Its been 8 years since I left Adelaide and my family. I now embark a return journey with two beautiful girls and a dear and wonderful wife. This is the world that I grew up dreaming and thinking about the importance of space that we live and work in. Family and tradition is the keystone in making the right choices in life and how you design your way of thoughts. I can’t wait for my children to feel the same way as I do. More information on Adelaide to come.
A beautiful score from Alexandre Desplat for the movie The Shape of Water. This music reminds me of Adelaide and the adventures I have had with my Italian family. I hope you enjoy!
Life is full of changes whether you like it or not, good or bad. It can be unpredictable or something you are craving for. It’s life’s motions of going back and forth, up or down. I have this theory that there is never a right or wrong choice, but it’s how you perceive the next step of change.
Cole & Son Wallpaper by Martyn Lawrence Ballard/ Schumacher new Fabric & Wallpaper
The colors, voices, and visions of your future are judged by you and only you. Life’s changes in your interior space is a representation of where you are now. It’s your story of the moment that includes memories of your past. However, it is important on how you put it all together.
Top Song for Change – Rhye ( Count To Five)
So far in 2018, there are big changes in fabric, tile, wallpaper, and furniture styles and selections. Bold colors, intricate patterns, culture symbols, mixed use of materials, and abstract forms are making a loud noise in the interior world. These are statements that yearn for more freedom, more movement, more glamour, and more reasons to be you. It’s no doubt that changes are hard, but what I do know is that it’s never the wrong time to make the right change. AA
Mosaic Tile from Domus UK. Shelving from Bungalow 5
Side Tables from Bungalow 5 Floral Dress from Jil Sander 2018 Spring
Contrasting colors and abstract patterns from the new 2018 Spring Collection for Jil Sander
Tailored Sofa with a burnt orange fabric from Holly Hunt
One of my top picks from the Las Vegas 2018 Winter Furniture Market is an Australian company that specializes in rugs, wall décor, and soft furnishings. Australian sisters Kura Perkins and Bree Hay-Hendry are the creative forces behind Aussie businesses gone-global, Art Hide and Amigos de Hoy.
The duo’s unique aesthetic, approach to design & artisanal production has seen their US operation expand rapidly over the last two years.
Art Hide works with premium quality cowhides, sourced as a natural by-product of the beef industry, and has set itself apart from the standard range of USA market hide products with seasonal color work and innovative hide treatment techniques, such as laser burning, hand etching and fine metallic stenciling.
Amigos de Hoy line, offering including rugs, wall décor and soft furnishings. Products like the Joanie giant tambourine and metallic dhurry rugs are among their best sellers.
Of their design process, Creative Director Bree, said: “We like to make sure everything we design has a point of difference. Not the ‘same old, same old’ standard stuff that you see everywhere. We insist our products have a high quality handmade feel that makes our pieces unique and special. ”
I am a big fan of Kura and Bree’s style and taste. Their attractive products are beautifully tailored and their selections of colors and textures are perfectly combined. A must have for a transitional atmosphere. I have a feeling that Kura and Bree will be regulars on angeloondesign! AA
I arrived in Chicago on April 13th, 1996 from my hometown in Adelaide, Australia. I remember landing at the O’Hare Airport. There were people everywhere and the weather was colder than what I was used to. The world just opened to me and I was about to embark on a very long walkabout.
I had a job with Motorola as a Sports Scientists and a part-time modeling career with Elite Model Management. I had an apartment in the vibrant area of Lincoln Park which was a great destination for networking (smart-phones didn’t exist in the 90’s). Chicago was where I met my wife, Katharine. Like most successful relationships, it was a “work in progress” because we were two young individuals trying to discover life together.
Katharine and me in Sydney, Australia a few years ago.
On one afternoon, I came to her apartment that she just moved into with 2 other guys and decided that her bedroom didn’t feel right. I wanted to surprise her with a makeover that changed the setting to a more inviting and cozier room. So, I organized the closets, hung artwork and mirrors, dusted, and cleaned. I was hoping to get bonus points after this!
I had a couple more hours before surprising Katharine and decided to walk down Clarke Street where there were some cool home décor stores. With little money that I had, I purchased new throw pillows, a table lamp, and an elegant tablecloth. There was something special about the pattern and soft tones of this tablecloth that got my attention. It was more than I wanted to pay for, but I knew I was about to make my girlfriend extremely happy. I wasn’t sure where to display this tablecloth, but it had to be the focus of the room.
There was a dresser that Katharine had moved around from boarding school, so it had a good amount of wear and tear. I decided that this was the spot to drape this soothing material. I then placed her perfumes, photo frames, and the new table lamp on top of the dresser. Suddenly, I created a cozy bedroom for someone new and special to me.
