Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Melbourne Home - Rosetta Santucci and family

The Footscray home of Rosetta Santucci and family

Perhaps this gorgeous place might look a little familiar... The lovely home of the Santucci family in Footscray has received it's fair share of attention over the past few years - it's been featured in a few local mags, and you might also have spotted it earlier this year on Design*Sponge! Much deserved attention I must say!

Anyhoo, I hope you will agree that when a place is truly this gorgeous, it is ok to double up :) Because, seriously, how lovely is it??!

The Santucci's are just the most beautiful and insanely talented family. Both John and Rosetta are incredibly talented artists.... you may have seen their stunning paintings around Melbourne galleries and homes, or featured in print over the past few years. John and Rosetta also both have a background in the film industry - John in the art department, and Rosetta in costume. A few years ago Rosetta left it all behind to pursue her passion, with the encouragement of her wonderful husband! Brilliant move! (...and I can definitely vouch for the fact that working fulltime in the film industry is not exactly conducive to pursuing ones' passion...!)

Rosetta and John bought their little weatherboard cottage in Footscray 4.5 years ago. It was built around the 1920's, with a big back yard, 'I could see some potential' says Rosetta 'and believe me, you did have to have an imagination!'. Rosetta and John pulled up the carpets, polished the boards themselves and painted them with a Porter's wood wash - transforming the place into a light, bright space. When they got the keys after settlement, they realised that the "bright kitchen" and "functional bathroom" actually had to be raised to the ground and rebuilt - which John and a builder friend did in a tight squeeze of 3 weeks before christmas! 'Stress levels were a little high!' Rosetta remembers!

Next on the list was a studio out the back - the whole family had to squeeze into one bedroom for many months, to wait for the studio to be built, as the 2nd bedroom was used as as studio in the mean time. 'Finally we got our studio and the boys (Oliver and Marcello) could move into their own room.' says Rosetta 'It felt like a whole new space opened up!'

You can see many of Rosetta's exquisite paintings in these shots of her beautiful home... and before you ask WHERE CAN I BUY ONE OF THOSE AMAZING PAINTINGS you might also like to know that next month Rosetta is having a solo exhibition of brand new work at Green-Wood Gallery in South Melbourne!

Sneaky-peeks at Rosetta's brand new works for the upcoming show! - "Follow me there" Acrylic on canvas, 92 x 92 cm.

And another... "Forage through" acrylic on canvas, 61 x 76cm

Rosetta Santucci Exhibition

Opening night - Thursday July 22nd 6.00pm - 8.00pm (all welcome)
Exhibition runs 22nd July until 8th August 2010
Gallery hours - Wed - Sun, 11.00am - 500pm

Green-Wood Gallery
1 Hothan st, South Melbourne

Put it in your diary right now people! Rosetta's work gets snapped up quicker than the Prime Minister-ship in an election year. (Thanks to tweeters Cocollette and KT for that one!).

The Santucci's cute pooch is not camera shy...

...and he kind of matches the furniture?

Love the master bedroom... Another beautiful Rosetta Santucci painting above the bed. Swoon.

Painting studio

One more of Rosetta's new paintings for the upcoming show... "I know the way out" Acrylic on canvas. 183 x 137 cm.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Brilliant new nursery furniture by Melbourne-based Ubabub

Pod cot (converts to junior bed)

Nifty clear cot (also converts to junior bed)

Melbourne parents Natasha and Daniel Dumais are the clever couple behind Ubabub... and this is their very first range of fabulous nursery furniture and wall art! Is it not seriously gorgeous stuff?!

It's a common story - When expecting the birth of their first daughter, Natasha and Daniel went in search of nursery items which would reflect the contemporary style of their home, whilst of course providing optimum safety, practicality and freedom for their soon-to-be bundle of joy! They struggled to find pieces which were as handsome as they were practical... and so of course were inspired to create their own!

