Inspiration

ipse ipsa ipsum | Weaving Artistry, Tradition and Innovation into Sustainable Design

 

“Transform ordinary living spaces into extraordinary places.”

 

When I first arrived in Singapore, my quest for innovative design techniques led me to explore suppliers and manufacturers, searching for like-minded collaborators who shared my values and vision.

 

One of the standouts was ipse ipsa ipsum. Through visits and conversations with the founder, Saurabh Mangla, know as Sam, I have not only commissioned stunning custom pieces for clients (stay tuned for the reveal) and ventured into designing my own multifunctional piece of furniture from recycled materials.

 

Sam’s rich background in design, coupled with the company’s values, commitment to innovation in manufacturing using upcycled and recycled materials, and support for traditional crafting techniques, has left a lasting impression. I just had to share. 

 

“We truly aim to craft better lives – for our community of artisans, clients and all stakeholders. We do this by using upcycled and recycled materials; by providing affordable and accessible pricing for customised and distinctive products.”

 

I am excited about creating more timeless pieces that not only minimise environmental impact but also support local artisans, spreading joy in every creation along the way. 

Join me in celebrating the fusion of artistry, tradition, and sustainable innovation with ipse ipsa ipsum.

 

A little about ipse ipsa ipsum:

 

Reflecting a tapestry of individuals, artisans, and designers, ipse ipsa ipsum creates unique pieces that transform ordinary living spaces. Translating to “himself, herself, itself,” the brand celebrates the people and talent behind its success, preserving tradition to inspire a lifestyle less ordinary.

We celebrate the people behind the brand, preserve the craft, leveraging on unique materials to create social impact and sustainable futures. We engage in responsible manufacturing and commit to protecting the welfare of the diverse artisans we work with. 

We persevere to preserve the rich, traditional customs and crafts passed down within the artisan families we work with and bring back dignity to their craft. 

We focus on quality and longevity of our products and not on quantity liberating our design collaborators from designing for mass production. We keep our supply chains transparent. 

We work with natural biodegradable materials and ensure to use our waste in design. We bring the materiality of our pieces onto our website with our AR tool, providing Omni channel experience.”

 

Focusing on alternative materials:

 

“We initiated the exploration of alternative materials a decade ago and it started by using reclaimed timber into our ecosystem. Over time, we expanded our material portfolio. During COVID, when the prices of the raw materials hit highs, we appointed a waste manager and started to look at the scrap we had at our scrapyard. We tried to recover as many materials as we can from it. 

Striving for sustainability, we focused on recovering and repurposing materials. Slowly we progressed to do what is right for the earth as well as to what gives us a competitive advantage in our business.”

ipse ipsa ipsum selection of sustainable materials includes:

  • Bamboo
  • Rice husks
  • Cow dung paper
  • Reclaimed wood
  • Aluminium 
  • Leather offcuts
  • Natural stones
  • Computer waste
  • Coca Cola cans
  • Organic cotton/materials
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

 

The Henderson self watering plant side table is part of a series of sustainable designs that uses off-cuts to create a unique pattern. Not only does it reduce our total output, it is also fitted with our self-watering Aqua Orb, the fuss-free solution to introduce greenery into your home.

I am enjoying the process of bringing together some of these glorious materials and textures to create a piece that is truly unique with a beautiful story.

 

 

 

 

A community of craftsman:

 

“At ipse ipsa ipsum we engage in responsible manufacturing and commit to protecting the welfare of the artisans we work with. Whether it is providing them with necessary tools to continue their craft, facility to do their making or training to upskill – we persevere to work with the artisans and bring back dignity to their craft.

Through our relationships with our community of craftsman in India, we are proud to help preserve time-honored traditions and skills that have been passed down through generations in every piece of craft we make. By working closely with

our artisans, we are providing meaningful income opportunities for individuals, their families and the communities.

Our processes allow for Social inclusion and create social equity for the artisans involved in making / hand craft. Our team in Singapore fosters an offline connection for customers and artisans and takes customers on a post-sale customer engagement journey where the customer is repeatedly engaged with the maker and the making process.”

 

 

Upcycling retired A-380 parts (circular economy):

 

“The Upcycled collection project with the Singapore Airlines (SIA) used the retired parts of A-380 for aviation enthusiasts. Use of waste (e.g. Airline Parts ) means less landfill, second life to materials and less usage of new materials. 

This collection is all about repurposing the various parts of the aircraft and converting them into unique and exclusive pieces of furniture. From Business Class seats to overhead compartments of the retired A-380 planes, these once-magnificent cabin components are upcycled to more meaningful, reimagined into beautiful items that are built to last.

The Towkay Chair from the collection is an award-winning Singapore Airlines Business Class seat ,which was introduced into the airline’s fleet back in 2006. Fresh life is breathed into the spacious yet luxurious recliner chair upholstered with new leather. The sides have also been incorporated with our brand’s very own unique peranakan-inspired handcrafted bone in-lay, to make the piece a conversation starter.