I wish I was able to capture her smile when Katharine walked into her bedroom. A room that was once an empty space with messy furniture and white walls just gained a soul. My intention was to give her a feeling of comfort and belonging which my family gave me in Adelaide. The tablecloth helped me speak without speaking. It was the gesture that connected two people that were once worlds apart.
I guess growing up with an Italian family in Adelaide taught me the values of relationships and traditions. To me, the tablecloth is the fabric that is spread on a table, so family and friends can rejoice together. It transforms a solid surface with color, patterns, and a texture that looks and feels welcoming.
This tablecloth created a bond between Katharine and me. It was the right solution to bridge two people together and helped spark a lot of fond memories. After Katharine’s bedroom makeover, she convinced me to go to interior design school which I did in the Spring of 1997 at the Harrington College of Design.
I am so grateful for that tablecloth. It was also the first time I trusted my interior design instincts which is everything in the world of interiors.
Happy Valentine’s Day Katharine.
Great table accessories from Bloomingville (above), Bloom & Give (below).
It will be difficult not to be influenced by the fashion trends of the 1950’s after watching Phantom Thread. A wonderful movie set in London’s couture world and another great performance by Daniel Day Lewis. The movie is about a genius, an obsession, and fashion, but it’s also a love story, a portrait of the work that goes into stitching two lives together.
Daniel Day-Lewis, for his part, decided that Reynolds Woodcock would have all his clothes made on Savile Row, at Anderson & Sheppard, a bespoke tailor that was established in 1906. These were the times when gentlemen were concerned about their clothes, shopped well, and always looked good because they were well made.
The richness and weight of fabrics were heavier in the 50’s because it wasn’t common to have air-conditioning, so clothes were less fitted and fabrics were heavier (32oz) to add more comfort. Even though wearing well-tailored clothes was an indication of wealth and status, you still had to have an element of style to appreciate custom clothing.
I believe the impact of Phantom Thread will influence designers, like Tom Ford, to add more color and detail to their couture lines (see below). I have also noticed more vibrant colors, deeper earthy tones, detailed stitching, and embroidery at the 2018 furniture markets. I must admit, I do like the idea of mixing traditional fabrics and linens with natural building materials like wood and concrete.
Tom Ford’s Spring 2018 Couture line.
With todays awareness of health and wellbeing, there is more concern on how you are carrying ourselves. Our interiors is a reflection on how we dress and look, which is heading towards the styles of a well-tailored suit. The interior trends of 2018 is tailored not only for comfort and luxury, but also for style and glamour (with splashes of color). I think I will be watching Phantom Thread more than once. AA
I had this revelation years ago that what makes interior design evolve are the influences music and fashion has on this industry. I am constantly listening to new music, watching fashion shows and just being a part of the retail and music scene. How we celebrate music and fashion affects the styles and colors in our homes and the hospitality environment. Each month, I will be sharing with you my top selections of music and fashion that affect my decisions on interior design practice.
Niemen Marcus catalog in 1998
In 1994, I won a modeling competition in Sydney, Australia. I was persuaded to continue my modeling career in Chicago, with Elite Modeling Agency. I loved being involved with fashion which led me into the interior design world. The previous owner of Elite Modeling Agency (Jane Stewart) is now my mother-in-law. I actually married her beautiful and extremely talented step-daughter, Katharine . It was one of those very lucky moments in my life.
Face of American Crew in 1999
I remember images of black and white photos of my father in a crisp cream suit and slick dark hair just arriving on a 30 day boat trip from Naples, Italy to Adelaide, Australia. My father (Giacinto) immigrated to Australia in the 1950’s who then met my mother (Emilia), who also was part of an Italian family. My family has a classic approach to life. My mother would add a little perfume behind her ears no matter what occasion, and my father would polish his shoes everyday before work. During breakfast, we would have Italian music playing on the radio, which occasionally someone in the family would sing along. I have learnt from my parents that its important to cherish each moment and dress yourself and your surroundings to develop confidence in yourself and to attract friendships and relationships. Their love for an elegant lifestyle translated to how I lived inside a home. These are the memories that inspired my life through music and fashion. AA.
My favorites Men’s Colognes are Rance and Aqua Di Palma. Italian Colognes of course!
When I moved to Chicago in 1996 I didn’t know anybody or had a dime to survive so I just improvised and made the best of it. The first six months were really tough but I connected with the right people and found myself growing in an inspiring environment. I gained more from Chicago then any other USA city, including my wife, her family, my education, and the love for deep house music. Chicago is the best city in the USA and has sentimental moments for me, including times at the River West club called Funky Buddha Lounge (now closed).
I am continually motivated by music artists, including Yaeji, who is my February pick for Top Music. Drink I’m Sippin On is a cool running song too! Enjoy. AA