Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fashion Crossover


Yes...I know this campaign has been around since Autumn (European Spring) but this ranks as one my all-time favourite videos. Miuccia Prada is one of those rare beings who translates the 'mood' of fashion as if she's riding the crest of a design wave. If you look closely in this shoot you'll see the references to stripes and nautical themes as dominant motifs. Dig a little further and you'll observe that she blends almost nauseatingly busy patterns (like the banana frenzy on shirts and skirts!) with baroque style glasses.

Take a casual wander around any shopping centre in Australia and look in the windows. You'll see almost the exact same tones and stripes supposedly created by Australian 'designers'. If you then take a further look at larger chain stores it will be clear that the proliferation of a seasonal 'look' can stretch as far as dinnerware and bed linen. I'm already over the stripes as it takes a tall lanky soul to carry that off well. Poorly done and you run the risk of resembling one of those paint colour swatches with horizontal blocks of colour. Maybe I'm just a frustrated fashion designer...then again, maybe not!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Canberra Calling

This woman is serious about a makeover!
Some people say that a change is as good as a holiday. I personally think a makeover is a more stimulating prospect and I have set my sights on our Canberra store. We have been in Pialligo for nearly seven years and it's high time for a lick of paint and some new pictures. I do miss the family of geese which, although quite feral towards some people, waddled daily from their creek down to the river. At night I often see rabbits outside the studio playing 'torture the gardener' and furtively chowing down on freshly planted spring blooms. 

When you make ceramics kiln firing cycles never imitate the daily grind of nine-to-five. They often necessitate late evening dashes to turn off a rushed firing with a dinner set for a wedding, or props for a magazine shoot due the next day. Away from the hum of the city you get this sense of calm and solitude which is a truly rare gift. On any given night you can drive down Beltana Road past nurseries and a parade of peacocks. They insolently stop traffic as they stare down drivers in this strange sylvan setting. 

After my wistful description of Pialligo I completely neglected to mention we are holding our last sale for the year in Canberra. It is extended until this coming Sunday (Father's Day!) as my painters are delayed by a week! If you'd like to come, or have friends who would be interested, please feel free to send this on to them. I'm looking forward to introducing some new forms as the year progresses... who can tell what you'll see there!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Natural Blonde!


Sometimes themed parties can get very messy. People can get the fashion entirely wrong. For example, they may wear their best 'Summer of Love' chic to a 70's party. I went to our Cancer Fundraising Ball at Parliament House on Saturday night. We raised a large amount of money for cancer research and had over 550 people of all ages dancing to 1970's disco anthems. My aplogies for the lack of postings the past three days. We will resume normal transmission tomorrow...stay tuned.

Please enjoy the absolute vision that was myself in my Studio 54 outfit. I must the admit the blonde afro wig was more Sideshow Bob than Boogie Nights. The vintage polyester shirt proved a hit but felt like a vegetable steamer after thirty minutes of dancing. There was a sensational vest to highlight the shirt but it remains hidden under the safari jacket...designed by yours truly!



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Illuminati

Coral and Twig Chandelier
I think my title refers more to the fact that we are illuminated by lighting rather than by the Illuminati! I was sitting in my kitchen this evening climbing up a ladder trying to replace a fried halogen bulb. It takes considerable skill to balance precariously on a short ladder whilst prizing out a recalcitrant ceiling fitting. As you sway back and forth it looks more like a medicated version of the cirque du soleil as you wave your arms and pivot for a better grip.  I was inspired to look at some lighting after this bit of home handiwork. I thought the above chandelier would look amazing in an ice blue room with lime-washed floorboards. I then  went further and found the Salt & Pepper light featured on an Etsy store.  It kind of works in a mad scientist meets collector sort of a way. It would fit seamlessly set against a scene for Metropolis for example.

Salt & Pepper Repurposed Lighting
The last image is one I'm very familiar with. My Sydney and Melbourne stores both have three lovely green enamelled shades hanging in the centre of the space. They all actually came from the old armaments factory in Sydney and have languished in a decaying shed for decades. I cleaned them up and love the fact they have the occasional spot of rust or corrosion on them. There's something real and inviting about them, as if they've been witness to the labours of our forebears. They also look really sleek in a large industrial space. Far more honest than the cheap imitations you see at the furniture knockoff websites locally. As it's 1.30am I think we can say 'lights out' for today!

