A sorbet world

02 Sep '14

Inspired by our Sorbet Collection, Karen McCartney picks a few favourites from our pretty pastel Pinterest board.

In the pendulum swing of interior fashion, pastel shades (now called sorbet) are the quiet heroes of decorating. They don’t shout, they whisper, they seduce with their references to nature, to the patina of ancient buildings and the refreshing chill of a hand-made ice. Use them sparingly as a hint of directional styling or go the whole way with ice blues, washed-out yellows and of course, the central player in the look – a soft but determined pink.

Artists have long taken their cue from nature’s palette with its inspiring, and sometime surprising, combinations of colours. This example is particularly appropriate with its pink, pale yellow and band of soft green sea (left). While the height and light in this room (right) is not available to everyone, the subdued colours placed in the context of white is something that is easy to appropriate.

The charm of this higgledy piggledy cabinet (left) is enhanced by the colour choice of the doors. The look is softened, and grounded, by the use of a light timber on the legs. (Right) Bowls and platters with an organic handmade feel, and irregularly stacked, are enhanced by the background of light blue and the tabletop of white.

The spectacular colour combinations on this building are sun bleached and have developed patina over the passage of time. Punches of stronger colour in the window shutters give it a graphic quality which turns it into an abstract painting on a grand scale.

Upholstery pieces, rugs and lights can all combine successfully if they share a common tonal depth. Nothing is sharp or assertive, the eye gliding over the entire room as through a well-conceived flower garden. (Right) What would a sorbet collection be without the simple joy of strawberry gelato? If you can’t have the cushion, try the ice-cream!

This chair and stool combination reminds me of a shy toddler standing behind its mother. A classic timber chair takes on a new modernity through the choice of solid paint colour and the tiny coloured feet of the modest, country-style stool adds a playful note. (Right) While an unfinished painted wall may not be to everyone taste it is effective in showing how a graphic wall treatment using nothing more than paint creates a backdrop to a range of softly-toned colours.

For more inspiration, check out the 90+ images on our Pinterest board. 

Shop The T&W Sorbet Collection today.

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Our favourite clicks from around the web this week, including a bed, a book, and a whole lot of ice.

Super stylist and ideas-lady Megan Morton has teamed up with Incy Interiors on a range of super cool metal beds. Think four posters without the flounce, available in white, black or custom colours in several sizes including single.

The Wardrobe v Pantry tumblr – a single perfect fashion and food match, every day.

Artbank is the government-funded repository of thousands of Australian artworks, collected over 30 years and available to lease for your home (or office) from a few hundred dollars a year. They’ve just launched a new website allowing browsing and searching of the available works. We picked Cut Painting #5 by Huseyin Sami for its Spring sorbet palette.

Stylist Mr Jason Grant launched his second book Holiday at Home ($45, Hardie Grant) with photography by Lauren Bamford. Watch out for a preview and giveaway on the blog very soon.

This week would not be complete without mentioning the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge flooding social media, literally. Here’s Oprah Winfrey giving it her best shot (shout?).

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The final week of our Collect Create Decorate promotion was a cracker, with entries coming in via Instagram, Facebook and on email. We dithered and debated before choosing a winner – congratulations Shellie @yoursminestyledesign – an ISCD graduate who clearly picked up a few styling tips along the way.  Shellie wins $100 to spend with us.

Here are a few of our favourites this week, and we encourage you to check out all the entries on Instagram at the #collectcreatedecorate hashtag, on our Facebook page or on our Collect Create Decorate Pinterest board. Thank you to everyone who entered – it has been a treat and a privilege to glimpse your homes and your style.

We were intrigued by the pale palette of Katy at @theeyespymilkbar - see more of her pastel-pretty home on her blog.

Kim has layered textures in her bedroom for a super cosy feel. You can see her entry on our Pinterest board along with the other email entries.

Ah, summer. It can’t be far off – and @jenrosnell_create seems to have got there ahead of the rest of us.

