Posts tagged ‘Retro’

November 29, 2010

Styling Idea # 75 Retro Colour Repeats


mmmm a long day working with retro furniture is surely bound to throw up some retro inspired pics. How do you get ramshackle retro pieces to work together? Repeating colours is the easiest way to keep it clean and create the harmony you need. Stick to one colour and repeat it in suitable ways.


  • Build on teak – teak furniture is synonymous with mid century Scandinavian design. Following WWII the ships returning from Asia loaded up with the teak so they did not return empty.  Hence this beautiful honey coloured wood became the iconic cost effective solution that delivered excellent design to everyone.
  • Turquoise and orange will be a standout retro colour to pick but don’t bother mixing them if you want a clean contemporary look- pick one and use restraint.
  • The use of the pink and white in the second shot is an example of repeats- the pink of the “Australia”, the chair and the soft pink lamp are all subtle.
  • For modern Scandinavian spaces be aware of negative space- the area around the onjects that allow their unique design and shape to be clear- the orange chair is an example of this. Let the design speak for itself- it is iconic and timeless for a reason.

All products currently available at Vampt Vintage Design. Sorry for the terrible lighting in these shots! It was the best I could do on a rainy afternoon in a dark warehouse 🙂

September 23, 2010

Styling Idea # 32 Ice Blue and Mustard


Ok, not only am I late today I am not posting on the launch from last night (just yet). I was on sale table duty for a huge part of the night and beer drinking duty for the rest so I unfortunately didn’t get to grab all the photos I wanted of the night. Today is the kids launch so I will snap some more and pull together the images for tomorrow- sorry.

To make up for it I thought I would share a really gorgeous image that I found on FFFOUND



  • Apart from the gorgeous chair, table and linen the colours in the room are amazing- ice ice blue with mustard offset with grey and teak- does it get any better?
  • DON’T be afraid to mix prints – this rug and bedspread at diametrically opposed and yet work wonderfully.
  • Look for murky dirty mustard’s not American mustard yellow.
  • Keep your blue icy and cold with a grey base not baby blue.
  • Don’t over accessorize – small pieces, neutral colours, retro shapes, clean lines. Done

PS On the day I was planning to post on a cardboard city the incredible Dana at Yellowtrace Blog has done a post on the coolest cardboard camera’s you have ever seen- you should check it out for sure!

September 22, 2010

Styling Idea # 31 Velvet Lounges


I’m in Melbourne at the moment and I spent all day yesterday setting up the most amazing cardboard city EVER! My clever little sis has written a kids book and the launch is tonight! I will certainly be posting about the outcome… look out for tomorrow’s post.

The venue that the gallery is attached to is the trendy little spot owned by Jerome (of Laneway Festival fame) called 1000 Pound Bend – this wonderful Melbourne venue, of course, uses a plethora of velvet lounges to create the retro laid back feeling. Like my “Mixing Lounges” idea earlier this styling idea is easy to do – however this time stick to velvet and one colour blocks.

1000 Pound Bend

Here’s my pick of colours and shapes

Burnt Orange from Vintage Cabin

Ruby Red


  • Look for colours in traditional retro palette- ruby red, burnt orange, turquoise, ice blue, mustard, moss green.
  • Look for pieces that are in good condition- cafe’s can do torn furniture but to use these everyday you want it in good nick.
  • Look for different shapes – shape lines, Queen Anne, modular- anything goes.
  • I love a styling idea that straddles different styles- make this feminine or retro at your peril.
  • Use a velvet piece in a bedroom, a formal living, an outdoor room (under cover) – where ever!
  • Do use rugs to pull bold together in a seating area.
  • Do you lamps- lots and lots of them in vintage fabric shades and tassels and ceramic bases.
  • Don’t use modern cushions on these couches- bold contemporary prints would look out of place- think crochet, retro florals, fringed cushions in nanna fabrics only.
September 21, 2010

Styling Idea # 30 White Bricks


My parents used to have an exposed brick wall in our house- I am sure many of you have lived with one at some stage. By the time we left that house 10 years on I was completely convinced that exposed brick walls were a terrible idea and they must be rendered or covered at any cost! If I was still living there now I would be in love with the brick wall again but perhaps to freshen it up we could paint it white- it adds a wonderful retro vibe.