Vintage Industrial Shades from USA. 1930's

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nunc est Bibendum (Now is the time to drink!)


This latin term is attributed to Horace (Odes: 1.XXXVII.1) but actually was the slogan of a failed advertising proposal for a German beer company. The Michelin brothers modified the illustration by Marius Rossillion to resemble a figure made from a stack of tyres. The theory was that his tyres would drink up any obstacles on the road! One of my readers mentioned to me that Michelin House turned 100 this past January. It's amazing to think of the longevity of the Michelin trademark and their instantly recognisable rotund white character. Apparently tyres were initially white or pale grey until about 1912. After this point additives (including carbon) changed the colour of the rubber to black but the logo remained unchanged. I love the icon and the association between tyres and imbibing. I wonder if our officers of the law would view this as a healthy union?

Michelin House London. 

If you are in London this year the Bibendum restaurant at Michelin House is running a series of special events. It's also a great spot for a bit of people watching! www.bibendum.co.uk

Monday, August 22, 2011

From here to Peternity

Bridal outfit tastefully designed for 'Pickles'. 
For those of us who love our pets the above image begs the question... how far is too far? I think this post offers me some diversion after a day of packing two kilns and planning new designs. I'm always amazed how people can focus so much of their affection towards their pets. One friend suggested to me that this is a form of emotional transference as we are becoming isolated in our communities more than ever before. I actually view this (as I am also guilty as charged!) as a sense of deriving value from being needed. For those of us without children it's a slippery slope before we end up crocheting unitards for a dog called Pickles.
Another victim of an over-zealous knitter!
I'm not really sure how this post came about. I know it's a departure from my normal style but I think we all need a bit of artistic license occasionally. I promise that tomorrow I'll revert to form and try and be more grown up. Still, there's a part of me that finds these images both disturbing and mildly fascinating. Maybe it's time for a bex and a nap. 

A fitting tribute to the end of the Harry Potter Franchise.




Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cruelty Free

Inky 8 Months (Belgian Shepherd: Groenendal)
I had some news on Friday night from someone very close to me. She told me her two-year-old weimaraner pup had run out her front drive in Brighton and was hit by a speeding driver. Speeding aside, the issue that disgusts me is that they drove off with no concern for the damage they left behind. Luckily Henry is made of tough stuff and managed to escape with a broken leg and a veterinary bill which looks like a phone number. I can scarcely imagine how these 'animals' would treat their children if they have such disdain for life and responsibility. One of the charities I strongly support is the RSPCA. I found my other Belgian Shepherd (Claude) there quivering in the back of a cage after being abandoned twice. I would like to imagine we live in a world with a conscience and thankfully the work of animal charities goes part-way to restoring that belief. 

Photo: Inky being shamelessly exploited as model for the Bison 'Beastro' Series. David Plummer

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bauer Bird


Bauer Pitchers. Collection: Brian Tunks
Some fourteen years ago I saw a book on Bauer Pottery (1885 - 1962) from the US. As many of you would be aware, it was a range that gained enormous popularity specifically during the early to mid-twentieth Century. Bauer was originally produced in Kentucky and later moved the main studio to Los Angeles. This synchronised nicely with the growth of brands such as Franciscan and Catalina Pottery on the West Coast. What Bauer did for pottery was to introduce seasonal ranges in bright consistent colours. I was given a book by my partner which highlighted the role of colour and diversity of forms manufactured by this company. This was a pivotal point in making my decision to establish Bison.

I have a good collection of their work and owe a debt of gratitude to 'Andy' Bauer and Victor Houser. He was instrumental in introducing the American market to a collection which was artisanal in nature but had utilitarian appeal. They employed a number of production methods and stamped the bases of most of their pieces with 'Bauer USA'. I particularly love their ring series which, although not a complex design, has a nostalgic appeal. Many designers fail to acknowledge the influences of earlier artists who in-turn inspired their work. Considering that we have an archaeological record for clay vessels stretching back numerous millennia, it seems disingenuous to deny their influence and legacy.

