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THE DESIGN CHASER

The Water Tower Project x Nordiska Kök

12.03.2020

In the historic water tower, just outside of Stockholm, Nordiska Kök and interior designer WTP Studios have built a classic yet minimalist kitchen in warm-stained oak and vibrant arabescato marble.


The new kitchen in dark stained oak is located upstairs in the completely renovated two-floor apartment.

Taken out of operation in the '50s, the building was then used as a pharmacy laboratory and later as an artist's studio. In the mid-'90s, the tower was converted into apartments.


Christina's love of vintage pieces give the kitchen added charm.  

The tower, which dates back to 1910, is built of dark red bricks in a national romantic style and features unique architectural details including arched windows in differing sizes. Christina, founder of @wtpstudios has carried out a complete renovation of the apartment which is located over two floors in the tower. The new kitchen designed with Nordiska Kök is situated upstairs and features minimalist oak cabinets that have been stained with a warm cherry tone to match the floor and mid-century furniture. It also blends seamlessly with the building's original colour scheme. The veined marble creates a striking contrast against the dark stained oak, giving the kitchen a personalised and artistic expression.

Hidden appliances and a built-in fan create a calm and minimalist feeling.

An important element that sets the tone in the apartment is the contrasting arabescato marble. 

The inside of the cabinets is made in a white pigmented oak.


The kitchen matches the warm wood flooring and beautiful vintage mid-century furniture providing overall cohesion. 

Paper Porcelain by HAY sits atop the striking marble. 

The kitchen features beautiful architectural hardware including the bronze Maison Vervloet designed by Vincent van Duysen.


A column of open shelving allows for the display of beautiful art, books and objects.

Christina, founder of @wtpstudios, has together with Nordiska kök created the kitchen in The Water Tower project.

If you love this dark wood kitchen as much as I do, take a look at the Nordic Retro Kitchen, also by Nordiska Kök. 

Styling by Annaleena Leino / Photography by Kristofer Johnsson 

Images courtesy of Nordiska Kök 

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Masseria House by Studio 11:11

Founded by New Zealand Architect and Interior Designer Annabel Smart, and Melbourne-based Interior Architect Marijne Vogel, Studio 11:11 operates in multiple disciplines, exploring the boundaries between interior architecture, leather goods, and objects to create a diverse body of work with one collective narrative. That narrative is all about their understanding of the relationship between human emotion and place, which they continue to grow through their body of work, and a commitment to conscious design. Recently celebrating three years in business, Studio 11:11 extends its unique design aesthetic to award-winning projects across New Zealand and Australia, such as Auckland’s Basecamp Power Yoga - recently awarded winner of 2020 Interior Awards in the category of health and wellness. Basecamp also won bronze at the recent Best Design Awards 2020, along with Annabel receiving the Emerging Designer Award. Judges noted, “...her work is refined, sensitive and elegant- a refreshing take on the New Zealand interior scene.” Inspiring projects that have been featured here on TDC, I’m very happy to share their latest with you today, Masseria House


Working in close collaboration with the client, Studio 11:11 was set the task of designing a sophisticated and pared-back Melbourne home, with a relaxed Mediterranean resort-style atmosphere. As with all of Studio 11:11’s projects, Masseria House is a celebration of natural materials. Unfussy yet elegant, charismatic yet calm, the interior spaces are defined by functionality, simplicity and craftsmanship.







Upon entering, the impressive foyer sets a tone for the rest of the house. A roughly textured spiral staircase interrupts the surrounding rectilinear forms. As you continue through to the expansive open plan kitchen, dining and living area, changes in floor and wall finishes delineate zones and create a more human scale, while in keeping with the grandness of the open arrangement.

The fastidious detailing of the kitchen joinery is proof that behind the portrayal of minimalism is a highly resolved and complex design. The butler’s pantry, laundry, rumpus and gym are neatly tucked away from the eyes of visitors, who are instead lead down into a sunken ‘cosy room’.




To ensure a personalised connection with the end result, the client was actively involved in hand-selecting each material. On the ground floor, there are heavy set rock walls, travertine stone, polished rendered walls and exposed aggregate concrete floors. This seemingly busy layering of textures achieves a sense of calm by using similar neutral tones throughout. On the upper level, the hard surfaces are replaced with plush carpet and warm toned timber, creating a more intimate and restful environment.



