Dinosaur Designs – 'Lapis Landscape' Collection

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Dazzling blue is the star of Dinosaur Designs’ new ‘Lapis Landscape’ collection of homewares and jewellery

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Blue is an incredibly powerful colour, reminding us of the sea and sky. It’s by turns serene, soothing and startling, as seen in the gorgeous new ‘Lapis Landscape’ collection of resin and brass homewares and jewellery by Australian duo Dinosaur Designs.

TOP: Resin ‘Horn’ vase from 2019’s ‘Lapis Landscape’ collection by Dinosaur Designs
ABOVE: ‘Horn’ bangle, ‘Tall Stone’ jug and ‘Large Rock’ cups; ‘Mother of Pearl’ dish; assorted homewares, all from the resin ‘Lapis Landscape’ range

By creative directors Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, the range’s ‘electrifying and intense’ blue designs take their cue from lapis lazuli, a deep-blue rock and semi-precious stone prized since antiquity for its vibrant cobalt colour. Mined mainly in Afghanistan, lapis has been used for adornment on both the living and the dead (it appears on Tutankhamun’s funeral mask) and when ground down its pigment is the finest ultramarine hue, beloved by artists of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. It’s a colour that translates well to contemporary resin, drawing the eye while refreshing the soul. ‘I was inspired by the incredible jewel-like depths of the colour Lapis,’ says Olsen.

ABOVE: ‘Horn’ vase, ‘Small Stone’ jug, ‘Wide Organic Column’ vase and ‘Small Mother of Pearl’ dish; various spoons; ‘Moon’ cheese platter, ‘Stone’ cheese knife and ‘Shell’ spoon

Dramatic blues aside, ‘Lapis Landscape’ features a rich, earthy palette balanced by ivory swirls, with clay hues influenced by the red sands of the Australian Outback and gold tone accents. ‘I was also fascinated by the relationship between the ochre sand tones of central Australia and the creamy white sands of Sydney,’ says Olsen, ‘all of which translate perfectly to our handmade resin pieces.’ Forms are boldly sculptural, with new shapes including the ‘Horn’ and ‘Organic Column’ vases, complementing the classic ‘Beetle’ bowls and ‘Pearl’ dishes. Launched on 11 February, the homewares collection offers a covetable choice of vases, cups, bowls, dishes, platters, coasters, cheese knives and spoons.

ABOVE: ‘Double Circle’ drop earrings; ‘Large Horn’ earrings and jug; ‘Large Circle Drop’ earrings, ‘Horn’ bangle and ‘Medium Column’ vase; ‘Long Flute’ necklace and ‘Horn’ bangles, all from the ‘Lapis Landscape’ jewellery and homewares range

Jewellery spans rings, earrings, pendants, cuffs and bangles. Fresh additions to the range include ‘Long Flute’ and ‘Circle Drop’ earrings, with pieces such as the ‘Horn’ series of rings, earrings and cuffs combining resin and brass.

‘Lapis Landscape’ is available in Dinosaur Designs’ flagship stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, London and New York as well as online. Prices start from AU$25 for a resin ‘Shell’ teaspoon, which comes in Clay Swirl, Ivory Swirl and Ivory colourways, as well as that dreamy Lapis Swirl.

dinosaurdesigns.com.au

Photography Victoria Zschommler; Styled by Natalie Turnbull and Heleena Trahanas; Model Alana McCoy

Mingardo

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Italian metalwork brand Mingardo brings the magic back with a covetable collection of homewares

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

A storage ladder that doubles as a light. A bike stand that wouldn't be out of place in a church. A fruit bowl that looks like a cool car part... There's an element of surprise about Italian brand Mingardo, which has curated a collection of covetable metal homewares with a dash of magic. 

Based in the small, historic town of Monselice, near Padua and Venice, Mingardo's back story is intriguing too, with this metalwork company revived by Italian welder Daniele Mingardo in 2013. Once the 40-year-old family firm focussed on traditional metal pieces, but son Daniele saw an opportunity to combine time-honed skills with more contemporary forms, inspired by his time in the workshop where he started aged 18. 'My father always told me, "If you need something, do it with iron!" The passion for iron and the concreteness of things drives me.'