Souffle Pots. Collection: Brian Tunks

Photos: Brian Tunks

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Sand Beast



Tonight's post is a strange fusion between kinetic art and engineering. The Dutch Designer (Theo Jansen) has this sense he is creating another life form. A life form he hopes will evolve and move of its own volition. Quite a beautiful and fascinating video really . The long bleak wintery coastline sets the tone for his creations to roam. Propelled by wind and momentum you almost get the sense they are like crabs scuttling along a beach. Should you wish to view more on his fascinating work simply go to YouTube and google his name. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Origami Frenzy

Origami Yoda....Hmmmm!
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away....... No, I don't think the Jedi Knights were enamoured with origami,  but I certainly am. To have the patience to fold for an eternity and just focus on the form must be quite calming. (Or it's simply a type of regression therapy!) I thought I'd take a small sample and start with an item made from paper. Next we'll explore several other media which develop the concept further. When you consider the amazing ingenuity of Japanese packaging it's no small wonder that origami has such global appeal.

Wedding Dress by John Galliano for Dior 1997.
Apart from the intricacy of the construction of this gown by Galliano for Dior, I'd be more concerned about being buried by an oriental avalanche! Talent is one thing but I couldn't see the bridal waltz ending well.  Then again genius is not meant to be constrained by conformity (or comfort as well in this case).

'Hana' (flower) table. Luxuo.com
The above image illustrates the incorporation of an origami motif within the construction of a table. Elegant and classic, it would sit equally well in a modernist home or public space. I think the simplicity of the petals and the way they fall make this piece really charming.  My conclusion is that I'd prefer the table to Yoda, and that although beautiful, the dress takes origami kitsch to a whole new level.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Greenware

Vessels thrown by Principal Potter Leanne Percival
When you work in a studio making pieces daily it's easy to forget the simple of beauty of the clay we use. When it comes out of it's pack we run it through a pug mill to extract impurities and air. We end up with a long grey sausage which we cut in to lengths to work with.  The potter then determines the weight of the clay necessary to produce each piece. On a day where the business of running a design company can overwhelm you, it's truly relaxing to watch an object take form on the wheel. There's something about the noise as it rotates and the gentle metamorphosis of a ball of clay. 

Every single piece we work with has so much thought behind the form and the colours we use. It's also quite calming to stand alone at the end of the day and see how the sheen of moisture on the thrown clay pieces evaporates. A satin exterior remains and over some four to six days it dries by the action of the air. As I'm writing this post I do recall the stench of rising damp and a low thud coming from my kiln recently. That was the consequence of an overly keen worker (myself) firing vessels which still had moisture trapped inside them. As well as the successes I promise to show you some of these 'unfortunate consequences' in a future entry.

Drying Greenware in our Canberra studio.
Photos: Brian Tunks

Monday, August 15, 2011

On Safari !

Veruschka von Lehndorff in Safari Chic! 
Well peoples, I have decided to go over to the dark side. Yes... I'm about to moonlight as a fashion designer. I've always said it would be easier to make cushions than dinner sets so here's another twist. I have an amazing fashionista (Gloria Grady) who makes bespoke clothing for mainly female clients. I think I'm one of the only men she would ever rev her Husqvarna for. Seriously, I have always loved clothing tailored to fit you. It's such a ritual getting your measurements taken and selecting the fabric. You can even style the type of pockets and buttons to customise your garments. I guess this comes back to my premise of supporting designers and manufacturers who actually have tangible input towards the finished product. 
I'm seeing Gloria tomorrow and the jacket should be ready in ten days time. Fully lined and tailored within a millimetre of perfection... just how I like it. Stay tuned for further updates.

Safari jacket pattern. Probable 1970's.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Shaker Furniture

Image courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com
My obvious affinity with Danish furniture and design makes the simplicity of the Shaker Movement equally desirable. It draws on the religious followers in The USA referred to as "The Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing'. One of the central tenets to this faith was the creation of communities where Shaker furniture was designed and made. It's purity of form and sense of restraint was supposedly a reflection of the piety and simplicity which these people applied to their faith. I'd be a very happy little convert indeed if someone promised me a house full of this refined style of furniture. Abstinence and a life of co-operative living was yours for the taking... oh, and lots of woodworking to keep your mind off the abstinence part!

For the greater part of the 19th Century the 'Shaking Quakers' (so-called owing to their extreme movements and trances during services) lived in some nineteen communities in the Northern USA. Their forms were more akin to the style of Hepplewhite and they focused their attention on the quality of the pieces they produced. It's a shame those same standards were not carried forward to the vast majority of contemporary furniture producers. I guess it's a case of economic pragmatism versus idealism. Still, I'd proudly wear the black and white garb and even learn to dovetail joints. That is if someone promised to make me a settee like the one shown above.
  
