The HomeStyleFile team had the pleasure of attending the Life Instyle Melbourne 2014 trade show event at the Royal Melbourne Exhibition Building last week. This twice yearly boutique event continues to surpass our highest expectations. The talent and vision of the exhibitors is truly astounding, with over 500 stands showing a remarkable array of homewares, furniture, decor pieces to retail buyers and the media.All the show exhibitors deserve high praise for their efforts, but the 15 below were particular standouts for the HomeStyleFile team. Please enjoy the Life Instyle Melbourne 2014 Best In Show report.
1. Keep Resin
Keep Resin’s range of contemporary resin pieces were eye-catching, and stood out as quite unique. From useful bowls to planters on geometric stands to really cool pendant lamps, owner Alice Keep demonstrates a keen ability to hand create wonderful designs from resin. The small-scale production ensures that each piece is unique, and allows for attention to detail in the craftsmanship of each individual product.
Nareen and Cherie, owners of Melbourne-based importing company Marmoset Found, are both well-skilled at individually selecting unique products from all around the globe that complement the Australian lifestyle and our home aesthetic. Life Instyle saw Marmoset Found launch their new range of Spiral Weave Pendants to much acclaim. Retailing at an affordable $220, these pendants would be a lovely feature over a dining table or in a lounge or living area. Available in lemon, black, coral and distressed white, the pendants provided a warm glow that created a soft, subdued effect.
It is a real pleasure to meet somebody who has such a strong passion for their products, and who has taken inspiration from their favourite things to create something that others can truly enjoy. Owner of Murphy & Daughters, Sarah Murphy, has done just this and taken inspiration from her favourite books to create her latest candle range. Inspiration isn’t just in the name though, the scents of the candles really capture the scent of the stories they are inspired by: ‘The Secret Garden’ candle, for example, will invoke a sense of delightfully heady spring florals, transporting you into your very own scented garden. Uplifting, and exquisitely packaged, the Murphy and Daughters’ range of fragrance-driven candles, soaps, hand creams and hand and body lotions make the perfect gift
4. Everingham & Watson
We love when we meet people who are just as inspiring as their products are inspired, and that is exactly how we felt upon meeting the lovely folk over at Everingham & Watson. Their latest homewares collection, ‘Surf and Turf’, was just launched at Life Instyle. Designed and manufactured in Australia, this range celebrates both the Australian beach lifestyle and the beauty of the country. The Everingham & Watson range of 100% pure linen tea towels are quirky, cool, bold and colourful, and they would look just as good framed on your wall as they would drying your dishes! We were also lucky enough to sample Everingham & Watson’s latest hand cream and it was divine – just like a day spa in a tube!
These design-driven statement bedheads are nothing short of spectacular. An artwork in and of themselves, they are sure to make a bold statement in your home. We were excited to see Mexsii Bedheads launch their much-anticipated single bedheads, perfect for children. Mexsii bed heads are made from environmentally sustainable foam, 100% linen, non toxic dyes and FSC timbers, making them just as good for our planet as they are for our decor. Priced from $1500, these bedheads are available in a range of different colourways to suit most contemporary-styled homes.
Melbourne-based glass artist, Amanda Dziedzic, was trained at the acclaimed Jam Factory in Adelaide. Her contemporary glass art works are now produced mostly in her studio in Hawthorn, Victoria. Available in a range of beautiful colours, these objets d’art are so pretty to look at, and whilst some pieces are purely visual, like the Yumemiru collection, there are other pieces that are more purposeful, such as the gorgeous Display Domes. Priced from $175, the Yumemiru collection would look amazing in a vignette with other treasured pieces.
You can NEVER have enough cushions, and we went gaga over Ourlieu’s latest collection, ‘La Playa’. Inspired by the beauty of Mexico, ‘La Playa’, meaning ‘the beach’, serves as a beautiful representation of the amazing Mexican street art and food, the beauty of coastal towns and the fascinating Mayan history. We can justify a siesta at the best of times, but a reminder on a pillow certainly doesn’t hurt. Keep an eye out also for Ourlieu’s contemporary ‘Naughty or Nice?’ Christmas sacks, an environmentally sound way for kids (and adults) to receive their gifts this Chrissy.
