Aesop Brighton

The new Aesop store in Brighton is a lesson in seaside bliss

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

The trend for wellness in interior design is growing. The bolstering effect of a wisely chosen colour can be as soul-feeding as being outside in the open air. Imagine a yellow front door intended to energise and uplift, or a chalky deep purple in a hallway, the painterly equivalent of a warm and welcoming hug… Colour is key to luring buyers and going green is one of the most enticing tips when it comes to inducing calm.

Transporting the serenity of the seaside to home decor, minus any nautical tropes, luxury plant-based Australian skin and haircare brand Aesop has gone head-to-toe verdigris for the palette of its new Brighton store. In the North Laine quarter, it’s the first for the coastal resort and one of only a few UK boutiques outside London. Conjuring up wistful memories of childhood holidays and a simpler life, the blue-green interior echoes the oxidised railings of the city’s seashore with its idyllic Victoriana, backdropped by cloudy skies and an opaque sea.

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As with each of the distinctive global Aesop concept stores – often created in collaboration with outside designers, but here delivered by the in-house team – the decor is simple. In one room, a scrubbed farmhouse table has rush seating placed around it, while in another area, porcelain sinks for product sampling add to the domestic scene. Elsewhere, the space is kept empty, save for vintage botanical prints or artfully stacked decorative bookshelves.

At a time when maximalism is dominating many design stories, Aesop makes an eternal case for the beauty of minimal design. Inherently chic, this blissful interior proves that decorating simply is something to aspire to – as is having a display of Aesop products adorning your bathroom shelf!
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Aesop Brighton 104-105 Gloucester Road, Brighton, UK

Rigg Design Prize 2018

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2018’s inspiring Rigg Design Prize celebrates 10 of the best Australian interior design practices

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Interiors gets their hour in the sun at the 2018 Rigg Design Prize exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV Australia, which runs until 24 February 2019. Celebrating different contemporary design disciplines, the triennial prize focused on interior design and decoration for the first time in 2018, shortlisting 10 leading Australian practices. Each was tasked with creating a bespoke, purpose-built room in the gallery, responding to the theme of ‘Domestic Living’. The results are inspiring, suggesting fresh ways of inhabiting our homes, new trends and creative solutions to modern pressures. Even if you can’t get to Melbourne, check out our round up the 10 designs below…

HECKER GUTHRIE
Melbourne design practice Hecker Guthrie (aka Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie) bagged the AU$30,000 triennial prize for their graphic yet tactile installation ‘The table is the base’ (above). Riffing on the idea of the humble table, and its charismatic central role in domestic living spaces, the custom-made room plays with clean lines, form and scale. It explores the table as surface, support and enclosure. Judge Shashi Caan said, ‘Using only two elements – the simple form of the ‘Parsons’ table and terracotta as material – the project demonstrates the power of design restraint and curiosity at play.’


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MARTYN THOMPSON STUDIO
New York-based Australian photographer and designer Martyn Thompson’s space celebrates the ‘Atelier’, channelling the modern blurring of work and home life as an opportunity for creative expression. Bathed in light and shadow, his moody space features many of his own designs – including upholstery textiles, rugs, ottomans, wall treatments, ceramics, art and photos shown alongside collaborative, vintage, found and hand-crafted pieces. Even Thompson’s records, shoes and fleamarket finds make the cut. Clothes are hung like artworks and ambient music generates emotion. Flexible and ever-evolving, this is the home as heartland, layered, textural and deeply personal.


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DANIELLE BRUSTMAN
Like a chic spaceship or cool club, Danielle Brustman’s installation ‘Inner-Terior’ is somewhere we’d like to hang out. It helps that it stars a contemporary update of a cocooning, conversation pit and a futuristic record player (shown above right). A set designer before founding her Melbourne studio, Brustman drew on theatrical aesthetics for this curvy white space, edged with vibrant colour, glossy metallics and eye-catching illuminations. A lounge room that borrows from stage and spectacle, it takes its cues from Art Deco bandshells, European retro-futurist designs from the 60s, 80s movie Xanadu, rollerskating rinks and amusement rides. We reckon it’s 2001: A Space Odyssey gone domestic.