Image courtesy of northwoodschairshop.com


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oven Fresh


Each morning we unload our glaze firings in the Bison studio. It's always a great moment as  I'm quite often not sure which pieces or colours have gone through. An early post illustrated racks of drying greenware (thrown, slipped or pressed pieces which air dry before their first firing). The glaze firing is the final step in the production phase. After the kiln has reached temperatures well in excess of 1200 degrees Celsius we allow it to cool gradually. This prevents dunting or cracking from damaging the pieces. It also allows the glaze to have that velvet-like finish we are known for. 

Sometimes we'll see a dinner set order go through in it's entirety. When that happens the colours can look really beautiful together in the kiln. People can spend a lot of time with their choice of colour for place settings. We then unload the kiln (a great job to do on a freezing Canberra morning!) and take the pieces inside the store for quality control and allocation. It seems a long process to get from wet clay to a finished item. We actually have to combine business acumen together with great design and scientific precision to make every piece in our collection. My team (and yes...myself!) all love the challenges this raises. After all, our Bison legacy will hopefully be similarly excavated in the millennia to come.

Photo: Brian Tunks

Friday, August 12, 2011

Haunting versus Melancholy



Several months ago I mentioned the hauntingly beautiful holographic presentation by Alexander McQueen at his 'Brides of Culloden' (Fall/Winter) 2006 show. It featured a spectacular couture gown, Kate Moss, and the musical talents of The Future Sound of London. It is a rare gift to see a creative genius successfully combine so many design elements so faultlessly. Working in the design industry I get to attend a large number of events and launches. Frequently these are huge events with massive budgets. Unfortunately often they lack a clear concept or and coherent style direction.

The fusion of technology with fashion and music is theatre of the best variety. It assuages the senses on a number of levels and can engage with very diverse audiences. After a week which has been anything but 'serene' I thought you may enjoy this elegantly melancholy video. So please sit back. Ensure your tray tables are in the upright position and enjoy your flight!

Music: 'Everyone in the world is doing something without me'. (2006 Edit) Future Sound of London.

N.B: Please excuse the Spelling in the caption on the video....not my handiwork! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

14 Days and Counting


This is a short post as I have suddenly realised I have just over 14 days until our fundraising ball kicks off at Parliament House in Canberra. The Australian Cancer Research Foundation does some amazing work in terms of funding pure research . In addition we have arranged some seriously covetable prizes for the silent auction on the night. It never ceases to amaze me how generous small and mid-size businesses can be even during difficult times. 

If you would like to see what the ACRF do then have a look at their website. www.acrf.com.au . In the meantime I have tabletops to dress and style; prizes to collect, guests to confirm, performers to book flights for, find a babysitter, organise my mother's 70'th birthday the following weekend, and find an outfit for a partner who wants to go in theme (70's disco) but doesn't want to look silly! Suggestions anyone...???????
I may even see you at Parliament House on Saturday August 27th...your name's on the door, so what are you waiting for!

Bianca Jagger, Andy Warhol, Jerry Hall and Friend at Studio 54

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mirror Mirror...

Olivia Wilde as The Evil Queen by Annie Leibowitz 2011 with magic mirror

Mirror mirror... well, you know the rest. How many times do we surreptitiously glance at the mirror as we race out the door? Do you use shop windows to make sure you haven't got your jumper on the wrong way around? Have you ever peeked in a mirror and used it to look at someone across a room? No, this isn't meant to sound a like a bad Barbara Cartland synopsis, rather it's just an observation on how entrenched they are as objects in our culture. Many mirrors have been recovered from antiquity so we know they are not a recent addition to our design world. In fact, they also populate the world of literature with remarkable frequency. 

To most of us they are objects which bring a sense of completion to a room.  They can make a small space appear larger, and even allow a fireplace to appear more stately.  Along with the heartbeat of a grandfather clock they are one of the pivotal pieces I can't be without. I have recently come across Miguel Meirelles in Malvern. This antique store in Melbourne has an astonishing collection of mirrors (and antiques) and a distinguished pedigree in restoration. If gilding is your thing then look no further. His eighteenth and nineteenth century pieces, along with fantastic natural fading in the glass, are well worth the visit.  www.meirelles.com.au.

