Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Italian furniture design of today is often associated with clean lines or at least modern flourishes. However, Katrin Arens has gone down a different path. For the past 20 years she has been working on her own business, designing and getting craftsmen to make products that use reclaimed timber from places such as derelict country houses and abandoned cellars. In a similar vein, she produces children's clothes using adult hand-me-downs. This idea of sustainability and continuity informs all her work. German-born Katrin lives in a farmhouse in Lombardy, Italy.

Which five words best describe you? Simple, elegant, natural.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? After school (a long time ago), I studied economics and afterwards graphic design. After I finished my studies, I won a scholarship for the academy of arts in Bergamo, Italy. While I was in Italy, I built up my first "atelier" where I built the first prototypes of some furniture. (They were nice but not really functional...) I realised that I had to find someone who knew how to realise them. Slowly we got bigger and moved to another place (an old spinning mill) where the production still is. At the beginning I focussed only single pieces such as beds and tables. But in the past few years I have be doing more interior design, especially kitchens.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Be yourself.

What’s your proudest career achievement? That I had an idea for a business 20 years ago and it still exists, growing slowly.

What’s been your best decision? Believing in my idea.

Who inspires you? Travelling to other cuontries, other cultures, seeing different ways of "life".... and, of course, my two daughters!!!

What are you passionate about?
Collecting materials.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My grandmother Lieselotte.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? To build a house.

What are you reading? Jonas Jonasson die Analphabetin, die rechnen konnte

images courtesy of katrin arens

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Living in a city like New York can give you opportunities like few other places. Jenna Snyder-Phillips had gone down the path of many of her design-hungry contemporaries. She moved from her native Philadelphia to Manhattan to study interior design and architecture at Parsons School of Design. But it was on graduating that an opportunity presented itself that played a great role in changing the course of her career direction. Jenna worked with the art curator at the Gramercy Park Hotel, and got to appreciate the role of hanging large-scale works by the likes of Julian Schnabel. Soon after she found herself painting, and on the encouragement of some friends showed the works to a local interior store. Since then Jenna's art has gained global traction, and is sold through Jonathan Adler stores worldwide.

Which five words best describe you? That's a tough one. But I would have to say the five words that describe me best are:  Creative, inspired, passionate, resourceful and sometimes a bit of a day dreamer.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I think art chooses you. I've always been inclined toward artistic expression in all of its forms. As a child I was obsessed with arts and crafts from drawing to painting and clay to beads. I would work with whatever materials I could get my hands on.

After graduating from Parsons, I started my career working with the Ian Schrager Company on the Gramercy Park Hotel. Assisting the hotel's art curator I learned firsthand how artwork by the likes of Julian Schnabel can completely transform an interior space. When I wasn't busy working I would spend my free time painting on the floor of my Chinatown apartment. My friends were the first to see the art and encouraged me to start showing. I shared the work with a neighborhood interior shop whose aesthetic I really respected and the whole thing grew from there. For me, sharing my art is like sharing a piece of myself. So I feel very lucky that so many amazing interior designers and art collectors have really embraced the art. The rest is history!

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Don't give up! Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Go after what you want and work hard for it, but know that it also takes time. Success doesn't come overnight.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Turning my art, which started out as a passion and a hobby, into my full-time career.

What’s been your best decision? My best decision has been to value my own opinion above all others. If you do what makes you happy all will work out beautifully in the end.

Who inspires you? So many people inspire me! For interior designers, Jonathan Adler and Kelly Wearstler. In terms of artists, James Nares, Jenny Saville and Tom Ryan are a few favorites. And, of course, my parents!

What are you passionate about? Besides painting and interior design, I'm passionate about travel, shoes and all things Italian, especially pizza.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would have loved to have met Frida Kahlo. I find it so inspiring how her life and her art were so deeply connected. Not to mention how she was able to transform such intense pain into such beautiful images.

What dream do you still want to fulfill? It's a dream of mine to one day own my own home and fashion boutique. Although if I stick to painting, showing my art in a museum would be pretty fantastic too. 

What are you reading? Luxury redefined by Ryan Korban and Keith Haring Journals

images courtesy of jenna snyder phillips

Monday, 21 July 2014


A home in Denmark featuring a classic Beni Ourain rug, 
which Cassie sources for Kulchi. Image by Gaelle le Boulicaut.

