Thursday, 24 November 2011

Gilt Trip

Austerity measures be damned, bring on that gold!

Forget Melbourne and New York, let's occupy Fort Knox and El Dorado.

Dip it, brush it, roll it, or prize it rock solid.

Few natural substances possess the allure of gold. In good times and bad, for cultures old and new, this reservoir of sun from beneath the earth's surface makes the whole world a brighter place.

As a sun-worshipper from way back, I too have long been under the spell of this lustrous hue. And my two favourite designers of all time, Kelly Wearstler and Anouska Hempel, have also caught the rays.




And while Tamara Mellon has walked away from Jimmy Choo, she's still happily ensconced in the golden luxury of her London apartment.


But for those of us who want a little bit of Louis, without the expense of Versailles, below are my pick of ideal gilded accents.






From tabletop to ceiling rose, every surface deserves the touch of Midas.
Bring it on, roll it out and let it shine.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Washed ashore

The wintry weather has returned, but my heart remains in a tropical state; soothed by the calming colours and textures of all things marine, as once again the beauty of the natural world finds another habitat. 

Inspired by the coral of the Mediterranean, this pair of Italian ceramic candlesticks is awash with style. Hand made by artisans who continue a centuries old tradition, these pieces set an estival tone that is both casual and elegant. All year long.

By the sea, or on the land. So cool. So hot right now.

And while we're down there, who doesn’t love a shell motif?

For centuries we’ve been popping them everywhere.

 On silver.

On frames.

On furniture.


                  Jewellery.                                                    Porcelain.        


But my favourite application is on these beautiful cushions. 


Hand made and hand stitched, featuring a particularly aquatic colour combination of foam and eau de nil, they bring a slice of island life to any abode.

Scattered, strewn or cast adrift these soft shell furnishings bring new meaning to the term sea bed.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Palme d'Or

Having just returned to a balmy Sydney spring after an Oceanic sojourn, I have fallen in love with all things Pacific. And while I still stand by my commitment to faux bamboo, the irresistible pull of the exotic extends well beyond some simple plant life. 


And I am certainly not the first urban dweller who’s visited the tropics and wished they’d brought some back with them. 

For as long as we have been invading, plundering, colonising and grand touring we have felt moved to create pieces inspired by the natural beauty we see in foreign climes.


                                        Jewellery. Furniture. Objets.

The array is endless, the adaptations transcending kitsch with wit, whimsy and often exquisite workmanship.

But nothing beats this fabulous pair of coconut palm lamps.

Perfectly proportioned. 
Forged in brass. 
With gold lined silk shades.

Elegant. Luxurious. And oh so tropical.

Paradise found.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

In the black

Falling in love with the black glass hand vase of the previous blog has really highlighted that the black market is a great place to be.

The longtime favourite of fashionistas around the world, black is a colour I am loving for interiors, be it as accent or a dramatic dominant.
Not that it's new - just coming out of the dark.


Whether in furniture, curtains, cushions or lamps, there are no black marks against this shade.


An unlikely choice for a Colour Consultant, perhaps, given the vastness I have to choose from. 
But one that never seems wrong.

Darkening the doors has never been so positive, this moody hue bringing with it a sense of luxury and sophistication that is hard to compare.

And top of my black list are these fabulous urn shaped vases.

Of classical form with garlands in relief, these hand made Italian ceramics speak of antiquity while having a completely contemporary matt black finish.

So now. So chic. Total black beauty.

Victorian hand-me-down


Life at Becker Minty has been action packed, the inspiration coming so thick and fast that my blogging has not been able to keep up with the pace. But finally this vase has burst through the crowd to lend me a hand, and shake things up again.

Hailing from England, and dating from the the latter part of the 19th century this black glass vase was part of a general wave. More often seen in jewellery, particularly jet, the carved hand was a popular motif. The hardest part of the human body to portray, the hand gives artists and artisans an opportunity to demonstrate their skill. And when executed well it is a beautiful symbol of friendship and offering. Exactly what the hand is holding symbolises the offering. And in the case of this Victorian black glass vase, it is a cornucopia: horn of plenty, symbolising fruitful abundance. The perfect vessel for a fulsome floral bouquet,  this vase pre-dates the Statue of Liberty (whose hand bears an uncanny resemblance!), and whether holding a torch or a flower, each is an elegant statement, both victorious and triumphant.

I think that deserves a hand.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

School of Fish


Well, technically they’re not fish – they’re dolphins. And we all know dolphins are meant to be amongst the smartest of animals. Along with pigs and humans. 
And although they can’t read, write or speak in the human sense, this particular pair can certainly hold up their end of a learned study.    


Perhaps you may not be able to immediately identify them as dolphins, but let me assure you, they are. For while they are contemporary, ceramic and hand made in Italy, they are inspired by extravagant dolphin designs of early 19th century Europe and English Regency. 


This period’s aesthetic derived in many cases from the mythology of ancient Mediterranean and Asian cultures, and as the dolphin frolicked prolifically in these, its form continually surfaced in the imagery they  inspired.

Seen as guardians and guides, symbols of love, innocence and beauty, and possessed of a healing power, perhaps no creature is better qualified to perform the function that these particular dolphins do.

And we haven’t even talked about the colour: a guache-like turquoise glaze reminiscent of the azure waters of the dolphin’s natural habitat. So cool, so soothing, and so hot right now.

Every piece at Becker Minty has a story, and these fabulous Italian ceramic dolphin bookends can support all the stories you like.