Monday, 11 May 2015

A lovely home

I recently  had the pleasure of writing about and styling a house I'd had my eye on for a VERY long time. I remember first getting in touch with the owner Martine Blair, interior designer of Zooi Design, when she was pregnant with her daughter Pip. Fast forward several years..... Pip is now three and the home has continued to undergo incredible transformations thanks to Martine's eye for design. I absolutely love this house and Martine's style. If you missed it in the April issue of Home Beautiful, you can read about it below.


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

profile pop & rocket


Leanne Costantino of Pop & Rocket
Leanne Costantino signs off her emails, 'blasting off....' and it's very fitting as she's full of creative energy and exceptionally driven. A graphic designer by trade, like many parents Leanne had to rethink how she worked, once her family expanded to include three little people and the result was Pop & Rocket. Despite a few set backs, Leanne stuck to pursuing her dream to build a creative business based around her eye-catching designs and great products and it's rocketing ahead. When I first saw her hand-made plywood timber garden swings, featuring geometric prints, I wanted one IMMEDIATELY. I just love them! Leanne's determination to build a business around her expertise and lifestyle is incredibly inspiring and is testament that with a creative vision and a lot of hard work it's possible to realise your dreams. Checkout Leanne's myriad designs and swing colourways here.

How would you describe yourself ?
Creative, dreamer, worker, maker, mother,

What was your childhood dream?
Rockstar!  But I had a back up plan if that didn’t work out. Hair dressing was my fall back plan (what kid dreams of cutting hair?!).

What led you down your current path?
Necessity. After running a small graphic design studio for nearly 10 years, I had 3 children in 2 and a half years (yes there were twins involved) and I couldn’t give my clients the kind of response times they needed so I had to think of a new way to work creatively, use my design skills and create flexible hours - I just couldn’t commit to the traditional 9am-5pm work day.

What do you love most about what you do?
Freedom! I can design and make any new product I want and I don’t have a client to answer to. This is seriously the best thing in the world. I’ll be eating breakfast scribbling ideas in a note pad and by the end of the day I can have a sample made. Some ideas work and some don’t but I don’t have to debate the idea around the boardroom table with a bunch of people to get the go-ahead. It feels a bit like I’m back in the high school art room, if I want to try something new I just do it.

What inspires you?
Other great local makers and designers. People who can get things made in a sustainable and ethical way. It has been tempting to source production overseas but I’m holding out for now.

Who do you admire?
I really like the crew at Jimmy Possum. They’ve made a real success of their business but they still operate out of Bendigo in regional Victoria. I just find them really interesting and I hope one day my family might run a similar operation at Pop & Rocket. Still making things in Preston Victoria and still using sustainable materials.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
A failed business partnership. Pop & Rocket originally had two founders but the first couple of years were tough, we put in a lot of hard work and a lot of our own money for no returns. My partner gave up and left within 2 years, which made me question everything. If she had no faith that this was going to work then maybe it was time to. We started planning to shut the whole thing down but  I took a couple of days to think it through then realised I wasn’t prepared to give up. I had a gut feeling it would work eventually it just needed a few tweaks and I needed to be truer to myself and believe in my own ideas. We were so different in our styles so maybe it was just the wrong combination of people. Luckily I was right, things turned around within a few weeks of my partner leaving the business and I’m so glad I kept at it.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
An e-mail from the U.S asking if I would like to sell my swings in rather large quantities to their online store. This exposure will be enormous – they have a database of 12million people.  

What are your top inspiring resources ?
I read the Design Files occasionally, but otherwise I don’t read too much on line, Instagram is great, I just love a quick visual medium. I love music – it revs me up for work every day - at the moment I’m loving Major Lazer and Courtney Barnett

I love getting outside with the kids on a sunny day. Watching their creative role-play is fantastic. They just operate without any boundaries so their ideas and brilliant and that inspires me every day to believe in my own crazy ideas.

