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Nice Four

swoon definition:
To be overwhelmed by ecstatic joy, a state of ecstasy or rapture. 

Nice Magazines

Kate O'Connor

magazine

I don't think there is ANYTHING that I love more than reading a good magazine to fill my heart with inspiration. If you're looking for me on the weekends, you'll find me by the beach with one of my faves, or by the fire in Winter. I am inspired by people, thoughts, design, stories and art-direction. In a world that wants us all to believe that print is dead, I for one will never stop buying mags – seeing real print on beautiful paper (that you can feel, smell and keep!) makes me so truly happy. 


No. 1
FRANKIE is a magazine that has truly stood the test of time. For DIY's, fashion, design, brilliant copywriting and beautiful stories with amazing people, you just can't go past Frankie. The writers have a knack of speaking directly to you, and the magazine feels like an old friend (quirky, Australian, creative, genuine and passionate) that will always be there for you.
Frankie Magazine
http://www.frankie.com.au/about-frankie

No. 2
DUMBO FEATHER is a must for story-telling and inspirational human beings that have stories, lives and passions outside the expected. Their interviews are insightful, thought-provoking and uplifting. They describe their work as having "conversations with extraordinary people". And the paper stock smells pretty damn fine too. 
Dumbo Feather
image cred: http://thedesignkids.org/interviews/dumbo-feather/
https://www.dumbofeather.com/


No. 3. 
FLOW's tagline reads as such: "celebrates creativity, imperfection, and life's little pleasures". What a happy little mission statement. And all of the typography, art-direction and illustrative style is JUST that: happy! 
Flow Magazine
image cred: http://planetkelsey.blogspot.com.au/2016/03/flow-magazine.html
https://www.flowmagazine.com/

No. 4.
THE GENTLE WOMAN is confident, stylish, and deliciously art-directed with a fashion edge & a strength in typography that is easily recognised and memorable. With features on celebs like Adele, Beyonce, Angela Lansbury, and Sophia Coppola; it celebrates the femininity, strength and uniqueness of all women. 
The Gentle woman
http://thegentlewoman.co.uk/magazine

magazines

Nice Aprons

Kate O'Connor

I think this might be a bit of an odd product to talk about, however beautiful aprons satisfy my obsession with making the ordinary extraordinary. WHY shouldn't an apron put a smile on your face? Everything in our lives is designed and if you're the cooking-type then you're probably going to don one most days...


No. 1
UASHMAMA creates the most lovely washable paper products sourced from Italy. I cannot get enough of their aprons. The "butcher style" braces come in all colours. I'd absolutely choose the rose gold straps with the natural apron. Talk about brilliant.
Apron Caffe
https://www.uashmama.com.au/products/apron-caffe

No. 2.
HEDLEY and BENNETT is owned by Ellen Bennett (described by Fast Co. as the culinary world's apron queen). If you can't swoon over one of their designs, your heart may well just be dead. The are built to last and simple but detailed and confident. I think this happy yellow number is currently sold-out, but they've got PLENTY of other options.
Canary 2.0 Apron
https://www.hedleyandbennett.com/collections/full-aprons/products/canary-apron

No. 3. 
GORMAN. Oh Gorman. Full disclosure here: I think this number is from a 2015 campaign... but I've included it because I actually can't get enough from the pattern-masters that are Gorman. And possibly because it's inspired by Mother Nature. Love it.
Greenhouse Apron
https://au.pinterest.com/pin/18999629654602912/

No. 4.
IKEA isn't someone I often look to for fashion advice, but as a brand they sure have been upping their design-game of late. And this apron is fun in all the right ways. 
Uddig
http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/40355522/

Nice Rings

Kate O'Connor

Every time my birthday or Christmas is approaching, my family ask me what I would like as a gift (as my family go a little PRESENT CRAZY at special times of year). And every year I reply "some pretty rose-gold jewellery" which is met with rolls of eyes hehe (although I like to think that my predictability is part of my charm). I just love the craftsmanship of fine jewellers – what amazing skill that they have, and what a special way to make a living. I'm guessing it must be such an honour for your clients to wear your work all day and every day. Below are some of my favourites.


No. 1
LOTT STUDIO is based in Melbourne and I wear two of her extraordinarily beautiful and-made fine beauties every day. I adore how ornate they are and I aim to one day have one on each of my skinny little fingers. The one named 065 gradually increases in size as it wraps around the finger. I've not seen anything like it on the market and I heart it so very much.
Rings 065/
image cred & details: https://lottstudio.com.au/shop/sample-product/065/

No. 2.
ERNEST AND JOE is a Mother, Daughter and Son team from Geelong in Victoria. They recycle Australian sterling silver and gold and their designs are delicate but at times also playful.
Gold Heart Stackable
image cred & details: http://www.ernestandjoe.bigcartel.com/product/gold-heart-stackable