We helped the global aviation enthusiasts to customise their own pieces and express their creativity through this process. We provided the platform for the community of artisans to be involved with the team at Singapore airlines and the global aviation enthusiasts. It gave the artisans the sense of fulfilment to be attached with a prestigious brand, which they would have not got a chance to work with. It also gave Singapore Airlines an opportunity to show their commitment towards sustainability and work with the local creative community.

Collaborating with a strong brand like Singapore Airlines has helped a small store like ours to gain global visibility. The collection was very well received and we have shipped our pieces to aviation enthusiasts in Hong Kong, Japan and beyond, leading to successful international shipments.”

 

Here is a Youtube video with Sam talking to the craftsman and the Singapore Airlines collaboration.

 

Are there trade-offs when designing with sustainable materials? 

 

“Certainly, there are trade-offs involved. We need to learn about the materials and acquire knowledge about their techniques. Also we must train the actual end-user on proper usage and maintenance of the pieces designed using these materials. This learning curve is an integral part of working with these materials.

We find people are now more open to use sustainable or renewable materials to reduce environmental impacts. They opt for biophilic or circular product designs to enhance their connection with the environment.”

 

Creating beauty out of waste – mindful consumption:

 

“We unveil 4 new collections every year. We launch them at international trade shows and we design our pieces around the different personas which shop at ipse. Over the last few years, we have noticed a growing demand for customisation because people desire to have something unique and personalised.

For example the sustainable luxe collection came about after looking at the significant amounts of off -cut leather we had and which were not being used. So by creatively repurposing this material, we crafted beautiful furniture pieces leading to the launch of the sustainable luxe  collection.”

 

Starting 2024 with a bang:

 

“We are doing some work in one of the prestigious shows in Singapore in February. March we are launching in China.We are going to have our first opening at Chongqing. We also have few sustainability themed events lined up in Singapore and across the world for the following months.”

 

I’m personally captivated by ipse ipsa ipsum’s ongoing journey and am eager to stay informed about their latest developments.

Bringing my clients to the showroom to explore diverse materials, immerse in their unique stories, and collaboratively design a stunning piece of furniture tailored to their lifestyle is an extraordinary process. The joy it instills, coupled with the gratifying sense of contributing to environmental sustainability, is truly beautiful.

Sam, thank you for your unwavering commitment to making a positive impact and for generously addressing my multitude of questions and curiosity.

If you’re aspiring to craft something truly exceptional from sustainable materials, don’t hesitate to reach out. I am here to help you bring your vision to life.

 

Big love,

Aisha xox

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KittaColin - Limited Edition $990.00

Living Small, Living Smart: Unveiling the Magic of Multifunctional Furniture

In the quest for sustainable living and the art of thriving in modest spaces, exploring the realm of multifunctional furniture has become a little quest for me. I am delving into the world of transformative design, seeking not only functional pieces but tangible solutions to our modern space challenges.

 

Unlocking the Potential of Small Spaces

Small spaces are not constraints; they’re canvases waiting to be adorned with ingenious designs. Multifunctional furniture can be the joy of space optimisation. It’s about more than just aesthetics; it’s a revolutionary approach to harmonising our living spaces.

 

The Multifaceted Magic of Transformative Furniture

 

Here are just a few designs I have discovered that I think are rather fabulous;

 

  • Australian-made KittaParts Modular Shelving: These versatile shelves are not just storage; they are dynamic spatial sculptures. Crafted from durable timber, the KittaParts system can be easily assembled and reconfigured, empowering you to adapt your space effortlessly. The beauty lies not just in their simple aesthetics appeal but in the different ways they cater for your ever-changing storage needs be it shelves, console, bench, phonebench, for your vinyl, standing desk etc. (Check out all the different adaptable ways here). Also the fab pic on our cover, KittaColin – Limited Edition
    $990.00 🙂

 

  • Caramella Counter Sofa: Beyond being a gorgeous minimal couch, the Caramella Counter Sofa is a design brainwave. It seamlessly functions as a desk, a dining area, and even a place to hold storage. The natural wood texture elevates it from mere furniture to a calming, Japandi statement piece, powering a new lifestyle that prioritises upgraded functionality and quality. (Discover it here). For the DIYs, here is a simple sofa bed system that you can do at home.

 

  • Murphy Beds: An oldie but a goodie, these beds are not merely places to sleep; they are guardians of space, that recently have had a gorgeous refresh. By folding up against the wall, Murphy beds liberate precious living areas, offering spacious environments in small homes or apartments. Their genius lies in the fusion of comfort and space efficiency, a perfect marriage for those valuing every inch of their living space. (Check this one out – super cool).

 

  • Wall-Mounted Tables/Desks: Aesthetic appeal meets practicality with foldable furniture. Wall-mounted tables are not just stylish; they are functional artistry. Maximising dining areas while minimising visual clutter, these innovative pieces add a touch of elegance to limited living spaces. The foldaway wall desk, in particular, is a clever space-saving solution, allowing for an ergonomically sound workspace that seamlessly integrates with your home. (See examples here).

