Friday, 29 April 2011

interior designer andrew waller

If you live in Sydney you've probably stepped into one of

Andrew Waller's interiors. He has designed Cosmopolitan Shoes, pictured top, Supre, and Mao & More. Andrew has also worked on many residential projects, and has designed furniture too. You could say he's been quite busy since immigrating from the UK (where he studied architecture) to Australia. He established

Waller Design in 2003


Which five words best describe you? Analytical, practical, critical, sensitive, energetic and a little obsessive (okay, that’s six).

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I had the biggest shift in my mental space when early in my career I met a particular client who totally entrusted me to design the interior of a guest house. I originally left the UK, after graduating in architecture, wanting to travel but was a little unsure of which direction to move in. When I arrived in Sydney I started working for a retail group styling and designing furniture and gradually started refurbishing larger spaces. The company for some reason just let us run with our ideas which was a great incentive to motivate ourselves to set our own goals. It was only after leaving the company that I fully appreciated the skills I had acquired there. I set up Andrew Waller Design shortly after leaving the company and luckily had a few key clients who kept requiring more design work.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Building relationships – I put a lot of energy into getting to know my clients and to understand exactly what they want from the project and space. Likewise it’s really important to build a group of trades around yourself which you can rely on and communicate well with.
What’s your proudest career achievement? It’s always the next project – I tend to look forward and by the time a project is nearly built my role is almost over. I’m actually much happier on a building site than I am in a ‘finished’ space. A space that works well just seems natural and I tend to relax at this stage. Although I must admit I do like the surprises you get when you are in a space you’ve designed and you turn around and see a new angle or view you had not anticipated. It’s really quite rewarding when after having worked on a project for months or years and then you suddenly appreciate a feature for the first time.
What’s been your best decision? Definitely deciding to set up Andrew Waller Design - at the time I was offered a full-time position which would have given me great security but for some reason I decided against this for an uncertain future.
Who inspires you?
Many different designers from Frank Lloyd Wright and Gerrit Rietveld to Tadao Ando and Kelly Wearstler.

What are you passionate about? Building beautiful spaces – and exploring where a new project takes you.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Le Corbusier – his work has been referenced in so many projects.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? While I have worked on some overseas projects creating furniture ranges in Vietnam and China it would be great to have some built works within Europe, perhaps making Berlin a base for a while collaborating with local designers.

What are you reading? Working over a few projects at a time I’m not such a big reader of novels. I was just given a compendium on the design of Gerrit Rieveld which I love. I do obsessively read design magazines, however. At the moment Frame and World of interiors are my two faves.

images courtesy of andrew waller

Thursday, 28 April 2011

stylist & illustrator abigail edwards

Abigail Edwards is a UK stylist who has recently released a range of wallpapers. It's all a hands-on process. She draws the designs herself (she's also an illustrator), and has them printed in Lancashire at one of the few remaining UK wallpaper printers. The technique they use helps maintain the detail of the illustrations. Abigail also works on many interior design projects too.

Which five words best describe you?
Creative, shy, driven, sensitive, insomniac.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? After studying fine art in London and Paris I did internships at art galleries in New York and then decided I wanted to style interiors for magazines, so I returned to London and assisted various stylists and magazines before I began styling my own shoots. I was deputy decorating editor at Country Homes & Interiors magazine for a while before going freelance and I have been styling for various magazines and commercial clients ever since. I now also style and design interior spaces and recently designed my first wallpaper collection.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Nothing is worth losing sleep over, although I frequently fail to remember this!
What’s your proudest career achievement? My new wallpaper designs.
What’s been your best decision? To work for myself.
Who inspires you? Anyone who successfully balances running a creative business with a personal life.
What are you passionate about? Any project that I am currently working on, design, drawing, interiors, travel.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Oscar Wilde, Matthew Bourne, Tim Burton, The Brothers Grimm.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would really love to design a range of ceramics and also the interior of a café and one day I want to own a house in the country with a vegetable patch.
What are you reading? I have just finished reading Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason. I am very into Scandinavian crime at the moment and I am also reading the Henning Mankell Wallander books, only read the first three so far, so these will keep me going for a while.

images courtesy of abigail edwards

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

designer & writer david netto

It is little wonder that David Netto was appointed contributing design editor for the Wall Street Journal last year. He has a wealth of knowledge, and experience, on the subject. He grew up in New York City, with textile designer Alan Campbell as his uncle. He has worked extensively as an interior designer, and a product designer. His range of children's furniture, under the name NettoCollection, was bought by multinational corporation Maclaren. For three years in a row David was named House Beautiful's "Top 100 designers in America". His work has appeared in Vogue, Elle Decor, House & Garden and Domino. I interviewed him recently for real living magazine, and his knowledge and respect for the Modernist architect of his LA home, Richard Neutra, was palpable, and inspiring.

