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Issue 60 - The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

Issue 60

The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

HABITUS has always stood ahead of the rest with a dedicated Kitchen and Bathroom issue of exemplar standards. For issue 60 we have taken it up a notch with our Guest Editor the extraordinary, queen of kitchen design, Sarah-Jane Pyke of Arent&Pyke, speaking directly to Kitchen and Bathroom design with some increadable insights.

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Beautiful surprises at every turn at Matters, Villa Alba
CultureJan Henderson

Beautiful surprises at every turn at Matters, Villa Alba

Photography

Tess Kelly, Sean Fennessey (unless credited separately)

Villa Alba is undoubtedly a highlight of Melbourne Design Week, with designers established and emerging putting their best feet forward within the beautiful rooms of the Villa.


On the first floor the prised front rooms are exceptional, with Tom Fereday pretty well showing off his just-launched-in-Milan collection, Mezer. “Strict brutalist forms of table and seating collection are juxtaposed by soft organic cutaways carving through the porous surfaces, revealing the natural beauty of travertine and timber,” says the room sheet, but the reality is far subtler than the statement implies. Instead, the pieces are simple and delicate, and though adorned only with the curving recess, are far from brutal. They are in fact absolutely lovely, tactil, warm and inviting.

The room opposite is another delight of form and substance, with Freeman Gallery pairing Klein blue artworks in a sophisticated setting of lounges and objects. Everyone’s favourite, Adam Goodrum, can’t put a foot wrong, and despite being in a small side room, this year’s launch of the absolutely divine fat lounge chair, Billo for Nau, was spectacular. The vibrant pink cow-hide (Foglizzo from South Pacific Fabrics) was as brilliant as it was comfortable, but rather cleverly the room had a solid range of Swiss Design upholsterd iterations in Dedar fabric to reiterate the chair as universally appropriate to just about any space. Totally love it!

Meanwhile, Simone Tops of Studio Tops is redefining how furniture can look, feel and perform sustainably; as the daughter of a saddler, her leatherworking skills are unparalleled. This, however, is coupled with a Bauhaus sensibility of gorgeously complementary curves and junctures. Remnant sheep wool from fleece production is used as an alternative padding that supports without overheating and will maintain the beautiful forms of her range.

Upstairs was a wow factor, as John Goulder and Fiona Spence paired up with Goulder’s incredible furniture and Spence’s Innate range. Spence has one of the best eyes in the industry and her store, Spence & Lyda, has been synonymous with the very best of interior design. She has taken that skill to develop her new range of fabrics – comprising upholstery, throws, towels and cushions, the range is inspired by the works of Australian painter, Luke Sciberras, to embody the spirit of informal elegance and relaxation.

Across the hall is Fiona Spence’s daughter, Marlo Lyda, and quite clearly the design gene runs deep. Marlo’s range is profoundly responsive to the need for sustainability with her innovative approach challenging perceptions of value through the use of materials regarded as waste. Indeed, the furniture is a showcase of what can be made with the introduced camphor laurels that have colonised northern NSW.

Dean Norton’s room of mirrors was wonderful. Placing circles over rectangles, which were then placed in corners, the room morphed and exponentially changed without a hint of the infinity mirror trope. This is a designer that truly understands the nature of mirrors and reflective surfaces as a means to manipulate and play with space. Supurb!

Marlo Lyda, photograph by Byron Martin.

Weaver Cabinet by Elliot Rich for DesignByThem and Overlay Rug by Danielah, also for DesignByThem, was a sumptuous combining of insouciance, colour and movement – absolutely gorgeous to run a hand through the long silky threads. On a second passing, the threads were laid with care across the round panel at the front to reveal a set of practical shelves.

The whole of Matters – or as most refer to it, Villa Alba – was wonderful with surprises at every turn. Object Density was a particularly charming surprise with elegant reconfigurations of discarded material that now take the form of glossy geometric forms of equal part mathematical design and whimsy. The absolutely brilliant Edward Linacre (+ Maxwell Carr + Indigo Tollhurst) delivered three imaginative lamps reproposing plastic. Beautiful, scalable, functional and sustainable, there is such scope for Linacre’s work to really push Australian industrial design to the fore, he is amazing.

In some ways, Matters at Villa Alba is an easy top pick with everything in a beautiful package. It is, however, the care of curation behind this exhibition that sees it shine each and every year.

Melbourne Design Week
designweek.melbourne

NGV
NGV.vic.gov.au

Villa Alba
villaalbamuseum.org

Wrapping up MDW 2024


About the Author

Jan Henderson

Jan Henderson is currently an Editor and Program Director of the INDE.Awards at Indesign Media Asia Pacific. Her previous roles have included Acting-editor of Indesign magazine, Associate Publisher at Architecture Media, Editor and Co-editor of inside magazine and Interiors Editor of Architel.tv. As Principal of Henderson Media Consultants she contributes to various architecture and design magazines, is a regular speaker at events and has participated as a juror for industry awards. Jan is passionate about design and through her different roles supports and contributes to design in Australia.

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ArchitectureartAustraliaDean NortonfurnitureInterior DesignMarlo LydaMATTERSMDWMelbourne


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Issue 60 - The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

Issue 60

The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

HABITUS has always stood ahead of the rest with a dedicated Kitchen and Bathroom issue of exemplar standards. For issue 60 we have taken it up a notch with our Guest Editor the extraordinary, queen of kitchen design, Sarah-Jane Pyke of Arent&Pyke, speaking directly to Kitchen and Bathroom design with some increadable insights.

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