AKD LOVES BRICKS AND MORTAR: OPEN DOOR POLICY

With Christmas less than 10 weeks away, we are making our lists and checking them twice, trying to figure out whether we’ve been naughty or nice! While online shopping may be simple, efficient and altogether more convenient, the multi-tab browsing is yet to steal our hearts completely. There’s something irreplaceable about the ceremony of a trip to the shops, made ever truer by the slew of high-concept, design-oriented retail spaces popping up around Sydney recently that are well worth a look . . . even if you’re ‘just browsing’.

In celebration of the old-school way of an intimate, luxurious and personal shopping experience where you can feel the textures of fabrics first-hand when hung next to your skin, or inhale the scents of new leather or a forgotten fragrance, we have compiled a list of our go-to bricks and mortar stores that we’ll be present in this Christmas shopping season. Every time we step foot inside their walls we are momentarily transported to another world, and it’s a door we never want to close!

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LUCY FOLK’S PLAYA, BONDI BEACH

Named after the Spanish word for ‘beach’ and suitably located in Sydney’s iconic Bondi, Lucy Folk’s store is a tropical oasis of candy hues and curvaceous edges.

Tamsin Johnson, the designer behind Folk’s fairy floss HQ, made use of concrete to clad the store’s walls, imprinting the material with shapes that echo Folk’s jewellery designs. Matching custom joinery showcases Playa’s treasures and a concrete-poured, gloss epoxy blue floor in sea blue (complete with sand granules!) evokes the nearby Bondi Beach.


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JARDAN, PADDINGTON

Borrowing colours from Sydney’s illustrious palette (think the deep blues of the harbour and the autumn shades of Paddington’s tree-lined streets), Iva Foschia of IF Architecture created a space for Jardan’s new flagship bold enough to tickle the interest of every passerby.

One of the stores many high points is an oversized, angular staircase encrusted in marble and coated in powder pink. It sits under a gigantic skylight that drenches the entire three floors in light.

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AESOP, BALMAIN

Created in collaboration with local designer Henry Wilson, Aesop’s Balmain store achieves what every other Aesop space does so well - reflecting the area of the site and respecting the existing materials.

Uncovered sandstone walls are balanced by crisp, industrial-style shelving in free-standing units, and the muted colour palette – consistent with other Aesop stores – emphasizes the raw surfaces while staying true to the natural light.


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ALICE MCCALL, WESTFIELD MIRANDA

Alice McCall’s Westfield Miranda store is everything you would expect from a brand that creates such whimsical and feminine designs. It features an array of gelato hues, which set the backdrop for the curved brass racks that undulate throughout the store.

Ottomans in pistachio and mustard-gold are dotted throughout, and brushed brass wall lights by Anna Charlesworth light up each of the dressing rooms. Colours, shapes and textures cleverly mimic the aesthetic of the brand, but each detail serves to frame the beautiful clothes.  

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GEWURZHAUS HERB & SPICE MERCHANTS, THE STRAND ARCADE, CBD

Doherty Design Studio are the brains behind the merging of 19th-century service and contemporary, experiential shopping apparent in Sydney’s Gewurzhaus Herb & Spice Merchant store.  

With its magical, Victorian feel, The Strand offers the perfect location, instantly transporting visitors to the old-world sensibility of a European retail experience. Food and design lovers alike will swoon for the traditional, hands-on spice store.

Image 1 via Habitus Living / Image 2 via In Out / Image 3 via Aesop / Image 4 via Yellowtrace / Image 5 via Yellowtrace

LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM

A beautiful house in Bellevue Hill has nurtured a growing a family of five, and their beloved dog, for more than 12 years. Now that the children are all grown, the home deserves a second youth.

Our clients love travelling and ever since they first laid eyes on the luxurious homes dotted along America’s East Coast their life-long love affair had begun. They envied the open-plan living spaces and generously scaled rooms with their relaxed elegance, as well as the timeless features and classic finishes.

We are now half-way through this major inside-and-out renovation, and to think it all started with the two columns in the kitchen . . .

After living with them for 15 years, our clients couldn’t stand the pair of columns any longer. Finally, it’s time to say good bye, open up the kitchen space and improve the flow.

