Christopher Elliott Design
Interior Architecture & Design


+61 (03) 9077 8133


PO Box 124
Prahran Victoria 3181 Australia

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Arching Heart

One shape in particular that has dominated the designs of late is the arch. Not a day goes by that I don’t see the slender, bowing lines of one. They have captured the minds of current designers, but my fascination with them happened while onsite at our Princes Hill project. I was enamoured by an old stain-glass arch window; removed to make way for the new extension, and leaving in its place a gorgeous curved archway. This was the beginning of a love affair that was to be the inspiration for the project.

Arches are a classic form originating from ancient Roman architecture. As defined by Wikipedia, “an arch is a pure compression form. It can span a large area by resolving forces into compressive stresses and, in turn eliminating tensile stresses. This is sometimes referred to as arch action.” It seems that arches are the geometric equivalent of a stress reliever, and with that description, the world could do with a lot more arch action! So then it’s completely understandable why there is a resurgence of arches in modern interiors. Although this is not the first time they have resurfaced in designs, we only have to look back as recently as the 1980’s when they were featured extensively. It seems with all shapes they have their time in the spotlight; then they are surpassed by another more alluring form. Only to be moved to the invisible scrapyard of the design world, where they sit idle waiting for their time again in the spotlight, but not like before! Each time reinvented by a new wave of designers seeking to put their stamp on the world.


Primary Return

In a world of design where it seems nothing is new, what possibly could be next? Not a lot really, it’s more about reinvention. In fact, the trends to come out of the latest Milan Design Week in April, reference a lot from the 1980’s and 1990’s. It was a design mash up! And that seems to be a trend in itself; composing random collections of products and finishes.

A current shift in design, which references both the Memphis and original Bauhaus movement, is a return to primary colours of red, yellow and blue. Think Mondrian, ABC test pattern, and you get the idea. It’s a revolt against all the tertiary hues that have dominated designs of late, and what’s not to love with a return to basics. I feel we are reliving the 80’s with a whole new approach, but a small part of me can’t help but think “Will I end up hating this?”; the same way I did decades later.  But with age comes wisdom.


Don’t Mess With Mesh

Lately, I have found myself drawn to all things mesh related, and for those who may have misread a key word in this sentence, I repeat mesh, not mess. However, I am not referring to an 80’s crop top mesh garment, although an updated version of that is back I am sure, but rather, perforated sheet metal. As a material for interiors, it has a lot of versatility by way of customising either the design or finish. At CED we have been incorporating mesh into our current design work as a feature finish in joinery or as a room divider. I particularly like it used as a thin transparent veil to create separation between two areas while maintaining the appearance of space, and it definitely adds an 80’s retro vibe that is trending right now in the design world.


Black On Black

OK, so I am a little bit obsessed with black right now, so much so, I like pairing it with more black; to create designs featuring a ‘black on black’ palette. I think it’s Sarah’s influence; she is the latest member of our team, and black is her signature style. So naturally, I too have come to appreciate the dark moodiness of this colour, and I love when you layer it with other black materials, any textural differences between them are highlighted, adding depth and a sense of luxe to a design. The colour historically has evoked opulence and prestige, as well as being the all-time ‘go to’ in design, and really what’s not to love? Black goes with everything, considered a classic, easily maintained, readily available and looks slimming.

We couldn’t ask for more!


Colour Directions

Burgundy, Marsala, Beetroot, Ruby, Magenta and Claret; these are all possible names for a particular colour that I am loving and using right now. For a long time, we have seen a spectrum of cool colours featured predominately in both interiors and fashion, all the while some of the warmer tones took a back seat. All this is about to change!

Even though blue is always seen as a classic, evident by the use of Navy in many interiors, which I love I might add, but what is also emerging is a particular ruby berry toned colour range. These sumptuous colours compliment a palette of deep blues beautifully and work harmoniously within a grey scheme. However, there is one distinct tone of this colour I adore, but trying to find a name for it is proving difficult. The best description I can come up with so far is Pink Burgundy. Meaning it’s on the pink side of a dark burgundy, giving it more luminosity and vibrancy. This unique saturation of colour has a modernity to it, as opposed to an old world gentry charm that a true burgundy would conjure. Though, I am baffled to think of an appropriate name for this elusive colour; my current reference to it relies on a small swatch of velvet fabric by the European fabric house, Chivasso, and their reference to the colour is called 080. Great! (Insert ‘rolling eyes’ emoji) Even they couldn’t think of a good name for it! But as with all things design wise, it is best to show you what I mean than to describe it. So here are some images that evoke the ‘Pink Burgundy’ colour I am loving.

P.S. If you think of a good name for it, let me know.


Sofa Trends

Aren’t we all just sick of our sofas looking like boring square boxes wrapped in fabric? The description may be a little simplistic, but the reality is not far from it. As a designer, I have seen plenty of sofa designs and there are only a few classic shapes, many of which are based on a rectangle, and I am just a little bit bored with that idea. So I am happy to see that a strong design trend with sofas is to be anything but square. Rather, the look is more of a sculptured organic form, which mould to hug your body, providing that “perfect” individualised comfort. The new style is lighter, designs float on timber legs or steel frames and gone is the cumbersome boxy look, that these days just seems crude and unrefined. Given most sofas are essentially one of the largest pieces of furniture in people’s home, it makes sense that it should also be a thing of beauty. These current designs are like elegant useable art forms, taking centre stage in our living rooms. Here a few designs that are capturing my interest.