Going down under, and how to create a fabulous home

I have been asked to be a part of the international seminar series  at Furnitex in Melbourne this July, Australia's premier trade show. Leading design thinkers from across the globe gather and present inspiring and thought provoking seminars for two days, and my seminar examines in detail how to create feeling and emotion in an interior a subject very close to my heart. The weekend before last I was a keynote speak at  Naomi Cleaver 's seminar in conjunction with KBB at Excel and talked again about a subject dear to me - how to create a successful design store. I won't bang on about the retail side but really the same rules apply when designing your home, if that is you want to set it apart from everyone else's. The key in creating a trailblazing space is to look for products (furniture, lighting, accessories and so forth) that hold an almost magnetic appeal. In so doing your senses consciously or not are activated, stimulated even. This by the way has nothing to do with money take for example an old drum that I found at an antiques market and that now doubles up as one of my coffee tables - tribal in feel bound in raffia and old fur it skims the floor with its fabulous texture and creates an interesting dialogue with the other pieces surrounding it. Story telling is also central when designing a space as you want to create a room so dense with references and so layered that you create an immediate emotional connection. Take the image below as an example its a home office but its been filled with an assortment of stuff, different styles and textures mingle and hang out - super soft tribal rug next to mirrored uber glam desk next to old wooden chair. Perfect! Into this mix I would add a touch of tongue in cheek grandiosity and animal inspired objects are fabulous for doing just this - adding that element of levity and irreverence that every interior needs.My own collection of course below: Colour of course is key, probably one of the best design tools there is as you can set the mood in an instant from dark sludgy inky ones to high voltage brights. Play around with a combination and magic truely happens.

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