After living with them for 15 years, our clients couldn’t stand the pair of columns any longer. Finally, it’s time to say good bye, open up the kitchen space and improve the flow.

We are creating larger and grander openings.

We are creating larger and grander openings.

Revealing the ‘guts’ of the home and all its secrets reminds me of open-heart surgery – we can clearly identify, repair and improve the heart and circulation of the home and put it back in better shape than ever before.

Revealing the ‘guts’ of the home and all its secrets reminds me of open-heart surgery – we can clearly identify, repair and improve the heart and circulation of the home and put it back in better shape than ever before.

The old games room is being transformed in to a perfectly cosy yet high-end home theatre including giant sofa bed and luxurious bar.

The old games room is being transformed in to a perfectly cosy yet high-end home theatre including giant sofa bed and luxurious bar.

The den is getting a new, large dormer window to increase the space and intake of natural light. From the new window, our clients will be able to enjoy glimpses of the nearby ocean.

The den is getting a new, large dormer window to increase the space and intake of natural light. From the new window, our clients will be able to enjoy glimpses of the nearby ocean.

We are giving our final seal of approval of the colour and finish samples prior to manufacture of the extensive joinery.

We are giving our final seal of approval of the colour and finish samples prior to manufacture of the extensive joinery.

Bigger is better at our Bellevue Hill house! We are building a generous new terrace that will link the family/kitchen room to the formal dining, creating the ideal outdoor space to enjoy alfresco dinner with a view. A majestic new staircase will lead to the most elegant covered terrace underneath, perfectly protected to enjoy afternoon tea rain, hail or shine!

Bigger is better at our Bellevue Hill house! We are building a generous new terrace that will link the family/kitchen room to the formal dining, creating the ideal outdoor space to enjoy alfresco dinner with a view. A majestic new staircase will lead to the most elegant covered terrace underneath, perfectly protected to enjoy afternoon tea rain, hail or shine!

We are saying goodbye to the old bi-fold timber doors and are almost ready to welcome our new steel doors with their small profile and very elegant transom details.

We are saying goodbye to the old bi-fold timber doors and are almost ready to welcome our new steel doors with their small profile and very elegant transom details.

We are updating the outdated creamy yellow paint colour with a modern black and white exterior scheme.

We are updating the outdated creamy yellow paint colour with a modern black and white exterior scheme.

And last but not least, we are creating a true ever-lasting first good impression by remaking the main front entry stairs larger and curvier – a grand entry befitting a grand new house.

And last but not least, we are creating a true ever-lasting first good impression by remaking the main front entry stairs larger and curvier – a grand entry befitting a grand new house.

All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: CARTE BLANCHE

The brief for this stunning waterfront inner city project is 'carte blanche' - a designer's dream come true! We are letting our imagination run wild and have designed a sleek, sophisticated and very suave inner city pad for our lovely client.

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But, before the big reveal, there is a quite a process that goes on behind the scenes that involves careful planning, lots of fun and plenty of mess! As designers we are immune to this 'ugly' phase of construction . . . we see the vision through the torn gyprock, exposed plumbing and electrical wires!

The high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows create a dramatic backdrop for a modern, sleek interior.

The high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows create a dramatic backdrop for a modern, sleek interior.

We have stripped back the walls to reveal the bones of the apartment, ready to be re-dressed in luxurious hues and fabrics.

We have stripped back the walls to reveal the bones of the apartment, ready to be re-dressed in luxurious hues and fabrics.

The layout of the apartment is quite unique with all rooms circulating off a central core. Each room has access to stunning Sydney Harbour views in every direction. The palette is designed to instil masculinity and, of course. a hint of luxe!

All will be revealed . . . in timber, leather and copper. 

All will be revealed . . . in timber, leather and copper. 

We have chosen rich timber veneer, chocolate-stained parquetry, jet black perforated leather (yes! just like a racing car!), touches of hand-blown amber glass and divine copper drapes with metal threads which will frame the entire apartment.

Stunning city views in every direction!

Stunning city views in every direction!

Follow us on Instagram to see our design vision become reality #WharfCrescent

All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design