Rethink:The Way You Live Partners With Volkswagen

I was asked by Volkswagen to partner with them for the launch of their new award winning car UP! When they told me their launch name was RETHINK! Well how could I say no. It was a perfect fit for Rethink: The Way You Live. Here is a little video we did together.

RETHINK: The Way You Live Is Now Available

I can't believe this time has come. My book Rethink: The Way You Live is now available to purchase. It feels like forever when I started this project. 
From RETHINK: The Way You Live : Photo by Mikkel Vang
 Rethink: The Way You Live was born when I created this blog. It was here on SnOOp my attitude to design and how we live in our homes and community changed.
 It was on here I started to ask questions like can our kitchens be a living farm? Can we have a garden indoors? Do we only sleep in our bedrooms? Do we want a lo-fi life? Major trends have been uncovered on SnOOp way before we saw them in our media and many terms on SnOOp have been adopted by some of the worlds most respected trend forecasters. 
I'm so proud of my book Rethink: The Way You Live. It is a beautiful book but I should alert you now. This isn't your typical interior book filled with pretty pictures. This book I hope will challenge and inspire you to reconsider how you think about design and how so many of us all over the world want our homes to fit our family's lifestyle like a glove.  
From RETHINK: The Way You Live : Photo by Mikkel Vang
I really do hope you love it.
 You can purchase a copy here  

Camping with a Tee Pee

Via Bodie and Fou

It's no secret I love to camp. I haven't been in a long time but the feeling of finding the THE spot to pitch your tent, set up temporary home, build a campfire is bliss. I find it fascinating that all we need is a fabric wall to feel safe from predators. The idea of Nomad living has played a very big part in my life this year.   Have a wonderful day everyone.

Rouse Phillips Design - Made in Sydney

Meet Sydney textile design duo Timothy Rouse and Anastasia Phillips from Rouse Phillips
This is a small selection of samples by Rouse Phillips found in their Sydney studio. Photos via Hub*
*sneezing with excitement* Watch this space - colour samples for hand knotted rugs in wool and silk - exclusive to Rouse Phillips Textiles. You can see them being made in Nepal on their blog
Find Rouse Phillips Textile at Suite 7, 66 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia 2010
Welcome to my first in the series Made in Sydney.

OK drum roll... Meet six month old textile brand Rouse Phillips Tim [Rouse] and Anastasia [Phillips] saw a gap in the Australian interior textile market for fun and eclectic fabrics. Other than very typically Australian design or high end European fabrics there was nothing that they felt really did anything different. The first vibrant collection is a mix of art-deco, floral, and illustrative design.  I love what they are producing and I predict we are going to be seeing their designs popping up everywhere soon. It's exciting to see youthful brands full of energy. They are already planning to expand into homewares and rugs. You can read more about them here. To see more of their wonderful designs go here.

Why am I doing Made in Sydney? 
EVERYONE (locally and internationally) it's time to support Australian Design. If you know who to go too Australian design isn't overpriced or inspired copies.  There is a young generation who are seeing a gap in the middle market, who are trying to manufacture locally, and are finding inspiration and natural materials from this wonderful country which has over 40,000 years of history to work with.

Since being back in Australia I'm shocked in the lack of support for local design talent by major retailers. It's been a huge contrast to the UK. When I first checked out major department stores Myer and David Jones I couldn't find obvious Australian interior design product. I contacted the heads of both stores telling them they NEED to support local designers how they do with fashion. Yes, I did find Donna Hay's Wedgewood collection, Kas textiles and Sheridan but surely they should offer shoppers something way more substantial? Where is Henry Wilson, Trent Jansen, Charles Wilson, Bonnie and Niel products in those stores?

I suggested them to adopt the business model of Heals and John Lewis supporting local young designers in store and in the press. I also suggested an essential range which is good design at low prices. It isn't acceptable retailer to sell average, made in China, dessert bowls at $25 each. One of the biggest challenges young designers face is cost. They work very hard to make their product affordable for us to buy. If they had support from major retailers they would be given buying power in materials and labour to help their prices go down and exposure to hopefully become household names. I would love other stores including, Bunnings, Domayne, Harvey Norman, Freedom Furniture, Target to actively support young talent in Australia.

