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Summer 2015

Designed-in Longevity Jean-Pierre Jardel Talking Business Dylan Falecki Sustainable Meets Style Zen Architects The Collaboration Code Zwei Interiors


editor’s letter CHANGING SPACES


ihao! I have recently returned from an amazing trip to China where I visited a couple of key trade shows (which are further discussed in this issue) and while I was exploring, I started thinking about our varying environments and how we adapt to its constant changes - as individuals, as a culture and as a country. I realised that our capabilities in managing these evolving environments are quite outstanding. As an industry we depend on objects in our space – whether it be colour, shape or form to change the mood in a place. We understand that atmosphere can influence our productivity and that technique can enable a healthier economy and environment. Drawing from this inspiration, I present to you this issue’s theme – ‘Changing Spaces,’ which focuses on our workspaces, our commercial spaces and our living spaces and how these have transformed over time. Nowadays, workspaces and office designs are much more dedicated to encouraging productivity and collaboration. We chose local manufacturer’s Planex to feature in this edition and they expose the mythologies that assists them in customising office furniture that is functional, reusable and reflects various personalities. We highlight the talents of Dylan Falecki who is featured on our cover this season who talks to us about his new range of vertical furniture that has our living spaces covered. He shares with us how he uses his creative talents to produce delectably unique and convenient products that saves space and saves time. Similarly, Yoz Zhang from Apartment Lifestyle discusses his online venture, which involves providing furniture for families who live in smaller houses and desire maximum space. Our architectural experts for the season, Zen Architects are perfectly in line with the theme as they use fascinating concepts to design sustainable residential areas for the increasing breed of people who crave open plan living. This is evident in their latest Harding Street Yellow House project. And the dynamic team at Zwei Interiors and Architecture tell us the story behind the Code Black project and how imperative detail and sophisticated style embedded into the plan can develop into a place where people are inspired to create, communicate and relax in a commercial setting. From how manufacturers meet the demands of clients, to how designers create rooms that suit individual tastes, to how architects keep up with new trends - this issue spotlights on how the industry stays ahead of the game with life’s ever-changing spaces. Enjoy!

Natasha Sciré

Contents 20

Local Manufacturing Jean Pierre Jardel, CEO of Planex sheds light on the company’s philosophical

Summer 2015


Talking Business With Yoz Zhang from Apartment Lifestyle.



Zen Architect’s Laura Bulmer is this issue’s architectural specialist as she unpacks one of the firm’s most recent projects, which includes a stunning

approach to delivering superior products

design and remarkable sustainable

for the evolving workplace.




Interior Design

Unveiling unique and conceptual-inspired design, Co-founder of Zwei Interior & Architecture Katherine Kemp explains the creativity and technical cleverness behind the award-nominated Code Black project.

Talking Business


Trade Shows

Highlights are revealed from the recent local and international trade shows and we provide a calendar of upcoming

We caught up with Sydney-based furniture craftsman, TV personality and

events to prepare you for the New Year’s shows.

space-saving expert Dylan Falecki to talk on his business ventures and his new range of vertical furniture that has caused a stir in the industry and has uniquely transformed space as we know it.


Book Review

In this edition, Kat Chaousis reviews


New Products


Industry News

House Vision: New Spaces for Japanese Residential Architecture by Masahiro Miyake who explores inimitable design works from around Japan that inspires creatives to contemplate the environment when designing modern spaces. Cover image: Dylan Falecki Photographer: Ma jestiq Productions

15 6 B a r r y Ro ad , C amp bellfi eld , VIC inf o@ t ub ew o rksfu rn i tu re. co T 9 3 5 7 9 6 32

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Founder/Publisher Peter Zapris Editor Natasha Sciré Graphic Design Phillips Hentri @ Change Creative Print ELLIKON – Print • People • Planet Contributing Writers Deana Buscema, Kat Chaousis, Jemmah Kelly, Julie McCartin Contributing Photographer Majestiq Productions Subscriptions Manager Natalie Tshaikiwksy Sales & Marketing Manager Louisa Li Phone: (+61 3) 9417 9399 Mobile: (+61) 400 519 218 ELLIKON Publishing 384 George Street Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Australia Furnishing International is the exclusive Australasian member of:

Furnishing International accepts freelance contributions; however there is no guarantee that unsolicited manuscripts, artwork or photographs will be used or returned. The entire contents of Furnishing International are copyright and may not be reproduced in any form, either in whole or in part, without written permission from the publisher. While the publisher makes every effort to be accurate regarding the publication of advertisements, it should be noted that Furnishing International does not endorse any advertised product or service. Viewpoints and opinions expressed in Furnishing International are those of the authors. The publisher accepts no responsibility for the information supplied or changes subsequent to the date of publication. Furnishing International is printed at a ISO 9001 Quality Accredited and ISO 14001 Certified green print facility and on paper sourced from sustainable forests. The Publisher of Furnishing International promotes environmentally responsible, socially equitable and economically sustainable practices.

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Designed-in Longevity Jean-Pierre Jardel Talking Business Dylan Falecki Sustainable Meets Style Zen Architects The Collaboration Code Zwei Interiors

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Inspiration “I just embrace failure, love change and ultimately expect success.” DYLAN FALECKI, FALECKI FURNITURE



New Products Rope Bed nautical themed queen size bed is made from aged recycled wood with marine rope detail. With a rustic and quirky look, it is environmentally friendly and low maintenance. Also available in single, king single and king size.

Victor Table Lamp by Milk + Sugar is elegant in its appearance and perfect for any desk or table. The lamp shade is adjustable and the arm moves to whichever angle you desire. Base pole is 27cm and the arm length is 65cm. Available in slate or white.

Lanna Garden Column inspired by the Northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, this distinctive screening device can be used indoors or outdoors. Designed and made in Australia, it’s made from galvanized steel with a black or white semi gloss finish and comes in a set with eight terracotta pots and 20kgs of polished river pebbles, which assist in forming a water absorbing base. It can also be mounted to a wall or used as a freestanding divider perfect for areas with limited space. Dimensions: 2000mm x 400mm x 200mm.

Summer 2015



Concrete Hex + Triangle Planter designed for the outdoors, the concrete planter entails a copper wire cage detail with glazed inside base and a drainage hole. Its soft base pads prevent damage to surfaces.

Dazzling Pendant Lights designed for About Space in copper or bronze-plated steel, it offers a striking focal point to any space.

Little Cove Luxury Designer Chair by master craftsman Will Marx is inspired by the beaches of Little Cove, Noosa. Handmade in Australia from hoop ply, PVC and mother of pearl, this detailed piece was a winner in the Queensland Furniture Awards.



Leonardo Extension Table made out of top quality oak veneer. Can seat six people at original size and can extend to accommodate eight people. Its sharp and sleek design allows it to fit into any setting.

Andre Chair designed and made in Australia by Aero and encompasses a modern take on a classic styled chair. Its material combines a soft timber with comfortable canvas and is light enough to move anywhere desired.

Outdoor Cushions available online. The fabric has been carefully selected for outdoor environments and is fade, stain, water and mildew resistant. Made in Australia out of 100% spun polyester.

Summer 2015

T: 03 9518 1600 Wholesale Enquiries:



Skeletal Bamboo Stool by B Compact is a high end architectural organic form finished in Danish oil and designed to be easily manufactured. It is eco-friendly with a floating seat and flexible pine that provides extra comfort.

Brydie Lounge features a refined and timeless structure with classic tailoring. It is made with premium quality materials including FSC kilndried Australian hardwood, FSC multi ply, no-sag steel spring suspension, high resilience polyurethane foam core, feather/down wrap seat cushioning and back cushions. All Australian designed and made. Multiple seating sizes and L-shaped configurations available.

Summer 2015

Lapland Wallcovering is made out of high quality type II vinyl and designed to withstand high traffic environments. Inspired by the geography of Scandinavia’s far north, it features a unique chevron pattern that repeats seamlessly. It is ideal for public arenas, hallways and busy meeting areas and is available in six colours including cool blue, warm vanilla and burnished bronze.



Vader Concrete Stool is simple, sophisticated and versatile. It’s created from lightweight concrete and steel and is designed to uplift any living space.

Bloem Pendant made in Australia out of timber. Available in small (510 x 280mm) and large (845 x 365mm). Can also be dipped in various colours to coordinate with surroundings.

Seabreeze Outdoor Table & Chairs made in Australia from sustainably sourced FSC hardwood and sturdy blue metal frames to suit both casual and formal outdoor environments.



H and G Designs Shelf from Norsu Interiors is perfect for holding items in small spaces. It has a solid blonde plywood timber veneer shelf with tan leather straps and brass eyelets. Designed and made in Australia.

Ziporah Lifestyle Sparkly Vulcan Rug is a statement piece made out of quality ring-spun cotton and a latex, non-slip backing. Inspired by the ancient metalworker to the gods and heroes, its lavish texture is suitable for the bathroom or bedroom.

Oscar Sofa by designers Lisa Vincitorio and Laelie Berzon, this sofa is simple, slender and spacious. It can be customised and is comfortable being fully upholstered in fabric or leather. The slim line legs come in solid timber American oak or ash and in natural or stained black finish. Designed and made in Australia with recycled plastic for its shell and high resilient, commercial grade and fire retardant foam in the sofa seat and back. The base is powder coated metal and solid timber and its perfect proportions make it a modern addition to areas of all sorts.

