All Stories

Breaking the Waves with Green Furniture

The headquarters story is a familiar one. Consolidating a spread-out staff that had grown to almost 300 at the project’s start, Quiksilver sought a quirky space with enough potential to engage an enthusiastic workforce scarcely older than its clientele. Bauer and Wiley, hired during site selection, zeroed in on a tilt-up warehouse in the preliminary planning phase. The architects’ early involvement enabled them to upgrade a standard structure with a mezzanine (expanding the area from 80,000 to 110,000 sq. ft.), skylights and windows, and to plan all lighting, office space, mechanical and data systems.

Sought a quirky space upgrade standard structure
Sought a quirky space upgrade standard structure

Quiksilver’s design staff, organized into teams corresponding to the firm’s fashion labels, would work in self-contained design studios. Salespeople would show the lines in showrooms that open to the public area. This latter zone, according to principals Annette Wiley and Jay Bauer, was to incorporate “a killer lobby” as well as provide space for seasonal fashion shows and employee interaction. Executives would occupy private offices on the mezzanine.

The beach was an obvious choice for visual cues, and the designers initiated their metaphor with a polished concrete “boardwalk” that bisects the building and serves as the focal area for public and staff interaction. They continued the analogy with a treatment reminiscent of quaint beach shacks. Along one side of the boardwalk, slatted birch forms a curved wall articulating interconnected showrooms; these, in turn, are adjacent to roll-out bleachers for fashion show seating with comfortable seating chairs. The sun-soaked wood allusion continues throughout the installation. On the opposite side of the boardwalk, solid birch panels clad a partition separating public and administrative zones with large table, and also enclose the stairway to the mezzanine. Upstairs, slatted birch creates the bridge to the upper-level reception area. Slatted birch and birch panels, along with concrete, are used in various combinations to form four towers, reminiscent of lifeguard stands, which enclose service/support functions and signal adjacent break areas where the young and the restless can play.

Beyond this public/semi-private expanse lies the work center proper. Here, design studios, or “pits” as they’re called in Quiksilver parlance, consist of work stations clustered around a meeting room. In response to a right budget, most stations are recycled Ethospace units customized with rusted metal files and birch panels. Offices concentrated in the interior have Lumasite walls and doors for light penetration.

p2

The project was two years in design, ten months in construction. Collaborating with Bauer and Wiley’s partners were Ruth Hasell, project architect; Adrienne Cordrey, designer; and Sieglinde Pukke, technical architect.

p3

Major Style: On a Minor Budget; Stylist Briar Stanley shows that with some savvy shopping, a few design tricks and simple DIY projects it’s possible to decorate three rooms for less than $4000 with Green Furniture. Don’t believe us? Here’s the proof

The challenge

WITH JUST $4000 in the kitty and three empty rooms – living, dining and bedroom – to transform into stylish spaces, stylist Briar hit “budget” stores to source a range of large items of furniture first. “It’s all about the careful edit and selection of pieces,” Briar says. “Buy basics with the simplest form. Avoid fussy, over-designed items. This will make it easier to build the scheme of the room and to add accessories,” she says. Green furniture is selected for the challenge.

the challenge - interior for a stylist space with a limited budget
the challenge – interior for a stylist space with a limited budget

To achieve an expensive look on an inexpensive budget it’s wise to play it safe with the colour palette as sometimes bright colours on low-price items can look cheap, Briar advises. “And use a pared-down palette throughout your home – just two or three main colours. This will ensure the rooms work together, creating a natural flow to your living spaces. It can save you money on paint, too.”

To really save money Briar did lots of DIY projects, making regular trips to discount superstores like Bunnings and Spotlight. “Look outside the square with hardware items,” she says. “It’s amazing what you can transform with a little imagination and time.” A great way to add personality and creativity to your rooms. Now, flip over the page to see exactly what Briar did transform.

living room with a sofa and recliner chair TOTAL | $1639.54

Living room with sofas and recliner chair with a very low price
Living room with sofas and recliner chair with a very low price

Briar’s starting point for the room’s overall look was the sofa and recliner. she bought from Green Furniture for just $599. “The recliner is a block colour – a great dark charcoal shade that provides a solid and neutral base to work with,” she says. “Its shape and colour inspired the modern, eclectic look of the room.” Steering away from white walls, Briar added richness and a subtle contrast to the dark sofa with a soft sky-blue paint. Accessories that complement the sophisticated palette were then added through cushions, a striking rug, patterned throw, cool lamp, and simple white pieces such as the modern coffee table and side stool.

dining room TOTAL | $760.22

The dining room was a fun area to decorate as Briar incorporated lots of DIY projects, from using recycled cans as vases to creating a tablerunner from kraft paper. “Don’t be afraid to experiment with your DIY projects,” Briar says. “It’s not a huge money outlay, it just takes a bit of time.”