I think this early 1900's French sunburst-style mirror is exceptional.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Morning Fresh

Photo: Luc Remond

Before I start on today's entry I need to announce that we have a clever sleuth who solved my question from Sunday. The response from Georgie Hambrook was absolutely correct. The item in question was my Onkaparinga dressing gown. The reference to plumbing was the piping on the edge of the fabric...

Now let's gaze upon another shot from the series Luc Remond took of my pieces in his kitchen last year.   
It's hard as a designer to step back from the vessels you create and shoot them in an original way every time it's required. Sometimes it takes another person's perspective and styling to give a completely fresh feel to a collection. I welcome seeing how Bison can look stacked up in a kitchen or on an industrial table. I actually walked past a home yesterday (as I was taken for a run by my Belgian shepherds) and saw one of my droplet vases sitting on a windowsill.  It was full of large blooms and the setting looked so congenial. You tend to lose perspective that other people actually value your work and really (thankfully!) use it. In any case, the image taken by Luc is so clean and inviting I just had to share it. Enjoy!


Monday, August 8, 2011

What am I ?


Tonight's post is brought to you by an item which has vanished from my life a long time ago. It's also a brand name which many of you would recognise. Some of us would claim it made Sunday evening more comfortable to watch Disneyland. You could also play with the attachments on this object. It came in several colours and often had something related to plumbing on the edge. It could be used to smuggle chocolates or biscuits into your bedroom at night. Winter was the best time to have this comforting item in close proximity. It lives on in another object which many of us still have in our homes. The name of the company is really difficult to say when missing several teeth!

Clues follow:

Great to have close when sitting here
Always an asset when watching this
I may be comprised of this
I'm not the only brand that starts with this.
For those of you who think you know the answer... let me know your thoughts. Otherwise I'll have the solution to this quiz tomorrow evening. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Birds of a Feather

Courtesy of Interzine.com
I thought after my strongly worded post yesterday that we could examine the wonderful world of feathers. No, not the common garden-variety found in doonas around the globe. Not even the type which featured so heavily in the fascinators women would wear to church in the country of my childhood. We could view three varied examples which illustrate the roles this natural avian product has come to occupy. Firstly... the use of feathers in interior decoration cannot be underestimated. Whether reflected in images on walls, or fringing on cushions, it represents a form of glamourous comfort. When we look at the lamp shown above it says more about opulence (and probably Baroque accessories) than the fact that it has between 2000 - 4000 goose or rooster quills in the shade. 

Montezuma's Ceremonial Headdress. Courtesy ANU. 

Last year I saw the headdress of Montezuma in the Museum of National Anthropology in Mexico City.  He was the ruler of Tenochtitlan from 1502 - 1520 AD. Here the feathers have a religious significance and also represented divine rule. The fact that the colours were so extraordinary would have made it difficult to overshadow his presence. 

This leads us to our last image of a ball gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen 2011. This gown was worn at the Annual Met Ball in New York by socialite and fashion patron Daphne Guinness. Here the image shows such breathtaking beauty and decadence in the profusion of feathers that it almost overshadows the wearer.  The mastery of McQueen's petite mains (little hands) would have been truly tested in fastening such a complex piece together. The fact that many birds (and Dita Von Teese) use brightly coloured feathers as a form of sexual allure would make for interesting discussion. Maybe another time... 

Daphne Guinness in Alexander McQueen Met Ball 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Binge and Purge

Stock Market ASX Board Friday August 5th 2011
As the world teeters on the edge of a recurring financial abyss I was tempted to reflect on the current parallels in Australian retail. If you take a hefty dose of ambien and go to any large-scale shopping mall you'll be greeted by some frighteningly familiar scenarios. Sparkling shrines to Mammon filled with enough glass and plastic bling to bring tears to the eyes of Ali Baba. Faux wooden parquetry flooring (bleached of course) paired with reconstituted stone sheeting on walls and entrances. Generic stores with advertising campaigns (with 'exclusivity' in the byline) while in the centre around the corner the same brand in the same configuration sells the same products. One would think marketers have mistaken consumers for lemmings!

If the image of 'The Emperors New Clothes' springs to mind I don't think you'd be far from the core of our retail woes. Campaign directors would prefer we sat poised on the fence between consumerism and gluttony in order to perpetuate the traditional cycle of expansion. What is abundantly clear is that we are looking to reconnect to quality and also the provenance of the pieces we purchase. We have been sold so much 'stuff' that our heaving closets and shelves of  celebrity cookbooks literally make us question whether we have a psychological disorder.