Which five words best describe you? Determined, Gemini, frustrated, romantic, optimistic.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I was very lucky in two ways: (a) I met early mentor figures whose encouragement helped me a great deal, such as Nasser Nakib, the first architect I worked for. He really shaped my understanding of how to at least try to be successful and took the time to explain to me what I should do. That is very important to a young person. My godfather, the textile designer Alan Campbell, was another. (b) I never stuck with a school or a job I didn't feel was taking me in the right direction, which does take courage if I say so myself. If I hadn't dropped out of Harvard things would have just taken much longer, and if I'd kept on working for someone who shall not be named I would have become insane. Ever since that time I have done things for roughly five-year stints, then tried to exit honourably, or just torn them apart and started something else. That's healthy to me. I'm on my first year as a design editor for the Wall Street Journal now, and it's going great.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Invest in your own ideas quickly and with maximum commitment, no matter how much people try to talk you out of them.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Not going bankrupt in 2008/9 and instead selling NettoCollection to Maclaren, with the help of my lifelong friend and business partner Claude Arpels.
What’s been your best decision? Marriage to my wife Elizabeth.
What are you passionate about? I'm very passionate about getting people to see something they are used to and have stopped feeling special about in a different way: Make baby furniture into an object of desire. Write about architecture or design which is maybe so familiar nobody ever bothers to think about WHY it's great anymore (NY apartment houses). I'm passionate about trying to be a good father, and I have arranged my life around that priority. I'm passionate about trying to be a good husband too. I'm passionate about Ducati motorcycles.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? It goes like this: Dudley Moore, Ava Gardner and I and have dinner at the Stork Club and they don't hate me.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I want to own the Carlyle Hotel in New York. What's the point of having a dream if you're going to get it?
What are you reading? George Hamilton's autobiography Don't mind if I do was one of my favorite recent books.

images courtesy of david netto and via habitually chic

Thursday, 21 April 2011

photographer harold david

Harold David was born in America and studied acting at the respected Lee Strasberg school in New York, but he has made his name as a photographer in Australia. His work is regularly showcased in magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, Grazia, Vogue and Marie Claire, and he has shot campaigns for General Pants, Sportsgirl and Levis. Harold's non-commercial work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW and one of his most recent collection's has travelled to Japan. His portrait, above, was taken at Harold's holiday home in the Blue Mountains, and featured in the latest issue of Inside Out magazine. [To see more pics of his weekender, visit taiKa.]

Which five words best describe you? Left, solid, forward, observant, cuddly.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? When I was over my acting stint David Bonney really encouraged me to do something about my love for photography and led me to the ACP 17 years ago to start taking classes and I did. My first exhibition, "Surface", was about Bondi skate culture, curated by Victoria Harbutt as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. That show was seen Brett Chamberlain who was doing a lot of work for Studio Magazines and got me on board there. This lead to my love of shooting portraits and fashion editorials as well as exhibiting my personal work. Soon after Mari Vendrame became my agent and mentor. So with the support and love of David Bonney, Victoria Harbutt, Brett Chamberlain and Mari Vendrame I was able to realise my passion for taking photographs. I am still on this path with some of these people and still creating images and collaborating with many more along the way.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? That we are not alone.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Photographing Japanese workers in their uniforms.
What’s been your best decision? To leave home at 18 and follow my curiosity.
Who inspires you? Anna Madrigal.
What are you passionate about? Observing people and pancakes.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Tolstoy.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To be a dad.
What are you reading? Essays in Love by Alain de Botton.

images courtesy of harold david and inside out (portrait)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

painterly stripes

This morning I mentioned decorating with paper as a great decorating tool. Using paint has to be one of my other favourite options. A little while back I was asked to come up with ideas for this brief: "Quick cures for boring walls". It was a styling shoot for the current onsale issue of real living magazine.

I always gravitate towards stripes in fashion, but didn't want to do the usual vertical (or horizontal stripes) in the rooms that have been done many times before - including at my last home. So I took inspiration from the vibrant Spring/Summer 2011 fashion collections to create anything but boring walls.

images courtesy of real living and prue ruscoe; styling natalie walton

paper decorating event TODAY

One of the elements I always try to add to an interior - when styling for a photo shoot or when decorating my own home - is texture. Otherwise everything can look a little one dimensional. Paper is perhaps one of the best resources to use. It's quick, cheap and easy to use, depending on your project. I'll be sharing some projects I've done in my own home over at the taiKa blog soon.

