Two to make it right

When iconic brands pair up to fur­nish and fash­ion, the re­sults of their effort can be dou­bly re­ward­ing

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Living -

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.

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