Twins Alisa and Lysandra Fraser have moved into the style world full time after their win on The Block Sky High, launching an interior design business and a homewares range. They’ve curated an art collection just for us, so we caught up to chat about what they learned on The Block, and why art is important.

Congratulations on winning The Block Sky High!  What are the top 3 things The Block taught you about decorating?

Alisa: Thank you. We learnt so much about renovating and styling on The Block.

1.  Find something that you love and draw inspiration from it. If it is a particular piece of artwork or cushion, then draw the colours or textures from that item to help create the mood in your room.

2.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with layering and using different textures. The more textures you use, the more interesting and dynamic a room can be. The trick is to work out what goes with what, and for a lot of people that can be the hardest part. Take plenty of photos along the way and remember you don’t always have to make purchases right on the spot. With your photos, create your own ‘mood board’ of all the things you love and want to incorporate into your room. Visually seeing the products all the products together will help you decide if they are the right choices.

3.  Invest in a statement piece. Lysandra and I have never been ones to spend big money when it comes to decorating. Decorating on a budget can be challenging, but it really does pay to spend money on that one “statement” piece, whether it’s a hard covered coffee book, designer cushion, or artwork for the all. You can then build around that piece with less expensive items and let your statement piece do most of the talking.

The Exchange, Alisa’s favourite piece from the collection.

How do your personal styles differ?  Is there anything you can never agree on?

Alisa: We definitely have similar styles but this doesn’t mean we don’t disagree, as anyone who watched The Block would know. We call this “the process” and do not settle on anything until we both agree.

How would you describe your style?  Do you have any design heroes?

Alisa: If we had to narrow it down I would describe our style as contemporary, sexy and sophisticated. We aim for our work to have an ‘Alisa and Lysandra’ touch and pride ourselves on originality. Lysandra and I have drawn a lot of inspiration from Darren Palmer and have received a lot of advice from him over the past couple of years.

Alisa & Lysandra’s style as seen on The Block. Image by Dominique Cherry.

What were your criteria when curating this art collection?

Lysandra: Alisa and I are very visual people. When selecting this collection we were inspired by the colours and mood of each piece. Another criteria was how versatile each piece would be and whether it would work in a variety of different settings and spaces.

How important do you think art is to a home?

Lysandra: Now more than ever, Alisa and I know the importance of art. I feel a room without some form of art is a room that lacks emotion. Art can come in so many different forms, from sculptures and statues to lighting and beautiful hand painted pieces. I believe that artwork is the most influential design piece that can create a point of interest.

Alisa & Lysandra’s style as seen on The Block. Image by Dominique Cherry.

What do you think are the most important things to consider when buying art?

Lysandra: Artwork has to create an emotion. It has to speak to you in some way.

Alisa: You also need to think about the proportion and colours of the artwork to make sure it will work in the intended space.

Do you have a failsafe styling tip for art?

Lysandra: If you choose artwork that you love, you can’t go too wrong. Artwork is very subjective, so most people will have an opinion on it. Here are a couple of failsafe tips I can give when selecting artwork.  Make sure the proportion of the artwork is right and select artwork that matches colours portrayed in your room. Pick out one or two of the boldest colours in your room and draw inspiration from that. Be confident in your choice, because art can bring a lot of joy.

Chrysalis, Lysandra’s pick from the collection

Which is your favourite artwork in the collection, and why?

Alisa: My favourite piece is The Exchange. I love the boldness, warmth and excitement of the colour and the depth and drama of the aubergine.

Lysandra – My favourite piece is Chrysalis. I am drawn to the soft colours which have an instant calming effect. The muted tones and colours remind me of the calming ocean and soft clouds. It just goes to prove that not all art pieces have to be bright and colourful to catch one’s attention.

Follow Alisa and Lysandra on Facebook, Instagram @alisa_lysandra and twitter @alisa_lysandra.

Inspired? Shop the Alisa and Lysandra collection today.

Posted in   Art, ProfilesTags  8 comments

Searching for impact with a sophisticated edge, the T&W style team gave Murobond’s Syrup a whirl for the Grand Lafayette sale event. Find out why…

The vision

Head of Styling Jessica Bellef was presented with a range of American-designed furniture, and decided to go to town – that is, to New York city.  She describes her vision: “Imagine you have been transported to a grand apartment, a classic New York pre-war home. The sort of apartment that has bedroom wings, a doorman and cocktail hour every day.”