Summer 2015



Round Chip & Dip Bowl is made from timber with three birds on equal sides to create a stand out feature to an already classically beautiful chip and dip bowl.

Ingrid Fabric by Warwick Fabrics is fresh and colourful featuring an abstract floral design with a large pattern repeat. Made in Australia with a natural 100% cotton base cloth and is Oeko Tex certified. Available in three fresh colourways of chintz, indigo and terracotta.

Menu Yeh Wall Table designed by Kenyon Yeh bears two thin and slightly angular legs made out of metal and the tabletop is partially bent upwards in a 90-degree angle to lean against any wall. Its minimalistic design makes it a perfect side table to rest books, magazines, flowerpots, lamps or cups of coffee.



Gone Rural Natural Woven Coaster Set is woven by a group of over 700 rural women in the mountains of Swaziland. With the use of traditional hand skills and locally sustainable raw materials, the women design these modern coasters while maintaining a traditional lifestyle at home.

Skyline Watercolour Print made in Australia using a state of the art printer and ink on premium cotton/ply blend 360 GSM canvas. Gallery wrapped round kiln-dried timber frame and coated for protection against UV light and dust damage. Guaranteed against fading and warping for 20 years. Several sizes available.

Inca Sink Mixer by Dorf is functional and sleek with its curved neck and straight lever. It has clever in-built features, which include a swivel joint, European ultra flex PEX anti-coil hose for easy rotation and sliding control move-through spray options. It also holds a 4 WELS star rating.

Summer 2015



Amindy Clock handmade in Australia and featuring laser cut resin, this trendy clock is a perfect piece to any modern household. Also available in other bright colours and in desk clock editions.

Coloured Drum Ottoman is fully upholstered and suitable for outdoor and indoor use. Made here from perforated marine grade ply, outdoor foam and stainless steel fixings. Alternative sizes available.

Maple Table by Agostino & Brown is Australian made out of solid American oak and turned solid base. With a white wash clear matte lacquer finish, it highlights any room. Dimensions: 1200 mm x 750 mm.




Summer 2015





Left: Serviceworks project featuring S-Series Tambour Door Cabinet with Flox Planter Box.

hen Planex CEO Jean-Pierre Jardel took over the business from his father in 1990, workspaces were generally conservative and followed a common ‘cookie-cutter’ style. As a determined and business-minded individual, Jardel saw the opportunity to combine practicality with style and elected to focus on more individualised products. For more than two decades, Jardel has worked closely with his team to ensure its workspace furniture solutions evolve with modern times and changing technology. He not only wanted his furniture to stand the test of time through ecological and sustainable systems but was also adamant about keeping all procedures, staff and production in Australia - and for this to be the ethos of his brand. It is undeniable that over the past 25 years there have been some vast modifications to the connotations attached to the word ‘office.’ Instead of the ordinary cubicle office layout, nowadays offices are much more vibrant and energetic spaces. The recognition has been that while some people work well in large, open-plan offices, others need smaller nooks and crannies with less distraction. Jardel very quickly pinpointed that technological advances would herald the need for a more creative office space that works effectively for the end-user. “I saw the potential for the brand to move away from the conservative workplace style that was commonplace at the time and create something based on the combined elements of functionality and style. We want to create furniture that reflects these changes; making the furniture more than just an object but something that is customisable, versatile, longlasting, and most importantly, made for the individual. I saw Planex as being as creative as possible, incorporating European styling, without the huge cost,” Jardel explains.

And since the introduction of laptops to workspaces in the 1990s, technology has changed even more rapidly, causing a complete revolution in the way we produce work today. With the ever-increasing virtual world bringing us closer together, the modern office has never before seen such a swift transformation. Communication through popular apps such as Skype and Facetime and various tools in the form of iPad apps have made workspaces far more flexible. “Workplace needs are always changing. In recent years we have seen more evolution within the workplace, as collaboration and flexibility become key concerns. People are now working in different ways and rely on multipurpose work surroundings to provide a more productive and effective atmosphere,” Jardel says. Tapping into the changing times has also seen Planex create solutions that suit the individual employee, catering for the variety of different workspace environments that have emerged today – whether it be hot-desking, the home office, job-sharing requirements or an activity-based working (ABW) corporate environment. ABW has in fact become the buzzword in workspace design. Furniture that can accommodate change, yet also provide for staff interaction, collaboration and the sharing of ideas have been central to Planex’s design innovations, and in this way the company has placed itself at the forefront of change. “At Planex our purpose is to empower people to work more effectively in the evolving workplace. ABW personal storage solutions and portable planter boxes are some of the examples of the company’s commitment to designs that suit the individual end-user of workspace design,” Jardel says.



“Our aim is longevity not landfill.”

Clockwise from top left: Linea Sliding Door Cabinet with Flox Planter at Planex HQ Melbourne, Linea Sliding Door Cabinet at Planex HQ Melbourne, Jean-Pierre Jardel, Planex HQ Melbourne, Virtu Lateral Drawer Cabinet at Planex HQ Melbourne and Metal from Planex factory.

Summer 2015



“People are now working in different ways and rely on multipurpose work surroundings to provide a more productive and effective atmosphere.”

Right: Planex NSW Showroom, Erskineville featuring Derlot seating. Below: Planex NSW Showroom - workstation features Planex Fatfile Storage, Planex X-System shelving, Freefold Screen and Christopher Boots lighting.

The xLocker2 is one of the company’s most recent designs. Catered to the individual, the storage unit contains integrated wiring to charge devices and can be custom-designed to fit an array of different floor plans. Its high-customisation means that each employee can change its components so that every locker has the capacity to function differently.

“Whether companies are operating out of shared spaces or separately, with partitions or open-plan, every single person within that space has a different need. The cyclist commuter needs somewhere to put their helmet; the CEO needs somewhere to put a spare suit or after work outfit; and the part-timer needs space to put personal items while someone else uses their desk on days

off. It is personal and collective storage,” says Jardel. And it’s not just office layouts that have undergone a revolution. The industry is much more aware of the profound influence colour has on behaviour and work productivity. Workspaces such as the Macquarie Group’s Sydney headquarters were decked out with rooms splashed in bright green, turquoise and red against a bright white backdrop when the Shelley Street headquarters opened its doors in 2009. It was the first fully integrated example of ABW architecture in Australia, offering workers the opportunity to select their environment to suit their personality and current needs, including by choice of colour environment to suit their mood. Gone are the days of the drab, grey, mass-produced office. Colour has been shown to vastly affect worksite efficiency. Greens create a soothing and calming effect; blues stimulate the mind; reds and oranges stimulate alertness; and yellows instil a sense of optimism and self-confidence. The various properties of different colours can not only work to the advantage of productivity, but also to a company’s customer base. London-based colour psychologist Angela Wright has said the balanced and calming properties of the colour green works well in areas where money is changing hands.


Customised bold colour is an idea that is significant to Planex. The company offers customers a choice of modifying its furniture in more than 150 different colours. A complete made-to-order approach is a key element to the company’s philosophy. Working for client Swarovski has been one of its most interesting recent projects. They chose Planex to design and manufacture products for use in their collaborative and ABW spaces in their recent Alexandria fit-out. Planex’s Linea Sliding Acoustic Cabinet and the xLocker were the main furniture pieces provided for the project. “Swarovski chose them for their storage aesthetics and the added value provided by their acoustic properties. Our experience working on this project with the designers at The World Is Round was a perfect example of fostering a mutually beneficial designer/ manufacturer relationship,” Jardel explains. Planex’s fresh, playful and sleek modern approach to workspace design is revealed in other projects designed for clients including Pacific Brands, Collins Towers and Fujitsu Melbourne but their biggest success is being proactive in minimising their eco-footprint. “Our world can’t wait for us to play catchup. I believe businesses need to be doing everything possible to ensure that sustainable practices are put into place. It’s good for culture; it’s good for our brand,” Jardel says.


Planex has seen many changes in workspace design during its 43-year history, yet one thing has remained fundamental to the brand’s culture – the use of locally sourced sustainable materials, supporting Australian designers and Melbourne manufacturing. They maintain this culture through the theory of ‘built-out obsolescence.’ “We want our customers to buy once and buy right. This means building furniture that is adaptable to change by being able to be repurposed, reused, reconfigured or recycled. Our strong design philosophy means that we aim to create furniture that is enduring, versatile, elegant, resolved, delightful and always original. Our aim is longevity not landfill!” Jardel says. And while many of its industry competitors have moved production offshore, all of Planex’s products continue to be manufactured in its head office in Hallam, Victoria. “We’re very community orientated and believe that we need to draw from our local resources to enrich our community. Having products designed and manufactured in-house means we have full visibility of the brand and the direction it is taking. We are able to instill it with the Planex DNA, which has evolved over the last 40 years and is something dear to us,” Jardel explains.

Providing its employees with good working conditions is part of that DNA and something that Jardel says is not available to offshore workers. “All employees contribute to how products are designed and manufactured and the outcome is product ownership during the manufacturing process. When allied with our talented design and development team, this strategy forms a powerful force. We believe that the wellbeing of the individual that manufactures our products is not negotiable and we see local manufacture as the only practical solution,” Jardel says. Which comes full circle to where the company is at – catering to the individual worker with products that enhance their varied working life, increase their happiness and in turn their output. There is no reading between the lines for Planex. Jardel is focused on transforming the Australian workspace by inspiring productivity and empowering individuals. With their wealth of experience, their design philosophies, their desire to meet every client’s needs and their proactive measures in environmental change, their message is clear – whatever our expectations are in the world, it is our own contribution that forms the future of our planet.

