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THE DESIGN CHASER

Los Angeles Residence by Conrad Architects

3.05.2021

Designed by Melbourne-based Conrad Architects, this new family home in Los Angeles typifies the practice's approach to balancing a contemporary and minimal aesthetic with traditional influences. Exhibiting a sense of calm and retreat achieved through the timeless aesthetic and controlled design, the careful selection of materials is based upon their environmental and wellness qualities. This includes a preference for natural materials that showcase integrity and resilience, with colours reflective of natural timbers, stones, linens, plasters, renders and sands. The overall result is a rich and warm interior that portrays a restrained luxury.


To delve a little deeper into this incredible project and find out the inspirations behind it, I chatted to Paul Conrad, founder of Conrad Architects...

Tell us about your overall vision for the interior and the materials you used to bring this to life.

The merging of classical and contemporary values within a space is sometimes referred to as the “transitional genre” of architecture. This is a great way to describe the foundation of what is central to the design of LA Residence; an empathetic transition between the old and the new.

With restrained luxury and balanced architectural nuances throughout, we were able to create a vision for this space that evokes calmness through minimalism and warmth through textured layering. It’s not too often these values can work in unison, however, the focus on natural materials throughout enabled us to embrace the juxtaposition seamlessly. The oak timber flooring has a certain rawness to it, and the white-washed walls being slightly off-white, provide an element of movement, texture and softness to the space.


The bathroom almost feels like an additional living area. How did you achieve this sense of calm and cohesion?

The bathroom of LA Residence is complementary to the rest of the house, with timber flooring and natural linen curtains that diminish any sense of disjointedness from one room into the next. This softens the transition between interior spaces that—traditionally speaking—often have prominent stark differences between them.



What were the key influences for this project and how did they impact the overall design? 

Our approach to this project was driven by a commitment to the definitive architectural principles of space, light and proportion. The space of LA Residence borrows from traditional Georgian architecture, in that it boasts tall, slender, vertical proportioning that invites a sense of vastness and light throughout.


Images by Third Aesthetic 

The bathroom lighting is by Apparatus Studio, and the chair is by Rick Owens

For more inspiration from Conrad Architects, take a look at the beautiful Melfort Townhouses. 

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Democratic Eyewear in Copenhagen by Studio Emily Broom

3.04.2021

Studio Emily Broom has combined industrial materials such as concrete and stainless steel with smoked oak and velvety soft leather to create an understated elegance for a sleek, contemporary eyewear store in Copenhagen. Located on Gammel Kongevej, one of Frederiksberg’s main shopping streets, the store is the newest addition to the Democratic Eyewear family.




Founded in July 2019, Democratic Eyewear’s philosophy is to keep things simple with exceptionally designed eyewear of the best quality that is both affordable and available to everyone. Gammel Kongevej is their 3rd store in Denmark, but the first designed by Studio Emily Broom. The Copenhagen-based studio, founded by Australian architect and designer Emily Broom, designed the store to emphasise these principles of simplicity and quality and to enhance a shopping experience that is authentic, straightforward and calm.




The store reflects Emily’s refined aesthetic, attention to detail and thoughtful approach, all of which she honed while designing projects in Denmark and abroad for renowned architecture and design studios Space Copenhagen, Norm Architects and Dorte Mandrup. Establishing her own Copenhagen studio in 2019, she is now developing interior architecture projects across a range of scales, alongside furniture projects, and functional objects for private commission. For Democratic Eyewear, warm walls have been dressed with stripped back stainless steel shelves that allow the product to be the focus. Two full length mirrors punctuate the steel shelves by visually connecting one side of the space to the other via a seven meter long smoked oak counter. While the slim profile steel shelves are visually lightweight and ‘hover’ off the wall, the counter anchors the scheme with its deliberately massive yet asymmetric design.


 

At one end, the cantilevered counter provides a space to meet and greet while the opposite end offers customers a place to sit and have a more relaxed consultation with the Democratic Eyewear team. The counter is supported by 2 columns that double as storage concealed behind flush push-touch drawers, while leather lined drawers to the centre of the counter showcase the range of sunglasses and accessories.

In each window, a smoked oak floating shelf displays more eyewear on hand polished steel plates, some layered with pale ice blue leather that subtly plays with tone on tone adding tactility without detracting from the eyewear products themselves. ‘The aim was to create an overall sense of calm for the customer’s shopping experience by taking away the excess that often distracts from the actual product being sold. The muted and restrained colour palette creates a cool environment that feels contemporary and inviting’.





To the rear of the shop, the dropped ceiling creates a change in pace and a natural nook for lounging. A floor to ceiling bookshelf centres on the space to display artwork, books or additional eyewear. Two low lounge chairs from Møbel Copenhagen, upholstered in a chunky grey textile offset by the minimal polished steel frame are accompanied by smoked glass wall mounted lights from New Works. This welcoming space offers an opportunity for customers to pause and enjoy a cup of coffee or a cocktail as part of Friday bar while their frames are adjusted.




