Monochrome for the Home

I’ve never been one for colour.

In fact, my flirtation with colour goes only as far as my fashion styling requirements for work over the last 14 years.
My wardrobe proudly boasts not an inch of bright colour. I remember wearing white to my first ever Mardi Gras party. And plain black to my 21st. My home is a blank canvas of white, only updated with neutrals that tempt me and trend-based patterns that occasionally catch my eye. My bed sheets are white, my valance is black. The kitchen is all white except for a stark black De Longhi kettle and toaster combo. And my car? Black…

It’s not that colour scares me. It’s more that the absence of colour calms me…
So it comes as no surprise that the interiors that resonate with me most are those with a crisp monochromatic palette. Some of the most elegant apartments I’ve set foot in have been void of bold hues . The timeless, minimalist approach is what I always remember.

Manhatten stripes, complicated geometric focal points, and character-filled art-deco trimmings- it’s all about the black and white.
B&W7B&W6 B&W5B&W8 B&W4  B&W2B&W3 B&W1 B&W9Some time soon, I’ll be sharing the latest licorice home trimmings I’ve fallen in love with, that you can get your hands on too.

Image source:,,,,,,,,

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Christian Lacroix Papier

ChristianLacroixPapierFlamboyant couture house Christian Lacroix has released a new range of paper journals, note books and beautiful cards, new to Myer. The inspiration for comes from the designer’s catwalk designs, celebrating all things French and ‘Joie de vivre’. Decorated using gold foil and flocking, these are a beautiful addition to the home office.


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A confident elegance

el·e·gance  (noun.)
a. Refinement, grace, and beauty in movement, appearance, or manners.
b. Tasteful opulence in form, decoration, or presentation.

Clockwise from top left:
1. Missoni Home towel
2. Fornasetti Profumi 300g scented candle
3. Essie nail varnish in ‘One of a Kind’
4. Paco Rabanne Lady Million 300ml body cream
5. Paris Vogue covers 1920-2009 by Thames & Hudson
6. Tom Ford ‘Slander’ lipstick
7. Jac & Jack white shirt
8.The Aromatherapy Company no.2 Juniper berry & cassis reed 500ml diffusion set
9. Valley ‘Genius Child’ sunglasses

Photography and styling by Sarah Bonett


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The talented Mr Hicks

DavidHicks2I love it when an interiors designer fuses natural textures like timber or stone, back with slick high gloss surfaces or polished concrete. The same goes for decorative elements like when a rustic wrought-iron chair can look just as comfortable sitting atop a flashy zebra rug, without looking out of place. For me, interior designer David Hicks manages to strike a perfect balance of contrasts  in all of his residential and commercial projects. DavidHicks1  Hicks, whose company is  internationally acclaimed, began specialising in bespoke design back in 2001, with his company based in Australian and a second office in LA. By considering architecture, interior design and decoration as one whole approach, David Hick’s brings his ideas to life through elements of surprise, desire and captivation. Like all of the best interiors, the finishes and furnishing’s are always of refined quality, and an expression of the client’s own style.DavidHicks4DavidHicks3

 Tribal, geometric, art-deco or traditional- the influences are all there in a folio of residences spanning from Melbourne and Sydney to Philadelphia. A checkerboard floor used in the right area makes a visual impact, pendant lights hungs together at tiered heights give an enchanted feel to a room, or a simple bunch of pink peonie’s in an asymmetric vase complete an entrance hall with the right finishing touch.  David Hicks applies many of these ideas to a number of high-profile commercial developments including hotels, restaurants, corporate offices and some pretty special retail spaces. His retail spaces are recognisable by design. Having worked with brands worth boasting about, the sexy- moody ‘Hicks’ signature is present in his use of lighting/shadows and darker finishes, where brighter colours would typically be used to attract the customer.

The Green with Envy store in Melbourne is particularly brilliant with it’s ‘Gatsby’ styling and girly palette.

