29Aug

The Library

Other than a slight obsession with the Dewey Decimal System, I have always been attracted to books & all the accessories they once came with. I recently rediscovered a book I had written & made in the 6th class with borrowing envelope & everything else library books were once decorated with.

My friend, Mario is opening a restaurant in Cronulla, aptly called The Old Library as in fact it once was. He has asked my advice on ways to warm up the space & give it a sense of fun. Being the history enthusiast I am, I have delved into interesting ways of incorporating its past to create a space that has humour, is interesting and draws on its beachside local & past life function.

After a magnificent interior design by Paul Hecker of this new restaurant in Cronulla, I employed the services of a mural artist to create a library based on my photos of the NY library; ceramic artist for Raku trophy heads and signwriter to translate the logo in several exterior locations as well as adding appropriate floor rugs.

The mural was painted around the visible kitchen. The mural incorporates existing light fixings & a shield was painted so one of the Raku trophy heads could exist within the design. To continue the mural subtly throughout the interior, a second ‘bookshelf’ of books was painted further in the room that naturally perched on top of the curtain rod. This adds a sense of humour & discov

29Aug

The Lobby

As a constant globetrotter, something that has really excited me over the last couple of years is the change of function, perception of & understanding of the Lobby. No longer is it a place of whispers & old newspapers, attached to sad hotel bar with resident barfly’s & sleazy one-liners.

The Lobby is now pumping, full of life, multi-purpose & downright genius! Let me use The Ace in NYC as an example.

Not only is restaurant, The Breslin attached (always busy & designed by the very clever team: Roman & Williams) but it has a corner bar, long tables ready for computers (and drinks later on), free wi-fi, a flowershop & the all important coffee bar, Stumptown. The design is fantastic, there are lots of different seating options where you can eat, drink, hang, meet & greet. The Lobby invites everyone- guests do get some privileges like the free wi-fi but otherwise its a vibe-y, free for all that can be super busy on weekends (note to self).

I am going to use this idea in the renovation of the Establishment lobby & Tank Stream Bar: I’ll keep you posted!

23Aug

Myles Baldwin at Glenmore House – THIS FRIDAY!

19Aug

Next workshop- biggest one yet!

Emotive Interiors Workshop

This workshop will be huge!! For the first time ever, we will be hiring out a studio and building an entire set. I constantly get asked how to create a space that reflects the owner’s personality and lifestyle. Super hands-on, in this workshop I’m going to create a set or a replica of an interior right in front of your eyes. I’ll show you the tricks of the trade, how to choose layer & get a sense of self.

Although it will be a set-build on the night, it will be easily translated into your home and you will pick up tips and discover the stylist within. I plan on covering wall treatment, flooring suggestions, lighting, furniture placement and various other secrets!! This is the workshop of the year- not to be missed! BYO of course.

Buy tickets here!!

19Aug

Bathing Pavilion

I am researching for a new bar I am designing.
A fascination with old locker rooms (not in a creepy way) & bathing pavilions led me to Neilsen Park.
I love how you can access this from the beach via a tunnel- so very 1920′s.
I am hoping that it is just closed for the winter, but it looked a little tattered & unloved, & considering I had to quietly step over some obstructions to enter (not really breaking in, more just nosily poking around) I’m not too sure…
I love the generous proportions & thoughtful changing cubicles all wooden & roofed- I  intend to reference this idea & intimacy in my bar.
I am off on excursions  to North Sydney Pool, Wylies Baths & Rose Bay Surf Lifesaving Club at Bondi to check out their changing facilities!! Quite a few years back, I was on a photo shoot that flew me into Asheville, North Carolina. I visited Biltmore House, built by the Vanderbilts of American railway fortune.
It was built in 1889-95 and has the most impressive tiled gym & indoor pool you have ever seen.
18Aug

Scrimshaw

Skills that sailors had other than Sailing (see Etcetera Etc pp. 86 and a half):

Sewing, Tattooing, Birdwatching, Whittling, Scrimshawing, Training Pets: Monkeys, Parrots, Crickets, Dogs; Bone Carving: Buttons, Needles, Combs, Gambling Chips; Musical Instruments, Knot Tying, Making Games: Quoits, Balls; Dancing Jigs & Singing Seashanties, Reading (most ships had a library), Basketweaving, and Palm & Leather Braiding, Collecting Specimens, Botanical Drawing/Painting, Shooting and Skinning Animals, Cooking, Herbal Remedies, Rope & Net Making.
My friend, James Merrell gave me a very old special piece of scrimshaw that is on my desk for me to look at whenever I please. If you are not up with the art of scrimshawing, it was traditionally done by sailors and is a kind of miniature naive carving done on bones, mostly whalebones, most often depicting sea adventures, expeditions & creatures.