By Angela Lavender
I love nothing more than discovering homegrown designer goods in the most unexpected and hidden places. All over the country, artisans are making things by hand, finding inspiration in the beauty that surrounds them in regional Australia.
But the big question is, how do we go about balancing these unique, more relaxed pieces of furniture and homewares with the features and designs of our contemporary homes?
Here are a few tips:
- When you see a piece you love or find a hidden gem, trust your gut reaction and buy it. You will always find a place for it in your home and it will give a harmonious feel to a space. Be brave! If you buy what you love, you can’t go wrong.
- Make sure there is balance in your home. Sometimes, being sleek and modern can end up looking sterile. Balance the clean lines of modern furniture and architecture with unique and quirky one-off pieces. For example, the juxtaposition of smooth marble with a handmade lamp merges the new with the rustic. Every room needs a few handmade items – I always add hand woven baskets, handmade ceramics or knitted throws to give a room a more relaxed edge. The result will look amazing – authentic and real.
- When choosing products, think about their texture. Layering textures brings depth to a room. Think about the honesty of timber, wool and clay. Often, Australian makers and designers create products which have earthy tones, drawn from nature’s colour palette. If you love neutrals, stick with those tones and use texture to create differences and interest.
- Embrace Australia’s informal take on the world. The great Aussie tradition of embracing the casual outdoors is now sneaking indoors. Furniture made using natural timbers and weather beaten metals will give your home depth and character. A home should be an expression of the owners’ personalities and their way of life. Plus, you will be supporting a talented pool of craftspeople.
Angela Lavender is the founder of Country Culture, which is helping regional artists reach a larger audience online and making it easier to shop Australian designed and made goods. The artists they represent are undiscovered and haven’t sold online before. Everything pictured is available from Country Culture.
Jen is currently on honeymoon in Tokyo, Venice and the UK, and has opened up the blog to a series of fabulous guest posters to share their interiors-related expertise in her absence. She hopes you’ll enjoy them and look out for the odd honeymoon post from overseas! The new Mrs Francis (who will still be known as Bishop for work purposes) will be back at her desk on 11 November.