We’ve been so carried away with just getting things done, that this is my first post for the year, and it’s May! I can’t quite believe it. Why haven’t we had time? Well, we’ve been busier than ever with projects, we’ve also embarked on a new website design & re-branding to boot. I have a furniture collection on my drawing board as well as some other ideas. And to add to that I’ll be speaking at Decoration & Design – my talk is “Design From The Heart and the rest will follow” – in July as well. So whilst I felt guilty about not being able to find the time to blog, I decided to hold off until the new & improved blog was ready to go. But alas, there’s still so much happening I can’t wait. So we are starting up again, blogging when we can with a more detailed monthly post from me called ‘On My Mind’. So I’m posting this ‘we’re back’ post today followed up with a press post about the latest issue of Inside Out which we’re in.
I have definitely felt a shift this year with the year of the snake bringing in a time of wisdom, reflection & action. All this has had me thinking about what we’ve learnt over the last few years & how we can do things better & have more fun doing it.
In late March I went to Clare Bowditch’s conference called Big Hearted Business a 2 day workshop teaching creative entrepreneurs about business in ways that make sense. Styled by Lucy Feagins of The Design Files & with talks from Clare & her influential friends it was more suited to start ups but I couldn’t resist going along to support such a cool idea. The conference was nothing short of brilliant, I have taken so many amazing things from that weekend, sometimes just a snippet, sometimes bigger picture concepts, but more importantly it touched on an educational blackspot in this country around how we value the arts & how we help creatives run sustainable businesses. I applaud Clare for having the vision & guts to pull this off. About 5 years ago I read a quaint little book called Spiritual Business all about getting in touch with the things you love, what motivates you & allowing that to inform how you do business with integrity & authenticity. Fantastic concepts that I have tried to build into my business & what Clare’s workshop did for me just on a much larger scale.
I have about 6 books on rotation at the moment. You all know I designed my bedside table to house a mass of books as we all seem to read more than one at once. Here’s what’s on my stack; the latest issue of Dumbo Feather, always interesting, if you haven’t discovered it yet, get a copy. Grace, A Memoir by Grace Coddington the creative director of Vogue Magazine. You may remember her as the unlikely hero of the doco The September Issue, I’ve watched it over & over, fascinating behind the scenes/behind the dark glasses of Anna Wintour’s world. Then there’s two from another fashion editor icon Diana Vreeland who was at the helm of Vogue in the 50s called The Eye Has To Travel as well as her memoir. Then there’s Daring Greatly by Brene Brown a contemporary thinker & researcher who does amazing work on vulnerability. If you haven’t seen her TED talk on the subject, you must (link here: The power of vulnerability). Her other book, I Thought It Was Just Me gives us all permission to talk about the things that we consider weakness & get in the way of having the courage to just get on & do things.
So how does this relate to interiors you ask? Well, interiors is all about constantly pushing at the boundaries, searching for answers, trying new things, taking risks. Its about thinking & acting, learning by doing. We’re always learning, but let’s make sure that what we learn gets us closer to the things that make us happy. And help us to do things that bring us satisfaction & purpose. That has been the plan for me so far in my year of learning & doing.
Here was my first act back in January: sponsoring 5 girls to go to school for a year & providing their families with chickens – a source of food & sustainable income.
And make sure you jump onto the video link here, it’s stirring stuff.
As the working year comes to a close I’d like to extend a very warm thank you to all of our blog readers, twitter followers, wonderful clients & all round CHDC supporters who make all the hard work worthwhile. We’ve done a lot this year launching ourselves on twitter – although I’ve been too busy of late to tweet much, how does anyone manage that? – to starting this blog as a way of providing my insights in all things design, how we work & what we think is beautiful. So a big thanks to Anne-Claire is in order for her tireless work in establishing the look & feel of the blog & making sense of my posts each week. Next year I’ll look at streamlining these posts a bit more (every 2 weeks?) to make them more regular, focusing on behind the scenes content & generally musing on what’s happening. It seems the blog posts that were the most popular were those talking about design from my own perspective so I’ll keep that focus into next year & hopefully give you guys more tips & tricks & Chelsea insights.
It’s been a year in pictures for us. We’ve done more photo shoots this year than ever before. We’ve shot two kitchens for House & Garden, been in the Top 50 bathrooms with our Kyneton project for Home Beautiful, shot our Brunswick house kitchen & bathroom also for Home Beautiful & one of our favourite large projects completed two years back will be featured in an up coming issue of Inside Out. We’ve had international coverage too with Swedish magazine Rum Hemma & a full feature spread in Country Style for our much loved Kyneton house. But one of the highlights has got to be my own house featured in The Design Files in November this year. We shot it for TDF deliberately to get it out to the right audience & it received so many lovely comments & gasps of “oh that paint colour is amazing” that it proved to me time & time again that you need to show people how to be brave with the way we live.
That’s been my mission this year & it will be again next year to keep pushing our interiors to be wonderful spaces that lift the spirits. Stay tuned for pics in the new year of the projects we’re working on at the moment. We’re experimenting a lot with black & white, gold, brass, nickel & copper, loving greys & using lots of soft palette colours for walls. Hardly anything is white!
Here are a few snaps from the year. Enjoy & we’ll see you back here in 2013. Chelsea x
Above are our projects from: 1- Binnie House – 2- Kyneton Country House – 3- Moubray Street – Photo credits: Nik Epifanidis
It has been an exciting few weeks at CHDC with lots of press enquiries & fun things happening. Just in case you missed this week’s post on The Design Files here it is below. Big thanks to Lucy for a great story, Anne-Claire for handling the production behind the scenes & Nik for my new portrait.
