Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Home Storage Ideas

With many houses in Sydney, especially close to the city, space poor, we need to look afield for smart storage ideas.
Hallways that have laundries concealed behind sliding doors. Kitchens able to be hidden from view by sliding a louvered wall in front of them.
Lounges that have fold up seats and storage boxes within them. One of my favourites is in my own home. Next to the fridge is a walk in pantry. Nothing new in that except the pantry continues around behind the fridge and under the main staircase. Heaps of storage in there and a great hiding place for my daughter.

The Swedes have this down pat. Walk into any IKEA store (Please don't take me with you though, please!!!!!) and you will see all the neatest little tricks for maximizing the space in any room.
Here are a few ideas that stand out as being super clever.
This is a bookcase on its side and doubling as a lounge. I think they are missing one of our zuny bookends though:)

Here is a great "hide it under the bed" idea.

For the avid cyclist this rack is a must have

Little people get the best storage stuff. Don't you wish you were a kid again? 

Peace, Abby

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

What makes a great kitchen?

What makes a great kitchen? For me it is about 3 things. Location, view and bench space.
Location for me means that the kitchen needs to be where the action is.
I have been fortunate to have lived in places that have been designed by award winning architects and have appeared in the high end design mags. (It is WHO you know, right?)
In these types of properties we always did A LOT of entertaining. The last thing that the host wants is to be removed from the action. So as is the case with most house designs or renovations in Australia of late, the kitchen, dining and lounge areas morph into one.

Zuny open plan kitchen

I need to be involved with my guests and interact as comfortable whilst cooking as I would be on the lounge with them. The kitchen really is the heart of the home.

View; it goes without saying that by being centrally located the view from the kitchen is into the rest of the home just like in the image above.
But for me view goes above just being able to see my guest and household. Of still feeling part of the conversation. I remember days at a home I used to live in, washing up at the sink, looking out at a fog covered sporting field seeing little kids playing soccer. Their bodies stirring up eery shapes in the fog as they ran around.
At another home, I was in the penthouse looking back at the city. Daydreaming mind you whilst performing mundane tasks, but the view outside sure did help.

zuny new york luxury kitchen

Lastly, bench space. I really need, like, love BIG benches. Not because I make such a mess in the kitchen, I usually tidy as I go, but I have many things going on at once I need the space. Plus it makes for a good seat when having a beer and chatting to someone else while cooking.

Zuny poliform kitchen bench

What makes your ideal kitchen??

Peace, Abby

Monday, 19 November 2012

What to do with Shoes!!

Shoes, who doesn't love shoes? I used to have the same pair in a variety of colours. I could easily go an buy a new pair every day of the week.

We are all familiar with the shoe cupboards that celebrities have. Rows and rows of colour coordinated shoes.
So I am not going to go there. Where I do want to go is what to do with your shoes if you live in a household  that removes their shoes at the entry? Where do they all go??
After travelling through China I can see why they take their shoes off at the entrance. I have even been to open homes where my shoes had to come off before entering.

So let's look at a few ideas for storing your shoes neatly at the entrance to your house.
First can off the rank is a pretty standard wire rack. Might look good for a while, but it may be exposed to the elements and become rusty, filled with spider webs or just ugly.

This cute cupboard hides a smelly secret.

I really like this idea, very simple and able to be as small or large as you need.

This looks great when not is use, but I can imagine all the marks left on the wall would be a nightmare.

What do you do with your shoes??

Love Abby

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Best Laundry Ideas for a confined space.

I have a laundry at home,tucked under the staircase. Great that it is using up space that might be wasted but it could be better designed.
I love the Europeans with their laundry appliances in the kitchen. Makes perfect sense, all the plumbing is there and it saves having another room just for cleaning your clothes.

I have been to many apartments and small terraces where the laundry is behind a cupboard door in the bathroom. Or behind sliding doors in the hall way.
This great idea uses the same amount of space as a single shower cubicle.

Here is one that uses the kitchen's idea of hiding the fridge in a cupboard but hides the washing machine.

Using the kitchen cabinet to hide the washing machine is also a great idea when space poor.

Love Abby

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Floorboards vs Tiles

This topic is a hot one right now in our house. I have a little 1 year and we have 3 levels of tiled floors. Not the most practical flooring for a baby starting to walk around.