The inviting Green With Envy store in Melbourne

The inviting Green With Envy store in Melbourne


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Living with Thomas Hamel

It’s not often you hear about one of the Interior world’s biggest success stories packing up life in NYC to move to Oz, but more than 20 years ago, a handsome young talented designer did just that, adding his skills to the homes of Australia’s affluent.

Although he was a well-established Award-winning International designer residing in the US, and had trained under some well-known Interiors companies, Thomas Hamel began working with clients from Melbourne and Sydney (including Russel Crowe, the Packer’s and the Turnbull’s) stylishly shaping his spaces to suit the occupants, building on interiors that allow them to live their daily life with ease. He now spends three months of the year as a bower bird, traveling and sourcing bespoke treasures from across the world for all of this clients.


On building the look of the ‘Thomas Hamel aesthetic’ of polished wood, Rococo gilted trims with a splash of natural texture and comfort, Hamel says there is a formula:

- look for textural things to tone down the formality
”It has (to have) polish and sophistication – so you get mirrors and lacquers and shiny bits – but then you tone it down with casual bits – like the tortoiseshell sisal carpet as opposed to stiffly polished wooden floors that would be too antiquey. I use loose covers on the lounges, not tightly upholstered, so it gives it that casual, relaxed feel.”

-keep things fairly neutral so the art sings out

On his move to Australia:

”There were a lot of things missing in the market here, and now I am starting to print my own fabrics and make my own wallpaper. People want those bespoke things they can’t find on the internet. I think that’s the world’s next trend. Wanting something so exclusive, no one else has it.”

Hamel also noticed a lack of service in the local market:

”That American thing of lighting the candles, I’m always on call, I find the flowers, and that didn’t happen so much when I arrived. It has changed a lot since then. I think I’ve helped shape the industry in that way. Up until then this country’s interior design level was about selling you furniture and moving on. My whole thing was teaching clients the lifestyle, how to live, how to serve a drink, how to host a dinner – it’s a much more bespoke service.”


Thomas Hamel’s beautiful coffee-table book titled Residence allows us to peer in at some of his favourite projects in Australia, Asia and Europe plus more including over 150 stunning images of a harbour-front villa with spectacular views and a bayside residence in Melbourne, to a stylish retreat in Florida and a farmhouse in Luberon.

Source and images:,,,

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The olfactory experience

What do you get when a young, creative, well-dressed Fine Arts graduate wants to create fragrances rather than paintings?
A chance meeting with a perfumer convinced a 31 year old Swede Ben Gorham to do just this in 2006. Born to an Indian mother, a Canadian father, Gorham travelled regularly, living in Toronto, New York and Stockholm, fueling his inspiration for his Swedish-based fragrance company BYREDO. The range of Eau De Perfumes and room fragrances are some of the most unique I’ve ever smelt. Along with a focus on ethnic influences which give the brand it’s identity, Gorham has created  simple compositions of the highest quality materials available, making the fragrances and candles so lush to smell. My favourite? Bal D’Afrique- even this body lotion lasts forever on this skin.
So successful is his approach to his brand, that BYREDO is stocked globally in more than 22 countrie’s. Get some locally at
ByredoSource: images of Ben Gorham and Bal D’Afrique via

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A natural sugar fix

Crazy for Pina Colada any time of the year!
My current obsession with all things pineapple-related has nothing to do with 60′s retro surf or Hawaii. I love it’s natural geometric shapes, and the way it tastes when mixed with Malibu. I also love pineapple on pizza.

1. Bermuda lamp base: (
2. lamp stand: (
3. pineapple ring: (
4. aluminium pineapple cactus (
5. Aquazurra pina colada heels: (
6. pineapple ornament: (
7. Kiehl’s pineapple papaya facial scrub: (
8. white linen pineapple cushion: (
9. 4pc pineapple cutlery set: (
10. Kate Spade pineapple clutch: (

Source: main image via

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Where the old world is new again.