A sublime interior that breathes in harmony with the architecture, it is polished and refined yet met with a raw and natural edge. This unique juxtaposition gives it strength of character, as though it has always been there. In what could have been a house of intimidating proportions, this is a beautifully inviting, tactile and tranquil home.

For further inspiration from Studio 11:11 take a look at their Mt Eliza Kitchen project - another one of my favourites. 

Interior Design and Styling by Studio 11:11
Conceptual direction and finishes by Anita Friedman (client)
Architecture and Build by Agushi Constructions
Photography by Nicholas John Wilkins

Images courtesy of Studio 11:11

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A Stunning Swedish Apartment with Festive Touches

12.01.2020

With the end of the year fast approaching, I'm looking forward to taking some time to reflect on all the highs and lows of 2020. I'm so grateful that the styling work has picked up again over the last couple of months, but I'm equally thankful that I have finally learnt how to slow down. I've taken stock of the challenges I've faced in the past around trying to do too much, namely, juggle the blog with styling projects, and have come to terms with the fact that it isn't humanly possible to post on here five days a week while carrying out product sourcing, styling (often photography and editing) and content writing all on my own. Last week I had a big location shoot and for the first time in over eight years, I put the blog to one side to focus on this full time, without any of the guilt I have felt in the past. Well, maybe a little guilt, but I am making progress! For my loyal readers, I hope this answers any questions you may have around the sporadic nature of my posting of late. As I talked about in this recent podcast with Natalie Walton, my focus is on quality, not quantity, and I have also been working on some other design projects. I love that this is a continually evolving process, and I can't wait to share more of the styling I've been working on.  



I haven't started decorating for Christmas yet, but seeing inspiration around the web is definitely providing motivation. I've purchased a few new paper decorations, but I'm still on the hunt for a tree as I've decided after last year's allergies we need to change to a faux version! The tree is always the hero of our Christmas decorating, but as demonstrated in this beautiful Swedish apartment even small touches bring a nice festive feel.

The apartment, located in a building built in 1902, has been fully renovated with respect for the original architectural detailing. This includes the high ceilings, beautifully restored stucco and new wall mouldings created in the same style as when the home was first built. The dark kitchen island anchors the bright and airy kitchen, while soap-scrubbed wooden floors run throughout the apartment providing a distinctively nordic feel. 







I love how the curved brick wall adds a sculptural element, as well as warmth and contrast. The master bedroom is a calming oasis with layered linen in soft natural hues and a touch of travertine on the bedsides with the ferm Living Arum table lamps in cashmere. 






Styling by GreyDeco / Photography by Anders Bergstedt

Images via Alvhem

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ALIUM Exhibition | The Reinvention of Forms by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

11.30.2020

Renowned Danish architect and photographer Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen has created his first Monograph, The Reinvention of Forms. A captivating curation, the cinematic compositions in black and white feature fragmenting bodies, architecture and nature, centred around a recurring motif of spherical shapes. To mark the launch, in an exclusive collaboration with ALIUM, a series of limited edition artworks are currently on display at the art gallery in Copenhagen. The exhibition features a carefully selected array of photographs from the book, sold exclusively through the gallery.





The striking collection demonstrates how Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen reinvents the forms around him as luminous images, creating intimate and enigmatic juxtapositions that invite the viewer to look again and imagine what lies beyond the frame. As a trained architect, Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen brings to life his understanding of tactility, minimalism and detail by anchoring his still life series around a recurring motif of spherical shapes and through rendering each image in exquisite black and white tonalities. Alongside the mesmerising aesthetics of the photographic work, The Reinvention of Forms also includes interpretations of Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen’s practice from his close friends and collaborators, including an introduction by the seminal Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa and a short fictional story by prize-winning Danish author Thomas Rydahl.





Having long admired the work of Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, I love seeing his body of work celebrated in this way. I find the artworks intriguing and sensory, each one unique yet connected by a common thread, as beautifully described below... 
 
Nature’s imperfection is a humble reminder of old and new: of purity and impermanence. Its inherent sense of harmony is something to celebrate and be guided by. Our body measures our surroundings; it’s spatial properties, materiality, scale, distance. From our eyes to our skin and muscles, we perceive and understand our surroundings on a multi-sensory level. Without being fully aware of it, our vision projects our body and touch onto buildings, into spaces and surrounding nature; it touches distant surfaces, textures, edges, and our sense of touch tells us how to perceive these. Spaces are living voids defined by additions to space and deductions — the unseen matter and shapeless absence surrounding defined objects.









