interior designer

Tropic Tonic

Have you seen the leaves?  Green and glossy prints of tropical plants are gracing the homewares and fashion scene this summer - Tropical style is trending! Even if I can't inspire relaxation for your Christmas shopping, I'd like to show some ways you can take this new taste for the tropics into your home in time for summer celebrations.

This new take on what used to be known as Tropical Colonial Style uses a base of crisp white cabinetry, with darker grains of  timber and rattan furniture or lighting.  Colour is provided by the large leaves of tropical foliage, with every green from charteuse to emerald being represented.

Green accents don't have to be live ones - jewel tones of olive and emerald look stunnning in velvet cushions and palm prints add a touch of holiday luxury.

Tropical furniture is light and moveable, looking as beautiful at a formal dinner as on the verandah for sundowners.  Mahogany and Cane are preferred materials,  both lending themselves to distinctive details such as the latticed back of this chair.

Bring the luxury of a tropical hotel into your bathroom with fluffy white towells, sisal matting and an upholstered stool. Just a few fronds of gorgeous green in a glass vessel will reflect in the mirror to give a look of lush abundance.

tropical collage.png

Social Kitchens

After years of shooing family and guests out of my U shaped, one cook kitchen, I'm ready for a better design to accommodate wannabe chefs, chatting guests or just teenagers looking to fix an out of hours snack. (Sweet Chilli Chicken Wraps for breakfast anyone?) I've found four social kitchens that would serve well as a centre for gathering as well as prepping, cooking and serving food.  Scroll through for inspiration!

This kitchen by David Weir Architects fulfills the brief of a functional, easy to maintain space with the previous galley style now sporting a island for prepping and chatting. What's more, this kitchen leads on to a 'boys bar' with a purpose built drinks serving centre and storage for the owners' music collection.

Block competitors, Dan and Dani, have just finished renovating a cottage in Melbourne's Inner West (it's for sale!). Their stunning kitchen has a favourite feature of mine - the sink, and hence the pile of dishes, is to the side of the kitchen.  The island features the hot plates instead- isn't stirring a risotto more conducive to chatting than washing up?

Also from Melbourne is this Victorian Terrace refurbishment by Architect David Luck and Hecker Guthrie Design. Steps down to the new extension are cleverly framed by the kitchen cupboards, with pastel tones and soaring windows setting of this generous new living space.  The timber breakout table and copper pendant light are used by the Architects to reference the homes' Victorian heritage as well as marking out a gathering point.

If you have dreamed of beautiful European appliances or saved long and hard for that designer fridge, don't hide it when you design your kitchen!  This traditionally inspired kitchen by Antonio Buzetta in Sag Harbour has a sleek combination cooktop oven as star, while the comfy preparation area and generous circulation room says "come in and help me cook up a storm!

What's your favourite kitchen for people to gather and work in?