If you are a home wares fanatic, and especially if you love a ceramic or two, chances are you’ve heard of Ceramiche Dal Prà. They are masters of their craft with years of history and tradition. Domenico Agostinelli and Giuseppe Dal Prà founded the company eons ago, at the end of the 800′s. Years of experience honing their craft and interpreting old-world ceramics for the modern home required a stellar laboratory and showroom to master up such beauties, and it’s based in Nove, Vicenza. One of my favourite parts of Italy.

You can always count on the Italian’s to deliver quality, and not quantity. This is the philosophy of their production. It’s a rarity these days as companies struggle to profit or break even, outsourcing to China and the like. But with these guys, almost everything is handcrafted and hand decorated by Caramiche Dal Prà, and it’s completely made in Italy.

Oh how I would just love to fill a whole house with this stuff. Some of their current collections- modern and sexy- are my favourites:

The Owl collection- more for visual appeal rather than practicality. But perfect for the bedside table as the owl is the night messenger and keeper of wisdom. Just don’t slam your water glass on its head during the night.
The Rome collection- Italy’s capital in all it’s ancient splendour and glory! The statues add superiority and strength to any home setting. Wise to learn who these emperors are before your dinner guests’ curiosity gets the better of you!
The Bamboo collection – inspired by the natural world, bamboo ceramics in the form of vases and lampshade stands in a sexy glossy black, turquoise or white. Modern. Nothing ‘Bali’ about these…
The Mare collection-Fusing the sea and aquatic flora together to form sexy statement home wares like vases and lamp stands.
Ceramiche2Ceramiche1Images supplied by Ceramiche Dal Prà  (

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Trove: bringing walls to life!

Jee Levin and Randall Buck of Trove wallpapers started their business by designing their ‘art for the walls’ for a small cramped, messy studio space before opening an 18oo square foot showroom in Chelsea NYC to show off their 30+ papers and patterns.  Since then, their designs  have been featured in plenty of respected publications, as well as the homes of some celebrities.

The duo creates their wallpapers featuring motifs of flowers, birds, or graphic shapes inspired by parts of everyday life; (like for example the rushing of  ‘Manhattan-ites’ to work- translated as dashes of blurry scattered colour up the wall).  Their pattern repeats often create the illusion of ongoing space, making the room seem much larger than it is. Some of their single designs can be so large, they can scatter to fill a whole wall.

Some of my favourite designs are the more painterly, almost water-coloured splashes and splurges. I also love the wood veneer finishes which give the illusion of maple, oak, and bamboo in a beautiful silk-like finish. You see cheap versions of this in some bar’s around the city… but it’s so much nicer in the home.

Wallpaper is often given the cold shoulder in favour of trendy paint finishes. The smell of wet paint is so alluring. But wallpaper just seems like the perfect way to spice up a large space that needs that little bit of something… or a small space with minimal fuss. Especially if you’re living in trendy apartments in Manhattan or Paris, (or even Sydney is slowly catching up to having appreciation for apartment living with our ever growing population in dense cities!)

Order sample sheets from Trove online starting at $2.,

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Cribs of the rich and famous

One of my all-time favourite things is to glance inside the homes of celebrities and famous fashion personalities.
Courtney Cox is one celeb with serious home style. Friends co-star Matthew Perry is another who’s taste in real estate I really admire. Any one of his homes in Malibu or the Hollywood Hills are desirable.
Of the rich and famous who’s style I like to monitor, some of them are avid property movers. Superstars  like Kylie Minogue, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rihanna and Taylor Swift all buy and sell property regularly.
Below are some notable places most could only dream of owning…

Tom Ford’s LA house

Miley Cyrus’ Studio City, CA home

Rihanna’s Pacific Palisades mansion

The library inside Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris apartment

Taylor Swift’s elegant bathroom in her Nashville, Tennessee abode.

The California mansion of Hillary Duff

Sophia Coppola recently sold her home in NoLita, New York.

Carine Roitfeld’s Paris home

The most amazing taste in real estate- this is Matthew Perry’s Hollywood Hills property.

Kylie Minogue’s South Kensington, London pad

Light, bright and white
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s Brentwood, CA home.



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