METAL AS ANYTHING

From industrial chic to shiny luxe, metals are having quite an interior moment. With so many ways to incorporate, style and mix the material, there’s no sign of this illustrious trend disappearing from design any time soon.

Don’t be put off by the stark and cold elements normally associated with industrial-style interiors. Metals can bring an elegance and sophistication into your home, and warmer tones such as brass, rose gold and - of course - our favourite copper can add warmth to any room.

Cooler metals such as steel and chrome can be paired with deep colours and rich, luxurious fabrics to balance two contrasting styles. Soft furnishings and added details can likewise counteract the starkness common to more industrial shades of metal, and rounded shapes can soften an otherwise sharp edge. For a distinct and eclectic look, different metals can be mixed and layered in the same room to make a home feel unique.

Here are four ways to incorporate the trend into your home:

IN ARCHITECTURAL DETAIL

A metal balustrade can transform a typically functional element of your home into a piece of art unto itself.

For our Hunters Hill House project, we incorporated a gold handrail and balustrade to create a beautiful feature that frames the home. The gold tone perfectly captures the light, brightening the space whilst adding a touch of luxury.

IN JOINERY

For a more subtle nod to the metallic trend, metal can be used in joinery to bring a beautiful accent to woodwork.

Gold or brass can add a pleasing contrast to woodwork, whether that be inlayed, as handles, trims, shelves or a decorative feature. Subtle, yet eye-catching, and ultimately luxe.

IN ACCESSORIES AND FURNITURE

Metal accessories and furniture bring a bright and bold accent to any room, and can be cleverly used to play with the surrounding light, making the material a perfect antidote to dark rooms.

Gold-legged stools, brass pots and picture frames create a sense of timeless chic, especially in combination with contrasting fabrics and colours.

Lighting lends itself well to the metal trend. Warm bulbs cast a soft light that, when paired with cooler metals such as iron, brings a high-end finish to a room.

Brass and copper look at home paired with wood bring warmth to cooler textures, such as the concrete-clad walls in our Mosman House project. Sculptural forms can provide focal points, framing areas such as dining settings and hallways.

In an all-white bathroom, metal detailing adds an elegant finesse, as seen in our Victoria Street project.

IN TAPWARE

Metal in tapware has become increasingly popular and, as a result, is now a lot of fun with dozens of different metal finishes. A brushed gold finish is an understated alternative to high-shine gold. A muted gold trim stands out as a feature in our Raglan Street project (stay tuned for the full project album reveal!)

All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design

Q&A WITH ARTIST ANTONIA MRLIJAK

We were first introduced to Antonia a little over two years ago whilst scouring for accessories to finish our Victoria Street project.

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During one particular visit to our favourite Becker Minty store, we fell in love with one of Antonia’s bold, abstract pieces. It was as if she had painted those vibrant colours with our Victoria Street project in mind, and so our love affair with her work began.

It has been an effortless partnership since then, with Antonia’s diverse style being the perfect companion for the unique spaces we tailor to each client.

Antonia’s work is in one collection epitomised by punchy palettes and unexpected colour combinations, and in another collection moody and monochrome. But whether she’s brightening her canvases or exploring a darker emotion, Antonia is certainly not afraid to colour outside of the lines.

Here, we find out about her life lessons, dreams and inspirations.

WHICH THREE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?

Optimistic, excited and kind.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP? 

I could never place myself in any particular field. All I knew was that I wanted to create. I was active and unruly and my imagination and creativity supplemented that. I didn't care what I was doing, as long as I felt like I was having an experience.

HOW DID YOU EARN YOUR FIRST PAY PACKET? 

My first job was for my parents when I was 9. I spent my summers at Flemington Markets serving gelato from a van and then hanging out with my cousin after work.

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WHAT IS THE BEST LIFE LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT ALONG THE WAY?  

Work hard and take care of yourself along the way. Your self care is vital to being able to fulfil your needs and reach your potential – they go hand in hand. You have to work on your Self, your passions, your family and your work simultaneously to ensure that your energy is optimised and your creativity is fresh. 

WHAT'S YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT?

Completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Sydney College of the Arts with first class honours. School and education wasn't a strong point for me and I grew up with the self imposed and limiting belief that I wasn't smart enough or capable of learning or studying. It was an incredible effort and overwhelming achievement to receive that degree and quashed that belief I carried with me through most of my life.

