Neale Whitaker marks his first year with Stellar.
The recent trends that have passed through this page might one day be classics
Happy birthday, Stellar! It’s crazy to think a whole year has gone by since my dogs, Ollie and Otis, and I featured – along with Rachael Finch, Matt Preston and Miranda Kerr – in the launch campaign. And a year since my first Stellar Living column discussed interior design’s ongoing love affair with Art Deco. And while you could argue that 2016’s annus horribilis has segued into an equally uncertain 2017, there’s always good news on the design front. Goodness knows we need it.
It’s been a busy 12 months, stylewise. Whoever said home trends move more slowly than fashion? I think I did. But these columns prove me wrong. We’ve covered everything from Moroccan rugs to gallery-style art and the prickly subject of cacti; met contestants from The Block and style icons like Italy’s Patrizia Moroso, British designer Matthew Williamson and local hero Greg Natale. There’s been robust debate on just how unmade an unmade bed should be and which small rooms should always remain behind closed doors. We’ve discussed Scandi-style dog beds, our love affair with monograms, the warm fuzziness of hygge and a Japanese perspective on decluttering. Collect 10 points if you remember that was called Konmari. And throughout this I’ve told you what’s on trend while also advising that what matters most is what you love.
Recently I hosted a styling masterclass on behalf of Vogue Living and furniture retailer King Living. Vogue Living stylist Joseph Gardner had created a coolly elegant contemporary room around King Living’s newest sofa design. It ticked many style boxes that have been discussed on this page. The Zaza sofa (designed by Charles Wilson) and cushions were upholstered in contrasting shades of millennial pink; there were romantic, figurative prints by Australian Robert Malherbe, sculpture by Dinosaur Designs’s Stephen Ormandy and moody abstract works by Melbourne artist Caroline Walls. Underpinned by a generous Armadillo & Co rug was an angular black floor lamp echoing the Deco profiles that continue to influence us, and a monochrome ceramic vase designed in the 1960s by Italian maestro Ettore Sottsass.
It occurred to me that at some point in the future – maybe 20 or even 50 years from now – history might consider the Zaza room as a quintessential late-teen Australian interior. And what will define that moment in time is our current ability to cherry-pick the detail of past decades (colours, shapes, fabrics) to create a look that is indisputably now. Neale Whitaker is editor-at-large of Vogue Living.
“Whoever said home trends move more slowly than fashion? I think I did”
FRONT SEAT (from top) Vogue Living stylist Joseph Gardner’s box-ticking room for King Living; the brand’s soon-to-be-iconic Zaza sofa which the room was created around; an example of hygge, the Danish concept of cosiness, which was trending this year.