Friday, 31 October 2014

Friday find: Kenyon Yeh wall table

Designers have always found inspiration in the weird and the wonderful - vampires (Jean Paul Gaultier), bunnies (Normann Copenhagen) and in the case of today's object of desire - cheerleaders. Taiwanese designer Kenyon Yeh was walking to his studio when he noticed a team of cheerleaders being put through their paces, and was inspired to create the 'Yeh' wall table. No, it isn't swathed in pompoms and it doesn't jump, stunt or tumble, but it does mimic the shape of a person in 'chair pose' - back resting against the wall, knees bent in sitting position - seriously working their quads.

Athletic references aside, the two-legged table is a vision of smart minimalist design, ideal for small spaces. Prop it up against a wall and display books and flowers on it. Position it by the front door as a drop-zone for keys and other essentials, or utilise it as a streamlined computer station or bedside table. And did we mention it comes with designer good looks, too?

Already flying high (that's cheerleader speak) on the global interiors stage, it's available locally at The Minimalist (from $220) in white, grey, or our personal preference - nude pink.

Image via Nettanatalias

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Dinner plans

Right now, all over the country, thousands of city slickers and students are settling down on the sofa in front of Modern Family, spag bowl perched precariously on lap. While it's easy to scorn a generation of couch diners, it's worth noting that in today's property market, many urban units lack for a designated dining area. But that's no excuse - with some smart design and styling, even pocket-sized pads can boast their own dining zone. Adios, couch potatoes. 

Take Kathryn's apartment (below), which is certainly more slight than spacious, Here, a table extends from the kitchen bench to ensure sofa suppers are the exception, rather than the norm.

Ideal for entertaining, the table lengthens to cater for a crowd,
and then retracts back to petite proportions for day-to-day living.

If you're looking for a quicker fix, consider a round dining table - these are enjoying something of a renaissance and are great space-savers. Thanks to their shape, they can host more bodies than a square-edged table of the same size, and look particularly chic teamed with mismatched chairs.

Image via

Image via

If all else fails, draw inspiration from a Scandinavian studio - stick a table against a wall or window to forge a light and bright breakfast nook. Just be warned, with a space this stylish, you may never want to eat on the couch again (well, until the next season of The Bachelor airs).

Image via

Image via

Friday, 24 October 2014

Friday find: Alchemy Produx

Better don your lab coats, because this candle collection will take you right back to high school chemistry. Luckily for us, you don't have to be a science nerd to appreciate these pure soy wax candles, which are poured by hand into glass beakers and conical flasks in Melbourne. 

The Alchemy Produx collection. Image via Finders Keepers.

Alchemy Produx candles are the work of Melbourne friends turned lab partners, one of whom is a chemist and the other, a fashion designer. Their delicious formulas include Lychee & Black Tea, Yuzu, Ginger Ale and Wild Fig. We love the unexpected quality they bring to a bookshelf or bedside table, contrasting with the more girly items you might own or giving industrial-style interiors an 'underground laboratory' kind of edge. And did we mention how amazing their scents are?!

If you'd prefer to indulge your inner mad scientist and fill the beakers with your own concoctions, or perhaps turn them into vases and fill with flowers, the glassware is also available empty so you can do just that. Visit Alchemy Produx to shop online.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Office drama

Pens poised, The Apartment readers - it's time for a lesson in desk space style. If you don't have a dedicated home office, don't despair - with a desk as divine as these, you'll want to show it off in the corner of your living room or bedroom. Lesson number one? Mix the practical with the personal - a brass lamp here, a photo frame there - and work within a colour palette for a cohesive and uncluttered look. Find your class reading material below...

Image via Adore magazine.

Image via Style Files.

Lesson two: The task at hand might be boring, but that doesn't mean your desk has to be. Tape up travel photos, postcards, magazine tear sheets and inspirational quotes to the wall using MT tape - the Japanese fabric tape comes in every colour and pattern imaginable - gold houndstooth, anyone? - and is removable, reusable and much more fun (not to mention cheaper and easier!) than framing.

