Jun 30, 2011

On the Market: Purple Penthouse

Up for sale is this rather extraordinary
penthouse in leafy Camberwell, Melbourne.
With architecture by Wood Marsh,
it's certainly eye-catching.
I have always fancied the idea of living in a penthouse.
Especially a glass one.
Would you like to live here?

Property: Aerial, Camberwell, Melbourne

Jun 29, 2011

Portfolio Update: Coastal House

 We are having a huge burst of activity
on the House with the Stripes renovation.
The main ensuite's gold and black 
mosaic splashback tiles are finished.
And the copper-tiled shower wall is done too.
The bath is in - although still full of building dust!
Lights are being installed...
this one is over the kitchen bench.
Appliances are appearing.
{And no, that white microwave belongs to 
the builder and will NOT be staying much longer!}
Kitchen splashback has gone in, 
with locally hand-made glass tiles,
in colours selected to echo 
the building's 1960s origins.
The pool bathroom is almost complete,
with its beautiful blue glass mosaic tiles.

And the room with the stripes
now has the balustrade installed.
But what is that in the room with the stripes?
Is it a hidden door?
Oh yes, it is!
And a bookcase too!
What happens on the other side?
Why it is just a bookcase.
{Or it will be when it has books in it.}
But when you press it, 
hey presto!
It's a secret door! 
Meanwhile, outside, in all the mud...
the retaining wall of huge boulders has gone in.
With the fence rendered,
it's getting very exciting now it's so close to completion. 

And doesn't it look pretty with
all the lights on?

All images blue fruit.
Earlier updates herehere and here.

Jun 28, 2011

Moody Drama & Folded Lines: Law St House

When architecture plays with 
light and shadow
through folded lines of junctions,
a seductive moody drama results.

 This is the Law St House,
designed & lived in
by husband + wife architectural team
Bruno Mendes & Amy Muir.
 The rear is a double story 
of folded steel.
Squeezed into a tiny space 
between existing 19th century cottages,
the new street facade is a sheet of steel plate,
with a drawbridge window.
There is something about this house
which reminds me of Marc Martin's 
wonderfully moody illustrations 
from his book of Exotic Animals.

The flat facade, 
which pops open to reveal shafts of light,
is a perfect example of the beauty of architectural moody drama.

Do you like it?

Law St House. Architects: Muir Mendes
Photography: Peter Bennetts
Illustrations: Marc Martin

Jun 27, 2011

Walking down the Garden Path

Monday, Monday, how does it come around so fast?
A thousand things to do, 
but first thoughts can wander to 
skipping down beautiful garden paths.
And perhaps finding, 
at the end of the garden path,
the perfect tea party.

5: house for sale.  Tea party: Sweetapolita

Jun 26, 2011

Arts & Crafts Design: inspired by nature

With our current trend for both hand-made artisan goods
and floral-inspired graphic patterns
{which are both quite fabulously exciting developments},
let's have a look back at another time,
when there was a similar world-wide desire
for nature-based design.

It was the Arts and Crafts Movement
which originated in England in the 1860s,
heavily influenced fashion, architecture & interior design,
and reached a peak around the turn of the century.

An advert for the Lace Exhibition in Paris in 1904
illustrates the enchantment with delicate motifs,
curvy organic lines,
and a certain romanticisim for the exquisite.

A Jacques Doucet gown of gold lace, 
from 1900,
is a riot of floral patterning.

Czech Actress Anna Sedlackova in 1912
sporting a magnificent feathered hat.
Ah, feathers - they're back in fashion too, 
aren't they?

These fabulous houses, 
all by the architect Harold Desbrowe-Annear,
were built in the early 1900s in Melbourne.
This beautiful dresser was one of the first
examples of built-in joinery.
Hard to believe that we take this for granted today!

The popular colours of this movement were 
those found in nature, 
but especially ones with a golden or orange tone.
This is a portrait of Elizabeth Drexel,
an American author & Manhattan socialite,
painted in 1905 by Boldini.
Her bodice is adorned with lace flowers,
and the dress "grows" from the painting, 
just like nature.

Arts & Crafts colours 
are used masterfully in a contemporary 
arrangement by Sarah Winward,
which has the same romantic feel.

Swirling lines, echoing those found in flowers, 
were incorporated into fashionable clothes,
like this French gown by Callot Soeurs {1910}.

 A modern table setting.
Flowers by Sarah Winward.
Do you see a pattern emerging here?

Marc Jacobs ruffled silk dress, 2011 collection.

Haute Hippie dress, 2011 collection.

Amazing how much the appeal of these designs 
still resonate today, isn't it?

I guess it is because true beauty 
never goes out of style.

Images: all houses & interiors designed 
by Harold Desbrowe-Annear, open today. Details here.
All flowers: Sarah Winward.
Contemporary fashion: lyst.
Historical fashion images: wikimedia commons

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