 

  • Multifunctional Desk/Table/Trolley: Born out of the necessity of remote work, these pieces are not mere workstations; they are adaptive allies in the evolution of your home office. Responding to the challenges of a changing work landscape, these multifunctional designs cater to your dynamic needs, ensuring that your workspace is as flexible as you are. Check out Fem with Fyra – Multifunctional desk for any space here.

 

Beyond the Usual: Exploring Innovative Designs

 

  • Island-Table Hybrid: This design innovation is not just a kitchen essential; it’s a space-saving piece. Integrating kitchen functionality with dining versatility, these pieces defy the sacrifice of a kitchen island in small spaces. Its extendable feature adds an extra layer of practicality, making it indispensable for those who love to entertain without compromising daily space.

  • Hybrid Chair by Studio Lorier: More than a chair, this lounger is a testament to adaptability. It transforms effortlessly into a desk chair, aligning itself with the ebb and flow of your day. Studio Lorier’s creation is not just furniture; it’s an embodiment of the dynamic needs of contemporary living.
  • Bookshelf Room Divider: This is not merely a bookshelf; it’s a spatial storyteller. Acting as both storage and a room divider, this multifunctional piece offers a versatile and functional solution for dividing spaces while providing ample storage. Its shelves, reaching from floor to ceiling, not only maximise space utilisation but also add aesthetic value, making it an ideal choice for open-plan living or studio apartments. (More here).

 

A Sustainable Future, One Design at a Time

In a world pulsating with urban challenges, the power of design to transform lives cannot be overstated. Multifunctional furniture emerges not only as a solution to spatial constraints but as a testament to our commitment to a sustainable future. It’s an ode to versatility, adaptability, and the limitless potential that lies within our smaller living spaces.

 

What are the Possibilities for the Next 5 Years?

So what are the possibilities? A great friend, and pretty talented futurist of mine, James, Insight and Foresight, wrote about how smart robots can redefine domestic space usage and I was pretty blown away.

Check it out here to get your brain juices flowing.

 

Last But Not Least – Small Footprint – A Never Too Small Limited Series

By 2050, seven in ten people will live in a city. Will they be happy?

Cities. Overcrowded concrete jungles, damaging to us and to our planet. By 2050, seven in ten people will live in a city, but will they be happy? Innovators, architects, urban planners, and designers believe they can b

e. They see urban life as an asset, a chance for community and wellbeing driven by smart design.

At the forefront, in Australia, architects Nicholas Gurney and Brad Swartz are rewriting the rules for an ideal home by repurposing existing small homes and apartments. Planners and academics Rob Adams and Jefa Greenaway fight to change the face of our cities for the better. All in support of a unique idea, that our cities can be the happiest, healthiest places on earth.

Across six 10-minute episodes, they will explore the philosophies and meet the thinkers, planners, and designers that are shaping the future of our cities. Definitely worth the watch here.

 

Have you seen any fabulous pieces worth sharing?

As I continue this exploration into the realms of sustainable living, I invite you to join, share your discoveries, your favourite designs, and your challenges. Let’s build a community passionate about smart and considered living.

Here’s to living small, living smart, and making a world of difference—one multifunctional piece at a time. ✨

Big love,

Aisha xox

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Sustainable materials

Rethinking Interiors: A Sustainable Future with Renewable Materials

In the ever-evolving narrative of our world, each decision holds the potential to sculpt a future we can be proud of. The domain of interior and furniture design is no exception to this rule.

2024 marks my deep dive into the realm of renewable materials, exploring their multifaceted potential, boundless versatility and the unequivocal positive impact they can have on our living spaces and environment. From avant-garde furniture to resilient flooring, and the artisans who master these materials, I’m on a quest to champion a greener, more sustainable aesthetic. Every small change we make can be a seismic shift towards a healthier planet. Join me on this journey and let’s redefine interiors with purpose and sustainability.

The Versatility of Renewable Materials in Interior Design

Renewable materials are often unfairly pigeonholed into a natural or rustic aesthetic, but the truth is far more exciting. From sleek modern designs to traditional warmth, renewable materials can seamlessly integrate into any interior style. Take bamboo, for example – a chameleon material that effortlessly transforms into furniture, flooring and captivating decorative accents.

I’m on a personal adventure, creating a stunning and versatile piece of furniture from recycled materials. Stay tuned as my 3-in-1 bench journey unfolds – a nod to the Hills & West philosophy, where functionality meets luxury.

Exploring Renewable Materials for Furniture

Furniture is a pivotal player in crafting sustainable interiors. By opting for renewable alternatives like reclaimed wood or cork instead of traditional materials, we not only reduce our environmental footprint but also infuse our spaces with unique character.

My upcoming bench will be a testament to this philosophy – crafted from old cans, reclaimed wood, recycled fabrics, and imaginative offcuts.

Sustainable Flooring Options

Flooring, often overlooked in the sustainability conversation, can be both durable and aesthetically pleasing with renewable options. Cork flooring, for example, not only aligns with eco-friendly principles but also boasts excellent insulation and easy maintenance. Bamboo for instance is a fast-growing grass that can be harvested for flooring. It is durable, versatile, and has a unique visual appeal. The fact that it grows so fast makes it highly sustainable and it is harder than many hardwoods, ensuring durability.