After three years of development and design in collaboration with local industrial designers, Natasha and Daniel have finally realised their ideas, with a striking range of furniture and wall art launching this month! Both cot designs convert into junior beds, there's also a Nifty changetable (coolest. changetable. ever), and a brilliant collection of affordable prints, perfect for any kid's room!

As soon as I saw the Ubabub's gorgeous branding and website design... I knew there must be a graphic designer behind the scenes....! Sure enough, Natasha’s background is in graphic design, whilst Daniel’s experience has been in business logistics. Together, the pair also own and run a brand and design studio in Melbourne, Magnetic Design.

SO, If you're not in the market for designer baby furniture right now... at least you'll be seduced by Magnetic Design's fantastic folio of design work...!? Super lovely.

Ubabub products will be available later this month, from local stockists listed here.

Ubabub's Nifty changetable and gorgeous wall art

Man. This is really cute kids room styling.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Papillionaire Bicycles

The gorgeous 'Sommer' ladies' bike by Papillionaire Bicycles - available in three picture-perfect colours.

Papillionaire's 'Classic' style

You know how you go overseas somewhere cool like Paris or Tokyo or Amsterdam, and you see all the cool locals riding around on awesome-looking bikes, and you think 'man, why don't I look that cute when I ride around on my bike at home?'... and then you go through all the possible options of how you could buy one of these cool international-flavoured bikes and ship it home? ...and then in the end you realise it is going to cost, like, $500 to ship it and will take 3 months or something, and so you reluctantly give up on the whole idea and go home to your rusty old Malvern Star? Yes, I know you know what I am talking about.

Well, local start-up Papillionaire Bicycles have the perfect solution to this common dilemma! Melbourne bike-enthusiast Alan Caras has spent a year perfecting his fab little range of locally-made Dutch-style bicycles - launched just last week! You can now get your hands on the cutest European-style bike, built right here in Melbourne, for around $500.

Customise and purchase your Papillionaire bike on their website here. You can also pop in to Papillionaire's South Yarra workshop for a test-ride.

Oh My. This is enough to get me seriously re-thinking my mode of transport. Summer is coming, people!

Papillionaire takes to the streets in the CBD

See, they really are from Melbourne :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lost and Found

Did you happen to see Tourism Victoria's 'Lost and Found' newsletter last Friday? It was guest edited by, um... me! Big thanks to the very lovely (and ridiculously clever) Penny Modra at Right Angle Publishing for the invitation!

If you are not sick and tired of seeing my noggin all over the place... perhaps you might like to check it out.

Man I really need a new headshot.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Interview - Tracie Ellis of AURA

Beautiful bedlinen from AURA by Tracie Ellis - Landscape quilt cover

Tracie's current favourite design - 'Spot Caviar'!

Rumba Flame from the current Winter 2010 range

Tracie Ellis is another incredibly inspiring Melbourne businesswomen I have been meaning to feature on the site for quite some time. After studying Textile Design at RMIT, Tracie time spent working at some of Australia's most respected textiles brands and retailers (including Davenport, Country Road homewares and Myer), before an unexpected career twist prompted her to launch her very own soft furnishings brand, AURA, in 2000. 10 years on, AURA is now one of Australia’s most respected premium bed linen companies, and is stocked by some of Australia’s best known retailers - as well as internationally in well-known UK stores House of Fraser and Heals, to name a few.

Just looking at the product shots here, you can see what sets AURA apart...! Tracie's design philosophy is all about being brave in the bedroom. 'Sleep is too long, and life too short, for demure pastels and crisp, white nothings.' she says! AURA is a luxurious range of linens that combines statement prints, vibrant colours and luxury detail - for a truly unique and very well-dressed bed!

I was so surprised to learn that after all her incredible achievements with AURA, Tracie's company is still just a 3-person enterprise! WOW. Well, all I can say is they must be three very hard-working women! Despite being one of the busiest textile designers in Melbourne, it seems that Tracie is truly 100% in love with her job - reading her responses below you do get a sense that she feels genuinely lucky to get up every morning and go to work to do something she loves!