So something more forgiving than a rock hard surface is called for.
Having lived in terraces and cottages for half my life I love floorboards. Practical, easy to clean, beautiful to look at and each one different to the next.
If you have pets like I do, you want something that can be cleaned easily. I should add kids too.
Carpet is nice underfoot but expensive to replace and too much effort to clean. I prefer to keep this to the bedroom and even then to a large rug under and around the bed.
Concrete is just too harsh and slate is too 1970's.

What do you have at home??

Love Abby

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Beautiful Bookcase Ideas

I have always loved the idea of having a 2 story bookcase in my home. I have wanted this desperately.
You know the one, with the ladder on wheels. I could always picture myself climbing up and reaching across a library of hard covers searching for the perfect book.
Now all I do is pick up my iPad and read through my Kobo reader. Not quite the same thing though. I still long for a massive library of collectible design and architecture books. But with the digital versions I can take hundreds with me on holidays. All the while drooling at their contents.

When studying design, one of the first bookcases I learnt about was created by Sottsass for Memphis.
Using what was for its time cutting edge materials (laminate) it was not quite everyone's cup of tea. I fell in love with it. Especially the little person on top.

Over the years there have been a few stand out bookcases that I love.
This one is gorgeous. I can picture myself sitting in there for hours.

The bookworm by Kartell is an interesting take on a how we store and display books. Not the most practical, but hey.

The Bourellec brothers Cloud is fantastic! Able to be created from several pieces to your desired size it really makes and impression. Practical though?? Not really.

My number one bookcase though has to be both practical, beautiful, made with love and something that is a talking piece.

Love Abby

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Mix and match textures at home

What goes with what? I remeber living in a house in Paddington that was a throwback to a 70's swingers pad. Cedar timber panelling on the ceiling and one wall. Exposed 2 hundred year old bricks on another. Slate flooring in the kitchen and an orange laminate benchtop. I even had brass light fitting and a brown bathroom. Right down to the brown sink, toilet pan and cistern. Classy!

Well it was my cup of tea to say the least. I like some people like the textural qualities of super soft fabrics rather than exposed brick. Think silk or a man's woolen suit in superfine 150 wool.
Others prefer a fabric with a thicker, coarser knit. Something with a bit of bite, like sisal or hessian. I do too, but older styles of sisal can be hard and uncomfortable underfoot.

In home furnishings you are looking at several components of the room. The floor coverings, the window covering, upholstery and soft furnishings like throws, cushions and lamp shades. Not often used are textured wall coverings but these can be fantastic for warming up a cold minimalist room.

Starting from the ground up, my favourite is polished concrete or terrazzo. This harks back to my childhood and terrazzo being used throughout my grandmothers guest house. Beautifully smooth and easy to care for they are not the best choice for a family with young children. They can also make the room feel very cold. Which may be a good thing depending on where you live.

zuny polished concrete floor

Other fav's are sisal and floorboards and silk rugs. I have never been a fan of carpet except in the bedroom's.

zuny hand made wallpaper
On the walls I love a beautiful hand made embossed or flocked wallpaper. Nothing says elegance quite like a luxurious wall covering.
This adds warmth to the room and also acts to reduce sound bouncing off flat surfaces. I also softens a hard floor.

In the living room I have dogs, so a leather lounge is out as they would ruin it in 5 minutes. I do love leather lounges though it must be something primal about curling up in a piece of flesh and skin.
Wool crepe makes for a brilliantly warm setting but think about corduroy. This throwback to our corduroy clothing of the 70's has a great textural quality.

When deciding what elements to use in your home, take into consideration the location of the property.
Is it by the beach? In a forest? Is it on a busy thoroughfare in the city, tightly packed in with energy buzzing all around?
How do you want to feel in your home? Is it a place for refuge from the world? Is it a family home? What activities will occur there?
As the home is representing us in our entirety, how do you want guests to feel when they are in your home?

What age are you? Is this where you will nest for the rest of your life? Or do you move every two years?

The answers to these questions will have a big impact on what fabrics and furnishings you decide to choose.
Could you be comfortable in a home made from pre-cast concrete slabs, marble and glass. Or are you more likely to want to curl up in front of a fire place feeling the pile of shag pile rug between your toes?

Peace, Abby

Thursday, 18 October 2012

How to Select a Colour for your Bedroom

In our rush, rush, gotta have things done yesterday madness, often our bedroom is our only place for solitude and reflection.

It is the place where we spend a third of our lives and yet we often pay little to no attention to how this room makes us feel.

