The culmination of years of planning & industry passion, combined with frequent global sourcing expeditions: I’m pleased to be able to say I have achieved the showroom trifecta. With residences in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, my signature aesthetic is now as accessible as ever.
In my experience, each city offers it’s own distinct design nuances, aesthetical tastes and styles - varied though they may be – with each of my galleries offering a slightly different experience...
My Melbourne showroom at Church Street Richmond, the newest to my real estate collection, couldn’t have been more of a success after nearly two months of showcasing my luxury collections. Featuring a show-stopping street frontage, passers-by slowing to steal a longer look at my prized ranges is certainly not a rare sight from my perch at the illustrious Carnaby Dining Table.
Securing my enviable position on one of Melbourne’s most prestigious strips is still a cause for celebration, and as the one of the fastest growing Australian cities for apartment dwellings, I’d say my arrival here is right on time.
Fortitude Valley is the middle-sibling of the three, but there’s certainly no love lost here. It seems nearly an age since I opened my doors for the first time in the River City, but each day sees my Fortitude Valley showroom blossom.
Queenslanders have a style all their own, and it’s certainly a burgeoning one. Blessed with an amiable climate year round, Brisbane interiors are light, fresh, and not overly dramatic, perhaps a reflection on their relaxed inhabitants. A casual and inviting vibe defines the Queensland interior, although interior indulgence isn’t in short supply, which makes my Fortitude Valley showroom the ideal stop for those with an affinity for the best; my luxurious linens, raw timbers and sophisticated silhouettes don’t fail to impress time and time again.
With an envied proximity to the design mecca Coco Republic (we share a building!), my Brisbane showroom location ensures I constantly have my finger on the pulse of globally inspired interiors and design, while the luxury retailers within the James Street stretch provide hours of window shopping and merchandising inspiration.
It’s said that we never forget our firsts, and how could I, when my first showroom still demands the same affection as the day I first threw open the doors. Both my Sydney showroom and I have progressed quite a way since then, so it’s humbling to look back on a time when the spaces to follow in Brisbane and Melbourne were still an uncertainty.
During 2016, however, I made the move to the Supa Centa Moore Park - a dedicated destination for homemakers. I’m pleased to be offering a point of difference to the space; my signature luxury aesthetic is certainly unrivalled, and complements the sterling selection already based in the specialised centre.
I've been a resident at the Supa Centa Moore Park for nearly 6 months now, and I must say, it's been smooth sailing so far! My Design Kiosk has proved more than useful and my products can now be viewed in perfect detail, all the way to each individual upholstery fibre.
My penchant for an interior refresh dictates that each of my showrooms are constantly updated with new arrivals and the latest in Max Sparrow furniture and homewares designs, so no two visits are ever the same!
3 designer showrooms in 3 years: quite an achievement some would say... But allow me to implore - I'm not done yet!
Looking back, the formal dining room has traditionally been a place of lavish hosting, both visually and palatably, so to see this trend revitalised not only delights the interior aficionado within me, but the entertainer too. Who needs further excuse to host friends and family in a luxurious dining room & to indulge in that bottle you’ve been saving for a special occasion…
I mentioned in a Journal post last year, outlining the Interior Trends for 2016 and Beyond, that the formal dining room was set to make a comeback, and I’ve not yet been proved wrong. I’ve noted more and more clients of my Design Service clients requesting a dining room aesthetic reminiscent of the luxury and grandeur of an old-world high society that recent interior trends have seemingly disregarded.
That’s not to say that modern dining furniture should be shunned in favour of a traditional aesthetic though; a contemporary dining atmosphere can be achieved with no compromise on the opulence the classic formal dining room typically possesses. Opt for indulgent materialities, and regardless of furniture profiles, the curation of these deluxe materials & textures will not fail in the creation of an enviable formal dining space.