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THE SOCIETY INC BY SIBELLA COURT
Stylist and author Sibella Court, of Sydney interiors store The Society Inc, has always had a love affair with global curios, vintage finds, old tools, pirates and gypsies. For her Rigg Prize entry, dubbed the ‘Imaginarium’, she envisaged a space to ‘wonder, imagine, interact, research and create’. An entire home distilled into a single room, it feels darkly magical, with a rich mix of materials from pressed metal to wood and fabric. Layers of textures and colours, old and new, and real and imagined offer a modern take on a 16th-century ‘cabinet of curiosities’. The space celebrates craft, with displayed objects, including a striking feature wall, acting as a catalyst for memory and imagination. From an alchemy workshop to a ship’s crow’s nest, a bar, dress-up cupboard and pot-belly stove, it’s a mini world of wonders.


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RICHARDS STANISICH
Texture rules in the mesmerising tone-on-tone sculptural installation crafted by Richards Stanisich, titled ‘Our natural needs in a digital world’. The Sydney practice, established in 2018 by former SJB talents Jonathan Richards and Kirsten Stanisich, addresses our fundamental need for shelter, sanctuary, hygiene and intimacy and how it has been transformed by integrated technology and the Internet of Things. A central ochre living, sleeping and kitchen space champions the handmade, simple and earthy, with natural fabrics, ceramics and tiles. By contrast, it’s surrounded by black gloss tiles edged with blue light, representing the digital realm.


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FLACK STUDIO
Melbourne interior architecture firm Flack Studio has a way with vibrant colour, bold pattern and unexpected details, as seen in their striking portfolio of residential spaces, cafes, restaurants and boutiques. For the Rigg Prize, David Flack and his team ‘Flackify’ their living/dining space with saturated gold hues, luxe textures and quirky art and ornaments. ‘We’ve boundless plains to share’ references diversity and inclusion, creating an emotionally charged room for a golden age in Australia, encouraging collaboration and community.


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ARENT&PYKE
Elegance and beauty are at the heart of ‘Home: feast, bathe, rest’ by Sydney interior design studio Arent&Pyke (Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke). The smartly zoned space combines areas for dining, washing and retreating, offering ideas for respite and emotional and physical wellbeing in a stressful world. Each area includes a contemporary Australian artwork and a bespoke piece of furniture, blending inspiring design-art with comforting, restorative simplicity.


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AMBER ROAD
Sydney interior design and landscape practice Amber Road’s seductive space ‘Take it outside’ is full of burnt colours, floaty textiles and dreamy desert and starlit views, centred around an inviting lounger. It celebrates the verandah or porch as a key transitional zone for relaxing and chatting together, especially in Australian homes. Principal designers and sisters Yasmine Ghoniem and Katy Svalbe spent time in the Middle East, as well as on their family farms in Australia, capturing this heritage in a beautifully crafted indoor-outdoor room.


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DAVID HICKS
Have homes become inner sanctums, fortresses or vessels for consumerist ideals? Melbourne- and LA-based David Hicks studio presents ‘Panic room’, combining Hicks’ trademark eye for luxe detail with lighting strung on chunky chains and threatening screens. It’s a slick satire on our panicked, media-saturated times, suggesting a life on stage, voyeuristic and yet paranoid about threats from outside. Has the aspirational ideal of a perfect life morphed into homes as psychological retreats and cocoons for self-protection?


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SCOTT WESTON ARCHITECTURE DESIGN
A sequence of six rooms forms ‘Wunderkammer’, an installation by Sydney-based Scott Weston Architecture Design which takes its cue from the renovation of Weston’s own Victorian Italianate terrace house, Villa Carmelina. Each contains a cabinet, or wunderkammer, featuring prized ‘jewels’, miniature artworks by favourite makers. An abstract representation of the house, it makes use of monochrome dioramas with coloured highlights and wallpaper vignettes or ornaments and collectibles.