ABOVE: Barbara Schweizer's iron 'Scaltra' portable clothes or towel rack for Mingardo, backlit with atmospheric LEDs
RIGHT: Italian welder Daniele Mingardo founded the new brand in 2013, building on his family firm's metalworks legacy, with collections drawing on traditional methods
BELOW: The elegant brass 'Bi-track' bike stand by Masanori Mori, a simple line with a soft light at the end designed to weather with time

ABOVE: The arcing iron and brass 'Centro' table, and brass 'Separè' multi-use rack, anchored at the base, both by design duo Omri Revesz and Damian Tatangelo

The result is a compact collection of luxe, hand-wrought furniture, lighting and accessories in which metals – from iron to copper and brass – shine, with an emphasis on craftsmanship, details and surface finishes. Produced in Mingardo's own workshop, they're proof that even the most old-school industries can find new direction, even if it's at a considerably higher price tag.

Hand-crafted homewares include small tables and stools, dividing screens and towel racks, and accessories from mirrors to trays, fruit bowls to trivets, and candleholders to charming indoor 'candle lamps'. Sure, the softly illuminated bike rack errs on the side of glamour, but it's functional too. And while pieces may have an industrial look, it's a clean, chic, minimal one, teamed with wood and glass, that's a far cry from the hefty candelabra of yore.

ABOVE: Accessories include the brass 'Elementa' fruit bowl and copper, brass or inox 'Folio' candleholders, both by Antigone Acconci and Riccardo Bastiani; Small furniture spans the 'Fabrica' stool in varnished or burnished iron by Revesz & Tatangelo, and 'Satin' side table by Chiara Andreatti in matt or varnished iron, covered with a brass or copper sheet

Production is local, with a healthy dose of Italian designers on board, from Barbara Schweizer to Chiara Andreatti, Antigone Acconci and Riccardo Bastiani. New-generation global names contributing to the design pool include Japanese-born Masanori Mori, US/Greece-based Objects of Common Interest, Israeli Omri Revesz and Australian Damian Tatangelo (the label has recently been launched in Sydney and Melbourne at Hub's showrooms). So if you thought metalwork was all dodgy old Gothic cast-iron beds, window bars and irons in the fire (literally), then think again. Mingardo is its gleaming modern face...
mingardo.com

ABOVE: Revesz & Tantangelo's dual-purpose 'Separè' design is a portable clothes or towel rack when open or becomes a seductive space divider when enclosed with a light, semi-transparent fabric frame; Made from dark matt iron with brass or copper details, indoor candle-lamp 'Sera Clamp', by Aldo Parisotto and Massimo Formenton, clamps to a table

Mingardo is available in Australia from Hub or see website for international stockists

Mark Tuckey x Cotton On

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When Australian high-street fashion brand Cotton On created its debut homewares line, it turned to Mark Tuckey. The result is good news for lovers of simple, stylish design

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Australian designer Mark Tuckey is known for gorgeous hand-crafted contemporary wooden furniture, from tactile tables to beautiful beds. His flagship stores in Fitzroy, Melbourne, and Newport, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, are a stylist’s dream, with Tuckey’s streamlined Australian-made wooden pieces surrounded by bold paintings by artist David Bromley, laboratory-sleek glass vessels, graphic signs and ravishing rugs.

So when we heard Tuckey was collaborating on a new homewares range with Australian high-street fashion brand Cotton On, we were excited. Launched in store on 8 July 2015, and covering all areas of the house – ‘eat, drink, relax, store, bathe and sleep’ – the collection brings Tuckey’s eye for texture, form and colour to a covetable range of ethically sourced designs. True to his usual aesthetics, natural materials are the stars, from cotton to linen, wool and, of course, timber. It's also vibrant, relaxed and fun, reflecting the Australian lifestyle. 'It's a liveable collection, it's not precious,' says Tuckey. 'We wanted to design things that you really live with, not things that you're scared to use.'

Our favourite pieces include the chunky knits and slubby throws, patterned cushions in moody blue stripes, bedlinen in a rainbow-pretty circular print and stoneware mugs in subtle, offbeat hues. Wooden serving bowls and platters, chopping boards and storage vessels also make an appearance, as well as graphic tote bags, neon-edged wall hooks (yes, please!), and painterly laundry baskets.

