Around this time of the year makers, interior designers and discerning boutique owners Australia-wide have but one thing on their mind – to make their annual pilgrimage to Melbourne for Australia’s only premium design and homewares trade show, Life Instyle. Always innovative with events and workshops to keep your creativity afloat while you browse and plan the months ahead, Life InStyle brings together a mix of designer brands featuring homeware, giftware, lifestyle and kids products with a large emphasis on fostering creativity and originality. We are especially looking forward to discovering what the following brands have packed in their suitcases so take a pre-show virtual tour on us.
Bringing together the knowledge of generations of artisans while keeping things fresh and relevant in today’s fast consumer environment is no easy feat. However it is exactly what Shannon Sheedy of Dharma Door excels at with every range. The exquisitely hand made pieces range from baskets to homewares and all have one uniting feature, they are 100% fair trade. If you have ever wondered just who is at the other end of the often long and convoluted design supply chain, Dharma Door is a company with the kind of transparent answers you are searching for. Sheedy has travelled the world visiting remote villages who not only benefit from the work Dharma Door provides but also keep their time honoured traditions very much alive. A true design win win, Dharma Door will be launching their Pacific and Macrame Collections at Life InStyle.
Dharma Door Natural Jute Bag and Natural Jute Laundry Basket
Bison Home founder and designer Brian Tunks was an archaeologist in a past life. Can you think of a better person to head the design of timeless wares that make up the Bison Home range? We think not. Creating objects that are classic, carry meaning and serve a purpose is how Tunks ensures his designs will never be ‘pretty landfill’. Tunks has a first hand knowledge of ancient ceramic techniques and applies these to his own ranges in beautiful yet subtle ways ensuring his are pieces not only treasured but held onto. In true timeless style Bison Home will be launching a range of new designs that will compliment some of Bison Home’s earlier ranges at Life Instyle this month. No flighty trends here, just honest design and beautiful materials.
Bison Home Poplar Serve Bowl in Limestone and Fågel Pitcher in Milk.
If you are wondering where to find Australia’s budding furniture and industrial designers pooled together in a playful collection, then a pit stop at the DesignByThem stand is a must. Last week we profiled NYC’s WorkOf Collective and this week we are excited to feature one of Australia’s own independent talent collectives. DesignByThem was created by Nicholas Karlovasitis and Sarah Gibson who have bundled together bold and innovative designers such as Tommy Cehak and Stephan Lie to name a few, with many pieces designed by Sarah and Nicholas themselves. DesignByThem was established in order to create a platform for designers to create and manufacture their own designs right here in Australia, in a professional and commercially focussed environment. A welcome alternative to chasing big brands or overseas manufacturers, DesignByThem has sourced a tight collection of modern furniture and accesories with a focus on sustainability, an ethos of nurturing up-and-coming talent and ‘good design for all’. Breathe a sigh of relief; the future of our design industry is in safe hands.
Alfred Magazine Rack designed by Seaton Mckeon from DesignByThem
Lumiere founder Emma Cleine is one of those special kinds of designers who, as a true artist at heart, has managed to design a collection that is universally admired and respected. Sentimental in conceptual and abstract ways that are only within reach to the consummate artist, her prints and designs add touches of painterly perfection or graphic sophistication to all homes, regardless of colour palates. Cleine is known to experiment with dying and printing techniques – for example combining the effects of melting ice and running dyes. It is this kind of calculated play and thoughtfulness that has seen Cleine’s work commissioned for films and festivals and is now stocked at over 30 retailers, not bad for someone who never dreamed this would be their full time job! Lumiere’s range has recently grown to include ceramics and textiles with the Spring Summer collection being launched at this month’s Life Instyle. You can find Lumiere at the Greenhouse Interiors stand during the show.
Prints from Lumiere’s Places Collection
Paper Empire are passionate about art and design. For twelve years they have been translating art and design into collections, championing their creative cause one greeting card or limited edition print (they believe everyone should enjoy art regardless of budget) at a time. This month at Life Instyle, Empire are excited to be adding another feather in their hat launching a range of lights designed by Studio Snowpuppe. A team of paper engineers – yes, it’s a real job title – is responsible for these intricate origami paper pendants each being crafted by hand in the heart of The Hauge in The Netherlands. The enthusiasm these lights are made with is quite infectious, already we can’t wait to get up close and inspect each tricky fold.
Studio Snowpuppe’s range of paper pendant lamps coming soon to Paper Empire.
The Lightly Studio has been a hub of creativity in the lead up to Life Instyle. We look forward to spotting Lightly’s ‘Materials and Metals’ limited edition collection of brass spoons, trays and servers inspired by the simple things in life like friends, entertaining and an appreciation for subtle geometry. Many of Cindy-Lee Davies designs are limited editions, thoughtfully created from her Collingwood studio where the designer has been desiging and experimenting with materials ranging from acrylic to wood to marble and metals since 2005.
Assemblages Leather Shelves by Lightly
New from Lightly – “Materials and Metals” Range.
Life Instyle runs from the 31 July – 3 August at the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.
For full details and to register visit www.lifeinstyle.com.au