Thursday, December 20, 2012

Inspiration Profile - Jantine Vaartjes

Well, the week has flown by and it has been a busy one - including being on a crew for a TV commercial shoot on Wednesday! I will let you know more about that later.
I am 'officially' finishing work today and I am really looking forward to a relaxing Christmas Day with my family next week.
Staying on the Christmas theme, this week's Inspiration Profile has done some great and cosy Christmas styling and is all the way from The Netherlands. Read and enjoy.
I would like to wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas. Take care and see you soon.

Jantine Vaartjes
X-mas by April and May.

Name:Jantine – April and May

What do you do: Stylist/interior designer and owner of April and May, a styling agency focusing on interior. Besides my job as a stylist I am also author of the blogs April and May STUDIOand April and May MINI where I share my inspiration in the field of interior, lifestyle and design. A home, a story, a feeling and a smile that's where April and May is all about.
New this year is the web shop byaprilandmay offering vintage and unique products of selected designers and our own collection made by April and May. We hope to inspire people with all our activities and show them the beauty of all things simple, basic, graphic and personal. I started my company and after that my blog in 2008.
Where do you live: I live in the Netherlands in a town called The Beemster. It is a just 30 minutes away from Amsterdam.  The Beemster is on the word heritage list and a beautiful place with lots of green, nature and space.
What are you working on:  I am working on several interior projects that vary from interiors for private homes to work related areas. It can by a complete interior design with all the furniture included or just a part of an interior related field. Besides that there is the online shop that involves sales, photography etc. And we have our own collection made by April and May which will be extended the next couple of months and next year. We are working on some great ideas and really love having our own product line.

Products from byaprilandmay online store.

Who/what inspires me: I can be inspired by little things around me, but also magazine, blogs, pinterest and for example instagram inspires me. And I have some great people around me who really are passionate about their work, interior and styling. If you do things with passion…it makes me smile and really gives me positive energy.
I work best: not really a specific moment…I am not a very early person. And in the evening I sometimes get a work flow. But try to avoid that a bit because I am pregnant now of our second child and I have to take my moments of rest also.
What I do when I’m stuck for inspiration: Well I tend to force myself in finding things which is not the most right thing to do. It is better to take a moment of doing something else and then the inspiration will come in the most unexpected moment. But sometimes I do not allow myself the time for doing that. I am getting better in doing that though…
The best advice I have been given is: follow your heart and don’t try to be someone else or pretend to be different.
My latest discovery is: instagram…I am using that already some time but am finding it more and more inspiring lately…meeting lots of other creative people.

X-mas by April and May

Books that I get inspiration from: not really books…more magazines or blogs and pinterest boards that inspire me.
Magazines that inspire me: RUM, ELLE deco, VTwonen
My favourite room at home is: our living room I think…but really like all the spaces in our home
My office is: at home at the top floor and is really my work studio. Black wooden floor, lots of magazines, my computer…the place where everything happens…
What am I looking forward to: Launching the new products for our made by collection with two great designers. Really excited about this. And of course our second child arriving around March 2013. Can’t wait to see this unique and small little boy and our son Storm seeing his little brother for the first time. Because in the end that is all that counts…

April and May MINI - all about kids...

All photographs are used with permission by Jantine Vaartjes and April and May.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

An Office Lunch Room

We made sure that New Zealand was centred to the wall and very visible!

Contrasting timbers looks effective - American Ash leaner and dark oak stained bar stools

One resolution I plan to take up next year is photographing my interior design work and keeping it up to date! It is just so easy to let it slide as I have many projects this year that I haven't recorded. So it's high time I catch up on this.
To start on the good habit, here is the lunch room for a real estate office that I worked on several months ago. It is yet to be completed, however it is looking great so far.
The staff members are loving the Dairy bar leaner paired with Thonet BST 75 bar stools - creating a great interaction space for several departments to share. The cool wall map completes the picture.
Photographs by Charlotte Minty.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Catalogue from Design Within Reach


Spotted on Marcus Hay - this cool holiday catalogue for American design store, Design Within Reach. Hay was involved in the styling of this catalogue (read about it here) - I love the modern and fresh approach to the festive season, as well as seeing the design classics throughout.
Like this amazing 50's house? Read about the Goddard Mandolene House here.
Photographs by Jim Bastardo via DWR.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Inspiration Profile - Justin and Louise Wright

Hooray - it is Friday once again. Are you all surviving the mad rush towards Christmas? One more week of work to go for us lot down under.
Now for this week's Inspiration Profile - they are on the cover of the latest HOME New Zealand magazine and were studying Architecture at the same time as I was at Design school. How far they have come since then! Enjoy the profile of architects Justin and Louise Wright from Assembly Architects Ltd. Happy Friday all.

