Two to make it right
When iconic brands pair up to furnish and fashion, the results of their eﬀort can be doubly rewarding
Collaboration is the new black. Savvy fashion brands like H&M have known that for a long time (think of those legendary link-ups with
Stella McCartney, Balmain, et al), but homeware brands have dragged the chain a tad. Sure, there’s the relationship between Smeg (smeg.com.au) and Dolce & Gabbana, and in Australia we’ve seen King Living join forces with local design stars Charles Wilson and Tom Fereday (kingliving.com. au) and Cult Design (cultdesign.com.au) with Adam Goodrum.
But IKEA (ikea.com) has really seized the day on a global scale through its collections by heavyweight names like HAY, Tom Dixon and Ilse Crawford. Collaboration can be mutually beneﬁcial, helping rejuvenate the parent brand with a new audience; for the collaborator, it can bring hitherto undreamed-of exposure. Harrison and Nicholas Condos of Sydney-based furniture brand Harbour
Outdoor (harbouroutdoor.com.au) understand the value of collaboration. That’s why they approached LA-based interior design maestro Martyn Lawrence Bullard to create a bespoke furniture range for their stores in Sydney, LA, New York and Hong Kong. If you haven’t heard of Bullard then you’re obviously not a Hollywood A-lister. Bullard’s client list is eye-wateringly upscale: Cher, Elton John, Cindy Crawford, Eva Mendes,
“Collaboration can bring undreamed-of exposure to brands”
Christina Aguilera and more Jenners and Kardashians than you can shake a stick at. And he recently worked on homes for actress Ellen Pompeo and supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio. But (and forgive the loud thud as I drop his name) having known Bullard myself for many years, I can vouch for the integrity and creativity of his work. He’s the master.
“The love of relaxed outdoor living is a shared commonality between Californians and Australians,” says Nicholas Condos. “We’ve always admired Martyn’s design sensibility of being reﬁned yet livable.” Bullard himself adds that the MLB range was inspired by “the desire to create outdoor spaces that feel like indoor decoration. I’m bored with seeing people buy matching outdoor furniture rather than mixing and matching.”
Bullard has been a frequent visitor to Australia and is well-positioned to judge what elements of his Californian vibe will work for us here. It’s a marriage made in design heaven – and if you’re wondering why I’m writing about outdoor furniture in July, it’s because spring is just ﬁve short weeks away. Count ’em.
Neale Whitaker is co-host of Foxtel’s Love It Or List It Australia on Lifestyle, and a judge on Nine Network’s The Block.
DOUBLE ACTS (from top) Khloé Kardashian’s outdoor space was designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard to have a cosy living-room feel; this surf-inspired backyard by Bullard makes the most of its Californian backdrop; pieces from the MLB for Harbour Outdoor collection.