The Reinvention of Forms by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen is exhibited at ALIUM Gallery from now through to 22 December and will be open for visitors by appointment only.

Images 1-8: Photography by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
Images 9-13: Styling by Charlotte Skytte Daugbjerg / Photography by Sofie Staunsager 

Images courtesy of ALIUM

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Bedroom Update with Luxaflex - The Reveal

11.19.2020

Last week I shared the first part of our bedroom update with Luxaflex®, The Selection Process, and today I’m excited to share the reveal. In case you missed it, in the first instalment I talked about what we were wanting to achieve in terms of light filtering qualities and privacy during the day, and blockout at night. Following a home visit by Luxaflex to talk through the options, we decided on a combination of two products, the new Luxaflex LumiShade™ and the Duette® shades.


The LumiShades bring a textural softness to the space. 

Visiting the showroom to see how these products would work once installed was a key part of the process, as was testing out fabric swatches in our bedroom throughout the day and night. With three LumiShade fabric varieties on offer, I couldn’t go past the Luxury option, and to create the soft effect I was after I chose Flax, a pale beige colour. Fitting seamlessly alongside our recently painted walls in Dulux Mangaweka Quarter, the decision to install the blinds from the top of the ceiling and wall to wall as recommended to us by Luxaflex was integral to the overall result. By adding an element of textural softness and warmth, the LumiShades have completely changed the look and feel of the room. They also provide a fascinating play on light, achieved by simply rotating the fabric vanes. As we move them from one side to the other, the level of light and even the colour subtly changes. I love that on a particularly bright day when the strong afternoon sun streams in, we can control the brightness while creating beautiful effects with the light. We can also have the sliding doors wide open and walk easily in and out through the LumiShades.

By simply rotating the fabric vanes, we can filter the light and add privacy. I love seeing how small adjustments make subtle differences to the light and colours in the room.  

I chose Flax, a soft beige colour for the LumiShades and I love how it blends seamlessly with the wall colour. 


Here the fabric vanes are rotated closed, providing room darkening functionality. 

With summer heading our way that bright sun can also overheat the room, which is where the second product we installed comes in to play. Chosen as the ideal blockout solution for night time, the Duette shades also filter unwanted glare while defecting heat. So if for example, we are heading out for the afternoon on a hot summer’s day, we can drop the Duette blinds to keep our room significantly cooler. When it comes to winter, the Duette shades will dramatically insulate the room.

A combination of LumiShades and Duette Shades has provided the perfect solution. 

The Powerview Pebble is an added feature that makes the Duette Shades so easy to use. 


In addition to blockout, the Duette Shades provide the ultimate in energy efficiency by defecting heat in summer and insulating in winter.  

The colour I chose for our Duette Shades is Birch, a slightly darker beige than the LumiShades and walls to create a little more warmth, depth and contrast. In terms of blockout, they are the ideal solution - perfect for those Sunday morning sleep-ins!


In addition to the PowerView Pebble, we have installed the PowerView Automation Hub to activate both the Duettes in the bedroom and Silhouettes in our dining room with voice control.  


Available in different colourways, I chose an Oyster Pebble and White Remote to match the room. 

The Powerview Automation for the Luxaflex Silhouette® shades in our dining area has been such a dream, I knew I wanted the same for the Duettes. A completely cordless battery operated system, allowing you to open and close the blinds with the press of a button on the remote - the PowerView Pebble - I was excited to learn that we could install the Powerview Automation Hub to integrate with the upstairs dining room Silhouette Shades. Using the app on our phone, we can now use voice control to automatically control the shades no matter where we are!


My morning routine. The PowerView Pebble is programmed to operate both the Duettes and the Luxaflex Silhouette shades in the dining area upstairs.  
 

I love being able to have the LumiShades closed for privacy and to filter the bright light, while leaving the doors open to allow for a cool breeze.  

From start to finish, working with Luxaflex been a completely seamless and thoroughly enjoyable process. Once again, the products have completely elevated the space in terms of both aesthetics and functionality, and we are thrilled with the results.

Styling by Michelle Halford-Studio TDC / Photography by Helen Bankers / Assisted by Anton Maurer

Bordeaux Night Stands from BoConcept (gifted)
Still book by Natalie Walton (gifted)
Clothing by Juliette Hogan (brand partner)  

AD / This is a paid partnership 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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