Dramatic composition by @designminx caught our eye, featuring a fabric feather and arrow cushion by Madeleine Sargent of Made by Mosey.

We’re almost ready to start thinking healthy thoughts for Summer, so we filed away this breakfast by @sarijanehomeaccents for future reference.

Check out all the entries on Instagram at the #collectcreatedecorate hashtag, on our Facebook page or on our Collect Create Decorate Pinterest board

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Karen McCartney introduces a solidly handsome candidate for this week’s Object of Desire – the Eggcup stool by Mark Tuckey.

Sometimes a design so simple and timeless arrives on the scene that you wonder where it has been all your life.

The Eggcup stool by Mark Tuckey, designed in 2006, is one such item, combining charm, solidity, characterful flaws and a host of decorating possibilities – all of them useful.

Let’s start with its pedigree. Made from Radiata Pine, a fast growing, medium density soft wood from sustainably managed forestry sources, it fits Mark Tuckey’s requirement of a low carbon footprint. The wood is dried for up to three months, allowing time for the timber to expand, crack and settle into its (near) finished state.*

The sections of solid timber are then turned by hand on a lathe to give that signature curved shape, and then soap finished for a soft, natural appearance. Hence each piece has an individual character dictated by the subtle differences in the original timber. So a pair of Eggcup stools used as bedside tables are the same but marginally different, ditto four placed around a dining table.

Image by Lucas Allen for Mark Tuckey.

Their versatility as a side table, stool, bedside table, bathroom seat or hallway rest is inherent. Stylistically they deliver a clever combination of honesty and authenticity with a timeless modernity that makes them a great buy, not just for now but forever.

“The Eggcup stool has turned into a bit of an icon for us. People tend to fall in love with the brand and their starting point is often the Eggcup stool. It allows for a little piece of Mark Tuckey in their home,” says Louella Tuckey, the brand’s Creative Director.

*Wood, being a natural product, continues to modify slightly depending on its context.

Shop for your own Eggcup Stools today.

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Darren Palmer’s first book, Easy Luxury (Murdoch Books, $39.99), is an ode to the style he loves – comfortable, beautiful and polished yet still down-to-earth. It features images by Felix Forest from Darren’s own interior design projects (he runs his own practice, Darren Palmer Design Studio) and a plethora of practical tips and solutions. Karen talked to Darren about the idea of luxury and the important of planning your design.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy – details are below.    

Much of your book’s philosophy is based on the Coco Chanel quote ‘Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury’. What is it about this statement that resonates with you so strongly?

That’s a happy coincidence but it does reflect my ethos really well. There is no point living in a museum of beautiful things that you need to tread delicately around. I see no joy in having a home where you chastise your kids or pets or guests for being comfortable in your home so why would you encourage that?

For me a home should be somewhere that lifts your spirits, gives you a sense of prosperity and wellbeing and generally provides you with a beautiful sanctuary from which to live your personal life – kids, pets, spouses and friends included.

How important do you consider the fundamentals, the foundations of design

If you don’t know why something works you may fumble your way through a myriad of bad decisions, ending in a lacklustre or even worse, ugly place, where your home has no bearing on what you desired. It may not end up reflecting your true personality, not because the parts don’t work for you, but because the sum of the parts is not congruent. It’s the way things interrelate that makes them sing, so it’s only through understanding why things work that you can make good, sound and strong decisions that lead you to a beautiful and coherent result.

When is it appropriate to opt for a dark room and what are the rules around it?

If you already have no light then feel free to use that to your benefit. Light the room moodily so that you play on the areas of dark and shade; it’s the contrast that brings interest so revel in the opportunity to contrast  the very dark with bright and light. Pools of light work beautifully to highlight special pieces like artworks, sculpture or furniture.

Layering in textural contrast, too, will give you a warm and sensual space to feel cosy in. Bedrooms in my opinion are wonderful when they’re dark so if you’re faced with a dark bedroom then play on this sensuality.

Bathrooms have become more generous – more like spas. What tips do you have for achieving a luxe look?