A separate consultation room for eyesight examinations is located behind a floor to ceiling steel framed glass wall and softened with curtains behind. When the room is not in use, the curtains are drawn back, and natural light floods the room pulling the eye through the full depth of the store. Muted dusty blue-grey cabinetry is contrasted to the slick stainless steel details. The blue-grey base units provide additional storage and custom-made oak trays inside can be pulled out to display the full colour range of each eyewear collection.



All furniture and accessories in the store are custom-made, including the large mirror behind the counter. Featuring a stainless steel edge, this breaks up the rigid formality while increasing the sense of space within the store.

One of Democratic Eyewear’s unique selling points is the number of frames they have available for their customers. The challenge when designing was to hit the optimum number of frames on display without overwhelming the customer. ‘We achieved this by keeping the design language for the store simple without any visible fixings or unnecessary details. By using a restrained palette and symmetry in the floorplan we were able to create a design that encourages the customer to circulate the entire space with enough visual pauses to be able to view over 400 frames without feeling overwhelmed.’


Photography by Studio Emily Broom

A beautiful addition to the inspiring city of Copenhagen, what a dream it would be to visit this store for the annual eye test and to shop for new glasses! 

I also recommend checking out the Lullula Project by Studio Emily Broom.

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Styling and Journal Feature with Wallace Cotton

3.03.2021

Last year I began working with family-owned New Zealand bed linen and homeware business Wallace Cotton. With a focus on beautiful designs inspired by nature, the gentle pace of our seasons, and the relaxed lifestyle of living in New Zealand, Wallace Cotton has been in homes worldwide for more than 14 years. Their range of collectable products are made from natural materials with enduring quality and attention to detail, all while being kind to the planet. To coincide with the Mid-summer campaign, I also sat down with Wallace Cotton to answer a few questions for their journal. 



Among other things, I talk about how I got into interior design and what I love about my role, what a typical day on location with Wallace Cotton is like, and my tips for creating a beautiful bedroom. 



Styling Michelle Halford - Studio TDC / Photography by Jae Frew 

You can read the interview here

Visit Wallace Cotton to see all the new collection designs, including those featured above. 

Additional pieces in the shoot, with thanks:
Armadillo Malawi rug (first and last image), Serengeti rug (images 3 &4) The Ivy House
Louis Poulsen lamps designed by Arne Jabobsen (images 1 & 3) Cult NZ
Sike Monet chair (image 3), Broste Copenhagen vase (image 4), and Triboa Bay Pena bedside table (last image) May Time 
Flowers (first image) Bloom Social 

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BoConcept Launches Compact Living Inspired Capsule Collection

3.02.2021

As we experience ongoing lockdowns, we are reminded of the high demands that are being put on our homes. We now need hard-working spaces that often double as an office, classroom or gym, and additionally, our family members often share these spaces for an unprecedented number of hours per day. In response to the increased need for space-efficiency, BoConcept has created the Capsule Collection that includes refreshed bestsellers in new compact-living proportions. Here are some of my picks.



Indivi Round Lounge Module
The Indivi sofa by Anders Nørgaard celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019, and the timeless design makes it consistently one of BoConcept’s bestselling sofas. In addition to its minimal lines and lasting comfort, the secret of its success is its ever-growing array of customisation options for armrests, legs, upholstery details and modules. The Capsule Collection sees the addition of another customisable option with the new round lounge module.


Ideal for a compact space, the module’s welcoming design creates more ways to sit and interact within the room, without dominating it or requiring lots of additional space. And of course, like all Indivi sofas, it can be upholstered in the brand’s full range of fabrics and leathers.



Eden Pouf
Versatile and timeless, the new Eden Pouf features a minimal form and can be used as a coffee table, extra seat, footstool and more. Available in two easy-to-incorporate sizes and finished in any of BoConcept’s 120+ upholstery options, the pouf also provides an opportunity to inject an accent of colour into your space.



August Dining Table
The Augusta table by Henrik Pedersen was a standout piece from the AW19/20 collection, with its characteristic slim-line pipework legs, exposed construction details and organic curves. While the original 230cm length makes it ideal for large open dining rooms, BoConcept has now released the table in a new 160cm length. What’s great is that the smaller design still includes a concealed extension leaf, adding 76cm of additional dining space when required. Augusta’s table top is available in both dark oak veneer and dark marble.



Chiva Coffee Table
I love how contemporary design meets functionality with the Chiva Coffee Table’s clever integrated storage. With compartments to hide your remotes, magazines, chargers and cables, you can also raise the slim table tops to create the perfect height for afternoon tea. Different leg designs offer different heights and functionalities allowing you to achieve the perfect coffee table solution for your space.





Taylor Sofa Bed 
With the success of the Indivi and Osaka sofa beds, and innovative Xtra footstool-bed, BoConcept has launched Taylor by Imola chair designer, Henrik Pedersen. Visually comforting with generous cushion and armrests finished with soft curves, the addition of bolster cushions allow for flexible back cushion positioning, ideal for reading or breakfast in bed. Engaged with the simple pull of a strap, the sofa bed is also easily transportable (great for narrow stairwells) with detachable backrest, armrests and front panel. Bedding can be stored in a matching concealed storage footstool, complete with casters.




