TIMELESS LUXURY, 15 YEARS ON . . .

This project was my first large-scale commission after I launched the AKD studio in 2002. When my clients called me to invite me to revisit the home I had designed for them, I was beyond delighted!

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The new brief was to re-imagine their family home for the next phase of their life, which now includes a brood of gorgeous grandchildren. There was no need to start from scratch, instead we redesigned the spaces with respect and empathy for the renovation that had gone before.

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We modernised the home by injecting enough new style to ensure cohesion throughout, yet displayed a distinctive contemporary quality that would carry them through the next 15 years.

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We enjoyed exploring a tactile palette, retaining the travertine that we had installed 15 years earlier and using this as the platform and connective base finish throughout.

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To complement the travertine and reinforce the understated luxury, we changed applications and textures of this material whilst also adding a handmade quality to all finishes, such as handpainted wallpapers, brass detailed cabinetry, a new staircase created by artisans, figured sycamore veneer, leather, wool and silk. The home is a complete tactile journey.

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Our client loved the original paint colour of the home and was loathed to touch it, however, we felt strongly that a new paint colour would allow the freshness required to match the renovation.

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The reclaiming of an undercroft area allowed us to create a grandchildren’s oasis, including play room, performance stage, fancy dress wardrobe, ensuite and terrace completely dedicated to the love, fun and inspiration of this growing generation. The playroom has been brought to life with AKD custom-designed furniture and bespoke printed wallpaper and cushions.

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The result is a home full of timeless elegance and understated luxury. What an honour it has been to design two renovations for this wonderful family at different stages of their lives. I am certain that this design will see them through the next 15 years and beyond!

All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design

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WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS

Paris is always a good idea . . . and I always make a stop when I am back in France visiting family and friends. I lived in Paris for seven years before moving to Sydney six years ago, and while I immediately fell in love with Sydney and decided to make it my home, the City of Light will always hold a special place in my heart.

It goes without saying that Paris is a haven for design lovers and fashionistas, but there are a few places that I absolutely adore and must visit every time I go back. Returning to Sydney after my recent trip abroad, I decided I could no longer keep these treasured places a selfish secret, because seeing is believing and sharing is caring, and I know you will love them as much as I do. So, join me on my recent journey through the streets of Paris as I visit my favourite concept stores. Be prepared to fall in love . . .

MERCI

My walk through the streets of Paris always leads me to my first stop, the most trendy concept store in France, MERCI.

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This three storey store offers an incredible variety of unique goods for all budgets, from interior design to fashion. The range includes luxury bed linens, indoor and outdoor furniture, wallpapers, light fittings, decorative objects and a gorgeous selection of ceramics. If you need a coffee fix, I highly recommend you stop by the very charming Merci Book Store Café. 

  Merci  111 Boulevard Beaumarchais

Merci 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais

HOME

My second stop is HOME, Autour du Monde. Serge Bensimon’s first shop located in Le Marais opened its doors back in 1989. It’s a small concept store that offers a carefully selected range of rare and beautiful objects from all over the world with iconic and colorful Bensimon tennis shoes as well as stylish clothes.

  HOME  Autour du Monde, 8 Rue des Francs Bourgeois

HOME Autour du Monde, 8 Rue des Francs Bourgeois

FLEUX

I continue my journey to FLEUX’ – a huge and must go-to destination with four different stores on the same street. The perfect place to find inspiration as well as a range of design furniture and light fittings, home decoration and original gifts. You can easily spend a couple of hours (like I always do!) in these stores as they offer a refreshingly different selection from any other shop in the world.

  Fleux ’ 39 Rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie

Fleux’ 39 Rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie

KAOLIN

This visit, towards the end of the day, I came across a store I never heard of called KAOLIN. When I saw the gorgeous and luxurious accessories, furniture and lights showcased in the window, I couldn’t resist stepping inside. Authentic furniture and objects made with natural and carefully selected materials, the small shop boasts a unique collection of limited-edition objects and furniture that I absolutely loved! Even an old local like me can find new love and surprises in Paris!