Check out Tracie's excellent blog for some amazing behind-the-scenes photos, travel snaps and news... she's just been to London and Stockholm and India - brilliant pics of retail and textiles in Europe and her textile workshops in India - immediate bookmark material!

Psst. - ALSO if you haven't got it already, grab the current issue of Inside Out magazine to see Tracie's gorgeous Melbourne home featured!

Huge thanks to Tracie for the gorgeous shots and very candid answers which I love! Do pop over and give her some blog-love!

Tracie Ellis at home in Melbourne - This lovely photo by Sharyn Cairns appears in the current issue of Inside Out Magazine.

Tell me a little about your background – what path led you to setting up your business and doing what you’re doing now?

I grew up thinking I wanted to be a Vet or a Marine Biologist, at one stage I had a great desire to study penguins in Antarctica! But then during high school I became quite creative rather than academic and having a mother that was a wonderful painter and sewer l ended up down a different path - I studied Textile Design at RMIT and majored in “knit” which lead me to varied roles in textiles and management; Davenport boxer shorts, Country Road Homewares, Myer Buying Office, Patons knitting yarn, Jockey underwear and then The Austin Group in Geelong, where I was given the opportunity to create my first homewares brand Domis.

After travelling to Geelong from Melbourne every day for over 2 years the Domis brand was sold, then the old saying – that some things are meant to happen – well this helped me head in a different direction and start a new brand and thus AURA was born and this year is a milestone being our 10th birthday! Some people say I am addicted to work and I need a hobby but designing and textiles is my passion and my hobby so I am lucky!

What have been some of your favourite designs or creative projects in recent times?

My favorite design has to be our bedding range Maxx, named after my beautiful Mini Schnauzer! Maxx was so popular we launched a range of jacquard towels in the UK this year at House of Fraser, and they are now going to be available in Australia from Sept 2011 – which will be fabulous, as I believe that we have a pretty limited range of “interesting” towels in Australia.

Maxx Quilt cover in black and ivory

FABULOUS brand new Maxx Towels from AURA

As this is our anniversary year I am very excited about the future as we have been venturing beyond the bedroom, and designing a new collection of kaftans, scarves, towels and table linen, using beautiful hand crafted details and hand screen printed fabrics. Of course this has meant that I have been lucky to travel to India more – which I love. Here are some shots of the screens and trying to match colours for our new tablelinen – just like we did at uni – its all very hands on! ....and also means that our new range will be very unique and individual.

Matching colours in India for the new AURA tablelinen range - and the finished product!

How would you describe the Aura Home aesthetic? Is it a good reflection of the sense of style you implement in your own home?

We pride ourselves on contemporary design, luxury fibres and glorious colours, and strive to create innovative and directional collections that are unique and inspiring, which in turn will enable our customers to embrace the expression of their own individual style.

Our home is quite mid-century modern with luxury and definitely a blend of my own and my husbands style – my husband is very minimal while I like to have colour and decoration in the house so I tend to be a touch less sparkly at home – saying that we do have the odd sequin pillow and plenty of layers of faux fur.

*don't forget to check out Tracie's gorgeous Melbourne home in the current issue of Inside Out magazine! - Lucy

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

I have just come back from an overseas trip, so I haven’t been able to check my emails as often so I am trying to stop reading my emails in bed before I get up, which is my usual habit!

When I get to the office my day consists of working on various areas of selling, designing, marketing and buying, and I am just starting to think about the new direction we should take for our Autumn Winter 2011 range – sometimes its hard to remember which season we are in – as we are always selling and marketing 2 different seasons – one overseas and one in Australia and then working on the concept for the next one.

How is your business structured..? Do you employ other designers or work regularly with collaborators? Who takes care of the paperwork, marketing etc - the ‘business side’ of things?