Louise and Justin Wright - Assembly Architects Ltd.
Louise on the cover of the latest HOME New Zealand magazine.

Name: Louise and Justin Wright

What do you do: We are architects, together we run the boutique architecture practice Assembly Architects Ltd. We are also parents to 3 young children. We have been in the architecture profession for 12 years, Assembly just turned 7, and our kids are 5 and 3 and 3 (nearly 4 and 4).

Where do you live: We live in Arrowtown in the Queenstown Lakes District of the South Island of New Zealand. Close to mountains, rivers and lakes.

What are you working on: A massive range of projects right now. New houses in Queenstown, Wanaka, Wairarapa and Mangaweka, and prefabricated marae building projects for Tuwharetoa. Our work at the moment encompasses a range of construction types from primitive rammed earth to cutting edge prefabrication techniques. We love the environmental performance and the aesthetic of the earth, it brings a lovely weight, sense of permanence and timeless quality to a space. And prefabrication allows us to deliver buildings such as the marae and classroom in an ultra-fast time frame.

Kamalas Pavilion, Wellington Zoo.

The Arrow Private Hotel, Arrowtown
Who/what inspires me: We have a passion for architecture and good design. Inspiration on the other hand, comes at unlikely moments. From seeing a hay bale in a landscape or a texture in stone, the patina of aged timber and metals, an effect of light on water, or a particular tree or garden - when it is right and appropriate we apply those moments of inspiration to opportunities in projects. In some projects we can look back and identify the one catalyst or trigger of inspiration that drove the ideas.

Storing ideas happens with sketching and drawing, photography, instagram, pinterest and sometimes memory - long may that last.

Feeding the passion comes with talking, sharing ideas, reading books, magazines and blogs, travelling and of course working. Doing what we do and then seeing the end result realised.

We work bestwhen in the flow - that full immersion state when our energy is concentrated on the project - it’s all clicking in to place and we are enjoying it. Often there aren’t enough hours in the day and our work carries on into the night shift. Morning coffees are essential, and we always have a good lunch. Though we work side by side we work fairly independently in the mornings, and save up our discussions for the lunch break, or for after work drinks. When the kids are home we are either with them together or taking turns to be at work.

What I do when I’m stuck for inspiration: If the energy and passion for a project is waning we talk, go for a walk, get down to the water, or stop and have a coffee. We love the river for fishing and playing with our kids. They can sit and make rock piles or dams for hours. It’s a good space to think and process ideas. The kids will be getting gold pans this Christmas.

House in Butel Park, Queenstown

New House, Wellington - exterior courtyard.

The best advice I have been given is: Work with people who are excited by and committed to a great design outcome for their project.

My latest discovery is: Always posted to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest.

Books that I get inspiration from: Most of the ones on our shelves and plenty more on the wish list. We love books as objects and for their content. Lou reads and re-reads novels, collects them, gives them away, sometimes buys them back again. We love architecture books, idea books, and big fat photographic cook books. Justin designed the Stackweave bookshelf, we have a few of those yet to fill.

Thorndon Villa, Wellington with Stackweave bookshelves in the dining area.
Britomart Showcase, Auckland, with Cheshire Architects Ltd.
Magazines that inspire me: Detail. Dwell.

Blogs that we enjoy: Architecture blogs Architizer,Archdaily, Dezeen etc. Online extensions to magazines such as Home and Urbis, Denizen, miss minty herself, and basically the leap-frog journey of random link ability that blogs provide.

Our favourite room at home is: The one with the sun in it. Morning sun to wake up to, evening sun in the living room to unwind.

Our office is: In a bright white attic above the house. It gets too much sun for the computer screens, but it’s a total luxury to be able to work from home.

What am I looking forward to:Building our own house (soon), going fly fishing (soon) and having a holiday with family and friends (not soon enough).

See more of Assembly Architects Ltd's work here, read their blog, follow them on Facebook, check out their pinterest boards or tweet with them on Twitter. Phew!

Villa Renovation, Wellington.
All photographs are used with permission by Assembly Architects Ltd.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blue Kitchen


 I am working on a lot of kitchens at the moment - so while researching I've noticed that I definitely pause and admire the kitchens with colour. While you can't go wrong with a classic white kitchens, there is something rather lovely about the depth and richness of using a colour, like this calm blue grey one in Copenhagen, designed by Kobenhavns Mobelsnedkeri. It contrast beautifully with the timber floor and the dark hardware.
Photographs via Remodelista.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Tree Decorating

Here's a fun job I did yesterday...
I got an email on Friday afternoon from a branding company asking me if I could decorate a Christmas tree for their government client - and if so, quickly. Once I saw the photo of the sad looking tree, I had to say yes. I visited the office that day - saw the aqua and blue colours behind the reception desk therefore had the jumping off point for the decorations. Shopped in the weekend and on Monday afternoon, I decorated the tree. This is how it went...

