THE BELLE IN THIS MONTH'S BELLE MAGAZINE

Belle magazine recently invited Alex to draw on her design expertise to curate a selection of bedside tables for Belle Loves in their February/March issue. 

In combining beauty and function, Alex believes that the bedside table can be the piece that sets the tone for the bedroom, like a decorative frame to accompany a well-made bed. 

Learn more from our Director and design guru Alex in the full feature below.

Images via © Belle magazine

ALEX TALKS . . . DINING TABLES

As we head towards Christmas in July, I have been thinking about fabulous festive get togethers and what makes an indoor dinner party timeless yet at once in vogue. I approach setting a table in the same way I would the design of any room or space – to create a sense of occasion with an emphasis on style, simplicity, detail and quality.

In the Christmas spirit of giving, today I share my top tried-and-trusted design tips when it comes to setting a successful dining table. From lighting to styling, practicality to opulence, I hope you feel inspired to start planning your next gathering. Merry Christmas in July!

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     I build layers of textures to add warmth or drama to the dining space. For example linen napkins are a definite, and when paired against leather placemats they’re even better! Beautiful china, glassware and metallic cutlery create a feeling of indulgence and luxury.

I build layers of textures to add warmth or drama to the dining space. For example linen napkins are a definite, and when paired against leather placemats they’re even better! Beautiful china, glassware and metallic cutlery create a feeling of indulgence and luxury.

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     Good lighting is paramount to achieving a balance between ambience and practicality. You want soft lighting, but enough so you can see your guests and the food on offer. This can be achieved by the introduction of candlelight to the table itself or dimmable overhead/nearby lighting. 

Good lighting is paramount to achieving a balance between ambience and practicality. You want soft lighting, but enough so you can see your guests and the food on offer. This can be achieved by the introduction of candlelight to the table itself or dimmable overhead/nearby lighting. 

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     To me, a successful dining experience engages all the senses, not just sight, smell and taste, so it is through the layering of various materials and finishes that engages the sense of touch, beautifully rounding out the other senses which will already be overloaded by the dining experience.

To me, a successful dining experience engages all the senses, not just sight, smell and taste, so it is through the layering of various materials and finishes that engages the sense of touch, beautifully rounding out the other senses which will already be overloaded by the dining experience.

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   I love the addition of foliage to any table setting as it not only adds a layer of freshness to the table, but also to our sense of smell and to complement the food on offer. 

I love the addition of foliage to any table setting as it not only adds a layer of freshness to the table, but also to our sense of smell and to complement the food on offer. 

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   For a more casual setting I take the approach that not everything has to match perfectly. I still love using a mix of textures but am far more adventurous with use of colour and mixing glassware to create a more fun, carefree and relaxed vibe. I would opt for placemats instead of a tablecloth here. 

For a more casual setting I take the approach that not everything has to match perfectly. I still love using a mix of textures but am far more adventurous with use of colour and mixing glassware to create a more fun, carefree and relaxed vibe. I would opt for placemats instead of a tablecloth here. 

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     For a more formal approach I am quite traditional and can’t go past a freshly pressed, crisp, white tablecloth and matching linen napkins. They instantly add sophistication and an expectation of the occasion at hand.    Simple candles of varying heights and sizes adds grandeur and dimension to the event and helps lift and fill a space if the ceilings are high. Fresh flowers are a must! 

For a more formal approach I am quite traditional and can’t go past a freshly pressed, crisp, white tablecloth and matching linen napkins. They instantly add sophistication and an expectation of the occasion at hand.

Simple candles of varying heights and sizes adds grandeur and dimension to the event and helps lift and fill a space if the ceilings are high. Fresh flowers are a must! 

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     To make your dinner guests feel like VIPs, I love to introduce custom-made place cards or a thoughtfully handwritten note or menu at each place setting.

To make your dinner guests feel like VIPs, I love to introduce custom-made place cards or a thoughtfully handwritten note or menu at each place setting.

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   Good lighting is paramount to set the mood for the event, however one must achieve the right balance between ambience and practicality. Layers of lighting are important. We love low lighting but you must be able to see what is on your plate! We love a dimmable overhead pendant, candles or nearby lamps which offer manual directional lighting.

Good lighting is paramount to set the mood for the event, however one must achieve the right balance between ambience and practicality. Layers of lighting are important. We love low lighting but you must be able to see what is on your plate! We love a dimmable overhead pendant, candles or nearby lamps which offer manual directional lighting.

To make it a feast to remember, be generous in both scale and quantity, with food, drinks, flowers and conversation!

To make it a feast to remember, be generous in both scale and quantity, with food, drinks, flowers and conversation!

Image 1 via / Popsugar / Image 2 via Apartment Therapy / Image 3 via So Soft Sunday / Image 4 via Tessa Barton / Image 5 via Inspired / Image 6 via Urban Outfitters / Image 7 via Oh So Beautiful Paper / Image 8 via House Beautiful / Image 9 via Apartment34

 

Q&A WITH SUPERSTAR STYLIST MEGAN MORTON

At the completion of a series of special projects we were sitting around the studio table brainstorming their upcoming photoshoots and how best to capture the love, detail and work that we had all poured into them.  

Our Studio Manager Julia had been a devotee of Megan Morton’s style and work for many years and suggested her for this collaboration. 

From our first interaction we were besotted with her creativity, quick wit and eye for layering beauty. We were confidant that handing our projects over to her, she would treat them with the same emotional and considered approach that we instill in our work.

Megan is a maestro; the perfect conductor bringing all elements together in the most cohesive and beautiful way, adding a further layer to our interiors and allowing an even deeper emotional response to them. 

We look forward to working on many more beautiful projects together. 

THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE YOU?

Optimistic, pensive, excitable. 

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?

I want to offer something good here, but to be honest I never actually thought much past what was for dinner that night! I did make very hilarious art projects - like puppets from paper maché, collages for light switches and unattractive coat rails from items I found in my Dad's farm shed. 

WHAT DID YOU DO WITH YOUR FIRST PAY PACKET?

I went to Christine Mansfield's Paramount Restaurant in Potts Point and asked for a table for 1. I won't ever forget it. 

WHAT IS THE BEST LIFE LESSON YOU'VE LEARNT ALONG THE WAY?

Listening is more important than talking.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT?

My family. 

WHO INSPIRES YOU?

Muriel Brandolini, Sister Parish, Peggy Guggenheim

Website image 2.jpg

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST VICE?

French desks and table lighting. And obviously anything Charlotte Perriand!

DO YOU FOLLOW TRENDS OR ARE YOU A TRENDSETTER?

Neither I hope! 

WHAT DREAM DO YOU STILL WANT TO FULFILL?

Indulge in Paris in Springtime. Every Spring. 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH AKD?

I love that every single job we do is so different, so bespoke and done with heart. From the Special Care Nursery at the Mater Hospital to the super model homes, it's all with beautiful intentions. 

Image 1 via The School / Image 2 via ©Alexandra Kidd Design / Image 3 via ©Alexandra Kidd Design / Image 4 via Megan Morton / Image 5 via Megan Morton / Image 6 via Megan Morton / Image 7 via The School