Texture, whether it be visual or tactile or both, is the key. Natural timber, stone, patterns or shapes will all add interest, but choose the ones that stimulate as well as calm. The sense of luxury comes from the space feeling like an island of tranquility from where you can shut out the rest of the world, close the door, light some candles and soak away your stresses.

There are so few moments of privacy and stillness afforded these days the bathroom is a prime location to get a little luxury me time.  I love nothing more than the feeling of warm water on my skin.

You discuss the importance of ‘mapping out’ where furniture pieces and lighting will sit. How would people approach this process in their own home?

It depends on the person but you can approach it from the tech savvy point of view by using Google SketchUp or similar software, creating or adapting a to-scale floor plan and placing in the to-scale furniture pieces so you know how they fit.

You could do it old school style by drawing a to-scale plan on graph paper and plot out the dimensions of the furniture in pencil, so you can relocate things simply by rubbing them out, or you can go the heavy lifting route and get a friend and physically move your existing pieces around to find the best layout for your current furniture. Always, always, always plot out any new pieces on a plan though to be sure they fit into the space and allow proper flow around them visually and physically. Don’t make the rookie mistake of forgetting to measure your doorways, staircases, lifts and other access pathways to be sure the piece you love in store doesn’t end up jammed in a doorway on it’s unsuccessful journey into your home.

Texture is very important in your work and, as in this photograph (above), can evoke a soft, sensuous atmosphere. How do you approach layering with fabric, wall covering and flooring?

How do you not! The key is to look at each element in a room as an opportunity for impact – the walls, floors, linen, furniture, decor and lighting are all opportunities to add colour, texture, complement and contrast. It’s measuring each piece for its particular part in this play of finishes that is the challenge. Too much and the room is a visual explosion, too little and it’s a symphony of beige.

You have decorated grand-scale homes but you also pay attention, in the book, to the interior design of mid-sized rooms. What are the three key pieces of advice it is worth observing?

Measure your impact. The bigger the room the more moderate the impact should be for wall treatments in terms of pattern and texture.

Have a focal point – this could be an artwork, rug, furniture piece, light or an architectural feature such as a fireplace but start with one big impact and work back from there so you don’t have too many statements fighting for your attention.

Choose appropriate elements for inclusion, the right sized rug, the right sized furniture and be sure everything gets along well with each other.

Lamps, whether sculptural when turned off, or creating ambient light when turned on are very much part of your decorating style? Should we be buying lamps in pairs?

Oh yes! I always buy lamps in pairs unless it’s a particularly strong design and can stand alone on a console or sideboard. If you don’t use both it’s no problem to store one away but you’ll never be sorry if you redo a room to have another pair of lamps to choose from to complete the space. Lamps in pairs for sure.

You speak of passion, and fun – how do you balance these attributes with informed decision making and sensible design choices?

The two things go hand in hand. It’s like a child jumping on a trampoline. The trampoline needs to be designed well, be strong, be safe and do the job it is supposed to do so that the child can bounce around with happy abandon. The two things support each other. There’s no point having a perfectly sensible room without joy nor is there any joy in having a crazy fun room that doesn’t work.

Quick fire questions

I would happily never see a glass of rosé again. Drank way too much of it on my trip to France. On an interiors note I would be happy to see the back of many popular interiors fads but they come and go with regularity so there’s no need to get hung up on them.

My ‘go to’ paint colour is anything with a grey base, de-saturated. whether it be pastels, mid-tones or deep hues – they all look best with a darker mood underneath them.

I always buy a good pair of shoes when I see one. I have a lovely shoe collection and they’re pure design.

NATURE never fails to inspire me. It is my major aesthetic inspiration.

I know to stop adding to a scheme when it works. Until then just add things, take away, compare, assess, add more, take away and play until it feels right.

Follow Darren via Facebook or Instagram @darrenpalmerinteriors. Easy Luxury is available in good bookstores and online from Monday.

