08 January 2013

Products We Love: Vintage Style Milk Bottles

Vintage Home Decor

Urban-Cartel

Ceramic milk bottles from Australian brand Urban Cartel

There’s nothing wrong with being nostalgic. Folks naturally long for times when things seemed simpler and made more sense. Of course, this isn’t always the case. Life has always been hard and fraught with uncertainty or doubt. But when it comes to design, there is no question that vintage is most definitely in. Homeowners and apartment dwellers alike adore decorative pieces that remind them of the past. With that in mind, we will review a product that is as charming as it is useful.

Vintage milk bottles are a sweet reminder of the rustic life most earthlings once enjoyed. Less than a century ago, many of us were working on farms and living off the fat of the land. A major source of income, of course, was provided by milch cows. Dairy farms worked from sunup to sundown to fill the bottles that were often delivered to our front doors. While the milkmen of old have long since hung up their proverbial spurs, milk bottles are more popular than ever!

17 December 2012

Tired of Breaking Plates? Save on Melamine Tableware!

Melamine Plates, Cups, Jugs and more!

Melamine-Plates

Whether impromptu or planned, cleanup is always an issue at any get-together. After a three or four-course meal, the dishwasher will inevitably run out of room and tableware will start to pile up. In the past, there were only two options—plastic or paper plates, both of which must be discarded. There is now a third option that is somewhere between disposable and permanent tableware. Melamine is a resin or synthetic polymer that is composed of organic compounds that are heat and fire resistant. The material is extremely versatile and highly stable, which makes it suitable for numerous industrial and commercial applications.

Also known as thermoset plastic, since it is heated before it is set into a fixed form, melamine kitchenware is considered safe for normal, domestic use. But like most other wonder materials it has it weaknesses. Chief among them is its sensitivity to heat, which means that melamine kitchenware should not be placed in the dishwasher or microwave. Melamine plates and cutlery really must be hand washed. The material is also difficult to recycle, which is not necessarily a bad thing. What do we mean?

The average earthling doesn’t think twice about discarding a paper or plastic plate. Why? Because they get recycled and that’s good for the environment…right? Well, not exactly. Recycling is unquestionably a better environmental option than simply burying, burning, or stacking trash. But it still pollutes the environment, since gas-powered trucks have to haul it away and recycling factories require energy to run, which also pollutes our planet. Therefore, the best and more eco-friendly option is to simply use melamine tableware in place of paper or plastic.

Durability

Made of a tough and rugged resin, melamine plates and utensils won’t break if you drop them. That means the kids can finally, safely clear the table after dinner. The sturdy material is also far more attractive than traditional plastic plates that are designed for a single use. Available in a wide range of colors and styles, melamine may just be the wonder material of the future.

Here are some links to some of our favorite designs from online shops around the world!

  1. 1) Tea Party from Lucy King Design
  2. 2) Monster Kids Bowls from French Bull
  3. 3) Embossed Melamine Plate from Rice
  4. 4) Melamine Jug from Rice
  5. 5) Custom Melamine Plate from Etsy Shop SimplySublimeBaby
  6. 6) Juice Cups Set from French Bull

10 December 2012

Living in a Shoebox

Small apartment Decorating Ideas

Small-Apartment Decorating ideas

Apartments used to be temporary living spaces for most folks. But with the world economy in a funk, most apartment dwellers cannot afford to buy homes. The question then becomes how do you turn a small apartment into a cozy home? In this brief article we will discuss five simple and affordable decorating tips for the average apartment dweller.

1. Whenever possible, save space!

One thing most homeowners hated about apartment living was the tiny kitchens. Still, most feel the need to decorate these incommodious areas with unnecessary furniture. In our humble opinion, this is a mistake. The kitchen is a busy room, especially when it’s small, and adding tables and chairs that barely fit not only wastes space it also looks awkward. Instead, purchase a nice set of foldable chairs and set them up when you have company.

2. Go dark

There is a common misconception that darker colors make small rooms feel even smaller. But many decorators believe that darker colors actually make a space feel warmer and more intimate. The truth is that no color will make a tiny room appear enormous, since it’s a question of scale, not color. So, if you want your apartment to feel like a home, use colors that make you feel comfortable.

3. Go Vertical

When you don’t have enough square meters use your walls! Without too much of a damage to your bank account you can get simple but practical vertical storage from Ikea or built in shelves that you can fill with your books or boxes. Mix books and boxes with vases, candles and figurines for a funky look.

02 December 2012

Retro Games Nostalgia: Coin-Op

Looking back to be on the edge of technology?

arcade-games

It may seem incongruous or even contradictory, but some folks who love technology aren’t always looking for the next big thing. In fact, some of them are looking back...way back! The resurgence in retro video games over the past few years has been nothing short of astonishing. No, these folks aren’t fighting the future. Most of them couldn’t survive without their iPads or Bluetooths. But like every generation that has come before them, they long for simpler times.

Most remember and relish the first time they pumped quarters into a Pacman game or defeated King Koopa to save Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. And now that they’ve reached adulthood, these former arcade addicts can afford to reach back in time and bring back a beloved memory, in pixelated form.

What are they looking for?

26 November 2012

Marimekko Store Opens in Sydney!

New designer store in Sydney

Marimekko Sydney

Founded in Helsinki, Finland in 1951, Marimekko is one of the most popular and influential Nordic design houses in history. Noted for their brightly-colored fabrics and simple design styles, the company currently operates over 80 custom or concept stores around the world. Their extensive catalogue includes garments, home décor, apparel, fabrics, and assorted accessories.