Image via Glitter Guide.

Image via The Design Files.

Beautiful in blue - see lesson one above (male nude optional).

Image via

Lesson three: a fabric-covered pinboard is the ideal backdrop for inspirational bits and pieces, from wallpaper samples to lustworthy labels you can't bring yourself to bin. Buy clear acrylic or pearl-head pins - studies have shown that tacky primary-coloured plastic seriously lowers your IQ. 

Image via Caitlin Hoare.

Image via

Lesson four: Studies have also shown (we mean it this time) that pot plants aid concentration in a work environment. So adorn your desk with a fresh note of green, be it a terrarium, orchid or a hanging plant as per the above - find similar macrame hangers here.


Your final lesson: Have some fun with desk lighting - there are hundreds of designs to choose from, but this quirky mint green tripod lamp has a left-of-centre look we love. Class dismissed. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday find: Marble Basics

We've long been mad for marble - whether it's swathing the surfaces of an opulent bathroom or topping a luxurious island bench. But thanks to its hefty price tag, the likelihood of us bringing this natural stone into our own homes has kind of matched the chances of George Clooney getting hitched - highly improbable... until now. Enter sisters Bonnie and Bliss Adams, who are making marble accessible to all with their beautiful - and genius - range of homewares and accessories, Marble Basics. Now why didn't someone think of this earlier?

Image via @marblebasics.

Each piece is a vision of form and function, designed to be used and enjoyed - not to mention displayed - every day. A trivet works equally well as a bread board or tray, while a bowl doubles
as a vessel for storing jewellery or keys.

Image via @HarperAndHarley.

The new range is available for pre-order online now, and also stocked at some of our favourite
stores including The Minimalist, Lightly and Fenton & Fenton. Run, don't walk.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Wedding bells

Wedding season has officially arrived and we're hitting the shops - and not just to pick out a new frock. Because while the rise of the wedding registry has made purchasing a gift for the happy couple as simple as hopping onto the David Jones website and virtually selecting a few wine glasses, sometimes we like to think outside the, um, list. A personally chosen present - packaged with love and a handwritten card - will surprise and delight newlyweds. Here are some of our top picks.

1. Moroccan wedding blanket, $449, Sage and Clare.
2. 'Zoe' artwork by Erica Smith, from $595, Penny Farthing Design House.
*Note: art is very personal, so only go there if you know your friends' tastes well. One fairly foolproof option is a map or destination scroll - see more at Penny Farthing Design House.
3. Wedgwood/Jasper Conran 'Chinoiserie' plate, from $52, Peter's of Kensington.
4. Limited-edition brass servers, $44/pair, Lightly.
5. Menu bottle grinders, $129/set, Top 3 By Design.
6. Kate Spade 'Pretty And Witty Make The Perfect Pair' candle, $86, Amara.
7. Essential oil burner, $189, Page Thirty Three.
8. Round marble stand, from $50, Williams Sonoma.

Also don't forget the power of personalisation - monogrammed towels or robes make
a memorable gift (Sheridan offers a monogramming service). And we love the idea of having
custom stationery created especially for the couple - check out the options at Rifle Paper Co.

Image via

Wedding gifts = sorted. We're off to find new dresses...

Friday, 10 October 2014

Friday find: Emily Green

Banish black and say goodbye to grey - we've developed a major crush on colour. We blame Melbourne artist/designer Emily Green - one look at her inky watercolours and we were weak at the knees. All our favourite colours collide on the canvas, from cobalt blues and magenta to jade, turquoise and violet. The best bit? Each one is available as an affordable art print. What's not to love?

