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Le Corbusier and Ornament


Le Corbusier is widely recognised as one of Modernism’s most successful and influential advocates. Yet his prolific commentary against the place of ornament in architecture is rife with contradiction.

Notre Dame du Haut, Le Corbusier, 1955 Ronchamp, France.
Sketch by Poppy Bevan, in situ, 2010.

View my collection of sketches of the works of Le Corbusier in Europe between 1900 and 1950

Le Corbusier’s well renowned denunciation of ornament is inaccurate. Contrary to widespread conception, Le Corbusier utilised ornament as a means of creating beautiful and successful architecture.

Le Corbusier was strongly affiliated with ornament as a result of his recognition of a broad range of functional architectural requirements, including not only utilitarian but also aesthetic and emotive functions.

In order to satisfy his need to incorporate a level of decoration into his architecture Le Corbusier expanded his definition of function to subsume ornament and therefore justify its essential position in creating successful architectural spaces.

His application of this newly defined Modernist Ornament is directly related to his intentions to achieve beauty, harmony, and poetry of form within the functionalist framework of Modernism. These emotively driven elements were deemed necessary in creating successful architecture that not only delivered upon pragmatic programmatic requirements but also provided for the intangible and immeasurable side of architecture.

Notre Dame du Haut, Le Corbusier, 1955 Ronchamp, France.

Le Corbusier understood this facet of architecture as being primarily served by firstly understanding and later attempting to satisfy a broad range of aesthetic and emotive functional requirements relating to the intricacies of human experience, which he recognised as difficult to satisfy except for with the use of ornamental devices.

Le Corbusier’s approach was, therefore, to define ornament as an implicit architectural element contrary to many of his contemporaries who described ornament as a superfluous and unnecessary extra. Le Corbusier’s Modernist Ornamentis inextricably linked with the purely functional elements of architecture

As a result, whilst Le Corbusier openly rejected traditional ornamentation, it is suggested that he accepted the application of a new version of Modernist Ornamentas deliberately and carefully aligned with his theoretical ideals.

This is expressed in the fact that Le Corbusier found it crucial to imbue beauty into all elements of architecture, including and perhaps especially those elements that are fundamental to a building’s practical success.

Le Corbusier “knew how to bring out the secret affinity that existed between ferroconcrete construction and the human needs and cravings that were just coming to the surface” and that furthermore he “was able – as no one before him had been – to transmute the concrete skeleton developed by the engineer into a means of architectonic expression”. (Sigfried Giedion in his text Space, Time, and Architecture – the growth of a new tradition).

In this way, the functional elements of the architecture perform dual functions; they provide for both utilitarian needs and by way of carefully and deliberately integrated ornamentation they also create opportunity for the satisfaction of aesthetic and emotive functions required by humans to truly appreciate and be moved by space.

According to Le Corbusier Modernist Ornament is essential in the creation of truly great architecture and is by no means superfluous. Not only this, but furthermore, according to his holistic functional intentions these devices would be so heavily ingrained in the architecture “nothing could be removed and leave the design equally good or better.” (as defined by Owen Jones in The Grammar of Ornament).

For Le Corbusier, the creation of excellent architecture meant the artful treatment of even the most mundane elements to ensure beauty was a pervasive and all encompassing force – indeed, this is fundamentally contrary to the common understanding that Modernism is defined by the mantra “form follows function”.

For Le Corbusier, the essential quest of architecture was to prove that the poetry of function should also inherently deliver poetry of form.

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret known as Le
Corbusier was a Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer, and one of the pioneers of what we now now as Modernism.

Elements of Corbusian Ornamentation

The key elements utilised by Le Corbusier to ornament his architecture are:

1 Form, Volumes and Planes

2 Materiality

3 Texture

4 Scale and Repetition

5 Detailing

6 Colour

7 Art

8 Fenestration – Elongated Horizontal and Picture Windows

On Lac Leman, not far from Lausanne, Switzerland
Sketch by Poppy Bevan, in situ, 2010.