I live in Sydney and on a daily basis I'm coming across new talent. In a small radius there is an incredible amount of passionate people tapping away actively trying to help us live in environments we are proud of.  This is my chance to share this with you and hopefully get the world buzzing about what is happening in my hood.  I would love someone to commission (challenge) me so I can prove to you it is possible to fit out an apartment with beautiful locally made product for about the same price as a high street store such as Australian IKEA or Freedom Furniture. 

If you want to see young Australian design talent supported by major Australian retail then please go to their twitter or Facebook page and write.

"Please bring together the work of the best up-&-coming Australian furniture & homeware designers in an exclusive collection. I would like to nominate (name of designer)". #MadeInSydney

David Jones Link   |  Myer Link   |   Freedom Furniture Link  Domayne Link | Target Link 

If you can't wait on me you can find a great source of Australian design talent on must read blog The Design Files.

Serpant Sea's Nautical rope rugs by Sophie Aschauer

This is Sophie Aschauer from Serpent Sea at home. Photograph Backyard Bill


Ahoy, SnOOper's I'm so into this! I would like you to meet Sophie Aschauer from Serpent Sea. Docked in New York she is hand weaving vibrant rugs from reclaimed sailing ropes out of her studio apartment. She has named the mats after 17th century pirates such as "Bonny", "Morgan", and "Killigrew". Please check out what Sophie has to offer at, Serpent Sea, and bring the nautical vibe into your home.

Thomas Paul - Nautical Homeware

Luxurious 600 thread count Ship Duvet Cover by Thomas Paul

Ship Shower curtain in ink by Thomas Paul
Do you guys know about super talented American designer Thomas Paul? I'm sure most of you do. I remember being sent images of his lovely little blue New York apartment in the mid 2000s. Well he has gone all nautical on us. A few years back I fell in love with his melamine whale platter I ended up giving as a 30th birthday present. I'm still not sure if it's cool to give melamine as a 30th pressie but the illustration is so amazing I can kinda justify it. Today I have just discovered he has branched his inky blue illustration into gorgeous nautical bedlinen, cushions, tea & bath towels, shower curtains and scarves.  The nautical trend has been around for a while now. I first saw hipsters in New York and Tokyo dressing like hardworking fishermen in late 2009 early 2010.  I even did a little SnOOp post about it last year as a Trend Alert  here. I don't think I will get tired of this look for a while yet.

Make sure you check out his website because there is a whole world of lovely on it.