The colours

On board so far? Her next task was to work on the colour palette. To provide some contrast within the shot and create the illusion of a real, layered apartment, she wanted to use a darker colour. “When designing this shot, I knew I needed a sophisticated dark neutral on the wall,” she says. After consulting the Murobond range, she chose Syrup, which Rowena Judd of Murobond describes as a “subtle warm brown/grey” – and an all time favourite for the Murobond team.

Why it works

The darker shade works well as a backdrop for the range and ties in with the grey-toned herringbone floor. “I love how the colour works with the brass accents and metallic-kissed wall art,” says Jess. The white skirting board trim is a smart touch which plays up to classic American style. Try Murobond’s Just White for something similar.

Love this look? Shop the Grand Lafayette sale event.

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Gallery: White

08 Jul '14

Today’s White Collection sale event has us revelling in cool, calm white. From white linens to milky ceramics, we look at decorating with white.

All hail the queen of white! With this much white in the room, materials and texture become key. Stylist and photographer Kara Rosenlund mixes it up with a leather cushion and weathered shutter. And yes, that’s a Little Dandelion throw by our friend Jacqui Fink.

White wire chairs add an airy feel in the beautiful apartment of Swedish stylist Nina Bergsten, via Residence. Image – Marcus Lawett

In this natural-toned kitchen, the limited colour palette and all-white ceramic collection keeps the open shelving from looking cluttered. Image via The Style Files.

In designer Shareen Joel’s beach house, crisp white linen allows for dramatic impact with a graphic black blanket and sculptural lamps. Image via Share Design.

Stylist, author and designer Shannon Fricke’s Byron Bay bathroom plays up to its coastal location with a soft grey bath and floor tiles.

If stark minimalism is your thing, you’ll already be a friend of white. Every piece counts here, with the metallic interior of the pendant light adding a point of interest to an otherwise strict scheme. Image via Pinterest.

Don’t think about dust, just look at the light in this white dining room, enhanced by the group of mirrors on the wall. Image via My Lovely Things.

A good night’s sleep would surely be guaranteed in such a clear and calm space. We love the overscaled lamp,  styled by Sara Sjogren.

Want more? Visit our White Rooms Pinterest board.

Create your own calm interior – shop The White Collection now.

Posted in   Gallery, Pinterest, Temple & Webster4 comments

We caught up with Kirsten and Mike, the brother and sister behind the Palm Beach Collection candles, available today with free shipping.

What was the inspiration for starting your business, Palm Beach Collection?

We wanted to create a range that was luxurious yet affordable. Being candle and fragrance addicts we knew there was a big gap in the market for great quality Australian candles. We always wanted to work together and be our own bosses. In 2009 the timing was right, we took the plunge and quit our jobs and the rest is history!

How important is a local connection to your business?

We really believe in being true to ourselves and where we have come from. We manufacture locally and this will never change! Being Australian made is so import in this day and age. We really need to support each other’s businesses and employment.

Tell us a little bit about the process behind choosing and formulating the fragrances.

We travel to find the latest fragrance trends and put our own Australian spin on them. There is a lot of hit and miss creating the perfect fragrance. Sometimes the smallest ingredient can make a massive impact on it. It’s making sure that the top, mid & bottom notes are balanced perfectly.

Do you recommend using one scent for the whole room, or choosing different fragrances for different parts of the house?

We normally one burn one fragrance at a time, but that’s the beauty of fragrance. It’s so personal that anything goes! We really hope our candles add mood, atmosphere, ambience and aesthetics to the homes they’re in.

Images courtesy of Palm Beach Collection. Follow them on Instagram @palmbeachcollection 

Choose your own Palm Beach Collection fragrance, and take advantage of our free shipping offer.

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Looking for somewhere to take your new Florence Broadhurst luggage? We’ve just the thing – the brand new Ham Yard Hotel in London.

Described as an ‘urban village in the heart of London’, the Ham Yard Hotel is the eighth property for Firmdale Hotels, and perhaps their most ambitious so far.

More than just a hotel, owners Tim and Kit Kemp have created a mini-village behind Piccadilly Circus, complete with theatre, bowling alley, restaurant, bar, and a selection of specialist shops including the first outpost of iconic Australian retailer Dinosaur Designs.