“Our purpose is to empower people to work more effectively in the evolving workplace.”

Left: Planex xLocker2.

Summer 2015

Ideation Design Innovation “People are looking for connection to spaces, places and people. We are finding that spaces that answer this are the ones that resonate.” KATHERINE KEMP, ZWEI INTERIORS & ARCHITECTURE



Talking Business:



sually the term ‘back to basics’ makes us, a society of newly bred forward thinkers cringe to our very core. In a culture that fosters change and is rapidly advancing, it is not intuitive nor is it favourable to look to old-fashioned tactics - and why would we? For Sydney Builder Dylan Falecki, it took a lifetime of learning and going against the grain of conformity for this particular motif to inevitably become the foundation of his business. Falecki, like us, is not exempt from time constraints and deadlines. Currently working on channel ten’s The Living Room; Falecki is a carpenter and joiner by trade. He holds a degree in economics and also manages a small design and construction company. With an already steady and successful career, Falecki, much to his predilection, still found himself challenged. He craved for more of an opportunity to indulge in his artistic passion, with a craft that he could handle after the long hours and constant travelling proved too much and he also lacked space on his backyard deck, which left him in quite a predicament. As a result, Falecki re-configured his way of thinking and accompanying this with his talent for maximising space, he constructed a table - one that assembled

Summer 2015

quickly and required minimal labour. Hence, Falecki Furniture was born. “As with many good things in life, you just fall into them. Falecki Furniture is, for me, a natural evolution of what I do [and] as a business, is a way to future-proof myself. All that I am doing is taking the necessary steps to reincarnate what I already love doing into a business that can potentially run without me being in the workshop or office everyday,” says Falecki. “Innovative design, simple manufacturing, export focused and totally Australian made is what we are about. We really want to focus on modular, space-saving and flexible furniture,” he adds. It was this exact notion that Falecki had in mind when developing his initial range of Vertical Furniture. Using the word ‘simple’ in its most literal form, Falecki developed the award-winning, patented furniture system that enables a variety of large and small furniture pieces to be assembled within the same timespan as an Instagram video (15 seconds); while only using the most essential and basic tools – your hands. “[Vertical Furniture] consists of wall mountable panels that house furniture

components. These furniture components can be pulled off the wall and assembled when needed. The piece of furniture can be pulled apart after use and the individual components can be placed back into the wall-mounted housing,” Falecki explains. “The end result is a flush wall panel that accommodates pieces of furniture. Materials range from plywood to acrylic and we use simple joinery and tension fittings to bring the concept to life.” From the trademark dining table, the collection quickly expanded to coffee tables, benches and side tables but it was the prototype knockdown plywood stool that truly attracted attention. “[The stool] was an after-thought. My wife actually suggested designing the stools just for use while exhibiting overseas so there would be somewhere for us to sit and something cute to give out as a sample,” Falecki explains. “I designed the knockdown bench and dining table to look great and function well and they are the flagship products for our business; and now everyone is carrying on about how much they love the stools!” And while the back deck is sorted, Falecki’s ‘stripped-back’ thinking and space-saving



“Innovative design, simple manufacturing, export focused and totally Australian made is what we are about. We really want to focus on modular, space-saving and flexible furniture.”

Above: Dylan Falecki with Vertical Furniture Stools.


solutions have not been constrained to the parameters of his own backyard. His robust and practical commodities have been warmly welcomed across the globe including this year’s Furniture China and Tent London trade shows. “Falecki Furniture is for everyone. Absolutely everyone. We are already selling, in limited quantities, to South East Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore. Right now we are focusing on selling overseas and will possibly make our furniture available domestically by early next year. If we can sell volume abroad then we can enter the Australian market at a better price point,” Falecki says. “The big fish is China. After exhibiting at Furniture China 2015 I’ve come back to Australia with a solid vision of where the company will be in the short, medium and long term.” This unconventional and brilliant type of furniture has certainly tapped into an ultramodern dimension and gives us insight

Summer 2015


into what might be the quintessential way of living in the future. It’s quite farfetched and slightly humourous to imagine that the phrase ‘set the table’ will one day convey multiple meanings. Falecki has marveled at this idea as well and is implementing strategies to further solidify the features of his business model. “The furniture design and manufacturing industry is definitely going through a rebirth at the moment. As a national industry we can only compete internationally with low volume, high quality and innovative furniture exports.” Falecki explains. “It’s like a new industrial revolution where anyone with an internet connection, a swift code and a bit of drive can be an international business. We all just need to explore new horizons and if something isn’t working, change,” he adds. Nonetheless, with change also comes challenge and an unwavering Falecki is adamant that despite all formidable changes

Above: Vertical Furniture Table and Bench Seats assembled. Below left: Unassembled Vertical Furniture Stool. Below right: Assembled Vertical Furniture Stool.


“It’s like a new industrial revolution where anyone with an internet connection, a swift code and a bit of drive can be an international business. We all just need to explore new horizons and if something isn’t working, change.”

in the industry’s climate, keeping all manufacturing and production in Australia is conducive to the success of his company. As an advocate for Australian design and manufacturing, Falecki exercises commitment to the country’s brand that is held in such high regard overseas. “We finish, pack and quality control all products in the work shop before shipping. It is not only important; it is essential to our business model. We have our Australia Made licence and are working closely with AusTrade in China to help us navigate our way around the Chinese market,” Falecki explains. “I’ve been told many times that I’m crazy for focusing on selling to China [but] I want to leverage off our good name as a nation of innovators. I have seen a slow shift to buying Australian made designed. The cheap replica


import trend is dying. More consumers are buying locally made with pride. Social media has given small makers celebrity status and with this a real motivation to succeed,” he adds. By merging Dylan Falecki’s exuding passion for the product, dedication to his business and loyalty to the Australian economy, he has established a repertoire of achievements and in turn, earned a celebrity status of his own in the industry. Falecki was recently awarded the 2015 AFIA’s (Australian Furnishing Industry Awards) Residential Furniture Design Award, the International Green Interiors, Green Medallion For Manufacturing Award and he also received a commendation in the product innovation category. Thus, reinforcing the idea that an unsophisticated approach to design is applauded.

Below: Dylan Falecki with Vertical Furniture Benches and AFIA Design Award.



“I always ask myself these questions: Is it innovative? Does it look good? Is it easy to make? If I can answer yes to all three then I know I’m onto a winner.”

Right: Single bench components out of vertical housing and in assembled form.

“We are not here to reinvent the wheel. We just got the wheel and used it in a different way,” says Falecki. “The design process is very simple. Identify all limitations and then design to that. Of course I’m inspired by architecture and nature but the bottom line for me is strict limitations. I always ask myself these questions: Is it innovative? Does it look good? Is it easy to make? If I can answer yes to all three then I know I’m onto a winner.” Falecki points out that his hectic lifestyle has not once hindered his ability to continue designing and building and that the progression of his career has only enabled him incomparable exposure over the years. This has heavily influenced his decisionmaking processes and has moulded him into the creative genius that he is today.

Summer 2015

“I’ve been involved in television for nearly seven years now. In a transient industry based on short term contracts, staying with one show for that long means that not only is the work challenging but more importantly fun. It does help, however, that the industry is full of highly capable and creative misfits who don’t quite fit in the ‘real world,’” says Falecki. The formula for instituting a successful furniture business or any sort of business according to Falecki is to not ‘over-think’ it and also understanding that learning from previous experiences is paramount. “I have failed so many times that I ultimately expect it as a part of the path to success. I’m worried if something doesn’t go wrong… there is almost not enough wood to touch. I just embrace failure, love change and ultimately expect success,” Falecki explains.

As Falecki constantly observes, touches, experiments and questions, it’s apparent that his passion is creating and his motivation is curiosity; and consequently, the future of Falecki Furniture remains bright. Both aesthetically and pertinently, Falecki and his team have revolutionised the way we arrange space - and all through holistic and uncomplicated principles. In an industry with an ever-changing climate, Falecki Furniture has made firm grounding and shows us all that forward thinking is viable by bringing the basics back - It’s simple.