The commercial growth of the company has been nothing short of astonishing. The watershed moment occurred during the presidential election of 1960 when future First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, wore Marimekko dresses and accessories throughout the campaign. By the time the First Family had moved into the White House, Marimekko was the name on every fashion-conscious woman’s lips.

Soon after the death of its founder, Armi Ratia (1979), the company changed hands (1985), but remained headquartered in Finland. As they had done for decades, the design house tackled nearly every aspect of domestic design, including toys, furniture, dinnerware apparel, accessories, fine fabrics, and bedding.

16 November 2012

Best Markets in Sydney

Food, design & vintage markets in Sydney

Surry-Hills-Market

Markets have been an integral part of the city of Sydney since its founding in the late 18th century. They form an intimate connection between culture and commerce. At last count, there were more than fifty markets in the city and its surrounding suburbs. Most are open on a regular basis, but others have more limited operating hours. Let us take a moment to review three of the most popular markets in Sydney.

Founded as a community market in 1981, the Surry Hills Market was one of the first in the area to trade in handmade, secondhand, and recycled goods. This gave local low-income residents the opportunity to earn a little extra money and also attracted tourists. Although it has become wildly popular in recent years, it has not forgotten its roots as simple community market. Held on the first Saturday of every month from 7:00 am to 4:00pm, the Surry Hills Markets serve as an important fundraiser for the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre.

15 November 2012

Green Ideas for your Home

Design & Sustainability

Sky-Planter

As people look for new ways to cut energy costs and conserve vital natural resources, a slew of new products have come on the scene in recent days. Often advertised as eco friendly or just plain “green,” these devices help us make the world a better, safer, cleaner place for future generations. These are some ideas we fell in love with, the perfect mix of good innovative design and sustainability.

The Sky Planter

It might seem like an odd idea, but most new ideas do. Hanging a plant upside-down from the ceiling takes advantage of unused space, instead of cluttering up your floor. With the help of the Sky Planter from Boskke, plant lovers can bring their outside garden indoors. In addition to saving space, upside-down planters also help conserve water, since regular potted plants lose a significant amount of H2O through evaporation and drainage. By comparison, the Sky Planter has a unique reservoir system that gradually releases water to the plant’s roots when needed.

Why bring greenery indoors? There are several reasons. First, they emit oxygen and absorb unhealthy chemicals, thereby purifying the air. Studies have shown that people who are around plants on a regular basis have improved levels of concentration, self-confidence, well-being, and are even able to sleep better at night. Those are just a few of the reasons why all office workers should go green.

08 November 2012

Products We Love: Handmade Colourful Jewellery

Australian jewellery designers

Beaded-Necklaces

Human beings have been making decorative accessories since time immemorial. Handmade jewellery was originally made of natural materials like shells, wood, bone, sinew, and berries. How do we know? Because jewellery beads from Africa that date back to the earliest human societies have been uncovered. Of course, jewellery making has come a long way since then!

Based in Melbourne, Emily Green is an artist and noted designer of wearable art. Her growing catalogue includes necklaces, earrings, brooches, and scarves. With the exception of her scarves, her entire line of colourful accessories is made by hand and can be ordered on the internet.

Sometimes described as an indie designer, Emily Green has a style all her own. Her use of organic forms, bright colors, and unusual geometric shapes is as daring as it is fresh and new. She is also inspired by the colours and natural beauty of her hometown, Melbourne.

Because they are handmade, no two necklaces are entirely the same. There will inevitably be slight variations in the size, shape, and even the tone of the beads. As a result, the accessory will not be identical to the one that appears in the photograph. It will be unique.

When it comes to the beads themselves, the artist offers countless combinations. Beads differ in size, color, even texture.

Sydney based designer Rachel Wightman works with clay and creates beaded jewellery in vibrant colour combinations. You can shop her collection in her Etsy shop Not Tuesday here.

So Little time Co. is another of our favorite Etsy shop: Melbourne designer Kirsty Eckard creates one of a kind necklaces and brooches from locally sourced wood.

How to wear colourful beads? One of the things people love about handmade jewellery is that it is stylish and sensible without being overstated. All our favorite designers offer a large collection of colourful and casual accessories that can compliment nearly any ensemble.

1- Emily Green Clementine Necklace 2- So Little Time Co. 3- Not Tuesday 4- Emily Green Peach Polka Necklace 5- Unique Necklace by A Bird of Play

07 November 2012

The hottest boutique hotel in town

Sydney QT Hotel

QT hotel sydney

There are those who travel to get away from the daily grind. They go to some foreign city, snap a few pictures, and return on time and on schedule. We call them tourists. Then there are folks who want a unique travel experience that reflects their interests and their taste. For these adventurous souls, a stay at an ordinary chain hotel or a bed and breakfast simply will not due. They demand stylish and unique accommodations. And they’re willing to pay for it!

Whether in town for business or on holiday, Sydney is one of Australia’s most exciting cities for young professionals who have a different set of travel needs. The luxury boutique hotels in the area cater to these guests and offer them the best in service, quality, design, and originality. Located within the historic Gowing and State theatre buildings, the QT Sydney Hotel is one of the hottest boutique hotels in all of Australia.

07 July 2012

New Designs! Birdcages and Wisteria Wall Decals

New-Designs-July12

Our new designs for July are whimsical and elegant; this set of Three Birdcages will give any room a chic touch while this Wisteria Wall Decal will create an elegant feature wall. If 3 birdcages are too many just go for the Single Birdcage wall decal, you can hang it on the door, on your bed or office desk!

All birdcages come with a long “chain” that allow you to obtain the length you want.

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