Thursday, 8 December 2011

Very Merry?

Is it still Christmas without red or green? As expats who grew up with cold, sometimes even White, Christmases in the Northern hemisphere, we have been known to strive for a traditional Christmas. But being here in Australia, where it is hot and sultry during this silly season, we've grown to appreciate that we might need to keep things a bit more fresh and lively. So what do you think of this jaunty Christmas palette?
  • The combination of strong jewel tones, pastels and lots of white is just so crisp and chic.
  • I love the modern take on the tabletop Christmas tree decorations, very graphic and hip.
  • How good is gold! The stocking is festive and the gold utensils are to die for...they scream “Come celebrate!”
  • Coloured confetti in wine glasses with candles stuck in, cheerful and very, very clever.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Festive Season

Turkey, tinsel and tropical temperatures don’t really make for a comfortable Christmas, which is why the traditional Australian celebration often takes place outdoors and has developed a style all its own.  We really like this celebratory setting, and would love to drop by for a cold wine and a lively chat.  Here’s why we find it so inviting:
It’s outdoors, of course!  There is nothing quite like a meal al fresco, be it a sandwich on a park bench, a picnic on the beach or a family gathering in the garden.
The colours used are bright and cheerful, but not predictable. The vibrant Suzani throw used as a tablecloth breaks the rules for a formal table setting and makes for fun. The polka dot cushions don’t match but definitely go well.  The orange placemats add zing while the white chairs give a freshness appropriate for eating outdoors.
The seating just invites you to stay awhile.  Regular dining chairs and gardens don’t really mix, which is why these chairs are just perfect, blending style, comfort and practicality.
Fresh flowers for decoration are endlessly appealing and seasonally stylish.
The little ‘break away’ area in the background confirms that this garden has truly been transformed into an outdoor room that will host and entertain from brunch right through to a candlelit supper.  Merry!
We’d love to help you create an outdoor room for your festive season, and if you fancy one like this, we suggest the Nina chairs, Prisma table linens, Aisha coasters, Indigo Polka dot cushions, Thorn Glass vases.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Glossies

Ever since we were old enough to appreciate stretching out on a sofa, opening up a magazine, browsing through and mentally compiling a wish-list (i.e. from about age 6), we have always pictured ourselves, or something associated with us, in a magazine.

Imagine how delighted we are when, these days, we can open up a glossy and see the fruits of our labours of love embellishing the pages!  Yes, we're having a boast and showing off some of the great press coverage we've had in the last couple of weeks - and guess what, it still gives us a thrill and we know it always will!

Madison, Shop til you Drop and Home Beautiful coming up, so keep a look out and thank you all so much for your support!  

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Over It / Into It

Sometimes it's possible to have just too much of a good thing.  Here's our (entirely personal) list of what's making us yawn and what's making us sit up and take notice right now!

                                  Over It........Union Jack anything                                     
Into It ........Tropical everything
Over It........French Provincial
Into it........City Brights
 Over it........birds
 Into it........feathers
Over it........tram roll decor
 Into it........drum roll decor
Over it........replica furniture
Into it........reclaimed furniture

What about you?  What are you getting into and getting over - we'd love to hear your thoughts! 


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Nice or Nasty - Yellow Peril

Okay, the jury is out on this one – do we love it, hate it or couldn’t  care less?  There’s no question that some of the elements in this setting are somewhat confronting, and taken out of this context would probably not get house room, but they do seem to work together as a whole. So what have we got here?
The area rug is gorgeous - fresh, fun and very ‘now’
The coffee table looks like it belongs in a re-run of “Bonanza”, and even though we love the asymmetric glass top, we find the base rather too rustic for comfort
The art complements the rug perfectly, but is it just too unsubtle to be truly stylish? Should there be something a little more complex and varied in colour there?
The cushions are so retro it’s almost wilful, yet they do have a certain innocent charm and their formulaic natural pattern plays well off the gnarled root coffee table
The lamp shades are very unsettling, yet what else would have worked here?  Not white against a white wall, black would be too stark and more yellow would be overkill. Maybe they are just right!?
Overall, what do you think about this room – is it a winner or a sinner?  To get something like this look, Eco Chic can offer the Camden driftwood coffee table; the Cockatoo lamp with yellow chevron shade; cheery yellow Avery cushions and the glorious yellow Erika armchair.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Effortless Entertaining

Cool, fun and sophisticated? A tall order for any outdoor entertainment area, but this setting pulls it off with stylish ease. We love this ‘room’ because it’s both practical and sexy, managing to bring out the urban nomad in all of us. Here’s why:

Monochromatic - it takes a lot of discipline to avoid colour altogether, but when you do it well the result can be uber chic. This space relies on the greenery outside to provide colour

Pair up - we normally say make groupings of 3 or 5 - odd numbers like the coffee tables - BUT when it comes to seating, a grouping of two is seems to say couple, intimacy, relationship.

