft coral and lavender to create a cosy, laid-back feel. And as the weather cools, it’s the perfect palette to add warmth and character to our homes.

“The Grounded palette is one that homeowners will love – it’s easy to work with and has a relaxed yet sophisticated feel,” says Davina. “Warm, biscuity tones derived from nature feel calm and comforting, and adding in touches of muted coral, mauve and gold gives the look a contemporary edge.

To show you just how quickly and effectively colour can reinvigorate your home, stylist Bree Leech transformed a bland, all-white kid’s bedroom using the Dulux Grounded palette.

Dulux Wash&Wear Taparewa, Cardrona and Hint of Lavender 
Artwork: Untitled by Tracey Mock from Norsu

“Colour is the greatest tool you can use in your home – with very little effort or expense, you can completely change the look and feel of a space,” says Bree. “All you need is a few spare hours, a paintbrush and a couple of cans of paint – then it’s like stepping into a whole new room."

While the bedroom itself has great features, including a high ceiling, a beautiful, solid timber floor, French doors, plenty of natural light and a striking brick fireplace, Bree says “This bedroom’s all-white palette made it feel a little uninviting – the exact opposite of what you want in a child’s room. I wanted to add warmth and personality to the space so that its little occupant would enjoy spending time here. I aimed to highlight the room’s best features, detract from the less appealing ones – and spend next to nothing. To keep the budget in check, we kept the main pieces of furniture – a feature toddler bed with timber detailing and a curvy armchair and ottoman.

“The Grounded palette was perfect. It’s cosy and inviting, but still manages to feel light and airy. With its tones of putty and biscuit, it’s versatile enough to make a great base for either a girl’s or boy’s scheme. Add some personality with elements of soft grey and terracotta or lavender and coral, as we’ve done here,” says Bree.

Dulux Wash&Wear in Tapawera, Cardrona and Hint of Lavender
Artwork: Untitled by Tracey Mock from Norsu

When you’re choosing a palette, it’s best to start with one main colour, which you can use across large areas, such as walls, then a supporting hue and one or two accents. Retaining the existing warm white (Dulux Wash&Wear in Cardrona) for the fireplace and ceiling,  Bree chose a soft clay (Dulux Wash&Wear in Taparewa) for the walls as a feature, to tie in with the warmth of the timber floor and the detailing on the bed; a muted lavender (Dulux Wash&Wear in Hint of Lavender) for the new door on the fireplace opening; and added touches of coral in the bedding.

Dulux Wash&Wear in Tapawera and Cardrona

“We made the bed the hero of the room by piling it high with comfy pillows and using bedlinen in shades of grey and coral. An inexpensive rug adds softness underfoot – its round shape echoes the curves in the furniture. To accentuate the fabulous fireplace, we kept it white to subtly contrast with the walls.

“It’s important not to add too much clutter to a child’s room, particularly if it’s small, as you want to give them space to relax and play. We left plenty of breathing space and kept the sheer linen curtains to allow soft light to filter in,” says Bree.

Dulux Wash&Wear in Tapawera, Cardrona and Hint of Lavender

“A cosy space such as a bedroom is a great place to start your colour adventure,” says Davina. “Being a personal space, it’s perfect for experimenting with those colours you’ve been dreaming about. Paint a feature wall behind the bed, repaint the walls or upcycle one or two pieces of furniture, such as a bedside table or stool. And if you tire of it down the track, simply whip out your paint brush again!”

Here are some styling tips to help you achieve this beautiful look for Autumn:
  • Go tonal: For larger expanses such as walls and sofas, layer different shades of one key colour.
  • Keep it simple: Don’t overfill the space – include only those pieces you need and love.
  • Create a focal point: Every room should have one hero piece to draw the eye, whether it’s a stunning side chair or a beautiful artwork.
  • Add texture: Seek out must-touch upholstery fabrics, such as rich weaves and bouclé’s to add textural interest.
  • Celebrate natural: Don’t cover up imperfections such as the swirls and veins in a timber floor – their natural, honest feel fits with this look.
  • Embrace curves: A round ottoman, an arched mirror or a curvy sofa are on-trend and will break up the hard lines in a room.

Images styled by Bree Leech / Photography by Lisa Cohen 
Courtesy of Dulux

This is a sponsored post. 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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Modern Times Presents Foundations by Charlotte Swiden


After a 10-year hiatus, Charlotte Swiden has returned to painting with her exhibition Foundations, opening at Modern Times on Thursday 27th February. Charlotte’s disciplined approach to composition and colour, honed as a graphic designer, has transmuted into something softer and closer to nature – a series of abstract paintings that pulsate with motifs of plants, primitive figures and intimations of landscape, rendered in a muted earthen palette. 

Charlotte grew up in Sweden, moving to Australia in 2005, and describes her work as an interplay of these two identities, two cultures and the tension that lies between the two. “Some of the themes in my works are stories around that identity split. Some are around nostalgia from home; being immersed in nature, a community and a solid social infrastructure.”

The mood of each painting shifts along a scale of emotion. The artworks I've picked out to share are some of my favourites from the beautiful body of work. I especially love the softer muted tones, and rounded abstract figures such as Midnight Sun (above), and Mother Moon (below). 