The Australian connection continues with rooms featuring framed fabric by UK-based Australian textile designer and artist Shilo Engelbrecht and Sharyn Storrier Lyneham’s EDIT fabrics featuring in suites.

Kit Kemp decorates each hotel herself in her distinctive ‘modern British’ style featuring beautiful fabrics, layers of colour, pattern and texture and surprising details, including driftwood crocodiles on the wall of one of the bars.

Public spaces include an elegant library, decorated with Kit Kemp’s Ozone fabric on walls and Suzani fabric as curtains. Both are available through Christopher Farr.

Being in London, the site has history – the hotel is named after a pub called The Ham which was on the site in the 1700s. Later on it was a jazz club before being bombed in WW2. To create new history, Tim and Kit commissioned a contemporary bronze sculpture by British artist Tony Cragg and surrounded it with oak trees, all of which they hope will outlast the hotel.

Find out more and book at Firmdale Hotels or follow them on Facebook or on Instagram @firmdale_hotels.

Posted in   Interior Design, TravelTags  0 comments

Thanks to eatlove, we’re sharing a hearty and health-giving soup by celebrity chef and host of MKR Pete Evans, from his book My Kitchen.

My mum lives across the road from me and brings this to my house for the kids to eat at least once a fortnight. Thanks, mum, you’ve looked after me all these years and now you’re helping my kids appreciate good food, too. Love ya.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Chicken stock:

2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) chicken bones
2 carrots
1 onion
2 celery stalks
4 flat-leaf (Italian) parsley stalks
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Soup:

1.25 litres (5 cups) chicken stock
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) organic or good-quality chicken thigh fillets
2 × 400 g (14 oz) tins creamed corn
2 spring onions
1 teaspoon cornflour
2 free-range eggs
salt and white pepper
100 g (3½ oz/2 cups) baby English spinach leaves
1 spring onion

Method

To make the stock, rinse the chicken bones under cold running water and place in a large saucepan. Add the rest of the stock ingredients and add enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum from the surface. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer for 2 hours. Remove from the heat, then strain and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 2–3 hours or until chilled and the fat has settled on the surface. Remove and discard the fat. Refrigerate and use within 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Makes about 4 litres (16 cups).

To make the soup, pour the chicken stock into a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the chicken thighs. Poach the chicken for 6 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove from the stock, finely shred and set aside.

Add the creamed corn and spring onion to the stock and bring back up to a simmer. Add the chicken, whisk in the cornflour mixture and cook for a further 1–2 minutes to make the soup a slightly thick consistency. Once the soup starts to thicken, slowly stir in the egg with a wooden spoon and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Add the spinach and stir through, then garnish with spring onion or parsley.

See more at eatlove where you can follow your favourite chefs, share their recipes and order their books. 

Posted in   EatloveTags  1 comment

Karen McCartney introduces our latest Object of Desire, the covetable Garland Light shade.

The Garland Light by Dutch designer Tord Boontje took the design world by storm when it first launched ten years ago.

It was such fresh thinking – this beautiful, delicate object that was both affordable, playful and design aware. Since then it has become something of a phenomenon, bridging the gap between high-end design and enormous popularity.

Make the most of our free shipping offer when you buy two Garland lights and create this extra impactful effect.

It is part of the permanent collection of over 10 international museums including MoMA in New York, and over half a million Garlands have sold over the decade. With this design icon in all those homes, restaurants, bars and workplaces, it is no wonder it has been re-launched under the banner ‘High design for everyday living’.

So, what is its appeal? For a start it arrives flat-packed and you assemble it yourself, so it has that feeling that you have exercised your creativity and designed an individual shape. The delicate, etched floral strand is a continuous strip that is wrapped around a light bulb and simply held with a clip. It can be shaped into any form and creative types have been known to use multiple garlands, intertwining them or arranging them at different drop lengths for a greater, bolder effect. The celebrated milliner Philip Treacy has even created a show-stopping hat from the Garland!

The only trouble is deciding what to choose or even how many. White romantic Garlands in a cluster of three, a fashionable brass Garland entwined with its silver counterpart, or a single dramatic black?