Create a division without using a wall - the hanging pod chairs crate a sense of division without being solid. They frame the view and create a complete setting.

Get into this particular groove with Eco Chic! Our Bamileke tables come in white and three different sizes so you can create visual interest wherever your house or garden may need it; the Pasha pod chair in white is a new introduction we are especially excited about; the Byron outdoor sofa comes in bronze just like this one; the Paloma Stool or Atelier bench would complement this setting beautifully; add some mood lighting with the Summer Lantern Set and if you’re feeling adventurous you could throw in some outdoor rugs and beach glass vases – then invite all your friends over!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Splendidly Small!

When we saw this picture we were immediately smitten.  Bright, textured, stylish and, yes...small.  Who says small rooms can’t be divinely ambitious.  If this room were dog it would be a Chihuahua that thought it was a Great Dane!   Stuck with small room but feeling aspirational?  Here are a few tips:

·         Simple colour scheme - if small children are not your intended guests, a palette that consists of 80% white is ALWAYS a winner!  Added to it are cools in the form of turquoise and midnight and warms in the brass accents and some unexpected touches of red.
·         Texture - this room is deliciously layered. The idea that small rooms should not be cluttered or they will look smaller is a myth!  The more your eye has to look at the less you notice the walls.   Just do it artfully.
·         Play on scale – the oversized cushions on a smaller sofa makes the room feel a bit decadent, as does the very large pattern on the floor rug.  This is smartly mixed with smaller scale patterns in the fabrics
·         The eclectic art wall – always a winner and not as expensive as one hero painting.  Just frame up all your little cards, baby sketches, small posters and voilà!  Not sure, though, about this on BOTH sides of the room as done here... just settle for one wall.
·         Focal point - A really strong focal point is a requirement in small room for obvious reasons -you look at it and not the floor plan.  It’s the mirror in this room, of course!

Like it, want it?  Eco Chic's got it!  Our Driftwood mirror would work perfectly in this context, as would the Claudine table lamp.  Try the Parker sofa in a small space - sleek and streamlined.  The Venice rug can make a big impact on a small budget, and the Luanne range works beautifully in so many applications, it's always a winner. Mix the Boxy frames with our horn and burlap options coming soon, and you've got the look.  Sounds Like Home - we can hear 'So Frenchy So Chic 2011' playing in this room...

Monday, 12 September 2011

Dinner Date

Eccentric and eclectic, sexy and stylish yet still understated – a real achievement!  What makes this unusual dining room a sophisticated success?
·         Neutral, yes, bland, no – restrained colours have not been allowed to stray into the boring zone by the clever use of texture, the defining tones of black and the crisp touches of white
·         Varied size and shape is used to great effect – the oversized bowl, the exaggerated chandelier, the low-level pouffe - give visual interest and add the unexpected to the room
·         Highly curvaceous forms make for a sinuous rhythm – there are very few straight lines in this voluptuous setting!
·         References run from formal (the dining table) to fantastic (the Ostrich side table), mid-century (the chairs) to traditional (the bulls-eye mirror) and it is this co-ordinated yet disparate mix that makes a basically very neutral toned room dramatic, not dull
Eco Chic’s Valmont or Palm Springs dining table would give this look.  Our sensational Mud Bead Chandelier is a showstopper along similar lines.  Try the Nicholson or Luanne mirror if it’s curves you’re looking for. Dulux Pier Pointe is a good match for this pale but interesting wall colour. Sounds Like Home - we can hear the strains of Leftfield’s ‘Original’ drifting through this room

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Marché aux Puces - Parisian Flea Market Style

Industrial style is a versatile favourite of ours; using deft touches can add an edge to coastal style, give glamour interiors a touch of street savvy and save country from getting too cute. 

Some of our favourite pieces are the originals we found earlier this year at French flea markets up and down the country, from Paris to Pézenas and beyond. 

Pewter and horn chandeliers, pre-war filing trays, turn of the century office chairs...

