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

AKD LOVES DESIGNER DADS

Father's Day is just around the corner on Sunday 2 September. Treat the Dad in your life to one of our fabulous designer gifts that will be sure to rock his socks (but rest assured there's not a sock in sight on this list!).

Whether your Dad is a wine connoisseur, tech-savvy collector, furniture fanatic or just someone who desires the finer things in life, we wish all the Dads a very happy Father's Day, no matter his taste. 

 An ode to the old-school barber shop, this handmade oak box full of grooming goodies is perfect for the Dad who takes pride in his appearance. Available from  Le Labo . 

An ode to the old-school barber shop, this handmade oak box full of grooming goodies is perfect for the Dad who takes pride in his appearance. Available from Le Labo

 Inspired by the architecture of the 1950s, this  Schoenbuch  serving trolley is stylish and surprisingly versatile. Use it as a mobile bar, side table or storage in your home office.

Inspired by the architecture of the 1950s, this Schoenbuch serving trolley is stylish and surprisingly versatile. Use it as a mobile bar, side table or storage in your home office.

 Design excellence on your table top, this  Tom Dixon  decanter (and matching low ball glasses) would look as striking filled with your finest wine as it would adorning your credenza. And in hand painted copper, of course…!

Design excellence on your table top, this Tom Dixon decanter (and matching low ball glasses) would look as striking filled with your finest wine as it would adorning your credenza. And in hand painted copper, of course…!

  Persol’s  timeless sunglasses are the perfect gift for any absent-minded dad. With a contemporary folding mechanism that transforms the glasses to a pocket-friendly size, he’ll need just one pair all summer!

Persol’s timeless sunglasses are the perfect gift for any absent-minded dad. With a contemporary folding mechanism that transforms the glasses to a pocket-friendly size, he’ll need just one pair all summer!

 … and to store them in, this beautiful Black Apricot Veneer Sunglasses Box by  Becker Minty .

… and to store them in, this beautiful Black Apricot Veneer Sunglasses Box by Becker Minty.

 For the wine connoisseur fathers,  Lorenzi Milano’s  corkscrew takes functional to fashionable, with a very trend-conscious bamboo design.

For the wine connoisseur fathers, Lorenzi Milano’s corkscrew takes functional to fashionable, with a very trend-conscious bamboo design.

 For the man who doesn’t like traditionally-floral scented candles, Fornasetti’s ‘Otto’ fragrance recalls the smells of the Fornasetti house in Milan. Think wooden floor boards, archival papers and Mediterranean herbs, from  Mr Porter . 

For the man who doesn’t like traditionally-floral scented candles, Fornasetti’s ‘Otto’ fragrance recalls the smells of the Fornasetti house in Milan. Think wooden floor boards, archival papers and Mediterranean herbs, from Mr Porter

 For the tech-savvy dad who doesn’t want to compromise on style,  Courant ’s Catch:3 fast wireless charging device doubles up as an accessory organiser. Handsomely wrapped in Italian leather, it would look swish on any desk top or side table.

For the tech-savvy dad who doesn’t want to compromise on style, Courant’s Catch:3 fast wireless charging device doubles up as an accessory organiser. Handsomely wrapped in Italian leather, it would look swish on any desk top or side table.

 Newly released and dripping in sophisticated cool, the Cosm chair available at  Herman Miller  is a gift from the gods for any father that spends his days behind a desk. It offers personalised support and comes in six stylish colour ways. 

Newly released and dripping in sophisticated cool, the Cosm chair available at Herman Miller is a gift from the gods for any father that spends his days behind a desk. It offers personalised support and comes in six stylish colour ways. 

 A dramatic use of mixed metals and geometric forms,  Kelly Wearstler’s  Cleo desk lamp is the ideal present for the Designer Dad.

A dramatic use of mixed metals and geometric forms, Kelly Wearstler’s Cleo desk lamp is the ideal present for the Designer Dad.

Q&A WITH ABSTRACT ARTIST KERRY ARMSTRONG

We have been following and supporting the work of Melbourne-based artist Kerry Armstrong for a few years now. Many of her bold, striking artworks have found themselves right at home in several of our residential projects, providing the perfect complement to our interiors.