Another image from Cassie's time styling homes for ED with photographer Gaelle le Boulicaut.

Beni rugs on display in Kulchi's Marrakech showroom.

The studio in Marrakech, where Cassie is now based. 
Not only does she source rugs and textiles but ceramics and earthenware too.

Cassie with locals in Morocco.

Cassandra Karinsky was trying to find some relief from the heat, and sipping mint tea, when she called me from Morocco last year. She was responding to a query about a Beni Ourain rug that I had spied on her Instagram feed for Kulchi, a textile and homewares business she set up after moving to Marrakech about six years ago. I had expected an email response after a few days, but without hesitation Cassie called from the other side of the world to talk rugs. When we met a few months later on her return to Sydney, I was intrigued about this woman who was raised in Sydney but has spent large parts of her life living in America and, more recently, Morocco. Life there seems to suit her - not only does Cassie source rugs and textiles for clients all over the world, but she also develops products such as tables and stools. Her story is one I had to share, and it was in many ways the catalyst for restarting Daily Imprint.

Which five words best describe you? Wow, that's a hard one to answer for myself -  energetic, passionate, loyal, adventurous.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I have had my hands in a few different careers (restaurants, fashion) but the one that led me to creating Kulchi was working with photographer Gaelle le Boulicaut, shooting interiors all over the world for the ED Group. We were introduced by a mutual friend, Amanda Mahoney, in Marrakech back in 2006.

Working with Gaelle was amazing; she has a such a great eye and opened a whole new world of design to me. We were shooting many homes around Morocco, which I loved as I got to see these amazingly interesting modern homes that incorporated local artisan designs.

This led to me taking on my first interior job - decorating a good friend's apartment in Tanger. He was great, allowing me to take full control of the space and do whatever I wanted - the perfect client! Rugs were a big part of this project, which took me on a hunt for the perfect pieces. And that hunt has not stopped yet! 

Kulchi is the result of this passion - sourcing beautiful handmade Berber rugs from the villages scattered all over Morocco, and being able to share them with my international clientele. It really is a dream job, I love it.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Where to start? There have been many lessons, especially when it comes to doing business here in Morocco. I think the main one I have learnt is from the Moroccan people, to really live in the moment and be grateful for everything I have.

What’s your proudest career achievement? I would have to say getting Kulchi off the ground. Having a vision and goal of what I wanted to achieve and see it come to life - it is so rewarding on both ends, meeting the Berber women who I buy from and then seeing the rugs find a new home in different parts of the world. 

What’s been your best decision? Packing up my life in Sydney and moving to Marrakech - I have not looked back. I am loving where Kulchi has taken me - Kech, Madrid, NY and Sydney.

Who inspires you? Oh there are so many - family and friends who have followed their dreams, who have taken risks and challenges to get what they want and share with others.

What are you passionate about? Living my life to the fullest, spending time with family and good friends, seeing and understanding as much of the world as I can.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would have to say that I am content with meeting the people who I encounter in my everyday life, through work and play. I have been so fortunate to travel to so many wonderful places and meet some truly amazing individuals - we all have a story to tell, we just need to take the time to listen.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Creating my own line of contemporary rugs. I am working on some new designs now and hopefully starting up our own co-operative very soon with a group of Berber women in the Middle Atlas Mountains.

What are you reading? I am tackling a book at the moment that was given to me by my sister in Madrid - Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union by Geoffrey Hosking. My father's family is from Russia. We have a trip planned for next year with three generations (brother, sister and nephews form NY and Madrid), so thought it was a good time to polish up on some Russian history.

images courtesy of gaelle le boulicault (1, 2), georgia moxham (3) and kulchi 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Returning soon. For updates follow @dailyimprint on Instagram.

I look forward to sharing more stories with you.


Friday, 14 December 2012

a time to pause

After almost five and a half years and more than 700 interviews it's time to press pause on Daily Imprint. It's time for new adventures in creativity. 

I have also taken leave of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest too.

Thank you wholeheartedly for your support, enthusiasm and kind words over the years - readers and interviewees alike.

For now, you can still read my work in various interior magazines. I will continue to write and style for Warnes & Walton. And I'm thrilled to say that Frontliners will return soon too. Subscribe so you can receive updates.

Over the coming months I will share news on various projects on - the site should be up and running in the New Year.

Until then, I hope the holiday season gives you the chance to rest and refresh.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

image courtesy of chris warnes


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