Catch the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at Level 3, NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne until Sunday 24 February 2019 (10am-5pm) or see the gallery’s website for a virtual tour and online interviews with the designers

Vivid Sydney 2018

Vivid Sydney brings light art, music and inspiring ideas to town, including impressive design talents. Strike a light!

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Vivid Sydney returns to illuminate the city for 23 nights, from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June, celebrating its 10th anniversary with a vibrant mix of light, music and ideas. The largest festival of its kind, Sydney's winter-warmer promises eye-catching projections, light art, interactive installations, live bands and cutting-edge talks, with illuminating speakers, exhibitions and workshops.

Running from 6pm to 11pm each night, Vivid is divided into 11 precincts of light sculptures and installations, with new festival zone Luna Park at the iconic harbourside funfair. Favourite zones are back, including Circular QuayCity and Surrounds, Harbour Lights, The Royal Botanic Garden, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Taronga Zoo, Kings Cross and Chatswood. Creativity will be front and centre, spanning digital, product and graphic designs. Here are six Fizz picks...

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Lighting of the Sails: Metamathemagical
This year's Sydney Opera House sails will be illuminated by site-specific kinetic digital artworks by graphic designer Jonathan Zawada. Entitled 'Metamathemagical', the 15-minute, recurring light show envisages Australia as an 'elemental, timeless place that is also completely new and full of energy.' We're big fans of the celebrated Australian artist, and recently explored his work with electronic musician Flume. Byron Bay-based Zawada took inspiration from Australian nature and its unique flora and fauna for the Vivid project. Responding to the 3D form of the Opera House's architecture, rather than treating it as a flat plane, Zawada drew on images of flowers, plants, feathers, rocks and human figures to craft a hyperreal 'saturation of colour, pattern and texture' (for more insights see this video interview). The visuals are teamed with a soundtrack featuring Air Max '97XO and EPROM.

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Virtual Vibration
Always a highlight, the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) will be animated by 'Virtual Vibration', a blend of psychedelic art and more formal modernism. The large-scale projection mapping is a collaboration between Australian artist Jonny Niesche, electronic musician and composer Mark Pritchard and the Spinifex Group. Expect a shifting, sensory light experience playing with transparency, reflection and movement, set to mesmerising sound.

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Jonathan Zawada and Mark Pritchard in Conversation
Sydney Opera House curator Sarah Rees will join 'Jonathan Zawada and Mark Pritchard in Conversation' (5pm-6pm, 27 May), a talk highlighting the frequent collaborators' work and recent 13-minute film project 'The Four Worlds', inspired by Pritchard's haunting, ambient album of the same name. Zawada is responsible for the 'Lighting of the Sails' digital art illuminating Sydney Opera House this year, while electronic producer Pritchard's music is part of the nearby MCA's installation. Zawada has also created artwork for Pritchard's previous albums. Catch free screenings of the otherworldly film at The Samsung Lounge from 25 May to 16 June.

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Skylark
Interactive lighting display Skylark lets visitors put their own colourful mark on the city, lighting up Sydney Harbour Bridge and the surrounding skyscrapers of Circular Quay. Designed by Australian talent Iain Reed of 32 Hundred Lighting, this year's version of the attraction includes a dynamic new feature, Bradfield's Beacon, a custom-built, interactive laser atop the Bridge that's double the strength of any laser seen in the Harbour before. It will wash the Harbour and its headlands in colour, while 40 pillars of light above the Overseas Passenger Terminal adds to the spectacle.

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Dreams (Daniel Johns and Luke Steele)
Vivid packs a musical punch, with an extensive line-up of live bands, DJs, club nights and parties, including major acts Solange and Ice Cube. Our pick is Dreams on 29 and 30 May at Sydney Opera House. Exclusive to Vivid LIVE, it's the Australian premiere of the band, an intriguing collaboration between two of the country's most iconic musical talents: Daniel Johns (former frontman of Silverchair) and Luke Steele (Empire of The Sun, The Sleepy Jackson). If their recent tracks 'No One Defeats Us' and 'Silence' are anything to go by, the duo should deliver darkly charismatic performances and a bold, experimental sound.