Creating your own Garland is easy. Watch the video to see how to transform a sheet of laser cut metal into your own unique light shade, and check out our gallery to see how others have approached the creative process.

Inspired? Choose your own Garland Light today.

Posted in   Objects of DesireTags  1 comment

Our latest Object of Desire, Artecnica’s Garland Light by Dutch designer Tord Boontje, is delivered as a flat sheet of laser cut metal which you cut into a garland and shape into your own light shade. We’ve put together an inspiring gallery to show how the creative approach others have taken, including a handy how-to video. 

Simply cut our your garland from the sheet, attach to an existing light fitting and get creative! Video by Artecnica.

Dutch interior designer and blogger Hetty of lightbluegrey wrapped a black version around an oversized bulb on a red cord to offset her sitting room.

The owner of a cottage on the remote west coast of Scotland used a silver Garland as a decorative flourish in a simple wood-panelled bedroom – via Remodelista

Blogger Anna from Door Sixteen used the black Garland Light to adorn her decorative ceiling rose.

Belinda Graham of The Happy Home blog wrapped her silver Garland around a hand-held workman’s light from Bunnings as a bedside feature.

The Garland light was used on a Philip Treacy-designed hat in the 2008 Alexander McQueen show. Image via Artecnica.

Inspired? Shop for your own Garland Light today.

Posted in   Objects of DesireTags  3 comments

Karen McCartney introduces The Palate Project, a new blog by stylist Claire Delmar.

Renowned Sydney stylist Claire Delmar has launched a new blog focused on what she is decoratively passionate about – the tabletop. It comes from a deep appreciation of the sharing and conviviality that comes with time spent around the table. “My most cherished memories are of conversations had while enjoying lovingly prepared food in comfortable surroundings’, she says.

And in keeping with her philosophy she wants to share her stylist’s knowledge with the world, offering ‘how to’ guides on putting a tabletop look together. “Don’t expect anything overly styled or matching table settings – what you see is how I love to live,” says Claire. Her approach is unique. Each concept is broken down into digestible ‘ingredients’ and clearly explains the ‘method’ for each table setting. Not only does she share the process through behind-the-scenes shots but she also provides all the details on the interesting products she has sourced.

With a background as Style Editor of Inside Out and Style Director at Home Beautiful, as well as her current freelance career, Claire brings a sophisticated simplicity to everything she touches. We are delighted to share her ‘Navy Berries’ tabletop, shot by the extremely talented Amanda Prior. For more inspirational ideas subscribe to her blog at clairedelmarblog.com.

NAVY BERRIES

Ingredients

2 Litres of Murobond Murowash in Blackberry
1 Paper Chandelier by Jo Neville, Paper Couture
1 Handmade stoneware asymmetrical bucket vase, Alison Fraser for Slab + Slub
6 Society linen napkins, Ondene
1 Ceramic jug, Hub Furniture
1 Handmade stoneware vessel, Alison Fraser for Slab + Slub from Small Spaces
1 Handwritten menu, Written by Hand
1 Jam jar, Quintessential Duck Egg Blue
6 Bowls, Planet
6 Midnight blue dinner plates by Christopher Plumridge, Planet
1 Soda siphon, Murobond
1 Hand stitched table runner, Alison Fraser for Slab +Slub from Small Spaces
6 Handmade tiles, Alison Fraser for Slab + Slub
6 Glasses , Shelley Panton
Floral by Forage by Lisa Mattock

Method

Mood can be created by many contributing elements. As someone that has such an affiliation with the visual I often feel that the setting is of most importance.

From the minute you walk in the door that setting or room has an effect on your mood whether you notice it or not. That is why I believe in creating spaces that make people feel good.

Colour plays a big part in this adventure and having never been given the opportunity to shoot a blue story and always hoping the brief would pop into my inbox I felt it was the darker blues that resonated with me. Perhaps that’s from my UK background and the love I felt for the winter hues. Would you live like this in sunny Sydney? I’m not sure, but sometimes I wish I had the courage to take a wander into this space for a day or two.

Alison Fraser from Slab + Slub is incredibly talented and someone I respect highly. Her handmade stoneware asymmetrical bucket vase and the midnight blue dinner plates by Christopher Plumridge from Planet add earthy texture to the table. The richness of the palette of the plates works as a stunning background to make the food stand out.