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Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co.


I remember the moment I first saw Paloma Picasso’s Venezia collection. I also remember being completely (and uncharacteristically) overcome with desire. It is quite unusual for me to be so strongly drawn to jewellery and yet this piece clearly spoke to me.

Contemporary Vintage Tiffany & Co. Paloma Picasso Venezia Stella Medallion Necklace

View the current range of Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co.


Within an instant of our first encounter I was whisked across the seas to a glorious, cloudless day in the Piazza San Marco. The square is full of the chatter of happy tourists, the smell of coffee weaves in and out of the sweet salty air, and we wander to the rhythmic bump of the gondolas rubbing against centuries old stone.


Not only a memory, but also a subtle and yet yearning symbolic relevance. An arch; the first principle; and for me a perfectly complete microcosm of the magic of architecture. This is what makes thoughtful design so amazing. It has the most incredible power to provoke memories, engender an emotional response, and impress a lasting legacy.


I can only imagine that Paloma absorbed some of this evocative and penetrating talent from her father – such are we formed by our fore-bearers. She has been a jewellery designer for Tiffany & Co. for more than 30 years and during this time has created some of the world’s most iconic and extraordinary pieces of jewellery.


Paloma sources much of her inspiration from the life she has lived and the places she loves. I am sure that it is the careful and considered invocation of such lived experiences that imbue such immeasurable value to a select and meaningful few of the inanimate objects of our lives.


Alas, my ‘love at first sight’ encounter occurred when I was but a lustful student. I walked wistfully away from the wondrous golden article and left it where it lay, perhaps (and hopefully) to come upon it again some other day…


For many years thereafter I experienced occasional momentary glimpses within my mind’s eye of those perfect and endless shimmering gold arches.


Luckily, my partner has as strong an affiliation with the timelessness and quality that I do. In fact, he also has a level of unrelenting determination far above and beyond my own! Unbeknown to me he searched year on end for this now impossible to source piece (which has now been retired from the Tiffany & Co. collection for many years) and earlier this year discovered a rare piece in a small antique jeweller in middle America.


—It is an uncharacteristically warm winter’s day and I am handed a small, simply wrapped gift…

Renovate or Rebuild?

by Poppy in Query Comments: 0

Should one look toward renovating their existing house or simply start all over again?

All the kings horses and all the kings men

by Poppy in Query Comments: 0

We produced two Concept Designs; one for a renovation and the other for an entirely new house.

Villa Le Lac by Le Corbusier


Le Corbusier – Villa Le Lac

On Lac Leman, not far from Lausanne, Switzerland

One of my favourite drawings of the Villa’s beautiful garden on Lac Leman, not far from Lausanne, Switzerland

I became lost in a moment (okay, quite a few moments) of time travel flicking through my beautiful and enormous Phaidon tome on Le Corbusier this evening. A bit like everything I do, this ‘quick’ foray ended up carrying me away for hours…

The book is full of beautiful drawings and wonderful, evocative photographs of another place and time – a very interesting place and time! Wandering through its pages transported me back to the crisp, Swiss air and the tiny, picturesque towns speckled with occasional glimpses into the Corbusian future that I experienced on my research trip into the European works of Le Corbusier in 2010. It’s lovely and a bit amazing to think that the buildings I visited throughout France and Switzerland were conceived, built, and have been inhabited for over almost a century now – and it’s wonderful to think that these spaces endure and have carried with them the character and philosophy of their creator(s) throughout this time.

Villa Le Lac

Villa Le Lac was Le Corbusier’s first truly Modernist house, and by this I mean that the house embodied not only the beginnings of his early Modernist ideals but also took on the Modernist form that we all recognise today. Le Corbusier designed the Villa with his cousin Auguste Perrier for his parents on paper prior to the selection of its  beautiful site on Lake Geneva a sort of experiment – a means to test the ideas Le Corbusier had been developing as a young adult. The site looks south over the water toward the Swiss and French mountains, Chamonix and the French alps somewhere beyond.

