Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Mission Italia

In June 2016 I attended the Mission Italia, "Italian Design To The World" conference in Milan, Italy.  This was a wonderful opportunity to not only get to know more Italian products but to also meet with Designers, Architects and Hospitality Advisors from all over the world.

Being able to Partner with such a prestigeous organisation as Mission Italia was a real privilege and I was able to make invaluable contacts and friendships.

The most memorable companies is Linvisible... and I even made time for a showroom visit where I was walked through the whole design process right down to the hinges and sliding mechanisms used in this type of application. 

I found this to be a very interesting design concept, having dealt with the sometimes frustrating task of getting door frames, architraves, skirtings and even the doors to work together to create a harmonious design.  The omission of door frames and architraves to achieve an almost seamless meeting of the doors to the walls might just save me a few headaches on future projects. 

As you can see from the images you can paint the door so that it stands out alone as a feature within the wall, or you can have the door and walls cladded in wood paneling or even stone or granite to achieve the ultimate “hidden door” and concealed room behind.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Interesting Window Displays

I have been incredibly fortunate over the past year to do some travelling for work.  Travel is something that I have always been passionate about, so when the opportunity presents itself I don't say no.  

While I enjoy seeing the various tourist attractions, I am fascinated with exploring the different cultures, design styles and architecture.  Mostly I love to experience how people live and work in the different cities around the world by trying to find those places that are less visited by the tourist and more enjoyed by the locals.

So when I travel to a different place - I like to walk!  Day or night it doesn't matter much to me because it is the best way to actually see what life is like in that city (taking a taxi everywhere would much easier.... especially when you are not entirely sure you will remember the way back).  Walking ensures you actually experience the people, sights, sounds and smells of the city... and I always find something interesting, and often amusing, on these "walk-about's".  

So on some of my walks through Italy I found myself taking photos of several window displays.  Below are some of my favourites:

The one above captured my attention for obvious reasons (Bologna).

I just love this car display in the window of the Smeg Showroom (Milan).

Love the use of colour above... and all to display just one little bag (Milan).

Clever use of perspective (Milan)

This just put a smile on my face (Milan)

So when you next find yourself in a new country I encourage you to take a walk.  However (as many South African's are very aware) you do need to ensure that you take care and are not going to be walking through any 'dodgy' area's.  Therefore try to plan your route before hand... there are various apps that you can download that will show you popular walks through the city you are visiting.  And when in doubt just ask the locals.

Happy travelling!

(Jocelyn Jones)

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey

To say that our Junior Designer, Linda, has been obsessed with the "50 Shades of Grey" movie is probably the understatement of the year!

I have been obsessed with Grey far before the book or the movie and probably before it came in fifty shades. The staple of any contemporary or modern interior designer is Grey. It is the perfect base colour as it goes with everything. If you don't believe me, you're simply wrong.

So I proudly submit to you my "50 Shades of Grey" for your enjoyment:

Friday, 13 February 2015

From the Desk of Linda Sithole

I went to college having done much research on interior design. I enrolled into College ready to learn and succeed in the career I loved. I furthered my studies through the Bachelor of Technology in Interior Design because I felt there was more that I still needed to learn before I design an appropriate environment for my first client.

I found my first job as a Junior Interior Designer in one of the best Interior Design companies  in South Africa (Jossi Interior Design - obviously!). I was introduced into the real industry of Interior Design, not the “staged” interiors we worked on in college as practise for the real world. 

This is it! 

I am in the real world now, one mistake and it may cost thousands of rands. Here drawings have to change overnight because a client wants their bathroom 5mm bigger than what she signed off yesterday. Site inspections are no longer a field trip with your peers where you take selfies and post online to say you are “On site –my dream!”. No, no… NOW I’m a Junior Interior Designer and I’m behind my desk getting confused by drawings I drew yesterday because they all look similar, but your senior knows exactly which one it is at first glance and you look at them and you are like

Interior Design is transforming a space into a functional environment that can live up to its full potential. Being the Junior Interior Designer teaches you how to do that.

Interior design is hard work…and I LOVE IT!

'Til next time! J

Linda Sithole


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

HOMI Milan

I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to travel to Milan for the HOMI Lifestyle Trade Fair in January 2015. 


The fair was smaller than some of the other fairs I have attended however it was more personal and I was able to spent time chatting to each supplier, finding out the process of manufacture; the concepts behind the designs and understanding the materials that they were using.  Also of key interest was the feasibility of getting the items to South Africa and the costs involved.

I must admit that I have gained invaluable insight into the Italian furniture and accessories market.  I was always aware of their reputation for "Italian quality", but I was even more impressed with this concept when I saw the obvious pride that the Italians put into their work.  Still so much of what they manufacture is done by hand.   

This not only shows their love and passion for what they do but the importance of tradition.  And even with this concept of "tradition" the items they produce are incredibly modern.  The fact that each item is handmade means that there is such a fantastic attention to detail, and I also discovered from my lengthy discussions with the suppliers, this allows for greater design flexibility… if you want it in a larger size or different colour – “Non c’รจ problema”!   

The amount of Crystal and Glassware on show was amazing, with such fantastic colours and designs to choose from.  The use of gold in their details is quite impressive and it is used extensively, even gold dust inside the crystal sculptures.  This of course makes the items rather pricey, but it is also rather refreshing to note the detail and the extent that the manufacturer/ craftsman to ensure that the client is getting that one-of-a-kind piece that cannot easily be mass-produced.

After the show I jumped on a train to Florence and was escorted to some lovely little Italian towns where I was able to visit the various factories and see even more products: from contemporary beds,  headboards and pedestals to crystal and ceramic vases; lighting and even leather.

Italy is a truly amazing place. I love the old buildings; the language; the people; their sense of style and design… and of course the food!

I hope to visit again soon.