The tree - before.

Moved the tree onto the carpet (closer to the waiting area) and the branches got some loving treatment.

Add fairy lights (x 3 sets of 200) and covered the stand with turquoise tulle.

And covered the tree in decorations - all 296 of them and pop the star on top.

Mission accomplished.

Photographs by Charlotte Minty.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Inspiration Profile - Alana Broadhead

Welcome to this week's Inspiration Profile and we have Alana Broadhead from Fancy - 'an online magazine devoted to the best design from New Zealand. And from around the world. But mainly from New Zealand.'
Fancy is fresh and colourful and so are all the other projects Alana has under her belt - read further to learn about Design Yeah and Foundry. Happy Friday all.

Alana Broadhead


Name: Alana Broadhead
What do you do:  By day, I’m a copywriter and brand strategist, which I’ve been at for 13 years. And also by day, and by every-other-moment-I-get, I run a NZ Design Blog called Fancy. It’s filled with graphic design, homewares and textiles, furniture and amazing interiors from NZ and around the world. I’m also beginning to work on other design projects, which is a dream come true for me.
Where do you live: I live in Mount Maunganui, where it’s summer longer than anywhere else in New Zealand. Come visit! I used to live in Auckland, and I do miss it sometimes, so as of next year, I’ll be spending a couple of days a month there.
What are you working on: I’m working on doing more and more of what I love – design and blogging –  and less and less of the ‘real job’.
Right now, I am waiting for Design Yeah 2013 to come back from the printer. What’s Design Yeah? It’s a calendar that features the work of 12 of NZ’s best graphic designers and illustrators, but…and this is the best bit… it also converts into 12 limited-edition, A3 art prints!  I’m also working on the re-design of Fancy (a fresh new look), and a design event which I am putting together for next year.
I’m also working on inventing a new name for blogging, because it always makes me cringe! Bloggy bloggy blogger. See? Awful word.

Prints from Foundry - all for sale.

Who/what inspires me: I’m inspired by all of the designers I post about on Fancy, and anyone who does what they love and follows their passion.

I’m also inspired by the idea of doing ‘Good Work with Good People’. To me, this means awesome design and interiors projects, with passionate and ridiculously talented, yet totally generous and down-to-earth people.
I work best: I’m at my creative best in the morning, but I’m so much more productive in the afternoon.  Still trying to work on that balance thing… we all are, right?
What I do when I’m stuck for inspiration: When I’m stuck, I just need to clear. my. head. I know there are ideas in there, waiting in the wings to be called up, I just need to clear some space on the stage. Some of my favourite ways to clear my head are to re-style my own spaces at home, or to get in the car and head for the open road – windows down and music up far too loud. Anything off-computer and off-iPhone, really.
Steal this Idea Interiors from Fancy

Inspiring Interiors from Fancy.
The best advice I have been given is: "Do Your Thing" and "Have ridiculous self-belief, but be a nice person."
Blogs that I enjoy: This list is VERY very (very) long, but here are a few:
DesignforMankind,  Decor8,  SwissMiss, Say Yes to Hoboken,
 Oh Happy Day
My favourite room at home is: My little studio. Because it is 100% my space, I can have anything I like in it, and I change it up often. Everything around me in this room inspires me. Only this morning, I picked up a huge wall banner from the printer - that I’ve designed - to put on one wall. 
Alana's workspace.
What am I looking forward to: I’m alwayslooking forward to the next new awesome bit of NZ design I see, so I can share it – be it a new piece of furniture or a brand identity.
I’m also looking forward to growing Fancy beyond being just a blog. I have so many ideas for homewares and other design products, and would eventually like to realise them. I’m looking forward to the future of NZ design, and to my part in it.

Want to keep up with Fancy and all their news? Go to their website, follow them on Twitter or Facebook and check out their boards on Pinterest.
Design Pick n Mix post from Fancy.

Design Pick n Mix
All visuals are used with permission by Alana Broadhead.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spindle Back Chairs

Host restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark by Norm Architects.

Hyperion Public restaurant in Los Angeles, USA by Claire Stansfield

I love the use of the spindle back dining chairs in these two diverse restaurants from opposite sides of the world. I think there may be a childhood influence here as I seem to recall a similar chair when I was younger. The chairs rock in the black, whites and greys.
Photographs via Remodelista.