The house was built in 1923-24 for Le Corbusier’s parents, who at this time relocated from their hometown of La Chaux de Fonds in the Jura mountains and lived in the Villa for the remainder of their lives (in fact, Le Corbusier’s mother outlived Corb himself, dying 5 years after he drowned in the Mediterranean in 1965).

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Villa Le Lac, on the north eastern edge of Lake Geneva

La Visite

Corseaux is a quiet Swiss town on the waterfront of Lake Geneva (I enjoyed a delicious roast dinner at a tiny brasserie overlooking the lake in the neighbouring, slightly larger town of Montreux the evening before making my way to the Villa). Villa Le Lac is encountered along the winding road that follows the water’s edge from Montreux to the east and eventually takes one all the way to Geneva at the western-most edge of the lake.

One comes upon the building rather suddenly, its sleek, modernist lines incongruent with the surrounding context of mostly typical Swiss houses with coloured stucco walls and peaked roofs. The slight sense of unease that comes with this discordance continues as one approaches the house – partially due to the Villa’s location right on the road’s edge, and partially because it turns its back to the street – the property is entirely walled at the roadside but for a single opening in the expansive swathe of smooth white render that indicates the way in. One must slip through this to finally escape the road’s edge and feel as though you have a moment (and a square inch of space) to comfortably stop and absorb it all.

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Photogrpahy by Olivier Martin-Gambier 2005, courtesy of the Fondation Le Corbusier

Perhaps this is part of why the site has such a serene and contemplative mood – it feels like an escape, a secret garden meant for slowing down and soaking the scenery in. Funnily enough although I remember the building clearly from the outside I have very little passionate recall for the interior. The real success of the space for me is in the garden – the architecture has the powerful effect of scaling down the landscape and inviting it close so that one feels at once enveloped and protected whilst at the same table able to intimately experience the beauty of the distant vista as framed by the house and garden.

Photogrpahy by Olivier Martin-Gambier 2005, courtesy of the Fondation Le Corbusier

Photogrpahy by Olivier Martin-Gambier 2005, courtesy of the Fondation Le Corbusier

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fondation le corbusier

On Lac Leman, not far from Lausanne, Switzerland

On Lac Leman, not far from Lausanne, Switzerland

Object of Desire // Antique tapestries


I’ve always been mostly a traditionalist. Perhaps it’s my father’s ancient English roots or perhaps my mother’s lineage of fine dressmaking. I think it is actually the combination of this history paired with the circumstances of my own life that have formed my affiliation with the traditional. In Australia life is easy, being outside is a huge part of any childhood, and the architecture is, frankly, for the most part basic.

Maison Pierre Frey – Wallpapers


Beautiful prints evoking images of far away places, exotic textures and patterns exuding luxury and comfort.

Kaufmann Desert House by Richard Neutra


This month, as with any, I am working on several projects that intend to effortlessly relate interior and exterior space in a fashion that reflect my clients’ ideas, tastes, and intentions, whilst embodying the best of architectural design principles. These three factors of a strong inside/outside interconnection, a client-centric design process, and the intention to achieve the highest possible architectural standard seem such obvious, common elements of the architectural process that it’s quite hard to imagine that they aren’t always, and haven’t always been at play together in the design of residential architecture.

2017


2017 was a big year for us, but I am pretty sure 2018 will be bigger…

Interior Design Focus // Ralph Lauren’s NY home


It’s not like any of us would expect Ralph Lauren’s home to be anything but fabulous, but in case you needed proof…

Colour // Rouge Carmin


This season we’re going for a wonderfully rich, festive colour. Rouge Carmin is the sort of colour that has big power, the sort of colour that it’s impossible to shy away from, the sort of colour that just screams sultry winter evenings by the fire.