Bringing Nature Indoors

Incorporating renewable materials is more than a mere choice—it’s an invitation to weave the essence of nature into the fabric of our living spaces. Natural fibres like jute or hemp adorning your floors and windows, impart a touch of cozy and earthy ambiance to any corner. Also, the transformative power of plants, beyond their aesthetic, play a vital role in enhancing air quality, breathing life into any space they inhabit. By introducing a collection of vibrant, air-purifying plants suddenly your living space transforms into a sanctuary—a harmonious blend of natural elements that not only elevates your home’s aesthetics but also contributes to your well-being.

In embracing the green revolution within our living spaces, we not only make eco-conscious choices but also foster a connection with the great outdoors. After all, when sustainability aligns with serenity, it’s a design philosophy that’s not only good for the environment but also for the soul. So, go green, I’ve always said, but when it is not just an aesthetic choice but a wellness boost too, it becomes a no-brainer.

The Story Behind Each Piece

One of the remarkable perks of using renewable materials is the narrative embedded in each piece. Unlike mass-produced items, these materials often come with a unique history – reclaimed wood from an old building or hand-woven textiles from a local artisan. These pieces don’t just occupy space; they tell a story, adding depth and character to our surroundings.

Reclaimed wood is one of my favourites. I love the idea of having an old railway tread with its historical charm, or an old basketball floor with lots of scuff marks and character. Love how this supports the recycling and repurposing mission but also is a wonderful conversation starter.

Supporting Local Communities

Choosing renewable materials is a dual win – it’s not just about environmental responsibility but also supporting local communities. Purchasing products from local artisans or using sustainable materials sourced nearby aids in sustaining traditional crafts and businesses.

Longer Lifespan, Less Waste

Renewable materials shine in durability, contributing to their ideal role in furniture and interior design. With proper care, these items can endure for years, reducing the need for frequent replacements. This not only cuts costs but also minimises waste, aligning with our commitment to environmental stewardship.

Innovative Designs

The use of renewable materials fuels creativity and innovation in furniture and interior design. Designers, ever-pioneering, find ingenious ways to incorporate sustainable materials into their pieces. From furniture crafted from recycled plastics to lighting fixtures using bamboo, the boundaries of design are being pushed, proving that sustainability can indeed be stylish. I can’t wait to chat to the makers who are championing new innovative designs from renewable, recycled and reused materials.

Inspiring Change

Choosing renewable materials isn’t just a personal decision; it’s a catalyst for inspiring change. As friends and family witness the beauty and functionality of these items, they too may be nudged towards more conscious choices in their purchases. This creates a ripple effect, fostering a broader demand for renewable materials and instigating positive change within the industry.

The use of renewable materials is a stride towards a greener, more sustainable future. By supporting sustainable practices and reducing reliance on non-renewable resources, we actively participate in preserving the planet for generations to come. Each piece of furniture or decor made from renewable materials is a small yet impactful contribution to a sustainable future. Be the change you want to see.

And so…

Incorporating renewable materials into our furniture and interior design isn’t just an environmental choice; it adds intrinsic value to our homes and lives. It allows us to express our unique style while positively impacting the world around us.

So, the next time you’re on the hunt for furniture or styling your home, consider choosing renewable materials. Weaving considered pieces amongst your most loved pieces in your home will just adds to your daily joy. Trust me.

Let’s be part of the movement towards a more sustainable future, inspiring change and creating a greener world, one thoughtfully chosen piece of furniture, fitting or fixture, at a time.

**Thanks Freepik for the images!

 

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Photographs for Peace

Photographs for Peace: Leading Female Photographers Unite for Humanitarian Impact

In the face of global atrocities, a group of compassionate photographers and organisations have come together to create a tangible impact for the most vulnerable victims—women and children. As we bear witness to the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Photographs for Peace emerges as a little beacon of hope.

 

Agender unites Médecins Sans Frontières and Save the Children, collaborating with over 30 artists who generously lend their talents to this meaningful cause. It represents a beautiful and active response to some of the insurmountable atrocities witnessed worldwide over the last year.

In the midst of global turmoil, I often find myself feeling powerless and exercise great caution in voicing opinions to support causes whose intricacies I don’t fully understand. However, with Photographs for Peace—a project led by individuals I deeply admire—the mission is clear: extending a helping hand to women and children profoundly affected by these horrific events.

 

“I feel completely helpless in the face of such large scale suffering and destruction for the Palestinian people in both Gaza and the West Bank – this feels like a small gesture of solidarity and support as I sit here in safety and comfort, witnessing the most abhorrent and brutal attacks on a population comprised of 50% children and babies” shares photographer Amy Woodward.

 

From January 19 to February 2, 2024, every dollar raised above basic print costs and processing fees directly supports these organisations. Preview the powerful artworks here, with each archival-quality open edition print available for $70 + shipping.

 

“The war in Gaza is harrowing,” expresses photographer Alex Vaughan. “Our work as photographers and artists aims to contribute, even in some small way, to two organisations working tirelessly on the front lines.”