You don’t want to look like you’ve gone to too much trouble or you’ll never be invited back. Clever ideas that are simple like this handwritten menu (contact Glenda at Written by Hand if you would like something customised) on some white cardboard and pinned or Blu-Tacked to the wall or in this case a leftover timber panel is simple but elegant. A touch of floral from the Society napkins from Ondene and the stitched table runner add detail and create layers to the somewhat stark solid colours.

If you are feeling like a hands on project Jo Neville from Paper Couture holds classes for these magnificent Pajaki pendant lampshades. Pajaki – it is a Polish paper chandelier that was made to embrace the Harvest and brighten up the home after a long grey winter. They were made with straw and lots of coloured paper often using recycled giftwrap. Jo holds classes at her Paper Couture workshop. Go along, you never know what you’ll fall in love with.

Smoked Trout with Israeli couscous and herbs

200 grams smoked trout (I recommend Brilliant Food smoked Ocean Trout)
1 cup Israeli couscous, cooked to packet instructions
Handful of cherry tomatoes cut in halves
1/3 cup parsley coarsely chopped
1/3 cup mint coarsely chopped
few sprigs of dill
Juice of half lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Allow couscous to cool. Combine all salad ingredients and dress with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper

Photography by Amanda Prior.

Subscribe to Claire’s blog at clairedelmarblog.com or follow her via Facebook, Pinterest or on Instagram @clairedelmar

Posted in   Blogs We Love, Dining Room, StylingTags  4 comments

Interiors expert and former Vogue Living Editor David Clark has collaborated with one of Australia’s leading interior designers, Meryl Hare to co-author a book about the work of Meryl’s practice Hare + Klein. Published by  Thames & Hudson (RRP $60) it covers projects old and new, and allows an insight into the creative process and a peek inside many beautiful homes. In this extract, David shares his ideas about successful design and remembers his first meeting with Meryl. Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy – full details below.

In an interior, a balance of casual living and aesthetic sophistication can be hard to get right. A room can lack the layers that make it interesting, welcoming and comfortable, or can be too stitched up, too formal, garish or old fashioned. It is in seeking that balance however, that Australian interior design has found – is still finding – its natural place.

Life in a temperate climate has allowed us to develop a particular style of architecture and a way of living. We are, after all and at our best, a relaxed people: genial, welcoming, well travelled and increasingly assured of our own sophistication and regional refinements. That balance of aesthetic elegance and a spirit of generosity in an interior is something that Hare + Klein do exceptionally well.

The person behind Hare + Klein is Meryl Hare (formerly Klein). We first met in about 1986 and I recall an early conversation we shared about design. It was, we agreed, by its very nature an act of generosity. In design work, the designer is creating something for somebody else, understanding their lives, solving their problems, making things easier, less mundane and hopefully more beautiful along the way. That spirit of generosity is something that imbues her practice today.

After more than two decades of practice, the time seemed right for a Hare + Klein book. Meryl approached me with the idea and I believed it would make a compelling publication. We delved into the archive, photographed new work, and selected projects that we felt were the best exemplars of the studio’s design philosophy.

This is not a retrospective look at projects from early days – we chose instead to look for aesthetic currency, aiming for a book that might inspire people now.

David Clark

Raw concrete walls and ceiling set the tone for this North Bondi home, for which the brief was a clean and contemporary interior with a cool colour palette. 

Hare + Klein took a light approach to this former factory in Surry Hills, repairing original timbers and expressing new work without destroying the original fabric. 

The owners of this Palm Beach home wanted a casual and warm space, which Hare + Klein achieved with over-scales sofas and versatile tables which can double up as extra seating. 

The formality of a Federation home in Mosman was countered with contemporary lighting. Hare + Klein designed a modern interpretation of a traditional partners’ desk.

The book includes inspiring sketches, mood boards and fabric samples.

Inspired? Order your own copy online. You can also follow Hare + Klein on Instagram @hareklein

Leave a comment below (you must be on Facebook to leave a comment) before 5pm (AEST) Thursday 10 July 2014 for your chance to win a copy of “Hare + Klein” by David Clark & Meryl Hare (published by Thames & Hudson). You 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 18 July 2014. If we are unable to contact the winner within 30 days we’ll pick an alternative winner.

Posted in   Books, GiveawaysTags  14 comments