Design items that are pure and simple in aesthetic can often be the most difficult to make, but once the creation has formed we can take pleasure in the item long-term because simplicity never goes out of fashion. Zillpa’s Clare Collyer has mastered the art of creating items that celebrate simplicity. Using 100% cottom rope with decorative stitching, Clare hand sews her range of homewares in her Brisbane studio. Zillpa’s current product range includes bowls, dishes, pot holders, coasters, bags and plant hangers, with prices ranging from $30 – $220.
Meeting her in person, it is clear that Antoinette Murray, the artist behind Ferwerda Art, reflects the beauty and serenity of her artwork. We love how Antoinette uses pretty pastels, in pieces such as her Rockpools and Little Hills series of artworks, to highlight the beauty of beaches and nature, two of her primary sources of inspiration. Life Instyle saw Antoinette launch her collection of artworks in limited edition print form (50 per print), with pricing starting at $530. We anticipate more great things to come from this highly talented Australian artist.
We were especially taken by the whimsical nature of Funkis’ range of Lindform vases. Petite in size, but not in character, this range of vases is part Swedish and part Japanese in design aesthetic. Working well individually or in a cluster, each piece is hand made of porcelain clay and lead-free. As an added bonus, all Lindform pieces are dishwasher safe. Keep an eye out also for Funkis’ sweet range of Christmas trinkets and decorations.
11. Angus & Celeste
Angus & Celeste’s latest range of porcelain products are as pretty as they are functional. Designed in Australia, this range has a sense of the ethereal about it’s design. Featuring soft pastel pots and vases, some very popular gold spotted hanging planters and some pretty floral numbers as well, the Angus & Celeste range would work well in any number of home decor styles. The process of making these beauties begins with original drawings being screen printed and applied onto the surface of the porcelain, then fired at high temperatures to produce a unique end product.
12. Big & Little
One of the busiest stands at this year’s Life Instyle trade fair belonged to Big & Little, the official Australian and New Zealand distributor for Danica Studio. This beautifully styled stand was certainly eye-catching, and the eclectic mix of funky homewares rightly covetable. We especially loved the ‘Bicicletta’ (Italian for bicycle) range of homewares, priced from an affordable $13.95. Including jewellery, cushions, tea towels, gorgeous vintage-style aprons, storage baskets, really cool doormats and, would you believe it, even a shower curtain, this stand sure had it all!
It is fair to say that Nancybird has a decent cult following, and since being featured on Channel 10′s hit show, Offspring, this gorgeous label has only grown in admirers. Fans of the show will remember the last collection as the very brand of linen that Nina and Patrick first canoodled around in. Perhaps Team Leo followers will catch their first glimpse of Nina and Leo on the latest collection of Nancybird bedding, inspired by the beauty and colours of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef? In this latest collection, pretty corals mix beautifully with soft blues to create a dreamy range of cushions and bed linen, printed digitally on enzyme-washed 100% linen. Priced from $39.00, we wouldn’t mind having a Patrick dream sequence right about now.
14. Pony Rider
Ponyrider produce high quality, limited edition runs of some of Australia’s most popular bedding, cushions, wall hangings and throws. Ponyrider were showing their Winter 2015 collection at Life Instyle, and we were quite ready to hop right in under their latest range of Merino woolen blankets in a burnt orange, grey and black colourway. Super soft to touch, these Australian designed blankets will retail at $329. We hear that orange really is the new black for home soft furnishings.
Sheets on the Line launched quite a few gorgeous new items at Life Instyle, including their super soft 100% vintage-washed linen sheet sets, retailing for $389.95 (for the Queen set). Also lovely were their new 100% organic cotton knitted blankets in maize (yellow) and spotted mist (grey). These gorgeous colourways are perfect for any season, making them a great investment. Sheets on the Line produce their quilts from cot through to super King size – why not go up a size to allow the quilt to cover the mattress properly (and to avoid those sometimes nasty middle of the night quilt battles!).