Furnishing in Focus

Proudly Australian, Locally made AUSTRALIA’S LEADING MANUFACTURERS PROUDLY PRESENT THE LARGEST SELECTION OF LOCALLY PRODUCED FURNISHING DESIGNS TO BE SHOWN IN 2016. FREE OF IMPORTS. 8 & 9 June 2016 For more information and online pre-registration please visit Furnishing





in fo c u s.c o m


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A of Worl cho d ice




fter migrating from Malaysia and growing up in a small two-bedroom unit, Apartment Lifestyle founder Yoz Zhang truly understood the limitations of space. With no space to even fit an Eero Aarnio Ball Chair without completely compromising the function of the room, Zhang spent a lot of his twenty-eight years attempting to solve his own furnishing problems. Even after being promoted to Import Manager at one of Australia’s largest furniture companies, Zhang’s observations and trying times still led him to be both disillusioned and frustrated at the sizeable furniture available – none of which was practical for smaller dwellings. So in November of 2010 with a personal motivation and a student’s worth of savings, Zhang embarked on a new career path. Thus, Apartment Lifestyle was born. Zhang’s sole intention was to provide an online furniture store that catered to people living in smaller spaces and essentially add value to the community through this business. Since then, Apartment Lifestyle has gained immense popularity as it continues to provide a range of progressive, intelligently designed furniture and tactical advice for the increasing category of people who are downsizing their dwellings. In the spirit of this issue’s theme, Furnishing International caught up with Yoz Zhang who shares with us the components needed for managing an online furniture business and its existing and potential features that is enabling it to be a strong contender in the furnishing industry. Can you tell us what Apartment Lifestyle’s point of difference is within the furnishing industry? Apartment Lifestyle started as a part-time venture, which quickly grew into a full-time business. It is an online furniture store, which aims to enhance the apartment living experience. I understand the aim of most businesses is to generate profit but I also feel that businesses should add value to the community. In the case of retail businesses I feel that value should be added by offering consumers greater access to products. Greater access to products can be done in a variety

Summer 2015



of ways – such as an increased range to choose from, offering existing products in new markets, or even offering products at a cheaper price thereby allowing people who could not afford them before the chance to purchase them. Overall I believe our success can be attributed to our customer-centric approach. As a business owner I try to import products, which solve a problem faced by Australian consumers and often draw inspiration from my own life as well as those of friends and family. Having grown up in a small two-bedroom unit the ‘apartment lifestyle’ concept isn’t just a concept but it’s the way I’ve been living for the past twenty-eight years. How many people are employed at Apartment Lifestyle? At present Apartment Lifestyle has two casual staff who predominantly respond to customer enquiries but also get involved in other aspects of the business. As a student I was lucky enough to have several bosses who offered me professional development opportunities along with everyday work tasks and I look forward to offering the same opportunities to my casual employees. Aside from our two casual staff we have a network of contracted staff that are viewed as part of the Apartment Lifestyle team. We choose to outsource most of our non-core operations (such as warehousing, logistics, and even assembly services) allowing us to focus on the core aspects of the company. Where exactly are the products manufactured? If you manufacture overseas, what are the factors that make you do so? Our current products are manufactured in Asia as we have found the factories in these regions best fit our needs in terms of cost and quality. Usually our products come via one of two options: We may be approached by a supplier with a design that we like and we will work with

Left: Yoz Zhang at Apartment Lifestyle Warehouse. Photo by Hao Raun Wong. Above: Peek-a-boo Coffee Table by Apartment Lifestyle. them to ensure the design and dimensions are applicable for our market or, we may encounter a problem in everyday life and collaborate with designers from one of our existing suppliers to find a way to solve that everyday problem. Either way, increasing options in the marketplace is something that I am passionate about. I understand you provide for individual consumers but what about industry professionals and international clients? Our target clientele are the end-users and we do get frequent requests for office and serviced apartment fit-outs, which we are always happy to handle. When it comes to commercial jobs we also do often get contacted by specialised refurbishment companies who recommend our products to clients, as these clients are usually more cost-conscious given the number of items they are buying. In July 2015 we launched our UK Website ( and our first container recently landed at our Birmingham warehouse.

What has been your best selling product thus far and why do you believe it has been so? Our all-time best-selling product is our Lumiere Office Desk - High Gloss White, which is a product that serendipitously ended up on our website. We were working with a supplier on the design of the Lumiere High Gloss Shelves and Lumiere High Gloss Drawers but there was a slight miscalculation in the packaged dimensions and as such we ended up with about four cubic meters of empty space in our first container. Fortunately, the factory we were dealing with had a handful of products they produced for a European client and they loaded a variety of samples to fill out the container. We liked the samples and after tinkering with the dimensions a little we popped them on the website. The success of the Lumiere Office Desk is largely attributed to the versatility of the product as it functions equally well in apartments, full-sized houses and even offices. We have sold several of these to offices who have often told us that the quality of the materials in our products is what makes them stand out.

“I understand the aim of most 034 TALKING BUSINESS: APARTMENT LIFESTYLE businesses is to generate profit but I also feel that businesses should add value to the community.”

What do you believe are some current trends within Melbourne’s design industry? Worldwide the current trend is people living in apartments, units and townhouses. As living spaces get smaller we have to be more conscious of how we can optimise that space to ensure that we can maintain our lifestyle without too many compromises. A few examples of trends I see occurring are an increased number of items that fulfil multiple needs. For example, combined coffee/dining tables and items that can be compacted for storage (e.g. fold-away desks), items that have hidden storage compartments (e.g. storage under beds) and items that function perfectly in small spaces (e.g. sliding doors versus openout). After encountering some space issues we are actually working on designing a range that uses either sliding doors and potentially gas-lifts to allow for the most efficient storage in small spaces.

Upper: Maestro High Gloss Furniture Range by Apartment Lifestyle. Lower: Maestro High Gloss Dining Table by Apartment Lifestyle.

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What challenges and benefits have you experienced in managing an online business of this sort? As an online furniture retailer our main challenge is getting our lovely products around Australia safely and cost-effectively. When it comes to the larger flat-packs there are very few courier companies who are willing to do home deliveries and even fewer who can do them safely. We’ve probably trialled half a dozen courier companies before settling on our current courier company and even then, we’ve been working closely with them over the past few years to ensure that our packaging is suitable to pass through their systems and processes.

What’s next for Apartment Lifestyle? Our short-term aim is to increase our product range as we are committed to offering Australians a more diverse marketplace with more furniture options. In the longerterm I would love to transform Apartment Lifestyle from an online furniture store to an online community on how to best enjoy apartment living – whether it’s inspiration for refurnishing or for recommendations on which home insurer suits their needs best.


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oday, the practice of sustainable architecture is seemingly becoming less of a movement than the norm. Yet to achieve a harmonious balance between beautiful, enduring buildings and their surroundings involves far more than the use of solar panels and recycled materials. It requires refined and applied knowledge of sustainable design, coupled with passion and innovative vision. These are the qualities for which Zen Architects has become renowned for, and has successfully imbued in The Harding Street Yellow House project. Designed to reflect the lifestyle and interests of a family of three – a young couple and beloved dog – the renovation underpins the functional and aesthetic tradition of Melbourne’s café culture, while facilitating a connection to the environment and reducing energy and water usage. This sophisticated union of sustainability, function and form is evident throughout Zen Architects’ impressive body of work; with each project embodying refined aesthetic qualities and ecologically sustainable designing. Founded in 1989 by Ric Zen and based in North Fitzroy, Zen Architects is a multi-award-winning practice that consists of a small, yet highly dedicated team of

individuals who share a passion for producing sustainable architecture. Senior Architect, Laura Bulmer, joined the practice more than four years ago and attributes much of Zen Architects’ success to the enthusiasm and professionalism of herself and her colleagues, combined with an innovative approach to design buildings that respond thoughtfully to their context, built and natural, and to express this architectural thinking. “Growing up and making a start in architecture in southeast Queensland gave me an appreciation for buildings that are physically open to the natural environment and make the most of passive ventilation. The climate in Victoria, however, calls for buildings that are more geared to providing warmth, and [although] the Melbourne urban context is more built up, I think it's still important that our buildings allow us to relate to the world around us. Our built environment says so much about the way we relate to the natural environment,” Bulmer explains. “Our expertise in natural heating and cooling, sustainable materials and energy and water conservation maximises the sustainable performance of our buildings, while informing the experiential qualities of our architecture

… The materials we use often have stories of their own that imbue another layer of meaning and beauty in our architecture.” With a philosophy to design spaces that stimulate the inhabitant’s senses and are responsive to the natural environment and landscape, this can certainly be said for The Harding Street Yellow House. The brief presented to Zen Architects stipulated a complete revivification of an existing 1930s compartmentalised house, built with no regard for solar orientation. It had to embody a natural, passive solar design suitable for contemporary living and communal gathering. Accomplishing this required a collaborative and highly considered response to the clients' needs and aspirations; reflecting the lifestyle and interests of the couple and their appreciation of Melbourne's café culture, both functionally and aesthetically. “The owners loved their existing house but recognised it did not make good use of space and sunlight, and they desired an immediate connection between inside and outside. They wanted the new house to be smarter, not bigger,” Bulmer explains. With this in mind, the front four rooms of the house were re-configured and modernised



“The owners desired an immediate connection between inside and outside. They wanted the new house to be smarter, not bigger.”

to maximise functionality and complement the owners’ contemporary lifestyles. The rear lean-to and shed were also demolished to make way for a new and dynamic open space at the rear of the house, which have been designed to allow winter sun into the living areas, while simultaneously accommodating a carport and connection to the adjoining laneway. The new kitchen is colourful and robust, and adjoins with the living area, which exudes a warm, natural and tactile aesthetic. The spaces, defined through detail and scale, have been strategically positioned adjacent to one another for open-plan communal enjoyment. The bar area is defined by an island bench with servery that provides direct access to the adjoining pergola, which coupled with the full-height glass sliding doors, effortlessly cultivates an indoor/ outdoor dining experience. A steel pergola, which features radially sawn timber decking, further defines the outdoor dining area and features a fast-growing and deciduous grapevine that will soon provide additional shade to the outdoor dining and the adjacent living room windows during the summer months. “The carport with rear lane access further defines the outdoor dining area but also offers additional entertaining space for larger gatherings and a connection to the laneway. Intimate areas are provided within the openplan living spaces with low plywood ceilings above the daybed,” Bulmer explains.

