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SSM Launches Black Noir


Swedish design studio Smålands Skinnmanufaktur (SSM) has introduced striking dark variations to their collection of furniture and homewares with the launch of SSM Black Noir. Their signature shelves, hanger, stool and daybed are now offered in a beautiful combination of black Swedish leather from Tärnsjö Tannery and dark-treated and matt lacquered ash. The shelf and hanger products also come in the original ash finish with black leather, accentuating the beauty of the pieces through contrasts of light and dark. 

With a focus on craft, and valuing our planet's resources, SSM expresses the feeling of the collection through beautiful words. Here is an excerpt... 

An ongoing journey continues towards a darkened expression.

Further out into the world, yet closer to our heart. More mature, with more courage, and a strong belief that furniture may well lean into art. Bringing something more, earning its place as a statement piece and putting an edge on the room’s personality.

Trends come and go. The choice has been made to see past them, creating an attitude to follow the tendencies without conforming to them. Standing confident in the design as well as in the meticulously produced materials. Furniture designed with a purpose of its own gives pleasure to the eye every day.   

Art Direction by Hillevi Magnell (Co-founder of SSM) / Styling by Sundling Kickén / Photography by Osman Tahir

View the whole collection here. 

Images courtesy of SSM

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Winners of the 2021 Australian Interior Design Awards


The 2021 Australian Interior Design Awards (AIDA) were presented as a virtual livestream on Friday 3rd of September to acknowledge and celebrate the ingenuity of Australian design. Delivered through a partnership between the Design Institute of Australia and Architecture Media’s Artichoke Magazine, the Australian Interior Design Awards is the nation’s foremost awards program for the industry.

Residential Design joint winner: Architects EAT for Bellows House
Photography: Derek Swalwell  

Now in its 18th year, the 2021 program was required to pivot to a digital broadcast in the weeks leading up to the event, drawing on last year’s program to deliver once again a highly successful and engaging virtual gala. Acknowledging the impact of the last 18 months, the jury celebrated the resilience of the industry, remarking “The pandemic hit hard and for the Australian interior design industry, the oftentimes devastating consequences were felt across the board. But if this hardship showed us anything, it’s that our designers and architects are a resilient bunch with an indomitable spirit.”

Residential Design joint winner: Flack Studio for Potts Point 
Photography: Anson Smart 

The esteemed award for Residential Design was jointly awarded to Architects EAT for Bellows House and Flack Studio for its work on Potts Point. Referring to Bellows House, the jury noted that “it’s a resolved space that integrates the interior with the architecture, giving rise to a series of spaces that are dramatic, theatrical and extremely livable.” The jurors unanimously agreed that this atypical space was something they’d not seen before, its creative reinterpretation of 20th century architectural design challenging the existing typology. 

Flack Studio’s Potts Point was dually awarded, also named Best of State Residential Design (NSW). A home in which each juror felt they could live; it was praised for faultlessly meeting the brief. Of the project the jury commented, “the interiors are carefully curated and offer the quintessential answer to what the Residential Design category is all about – to deliver livable domestic bliss.”

Residential Decoration joint winner: Flack Studio for Middle Park
Photography: Anson Smart

There were also joint winners for the Residential Decoration award. Flack Studio received the award for the beautiful and thoughtfully curated Middle Park House. The jury commended it for being a principled creative undertaking and was impressed by its highly evocative qualities. One jury member commented that it feels like it was borne out of a detailed knowledge of the history of interior decoration, both locally and internationally, resulting in an interior that appears fresh and somehow familiar. 

Arent & Pyke received the award for Garden House, a well-curated, breathtakingly beautiful and very liveable home. It features a thoughtfully executed interior decoration scheme that is particular to the client and place, and the jury was above all impressed with its polished eclecticism. This project is global in the best sense of the word, making Garden House appear utterly contemporary. It is to be admired for its austerity and fresh restraint.

Residential Decoration joint winner: Arent & Pyke for Garden House
Photography: Anson Smart 

There were also a number of Commendations awarded in the Residential Design and Residential Decoration categories. Flack Studio also received a Residential Design Commendation for Middle Park House (pictured above). 