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Good Design Festival
The annual Good Design Festival takes over two floors of the Overseas Passenger Terminal in The Rocks from 25 to 27 May (7.30pm-10pm Friday, 4pm-10pm Saturday and Sunday). The established showcase includes a retrospective of the past 60 years of Australia's Good Design Awards, shares 260 award-winning international projects from 2018's awards, and predicts future talents in the NextGen winners category. The free public exhibition gathers diverse designs, from the Sydney Olympic torch to a deep-sea submarine, electronic bike, suspension tent and museum architecture. Book tickets online for the official launch party (5.30pm-7.30pm, 25 May) and for the 'Good Design Exchange' (6pm, 26 May), a talk hosted by Good Design Australia with graphic design whizz Vince Frost, CEO of Frost*collective, and other speakers.

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Vivid Sydney runs from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June 2018; see the website for the app, maps, event guide and transport tips. Share your experiences on #VividSydney, #VividIdeas and #VividMusic

Fenton & Fenton Sydney Pop-up

Melbourne interiors store Fenton & Fenton is popping up in Sydney with a colourful 10-day showcase of furniture and art

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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Melbourne interiors store Fenton & Fenton has garnered a loyal following for its bold, vibrant mix of contemporary furniture, accessories and art, curated with flair. Now the much-loved Prahran trendsetter is coming to Sydney, with 10-day pop-up 'A Home Away From Home' bringing directional design to The Studio in Rosebery from 20 to 29 October. Championing the brand's love of colour, style and travel, the free showroom/gallery event will help you kit out your home, with cutting-edge ideas and inspiration up for grabs.

Eye-catching art will be a major focus, with more than 70 works by 23 established Australian artists on display in a group show, which you can also shop online. Covetable names in the frame include paintings by Michael Bond, Carly WilliamsEmma Gale and Diana Miller, photography by Kara Rosenlund, ceramics by Louise Kyriakou and Jai Vasicek, handblown glass by Amanda Dziedzic, woven wall hangings by Maryanne Moodie, and metal sculptures by Dion Horstmans

Seeking fresh furniture and accessories for summer? The store's new arrivals will be unveiled too, including 'The Riad Collection' of fabulous Moroccan-influenced outdoor chairs, tables, swings and plant pots, which sports graphic patterns in pretty hues. Six room sets, surrounding a pink Moroccan-inspired courtyard, will showcase Fenton & Fenton's chic edit of designs, from living and dining zones to bedrooms, bathrooms and garden spaces. Cushion, throws, rugs, vintage finds and one-off pieces add more pizzazz.

Although the action kicks off on Friday 20 October, the brand is hosting an afternoon House Warming Party on Saturday 21 October (2pm-5.30pm), where you can meet the artists while enjoying aperitivos by Picco and DJ sets by Alice Q. Everyone's welcome, with free entry to both the 10-day event and party – just RSVP first online. Fenton & Fenton's consultants will be on hand to share advice on the collection, colour, styling and trends.

You can also discover Insider Secrets at three ticketed panel talks with creative talents, with themes ranging from sensual homes (6.30pm-8pm, Thursday 26) to entertaining (11am-12.30pm, Friday 27) and displaying art, collections and curios (10am-11.30am, Saturday 28 October). Brand founder Lucy Fenton will take part, alongside stylists, artists, florists, mixologists and chefs, including experts from home sound system Sonos and Australian modern lime paint company Bauwerk, which will launch a bespoke range of six new natural, eco-friendly paint colours at the show. Home sweet home...
www.fentonandfenton.com.au