  Kaolin  17 Rue du Temple

Kaolin 17 Rue du Temple

STAURE

Last but not least, my love for timber, traditional and handmade furniture brings me to the amazing workshop STAURE run by two brothers who truly care and respect old techniques, detail and original materials. Together, they restore antique finds but also create new and unique pieces. Their collection is timeless and features meticulous details and elegant lines. Bravo!

  Staure  95 Rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine

Staure 95 Rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine

All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design

IN BLOOM THIS SPRING

The doldrums of winter’s final days have, at last, come to an end . . . and there could be no better backdrop to spring’s brightening tendencies than fresh florals.

As nature reveals its fresh and fragrant deliciousness, so too should our interiors. It’s time to peel back the layers of winter fabrics and turn to our most-relied on feminine print, the humble floral.

The eternal spring must-have, we’ve collated our favourite – genuinely ground-breaking, thank you Meryl Streep – spring florals for your interior.

DARK FLORAL WALLPAPER BY ELLIE CASHMAN DESIGN

 Proof that florals need not be sickly sweet, this dramatic, over-scale floral wallpaper is a majestic, moody nod to the spring trend.

Proof that florals need not be sickly sweet, this dramatic, over-scale floral wallpaper is a majestic, moody nod to the spring trend.

STELLAR PRINT BY LOUISE JONES

 Melbourne-based designer Louise Jones rekindles the magical memories of exploring vast, flourishing gardens as a child through her vibrant floral prints.

Melbourne-based designer Louise Jones rekindles the magical memories of exploring vast, flourishing gardens as a child through her vibrant floral prints.

LA PALMA WALLPAPER BY CATHERINE MARTIN FOR MOKUM

 Not strictly a floral, but one for the more ambitious home decorators, this dramatic, tropical print will add playfulness to any room. We’re imagining it covering the walls of a secret powder room!

Not strictly a floral, but one for the more ambitious home decorators, this dramatic, tropical print will add playfulness to any room. We’re imagining it covering the walls of a secret powder room!

SUGARBAG DREAMING BY WILLIE WESTON

 Florals that speak of places close to home, this whimsical print of native Australian wildflowers is hand-painted by Indigenous artist Rosie Ngwarraraye Ross, bringing to life stories of bush medicine and referencing the nectar from the flowers of the  tarrkarr  trees.

Florals that speak of places close to home, this whimsical print of native Australian wildflowers is hand-painted by Indigenous artist Rosie Ngwarraraye Ross, bringing to life stories of bush medicine and referencing the nectar from the flowers of the tarrkarr trees.

ELLA GOLD CHAIR BY JACOPO FOGGINI FOR EDRA

 Reminiscent of a blooming flower, the ‘Ella Gold Chair’ is the ideal alternative to a floral print.

Reminiscent of a blooming flower, the ‘Ella Gold Chair’ is the ideal alternative to a floral print.

FRUTTO PROBITO BY FornasettI FOR COLE & SON

 Not the garden-variety floral print, mischievous monkeys and sunny hues bring this playful floral print to life. Perfect for a quirky living space or nursery alike.

Not the garden-variety floral print, mischievous monkeys and sunny hues bring this playful floral print to life. Perfect for a quirky living space or nursery alike.

CYRNOS CANDLE BY CIRE TRUDON

 The smell of spring florals is brought to life with notes of Lemon, Myrtle, Black Fig, Pine, Musk, and Patchouli. The ideal accompaniment to longer, al fresco evenings.

The smell of spring florals is brought to life with notes of Lemon, Myrtle, Black Fig, Pine, Musk, and Patchouli. The ideal accompaniment to longer, al fresco evenings.

Image 1 via Ellie Cashman / Image 2 via Style Revolutionary / Image 3 via James Dunlop Textiles / Image 4 via Willie Weston / Image 5 via Space Furniture / Image 6 via Cole and Son / Image 7 via Net-A-Porter