....old zinc pharmacy trolleys, factory fans, warehouse lighting - lots to love.... we just have to work out how to get it all back here for you!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Well Read

Sometimes the simplest things say the most.  “I love you”.  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.  “The dog ate my homework”. “I paid it yesterday”. The written word has a lot of power – even in decorating terms!  That’s why we think this room re-writes the rules...
·         Even though it looks like there’s a lot going on, this is actually a very minimalist setting.  A good example of letting your hero piece have its way, and keeping the rest pulled back – the hero piece being, of course, the wallpaper, the rest the supporting cast

·         It would be quite a different, almost harsh, look if the chair was a shiny, black sharp-edged piece. The warm, worn brown leather club is the anchor that makes this room work – old chair + old books = nonchalant classic cool 

·         The over-sized angle-poise lamp is a cheeky reference to bookish study, but it’s made fun with the irreverent colour and crazy size – plus, picking up the colour in the hydrangeas adds a clever touch of natural in an otherwise austere setting
If you feel there’s a story like this one to be told in your home, Eco Chic should be on your list!  We have classic club chairs such as the Oxford or Darcy that are perfect in the library or living room.  We can supply this exact wallpaper, just drop us a line  Our Spotlight lamp has a sister floor lamp along these lines, just ask.  Fill Charlize urns or Thorn vases with lilacs or lilies for dramatic impact.  And the School Bench would work a treat in such a scholastic setting.
Sounds Like Home?  In this room the music we'd play is 'All Blues' by Miles Davis 

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Kitchen Know How

We don’t often feature kitchens in Style Counsel, but doing a mini reno on ours at home has got us thinking!  Kitchens, as we know, are the new living rooms in the modern home, and need to be more than just a space to store, cook and serve up food.  That’s why we love this kitchen; it works on different levels of functionality and serves as both a working space and a show piece. Let’s look at what’s going on:
  • Black walls aren’t often chosen for a kitchen but work beautifully here because the floor is light and therefore the overall look isn’t too heavy. It would be so glum if the floor was made of dark tiles or timber!
  • Chalkboard paint is fun and useful – we love our blackboards at home as they help us never forget that bright idea or shopping list item!  If you don’t feel like a whole wall of chalkboard paint, just try a panel propped against the wall to give the idea and the inspiration should follow.
  • Open shelving – love!  Practical and pretty as everything is in-sight and on-hand. But – and it’s a bit but - open shelves must be tidy and co-ordinated otherwise you’ll just end up with a cluttered mess. Here, classic white crockery and clear glass is strictly grouped and clustered, giving an ordered look and adding lightness to the tonality of the setting as a whole.
  • Pendant lights – love, love! Again, they are practical and pretty and such a visual feature over a dining table. Diffused light is refreshing in a kitchen, especially when the work is done and the dining can begin – pendants are much more intimate and relaxing than overhead strips or downlights.
  • Comfy armchair – to die for!  If you have room in your kitchen/dining area for an armchair or sofa, you’d be crazy not to go for it!  How much nicer than perching on a bar stool is it to snuggle in a welcoming armchair, nursing a glass of wine, ready for a chat with the cook. This really makes a statement – home is where the heart is and the heart of a home is the kitchen.
If you’d like your kitchen to look like this (and we definitely would!) then Eco Chic can get you going.  Our Trestle Table is just like this one, and comes with a timber or glass top. The Luanne chairs would look fab around the trestle table, as would the Lachlan or Betty chairs.  Try the Pumpkin, Hobart or Pierre pendant light over your table.  The Santa Barbara bookshelf is ideal in such a setting, having a warm yet industrial look. We have several lovely armchairs that would make your kitchen a haven of comfort – check out the Vintage Kantha, the Kilim, or the Claudia. Finally, our World Clock would be just the ticket in such a setting, or try in Bangalow who have a lovely, huge showstopper of a clock on offer that was spotted and coveted just this weekend!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Fresh and funky, this room is a cool mix of crisp white and punchy colours that make you feel like you could hang out in here for a good gossip session as much as a good night’s sleep.  It is youthful while still being a classic look that will last a long time.

What is it that makes this room so refreshing? 

  • High Contrast – the white is really white (not a cream in sight)
  • It’s all about proportion.  This space is 80% white, 10% bright colour, and 10% dark brown or black.  A fantastic recipe for success
  • Mix modern (white chairs) with antiques (bedsides)
  • Pick one showstopper accent like this floral cushion and the rest of the bed can be quietly restrained
  • The art makes it...keep it eclectic with different frames, sizes, matt colours, and styles.  Mix illustrations, collage and prints.  Have fun ...more is more!
To get the look with Eco Chic,  we have a fantastic mix of art in great colours and styles that would be perfect in combination.  Our B&B bedspread will give that clean white look and our allergen free pillows and quilts will have you sleeping in complete comfort.  Try the Cristobel Side Tables for that antiquey look.  To add that punchiness, one of our large Ikat cushions plus the Feverpitch velvet cushions would add the finishing touch.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Timeless Appeal

A classic and timeless room that will never ticks all the boxes – inviting, casual but elegant, comfortable and chic.  How does a room manage to look fresh and yet not overly trendy?