There are 3 of us, we are all very hands on across the areas of the business, I look after the initial concepts of the collections and then we all talk through the ideas as the samples start to roll in. Jaine Fulcher and I look after the strategy and marketing for the brand and Jessica Davidson looks after the everyday aspects of AURA and does so much I cant list it! We all now work on our Australian sales and work with our Export partners as we sell into the UK, Canada and New Zealand. In regards to design I am lucky to work with other designers, textile and graphic to help with the computer work to make my visions come to life….I didn’t do much on computer at Uni!

Flight Rainbow from the AURA current Winter range

You also have an excellent blog! When and why did you start the blog, and how do you feel it works to support and promote your business?

Thanks! I started the Blog last October hoping that it would help me to interact with our customers and others that are interested in homewares – I wanted to show more about the behind the scenes of AURA and what inspires me, and when sharing I hope to continue to inspire myself! I also try to put images of our brand new products and photography on the blog so friends of AURA can keep up to date with new products arriving. I have found I get a lot of emails from students and others wanting to learn more about the business – so it has become a good source of networking and inspiration for me – I hope for others too.

LOVE these shots currently on Tracie's blog from her recent Spring/Summer shoot... top right is super-stylist Glen Proebstel working his magic...! The photographer was Isamu Sawa.

Where do you turn for creative inspiration – travel, local and international design trends, magazines, books or the web etc?

All of the above but mainly keeping up with new marketing and design directions on the web, and travel – I love travelling and my husband and I are always planning our next adventure! We went to Bolivia and Peru 2 years ago for our honeymoon, New York and London last September and looking forward to visiting Spain this September.

Sheer leaves quilt cover

Which other designers or creative people do you admire?

Donna Karan, Paul Smith, the visual merchandisers at the ABC store and Anthropologie in NYC, Maggie Beer, Jamie Oliver and my mother.

What would be your dream creative project?

I have two; Having AURA stocked in Europe and opening our own beautiful and inspiring concept store.

What are you looking forward to?

The Long Weekend...

Melbourne Questions –

Your favourite Melbourne neighbourhood and why?

Gertrude St Fitzroy, I love the small bars and restaurants and the feeling of not being somewhere too big – but we live in Kew so really I think I'm a suburban girl, as I like to head into the city for drinks and dinner, but I like waking up with trees around me – I have a dream location of living in Studley Park surrounded by nature but being only 5 kms from the city..

Your top 3 favourite Melbourne homewares / home d├ęcor stores?

Manon Bis, Izzi and Popo and today I went to The Works in Hawthorn which was looking really good – we definitely need more!

What/where was the last great meal you ate in Melbourne?

At home – we baked a fabulous Wild Barramundi last night! And ate some terrific tapas at the bar at Cutler & Co.

Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?

Gertrude St Fitzroy – there are some great small fashion stores and our favourite restaurants, this is where we head to on most Friday nights and Saturday mornings - as we have to go back to get the car!

Melbourne’s best kept secret?

It used to be Movida – but now they are so famous I think is Anada in Gertrude St – my husband and I have been addicted to Spanish food and wine for a while now – thus our trip coming up in September to Spain and AURA releasing a range of Tapas napkins in our Summer range!

Lovely colours! AURA's 410 threadcount sheet range...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Made by Mosey part 2 (or how to get yourself on TDF!)

Soft mobiles by Made by Mosey

This little boys 'Nautical hankey blankey' quilt is just SO freaking cute if one of you does not snap it up TODAY you must be crazy.

Yesterday I did a talk/presentation kind of thing for the Coco Republic speaker's series. It went quite well I think.... there were lots of lovely people to meet - if you came along then THANKYOU for coming and being such a wonderful audience! (And thanks so much to CR for having me!).

Anyway, I was asked a few interesting questions, and one of them was about the best way to submit something to get your work on The Design Files. It is true - I get a bazillion submissions these days and I do struggle to fit everything in and I hate to disappoint people. SO, what is the best way to get your product/shop/artwork/craft on TDF? Welll.. there are really no rules... but how about sending me an email like this -

'Hi Lucy,

Just wanted to let you know I've been working hard on new mobiles, bigger and better Hankey Blankeys and more bunting in lovely bright vintage fabrics.