 

This initiative extends beyond fundraising; it seeks to foster solidarity and shared responsibility in a time of overwhelming hopelessness.

Your support matters. Purchase a print, donate, or share this message to make a meaningful impact during these deeply disturbing times.

 

Sign up for the launch here and be part of this compassionate movement.

 

Photographs for Peace, Cara O'Dowd

Photographs for Peace, Cara O’Dowd

Participating photographers include:

Alex Vaughan, Amy Woodward, Ana Suntay-Tañedo, Bec Lorrimer, BriƩ Murphy, Cara O’Dowd, Cybele Malinowski, Elise Hassey, Emily May, Grace Costa, Lilli Waters, Lisa Maree Williams, Liz Ham, Lucy Alcorn, Michele Aboud, Ming Nomchong, Natalie Finney, Penny Lane, Petrina Tinslay, Sally Ann, Sian Fay, Sim Kaur, Stephanie Cammarano, Stephanie Pedersen, Stephanie Simcox, Tanja Bruckner, Tess Lehman, Yasmin Mund and Yasmin Suteja.

 

 

Angela, co-founder Agender, is a dear friend of mine and when she reached out to me I wanted to know more. Here are some of Angela’s responses to my personal questions around how this initiative came about.

 

Why are you driving this fundraiser?

I couldn’t sit on my hands any longer. I had already been on a self-imposed extended maternity leave ever since my daughter was born 2.5 years ago. As news of the atrocities in Gaza kept coming, I found myself unable to process any of it.

I came across this quote on Insta – something like: “Every time I tuck my child into bed, I think of a mother in Palestine who is holding her child for the last time.” It absolutely wrecked me, and I couldn’t shake it.

I felt so powerless; but if there’s one thing I can do, it’s organise. So I thought I would utilise Agender – which has also been on hiatus – to rally some photographers together and see what we could do.

 

When did you think of ‘Photography for Peace’ and how did you make it all happen?

I had been thinking about it ever since October, but finally put everything into action in early December. I started by emailing the Agender family photographers who had exhibited in our 2019 International Women’s Day exhibition. I then extended the list by messaging photographers on Instagram, followed by reaching out to get the official involvement of Médecins Sans Frontières and Save the Children, and finally finding an excellent print partner in Lucent Imaging.

I am trying not to put pressure on myself with respect to the results of this campaign, as it is literally my “toe-dip” back into working on something after being a full time mum. However ultimately, I just want us to be able to make a difference, however big or small. It’s incredible to see everyone’s compassion turning into tangible action. Every single dollar raised will be a dollar more than zero.

 

Any future plans for Agender and driving awareness for female photographers?

In the past, we’ve held International Women’s Day exhibitions, hosted or taken part in panel talks, made efforts to build connections between emerging and established photographers/directors, and worked on commercial or pro bono shoots where we try our best to employ all-female crew; all while telling stories that go beyond a typical brand shoot – and these stories often end up highlighting diversity in ethnicity, ability and demographics as well as gender. 

Both Cybele (Agender co-founder) and I have been on hiatus for some time, with multiple babies, work and nurturing the self taking priority. We would love to pick up where we left off, with even more focus and intention in 2024. Photographs for Peace is a beautiful way to start.

 

Angela, I love your passion and drive and I am always here to help or support where possible. It is people like you that make a difference, one small, kind action at a time.

 

Thank you to everyone involved in Photographs for Peace and I hope we all, united together, can make a small difference to the people in need.

Big love 

Aisha xox

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Thank you for the Magic 2023!

As we bid farewell to the wonderful of 2023, I wanted to share my deepest gratitude & love to our phenomenal clients, suppliers, artisans, trades & our remarkable team. Your unwavering support, trust & creativity have been such an important part of our journey, so we say a massive thank you.

Embracing Change

This year was a whirlwind of change! From new projects & partnerships to relocating studios & venturing into Singapore, exploring the rich tapestry of Asia’s artisans, we’re excited for what 2024 holds. Your continued support means the world & we hope to enrich your lives a little with our discoveries.

8 Years of Hills & West Lifestyle Accessories

After eight remarkable years of championing Australian artisans, we’ve hit pause on our new collections to focus on @hillsandwestinteriors. Your overwhelming support in our sale nearly sold out all our stock! We’re grateful & will continue with creating small handmade batches of our best sellers (email us hello@hillsandwest.com to join the waitlist) & by staying true to our passion for supporting local talent, especially with our interiors business.

Hills & West Interiors

Our journey in Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast & now Singapore has been incredible. We’re on a quest for unique, quality-crafted, multifunctional products that bring your spaces to life. We are delving deeper into longlife, recycled, repurposed & adaptive furniture for 2024. Enhancing how people live, work & connect is our passion & we have exciting partnerships & opportunities unfolding in the new year.

2024: Being Better

In reflecting on last year’s focus of ‘Adventure,’ I feel incredibly fortunate to have had a year filled with new experiences, travels & discoveries. Life has taught me the invaluable lesson of cherishing every moment that we experience & to have an open mind & arms to new opportunities.