Don't Worry Now Be Happy

 I'm letting you into a secret. I'm trying to get my second book deal. This is a risk in sharing this secret but I may as well start the words here... a place that has brought me a lot of joy... a place that led me onto the path for my first book deal. The book is called HAPPY. I'm on a quest to search and walk on the path again asking myself do I need to RETHINK what this word, HAPPY, means to me and those around the world? I'm asking how can the definition be translated into our homes so we can create personal and public environments that can positively shift our moods and wellbeing?  OK no puking allowed and please don't feel like you need to punch me because I'm trying to be all positive like. Stick with me. 
I had a mega light bulb moment when I finished my book 'RETHINK: The Way You Live' - after meeting all the amazing and inspiring people I interviewed in the book I realised we may take different paths but it is for one purpose ---- so we can find happiness --- so we can be happy.
Source via here
The current times have been serious and many of us have done and are doing it tough. Design over the last few years, has been modest, paired back, sustainable and the rediscovery of the artisan. My book ‘RETHINK: The Way You Live’ is filled with what I’m describing. (have you pr-ordered a copy yet? :-)))
We are tired in seeing and hearing about doom and gloom. We are looking for positive ideas to lift our spirits. 
 Photo by Sayaka Minemura
My job is to always look ahead and dig deeper and follow the mind set of how we are doing and keeping an eye on what we want. My aim is to keep us developing spaces and product that are relevant  to us. 
‘Macarena Social – CyberCentre’ by Spanish architects MedioMundo
The design world is famous for being serious but we the humble consumer are exhausted with the hard times. We are looking for people, places, objects, more than ever, to make us smile and laugh.
Photo by Carina Hsu
Research proves laughter can cure depression and illness. It is also proven those of us who smile are more likely to live longer than those who don’t.
Source via Here
You get it when you win a race and lose it when you get laid off. Governments put it in their policies, preachers in their sermons, writers at the end of their stories. Scientists say they’ve found it on the left side of the brain. Pursuing it, Americans spend US$20 billion a year on self-help and
antidepressants. But wealth isn’t working: people in the West are twice as rich as they were sixty years ago, depression will be the biggest health burden in the world. Joy, euphoria,
satisfaction, tranquillity, triumph. It comes in many forms.
 So for now my fellow SnOOper's keep coming back to visit and follow my findings on HAPPY.   Perhaps, just perhaps architects and designer when approaching their next project will ask the same questions I will be exploring and produce holistic buildings that will bring those who occupy it with joy. 
Glanthel Park, Glasgow by Lisa McCartney
"When you worry you make it double... Don't worry - Be Happy Now!" - Brian McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy.
Happy pillow by Lala Ladcani
"When you worry your face will frown and that will bring everyone down"-  Brian McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy.
Storm Watching By Dell Stewart
So what do you reckon?  Do you like the idea for my new book? If yes let me know and help support me for book number 2. :-)

Who else is sharing tips on happiness this week?

Letter To Our World -  New online sensation where people are sharing their definition of happiness
Apartment Therapy - Very basic, not too deep -  10 simple things to make you happier at home
Mia Freedman - A happy place can be revealing but one's happy place is another person's hell
Red magazine - 'My Daily Dose of Happiness' The May issue shared from some famous UK ladies how it is the little things that count.

3 Ideas For Drinking Tea

Unpacking for a shoot and checking out Bleus d'Ailleurs and Les Maisons Enchantées by Hermes. Photo & styling SnOOp
My Maxwell & Williams Confetti latte cups in my sink with a Lee Broom glass. Photo and Styling SnOOp
This  picture doesn't go with the style I have gone with for this story but I love it and there is no rules on SnOOp. Moonlight  by Royal Doulton. Photo SnOOp
1. Choose what size cup suits your hot brew drinking habits. Do you love a big mug or are you happier with small servings. Freshly brewed from a teapot or coffee maker is so much more satisfying.

2. Wrapping your hands around a chunky cup can be really comforting

3.  Really good quality fine bone china will retain the heat longer 

I love drinking tea and coffee. It's my weakness - it's my morning vice.
One thing became really clear to me on my travels last year for my book Rethink - The Way You Live is all the homeowners who I visited across the globe gave me a cup of coffee or tea with no handles. Truth be told I prefer a cup with no handles. There is something very comforting to wrap my hands around a warm brew.

This trend I believe has come from our wonderful takeaway coffees. Perhaps a psychological link between the coffee we buy from our local cafe to when we have it home. It just feels right.

Removable wall decal by Wall Sticker Company has stirred up a whole lot of emotions

Grace Lee Kitchen removable wall decal by The Wall Sticker Company

Abandoned workshop on Cockatoo Island, Sydney Photo by SnOOp
When I recently spotted the Grace Lee Kitchen removable wall decal by The Wall Sticker Company a whole lot of nostalgic memories came flooding back. I'm not usually a huge fan of wall decal's but this one has really resonated with me. I guess this is what design is often about. We include objects that have meaning into the space we call home.   

 I'm a person who needs my life to be uncomplicated. I like order. I hate confrontation and drama. I'm creative so of course things can get chaotic but I'm a massive believer in everything should have a place. Something I'm always preaching to my other half. He rarely listens but I preach away - He prefers to call it nagging.