Fenton & Fenton 'A Home Away From Home – Sydney' is at The Studio, 2/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, Sydney from 20 to 29 October 2017, 10am to 5pm daily. RSVP for the free pop-up event or party, or buy limited tickets in advance for the three talks ($35.57 each)

Jardan Sydney

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Australian interiors brand Jardan's new Sydney store has put the seductive into staircases

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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Sculptural. Seductive. Super-stylish. The staircase at Australian design brand Jardan's new Sydney flagship store has been drawing admiring glances, from its pale, pretty-in-pink pastel colour to its gorgeous curves. Linking the shop's three levels, it's a serious scene-stealer, with a sinuous wooden hand rail, sleek, gold-edged wooden stairs and grainy marble flooring.

ABOVE: Poised in pink: the sculptural staircase is a centrepiece at Jardan
ABOVE RIGHT: The inviting gold-meets-glass exterior of Jardan Sydney's flagship new store on a corner of Paddington's Oxford Street
BELOW: The softly geometric staircase runs from the lower ground floor up to the first storey, lit by a skylight, with tactile details including a sinuous wooden handrail, marble flooring and gold-tipped treads

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ABOVE: A seductive first-floor living area at Jardan, painted to pick up the greens and blues of the trees, sky and Sydney Harbour. Covetable ceramics make great take-home buys

By Melbourne's IF Architecture, the store on Paddington's Oxford Street takes its cue from Sydney's shifting seasons, spanning the blues of the harbour, the green canopy of the city's hilly streets, and the reds and yellows of the sun. 'Colour is expressive light, and Sydney has light like no other place in Australia,' says lead architect Iva Foschia, who designed the different levels of the space to transition between whites, blues, greens, pinks, greys and blacks. Foschia also took inspiration for the palette from the colour systems of iconic Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, 'who used colour to enhance the emotions of people in his buildings', harnessing custom paints from Australian specialists Porter's Paints.

Sydney's creative families were another key influence for Foschia, including local interior designer Marion Hall Best (whose career from the mid-1930s celebrated bold colour, pattern and modernism), late artist Brett Whiteley (who famously painted the harbour in ultramarine hues), veteran artist John Olsen (known for his love of nature, greens and blues), and his daughter Louise Olsen and son-in-law Stephen Ormandy's homewares/jewellery brand Dinosaur Designs (beloved for its sleek forms and vibrant hues).

BELOW: Up on the first floor, Jardan's modernist-inspired, contemporary furniture is flanked by a fireplace and backdropped by airy views; Rugs and cushions are displayed on the lower ground floor, styled with a dark-grey sofa as a living zone

Melbourne-born, family firm Jardan sells Australian-designed and-made furniture and lighting, crafted using local materials to exemplary eco standards. Its own-label contemporary collections are displayed alongside a brilliant edit of art and accessories, from tableware to coffee-table books, rugs to vases. After closing its original Sydney showroom in Rosebery, Jardan launched a recent pop-up in Paddington, before finding a permanent home in Oxford Street's 1924-founded Alderstein House, an Art Deco building formerly occupied by Ariel Booksellers.

Styled like a home, the stunning flagship features dedicated zones for living, sleeping, dining and cooking – an alluring curved shelving area displays print titles, ceramics and plants, while upstairs there's an entertainer's kitchen – with lofty views over the harbour. Connecting the lower ground floor, ground floor and first floor is the eye-catching central staircase, flanked by sensual surface materials. Art is a highlight, especially Australian talent Kate Ballis' kooky-coloured 'Infra Realism' photos of America's palm-dotted landscape, pools and modernist architecture. You can even pick up a Maren surfboard. Only in Sydney...
www.jardan.com.au

BELOW: Blue-and-rust-grained marble etched with the Jardan logo forms the store's impressive entry wall (signage was created in collaboration with Seasaw studio); A sleek modern first-floor kitchen showcases tableware and vessels by local makers

Jardan Sydney is at 42 Oxford Street Paddington, Sydney. Click here for details of Jardan's Melbourne and Brisbane stores, also designed by IF Architecture

Pictures: Sean Fennessy