Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Natural Modern Interiors 1st Birthday Today!

It's natural modern interiors 1st birthday today... yippee. I cannot believe its now a year since I started my first post... A year has flown by.

I decided to start this blog as a way to inspire us all to think beyond mass consumerism and instead think more about recycling, up-cycling and using natural materials as a sustainable approach to renovation, decoration and design... sustainable solutions do not have to be expensive or look ugly!

Also without the support from my readers it would not happen... so a huge thanks to you all for a wonderful year and thanks for commenting, your words of support, following and for just liking my blog... :)

To mark this occasion I would like to round up the year with your top five most popular posts.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Latest Interior Design by ifdesign :: The New Wardrobe, Brisbane

I am so excited to tell you that one of our latest projects, a new women' s fashion store called The New Wardrobe, opens this Friday here in Oxford Street, Bulimba.

I was approached by the owners Lisa Norman & Maree Diamond to come up with an interior concept using natural colours and materials that reflects the feel of a walk-in wardrobe.

An early design style mood board
The store itself is a cute size so the next challenge was to create a store that felt brighter and more spacious. To do this we kept the joinery lightweight in look, used glass for some of the shelving, made the clothing, rear wall and central table the focus of the room and introduced plenty of mirrors. The use of a natural colour palette for the materials and finishes also helped to keep the room looking light and welcoming.

An early sketch of the shopfront

A sketch of the proposed interior design
Rather than selecting mass produced furniture Lisa & Maree had a fun time sourcing reclaimed and second hand furniture from the Woolloongabba Antique Centre and Brisbane Fabric Market. A few of these items were then re-upholstered for a fresh new look.

Shoe lasts and recycled furniture
For some of the smaller details timber shoe lasts were sourced from a small shoe making business in New Zealand and used as feature display mounts. Black cord was also used to make the drawer handles and timber from Dwyers Recycled Yard was used to make the mirror frames.

The store finished and ready to shop!
The use of low VOC paints for the walls, wood wash from Porters Paints for the display cabinets, 100% wool carpet for the central floor finish, recycled timber for the feature table and recessed LED lights were used to create a healthier, sustainable and low energy environment.

This has truly been a self build with a lot of love put into the construction as vast amounts of the store fit out has been implemented by Lisa, Maree and their supportive families.

This approach has given a small space a new lease of life with a strong identity and with the added bonus of reducing their energy and fit-out costs. 

If you are in Brisbane this week and would like first dibs at their gorgeous selection of clothing and shoes click here for information on the opening day this Friday.

I wish both Lisa and Maree all the best with their new business venture and an exciting journey as one of Brisbane's new fashion retailers.

Have fun.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Recycled Upholstery Chairs & Poufs

How about these Drops chairs and poufs for recycled inspiration... This lovely idea is by a Norway based furniture designer Camilla Hounsell Halvorsen.

images via Khio
These chairs are made from inner tubes wrapped with recycled upholstery fabric. As the tube seat is not attached to it's frame it can be tilted for comfort or removed and used as a pouf.

It just goes to show it's worth keeping all the scraps of fabric!

Have fun.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Green Furniture Upholstery Fabric Alternatives :: Knitted Stools

I happen to agree that reupholstering furniture is a quick and easy way to bring new life to an old piece of furniture and make a basic piece of furniture look amazing. 

Also it does not have to stop with recovering chairs, you could recover stools, make a new headboard, transform an ugly ottoman, recover old cushions, beanbags, the list goes on...

Also there is no reason why you could not use these fabric alternatives:
  • Vintage curtains

  • Old covers for sofas

  • Thick felt blankets

  • Old thick clothes like denim

  • Knitted wool

So following on from last weeks knitted lamps I found these lovely knitted stools. 

Created by Claire-Anne O'Brien these stools are a texture mix of hand and machine knit stitches inspired by the elements of the knitted stitch itself such as rings and loops. 

image from Claire-Anne O'Brien
Also these Urchin Poufs designed by Christian Meindertsma are hand knit in the Netherlands using wool from a New Zealand and when you purchase your stool you get a card identifying where the sheep flock came from!

images from  Christian Meindertsma 
They are so inviting don't you just want to sit on them all?

Have fun.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Knitted objects :: Granny lamps

Knitting may not be trendy these days but maybe I can change your mind?

I was searching for some lamps that were made from natural materials and a softer style than the usual when I came across this Granny Lamp by casamania and designer Pudelskern. 
The design is inspired by a direct response to the climate challenges of cold winters and reviving the traditions and memories of your Granny knitting around the fireplace while telling stories. I am sure we all have these same memories?

This thick natural wool comes from sheep bred on alpine pastures and each lamp can even be tracked back to the flock where the wool came from.
images from Casamania & Pudelskern
The wool is then knitted by a collective of home-based workers in the Netherlands and then a natural treatment is applied making the wool flame resistant and resistant to moth and mite infestation.

This is such a nice way to bring back traditional skills in such a modern style... and if you are looking to buy these in Australia they can be sourced through Janie Collins Interiors.

Have fun.