As we move into the thick of winter I’m surrounded by lucky travellers preparing to travel to the European summer so I’m not only a little envious but also contemplating travel, hotels and all things gorgeous right now. Instead of taking to the skies, I’m thinking of how to bring some 5 star luxe into my own home. Blainey North, designer of the highest end suites in Australia’s highest end hotel, Crown Towers, creates a look of luxe by “Embedding luxurious materials with artisan work and a cool, cutting edge perspective.” Her style combines leather, polished metals, mirror, marble, and gloss timbers in a look that uses symmetry as well as the theatricality of art deco that epitomises luxury, glamour and indulgence. She uses strong geometric shapes in flooring and compliments it with extensive use of wall panelling; the result is elegant yet energetic.
A little closer to home, Lucy Given from design store LUC in South Hobart has a keen eye on global trends and represents a collection of iconic and luxurious international brands guaranteed to elevate your interior to 5 star.
From Lucy’s personal point of view “luxe items for the home should be really simple well-made products and include hand-stitched leather!” According to Lucy, marble is the new luxe item including bowls, canisters, platters and trays in grey Carrara marble. Marble lighting is super luxe – Lee Broom (UK) has just done a beautiful new range. Copper is still around although it has saturated the market place and lost a little of its shine; it runs the risk of being seen as a cheap and cheerful accessory. If its brushed or real copper (instead of lacquered or polished) it can still look good in moderation. It’s like chrome vs satin stainless steel – one metal feels more luxe than the other. Brass is coming through (again) and a lot of designers are using it as detailing in furniture and lighting. Archier, Earl & Pinto and Anaesthetic designs are emerging Australian design studios that are using it really effectively in lighting and accessories. These were all at DenFair in Melbourne last month – check out the denfair Instagram account to see other great new products. Tom Dixon has also released metal (copper and brass) in his new furniture and lighting collections. Kartell have also released new gold, gunmetal and copper ranges in their furniture and accessories. Hotel-style luxury is synonymous with beautiful bedrooms and for Blainey North, “A great bedroom should feel tranquil and imbued with luxury, but most importantly it should feel like you are stepping into a fantasy. A place where you can dream and be whoever you want.” Blainey loves to use “soft lighting, and a range of textures in the fabrics. Oh, and of course, a few mirrors to create some unexpected reflections! “ For this look symmetry is the key; a large bed anchored aesthetically by a bedhead or wall paneling for sense of grandeur, comfort and style, balanced either side by like bedside tables, lamps and cushions. Priority should be given to exquisite bed linen. Ignore thread count, which is an unreliable guide for buying bedlinen, and choose Egyptian cotton, which is made from a species known for its quality. Cotton sateen will also give you a soft, luxurious result as will cotton percale, which is a closely woven fabric that is smooth and crisp. For a five star lighting effect avoid using bright downlights, which will kill off atmosphere, particularly in the bedroom. Instead use soft, decorative options such as bedside lamps, wall lights and up lights. You may however want to add a couple of well positioned task downlights for reading, writing or lighting up cupboards. Here are a few luxe lighting picks:
- Allegra 1 light in brushed chrome and white ($149 http://www.beaconlighting.com.au)
- Iittala Leimu light ($1500 lucdesignstore.com)
- Cohn Table Lamp (poa http://www.blaineynorthcollection.com)