Source Unknown Sorry

Source Unknown Sorry

Source Unknown


  • Look for retro inspired lighting – Sputniks, Artichoke lights, or Castiglioni Flos light.
  • Shag pile carpet? Yes please.
  • Paint directly over pipes, radiators, plumbing whatever- industrial white is cool.
  • Whilst the top two images are more relaxed the bottom two demonstrate that the space can be more formal if you require.
  • Think about this idea for bedrooms and kitchens also.
  • Keep windows clean and undressed- we don’t want to clutter this.
September 15, 2010

Styling Idea # 26 Retro Dressing Tables


Yesterday I was working with an incredibly talented and generous stylist (read her blog here) at a studio in Sydney and during our preparations she told me “Dita Von Tresse  is sitting in the studio cafe”. Naturally I go for a sticky beak because she is famous and because I am totally intrigued and impressed by this little pocket rocket of perfection. How can someone pack so much glamor into their small boned big breasted frame? (which, for the record is totally true- she is pint sized and amazing in flesh. No pun intended). She must have the pleasure of sitting in front of a perfect dressing table and preening herself in a space that inspires beauty to look this good.

Dita Von Tress

I have titled today’s idea Retro Dressing Tables (I will do a modern version of this styling idea later) and have taken inspiration from the 1940’s to illustrate the glamor of this period. However, this piece of furniture has been in and out of vogue since the 18th century so styles and references do cross over. I hope you enjoy seeing some of the original images in their black and white form!

1940's Dressing Table

Getty Images

Dressing Table with Tassels

Frill Desk Dressing Table

1940's Bedroom


  • I really love seeing the shapes and lines of furniture in original images and marveling, in some cases, just how little things have changed.
  • The last image was from a department store catalogue showcasing how to design a modern room- look at the day bed, side table and floor lamps- you can use all of these today! Not to mention a perfect dressing table.
  • If you think I am crazy suggesting you cover your dressing table in tulle I URGE YOU to check out this image from the wonderful blog Absolutely Beautiful Things– you will see what it can look like in reality and in today’s style.
  • Lamps play a big feature in styling your dressing table- I am personally a fan of the two side lamps, in 25 watts with a shade colour that gives off a soft yellow, peach, gold or pink glow.
  • Style your dressing table consciously – this is not a haven for all your junk rather a clean organised space displaying only essentials. Perfume bottles, lipsticks, candles and jewellery make the cut to full time display residents.
  • Think about your chair height. A low chair will feel a bit more special and less desk like, however it should have enough height for you to be able to cross your legs!
  • DO look on ebay for retro dressers- there are plenty of shapes to choose from. My favourite at the moment is the art deco style with an over sized round mirror (2nd image from top). These look at home in a retro room, modern room or over the top vintage style.
  • Think about your mirror choice- a mirror that is attached to the dresser is preferable but it should not be an oval with a tilt-able mirror- these look terrible. Choose from large round, three piece panels, or one central mirror. (A note on three piece panels- if the side panels are tilted you will see your side profile- if you don’t like your side profile stick to one central mirror- you must feel good when you are sitting at your dresser).
  • Finally, do get into a habit of sitting at your dresser- don’t leave it to sit in the corner whilst you use the bathroom. I picked up a retro dresser in Brisbane and it was the best $40 I ever spent.

Happy preening!

I hope you like the black and white references- something a bit different. Let me know your thoughts.

August 27, 2010

Styling Idea # 12 Half Curtains

Yesterday I was so inspired to work with an amazing team on a fantastic shoot!

Sometimes in the “glamorous” world of shooting magazine interiors things get hectic, crazy and focused and always time is of the essence. I must say the team on yesterdays shoot were such an inspiration and true indication of what it takes to get the perfect shoot and the commitment to perfection.  Thank you for showing me how it is done, the power of team work and the dedication required to achieve an impeccable shot. I am sure you will LOVE the pictures when they go to print- no spoilers- you have to buy the mag.


Sorry for the delay today I have been at fastBreak this morning – if you are interested in connecting with inspirational people who are achieving great things in creative industries I urge you come along next month, have an incredible breakfast (included in the price) and meet new people who will put a smile on your face. The topic this morning was “things change” in interiors they do too- but they never repeat they rhyme. Today’s post looks fabulously dated and perfectly now!

Desire to Inspire


  • Really? You say. YES really
  • This look doesn’t have to be done in large retro print and repeated from curtains to lounge but if you are cool and want to invite me over for a cup of tea I would suggest do it as above (seriously invite me over if you have a room like this).
  • DO look for a fabric that is floral or patterned based for your half curtains- strips and block colours are better for dramatic heavy curtains- here you want to have some fun.
  • DO try repeating even if only with a cushion else where in the room- this look is designed to break rules.
  • DO keep enough natural light coming in above so that you can keep these closed and get the impact as much as possible.
  • DO look for retro shapes in furniture- wooden armchairs and tables in teak, walnut or oak.
  • DON’T try this with floor length windows- this is a half window option.
  • DON’T  worry about you other accessories- this will set the tone for a mismatched space that allows you to be a bit chaotic- patterns can clash, styles can mingle and everyone can sit back and enjoy the view- well from the bit of the window anyway!
  • DO make iced tea from scratch!