Philadelphia Coffee Table
Philadelphia by Henrik Pedersen was launched in 2019, delivering a minimal yet statement coffee table. The design works around a pleasing configuration of open compartments, with the option to mix surfaces for added interest. While Philadelphia’s original proportions made it ideally suited to large living rooms, BoConcept has now developed the popular design in a small size for the compact living segment. Available in a dark and light colourway, both feature surfaces in ceramic and lacquer, with a brushed steel frame.


Such a great range of multifunctional furniture to maximise your room space without compromising on beautiful Danish style, find out more about the new Capsule Collection here. 


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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Nuura Launches the Rizatto Collection

2.22.2021

Working on the basis of the classic chandelier, Danish lighting brand Nuura is now launching the Rizatto collection designed by internationally renowned lighting designer Paolo Rizatto. With a long and distinguished career in the field of lighting and a fascination for chandeliers, Paolo Rizatto is Italy's answer to Poul Henningsen of Denmark, making him the perfect match for Nuura's ambition to spread light and joy.



"I have recently been working extensively with the topic of chandeliers. This fascinating subject has always been on my mind throughout my career as a lighting designer. That was why I enjoyed the stimulating challenge of creating a new collection of lamps based on the chandelier." — Paolo Rizatto.








Comprising two pendants and a ceiling light, the Rizatto Collection is defined by organic shapes created by mouth-blown glass. The design of the pendants, which feature brass-coloured anodised aluminium and mouth-blown glass, allows the light to unfold from its source and diffuse through the opal-white glass, creating soft and comfortable quality lighting. Two of the pendants are height-adjustable, making them versatile for use in both private homes or public spaces. The ceiling light is mounted directly on the ceiling, allowing for the creation of unique, decorative ceiling lighting.





The collaboration with Paolo Rizzatto is part of Nuura's strategy of working with external designers to enrich and create greater diversity within Nuura's design range. The brand takes its inspiration from the Nordic design tradition, based on simplicity combined with respect for nature and the environment. The objective is to create an aesthetic design that spreads joy and quality lighting.

"Working with Paolo has been inspirational and educational. He is one of the most exciting lighting designers on the international scene and has created a whole range of stunning classics. Paolo has extensive experience within lighting and works with considerable attention to detail. The combination of his immense passion for light and lighting design brings a fantastic degree of energy to our partnership." — Sofie Refer, Creative Director, Nuura.





You can read more about Paolo Rizatto, and the story behind his collaboration with Nuura here. 

Styling: Vyff
Photography: Maja Karen 
Location: Kim Grenaa

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The Bridge House in Sydney by Lot 1 Design

2.19.2021

Interior design studio Lot 1 have completed an inspiring renovation on Sydney’s Lower North Shore. Once a dark, cramped semi-detached home, it has been transformed to suit a family of five, with hardworking details, practical finishes and an ingenious mix of style and function.



Bricks that were uncovered during the renovation formed the genesis of the design. Lot 1 principal Tammy Miconi says that remnants of the bricks from the existing chimney in the internal courtyard were the starting point, and that the strong tactility of this material led to a restrained approach to the kitchen joinery detailing and finish. Ensuring ample storage, full height cupboards were purposely kept off the ceiling to continue the visual effect of the brickwork. 











The kitchen’s neutral paint colours - Dulux Tranquil Retreat for the main kitchen joinery and Dulux Juvenile for the island bench joinery - tie in with the brick tones, providing a beautifully cohesive effect. The B&B Italia Jens stools are from Space Furniture, and the Odie dining chairs by Fomu and the Bok dining table by Ethnicraft are from Koskela. The Rina Menardi Platter on the dining table, tableware and glassware are from Ondine.

A double height void opposite an internal courtyard makes an elegant transition between old and new.






The seamless shelving in the living room is animated by books, sculptural objects and natural foliage. A dark ridge sliding door creates a visual link to the kitchen while cleverly concealing everyday clutter.







Clean lines and textural elements combine to create a warm and welcoming living space. Key pieces include the Soho Sofa from Life Interiors, the B&B Italia Tobi Ishi coffee table from Space Furniture, and the Agra Rug from Armadillo

Located upstairs along with two bedrooms and a bathroom is the main bedroom featuring Society bedding from Ondene and the &Tradition Catch chair from Cult. Grey tones and wood elements continue through to the beautiful ensuite with Urban Grey porcelain tiles from Artedomus. The Cassina 523 Tabouret Méribel stool designed by Charlotte Perriand from Space Furniture and Frama bath wash from Oliver Thom provide the perfect finishing touches.  












At ground level, the large light-filled open-plan spaces spill out onto a deck and lawn. The exterior's brick detailing and neutral palette provide a coherent finish and harmonious feel inside and out. The exterior External Doors & Windows feature Colorbond Dulux Monument and the External Wall Colour is Dulux Tranquil Retreat.




 
Interior Design: Lot1design
Architecture: Peter Valencic
Build: Richards Building Co
Styling: Alexandra Gordon
Photography: Prue Ruscoe

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