Leave a comment here before 5pm (AEST) Friday 5 September 2014 to win 1 of 2 copies of Easy Luxury by Darren PalmerYou must be a member of Temple & Webster to enter, and you may only enter once. We’ll pick our favourite comments and contact the winners via Facebook or email by Friday 12 September 2014. If we are unable to contact the winner(s) within 30 days we’ll pick an alternative winner. Good luck!

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Jono Fleming cooks an aromatic seafood dish evocative of a recent trip to Italy.

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to head over to Italy to work with Italian-Australian food writer Silvia Colloca on her upcoming book “Made in Italy”. Besides eating a lot, I learned some key things about traditional Italian cooking from Silvia. My main takeaway was how to balance flavours in the cuisine, using fresh ingredients and letting the natural produce shine without over-complicating the dish. Working in the Abbruzzo region of Italy, I was situated between the mountains of Torricella and the seaside of San Vito Chientino. There was a plethora of amazing food to be had but the one dish we ate almost every day was mussels cooked in white wine.

Eating this dish led naturally to learning about another very important Italian tradition called ‘scarpetta’. The word translates to ‘little shoe’ and refers to the highly satisfying act of mopping up the sauce with a piece of bread. It’s completely acceptable, even encouraged, and probably added an extra kilo or two to my waistline.

The Chasseur range of cast iron cookware is perfect for cooking this dish. The heavy cast iron helps evenly heat the food and retain the heat for cooking. Mussels are best cooked with a few simple ingredients and all you need to do is throw them in a pot for a couple of minutes. As we head into the warmer months of the year, this dish is perfect served with a nice chilled glass of wine and a loaf of crusty ciabatta. Just remember to scoop up all that leftover sauce and raise your glass. Cheers Silvia! Salute!


Cozze al Vino Bianco (Mussels in White Wine)

Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main)

1kg mussels (debearded and cleaned)
2 cloves garlic
2 small red chillies
Handful of flat leaf parsley
1 cup white wine
olive oil


Before cooking, prepare all your ingredients because this dish doesn’t take long at all to cook. Finely chop your garlic, chilli and parsley, and wash your prepped mussels under cold water.

Heat a heavy based pan or pot with a lid on a medium to high heat and pour in a little olive oil. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for about a minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant. Then add all the mussels and parsley to the pan and pour in the white wine.

Place the lid on top of the pan and bring to boil. Then turn the heat down to medium and let the mussels steam for about 6-8 minutes. To ensure all the flavours mix and the mussels open, gently move the pan back and forth constantly.

Once the mussels are opened, the dish is ready – it’s as simple as that! Remove the pan from the heat, sprinkle over a bit of freshly chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread for ‘scarpetta’.

Follow our Dish of the Day Pinterest board to keep track of all Jono’s recipes and styling.

Shop our Chasseur collection today.

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Shaynna Blaze is Colour Creative Director and brand ambassador for Taubmans, as well as a judge on The Block, presenter on Selling Houses Australia, author and interior decorator. She give us her take on the modern luxe look, and picks the colours (and products) to make it work. 

Colour trends are ever-evolving, from seasonal hues that are everywhere and then gone in a flash, to macro trends that last a decade or more and shape colour palettes Australia wide.

Around four years ago there was a huge shift in the dominant base colour palette from soft cream and yellows, to grey and crisp, sharp whites. This change created a movement in interior décor, and then expanded outside and changed the look of our exteriors too.

Taubmans Endure Sparrow Wing and timber and iron side table. Shaynna says “Mixing raw timbers and metals is the perfect accent for a luxe industrial look. The richness of the woodgrain adds texture while the metal gives a masculine element to the interior.”

This movement not only changed the appearance of our interiors, but also transformed the overall feel and approach we took to decorating our homes. The new selection of grey and white base colours made an immediate impact; strong, edgy, with new industrial and modern colour schemes that shaped our furnishing style.

Taubmans Endure Victorian Pewter and a Paris Wall Art Print. “An aged print or piece of artwork like this picture hints at ‘times past’ and adds an element of visual history to a room,” says Shaynna.