WHO INSPIRES YOU? 

My children and family are so important to me and a constant source of inspiration. And I admire every parent who strives to achieve that delicate balance between work and family. 

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST VICE?

Staying up too late too often. I am a fantastic procrastinator and work really well under pressure. It's easy for me to put things off until the last minute then work really hard right on deadlines which sees me crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning – often still covered in paint. It's a terrible habit I'd like to change but my self-talk game on this topic isn't very strong. 

DO YOU FOLLOW TRENDS OR ARE YOU A TRENDSETTER?

I am a dreamer. So I just make things up as I go along. I am always intrigued by what people are interested in but I tend to follow my heart and do what feels good in the moment. It's never conditioned by anything anyone else is doing . . . Not that I'm consciously aware of it anyway!  

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WHAT DREAM DO YOU STILL WANT TO FULFILL? 

I want to travel to Europe again. As a mother of four children I haven’t travelled much since my honeymoon. I would love to return to my roots in Italy – I miss it dearly. 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH AKD?

I’ve always had a crush on AKD and their designs. Alex’s residential design is particularly inspiring, I love seeing a home transformed into something special and so personal. Alex’s studio has always been so kind and welcoming to me. I really value that they have always given me full creative trust and it's an absolute pleasure working with them.

Images 1, 4 and 6 courtesy of the artist (credits below) / Images 2, 3 and 5 via ©Alexandra Kidd Design

Curator Jason Minty / Curator Sophie Vander / Photography Maree Homer / Acessories Beautiful Things

THE REVEAL: FROM BEIGE TO BELLE

We worked with our lovely client on her previous home several years ago, however now that she had entered a new phase in her life, we reconnected to work together once again on a new beachfront home; a smaller and simpler space, yet no less sophisticated.

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And a sea change it was! The apartment is just a stone’s throw from the sparkling water and smooth sand of Manly Beach in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Dedicating her way of life and new home to the Danish way of living known as hygge, our brief was to create a comforting home that was an extension of this newly embraced philosophy.

Our North Steyne materials palette

Our North Steyne materials palette

We set out to design a stylish and sophisticated beach-side home that avoided clichéd beach themes (except perhaps just one piece of coral that survived the transition)! Everything was to bring quiet joy and a special feeling throughout, from the soft fabric selections to the detailed joinery design, the charming terrace landscaping and everything in between.

 The biggest challenge was space!

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Our client cleverly negotiated the purchase of an adjoining 3 x 3m common space from the Owners Corporation, allowing us to increase the kitchen, add a study and include a built-in bar for entertaining. Even so, the apartment is compact. 

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Clever design and detailing enabled us to include a separate dining space with banquette seating and storage, and ensure the kitchen was fully functional and included all the bells and whistles.

Our client had been running to and from a storage unit and her garage to manage her seasonal wardrobe! A long-term solution was imperative, so a redesign of the master bedroom and living space allowed for the required additional robe space and negated the need for storage units in the future.

The colour palette throughout the home was formerly varying shades of cream and beige. We wanted to achieve a visually crisper palette, and create a contemporary contrast of light and dark. To achieve this contrast, we stained the existing timber floors a deep, walnut shade, and coated the walls and joinery in a fresh, powdery white.

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With abundant natural light the space wasn’t in need of any design trickery! We enveloped all the windows with delicately sheer linen curtains, and to add layers of texture and warmth, we laid braided rugs in both the bedroom and living room.

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In the bedroom, we included a pop of calming, cornflower blue, which subtly evokes the nearby ocean. To create an illusion of space in the bedroom, we continued the robe door detail along the entire elevation, hiding the ensuite behind a camouflaged door, and laid insets of shagreen wallpaper by Ralph Lauren to create a subtle touch of luxe.

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The apartment may be small, but now it’s a perfectly formed beach retreat. We were thrilled to discover that our friends over at Belle think so too! We were delighted to spot our cosy North Steyne project in the pages of Belle magazine. It’s been quite the transformation from beige beginnings, but now our client can write her new chapter in this perfect home.

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Images 1 - 11 via © Alexandra Kidd Design / Images 12 - 13 via Belle 

See the full Project Album