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“The experience of being in the house is completely transformed now that the internal spaces are properly connected to the outside and the surrounding context – this really opens the house up to the environment, encourages recognition of the surrounding context, and spatially provides for communal gathering, inside and out, year-round,” she adds. While much of what informs Zen Architects’ design approach is based on its knowledge and experience in sustainable architecture, the practice also champions collaboration between architect and client to

Above: Intimate spaces are provided within the open plan living areas with warm, tactile materials above and around the daybed. Below: The mix of old and new materials reflects Melbourne’s café culture. Previous page: The dynamic forms and open spaces at the rear of the house allow winter sun into the living areas and provide an immediate connection between inside and outside.



“As an industry we need to work to get to a point where new construction doesn’t come at a cost to the environment.”

Left: The yellow colour mixed into the project became one of the most identifying elements. Below: The kitchen, living and outdoor dining areas share adjacencies for communal enjoyment.

ensure their personalities and way of life are interwoven throughout the design. Here, bold splashes of yellow featured throughout the home interior are indicative of the owners’ playful vitality and adds an aesthetic quality of the design that is truly one-of-a-kind. “One of the clients is a professional house painter and actually mixed the yellow colour for the project, which has become one of the most identifying elements. They also took on all of the external painting for the house and did a great job,” Bulmer says. An eclectic mix of old and new materials has also been carefully curated throughout the home’s interior to instil an authentic feeling for Melbourne's café culture. Recycled bricks salvaged from the site and elsewhere provide colour and tactility in the lounge area, while Skyrange Windows, double-glazed steel windows and insulated steel doors were chosen to suit the desired aesthetic throughout. Gunnersens FSC certified plywood cladding and interior lining has also been implemented throughout to add warmth to the home. “The clients' are serious about coffee [and] this was a key factor in the design of the kitchen and living areas and how they relate to each other … it's the combination of many elements that makes this project work,” Bulmer says. A flood overlay affecting the site required the carport to be positioned significantly above natural ground level, while the resultant ramp and setback meant the carport started to encroach on the house. Zen Architects cleverly manipulated this to the advantage of the site, using it to define the external spaces described above creating more of a café feel. Urban yet seamlessly interlinked with its natural surrounds, the overall result

of the project epitomises Zen Architects' commitment to site context and consideration of the clients' personalities, needs and aspirations. By doing so, the practice has achieved a design that better accommodates the clients’ brief through the incorporation of innovative and sustainable design solutions. Yet while Bulmer acknowledges the progress made by the architectural industry in terms of adopting ecologically sustainable design practices, there is still plenty room for improvement. “Sustainability is hugely important, and widely talked about, but that doesn't mean it's being practiced to the degree it should be. At present making buildings is inherently bad

for the environment, and sometimes bad for occupants as well! There can often be competing agendas that make sustainable approaches seem difficult or not possible,” Bulmer explains. Further underpinning Zen Architects’ sustainable design principles is a belief that designers of the built environment must play a role in the social sustainability of the wider community by supporting local manufacturing and design, and bringing affordable sustainable architecture to as many people as possible. “At present the architectural industry is not having enough of an impact on the development of our cities. Developers and real estate agents are extremely influential


Above: The front four rooms of the house were retained but re-configured and modernised, including a new bathroom. Below: A pergola that has the beginnings of a grape vine defines the outdoor dining area and links it with the interior spaces.


Completion 2015 Steel window Skyrange Windows Timber cladding and decking Radial Timber Sales Plywood Gunnersens Lighting Volker Haug Tile Ital Ceramics and Perini Tiles

in shaping our changing cities, while highly educated and trained built environment professionals are having only marginal effect. We need to turn that around and make good design a part of how we all live, and the norm for the future of our cities,” says Bulmer. “Many of our clients wish to minimise their footprints, both their ecological footprint and their building footprint. But the trend in Australian housing at present is in the opposite direction, and this puts pressure on ideas about building small. The mainstream is still tending towards quantity over quality,” she adds. Contemporary architecture can quite happily accommodate a diverse range of expectations in a small footprint, but as Bulmer explains, it requires thinking outside the conventional square. With this in mind, will compromises be made or thinking shifted to allow smaller footprints and more sustainable solutions? “The reason our designs have a sustainable focus from inception is to make sure sustainability is a priority throughout the design process and is strengthened over the course of the project. As an industry we need to work to get to a point where new construction doesn't come at a cost to the environment,” says Bulmer. Not surprisingly, Zen Architects’ formidable combination of innovative and sustainable practice and cutting-edge design has earned the architectural practice a resounding chorus of acclaim. Most recently the architectural practice was shortlisted for the 2015 AIA Victorian Architecture Awards Regional Prize for The Yea Wetlands Visitor Information Centre, which has also been named a finalist for the 2015 Sustainability Awards Public and Urban Design Category. Moving forward, however, Zen Architects will continue to exercise its core values in the residential sector, with ambitions to further extend these practices to public and commercial projects. “We've completed a number of public and commercial projects but we are definitely keen to build this up to be more of what we do. The approaches we take to our residential work are highly applicable to non-residential projects – people at work still value sunlight and fresh air!” Bulmer says. Through its enthusiasm and professionalism, coupled with an innovative approach to problem solving, Zen Architects will continue to be an advocate for good design to the industry, delivering exciting, and enduring buildings that give back to the locale and the community.

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Industry “Having products designed and manufactured in-house means we have full visibility of the brand and the direction it is taking.” JEAN-PIERRE JARDEL, PLANEX




n the midst of our ever-evolving Melbourne, a hub constantly recognised for its infectious and undeniable creative forces is Zwei Interiors & Architecture. Zwei (meaning ‘two’ in German) is the creative partnership of Hanna Richardson and Katherine Kemp who pride themselves on creating authentic, eclectic and visually stunning spaces that originate from the seeds of a narrative, evolve with a sense of personality and result with the true telling of a story. With over two decades of experience in both Germany and Australia, Richardson’s sophisticated edge, thorough attention to project delivery and unending fervor allows her to embrace all design opportunities that arise. Mirroring this, Kemp with her creativity, strong conceptual narrative, versatile manner – and true Melbournian love of coffee – not only showcases her talent for Zwei Interiors & Architecture but also spends time sharing her knowledge and skills with students at RMIT. Since bursting onto the Melbourne design scene in 2006, Zwei have cemented themselves as a multi-disciplinary and multiaward-winning team. Situated in the vibrant suburb of South Melbourne, the practice’s

Right: Locating the kitchen central to the space creates a vibrant experience for the customer.

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diverse experience in delivering projects in the hospitality, residential and retail spaces is what sets them amongst the finest. Their unique and effective approach to design begins with the initial idea to redefine spaces with pioneering design and inspiration, while never ceasing to have some fun along the way. “We are fascinated by narrative, the telling of the story within the space. We ask ourselves, what experience are we trying to create for the people who occupy it? This is the main design driver and although every design result is different, this is the continuous thread to our work,” Kemp says. Most of the design team’s success initially comes from their appreciation of the theoretical and often abstract sharing of ideas. Collaboration is key to their work ethic, starting from the internal team and extending out to other suggested creatives such as consultants and clients. “We like to work collaboratively. We value input and although it may result in some divided opinions along the way, we believe the end result is a stronger one,” Kemp says. The practice’s values and reputable standing within the design industry have granted them many long-lasting relationships and it is this, along with their adaptability and precision, that led them to their recently coveted project, café Code Black. Nominated

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Above: A mezzanine is located over the kitchen creating a quiet zone. Right: Single pendants made from reused coffee grains are suspended over high tables.

for ‘Best Café Design’ in the 2015 Eat Drink Awards, Zwei’s knack for inventive design is greater than ever. “The brief for Code Black was very fluid, it was developed and went through many permutations along the way. Having worked with the client for a long time, we were able to work closely together as the scheme developed and respond quickly to the changing requirements,” Kemp says. What was once an old mechanics workshop is now an eye-catching locally inspired fit-out at 119 Howard Street in North Melbourne, which invites customers to journey through unforgettable house coffee blends and delightfully well-crafted signature dishes. The choice is there to be either placed in a corner tucked away in the deep of the café – paying tribute to the classic Brunswick theme or in one of the wide spaces wrapped around the central action area. As current design trends in the hospitality arena beckon

more of a ‘residential’ look, Code Black’s light contemporary space was developed not only on the foundations of its surroundings but also through the strong alliances that were established to ensure the development be an appropriate and sagacious one. “We wanted to respond to the amazing site, the developing local background, but also the individual story the client was hoping to achieve within the space. The location is very important to the site, Howard Street sits within an interesting and developing context, and the client intended that this space should be focusing on being part of the neighbourhood,” Kemp says. “There were many meetings as the project developed and everyone had a strong input. There were a number of partnerships and one that had a huge impact on the quality of the space was the builder being part-client for the project. We [also] worked very closely with Pete Salmon from Salmon Design in


“We are fascinated by narrative, the telling of the story within the space. We ask ourselves what experience we are trying to create for the people who occupy it.�



developing the graphic language. This is a very important element as it allows the customer to get a sense of the narrative within the space,” she adds. Located on the doorstep to the city, the café’s distressed façade is a distinct standout. Yet upon entrance, this glimpse of history is left at the doorstep as the refined and fresh interior represents a very different place in time. The clever incorporation of a central open kitchen and server was a practical component to the design for the want of greater interaction at service point. The designers also used a carefully selected colour scheme, which proves a harmonious flow throughout all spaces, as another effective way to positively change customer’s experiences within the dining area. “The colour scheme is light, warm and almost residential in its application. [The open kitchen] allows customers to see and hear the

a strong feature throughout the Code Black project. Limed white AC Hoop Pine plywood lines the ceiling with another layer of recycled Black Butt solid timber for an architectural highlight. Sitting amid this crisp palette is the distinctive lacquered green steel beams, showcasing a residential-inspired mezzanine level that is visually connected to the action below and offers additional seating space to accommodate the overflow for the more eventful days. “We love anything interesting. We love materiality and the interesting application of seemingly normal materials. We have repurposed anything in the space that we can, utilised natural light, and specified environmentally friendly materials throughout,” Kemp explains. “The world is moving so fast that luxury is now about time. Everyone is concerned about the environment and there is an anxiety there.