I think the obsession came from my granddad. I would spend hours with him as a young girl in his shed helping him (well I thought I was helping) make wonderful objects from wood. He was always military-like in ordering me to put away tools where I had found them. One of my favourite projects we worked on together was transforming one of my old banged up surfboards into a freestanding bookshelf. My fiberglass orange surfboard with reclaimed timber shelves was more precious to me than what a Tiffany's jewel is to me today. It had pride of place in my teenage bedroom.

In my grandads shed he had a wall with shadow drawings of his prized and somewhat expensive tools so we knew where to put them at the end of the evening. I found a wonderful example of this in an abandoned shed a few weeks ago. It brings so many wonderful memories back to me. This was a time for me when my life was simple. I didn't have to worry about bills, work, clients and deadlines. It was just about making beautiful things and spending quality time with my favourite man in the world.

I am rambling this week :-) 

Amanda Talbot - My First Encounter With Australian Network Channel 9

I thought I would share a little story regarding the glasses I'm wearing. I don't know if you guys know but last year I dipped my big toe into Television. Not cable but free to air in Australia. The whole experience was insane in a good way. I had so much fun. It started out me sitting at my desk in my beach side apartment in Hove, UK. It was snowing and I was so homesick for Australia. Out of the blue I was offered a potential spot on a reality design show as a judge and mentor. Free flight home was my first thought and second thought was I would finally get to go home. Anyway to cut a long story short I was asked by Granada Television to do a "test" at ITV studios in London. I kinda freaked out and thought what does one wear for Channel 9 to win over their hearts to like me.

Living in London and Hove for 10 years I didn't really know what was going on in Aussie fashion but I thought I should perhaps look a little designer authoritative like. I don't know why but I had the fashion madam from the Incredibles in my head when I got ready to go down to London. I decided to wear some oversize frames. I thought 'Yes the nerdy glasses make me look like I know what I'm talking about'. 

Well I did the test and waited to hear back from Granada. The next day I had THE phone call "Umm hi Amanda, listen we love you but the guys at Channel 9 are not sure about you because of the glasses. Can you go back to ITV tomorrow and do another test umm without them". OMG, my heart sank. The stupid thing is I don't even wear glasses.  Well second time lucky I got the gig without the eye wear.

I found them in a box while I was unpacking the other day in my new apartment and decided to finally wear them out in Australia. I have to say I still kinda like them even if Channel 9 doesn't. :-)

Imogen Heath - Textiles For The Home

British Textile Designer Imogen Heath new 2012 Range
One of my fave Viaduct Blue by Imogen Heath

House guest Toby sleeping on Allegro Cushion designed by Imogen Heath. (Sorry Imo I need a new cushion filler)
My very talented sister-in-law Imogen Heath has recently launched a new collection of beautiful textiles. I'm not being bias when I tell you this girl is one of the UK's rising stars. Imogen has an amazing eye for colour, weave and pattern. I have watched Imogen over the years master her talent in mixing old craft textile techniques with digital design. My three current favourites are Rosa, Viaduct Blue and Zinnia. You can buy the range form here

Tactile Textures For The Home

1. I'm addicted to Instagram 

2. I love visiting cafe Gypsy Espresso in Potts Point, Sydney for their bespoke blends of coffee and friendly staff who greet me with a smile and know my name. It's small but the interiors are warm & inviting for a winters day.

3. My mission is to get as many edible houseplants inside my pad. I've started with good old mint growing in a vintage Italian urn I picked up at Kings Cross market. Warning don't bother trying to barter at this market.

4. My new pad has like zero storage in the kitchen so at the moment I'm using my drawers to store my plates, bowls, mugs and glasses. The third drawer down is where I keep some of my plates. If you haven't guessed yet I'm a sucker for Japanese ceramics.

5. I'm in love with enormous pods I'm seeing all over Sydney footpaths which have fallen from the city trees. I'm a little frightened one will fall on me. Meanwhile though whist casualty free I will continue to enjoy and be inspired by them. 

6. This plaque is in my hood and I walk over it every day. It sums up the area perfectly.