Today, a new shift is taking place. One that still embraces grey toned base colours but balances this with the addition of new warm colours. This not only softens the harsh industrial look of recent years, but also enhances the ‘luxe’ feel of interiors. Chocolate browns that we thought had been banished for good, have now been allowed back into the home, but this time as a restrained accent rather than a base colour palette.

Taubmans Endure Stained Glass and the Jungle Canvas Wall Art Set. ”Deep indigos work well with rich metal tones and can also create a contrast with any exposed brick in an industrial interior.  The pattern in this artwork as well as the pops of white white gives a freshness to a simple colour palette,” says Shaynna.

Balance has become the main ingredient to getting this look right. This is achieved by taking into account all of the materials that surround this colour palette, with a new emphasis on natural surfaces to lend warmth to the cooler colours. Inclusions like blonde and raw timbers, or natural stones like sandstone and marble, soften the strong impact of grey and white with their textural qualities.

Taubmans Endure Silver Charm with an Andrea & Joen duvet set in Snow. “When you use a strong palette for your walls, using a sharp white in your linen is like adding natural light to a room; the texture of the linen adds softness and depth, rather than looking like a harsh clinical white,” says Shaynna. 

To master this new modern luxe look, walls should still be strong deep indigos and charcoals, with trims of soft grey like Taubmans Endure Silver Charm. Then accessorise with brown tones, from soft natural linens and tans, to a deep, almost black chocolate.

Taubmans Endure Bullring Brown and a Grey Tangier Rug. “The design of this rug, with its strong pattern and deep plush pile, moves from style to style and works perfectly in the industrial palette,” says Shaynna.

Another way that this trend is being expressed is through industrial interiors with metallic accessories in warm brass and copper tones taking centre stage as the luxe element of the room. To work, this also relies on the cool charcoal and indigo wall colours to keep look strong and modern, yet warm.  With this trend the paint colours have become the backdrop to create the residential version of a glamorous, but liveable film set!

Taubmans Endure Vanquished contrasted with a gold table lamp. Shaynna’s take: “The rich bronze in this lamp base is softened by the linen texture in the shade – it’s all about creating balance with the hard and soft surfaces, now matter how small the accessory.”

Taubmans Endure in Vanquished is a black indigo colour that works well with strong white contrasting trims. To set this off, experiment with accessories in warm metallic or natural materials, which will nail the trend and provide depth to the room.

When introducing this look throughout your house, a gradient mix of greys from one room to the next will keep the interior colour scheme consistent, but with a layered effect creating unexpected changes from room to room.

Look out for Shaynna’s picks across our salesFor more tips for using colour in your home, visit www.taubmans.com.au

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We love a creative project with more dash than cash. This neon rope bedhead is high on visual impact, but you can do it in a day for under $50. It’s cute, customisable and completely Spring-fresh. Senior Stylist Adam Powell takes us through the project, starting with a trip to  your local super-hardware store.

You’ll need:

Around 25m of fluoro pink rope
A roll of builder’s line (string or cord) in the same colour
2 wooden curtain rod holders, plus screws to affix them to the wall
A branch at least as wide as your bed

Short on time, I picked up the branch at my local florist, but you could collect one from your local area or use plain or painted dowel.

I wanted something a bit rustic to contrast with the pink rope,  which I chose to provide high contrast against the neutral wall. If you’re after something a bit more subtle, use plain sisal rope or a colour that complements the colours already in the room.

Decide on the height of your bedhead, attach the curtain rod holders to the wall and hang your branch.

Starting at one corner, tie the rope to the branch and let it drop just below the height of the top of bed.  Loop back up over the branch, and work your way along, tying knots as you go.  Check and adjust as you go – you want a relatively evenly-spaced ‘web’.  Once you’re finished, check for gaps and use the builder’s line to tie a few sections together to add some horizontal/diagonal elements.

Voilà, your very own rope bedhead. Remember to try to keep a loose, organic feel and go with the natural rhythm of the rope.I styled it with plenty of colour and pattern for a fresh Spring look but you could also use it as a bold element in a more neutral room. Happy days!

