An Example of Florence Broadhurst Wallpaper
It is an exciting time for design in Australia there is a lot going on. An Australian/Japanese furniture designer’s brilliant work was featured on the Art Nation show. His work is just divine. Khai Liew has created seating for the Art Gallery of South Australia and he made some interesting comments into his philosphy of design.
Furniture designer Khai Liew’s work
You can be inspired by the wonderful work of Khai on this video. This lovely man also shares his philosophy on design. It is well worth a look.
Khai uses oriental joins to make elegant simple furniture
He uses historical ideas as a reference for his designs but used contemporary thinking. He often uses oriental joints to make elegant, timeless pieces. Liew thinks designers should go with their intuition and believes simplicity is a key of good design. He states we should use old methods of construction in new ways. The aim of design should be to enrich people’s lives.
For a brilliant example of an oriental joint follow this link http://www.woodworkersinstitute.com/page.asp?p=809
Wallpaper very much in vogue
Wallpaper continues to grow in popularity. During the 1980’s and 1990’s wallpaper went out of fashion. This was mainly due to open plan living. There was less wall space for wallpaper. The Historic Houses Trust of Australia has a reference library of wallpaper dating from the 1840’s. Flowers and botanic items have always been used for inspiration for patterns this influence goes back to ancient Greece.
Australians had a love affair with wallpaper in 1800’s
In the 1800’s England was the largest producer of wallpaper in the world. Australians were the largest imports of the wallpaper. Wallpaper can tell the story of how Australians have lived.
Australia was a rich nation in the late 19th century. The Australians regularly re decorated their houses in order to; keep up with the Jones.
Fabulous Florence Broadhurst wallpaper designs rule again
There has been an incredible resurgence of interest and use of the wallpapers of Florence Broadhurst. Her wallpapers are brilliant in colour and bold in design. There is still a huge archive of her work still being discovered. Her wallpapers have become a phenomena around the world.
Collections of famous designer wallpapers available
Porters Paints have an awesome collection of wallpaper designs by leading designers. Product and Costume Designer for film and theatre Catherine Martin, Fashion and Costume Designer Bowie Wong, and Julie Paterson from Cloth have created collections for Porters Paints. They certainly have the wow factor. Old English styles of wallpaper have also been re released.
If you follow this link you can see some of the wonderful wallpapers mentioned above
The great writer Thomas Hardy built his own house
During the week I also read the biography of Thomas Hardy. As I have mentioned before I love reading about the lives of my favourite writers. I am amazed at how many have written pieces on decorating, design and architecture. Thomas’ first published work was ‘How I Built Myself a House’ published in 1865 in the Chamber’s Journal. He also wrote a note book on architecture. It was published as ‘The Architectural Notebook of Thomas Hardy’ in 1966 by C.J.P. Beatty.
Hardy's House Max Gate
Hardy started work his working life with an architect
I must admit I was a little disappointed with this his first work. He started work with an architect long before he began to write. I expected some gems of wisdom instead he appears to have gleaned little knowledge of the subject.
Thomas wants his new house to be of mysterious size and proportions
He wanted his new house to be right and proper of mysterious size and proportion (whatever that means). Hardy wanted his house to cost neither too little or too much. He wanted it situated in a healthy spot, on a subsoil of dry gravel, 90 feet above the springs with the trees to the north, a pretty view to the south and easily accessible to the rail.
19th Century land developed viewed at railway stations
It is interesting to note coloured plans of ‘Land to be let for Building Purposes’ where available for viewing at railway stations and in agents’ windows. After viewing these plans he had to give up his desire for the trees, the 90 feet above the springs and the gravel subsoil.
Hardy and his wife made some sketches of a proposed floor plan and consulted with an architect. Mr. Penney the architect informed them of the sizes of the rooms that would be possible. He was even able to advise them on how many cases of wine to order to fit into the wine-cellar.
Building cost of sixpence a foot quoted
The couple seemed to be overwhelmed by the architect’s opinions and facts. They wanted to spend no more than eight thousand pounds. Mr. Penny quoted sixpence a foot. As they were leaving Mrs. Hardy reminded the architect she wanted a nice conservatory in the Chinese style.
When the Hardy’s visited the site to check on the foundations they thought the house looked too small. Oh how many people have thought the same? Mrs. Hardy had them change the dimensions of the drawing room to make it bigger. Hundreds of pounds worth of additions were added to the original plan. Hardy was unaware of the rising costs these changes would make.
Thomas Hardy’s first recorded published item
The couple seemed to have had the same experience most people have when building their own home. I suppose I expected more of Hardy. If you would like to read the article you can do so by visiting: Thomas's first recorded published item at http://neal.oxborrow.net/Thomas_Hardy/Howibuiltmyhouse.htm
Thomas goes on to write brilliant novels and poems, becoming a legend in his own life time
Hardy went on to write a number of brilliant books, The Return of the Native, Far from the Madding Crowd, Tess of the d’Urbervilles (my favourite) and Jude the Obscure among others. He was also a talented poet.
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