It was a joy to head to Melbourne again this year to experience the 2017 Denfair, an Australian boutique trade event showcasing the latest in contemporary design + art.
Founded on principles of authenticity and with a strong focus on Australian emerging and established brands, Denfair is now firmly established as THE destination event for design professionals and suppliers in Australia.
And, as Neale Whitaker pointed out in his column for Sunday’s Stellar mag, it’s also capturing international attention.
What I love about it most is the coming together of passionate designers, creators and makers, with an equally passionate audience of interior designers, architects and specifiers. Interacting with the designers and listening to the interactions of others as you walk through the stands is a truly uplifting experience.
Now in its third year, Denfair 2017 was no less spectacular than last year.
Read on for my highlights…
1. Taking the indoors out
Outdoor ranges that blend seamlessly with indoor furniture, and could be used in either area, were a standout feature of this year’s fair. Increasingly, our outdoor looks are taking on the appearance of indoor spaces.
Tait, Roda and Kettal all showcased premium outdoor furniture that had the qualities and aesthetic of an indoor range. Comfy, relaxed and generous. Yet in finishes and materiality specifically built to take on sun, rain and, especially important for us in Perth, harsh coastal weather conditions.
I was super-impressed by the Trace range released by Tait, designed by former Perth boy Adam Goodrum. No surprise it won the Denfair award for Best New Product. I’m hopeful our friends at Design Farm will have some of this range to view on the floor in the next few months.
2. Lighting goes golden
The lighting displays dazzled once again this year. Our Australian designers continue to push their designs to the next level, experimenting with innovative new materials and finishes.
The boys at Porcelain Bear knocked it out of the park with a multifaceted display showcasing not only their luxe lighting designs but a new 3D Polar tile system and side tables. Here, the Acrobat Forward Bend pendant in gold and translucent porcelain…my goodness.
I also loved seeing up close the Polar lamps by Ross Gardam…
…and the range by Anaesthetic.
3. Luxe Furniture
Luxe finishes and fabrics in furniture lines continued to be a feature at this year’s fair.
A personal highlight for me was the stand by Fred International, a sublime mix of rattan, soft golds, cream, velvet and perforated metals. This takes Scandinavian design in a new (but old) direction, away from the sea of blushes and greys we’ve been saturated with over the last few years, to a sophisticated style where soft embellishments and a tonal palette combine with supreme comfort.
The Retreat sofa by Fogia showcased in a honey-hued velvet was a beautiful example of the aesthetic.
I also loved the display by Zuster furniture, whose signature jewel-inspired finishes and bespoke joinery set them apart in the Australian design scene. Quilted leathers, marble, and striking use of timber in pieces from buffets, consoles and tables to bathroom vanities were beautifully displayed.
Wilhelmina McCarroll and Fleur Sibbel absolutely deserve the acclaim this range receives every year. Most recently, their bespoke designs were seen in the Jackalope Hotel fit-out on the Mornington Peninsula, Gourmet Traveller’s 2017 Hotel of the Year. Yay girls! And check out their gorgeous outfits below…
4. Organic basinware
Organic finishes in the bathroom were strongly featured at the fair. I loved the concrete products from Perth designers Nood Co, the hand-thrown ceramic basins by Tasmanian ceramicist Lindsey Wherrett for Archier, and the range by Wood Melbourne.
Until next year…
It’s a privilege to walk among the stalls and engage with the beautiful product and designers of Denfair. I can’t wait to do it all again next year.