I know you are super busy and have posted about me before (I don't want to seem greedy!) and have a million other creative/crafty people lined up to post about but this is just in case you have a slow news day :) !!

Thankyou for your time. And keep up the wonderful and just excellent work!

Madeleine x'

So there you go. That is how you do it. Magic!

Also of course Madeleine's lovely hand-crafted products are just super gorgeous - not to mention reasonably priced... and she had a lovely selection of pics for me to choose from which always helps :)

Yay for slow news days!!

Made by Mosey things are available to buy

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Glenlyon Home - Magali Gentric and Jason Waterhouse

The Glenlyon home of Magali Gentric and Jason Waterhouse

Vintage signage in the loungeroom, vintage children's xylophone

Reclaimed stained glass window in the bathroom

Industrial pigeon-hole shelves and details in the bedroom

Kitchen and bathroom details - reclaimed pressed metal in the kitchen, and an old bus door in the bathroom!

Be warned. This is another story about an incredible overachieving local family! Magali Gentric and Jason Waterhouse have spent the last 3 years building and renovating their home in Glenlyon (not far from Daylesford), bringing up three kids, working (Jason is a prize-winning sculptor - Magali is a web designer and lecturer) - all whilst building a successful local business from scratch! The pair are proud owners and directors of regional 'makers space' Wolf At the Door, located in Hepburn Springs. Jeepers creepers. I guess the water in Victoria's spa country really must have energising powers!

Magali and Jason's home is just off the Glenlyon 'main drag', found at the end of a dirt track, amongst beautiful bushland and farming properties. They bought the property from Jason's Dad in 2000 with a definite 'slow down' philosophy in mind. Having experienced busy city lives elsewhere (Jason teaching and working in Melbourne, and Magali in France, London and Melbourne), both decided they wanted to live a simpler life where they could bring up their children in a stress-free environment.

Jason and Magali began their renovations in 2006. They extended on the original house by incorporating a shipping container for two of the childrens' bedrooms, added split level floor, and creating a sizable 'bloke-shed' - where Jason and son Milo spend much of their time together, building structures for the house and property, making sculptures, and working on Jason’s hotted up early-70s, metallic-blue Toyota Crown - which he shows on occasion in Motor Shows, and in which he and Magali cruise around the region!

Magali and Jason love living in Glenlyon - the sense of community, the space, the people, growing their own vegies, the sense of possibility - everything! They have made many modifications to their home which means they live almost entirely 'off the grid' (except for the internet!).

Lush green view from bedroom/studio

Green house

Jason & Magali have planted a large organic kitchen garden which supplies them with luscious vegies each season. The pair have also redeveloped the terraced greenhouse at the back of the house, planted olive trees, and spent time direct-seeding several acres with native trees, to re-vegetate the property. From the front door you can hear the Loddon River which runs right through the property.

More lovely things at Wolf At the Door - top left - ceramics by Kris Coad, top right - teacup lights by Gregory Bonsera.

Wolf at the Door is Magali and Jason's gorgeous little store in Hepburn Springs, which will celebrate it's first birthday next month! However, there won't be much time for M&J to stop and rest on their laurels! The pair are busily working on a brand new and very ambitious project - an arts complex called Stockroom in neighbouring Kyneton.

Stockroom is a big undertaking; converted from an ex-wool factory built in the 1860s, it will house artist studios, an exhibition space, a retail store, custom-built spaces for makers and designers to exhibit and sell their work direct to the public, and eventually a cafe. It promises to be an incredible central arts hub for in the region - so much for slowing down!

Wolf at the Door
113 Main street

Hepburn Springs

(03) 5348 3158

*HUGE THANKS to Megan Spencer for facilitating this feature and supplying all the shots and info. I must admit I have borrowed many of the words here... *Thanks so much Megan!