Modernist painters are an influence which permeates Charlotte's work, most notably in the reductionist abstraction and fragmented overlaying representations of figure and object. Charlotte describes a seminal experience at the Picasso museum in Paris as a high-school student, “(it) blew my mind. After I’d been there I felt like I could never have an art experience like that again and I still feel the same.” 
Charlotte describes Foundations as returning home and letting her inner voice resurface. 

"It’s a journal of human behaviour, roots, new leaves and a longing for nature. After I had my second child I started collaging and painting again and I took my practice back to my foundations. Time became so precious, I needed to simplify and become more minimalistic in what I chose to do. Once I started painting again it was all so clear and easy. It was like I had an 800 page novel waiting inside, burning to escape. It was as if I had been living in an overly decorated house and a wild storm went through. When the wind calmed the walls had been stripped, you could see the bone structure, the starry sky and feel the sea breeze. And suddenly, there is more room for my own stories and my own language."  
— Charlotte Swiden 

After a career as a graphic designer and with her own line of distinctly Swedish inspired homewares - Swiden, this return to painting marks an exciting moment in Charlotte’s career trajectory. 

If you're in Melbourne, join Charlotte and the Modern Times team at the exhibition opening for a celebratory drink on Thursday 27th February between 6-8pm. 

The exhibition runs through to 8th March, with pre-sales opening 20th February.  

To find out more, or to download the catalogue, take a look here

Images courtesy of Modern Times 

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Reform | Designers Remix Studio


Sustainable fashion brand Designers Remix have just completed their new showroom and office in Copenhagen. "A love letter to sustainability and feminism", created with a contemporary art gallery feel, the white frame of the studio highlights the kitchen which has been designed by Danish kitchen specialists Reform, in a makeup inspired palette of nudes. Like a piece of art where function meets beauty and creates a central statement, the kitchen blends classic lines with a modern twist, the colour scheme providing a unique, puzzle-like feeling.

The same colour palette has been applied to the rest of the studio, with three Swell armchairs from Normann Copenhagen in varying shades of nude. Marble Lato tables by &tradition provide complimentary cream hues and textural warmth. A huge bespoke upcycled vintage marble table is another nod to Designers Remix's sustainable ethos. 

The colour consistency carries through to the bathroom, also designed by Reform. 

”I was inspired by make-up colours. Shades of beige and blush. To me, these are the colours of sustainability – like cardboard, wood and untreated materials. The true colours of nature. The bathrooms feels powder coated like a woman's powder room. The white zink and the white elements give a contemporary feeling. We are very happy to have collaborated with Reform in the making of our kitchen and bathroom. The collaboration honours the importance of quality and design, and shows a contemporary studio that will stand the test of time." — Charlotte Eskildsen, Creative Director of Designers Remix

Images courtesy of Reform

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Stockholm Design Week | The Sculptor's Residence


During Stockholm Design Week, The Sculptor’s Residence garnered well-deserved praise and attention. An incredible collaboration between Norm Architects, Menu and Dux, the uniquely curated apartment space set the scene of a home and artist atelier. Styled impeccably by Linnea Ek Blæhr, and captured by Monica Steffensen, who kindly sent me these beautiful images, I'm excited to share it with you today.    

Paying homage to the ateliers of great artists, from Picasso's Parisian hideout to Cezanne's untouched studio in Aix-en-Provence, the exhibition gave visitors a peek into the artistic process. Spread across four rooms, the scope of the installation and joining of brands allowed the creative story to unfold through a succession of inspiring spaces. 

Elegant furniture and lighting pieces designed by Norm Architects for Menu take centre stage in the the living room, including the Eave Dining Sofa and new Hashira Floor Lamp. The Plinth tables in striking Nero Marquina marble sit on top of the textural Gravel Rug by Nina Bruun.

Danish brand St. Leo created bespoke artworks and plinths for the apartment space rendered in various shades of Dolomite Plaster. The plinths were used to display sculptures by Copenhagen-based British artist Nicholas Shurey and Stockholm-based ceramic artist Sofia Tufvasson, along with ceramics by Atelier Armand. 

The Zet Storing System by Kaschkasch for Menu is effortlessly styled with an artistic array of stacked books, paper rolls and sculptural pieces. Nearby is the exquisite new Androgyne Dining Table by Danielle Siggerud for Menu.

Located inside central Stockholm's Nosh & Chow Townhouse, the interior features high ceilings with ornate detailing, large windows, stucco and stunning parquet flooring. In the bedroom, Sweden's luxury bed company Dux provided the bed and Anna Headboard, which features a simple yet striking Japanese-inspired design. 

An apartment filled with texture and interest at every turn, the home office unquestionably sets the scene for an artist's place of work. The Snaregade Table designed by Norm Architects for Menu is layered with materials, artworks, books and paintbrushes. I love the Reverse Table Lamp by Aleksandar Lazic for Menu, and the Sam Chair designed Dux. Designed by Sam Larsson in 1974 and revived by Dux in 2015, it features a beautiful deep-tufted seat in leather upholstery.  

Styling by Linnea Ek Blær / Photography by Monica Steffensen

Such an inspiring curation and apartment, it's easy to see why so many who visited said they wanted to move in! 

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