 Inspired? Shop for bright Spring bedding and furniture today.

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Pretty colours, pale timber and a Scandi sensibility are all hallmarks of Middle of Nowhere, a small Melbourne-based design studio with a focus on creativity and fun.

Sarah Brooke, pictured above, founded the business in 2009 with her father Grant, already an industry veteran. “My Dad has been my mentor for years, teaching me about homewares and the industry from his experience with our family wholesale business Warranbrooke. Our amazing local team has also become the design department for Warranbrooke and we’re proud that our in-house collection is all designed in our small studio in Melbourne.

While she credits her creative family, Sarah herself is no slouch, having studied Visual Communications at Monash University and completed her honours at RMIT. Her paintings form the basis for some of the brand’s designs, but she is keen to stress that it’s a team effort. “I work closely  in a small team of designers, so its very easy to bounce ideas and concepts off one another. We stick to the idea that if we would love a product for our own homes, then others will also enjoy it,” she says.

And the ideas behind the brand? “We love the simplicity of Scandinavian design,” says Sarah. “It is very minimal and functional at the same time, and the beautiful blonde timbers and pops of colour work well in our sunny country. Our designs  are intended to be a fun addition to our customers’ homes. We like to think that our designs will make people smile.”

Top image styled by Adam Powell and photographed by Denise Braki. Other images courtesy of Middle of Nowhere - follow them via Facebook or Instagram @monmelbourne.

Shop for Middle of Nowhere’s delectable stools, cushions, mirrors and more today

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Silvia Marlia is the Italian-born designer behind Sand for Kids. Her passion for design combined with her expertise in the way children learn has led to a range of furniture and accessories which are functional and engaging as well as visually appealing. We talked to Silvia about scale, purpose and her best test audience. 

Where and when did your passion for design originate?

I was raised among architects and designers, and most of my friends in Milan followed that path. I think that was just what everybody around me pursued, although I followed my passion for education at the same time.

You have a background in children’s education. How does this inform your work?

I have studied Rudolf Steiner and later Montessori education principles over the past 10 years. Firstly, because I was a Steiner student and I wanted to understand where I came from. Secondly, combined these educational principles helped me to develop the SAND collection to best meet children’s needs and relationship with their environment. Learning about both systems enriched my view and focused my perception of how to best design for the child’s eye. They refined my understanding of design principles to be more natural, simple and functional, and had a great impact on the colour palette and shapes.

The Overall tables and chairs (available in several colours) evoke a 1950s feel, and are designed to give children a level of independence while maintaining a harmonious aesthetic.

What is the guiding philosophy behind your designs?

Think small!!!

Always think in small proportion, for small fingers, for small bodies. This adds grace, poetry and functionality to the design.

How do you hope children will interact with the furniture and accessories you design?

Children will naturall interact with objects using their instinct. Children innately have a desire to learn, refining their motor skills, developing and adapting to the environment and of course they want to be like the adults. By giving them objects and products they can use freely, because they are the correct proportion, shape and material, they can simply use them in a purposeful and independent manner.

The Book on Wheels (left) is a reinterpretation of the classic library cart, designed and scaled for children. The Toolbox Set (right) is designed to hold A4 paper and craft materials and encourages archiving/putting away.

What do you think is sometimes lacking in design for children?

It is a lack of purpose, most of the time. There are lots of products that are way too complicated for children. We should suggest to children rather than overwhelming them with a clash of colors, shapes and materials. By doing this we take away their imagination.

Have your own children influenced your designs?

I often offer my prototypes to my older son and his friends and observe how they interact with it from a distance. My using this process of have been able to collect excellent suggestions on how to improve the design and function!

Quickfire questions:

Favourite meal: Savoury zucchini cake
Design icon:  Irma Boom
Pet hate: Snakes
Dream holiday: Hiking the Matterhorn
First job: Book store librarian

Shop the Sand for Kids collection today.

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