So, my focus for this year is clear: to strive for improvement. I aim to better not only my own fam’s daily life but also the experiences of my clients & partnerships. Most importantly, I commit to nurturing our environment. This year, I’m dedicated to seeking innovative solutions, more durable, versatile & sustainable products, forging partnerships with mindful suppliers & guiding my clients towards better choices. It’s about reducing our environmental impact while fostering kindness & connections.

Let’s strive for another exceptional year, built on gratitude & a firm commitment to creating positive change.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous festive season filled with love, laughter & yummy food.

Here’s to sharing more Hills & West magic with you in 2024.Big love,

Aisha xox

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Turramurra | 2021

How To Get Your Home Airbnb Ready!

It’s winter, you can add some warm throws to make it comfortable. Have some interesting coffee table books and coasters if you would like your guests to feel at ease.
Greenery and soft furnishings make a place feel like home.
Art and objects always adds interest to a space.
Coffee & team making facilities are a must
If you are encouraging families then having a kids area is always a positive
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Our 5 Key Ingredients to a Healthier & Happier Home

Often in life things feel complicated, overwhelming and cluttered. There is just way too much noise. Life has too much choice, too many things we ‘should’ be doing and just too many ‘tabs’ open. Who hears me?

At Hills & West Interiors we love a simple, purposeful yet playful outlook on life, and to our spaces, and for us, that comes with a few easy guides to steer us, in the right direction (we all know life is full of distractions).

 

 

Here are our 5 key ingredients to curate a happier home and everyday life.

 

1. A Mess Makeover 

Decluttering, simplifying and improving everyday life.

Disorganised stimuli takes your focus away from what is important.

 

Following are just some of the things we consider:

Making choices easier – how do you live and where are your pressure points?

Easy decluttering steps to improve productivity

– The ‘have you used it in the last year?’ test

Clutter free surfaces providing space to breathe

– Giving key items, especially items used every day, a place to live

Easy access – the value of open storage

Reclaim your mornings and weekend – what are the simple things that can make the morning routine stress-free?

2. It’s All About You 

Tailoring your space to your personality and lifestyle are all about creating havens that spark purpose, happiness and connection for you.

 

Bring more of;

– what brings you joy?

– what is the style direction that caters to your taste however also lifestyle?

– your personality into your space – memories, personal pieces from travels, words with meaning etc.

– art that speaks to you and crates a talking pieces in your home

– fun – what does that mean to you?

 

Remember that feeling when you have a fabulous outfit on and you walk with your head held high. What are the secret ingredients, colours, fabrics, combinations and curate that in your home. Your home is your safe space and must cater to your loves, needs and lifestyle… not anyone else’s expectations.

 

We love simple, purposeful & a little bit of playful.

 

A few small changes can have a huge impact on your everyday.

 

 

3. Functional Bliss

This is where the purposeful and functional come into play.

Focusing on functionality to facilitate easy living and architecting your spaces to cater to the lifestyle you want to lead.

 

This can all be curated by setting up;

– Clever space hacks

– Balance harmony, utility and intentional placement

– Optimising space – maximising space for how you live and use your spaces

– Reviewing how functional is your home;

      • Zones – rugs and placement
      • Comfort levels
      • Tricky nooks
      • Places for quiet, productivity, conversation corners, connection and fun
      • Flow and movement
      • Pet spaces
      • Exercise/wellness spaces

 

We feel when it comes to your home, you get what you give. The more you consider and curate your space the more it will give back.

 

4. Mood Maker

Carefully curating colour, lighting, some furnishings and accessories creating ambiance and the right mood for the right space.

 

There is so much power in colour, fragrance, window dressings and lighting, here are just some of the things we consider;

– Colour palette rules 60/30/10 (60% of the room should be a dominant colour, 30% should be the secondary colour or texture and the last 10% should be an accent)

– Your personal mood boosting colours

– Right colours for the right rooms – what is the function of the room?

– Let the light in (or create it)

– Mirror magic for light, space and function

– Accessories – sometimes less is more, however adding decorations can make all the difference

– Selecting window dressings to both service a function, such as privacy, sound proofing, sun protection; and mood, such as distinguishing the bedroom from the living space.

– Seasonal refreshes to settle you in for the winter or jump start the spring season

– Creating joyful moments

 

Building a personal space that feels like home and is that enclave of peace and reprieve is what we strive for.

 

5. Grounding 

If we can’t feel grounded and connected in our home, where can we?

Bringing in elements that ground you can make a world of difference, this includes;

– Grounding natural elements – greenery

– What is your fragrance? How can we instill a sense of safety, comfort and mood

– Textures it up – looking at the mix of woods, stone, floor coverings and finishings give you a sense of comfort and softness

– Home wellness – have you optimised your home wellness through ventilation, light, placement and memories

 

We work with you to create spaces that inspire you and allow you to live the life you want to live. No matter how simple or complex your interior styling requirements are, we execute every detail and make the most out of your available budget.

 

We are on a Mission to empower people to create spaces that enrich the way they live, work and play, ultimately enjoying a happier, more connected and stress-free way of living. It is that simple. We would love to create with you.