Velvets remain unrivalled for luxury, so it makes sense that dining chairs upholstered in the most regal of textures will undoubtedly provide that coveted luxe allure to any space, the formal dining room included. Look to my Marie Dining Chairs featuring gold-leaf frames and deep black velvet upholstery for the ultimate in French flair and élite styling panache. Similarly, my Eiffel Accent Chairs effortlessly combine stylistic elements with both contemporary and classic influences, the ghost legs allowing the seat to seemingly float, while at the same time, harnessing the on-trend aesthetic of Lucite.
Stylish formal hosting relies on the centrepiece to any dining room, the dining table. Metallics are my go-to, whether the selection focuses on graphite, soft gold, or a pearlised finish, metallics in interiors ooze opulence with a touch of glamour. My Dalton Extension Dining Table pairs curvaceous gold legs with a robust timber surface for unsurpassed mature sophistication, while my Carter Stainless Steel Dining Table captures the quintessential contemporary aesthetic of minimalistic clean lines and a chic, slender profile. Meanwhile, a highly polished timber dining table offers grand appeal unlike any other.
Might I add that stylish hosting doesn’t start & end with the dining table and chairs; the creation of an overall deluxe atmosphere requires a holistic approach, of course the dining furniture is paramount, however the influencers less considered also play major roles; think lighting, flooring and accent furniture pieces…
No formal dining room is complete without overhead lighting in the form of a pendant (contemplate a row for that matter) or chandelier. Use less wattage, and hang this interior statement low, very low, for an intimate and wholly well-appointed dining room aesthetic.
My next point is one of personal preference, however, I for one enjoy the chic opulence of a rug underfoot in a formal dining space, if not only for the aesthetics, for the acoustics also. An artsilk rug with a subtle sheen & lustre is one for the grown-up formal dining room (a red wine jus accident here could lead to tears), however a tufted wool rug, with a subtle print or pattern, offers only a fraction less luxury than artsilk, along with all the low-maintenance, easy-to-clean qualities wool provides.
If no formal dining room is complete without tasteful overhead lighting, the same can be said for the buffet or sideboard. One is spoilt for choice - no matter the style - in traditional and contemporary dining furniture alike, so it should come as no surprise that the buffet and sideboard have not been forgotten. My pick for the contemporary conscious dining room? My new Cooper Agate Accent Chest, featuring a sleek bronze casing and of-the-moment Agate printed doors, while the classic timber and custom hardware of my Seville Sideboard won’t fail to enhance the traditional formal dining room.
My penchant for hosting is rivalled only by my predilection toward design, and no other furniture piece embodies this more than the bar cart. Obliging and oh-so stylish, the bar cart exemplifies both etiquette and luxury, making the ideal accent piece to a formal dining room.
Case in point: my Antibes Beverage Cart features an antiqued mirror surface, soft pastel finish and metallic accents to ensure it remains an impeccable contender for best dressed at any dinner party. Add to that a courteous disposition, and the Antibes promises both a functional and luxurious addition to the modern formal dining room.
The epitome of the debonair interior, a revival of the formal dining room is long overdue in my books, wouldn’t you agree?
Long used to create the optical illusion of expansiveness in small spaces, wall mirrors can be an instant – and affordable - interior update to an entryway or rooms throughout the home. Keeping this in mind, look to my collection of unique mirrored pieces to find a wall mirror that reflects and amplifies your interior décor.
A study in soft, sophisticated luxury, antiqued mirror combines old and new design principles through an aged effect that reflects modern-day glamour all the while showcasing a distressed aesthetic that is both an appreciation of the past and a nod to a style that is very new and now.
Antiqued mirror also features natural variances that ensure no two pieces are entirely the same, allowing the finish a fascinating uniqueness that encourages passersby to take a closer look again and again. Indeed, the unique mottled façade of antiqued mirror suggests a mystery that will never be completely solved, no matter how many times you study the clues.