  • White sofa – If it is humanly possible to pull this off in your own house (probably no small children), then a white sofa will ALWAYS make a room look so chic.
  • Bookcases – They add texture and colour, all while making you seem so smart and cultured!  This one has a dark  background which makes it MUCH more interesting and hip than an all white one.
  • Pendant lights – they aren’t just for the dining room.  They add warmth and interest to the ceiling, give good light, and this case they are mismatched – one black one white...very cool.
  • Mid century modern – Adding a collectible piece like this butterfly chair just seems to add depth and soul to a space.  This room successfully mixes pieces from all different eras.
  • The chesterfield – This style of sofa in that gorgeous cordovan leather is a true classic, comfortable, handsome and always in style.  A great counter balance to anchor a light room.
  • Eclectic accents – None of the accent cushions match in size or fabric and that keeps the space from feeling too traditional or formal.  The books are also arranged in an eclectic manner, not filling the shelves entirely like a library. 
  • Neutral colour palette – If you want truly timeless, go for white, black, and natural and then just throw in a few coloured accents as your taste changes.

To Get the Look with Eco Chic, start with a traditional sofa in a nice cordovan leather colour and pair it with a casual one like the Lily sofa in white hemp.  Our Honeycomb rug in cream is a great match in style and texture to the one shown.  We can make custom pendant light shades in black, white and a number of fabrics including your own!  Can't build a bookshelf into your space?  Check out our selection of freestanding bookcases.  Finally, choose a few of our accent cushions to complete the look...give us a call if you need an interior designer to help you put together a funky collection.  We are always here to help!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Dramatic Entrance

There may not be a lot to this space, but what there is, we LOVE!  This is a great example of how a few grand gestures can really make a room.  What makes this entry foyer so dramatic?

  • The orange ceiling, of course!  This brave designer has put bright orange grasscloth wallcovering on the ceiling instead of doing the predictable feature wall.
  • The contrast – you will never go wrong with a strong black and white theme mixed in with splash of intense colour, and don't be afraid to mix very dark brown woods with the black, it keeps it rich.
  • Bold pattern – The fabric on these traditional chairs by Marimekko is both modern and large in scale, but the chairs are relatively small...the combination is unexpected and fun.
  • Right size right place – The large mirror and slender furniture is the perfect way to open up the narrow space and make it seem larger.
  • Lighting – Entryways are great place for a statement chandelier.  This one does the added job of  bridging the gap between the modern and traditional themes of the house.
To get the look with Eco Chic, we have a range of great grasscloth wallpaper.  If you want a bright colour not on our site,  just let us know and we will send you some samples.  Our Santa Barbara Console Table has a similar look, but for a really slim console, perfect in a tight space, check out the Shari.  We have some nice, big mirrors as well as black and white artwork.  Our Chloe chairs have striking black and white fabric and are nice and petite,  but we can use that fabric on any of our chairs...just ask!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Inside Out Rooms

There’s a sniff of Spring in the air, and it’s taking our thoughts outdoors, both to rooms that bring the outside in, and to actual rooms created outdoors for lounging and entertaining.
That’s why we like both of these rooms, one has such a breezy outdoorsy feel, and one is actually outdoors feeling the breeze, yet they share similar elements that make them work so well.
·         Bright jewel colours, yet still anchored in natural references, are winners for a fresh look that works both indoors and out. Here, aqua brings fun and lightness and adds an edge to more traditional wall colours in our indoors room, whilst the aqua on the outdoor chairs and in the rug is fun and playful and stands out from the greenery around the outdoors room
·         The settings are informal and encourage relaxing and conversation, both rooms use ottomans for foot rests and coffee tables, side tables for drinks and books and flowers and foliage to soften the edges
·         The colour combinations are unexpected yet successful – aqua teamed with navy and white stripes isn’t your everyday match and emerald green plus yellow and aqua could be a bit ‘sudden’ in certain contexts but works in an outdoor setting where the rules can be relaxed a little, to match the atmosphere
·         We like how there is a floor rug outdoors and outdoor style furniture indoors in these rooms – a nice tribute to the Australian way of life that blends casual and formal so effortlessly and makes reference to our easy going way of life
Finding furnishings to give this look is easy with Eco Chic.  Look out for our outdoor rug range, coming soon.  The bangalow range is similar to the chairs shown.  Try the Erica ikat ottoman for a versatile piece to serve as both table or footstool.  Our escapade cushion range is perfect outdoors and comes in blues and aquas.  A sennia table looks just great indoors or out, as do the sami stools and add a lovely splash of colour into your room – indoors or out – into the bargain!