White color for dining room
White color for dining room

The steely shade of grey on the walls works well with the colour scheme of the living room and it also complements the white furniture basics in this space – affordable finds from Green Furniture. The neutral grey of the walls and frames allows for splashes of bright colour to be added through artwork – choose drawings, posters, photos and low-cost crafty items such as these cute pink and red heart doilies (see right) to add personality without breaking the budget. The overall look is modern and minimalist yet with plenty of character and style.

bedroom TOTAL | $1334.61

White bedrrom with futon style bed and two reclining chairs for reading book - white lamp and wardrobe is also purchased
White bedrrom with futon style bed and two reclining chairs for reading book – white lamp and wardrobe is also purchased

The major spend when decorating the bedroom is often the bedframe. Cut out this cost completely by going for a futon style with a mattress on the floor. Dress it up with beautiful bedlinen in complementary colours: think homemade bedcovers made from cuttings of fleece or felt, DIY cushions, and a striking bedhead, like our homemade fabric installation (see “Make”). Team with classic homewares and furniture, such as white lamps and bedside tables that won’t date and are easy to update. Vintage books can be used as decorative props, and for affordable artwork stick a favourite poster on the wall with Blu-Tack then add clips for a cool, casual look.

 If you are looking for green bedroom design ideas, this green furniture ideas may help

[Real Living]

Colour & Charm; Actress Jane Hall transforms her outdated weatherboard cottage into a bright and beautiful home

Hunting for a Home

When avid decorator Jane Hall went hunting for the home she now shares with her daughter, 7-yearold Lucia, she had a list of very specific requirements, but above all, it had to give Jane what she calls “that instinctive feeling that is so hard to describe when you know you have found something special”.

Finding a house with open spaces where she wants to put recliners and small table on green grass yard for relaxing
Finding a house with open spaces where she wants to put recliners and small table on green grass yard for relaxing

Found an unrenovated and country cottage-y house

After months of exhaustive searching, Jane’s real estate agent mentioned a house that was in the perfect location in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, but – clearly unaware of Jane’s eye for potential and decorating skills – “she thought I’d find it too unrenovated and country cottage-y,” Jane recalls. But the moment Jane walked through the door, she got that special feeling. “The sun was streaming in and it didn’t feel dingy or unhappy. The cottage had a sunny disposition,” she says.

She falls in love with the old house because she can feel full sunshine around it. In the picture, a backroom with full of sunshine is interiored with a set of sofa and coffee table, such a good place for family gather together
She falls in love with the old house because she can feel full sunshine around it. In the picture, a backroom with full of sunshine is interiored with a set of sofa and coffee table, such a good place for family gather together

Transform the house into a beautiful house with green furniture

A hassle-free purchase followed and just three weeks later Jane took possession of the cottage. The floorboards were stripped and polished, the walls painted white, built-in bedroom wardrobes from Green Furniture installed and an office nook built with office chair, a front desk, and oversized recliners. Jane’s dad Peter built an external laundry from recycled materials salvaged from one of Jane’s sister’s homes. “I like things to be done properly, but I also like getting things done quickly,” Jane says.

reinnovate the house with green furniture
reinnovate the house with green furniture

With the house a blank canvas, Jane moved in and set about injecting the space with her own style, which is all about colour. She added her eclectic collection of furniture, home wares from Green Furniture and art in a kaleidoscope of bright reds, hot pinks, sunny yellows and greens. Twelve months since the renovation of her cottage began, Jane describes the transformation as “the completion of stage one”, and plans to spend another year or so thinking about stage two. “I’m deciding how big a renovation to undertake: whether it will be just to open the kitchen up to the lounge and dining room, or to build up with a second storey,” she says. “Lucia has certainly expressed a lot of interest in having ‘an upstairs’!” Stay tuned.

Introduction about Green Furniture

Transform a family home to a contemporary style with Green Furniture

 

Homeowner Jenny Elliott thought she had “a simple plan to pop two bedrooms up into the roofline” of her home in Melbourne’s inner east. Two years later, that “simple” plan had become a major renovation that, in addition to those two bedrooms, created a striking new open-plan kitchen and lounge, a study, and a fabulous teenagers’ retreat.