Colour // Neutral Brown


Autumn is normally one of those months that spells sudden crisp air, quickly shortening days, and a general move inside. But this year in Australia, autumn really hasn’t happened at all. We’ve had soft, sumptuous sunny days for seemingly months on end (I am not complaining!), but I know that the cold snap must be lurking just around the next bend…

Colour // Grassy green


When I think of summer I think of sunshine and greenery. I think of warm afternoons lazing on freshly cut green grass under the cool, dappled shade of the trees. I picture looking up through the bright green of leaves made translucent by the intensity of the sunlight toward the stark and endless blue sky. This green of these summer days is so inherently calming, invigorating and revitalising – there’s not much to compare to it.

Architecture Focus // Brillhart Architecture


This month I’m going outside the box and looking at a beautiful house designed by Brillhart Architecture, who are based in Florida in the US. Normally, I like to narrow my focus to Australian and New Zealand architecture but I could not go past this lovely little prototype-type house that is deliciously pared back, vernacular inspired, and perfectly suited to its site and context. It inspires very positive things in me regarding the state of architecture in the world.

Architecture Focus // Leuschke Kahn Architects


There is something quite strange about this house, it seems almost foreign, as though it might have once belonged in northern Europe and somehow floated into NZ, plot of land and all. Perhaps that is part of the reason that I like this house. It has no particularly stunning outlook or rugged landscape to contend with, but instead creates its own quiet, internalised vistas, and does so in a very neat and refined manner.

Colour // Plum


This month has been cold. I don’t know about you, but when the weather gets cold I just want to surround myself in rich colours; the thought of a white on white house makes me shiver (with cold, discontent, restlessness … etc.). Having said that, I think there are certain rooms that suit being wintery and snug all year, and others that work as lovely crisp, clarified spaces even in the cold. Part of this relates to the room’s use, and the other part relates to its aspect. A bright, white kitchen flooded in winter sun works. A deep, dark tv room tucked away from the blazing summer heat is a complete retreat. I am definitely one for colour eccentricity, and I think a house in many colours can be just as coherent as one that shuns them all. The most important thing is to make each colour suit its room and function, and after that, anything goes.

Architecture Focus // Pleysier Perkins


This month’s House of the Month is a conceptually well rounded alteration and addition that results in a neatly arranged conglomeration of well thought-out, readily communicating interior and exterior spaces. The appeal of this project lies in the clarity and focus of the planning, which places great emphasis on enhancing site lines and creating multiple indoor and outdoor rooms that act as new vistas seen from various vantage points throughout the house.

May 2015 // Istanbul


May and June this year is a bit of a[n exciting] switch up… Instead of my usual life and the usual monthly posts, I travelled through Europe and will be posting about my time spent exploring Istanbul, Greece, and France.

The beginning was Istanbul; seriously one of the most wonderful cities in the world. This is a place that architecture, food, and textiles reign supreme – in effect, it is exactly my kind of place!

Architecture Focus // Herbst Architects


I’ve been eyeing off the work of Herbst Architects for a few months now, so my only real issue today was in choosing which house to feature… Sometimes I feel as though I should be writing about the most recent, hot off the press architecture from around Australia and New Zealand, and then sometimes I find myself returning over and over to certain buildings, and that sometimes these buildings just aren’t brand spanking new. I don’t think that this really is a problem, I mean, good architecture should be some of the most lasting of all human creation, so surely a few years here or there doesn’t matter, right?

Colour // Greige


It does seem a bit odd, writing an article about colour on a colour that is a balanced combination of grey and beige, but alas, when we’re talking about houses we can’t be talking of rich, jaunty colour all the time now, can we? And let’s face it, most of us are a little reserved (perhaps timid) when it comes to choosing colour for our houses, but this doesn’t mean that the results have to be characterless. In fact, one of my favourite interior styles is derived from French country houses and it just happens to be that these spaces epitomise luxurious grey-beige.