And I think Belinda from The Happy Home made some cute paper additions to her daughter's nursery here.

Paper is also a great material to use for party decorations. So if you've got an event coming up (wedding, party, birthday) - or just want a new decorating tool consider heading to this event TODAY by one of Sydney's paper gurus - Phoebe Gazal from Papier D'Amour.

Here are the details:
Event: How to dress a table for entertaining with tissue pom poms
Date: Wednesday 20 April, 2011
Time: 12.30pm
Register here
Location: 30 Days Live House - Hordern Pavillion, Entertainment Quarter 1 Driver Ave Moore Park NSW 2021
Cost: $30 per person

image courtesy of phoebe gazal

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

designer jonathan adler

There are few other potters in the world who have made such a mark on design (and contemporary culture) as Jonathan Adler. He is one of the major voices in the interior design world, known globally for his strong use of colour, graphics and mid-century styling, especially in his interior design work, pictured above. Jonathan has also managed to cross over and be known to the broader public thanks to his furniture and homewares (available across his 14 stores, and at a multitude of global stockists) and his role as lead judge on TV's Top Design.

But it's worth noting what motivated Jonathan at the very start. It wasn't money or fame. It was the simple desire to be creative. Jonathan was born in New Jersey and studied semiotics and art history at Brown University all the while dedicating much of his free time to pottery. In 1994 he showed some of his first pots to Barneys, which quickly placed an order. Eight years later he launched a furniture collection. He has been unstoppable ever since.

Which five words best describe you? Optimistic, disciplined, restless, hungry, maker.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My career has been very accidental. After a series of go nowhere jobs in the film industry, I decided that I had no future and I might as well do what I love and just be a potter. I envisioned years of hocking my wares in rain-soaked craft fairs in upstate New York. I got myself a studio and starting throwing all day every day. I got my first order from Barneys and the short story is that the rest is history.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? That if someone tells you that you can't do something, that you do it anyway. Only you know what you are truly capable of achieving.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Every time I open a new store, I feel very proud. We just opened our 14th location, a fab new store in Atlanta.

What’s been your best decision? To follow my dream and do what I love. That and going on a blind date 16 years ago with Simon Doonan.

Who inspires you? My holy trinity of muses are Bjorn Wiinblad, Bonnie Cashin and Alexander Girard, all of whom were mid-century designers who made stuff that was gorgeously chic and inspiringly optimistic.

What are you passionate about? I'm passionate about impeccable craftsmanship and design.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Auntie Mame

What dream do you still want to fulfil? To design an airline! Also, I wouldn't mind a potters wheel over-looking the Faraglioni.

What are you reading? The Kids are Alright by Patti Smith. I have a pretty complicated business and sometimes I forget that the whole reason I got into this was because I had something to say, I had to make pottery, I had to be creative, I had to had to had to! This book reminds me of my early years which were only about creativity and I was totally broke.

images courtesy of jonathan adler

Monday, 18 April 2011

artist jasper knight

While the achievements of Sydney artist Jasper Knight are many, perhaps the most astonishing thing about him is that he has achieved them at such a young age. He has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize a handful of times, including this year. He has also been shown in the Wynne Prize, and won the Mosman Art Prize in 2008. Jasper established Chalk Horse Gallery in 2007 as a way to support emerging artists. He was born in 1978.

Which five words best describe you? Cold caffeine free diet coke.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? Got my start after school when Bob Carr bought my HSC work for the premier's office and John Aquilina, then minister for education used the image of the work on his Christmas cards.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Manage your own affairs as much as possible. The first show I ever had was a sellout and the gallery went broke and never paid me. Ouch!

What’s your proudest career achievement? Winning the Camden Art Prize for kids in London when I was 8 years old. Richard Branson gave me the prize, a big paints set (and he gave me a piggy back).

What’s been your best decision? To stop making video work and return to painting and sculpture.

Who inspires you? Creative cross discipline types. What about Albert Camus: amazing writer, Nobel Prize winner and more importantly goalkeeper for an Algerian team that were twice North African champions. Needless to say when asked what he preferred: football or theatre he said, easily football.

What are you passionate about? South Sydney Rabbitohs and Arsenal Football Club.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would have liked to have met Michael Jackson, what an amazingly strange man.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would love to still write, produce and direct a Hollywood movie. Who wouldn't.

What are you reading? Roger Moore's ghostwritten autobiography My word is my bond.........james......?

images courtesy of jasper knight and chalk horse gallery


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