 

An easy way to start is to book in a mini mess makeover session. In 2 hours watch us makeover a key space in your home that will set you up for blissful success in 2022.

 

Do you want live differently in 2022?

 

Take that first step here. 

AISHA HILLARY MORGAN

 

Aisha creates balanced, harmonius spaces that are bound together by a carefully considered design narrative

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5 ways to consciously shape your house into a home

1. Minimalism is Always on Trend

Sprinkling your home with a few beautiful, key pieces that are in harmony together guarantees that you would be inhabiting a calming space. These key pieces are to be the cornerstone of your home. By building your base with a neutral colour palate and then personalise through furnishing with colour accents. Have a mix of keeping things cozy and textured for the cooler months and light and bright as things warm up. The colours white, blue, grey and green are always safe as are a mix of organic and industrial materials. This will minimise your footprint and maximise your pleasure.

About 8 years ago I was in a master class with Danish chef, Rene Redzepi, who said when he crafted his dishes he would always try to source the ingredients from the same place. This would make the dish have a synergy and flavour that was powerful and totally unique.

Whatever we do, it is always a focus on being purposeful yet playful to bring joy.

2. Functional Beauty

Scandinavian design is a huge inspiration for me. Since the early 20th century, Scandinavians have been driven by an aesthetic marked with minimalism and functionality. You can’t go wrong with white on wood.

When you are next acquiring something for your home think whether the piece is functional, timeless and if that piece will round out and bring ioy to the way you use the space it will reside in.

3. De-cluttering is Cathartic

Is it time to assess the things in your life?

Possessions, although many are wonderful, can have the tendency to tie us down mentally and physically. De-cluttering can make you feel refreshed, opening your mind and outlook.
For someone who has had to move 6 times in the last 2 years, decluttering has become part of my everyday. Now, when I look around me, all pieces have a story, are timeless and bring me ioy. I have had to cull and be ruthless, but I am grateful because I love everything I have and don’t own anything without meaning. A great place to start is the wardrobe.

A space in itself needs to be thoughtful and considered. It can be beautiful without ornamentation or decoration. Maybe there is someone out there who needs it more, gifting in place of throwing away will give you a whole other sense of joy.

We are about to embark on our next move but have locked in 2 years so we are super excited to share our new space with you soon.

4. Buy Local

According to Smart Company, nine out of ten Aussie consumers prefer to buy locally made goods. Not only are we then supporting local producers, we can have a direct connection with the makers and know that the products are ethically sourced and made.

Buying something local, handmade, that is not often instant purchase gratification, can  have much greater long-term benefits.

My tip is to be curious and knowledgeable — always know where your fashion, interiors and food come from. It makes everything so much more enjoyable and delicious.

5. It’s all about balance

In the pleasant quest of trying to craft a balanced life, finding the right amount of conscious buying, slow design, and realism in what you can afford, is not about what you are not doing, ifs the baby steps towards what you can try to change.

In your pursuit of happiness, functional minimalism, a decluttered space and knowing what you eat and wear is ethical, all helps to minimise distraction and allow you to focus on your purpose — whatever it may be.

A beautifully designed space that inspires me to be c reative, sparks joy and enables me to think of whars ahead rather than distract, isdefinitely essential in the way I live in my home.

AISHA HILLARY MORGAN

Aisha creates balanced, harmonius spaces that are bound together by a carefully considered design narrative

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Spring Into Spring With Our Art Edit

Spring is finally here. It is a time of rebirth and renewal in the outdoors and so it is a glorious time to do the same indoors. It’s an opportunity to put away some of your dark colours and throws that kept you feeling cozy in the winter months and add some fresher, brighter colours and objects to your home. Here are some of our tips, especially around some fabulous contemporary pieces of art, to get you into the spring spirit and lighten up your interior.
Let's start with some basics…

When it comes to colours, replace browns, blacks and deep jewel tones with pastels and even bright primary colours where possible. Florals are always strong seasonal trends that will brighten any mood.

Windows are suns gateway into our homes and responsible for filtering in natural light, focusing on your windows can brighten any room, bring the outdoors in and transform any space for spring. Washing your windows can instantly lighten and cleanse. Also adding more botanicals to your window spaces really brings the fresh outside, in.

Tips like a fresh coat of paint or repainting faded trims in a coat of bright white can help lighten up any room. Also we are totally obsessed with wallpaper at the moment. Wallpaper a feature wall, a trim or ceiling, you can have so much fun with wallpaper and totally transform a room let alone your home. You have to check our of paint or repainting faded trims in a coat of bright white can help lighten up any room. Also we are totally obsessed with wallpaper at the moment. Wallpaper a feature wall, a trim or ceiling, you can have so much fun with wallpaper and totally transform a room let alone your home. You have to check our Kerrie Brown’s latest collections, with so many gorgeous designs to choose from you definitely will feel inspired.

 

The quickest and most impactful update is your art!
Spring is the perfect time to rotate the artwork to emphasise themes of light, growth and brightness. Images that uplift, spark joy and start a conversation. Of course, you can buy high-end artworks however art doesn’t have to be a huge investment, you just need to know where to look.