Colour // Teal


This month I can’t go past this colour. Winter is coming and I am longing for rich, sumptuous, dark rooms that have the ability to somehow both embody and yet defy the blustery, wintery cold. It’s the complexity and depth of this colour that makes it work so well in this way. While pure dark blues can feel cold and dark greens a little stifled and old fashioned, deep blue-greens are just perfect. The green edge warms them, making them feel cosy and enveloping, whilst the blue undertones lift them to a certain level of elegance. For this reason, teal is a much more flexible colour than either of its parts alone. It can sway between coastal, country, bohemian, or Parisian-chic. It has the ability to work within many spaces of all sorts of influences.

Colour // Donkey Brown


Donkey Brown is a reasonably loose shade – meaning that you can use it a bit lighter, a bit darker, a bit greyer, a bit more saturated, or as a perfectly medium tone depending on your space. I used a classic medium tone for my lounge room, but one with quite a lot of brown in it. I tried the more grey versions and they just didn’t give me that unctuous feeling I was after. Below are a few examples of colours worth experimenting with, and how they look once luxuriously lathered over walls.

Architecture Focus // Christopher Polly Architect


I’ve always enjoyed the work of Christopher Polly Architect. His practice is so aptly skilled at happily integrating the old and new, comfortably siting crisp black steel and white cladding up against old bricks and stone, and seamlessly refining exterior form to sit comfortably within its neighbouring architectural context.

Interior Design Focus // Rafe Churchill


This beautiful New York farm house has the most delicious interior. The colours are glorious ; confident, happy, summery, and playful. What’s so nice about this whole ensemble is almost the contradiction between the built form and its interior colour scheme. Whilst the architecture (by Sharon Architects) is traditional, the interiors tread a continually wobbling line between the presumed country house aesthetic and a much more vibrant edge. I just love this. I often think that I’d love to have a big old tradtional country house, and then I realise that I’m just not really that way inclined. I could certainly live with classic, subdued interiors and elegant finishes for a time, but I know that deep down, soon enough, it’d all just begin to feel a bit too reserved for me. Well, have I found the answer in Rafe!

Architecture Focus // FMD Architects


This month a very elegant and demure intervention to a tiny Melbourne terrace by FMD Architects.

Interior Design Focus // Robson Rak Architects & Made by Cohen


This month a very calming and demure interior resultant of another successful collaboration between Robson Rak Architects and interior design firm Made by Cohen. Elwood House is a soothing retreat that draws upon classic interior elements and combines them with a light, contemporary touch to create spaces that feel warm and weightless.

Colour(s) // Marston & Langinger


This month, because I can’t decide on one (and because I just came across the most amazing range of paints by Marston & Langinger) I’ve decided to feature a collection of colours.

Architecture Focus // Wolveridge Architects


I’ve come across Wolveridge Architects quite a bit recently, and am almost consistently found to be entirely won-over by their elegantly restrained forms and wonderful materials palette. Indeed, I have to say that it’s quite rare that I find myself drawn to a piece of contemporary architecture as a result of a distinct sense of warmth emanating from within (seems, in some ways, a bit of an oxymoron; contemporary and warmth..), but it is true of the works of Wolveridge Architects, and especially so in the case of their Eltham South house.

Colour // Cool White


This month I decided to be really bold and feature … white! In one way it seems a bit inside out and backward to feature such a colour here – in a realm that is all about rich saturation, depth, and character – and yet in another it seems essential given white’s huge popularity and its vast array of subtle undertones that can be close to imperceptible to identify and therefore implement to the untrained eye. So here I feature cool white, if not purely as an exploration of just one side of white’s character. I’d say that there are at least several broad categories of white that I could deal with, but starting with this one just seems right on a warm, sunny, breezy October day like today.