We may choose to use a red paint for a feature wall. Thinking that this is the colour of passion and romance. Something desirable in the bedroom. While this is true, it is also the favourite colour of fast food companies, airlines and discount department stores. Red increases blood pressure and your heart rate for it is associated with danger and strength. So do away with red in the bedroom!
red bedroom zuny

Instead green is a perfect colour as it calms and soothes. Think about the television studio "green" rooms. They help guests calm and compose themselves before the nervousness of being on TV sets is. Being the opposite colour to red, it also has a message of safety. Something we need to feel in our sanctuary.
Looking at the 2 room above and below, how do you feel? I know which one I would get better sleep in.

green bedroom zuny

The latest colours used in the bedroom have been mono tonal black and white. Black gives a feeling of elegance and formality, it can be overpowering but equally impressive and contrasts starkly against the pure nature of white.

black and white bedroom zuny

After selecting a colour palette to work from and depending on the size of your room you need to select the correct furniture.
It all comes down to scale and what feels right. Personally I like to have a very simple collection of furniture. The bed, simple, low besides, bedside lamps and a chair. That is it! Definitely NO TV or DVD player in my bedroom. It is purely for quite time.

My ideal bedroom looks a little like this.
Grey simple bedroom zuny

Peace, Abby

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Giant Polar Bear at Taronga Park Zoo!

How good is today? Unbelievably warm especially when it was freezing only days ago.
We are having such a great day outside, we all went along to Sydney's Taronga Park Zoo to see our poor cousins in captivity.
Here is a pic of the giant Polar bear standing atop the stairs to the pool enclosure.
Gotta run and enjoy the sun while we can.

Mwa! Zuny

Zuny Giant Polar Bear Sydney Taronga Park Zoo

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Giant Zuny Polar Bear at Bristol & Brooks

Yesterday, our gorgeous Giant Zuny Polar Bear went on a holiday to Chifley Square in Sydney's CBD.. We are sure he is going to get a lot of attention at Bristol & Brooks!

Make sure you visit in-store to see their fabulous collection of these gorgeous creatures!

Giant Zuny Polar Bear under Sydney's Harbour Bridge

Zuny Classics - Linea 1930

While we keep tripping down memory lane, let's remember the Linea 1930 Collection.

A short lived collection in Australia, we only ever saw 2 pieces.
Linea's propeller driven plane in Blue and Silver and the old jalopy in Red.

Zuny Linea 1930 Blue Plane CD holder

Zuny Linea 1930 Red Car CD holder

With their lower centre of gravity these designs were created to prop up CD collections.

This was the first collection to use metallic's and both of these designs included silver elements.
This was also the first collection to include rigid components. The propeller on the plane and the wheels on the car. Adding an extra design element and lifting the Linea 1930 Collection above the rest.

Gino the Mouse Bookend by Zuny

While we make our way back in time, we will enlist a few old friends to help us.

Another favourite when Zuny first made an appearance in Australia was Gino the Mouse.
Small and stout with enormous ears, he made for a unique addition to a nursery.
Being pink he was a regular in a girls' nursery. But with such a cute shape he made many friends with little boys too.

Grandparents loved the stylized shape and he sat so well in a bookcase.
With such as stubby shape he was one of the best at holding up a collection of nursery rhyme books.

It is with fondness we remember Gino.

Zuny Limited Edition Gino the Mouse bookend

Back catalogue - Humio the Horse

Well with a new blog, you don't get to see what we have been up to over the years.

Zuny has been busy working away but we have missed out on sharing many things with you.
Here is the first of many things that Zuny have done in the past.

In collaboration with Little One Baby Magazine, we sent Humio the Horse off for a photoshoot.

Zuny Limited Edition Humio the Horse bookend

Back in November 2009 the crew at Little One Baby had these lovely comments.

“The Zuny range is like nothing you have ever seen”

“Zuny can be used as an ornament, a book end, a doorstop, or a toy”

“The ‘special-ness’ of an item often starts when it’s packaged beautifully”

Little did we know then, that the range would grow to include Doorstops, paperweights, key rings and the impressive giants!
Sadly Humio is longer part of the collection, but his spirit lives on.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Welcome to Zuny

Hi, welcome to the new zuny blog.

Here you will find out everything that goes on at Zuny Australia. Latest designs, new retailers and design inspiration will all be inked out in this blog for the world to see.

To follow us and learn about how Zuny is made, just subscribe to this blog and you will always be in the know.

Till then
Do what you love.