 I have never meant this blog to be a political soapbox but I feel so vindicated by the fact that people are turning back to the traditional arts and crafts in droves  In a world of lightening-fast technology it's allowing us to express individuality, a form of social currency in a retail environment where true choice is being stripped away. I'm sure that the brave new world we are entering will be a place where small-scale design enterprises will have a greater legacy than the anonymous mega-chains we see today. 



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Napoleonic Bee



We have a set of 18 water glasses with a simple raised bee motif repeated on the exterior. They are elegant and economical in their simplicity. While these pieces came from Mosaique Imports in Sydney I thought it would be interesting to look at the significance behind the bee motif. Quite often we see objects in daily life which have layers of meaning attached to things such as coats of arms or a Latin motto. The placement of an animal on a heraldic shield quite often signified a special relationship between the characteristics of a species or the flora of a region. Sometimes, as with Constantine the Great ( 272 - 337 AD) he used icons like the labarum to affirm the fusion of faiths (pagan and christian) to his political will.

The bee has the dual values of resurrection and immortality. Napoleon had strategically chosen to use this motif as a means to legitimise and fuse his reign to that of the earliest rulers of France. Sources in the 17th Century found Cicadas (Golden Bees) in the tomb of Childeric the 1st, founder of the Merovingians in 457AD. Homewares designers around the globe 'gain inspiration' from historical periods and styles. It filters down through fabric throws, bathroom towels, down to vases and stationary. All I know is that my glasses have survived the rigors of my dishwasher and they have the added benefit of being beautifully proportioned. Vive la republique!

Top image: La Rochere water glass and tumbler. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bison on Sunset Boulevard

Re-purposed timber features at Hemingway & Pickett

The good news is we've had a busy month working on new designs and getting ready for the coming spring /summer. The bad news is now we have to make even more pieces in our collection. I also need to do extensive testing before we launch them in-store. (Speaking of which... if you are after the new f├ągel pitchers they sold out in days in both Melbourne and Sydney. We have some left in Canberra but I promise I'm making more). We also sent some stock to a great new store in Los Angeles called Hemingway & Pickett. In keeping with all things historical this innovative store is located on Sunset Boulevard. Their website lists their trading hours and location: hemingwayandpickett.com

Toby Hemingway spoke with me nearly a year ago about his idea for an eclectic but polished space in LA. If you look at his website you'll see he packs some seriously green credentials. He designed and built his space using recycled timber to great effect. At Bison we also aim to try and reduce our impact in terms of resource usage and longevity of our pieces. It's always encouraging to see others who draw on that same energy for environmental (as well as design) sustainability. He also carries some very chilled collectible pieces in his store. This would go a long way to calming down those angst-riddled producer types. Drop in say hello. Tell them Brian sent you!

Wooden counter face made using recycled pallets
Images courtesy of Hemingway & Pickett

Monday, August 1, 2011

Renovator Challenge

After watching an episode of 'The Renovators' this evening I was tempted to see where they sourced their furnishings from. I should have realised the huge Freedom Furniture credit at the conclusion of the show was the cause for my concern. I don't know how you would respond to the 'decorate or perish' principle of this series but you have to admire their chutzpah. That being said I have given myself a challenge where I have 10 minutes to find five objects which I would put together in a blank room. I will hop on Etsy and Ebay (as opposed to Harvey Norman, Domayne, et al!) to find my bursts of inspiration. Wish me luck... (sound of ticking watch)..."Mr Tunks. Your time starts Now!"

Mid-20th Century Danish Piece
1950's Manners Poster from USA
Vintage chairs with painted fabric 
Emerald Green Bottle. Probable 1960's
Danish 1970's wooden footed bowl

After being told to put down our tools this is the chaotic mix I have pulled together. The Mid-20th Century chest of drawers would look great with the poster above it. The green ceramic flask  would sit to the right of the poster with the wooden vintage (also Danish!) bowl slightly to the left of the vessel. Finally... one of the re-upholstered and hand-decorated chairs would sit angled (to the left) by the chest of drawers. Now... if only I had used my time more wisely I could have fitted in a graphic rug and and an industrial lamp. Bigger and better to come oh readers!