Interior Design Focus // Emily Summers’ 1960’s Eldorado home


Sometimes I find myself drawn to strange things when I’m writing this segment. I begin to notice myself veering off in unpredictable directions and toward completely out of character destinations. It’s a strange phenomena that I can’t fully explain, except in the sense that there’s a lot of room to move in simply thinking about things for pleasure, and not having any further obligation to dissect, interpret, comprehend, or apply them. After years at university doing exactly this to exactly everything I looked at, these days I feel a great freedom to simply open up to things without any further underlying intention other than enjoyment.

I think this place is one of those things. In fact I recently went for a drive up through Merewether Heights and was reminded by a few examples along the road of just how good a good 1960’s house can be, so when I came across this I thought it would be a nice thing to explore. The architect is unknown, yet the house certainly speaks a clear language. I think what I like most about the house is that it would only work in this location. It’s very site specific, both in terms of its plan, landscaping, and interiors, and I think that this quality is always a sign of good architecture and interiors.Never, ever, would I normally advocate a high gloss interior floor tile, and yet here, in the arid heat, I think it’s perfect. Rarely, if at all, would I consider cool white, mint green, tangerine, and sunshine yellow a sensible or appealing interior colour palette – and yet here, it seems quite right. The whole house exudes a real sense of laid back sophistication and summery, linen-clad days by the pool. I feel like if I lived in Indian Wells, California, I would rather fancy stepping out from my usual self and spending my days in a place like this.

Evidently, this segment is becoming more and more inclusive, where I used to focus on a room, I then moved to covering entire interiors, and now I can’t help but just make it an all-encompassing look at a whole house. Having said that, there’s certainly a more light-hearted approach to things here than in House of the Month (for reasons explained above), but it’s becoming ever more clear that a house really should have a sense of character than runs through it’s entirety in order to properly make sense, and I think that’s another reason that this place seems to sit so nicely in the realm of  successful space. It has a very simple design aesthetic which gives great clarity to the building, and certainly helps to instate the strong sense of calm that so readily envelops it.

I’m so glad that Emily Summers and her husband rescued this place from its 80’s deformations and reinstated its classic 60’s beauty, because it sure does look lovely now.

All images from Architectural Digest

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Architecture Focus // Adrian Amore Architects


I got a bit excited when I saw this lovely little Paddington house by Adrian Amore Architects – for two reasons. Firstly, I have just realised that of all the focus I put on wonderful, contemporary, Australian Architecture, I have not yet featured a house from my home state of NSW – travesty! And then I noticed that AAArchitects are based in Melbourne; their Paddington house simply being a tasty diversion from their usual Melbourne-centric architectural works… I guess the NSW feature will have to come later!

Object of Desire // deVOL Kitchens


Oh dear Lord. Sometimes I really think I belong in another place – aka, England, France, some other part of Europe, etc etc. It’s as though my English/Irish Heritage is really catching up to me now, and I simply need to be around these sort of spaces (I won’t go into my potential Punjabi heritage here, for that would only confuse things, although it does explain my constant talk of sunshine and heat…).

Architecture Focus // Inglis Architects


I love this house. The materiality really gets me. And the light. I’m such a sucker for a warm, sunny little space, I can’t help it, it just appeals so naturally to my inner sun lizard. This house, however, has more than mere sunlight. It has a lot. The planning is careful and yet generous, no-where attempting to squeeze in too much, yet never forgetting anything. Within its little footprint, the house offers a genuine sense of space, openness, and repose.

Colour // Terracotta


Last week we walked the dogs in a different part of town, and as usual, this meant that I spent most of the time snooping at all of the houses that up until this point I’d not been past slowly enough to look at in any great detail. This particular street is one of the best in Newcastle in terms of its physical location and the wondrous vistas it carries both northward across the city of Newcastle and its beautiful beaches, and southward towards the national parks that inhabit this stretch of coast just south of Merewether.