Emily Green is possibly best known for her necklaces, which she makes from enticingly smooth polymer clay beads in a dizzying array of hues. But it's her latest project that we're really lusting after: quirky contemporary lights designed in collaboration with another Melbourne designer, Dale Hardiman. Crafted from Emily's signature marbled clay beads, with added timber and spun copper details, they're like nothing we've ever seen before. They're available as pendants but we love the plug-in versions, which are designed to be plugged into a powerpoint and  draped over a wall hook - making them a genius way to add personality to a rental without having to touch the ceiling light fittings. 

Another delicious polymer clay bead necklace. Image via one of Emily's stockists (and one of our absolute favourite online shops), Leif

To see how we've styled one of Emily's colour-soaked prints, head to our instagram: @theapartmentblog

Monday, 6 October 2014

The look of Lust

Hands up who has a wish list stored on their phone (after the long weekend, our latest reads like this: Triangl bikini, Becca sunscreen, a Clarisonic...). But Sydney-based illustrator Sally Spratt of The Lust List has an infinitely more stylish way of documenting her favourite finds: armed with her paintbrush, watercolours and pencils, she beautifully hand illustrates her must-haves. Her motto? 'If I can't have them, I'll draw them.'

What started as a personal side project while in between graphic design jobs (Bassike is among her former employers) has rapidly morphed into an illustrated empire. Sally has a staggering 50,000+ Instagram followers waiting to see what she draws next and her A3 prints and cards are the latest lust-have for every lover of fashion and design (something else to add to those iPhone lists!). We chatted to Sally about her studio style, inspiration and what it's like to window shop for a living...

 Sally Spratt, illustrator of loveliness. Photo by Bridget Fleming.

"Throughout school I dreamt of being a fashion designer, but then I realised I only really wanted to do the fashion illustrations," Sally admits. "I love that fashion is a perfect marriage of art and sculpture." When she's not being commissioned by high end fashion and beauty houses (La Mer and Louis Vuitton are among her clients), Sally hits the shops for The Lust List. "I get inspiration from window shopping, trawling through blogs and social media as well as reading my fave magazines: Harper's Bazaar, Elle and Vogue," she says. So basically, every girl's dream job.

Given that she's surrounded by luxury labels all day, perhaps it should come as no surprise that Sally can't pick a favourite product. "I'm in a position where everything I have worked on (and am working on) has been something new and inspiring," she says. A recent trip to New York Fashion Week is fuelling her current work. "You'll probably start noticing a shift in the posts," she reveals. You heard it here first. 

The illustrator at work, via her instagram. 

 Sally in her studio (shot via her Instagram).

There's no doubt Sally has an eye for style, and her studio shows it. "I love a fresh white space with succulents, throws and minimal clutter," she says. "However, I tend to work in organised chaos with artwork drying by my feet, so I need to at least start fresh so it doesn't get overwhelming." Her studio essentials? "Pencils, paints, little jar of water with my brushes, light box, laptop and all my posting essentials like envelopes, tissue paper, cotton twine and music in the background to keep me company."

Sally always has a candle burning - "it keeps me calm and the house smelling beautiful" - and a penchant for recycling Palm Beach Collection candle jars to store pencils and paintbrushes. The finishing touch? "A mood board is a great way to keep all inspiration in front of you and also little notes, photos or things that you have collected to remind you of something special," she shares.

STYLE NOTES {sally spratt}

dream home: Spacious beach shack in Palm Beach or Byron Bay.
style icon: Christine Centenera and Lindy Klim.
favourite flower: White peonies and white oriental lilies.
best scent: Gardenia and Jasmine.
colour palette: black, white, grey and navy.
music of choice: Something chilled like Bon Iver or The 1975.
best brunch: eggs, tomato, haloumi and spinach.
go-to outfit: denim cut offs, loose t-shirt, leopard flats and a leather jacket over the shoulders.
ideal holiday: Inspiration trip to NY or a beach shack in Bali.
perfect Sunday: A sleep in, brunch, long walk with friends, relaxing on the beach and finishing with pizza and red wine at The Corner House in Bondi. 

To keep up to date with Sally's latest illustrations (and by default, designers' latest collections), follow her on instagram: @_thelustlist_