Take, for example, my Sherwood Mirror, it's characteristics bridging the gap between furnishing and art. With its elongated oval sectioning setting off distinctively distressed and uniquely patterned antiqued mirror pieces, it provides an accent that is stunning, yet subtle enough to suit almost any setting. Try it above a sideboard in the dining room to provide a one-of-a-kind conversation starter for dinner guests or above a console table in your entryway to set a sophisticated tone for your entire home.
A mirror within mirrors, the Datt Mirror frames a central bevelled reflective surface with a classic Greek key pattern and antiqued mirror detailing. Visually fascinating layers make it the perfect piece for breaking up the monotony of a long hallway wall or as an unconventional, infinitely interesting, option above a bedroom dresser.
Likewise, the antiqued mirror effect surrounding the Antique Octagon Mirror creates a layered luxe look that makes it equally at home in a modern bedroom as a traditional accent in a dining room or living room. Defined angles also create a perfect contrast when perched above shapely pieces such as those similar to my Nottingham Timber Dresser.
It's no secret, mirrors are an obvious way to create the illusion of space in small settings. Try a floor-length mirror like the Manhattan Shell Mirror to make any ceiling feel higher. Placed behind a cluster of furniture or on its own, the long profile of a rectangular mirror draws the eye up and carries it around the room, making any area feel lighter and brighter. Turn a rectangular mirror like the Bromham Tall Mirror on its side, hanging it between the celling and a door frame (or in another slender and unexpected spot), to make the most of every inch within a room.
For rooms that don’t have an abundance of windows or other sources of natural light, a mirror can also act as an ideal technique in accentuating interior light. Large mirrors, either mounted on a wall or leaning in a considered place offer a solution when interior design is hindered by dark and empty corners. Take cues from my Madison Mirror to reflect lamplight and natural illumination within a room, all the while creating an interior atmosphere of both space and lights. Not to mention, my Madison Mirror offers the best of romantic elegance in an antiqued mirror border...
Entryways and foyers are a natural setting for mirrors. In a large foyer, use one to anchor a sitting area while signalling the style for the rest of your rooms. In a smaller entryway, it becomes both pretty and practical as a stopping spot for both you and your guests to sneak a vanity glance before venturing to the paparazzi outside.
In close quarters, consider pairing a wall mirror with a piece of furniture that also features reflective surfaces, such as the mirrored table top of the Antibes Console. The distinctively curvy profile of the Antibes provides an interesting contrast to the delicate intersecting metal square border of the Chapman Mirror.
Above a dresser isn’t the only spot to mount a mirror in the bedroom, floor mirrors are just as adept at providing on bedroom style. Use a mirror to instantly expand a small sitting area into a roomy place to relax, read, and unwind. Achieve the effect, which can also enhance a living room, by pairing a delicate table like the Chelsea Square Side Table with a comfortable chair that features fresh, light upholstery, such as the Kelsey High Back Chair. To complete the scene, add a large mirror, like the Payerne Mirror, mounted or leaned against a wall nearby.
Balance the bulk of a bold buffet with the seemingly delicate nature of a wall mirror. The dark and moody design of the Vittoria Buffet pairs perfectly with the interlocking circles and the minimalist metallic frame of the Vittoria Metal Luna Mirror, which ensures the dark timber of the buffet won't weigh down a dining room atmosphere.
Favour the modern luxe look? Continue the theme of gold and glass glam throughout the dining room; start with Carnaby Round Dining Table, which tops a base built of interlocking circles with a round glass table top, flank it with gold-leaf framed Forthside Chairs & finally, finish the look with the Patras Storage Unit, which features a classic Greek key design drawn on gold-finished drawers and a stunning Demilune profile that pairs perfectly with the sophisticated shape and the deco-inspired gold bullion detailing of the Gracie Oval Mirror.
Antiqued or bevellled - round, rectangular, or even octagonal - try these suggestions to find a mirror that reflects your style sensibilities. No matter which shape, size or design you choose, a well-placed mirror can instantly update and accent any space in your home.