Upon this walk I came across a house I’d never noticed before – I don’t know how, except to say that perhaps it sits much more quietly on the street than many of the others, who tend to demand attention. Anyway, it was a lovely old Spanish revival place, just in the midst of being very delicately renovated, and had the most beautiful, traditional, semi-circular terracotta roof tiles (alongside other lovely considerations). There are so many poor (ugly) examples of terracotta roof tiles here in Australia that these ones seemed to so clearly describe why indeed we started using them in the first place. It’s like a lot of things I suppose, being that the original is often so much more simple, elegant, and admirable than its later, watered-down imitators.

Architecture Focus // Shaun Lockyer Architects


This month, I’m back to sunny Brisbane, probably because the cold has now thoroughly set in here in NSW and with winter being my least favourite time of year (save for the novelty of dressing in lovely big coats), I feel an innate need to plant my mind somewhere characteristically warm and bright.

Indeed, this is another contemporary Queenslander; a space which bounces between inside and out, constantly eroding the edge between both, so that at any moment the architecture might slip into the guise of landscape and vice versa. This is such a clever approach to contemporary living for many reasons, but the most pragmattic (and as it happens, environmentally sustainable) is that it genuinely negates the relevance of sprawling square meterage, allowing for a smaller overall footprint, therefore inciting lower quantities of construction materials and a lessened overall environmental impact. It also leaves more room for grass, trees, and fresh air – what’s not to like?!

Interior Design Focus // Bunny Mellon’s New York Town House


In 1965, Bunny and Paul Mellon built and decorated this incredible slice of French paradise designed by architect H. Page Cross in the heart of New York. The pair had a formidable sense of style and grace, owning several stunning estates, all of whom continue to exude the most enviable sense of warm and comfortable sophistication. The interiors of their Manhattan townhouse are the result of serious collaboration between several heavy weight designers, including [but not limited to] Paul Leonard, William Strom, John Fowler, Bruce Budd, and Bunny herself. The house is not only architecturally wonderful, but full of the character that years of collected art and furniture bring to a space. It really is a sight to be seen, and when I stumbled across the house via Architectural Digest and Sotherby’s real estate (up for sale for the at once ludicrous and yet absolutely deserved and dignified $43M) I fell into the world of late 20C New York interior design, and to be honest I would rather never retreat… Ahh, if only!

Colour // Eau de Nil


I’m not sure why it’s taken me quite so long to feature this colour; it is one of my personal favourites (you might recongnise it on this website!) and a wonderfully versatile shade. Eau de Nil is inherently restful and calming, evocative of the seaside, pristine springtime flowers, and fresh morning dew. It works with so many varying interior styles precisely because of this broad reference base. And despite its beautiful watery blue-green lustre, it really is almost a neutral, and so can sit comfortably as a backdrop to many interior settings. Furthermore, Eau de Nil is ractually more of a colour palette than an individual hue – ranging from fresh greens to watery blues – and can therefore be applied in any one of its incarnations as suited to your space.

Object(s) of desire // Tom Dixon lighting


Even the best of us architects are unable to defy the beguiling glances of rigorous, pure, geometric forms. Nor can we honestly turn away from the alluring lustre of robust, masculine, metallic things. And I do not believe for a moment that we are capable of retreating from shiny, wondrously lit objects…

In many ways then, it’s not surprising that lighting is such a fascinating and delicious thing to all of us. It doesn’t t simply come down to the form of the object itself either – as designers and live-rs in this world we know and want for the power of inviting, soul-warming light, and we know that there is no such thing a a meager substitute for a perfectly lit room.

Architecture Focus // Auhaus Architecture


Only recently did I discover Auhaus, a small Australian architecture firm with a focus on finely crafted detail and a meticulous approach to materiality. In fact, they are so fussed about the details that they seem to be gradually developing their own range of interior elements; including lighting and door hardware. This practice’s interior spaces are so thoroughly thought through, and this is what fascinates me so about them.

Houses Awards Shortlist


The Houses Awards shortlist is out, and there is a HUGE mix of work in the running. The categories themselves are numerous, let alone the range of individual works.

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