Design Award – Hospitality & Retail and have flagged their position in the design world by winning a range of awards consecutively over the last few years - further consolidating their already impressive portfolio. For Kemp and Richardson, design is invigorating and they are looking forward to producing more high-calibre projects in the future. “It really is an exciting time, designers are delivering such detailed, considered spaces that the benchmark is high within Australian design. It is also exciting to see fellow designers working collaboratively together on projects to drive the quality of speculative development and actually look to change the local development landscape in Melbourne. We want to continue to create innovative spaces. The next space that is on the drawing board is always the most exciting - you have to stay on your toes!” Kemp says. Hanna Richardson and Katherine Kemp,

happenings in the kitchen, and provides them with a close connection to the space; this is really important in the scheme. The space is very much about a ‘home away from home,’” Kemp explains. With extensive access to materials made available from like-minded suppliers, Zwei are drawn to applying mostly sustainable elements to their projects, whilst always paying homage to the existing characteristics of the space. It was for this reason that inherently sustainable timber is displayed as

People are looking for connection to spaces, places and people. We are finding that spaces that answer this are the ones that resonate,” she adds. The team at Zwei Interiors & Architecture is in tune with the changing nature of design in the commercial sector and their zealous efforts in delivering projects that offer variety, practicality, comfort and style has gained recognition in the public area. Recently shortlisted for the Eat Drink Design Award, Zwei have also been shortlisted for this year’s Australian Interior

with an exuberant and passionate team in hand provide an air of finesse and expert knowledge to those privileged enough to cross paths with them. A true credit to the industry, their experience and reputation has developed from hard work and endless dedication. Grasping the true concepts of sustainable design, Zwei continue to excel in developing striking interiors whilst always managing to reveal the intriguing story behind it all.

Left: A large table is located near the entrance allowing groups to gather for weekend brunch.

Design Team Hanna Richardson Katherine Kemp Emma Coop Danielle Curley Graphic Designer Pete Salmon, Salmon Design Builder Ned Vrselja, High Rise Carpentry Key Project Suppliers Boss Architectural Urban Salvage Luxxboxx Stylecraft Mast Furniture

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11-14 March 2016 Jakarta International Expo Essence of Infinite Innovation


Ph oto co ur tes y: W ari san




Above: Spoga + Gafa, Cologne

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he crowds increased day by day at the 21st China International Furniture Expo (Furniture China 2015) as it was recognised as being bigger and better than ever before. Furnishing International had the opportunity to visit the show and experience this incredible design feast. A record-breaking 307,023 people attended the show over the four days making it the main platform for visitors to explore the development and the future of the furniture industry. Due to its expanding popularity, the show spilled over two venues this year. The Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) and the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre (SWEECC). It held around 2,500 local and international exhibitors who displayed their latest products, designs and technology. There were nine country pavilions from France, Belgium, Spain, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Korea, Turkey and for this first time in 18 years, Australia showcased their products and received outstanding results with some of the larger suppliers selling out before lunch on the first day. Over 500 organisations participated in the Shanghai Home Design Week providing a series of splendid activities, exhibitions and boutiques but the main attraction this year was the joint design exhibition “That’s Mine,” which attracted swarms of people as it presented fresh, young and unique talent.

or five days more than 69,000 visitors (50 per cent French, 50 per cent international) swamped the aisles of the Parc des Expositions Paris Nord Villepinte for the 2015 Maison&Objet Paris trade show. The central Autumn show sparked more interest this year due to the expansion of the Maison&Objet Projets (195 exhibitors), the broad range of services, the reorganisation of the event and the various activities, forums and presentations that took place. The show intersected with Paris Design Week (5-12 September), which continues to gain popularity. The public event held 300 participants (50 new participants) and showed their position in the industry through the development of the themed itineraries – the Upcycling/Sustainable Development and 100% Linen, which shed light on designer’s journey in overcoming sustainable development challenges and the Special Projets itinerary, which gave advice to the professionals and general public on technical and decorative interior design solutions. The show also connected with its overseas visitors with the development of ‘now! le Off’ as 12,000 people walked through this key exhibition. The visitorship on the whole was up by 3 per cent compared to the last show and Managing Director Philippe Brocart confirms that the constant changing is necessary to the success of the event, “The strength of Maison&Objet Paris lies in its ability to reinvent itself to meet changing consumer trends and remain a source of ideas and inspiration for visitors,” Brocart said.





urnishing International attended the 36th China International Furniture Fair as it marked its first ever appearance in Shanghai at the brand new National Convention & Exhibition Center. Spreading across 400,000 square metres, it was easy to get lost in the September edition of the furniture wonderland. The large exhibition space gave way to displays of modern and classic home furniture, home dĂŠcor and textiles, outdoors and leisure furniture, office furniture, machinery and raw materials. The anticipation of the event was evident as over 220,000 visitors connected with 1471 exhibitors over the five days; including exhibitors from Australia, US, Italy, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Portugal and Turkey. Despite the crowd, there was plenty of room to browse and converse comfortably. Rooms were provided to recuperate and relax in between visits and the spacious building allowed for larger stalls and ultimately more interesting displays. Through observation, the office furniture

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department was quite eye-catching. Showcasing all sleek and innovative office chairs, tables and cabinets in large, open plan stalls with wide screen televisions, loud music and impeccable customer service; it was easy to gather the crowds. The classical furniture sector offered one on one tours through the stalls that showed all styles and colours of traditional furniture with a modern appeal. The show was warmly welcomed into the city and the support did not go unnoticed. Chairman of the Board of China Foreign Trade Centre (Group) Wang Zhiping regarded the show a success and was positive about the bright future of the furniture industry. Through determination, diligence and confidence they believed the exhibition has and will continue to provide better service and growth.





F concluded positively on 7 September. The 34th International Famous Furniture Fair (3F) in Dongguan, China was hailed a successful show along with Famous Furniture Woodworking Machinery & Material Fair, Dongguan Home Accents Fair and China Rosewood Furniture Fair. About 1,138 exhibitors presented their most recent products across nine halls that took up 750,000 square metres. It was calculated that 62,493 visitors walked through the show during the five-day fair and of those, more than 3,000 were professional buyers from approximately 150 countries and districts.

The new layout was said to have a huge impact on the efficiency of the show. This was the biggest change that was made in the fair’s last 18 years of existence. The exhibition was separated according to functionality and style making it easier for visitors to distinguish between the large and diverse range. The upholstered pavilion was one of the most popular exhibitions together with the export pavilion, which spread across 30,000 square metres and delivered more variety for international buyers this year.



poga+Gafa achieved a great result after the three-day fair in Cologne. 2,024 companies took part in the exhibition and with 83 per cent of these companies coming from abroad; the exhibition reinstated itself as the leading international garden trade fair in 2015. 37,000 visitors, 60 per cent of them being foreign visitors (mostly from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America) were exposed to a host of new products and events. There were high hopes for the premiere event, ‘TAG DES GARTENS’ and it delivered, attracting over 15,000 visitors and being regarded as useful and entertaining. The event comprised of information on all aspects of the garden including markets, tips, inspiration and fun ideas. The new and more convenient structure, the comprehensive event programs and the informative lectures all contributed to the success of the show, which made room for an optimistic outlook for Spoga+Gafa 2016.









he Las Vegas Market is considered the most wide-ranging furniture, home décor and gift market in the United States and from August 2-6 it held the largest summer market yet. With the launch of new resource destinations and an increase in new registrations and overall attendance (up 5 per cent from last year), the show certainly exceeded all expectations. The show celebrated its 10-year anniversary with leading exhibitors such as Global Views, The Phillips Collection, Michael Aram and Ivystone. It also programmed five launches, which included casual/outdoor, gourmet housewares, better home décor and the pavilions at Las Vegas Market - featuring ‘Discoveries,’ a new temporary exhibit. Reports show that buyers showed a noticeable interest in gourmet housewares and on a whole both attendees and vendors experienced great outcomes. Chief Executive Officer of IMC (organiser) Robert Maricich is positive about the current and future status of the show, “We have made exponential progress towards our goal of becoming the only ‘whole home and gift’ market in North America and anticipate continued and remarkable growth as we continue to build upon our strong foundation,” Maricich said. The Las Vegas Market provided an assortment of products comprising of furniture, lighting, decorative accessories, floor coverings, and home textiles. With such achievement from the 2015 show, organisers believe the best is yet to come.