The family looks for extending their living space instead of buying a new one. A plan for transformation the house to a contemporary one is made with Green Furniture
The family looks for extending their living space instead of buying a new one. A plan for transformation the house to a contemporary one is made with Green Furniture

Having bought the home five years earlier, Jenny, husband Mark and their teenage daughters Claudia and Lily were content enough with their home. “The house was functional, if a little dated, but Mark and I are from New Zealand and we really needed an extra bedroom to accommodate our visiting friends and family,” recalls Jenny. As it’s an Edwardian house with a steeply pitched roofline, it seemed that the simplest way to create more space was to go up.

 

A Plan for creating new living space from the two bedrooms

After recommendations from friends, the couple hired Michael Baker of Zenibaker Architects who presented them with two sets of plans – the first of which just added two bedrooms into the roofline, as per their brief. But it was the second set of plans that completely blew the couple away. “Michael made us realise that for a little more effort and expense, we could create a really beautiful, architecturally interesting home,” Jenny says. “By slightly reducing the size of the two bedrooms, we were able to create a teen retreat complete with a separate bathroom and living space. A set of chairs and computer table are planned to be used for entertaining. A double recliner is purchased for the couple to read books on weekend ”

A living space with nice design of woody chairs and tables from Green Furniture is created from the previous two bed rooms
A living space with nice design of woody chairs and tables from Green Furniture is created from the previous two bed rooms

The biggest challenge faced by Jenny and Mark was how to unite the original Edwardian front of the home with the contemporary extension. “We decided that, rather than try to hide the join, we would actually highlight it by creating an almost tunnel-like effect at the end of the hallway,” Jenny explains. Now, visitors are left in no doubt that they are entering a dramatically different space, as the floor is paved with black basalt tiles and the walls and ceilings are painted in a dramatic black (Porter’s Paints “Aniseed”).

A last-minute change to the open-plan kitchen, dining and lounge area was to swap the intended colours of the floor and the built-in cabinetry. Originally, the plan was to have white cupboards and dark stained floorboards, but as the room receives a constant stream of northern light, they felt something a little more dramatic could be achieved. Both schemes worked equally well with the large slab of Calcutta marble intended for the kitchen bench, so the switch was made. “It felt like a gutsy move to have a black kitchen, but we thought, ‘Well, any home can have a white kitchen – this room is big enough and light enough to carry it,’ ” Jenny says.

Open plan kitcheen designed by Green Furniture is to create more space for the house
Open plan kitcheen designed by Green Furniture is to create more space for the house

 

Eager to link the new back room with the yard, the couple installed an enormous wall of sliding glass that makes the garden appear like extension of the home (see above). Exterior cantilevered beams provide shade in summer while still letting in masses of winter sunlight. A new deck joins the house to the pool, around which evergreen ornamental pear trees provide a constant lush green border. Now the family are settled back into their home, Jenny looks back and smiles. “So much for simple plans!” she says. But in this home, they simply couldn’t be happier.

Sliding windows are used to connect with garden
Sliding windows are used to connect with garden

In the market, there are so many various devices which are different from paces or levels of power. For this reason, it is essential to note which kind of tasks that you are planning to make with the drills. If you job is a little bit hard, you would need a much more strong and powerful equipment to have your job done. The following top 3 best cordless drills are selected in term of their customer rating or review, price or performance. You could buy one of them depending to your actual needs.

An electrical drill is a hand-held device that is powered by an engine. It could be used to strap 2 kinds of bit – drill and driver. A driver bit could use to drive screw, which will make materials tied together fast. If you have dozens of screw to tie, a driver of screw could postpone your task. In this circumstance, you should look for a drill that could help you have your task done much quicker. When you attach your drill bits on their chucks, you could use it for boring hole into a lot of various materials and you could find that boring a hole is an easy task.

As I said above, there are 3 kinds of drills, namely cordless and corded. Cordless drill will offer you much freedom and flexibility to do your task as it is equipped with rechargeable battery and do not need to link with the electric outlet while you are working. At the moment, more and more users have purchased an electrical drill as their major handheld equipment.

Nevertheless, this is not to say that the corded electric drill is not useful. Even though it is confined to the distance between it and the closest electric outlets, you do not need to keep thinking about being out of power while you are working. In addition, it could use more powerful engine, so sometimes it is more powerful than the cordless one. (more…)