Do you have a dream creative project?
Yes!!! I want to build a creative space based on that high school art room idea I mentioned earlier. I want to make a space where designers, artists, anyone, can come in and make something, be it with clay, ink, paper, whatever! A room filled with resources that acts as a meeting place to share ideas and meet likeminded people and most importantly share our knowledge base. I find it really challenging working alone from home.

What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
Hmmm, too many things to pick just one. Maybe if I had to pick one it would be a painting by Fred Fowler. I’m also constantly on the hunt for bed linen – I still haven’t found the perfect design for me. 

What's next?
Machine knitting.  I just joined the Machine Knitters Association of Victoria after scoring a vintage Singer knitting machine at a trash and treasure sale for $10. I met ladies whose names were Pearl and Shirley and they have cups of tea and talk all things machine knitting. It’s so good for the soul.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read – Currently – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.
Watch- Not much time for telly here. If I could watch a movie I’d choose a gorgeous foreign arthouse film or a cheesy comedy. 
Cook- Vietnamese bun or Gyoza dumplings.
Create- New product ideas.
Listen to-Triple J.
Dream about- A holiday to somewhere warm and sunny.
Look forward to- Hmm, a working bathroom – we are mid renovation.

Thursday, 2 April 2015


I recently had a lot of fun teaming up photographer Cathy Schulser  and The Third Row  to style some shots featuring popular products from their store.

 Production Diana Campbell - Styling Kylie Jackes - Photography Cathy Schulser
The Third Row is a unique online directly/store which rounds up the latest products by independent designers and stores, allowing you to easily click your way around the web to get your hands on top trending designs.
Interior's Addict recently profiled Diana Campbell, the founder of The Third Row, which you can read here.

 Production Diana Campbell - Styling Kylie Jackes - Photography Cathy Schulser
Some of my favourite products from the shoot included -
 Production Diana Campbell - Styling Kylie Jackes - Photography Cathy Schulser
While they say never work with children or animals, I've found Tulips to be the most temperamental of the lot. They're incredibly uncooperative in hot whether, yet even though they tend to flop they're natural beauty still makes them a star - much like a top model.
 Production Diana Campbell - Styling Kylie Jackes - Photography Cathy Schulser

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

profile my global merchant

Sue Beagley, owner & buyer of My Global Merchant
When you shop online you want the hard work to be done for you and that is precisely what Sue Beagley of My Global Merchant provides. An online store featuring products she has procured from various parts of the world, direct from the makers. A treasure trove of rugs, ceramics, textiles and accessories from Africa, Italy, Turkey, Morocco and Hungry, Sue truly is a purveyor of beautiful, handcrafted worldly goods with many travel stories to tell. To peruse the entire collection head to My Global Merchant

How would you describe yourself?

A Mum, a traveller, who is passionate, wilful and tenacious.


What was your childhood dream?

Just to grow up, it was a pretty wild childhood. I think I really loved fashion and was making my own patterns and clothes, so I really wanted to make anything eclectic. I have always loved beautiful things, paintings, ceramics and fashion.


What led you down your current path and inspired you to launch 
My Global Merchant ?

Travelling opens your eyes to what the world is. Each country reflects something different in their art and craft and it's intrinsically in-bedded in what they create. This is usually diluted by the time we as buyers get to see it. So being able to share some of the amazing things I have seen whilst travelling really made me want to begin My Global Merchant. All my products are bought so someone can enjoy something beautiful from somewhere else, not just as a commercial enterprise. Through business we support family producers who are artisans and who create beautiful products in a traditional and ethical way. Mass production dilutes the purpose and detail and I really want to promote the small creators who do this as a way of life and who will teach their sons and daughters how to do what they do.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love sourcing the products and coming upon something and realising how special and beautiful it is. It's tedious and tiring, but also incredibly rewarding as we find just the most amazing stories behind these products. The negotiations enrich my life because I get to meet some many different characters, each with their own individual story.


What do you stock and how do you source your product range? 