We have been keen to sit down with the Abstract Expressionist painter to find out more about the inspiration behind her practice, life lessons, and what dreams she still wants to fulfil.

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WHICH THREE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?

Impetuous, open, dreamer 

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP? 

I love this question! I remember vividly when I was about 5 years old folding a shirt for Mum (very much perfectly, Virgo style) and my determined aim was to make it look exactly like it was in a shop. She wasn’t an easy person to impress although her comments were that I could easily get a job in a shirt folding factory. My little heart burst with pride and instant ambition! I held onto that career aspiration for a long time and tragically still have a strong urge to refold jumpers in shops! 

HOW DID YOU EARN YOUR FIRST PAY PACKET? 

My first pay packet was earned washing dishes and waitressing at a little Austrian restaurant in the Dandenongs. I worked there Friday, Saturday and Sundays and relished the ability to be independent financially. I remember buying my first pair of Staggers jeans at Merivale and Mr John in Melbourne and it felt like my life suddenly had no limits. 

  'Geraniums in Pam Pink'    Paddocks for Ponies series 2018, Acrylic & oil on Belgian linen, 203 x 203 cm, Framed in black Australian oak

'Geraniums in Pam Pink' Paddocks for Ponies series 2018, Acrylic & oil on Belgian linen, 203 x 203 cm, Framed in black Australian oak

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

Accepting the (concept) of perceived and real failure and understanding how far you can actually go once you’re on your life’s true path. These lessons rang true throughout my health issues with a brain tumour which was the impetus to let go of my old career to be my real self as an artist professionally. 

WHAT'S YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT?

Personally, my two adult children who I have always dreamed of having. I used to talk about them way before they were born and nailed their personalities even then, they were always meant to be. They are strong, hardworking, kind, talented, ethical and my best friends. 

Professionally, the fruition of Studio Gallery Melbourne and now being represented by .M Contemporary in Sydney. I’m super excited to be included in their exhibition at the Sydney Contemporary this September!

WHO INSPIRES YOU? 

I am inspired by people who demonstrate honesty and strength. Turia Pitt blows me away with her complete and utter ownership of her life and even thinking about her fills me with admiration and awe without a shred of any other emotion.

I once heard Quentin Bryce speak and felt very drawn to her manner and acceptance of life’s challenges and imperfections. She is a woman of true grit and emotional intelligence who also rocks a tailored suit, perfect hair and beautiful pearls!  

  'You Sat To My Left’    Paddocks for Ponies series 2018, Acrylic on Belgian linen, 120 x 141 cm, Framed in white Australian oak

'You Sat To My Left’ Paddocks for Ponies series 2018, Acrylic on Belgian linen, 120 x 141 cm, Framed in white Australian oak

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST VICE?

I'm an excess coffee drinker which has sadly flourished as it punctuates my studio/painting time. My ONLY other vice (!) are my never-ending hankering’s and proposals to my poor husband as to how we need to finish our renovation at home  with great style of course! I’m a complete homebody and adore our old place and garden and very much enjoy seeing it slowly come together.

DO YOU FOLLOW TRENDS OR ARE YOU A TRENDSETTER?

I think all humans do at different speeds, my personal style is tailored, Euro-influenced and uncluttered whether that be clothing or design. I think I’m still heavily influenced from a deep love and personal history of equestrian pursuits. 

WHAT DREAM DO YOU STILL WANT TO FULFILL? 

I have plenty of them! I always have this sense of life and ambitious pursuits being at the very beginning which is where I believe you learn the most. One that comes straight to mind is another exhibition overseas - this time in London or New York! 

  'Our Midnight'  In Water Series, Acrylic on Silk Poly, Framed in solid hand-stained Black Australian Oak. 

'Our Midnight' In Water Series, Acrylic on Silk Poly, Framed in solid hand-stained Black Australian Oak. 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH AKD?

Working with AKD always feels like a perfect fit! The attention in the specifications are extremely well detailed, however the respect for my artistic process and integrity is always there. It’s always ridiculously exciting to receive the professional photographs of the works in situ! I will never tire of it.

Images 1 & 2 via ©Kerry Armstrong Art / Image 3 via ©Alexandra Kidd Design
Visit Kerry Armstrong's website for more information.