Residential Design Award Commendation: Adam Kane Architects for Barwon Heads House
Photography: Timothy Kaye

Residential Design Award Commendation: Studio Bright for 8 Yard House

Photography: Rory Gardiner

Residential Design Award Commendation: Design Office for The Carringbush Hotel

Photography: Tom Ross 

Residential Design Award Commendation: O'Connor and Houle Architecture and Landscapes for Oliver Lane Apartment

Photography: James Geer 

Residential Decoration Commendation: Arent & Pyke for Hue House

Photography: Anson Smart

To see the full list of winners across all categories, visit the AIDA website. 

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Reform Launches Kitchen by Pritzker Prize-winning Architect Jean Nouvel


Formed in 2014 by Jeppe Christensen and Michael Andersen, Reform is a Copenhagen-based company that aims to push the boundaries of the kitchen industry with award-winning, yet affordable kitchen design. Over the years they have collaborated with acclaimed designers and studios such as Cecilie Manz, Studio David Thulstrup, Norm Architects and Note Design Studio. Now, they present an incredible new kitchen, Reflect, by Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Jean Nouvel.

The new kitchen design marries time-honoured Danish design tradition with storied French architecture, with a tight and minimalist, yet characteristically dazzling and lasting kitchen. Harbouring a timeless, understated extravagance with an iconic art deco feel, the kitchen by Jean Nouvel comes with the lauded architect’s gift for conceptualizing light through a reflective, monochrome design available in black and untreated metal, featuring vertical ridges.

The Paris-based architect Jean Nouvel is one of the 21 century’s most prolific creative minds. With an unparalleled list of achievements to his name that includes winning the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2008 as well as architecture like the Arab World Institute, The Torre Agbar in Barcelona, Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Danish Concert Hall, Jean Nouvel transcends the present moment with lasting, thought-provoking buildings that look set to remain relevant in this century and beyond.

In the kitchen design, the globally acclaimed architect applies his characteristic ability for telling stories and evoking imagery through design. Made from sturdy steel imbued with vertical ridges, the monochrome kitchen fronts are available in black and metal with a high gloss, reflective surface, adding Jean Nouvel’s signature experimentation with light and atmosphere to the kitchen’s surroundings. The countertops come in stainless steel and gray and black Fenix laminate that complement and accent the charming reflectivity, created by the kitchen design’s radiant aesthetic. The kitchen sees one of the most important architects of the modern era bridging the scale from architecture to kitchen design while channeling his prize-winning creativity into a kitchen designed to be functional, durable and iconic.

Jean Nouvel and Reform occupy different ends of the design spectrum. Where Jean Nouvel concerns himself with creating ‘visual landscapes’, Reform is dedicated to delivering extraordinary, yet accessible kitchen design. What the two parties have in common, however, is empathy with their audiences — a deep-seated need to create pleasant environments where human beings are stimulated and feel at ease. The kitchen is the manifestation of those similar sensibilities converging in a lasting kitchen with a vibrant and inviting atmosphere.

Sharing further insight into the collaboration, here is a Q&A with Reform CEO and co-founder Jeppe Christensen...

How did the collaboration with Reform come along?

”France is a great market for Reform so in our search for a new collaboration it was natural for us to look in the direction of France and since we are long time admirers of Jean Nouvel and his work it was natural for us to reach out to him and his studio and start a dialogue. We met the first time back in 2018 and we have been working on this design for more than three years. We're very happy with the final result.”

What was the nature of the collaboration?

”To be honest the process has been quite long and longer than normal - and that’s mainly because of two things - first of all, COVID made it really difficult to travel to Paris and meet up in real life, which is something that is super important in the design phase and prototyping phase - you always need to work with the details together. You need to see and discuss it in real life. Second, it’s quite a complex kitchen design to manufacture - there are a lot of small details that need to be perfect, so there were a lot of fittings and adjustments to hit the right expression, but most importantly the high quality that we always strive for.”

What are the characteristics?

“The grooves in the material that the kitchen fronts consist of giving it a silent, but yet a clear characteristic expression. The grooves in the shiny metal reflect and throws the light in a characteristic and playful way.”

What kind of “domestic life” does it inspire?

”The kitchen is minimalistic, but yet super expressionistic - I think that’s what Jean Nouvel does so well - so it inspires to live a life of expression without drowning out everything else - which I think is quite sympathetic and beautiful.”

The new Reflect kitchen is now available at Reform’s international range of showrooms. Reform also offer worldwide shipping. Find out more here. 

Images courtesy of Reform 

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