“I am often asked to recommend interior designers or interior stylists who can assist with home renovations… which is very tricky, because so many of the amazing and revered design studios we have featured here over the past few years are bigger firms who don’t necessarily take on small residential projects. I’m always thinking I should be on the look out for more ‘approachable’ interior designers, and smaller firms who can take on a great variety of projects, from ground up builds to more modest re-furbs – and excecute every project, no matter how tiny, with the same level of finesse and enthusiasm! That’s why I am super excited to feature Melbourne interior designer Chelsea Hing today!
Having cut her teeth at respected firms Nexus Designs and Bates Smart, Chelsea ‘sort of accidentally’ launched her own practice, Chelsea Hing Design Consultants in 2007. Since then she has relished the opportunity to drive her own projects, and to create a body of work she is proud of.
Chelsea’s passion is residential interiors. Amongst her recent projects, Chelsea was responsible for the renovation of Vanessa Partridge’s Kyneton home, which I know won many hearts when we featured it a few months ago! This particular project is testament to the diversity in Chelsea’s work – it’s so lovely to see a sensitive, understated renovation of a Victorian country home amongst CHDC’s portfolio of contemporary and larger scale projects, such as the award winning Binnie House.
Massive thanks to Chelsea for sharing her beautiful work with us today – one to bookmark for your future dream renovation project!”
Click here to see the full TDF story, images and Chelsea’s interview.
I’m always on the lookout for great floor lamps that are functional & look beautiful on or off. If a client doesn’t go ahead with our first choice, we often go through a second option phase where we assemble a range of other ‘maybes’. I thought it might be interesting to see some of our favourites. Things that I look for in a great floor lamp are; 1. Scale: if its going to sit next to an armchair then it needs to be fairly petite & complement it as if it was the other half of a pair. There is nothing worse than having a large floor lamp that dwarfs the chair or a sofa that dwarfs the lamp, 2. Adjustment: can you move or angle the head up or down, side to side, these are all part of the finishing touches to pulling a room together & pointing the light to where you need it, 3. Dimming: a cosy mood is never creating by interiors blasted with light, being able to adjust the lighting down to a moody glow when you need it is the secret to a gorgeous interior. I spend my life in lamp light, we all look better that way!
From top to bottom, left to right: “Fork” by Diesel for Foscarini, “Perf” by Diesel for Foscarini, “Kapelo” by Chris Connell for Ism Objects, “Lean” from Workroom, “Grasshopper” from Gubi, “K-Tribe” by Phillippe Starck for Flos.
We’ve been spending a little time of late planning a small revamp in our office, that has involved us swapping our old trusty meeting table & chairs & replacing with a more relaxing pair of armchairs, coffee table & ottoman. Not content with just any old fabric on our chairs, we set about finding the most perfect geometric fabric that was full of colour. We, or should I say I, was determined to find a pattern that would make me feel happy everyday I walked into my office. Now, this is a miniature job for us, we take on large scale renovation projects, we do up whole houses with new furniture, fabrics, rugs, lamps, the lot & had we been doing it for a client we would have done it in two seconds flat. But it’s a well known fact that when designers do things for themselves, even we find it hard to make decisions! That’s right, we do this for a living, but we tie ourselves up in knots in search of the perfect thing. So, we empathise when clients are faced with the same dramas in their houses. But I’m happy to report the perfect colourful geometric has been found – and it wasn’t deliberate but it is a fabric from the man of the moment Martyn Lawrence-Bullard – who I have mentioned in this blog before (see Decoration and Design Entry). Have a look below at the fabric and furniture we’ve chosen – Adras Ikat Jewel Print & check out the range from Schumacher designer collaborations with great ranges from Trina Turk & Kelly Wearstler – its definitely worth a look. Stay tuned for the blog post with our final office revamp…
For those who couldn’t attend the International Industry seminars at Decoration & Design in Sydney in February, here is the transcript of my talk on “Creating Luxury in Interiors”
I am the founder of a small interior design practice based in Melbourne – Chelsea Hing Design Consultants – we work exclusively on residential projects both renovations & new houses.
When I started to prepare for this talk & I was thinking about how we create luxury in our interiors, I began by looking into what others considered luxury to be – I found definitions around the idea of something inessential, expensive, hard to obtain or unattainable even - I realised that I had a very different definition to this.
For me, luxury starts off as a concept, as designers its our job to translate that into an experience for our clients. That experience is based around good design, the elegance of objects, the clever resolution of every detail, the thoughtfulness of the planning and everything just working together beautifully so that design is no longer noticed, only the form is visible. And when I think about it that way, I realised that creating luxury is ultimately what we are trying to do, with all our projects.
I’ve started off with this quote, because I think luxury is often perceived as great style, but in my opinion, its all about design, & that’s what I’m going to talk about.
Earlier on this month, I had the amazing opportunity to be invited as guest speaker on ”Creating Luxury in Interiors”, as part of in the International Industry Seminar Series organised by Decoration & Design in Sydney.
I’ll be posting a transcript of the talk in a later blog post – look out for it.
Hi CHDC Fans!
Just a quick note to welcome you all to our new blog and give you an insight into the recent project we have recently entered into the Australia Interior Design Awards featuring a gorgeous David Bromley artwork and Henry Pilcher light from Anibou.
You can view more of this amazing project (and more) on our website.
Image from Nik Epifanidis