So, I have consulted our friends at .M Contemporary gallery in Woollahra on some spring suggestions for your home.

Nemo Janten – This pop art piece is perfect for contemporary homes and large open spaces.

Nemo Janten

 

Bringing a splash of pop back into our lives, this Dutch artist, a dutchie like me, is also know for his installations and hyperrealistic paintings. This work has been displayed in major cities all over the world, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Singapore etc. His work aims to reflect societies media and film culture, he’s claims to not be interested in fragmentation of objects, instead in disclosing the unity underlying “reality”.

The large images are actually made up of 100 different smaller images, stories incapsulated in glass spheres, where the work simply keeps repeating to the viewers

Simone Rosenbauer

 

Simone’s pieces are spring personified. Rosenbauer takes the happy simplicity of anise block to capture moments loved and lost, to dwell on ephemeral experiences and to chart the strength – and frailty – of changing identities. Leaving the natural sun to shape a mix of perennially loved paddle pops, ice becomes liquid, pooling around the melting whole. Bitter or sweet, all memories eventually melt into the flow of life.

A fun piece to add personality and colour to your home, this piece looks striking in a minimal contemporary home or Scandinavian home or any home that is playful. We might have added one to our studio. Watch this space 😉

Jarek Wojcik

 

From salacious apples tumbling through space to curious crocodiles housed within chequered foyers, Jarek Wojcik invites you to enter a world of exquisite beauty. From within these hyper-real worlds Wojcik combines the still life tradition with modern artefacts to offer a self-reflexive critique of the history, perception and status of traditional painting methods in contemporary art.

His pieces take you on a journey within and add another dimension to any room. Allow yourself to get immersed.

Agneta Ekholm

 

All each mesmerising and calming, Agneta’s work is considered abstract and incredibly soft as the artist is interested in the movement of forms representing them in a fluid like form. The paintings result from the exploration and discovery inherent in a technique honed over the last 20 years. Working with fast-drying acrylic and water, Agneta uses a sponge to apply layer upon layer of shapes and gestures with solid pigment and transparent washes, while continually washing and rubbing sections away until the final complex image is built.

This work evokes it’s viewers to feel calm, relaxing and at ease in a large space. If you have a minimal, modern contemporary home with neutral toned colours then an Agneta will really become a stunning anchor piece for any room.

Maria Benvenuto

 

Maria describes her art as being very reflective of landscapes. She is originally from Chile and recently moved to Sydney’s northern beaches amongst the scrubby bushland and oceanic horizons. Benvenuto now finds herself constantly looking out at the landscape through her studio window in Manly over layers and layers of Australian foliage.

She’s uses layering of paint to represent an abstract bushland and shadows, conjuring the behaviour of light within the landscape, reflecting, shimmering, bouncing and settling on surfaces, from a panoramic sunset to a tiny dewdrop.

Her art can be wildly interpreted but beautifully displayed amongst any interior style from mid-century modern, to minimal modern contemporary or Scandinavian styled home.

Sally McKay

 

Sally McKay is a Melbourne artist who has always been involved in photography since a young age. She worked as a portrait photographer in Sydney for ten years before launching her career as a Photographic Artist. Her inspiration comes from her fascination with individual colour preference. She largely creates works from artefacts found in her immediate environment.

 

Gorgeous piece that evokes conversation with so much detail, in so many colours. A wonderful way to brighten any room, especially amongst Boho decor or Art deco interior design styling.

Arash Chehelnabi

 

Arash is an Iranian-born Australian artist inspirited by his Australian upbringing caught in his identity. Exploring the themes of identity, history, politics and relationships of power within his society.

 

His pieces are a blend of fragmented narratives, erasure, decontextualisation, stylistic dissonance, humour and absurdism. Bring a unique Australian narrative and sense of vibrance to your home.

Michael Taylor

Michael is a South African artist who was born in 1979 and grew up in Johannesburg. His research focuses on image interpretation and semiotic studies for visual art. His pieces are abstract landscapes of people in time. The paintings evoke emotion, sense of movement, rising temperature, movement through the characters and speaks differently to the individual.

Anya Pesce

 

Last but definitely not least, if you are looking to inject colour and dimension into a room then Anya’s abstract three dimensional plastic sculptures are for you. Focussing on the elements of colour, form and material to create her work, which addresses the notion of perception in contemporary painting practice. She uses materials such as plastic, infused with colour and manipulated to create gesture, allows Anya to make work with maximum visual and tactile impact.

 

If your home has a mid-century modern, art-deco or minimal aesthetic, you will love Anya.

We hope these stunning pieces of art have inspired you. We love helping clients select that feature piece that brings their spaces to life. If you are in Sydney and would like to see these pieces in person, then you can visit .M Contemporary’s stockroom in Darlinghurst and either Louise or Michelle can help you pick the perfect section of works for your home or office. The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday and I am always happy to help.

We’re all about creating a calm sanctuary that you love coming home to, so gift yourself this spring to a mini refresh and some art. You can see our accessible package here starting from $350. 


Spring is a perfect time to take stock, declutter and refresh your home. 


Take that first step and reach out to us here.

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