A thoughtful collection of ceramics, textiles, cushions, leather goods  and rugs from Turkey, Morocco,  Italy, France and Africa. I like to travel all around and source from any country I visit. I look for unique, handmade, traditionally crafted pieces that will remind you of the country they are from. They should speak loudly of their source and most importantly be beautiful and extremely well made. 

Who are some of your favourite homeware designers?

I have always loved Liberty of London, very commercialised but the country girl in me loves the repetition and colour ways. Tinker by Printink Studio has the most lovely sense of colour and pattern and I'm loving  Fictional Objects bedlinen.


What sets your store apart?

We are online, based in Brisbane. Every product is unique and we don't tend to repeat styles. Our range has longevity and I like the idea of people valuing them and keeping them for a really longtime. We don't stock anything mass produced and I think that is very important in today's throw away society.

What challenges have you had to overcome? 
In life; balancing having four kids who all live in different countries and running a small business as well as a small cattle and fruit farm. In business; transportation from all over the world can be a bit problematic.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
The moment I decided this, which was a passion and  hobby, could become a business that allowed me to share what I love with Australia. I believe that everyone should have a chance to purchase something from another country and know it was made with passion, integrity and skill.
What are your top creative resources?
The Design Files, The Interiors Addict,  Inside Out and design everywhere on Tumblr.

What's next?
Scandinavia; Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. Possibly......

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:

Read - The latest bookclub read.

Watch- A movie at the cinema.

Cook- Using something I have grown at the farm.

Create- I'm making a mosaic pot with some ceramics that didn't make the journey!

Listen to- Oceania, Jens Leckman, Jose Gonzalez & Lou Reed.

Dream about- Family and everyone being a bit closer in vicinity to each other.

Look forward to- Time to catch my breath.

Friday, 20 March 2015

gorgeous gorman

Gorman's autumn 2015 Home Time Greenhouse Collection has landed and it's bright and prickly. In a spectrum of greens and abstract jigsaw prints the colourful collection will add plenty of cheer to your interior during the cooler months. It seems pom poms are going to be BIG this year.
Available in selected stores and online, you can checkout the entire range here.

Monday, 9 March 2015


Sometimes when it comes interiors a little help doesn't go astray. It might simply be getting a second option as to whether you should splurge on those bar stools, advice as to which combination of bed linen suits your room, or some encouragement to embrace change, be bold and opt for a darker, moodier paint shade. 

If you don't have a trusty style consultant, the good news is now you can seek design advice from stylists, including myself, online. Just launched, STYLECT is a one stop design service with stylists around Australia providing their expertise to solve decorating dilemmas, help source pieces for your specific space or suggest how you can completely revamp a room, specifying everything from the paint and furniture placement, to lighting and decorative finishing touches. To find out more head here.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

ikea emojis

Ever since I embraced the benefits of a smart phone a few years ago, I've been a fan of emojis. Who wants to type the word coffee when you can simply send an icon? You can use the faces to convey all kinds of emotional states, send whether reports, the balloon is always popular on birthdays and as I have a 18 month-old the smiling poo is also a favourite.

So when I heard IKEA had recently launched their own series of emojis I was quite excited. As a devotee from way back, I've got lots of IKEA furniture including the much loved Poang below and a trip to my nearest IKEA (an hour and half away) has always been a highly anticipated expedition, which always includes an obligatory coffee and cinnamon bun and a take home pack of Swedish Meatballs.

The inspiration behind the IKEA emoticons is to apparently reduce misunderstandings between men and women in the home and help communicate your desires and hints. As there are several domestic related emojis such as a broom, bin, tools, vacuum cleaner and toilet - it seems the idea is to suggest what jobs may need attending to in particular areas of the house. According to Ikea, " It's simply impossible to feel offended if you tell some one to clean up if you say it with IKEA Emoticons." And with emojis of several iconic IKEA products, including the meatballs, it's never been easier to text your shopping list through to friends.

To download the app for your iPhone head here and for Android head here.  Enjoy