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ife Instyle Melbourne 2015 certainly lived up to its theme this year – ‘Out Of This World.’ It was at the historic Royal Exhibition Building where 389 exhibitors shared their products, associated with suppliers and highlighted their features in an amazing and creative space. An interesting element was the product showcase where each day there were five objects displayed that represented components that were ‘daring, challenging, imaginative and beautiful.’ The Furnishing International team had the opportunity to take part in the experience and visit the event over the four days. There were around 7,613 visitors at the show, which confirmed an increase of 11 per cent from the previous show and over 613 brands took part showcasing a variety of local, handmade, Australian made and Australian designed products. The Conversation Series was well-liked as it educated the audience on social media, styling, visual merchandising and business tips. Event Director Amelia Coote-Harris was pleased with the outcome, “The thought and presentation that goes into our exhibitors products and displays is incredible and we will continue to support this further by ensuring that Life Instyle remains at the high standard it has been known for over the years,” Coote-Harris said. The show itself attracted an audience that was 57 per cent Victorian based and a staggering 73 per cent of retailers. This deemed the event a viable sector for establishing strong supplier relationships, building business opportunities and giving insight into where design is headed in the future.



24-28 JANUARY 2016

1-5 MARCH 2016






opes are high for the Winter 2016 Las Vegas Market, which will be taking place from 24-28 January at the World Market Center. Being richer in quality and offering a more varied range of resources and enhancements is predicted to spark greater interest from vendors and visitors. There will be over 2,700 suppliers plus education programs (addressing design trends and retailing strategies), trend analysis and networking events to strengthen the overall experience. Some of the highlights include a more comprehensive range of the home décor section and the expansion of the housewares and outdoor furniture categories with brands such as Agio, Panama Jack and Klaussner Outdoor. Other well-established brands such as Bassett, Heritage Home and Natuzzi will also be a part of the furniture category. There will be three main events: Design Icon 2016 offering attendees to learn from leaders in the industry, Pantone Color of the Year Presentation addressing colour and its use in connection with home furnishing and First Look, highlighting the newest products on the market. Chief Executive Officer, International Market Centers (IMC) Robert Maricich is predicting record growth, “As we enter our second decade, Las Vegas Market continues its growth trajectory firmly entrenched as the only major home furnishings market in the western United States but also the leading furniture destination in the western United States,” Maricich said.


ith 80 per cent of the 80,000 square metres of booth space already booked, the 2016 Malaysian International Furniture Fair is expecting a sold out show. The biggest global industry event in Southeast Asia is scheduled from 1-5 March at Putra World Trade Centre and MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre. The exhibition is yet to reveal new lines from bedroom, dining, outdoor and the office from renowned names including Poh Huat, Heavapac, Intergo and Hin Lim. The Muar Hall is anticipating a tremendous response as it will be containing manufacturers from Malaysia’s main furniture producing town, which also accounts for half of the country’s furniture exports. Amongst the locals there is set to be approximately 500 exhibitors from 12 countries, qualifying this show to be a strong market place for home and office selections to suit all tastes. International exhibitors include Indonesia, South Korea, India and the largest overseas pavilions will be from China and Taiwan. MIFF General Manager Karen Goi is hopeful for great results this year as she says, “We are extremely pleased with the strong response. The present global economy is a very challenging one for all industries. An increasing number of exhibitors are responding to competition and requests for new products and designs so we can look forward to more at MIFF 2016.”

Summer 2015


5-8 MARCH 2016


10-13 MARCH 2016






alaysia’s most anticipated trade fair, the Export Furniture Exhibition (EFE) is scheduled to take place from 5-8 March 2016. The show has promised to deliver welldesigned high quality furniture for potential buyers, wholesalers, retailers, designers and suppliers. There will be over 300 exhibitors from Malaysia and the region all displaying their most recent collections and innovative creations. Held in one of the country’s key destinations, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), the 2016 EFE will be in its 12th year running and with 30,000 square metres of space and nine halls, the show is destined to impress. The new China Export Pavilion is set to be one of the key features of the show. This novel concept has been developed to encourage collaboration, promote the brand and open doors of opportunity for export, trade and economic growth. The aim is to establish a healthy scheme for the future of the furnishing industry in Malaysia. Together with Malaysia Furniture Week, which will be held in conjunction with EFE, the trade fair is hoping to provide a central point for all things furniture related. The show is offering attendees the chance to speak with some of Malaysia and the region’s top manufacturers and retailers and is also planning on sharing plenty of insight into the realm of design.


t’s all about design, inspiration and trade for the 2016 International Furniture Fair Singapore. The 33rd ASEAN Furniture Show will be held at the Singapore Expo in conjunction with The Décor Show and FurniPro (the leading show for woodworking, furniture and panel production) from 10-13 March. The combination of all shows has been designed to inspire new ideas and formulate strong business relationships as it presents a complete package of the designers’ work in the furnishing division. With over 30 years of experience, the show is expected to have more than 450 exhibitors from almost 40 countries and will be including big brand names such as District Eight Design, Far East Furniture and Heritage Home Group. Other highlights include a new venue layout, various activities that celebrate design and innovations, presentations/seminars and a gallery of ArtForms, which features how furniture products can be transformed into art pieces and sculptures. There will also be a garden/outdoor pavilion whereby visitors will be educated on how to bring the refreshing and beautiful outdoors inside.



11-14 MARCH 2016

18-21 & 28-31 MARCH 2016






rganised by the Indonesia Furniture & Craft Association (AMKRI) in cooperation with event organiser Dyandra Promosindo, the third edition of the Indonesia International Furniture Expo (IFEX) will be held from 11-14 March 2016. The theme is ‘The Essence of Infinite Innovation’ and the aim is to parade the latest designs, explore raw materials and show the development of recent innovations overall. The trade fair wishes to encourage the growth of creativity and inspire furniture manufacturers to produce winning products that will be recognised globally. The show is supported by the government and national stakeholders as there will be participants from all over the world including China, Belgium, France, United States, Italy, South Africa and the Netherlands. It will be located in the Auditorium for The Ministry of Trade Indonesia and with new halls added, the total show space will be approximately 10,000 square metres. The hall to look out for will be the Hall of Excellence where specifically chosen companies will be presenting their newest and best products and designs.


IFF 2016 will hold its first phase of the show in Guangzhou from 18-21 March at a new venue, the PWTC Expo (next to China Import and Export Fair Complex). The theme is confirmed to be ‘Whole Home Décor’ and will result in 410,000 square metres of home furniture, housewares, textiles and outdoors and leisure. China’s largest and infamous classical furniture department is gearing up to be delivered on a grander scale and outdoor living is expected to be fresh, innovative and hoping to confidently shift the attention to other features such as the International Brand Hall and Design Hall. More international exhibitors are estimated to attend and there is promise of more diverse product designs. The second phase of the show will be held from 28–31 March on a floor space of 340,000 square metres. This phase will host a variety of office furniture, hotel furniture, steel furniture, public furniture, furniture machinery and raw materials. The high quantity of commercial-specific furniture zones will mark this show as the world’s largest office furniture trade as well as Asia’s biggest and most broad furniture production trade fair. Combining the two phases, CIFF 2016 is offering a mighty wide-scale March show with more opportunity for business interactions.

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Presented by:

Malaysian Furniture Council

Organised by:

Endorsed by:

Supported by:

Malaysian Investment Development Authority



Industry News T



s the season heats up, leaders in domestic appliances Nobo Australasia have announced they are handing back the brand to global owners Glen Dimplex after many years as a sole trader. “We would like to thank all our loyal supporters and wish Glen Dimplex Australia all the best with the Nobo brand into the future,” Nobo released in a statement. Since 1918, Nobo has been manufacturing in Norway and is renowned as one of Europe’s largest producers of electric panel heaters. They have been successfully providing innovative designs and over many decades have built up a reputation for their top quality products. The handover took place on 1 October 2015 and Glen Dimplex Australia Managing Director, Dave Woodward is positive about the change, “Nobo is a premium brand and has set the benchmark for sophisticated, stylish heating for decades and we are very excited about it becoming part of our Australian stable of brands,” Woodward says. Australasia will continue to manufacture high standard and fully featured panel heaters and portable air conditioners across Australia but have changed their name to Polo and will be working under the Polocool brands.

Summer 2015

ait’s exciting new showroom in Redfern was recently unveiled and it provides a more comfortable and intimate experience for Sydney customers and clients. The trendy refurbishment was undertaken by Collingwood-based architecture and interior design practice, DesignOffice who spent days researching and observing customer’s behaviour and interactions in order to produce a space that would be even more engaging and ultimately better the environment. The end result included clearly divided product sections, a bright new colour palette and unique lighting to create the perfect backdrop and match the brand’s range of outdoor furniture and accessories.