This is Cotton On’s first foray into homewares, and the collaboration will be ongoing, not just a flash in the pan (look for fresh launches around October and December 2015). It follows in the footsteps of several successful homes ventures by Australian fashion labels, with high-street favourite Country Road and quirky Melbourne design brand Gorman both launching stylish spin-off ranges.

What’s more, while Tuckey’s bespoke own-line creations are investment pieces, his Cotton On collection starts from a wallet-friendly $14.95 for a set of two mugs, allowing a wider, and younger audience to access his work. ‘We’re happy. We’re excited. We hope you love it as much as we do,’ says Tuckey (who works alongside wife Louella, above). Now more folk than ever can call a Tuckey design their own, and that can only be a good thing.
cottonon.com

Mark Tuckey x Cotton On is available online and in select Cotton On stores in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa. See website for prices.

Memo Bottle

City slickers will be lining up to get their hands on the smartest water bottle in town. No jogging pants required...

BY DEE IVA

We never thought it would be possible to covet a water bottle but the imminent arrival of the Memo Bottle has proved us wrong.

An object once so practical has now become a thing of beauty in the hands of Melbourne/San Diego design duo Jesse Leeworthy and Jonathan Byrt. Sporting a slimline shape, it's designed to fit neatly into your bag making it a smart companion for your laptop or tablet. We love the fact that it comes in three paper sizes, A5, A4 and Letter, with a leak-proof cap ensuring there'll be no unexpected spills.

ABOVE: Whichever size you choose, the slimline bottles slip easily into your bag
BELOW: Into the dishwasher for a quick refresh

Memo not only scores in the style stakes, it's also playing its part in the war against throwaway bottles. It's made of transparent BPA-free plastic that's durable and dishwasher friendly too.

So when you rock up at the water cooler with one of these make sure to look your best because all eyes are on you now...
memobottle.com

The 'Memo Bottle' is available to pre-order from US$23

Marble Basics

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Tap into the marble trend with this new range of tactile accessories by Melbourne design duo Marble Basics. Sooo chic...  

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

If one material turned our heads in 2014 it was marble; grainy, glamorous and oh so gorgeous. Lucky, then, that Melbourne sisters Bliss and Bonnie Adams decided to make it their calling card, founding their design brand Marble Basics in 2012 to celebrate this 'durable, everlasting and incredibly beautiful stone.' They also felt 'basic doesn't have to mean boring,' and so a range of simple, contemporary marble tableware and planters for the home was born.

The duo's recently released 'Elemental' collection is inspired by geometric layering and rock formations, with shapely natural curves mirroring the earth's contours. Alongside these softer, rounder shapes are sharper forms, emblematic of the diverse stages of erosion and weathering. There's also a dash of post-modernist influence, as both girls are fans of Italian icon Ettore Sottsass's furniture.

ABOVE FROM LEFT: 'The Essential Key Bowl' AU$110, 'Big Basic Pot' AU$145, 'Baby Basic Pot' AU$110, 'Baby Basic Round Tray' AU$150, 'Big Basic Round Tray' AU$160, 'Basic Obelisk' AU$70
BELOW FROM LEFT: 'The Essential Box' AU$135, 'Baby Basic Canister' AU$55, 'The Basic Step' AU$115; 'The Essential Box''Baby Basic Round Tray,' AU$150, 'Big Basic Canister' AU$280

 
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ABOVE: 'Baby Basic Canister' AU$55, 'Basic Rectangular Tray' AU$150, and 'Basic Salt and Pepper Vessel' AU$55 for a pair

'Form follows function' was the pair's founding principle, so each of the 20-odd pieces – whether a tray or trivet – encourages multiple uses. As well as tableware, bathroom and kitchen kit, and garden planters, there are more sculptural items, such as the 'Basic Obelisk' and 'The Basic Step.' Both are ornamental scene-stealers, yet can also double as paperweights or bookends.

One of the duo's motivations is to craft enduring, sustainable design, so customers 'can invest in a product that will not be thrown out in a year.' They also aim to offer affordable luxury for the home. Although Marble Basics's online shop currently only ships nationwide, select stockists in Australia and New Zealand distribute overseas. We reckon these marble marvels are keepers!
marblebasics.com.au

ABOVE: 'Baby Basic Pot' AU$110, and 'Big Basic Pots' AU$145 each, Marble Basics