Although I'm a Sydney boy, I truly love Melbourne, and as I'm lucky to go there often for work, I always stretch the trip out a little to add in some leisure. Indeed Melbourne hosts some of the best Interiors' Events in this country, and one I never miss is Decor+Design, limited to trade/industry professionals. In conjunction with Australian International Furniture Fair (AIFF), D+D it's now been going for 16 years (Where has that time gone??) and it's still offering our industry a great opportunity for promoting both designers and makers. It's also a great opportunity for trade and retail businesses to assert their presence whilst displaying their latest products in beautifully designed stands. This year's D+D / AIFF just ended, after four days of intense displays of furniture, decor and design, all now available on the Australian market.
The stands on display offered a great selection of furniture, where quality and Australian design were at the centre of attention, and like every year, one of the exciting facets of this furniture and interiors trade event was VIVID, where single products are awarded for their quality of make, innovation, functionality and of course beauty. Surrounded by an exciting selection of Australia's newest and best designed interiors' items, the coveted prizes were awarded for Colour, Concept, Object, Lighting and Furniture. All of the finalists on show deserve our most sincere compliments and encouragement, (as do all the entrants actually, as this is an important Australian industry for us all to promote and support) but to find your own favourite, see the complete list of VIVID finalists HERE.
The International Seminar Series is always a source of excitement, offering talks and workshops from renowned professionals both national and international, sharing their knowledge with great insights of their work. I enjoyed meeting and talking with American interior designers and TV celebrities Cortney & Robert Novogratz who were this year's keynote speakers sharing their very interesting family and unique business anecdotes. A regular speaker at D+D, and always one of my favourite, is Victoria Redshaw from UK trend forecasters Scarlet Opus, who never fails to impress. Sharing her knowledge, she always supports it with inspiring reasoning on how social and environmental influences determine our choices in colours and design.
For an industry that offers plenty of theory and know-how through books, blogs and social media, nothing beats learning about Interiors & Design directly from the mouth of experienced professionals. Other notable speakers were the stylish Steve Cordony, the elegant Sibella Court and the colourful and always fun Julia Green amongst others, and of course myself, with a sold-out workshop on finishes' selections. I was humbled by the feedback from the audience which was very satisfying to me, as I sincerely love sharing my knowledge. A big shout out and thank you to all who attended as you helped make it a great event for me too!.
Always an exciting event, I truly recommend you place next year's Decor + Design in your calendar, as it's not only about seeing what's new from your favourite suppliers, but also to find new players and unexpected products! For me the Fair is as much about catching up with familiar faces and friends in the industry as it is about seeing new Decor & Design products. And book in a few talks as soon as they are published, to make sure you don't miss out!
Also add an extra day or two to visit and enjoy exciting Melbourne, its design strips, colourful alleys and exciting lifestyle. I highly recommend a walk in Richmond, for its interiors & design stores, and a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria with its ever changing range of exhibitions on national and international Art and Design. The current "Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Quiang" exhibition (on until 13 October) I found mesmerising and a must-see..
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from: Interior Design For Profit is now available online.