Practice Co-Director Mark Simpson wanted every aspect of the showroom to be highlighted, “The space is quite deep and there are no windows at the back so we needed to create a focus,” Simpson says. “We increased the light level and clad the rear wall with plywood to make the back of the showroom a destination in itself.” The new colours play an important part in the overall feel of the space. The green, charcoal, salmon and blue colours work well to highlight the Tait products and the overall structure and arrangement of the showroom is modern, welcoming and makes customers feel right at home.



he Off Canvas campaign, specifically organised by Taubmans Paints is a celebration of the artistic talents from a new generation of sign writers and artists. The newly launched website showcases the ‘visual culture of our time’ as an appreciation towards the different form of art. Through the use of paint across streets, walls, windows and museums; Off Canvas is dedicated to capturing the true talent of Australian artists and sign writers and sharing it with the world. In a statement released, the site is described as ‘a hub of visual inspiration aimed at keeping you up to date with the latest installations and provides you with inspiring profiles of artists both from Australia and throughout the world.’ The campaign came about as a tribute to Taubmans founder, George Henry Taubman, who was a sign painter in the early 1900s and is making its mark with a recent appearance at the 2015 Eat Drink Design Awards. Professional street artist and campaign ambassador, Rone painted two original artworks live at the event.




esign100 founder Mark Bergin at the RMIT Design Hub in Melbourne, presented the winners for the 2015 Melbourne design awards. This year, the Melbourne Design Awards saw over $2.5 billion worth of projects and there were 100 nominated winners (34 gold and 66 silver) across the categories of Space, Object, Visual and Experience. Design100 is a globally recognised network that dedicates themselves to recognising and celebrating design excellence. The Design Champion trophy was awarded to Lend Lease. Best Studio Small was awarded to Brand By Name, Evolution 7 won Best Studio Medium and Hoyne Design took the Best Studio Large award home. For a full list of winners, please visit the website.



achtig has brought in a new generation of light globes with their world-first Sengled Pulse Speaker lamps. The new edition of smart globes utilises the functions of light, speaker and internet connection all in one. Developed by General Innovation Australia (GIA) in partnership with Sengled, this life-changing technology is affordable, energy efficient and delivers high quality audio or wide-ranging wi-fi. There are no

cords, wires or separate controls. The globe is activated through a smart phone or tablet. The nifty little light device is quickly gaining traction after recently winning two gold awards at this year’s 2015 Melbourne Design Awards. Managing Director of GIA David Clerk is confident the Sengled Pulse Speaker lamp is destined to revolutionise homes and commercial spaces everywhere, “Imagine being able to create any atmosphere in your home, office,

cafe, bar, hotel, library or school by having full control over the lighting and music in every room - anywhere you have a light bulb,” Clerk says. “And it really is as easy as changing a light bulb.” Sengled Pulse, Pulse Solo and Boost are now available in Harvey Norman stores across Australia.




ood news for Australians all round as recent Australian Made campaign statistics reveal that more Australian businesses are registering for the Australian Made and Australian Grown logo to validate the ‘quality, safety and ethical values’ of their products. For almost 30 years, the infamous gold kangaroo in the green triangle is representative of not only the not-forprofit Australian Made campaign but is also significant in promoting the products of local manufactures and producers as indisputably and wholly Australian. Over the last year reports have shown that the average number of businesses signing up to use the Australian Made and Australian Grown stamp of approval each month has nearly doubled. “Our research shows country-of-origin is a key factor in product purchase decisions, particularly for food and consumers are looking for goods made and grown in

Australia so it’s no surprise that businesses are keen to capitalise on country-of-origin branding,” Australian Made campaign Chief Executive, Ian Harrison says. “The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo is the only registered country-of-origin certification trade mark for all classes of Australian goods – as well as third party accreditation, it is a powerful selling tool.” One of the main reasons as to why the use of the logo has boosted considerably is due to the increase in awareness. There is

no doubt that the public is picking up on the competitive advantages of Australian made and grown products and buying locally is seeing a positive outcome on the economy, the environment and the community. “Consumers might buy Aussie out of a sense of responsibility but at the end of the day, products made and grown here are often better quality and value, and that keeps consumers coming back for more,” Harrison says. “Our reputation for producing products and produce to high quality and safety standards is driving sales in Australia but we’re also seeing a huge impact overseas – opportunities for exporters are booming.” For a list of all certified Australian made and Australian Grown products, please visit the website.


he National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has announced the winner of the national Rigg Design Prize for 2015. Sydney-based designer Adam Goodrum was awarded the prize of $30,000 for his submission titled ‘Unfolding.’ Goodrum’s work consists of a series of translucent, overlapping house structures, overlaid with dichroic film and displays threedimensional, fluorescent images across the walls of the gallery. Established in 1994 and organised by the Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the NGV, The Rigg Design Prize is known to be Australia’s most exclusive and honourable award for contemporary furniture and object design where each designer is given the opportunity to create their own artwork in a provided space. Previously a Victorian-only award, this year marks the first time ever the prize was open to the whole of Australia. The competition was judged by international judges, Gijs Bakker (Co-Founder, Droog Design) and Wava Carpenter (Former Curator, Design Miami) who shortlisted seven designers before picking the winner. “Adam’s work proves that design has the potential for the unexpected and the new,” the judges say.

Summer 2015

“‘Unfolding’ is very exciting, pushing the boundaries of what design can be with its dreamy, hazy and poetic atmosphere. We hope that the public will be as surprised and delighted by Adam’s work as we were.” Goodrum’s piece reflects his interpretations of a modern Australian design, which showcases originality, perspective and sheds light on current issues and values. Overall, Goodrum is thrilled with the announcement, “I’m incredibly humbled to have been selected from such a talented and diverse group of Australian designers, all of whom I admire,” Goodrum says. Director of NGV Tony Ellwood says, “The Rigg Design Prize is unparalleled in its ambition to champion the cultural value of contemporary design in Australia and I thank our shortlisted designers for their inspiring and moving contributions.” “I congratulate Adam Goodrum with his magnificent work, which indicates that design can be many things - an object, experience, encounter, idea or concept,” Ellwood adds. Through the use of various materials, platforms and objects, the exhibition itself is designed to inspire viewers through its enjoyable and stimulating body of works.

The shortlisted designers include Brodie Neill (TAS), Daniel Emma (SA), Kate Rohde (VIC), Khai Liew (SA), Korban Flaubert (NSW), and Koskela (NSW) together with the weavers of Elcho Island Arts (NT). All works are currently open for viewing at the NGV and closes on 7 February 2016. For more information visit the website.



House Vision: New Spaces for Japanese Residential Architecture BY MASAHIRO MIYAKE RRP: $75 PUBLISHED BY THE IMAGES PUBLISHING GROUP, JULY 2015 +61 3 9561 5544 I IMAGESPUBLISHING.COM Review Kat Chaousis


ouse Vision: New Spaces for Japanese Residential Architecture is a recent publication, highlighting architectural projects that have been identified in the process of studying ‘a variety of ideas that will help reduce environmental loads from building and resident construction. For example by considering solar, wind and water energies, by using geothermal heat, rainwater, greening systems and so on,’ as outlined by Masahiro Miyake’s introduction to this rich catalogue of works. Author Masahiro Miyake is the representative of the Japanese firm y+M Design Office. He graduated from the School of Engineering, Osaka City University, and is a first-class registered architect, a firstclass Building Construction Management Technician, a registered architect of the Japanese Architect Association, and a member of the Architectural Institute of Japan. He’s also an Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the College of the Arts, Shing Plastic University. Miyake is the winner of many international and national architecture awards, such as both gold and silver medals for the Design for Asia Award, the World Architecture Community Awards, and Good Design Award. Presenting his research through three main categories, Simple Style, Modern Japanese Style and Natural Style, Miyake has formed a narrative to these designs through large fresh photography, sketches and artists’ impressions, including detail regarding client requests during the planning phase of the projects. This gives an intimate insight into the relationship between the concept and the communities in which these constructions

Summer 2015

are formed. These elements combined paint a picture of both the design and functional goals of each project and how they contribute to the external landscape, while creating a unique world within. Miyake sums up this process as “traditionally it is the architects who by the power of their experience and/or inspiration, organises, prioritises and optimised the relationships of those piecemeal requests into a single consistent special relationship.” This publication boasts high quality design works from around Japan, looking at culturally unique architectural work with all the beautifully fresh distinctions you would

expect to see in Japanese design. The work referenced within is sure to inspire designers to increase their awareness of the delicate relationship between environmental impact and the creation of fresh and innovative residential spaces, and that this balance is indeed achievable. Miyake’s humble yet ambitious vision indicates that he hopes their studies of environmentally conscious design and process may lead to a ‘kind of harmony between human activity and environmental protection.’ This book certainly captures a stunning collection of work in this realm thus far.




esigned by Erberto Carboni, Poliform presents the Arflex Delfino collection that reengages with history as a noteworthy example of the ‘organic’ furniture developed in the 1950s. Drawing inspiration from nature, its unique ‘flipper-like’ arms and mobile body reflect the true characteristics of its name – a dolphin. Originally, the armchair was designed in 1954 and it has been revamped and reintroduced into the Arflex series. It’s vintage, sophisticated look is not the armchair’s only merits as it also embraces functionality and relaxation luxury.

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Summer 2015


Malaysian International Furniture Fair Las Vegas Market

BIGGER. BETTER. BEYOND EXPECTATIONS. OVER 2,700 CROSS-CATEGORY BRANDS NEW SHOWROOMS ON EVERY FLOOR NEW FLOORS • Boutique Design & Accessories on C5 • Casual/Outdoor on C12 & C13 NEW TEMPORARY TRADESHOW: THE PAVILIONS • Design, Handmade, Gift & Home • Introducing DISCOVERIES: The Antique Vintage Marketplace

JANUARY 24-28, 2016

JANUARY 24-27, 2016





Furnishing International Summer 2015  
Furnishing International Summer 2015