No. 3. 
ALEXIS RUSSELL makes the most beautiful, confident, and modern jewellery that oozes personal style. She isn't afraid to march to the beat of her own drum and the result is the most unique and stunning range of jewellery. The ring featured here is described on her website as "Tourmaline in Quartz is clear or white quartz with rutiles of Black Tourmaline within its crystal.  This stone is said to purify ones own energies and protect from negativity". I love her sense of story and brand confidence. Amazing.
Tourmaline in Quartz Cage Ring
image cred & details: https://www.alexisrussell.com/collections/rings/products/tourmaline-in-quartz-cage-ring


No. 4.
CURIOUSLY OBSESSED by Emma McKimmie creates lovely fun statement pieces that I always think resemble wearing a rose gold leaf on your hand. This beauty was created using a specialised technique to apply a thin layer of copper to a found object – her thinking is to give it another life. Love that full-circle thinking. 
Copper 11 Ring
image cred & details: http://www.curiouslyobsessed.com/shop/copper-11

Nice Totes

Kate O'Connor

I have done a "totes nice" post in the past, but I thought it was a nice one to revisit given that there's been a lot of talk in the (Australian) media lately about the #banthebag movement. There are so many beautiful options out there at all ends of the budget. I love giving a beautiful tote as a present (it's one of my go-to gifts). 


No. 1
BAGGU makes the balance of utilitarian meets softness seem obvious and seamless. Can't get enough of this beauty.
Duck Egg
image cred & details: https://baggu.com/collections/category-totes/products/duck-bag-shell

No. 2.
PRINTED VILLAGE makes a huge number of fun prints. If you can't find a print to make your heart happy you should perhaps give up on your search! I really love this soft take on pop art.
Soft Pop Tote Bag
image cred & details: https://www.printedvillage.com/collections/tote-bags/products/soft-pop-tote-bag

No. 3. 
HOLY TOTE not only dons the most brilliant business name, they make the most wonderful product out of washable Italian paper. Looks like one of those bags that would get better and better with age.
Cross Body Tote in Olive Green
image cred & details: http://www.holytote.com.au/product/cross-body-tote-in-olive-green/

No. 4.
GORMAN is an expert at making a winning Australian print. Love the embroidery on this little number, and the strength of colour.
Yellow Honey Eater Tote
image cred & details: http://www.gormanshop.com.au/accessories/bags/yellow-honey-eater-tote.html

Nice Vases

Kate O'Connor

I realised the other day (as I reached for a vase at home) that I have never done a "Nice Four" post on vases. I love that some can be a work of art in their own right, and others serve more to hero the flowers that they hold. It's such a lovely example of something we all have in our homes, and the play of form versus function is endless. There are SO many beauties on the market, but these are a few of my fave (from Aussie and Scandinavian designers).


No. 1
DINOSAUR DESIGNS wins me over in a head-over-heels kind of way in pretty much every category on the planet, and vases is certainly no different. Their swirling resin is beautiful, unpredictable, unique and delicious. Love the subtlety of this little number, which would look just as beautiful with and without flowers.
Medium Resin Pebble Vase - Rock Swirl
image cred & details: http://www.dinosaurdesigns.com.au/medium-resin-pebble-vase-rock-swirl/

No. 2.
HANNE WILLMANN connects flowers to table in the most effortless, floaty manner. Love the minimalism and restriction of this design, that truly heroes what Mother Nature has to offer. 
Vase
image cred & details: http://menu.as/willmann-vase/

No. 3. 
BY NORD uses the most wonderful of smoky glassware to accentuate Mother Nature. The pieces are robust and dramatic but at the same time delicate and sympathetic. They have a classic beauty that I think would have looked as beautiful in the Grandparents homes as they would in my own. 
Bifrost Vase Green
image cred & details: https://luumodesign.com/living/by-nord-bifrost-vase-green/

No. 4.
RUBY PILVEN is an Australian ceramist based in Melbourne. Her jewellery and homewares are exquisite, detailed, unique and also playful. I cannot get enough of her mix of colour, graphics and textures.
X-Large Wrap Vessel
image cred & details: http://www.rubypilven.com/shop/9jd77kcp6yzytlt78975ndnzd286mp

Nice Egg Cups

Kate O'Connor

HAPPY EASTER all! I thought I would celebrate by sharing some favourite egg cups. From minimalist to cute, there's some gorgeous ones out there. I think I vaguely remember when at design school that in a subject called "studio skills" we had to make a structure that kept an egg safe (ha!) Wishing you a lovely holiday season with your loved ones. – K xxx


No. 1
Produced by BORDFOLK, Lucie Kaas (in Denmark) designs products that hark back to classic mid-Century Scandinavian designs. I have bought so many of these as presents for little ones in my life. I love their personalities and that they are painted. They feel so special and I love them (the sailor one is a fave also).
Little Girl Egg Cup
image cred & details: https://blackbirdandfox.com.au/

No. 2.
TOVE ADMAN relies on minimalism for when you really want to take your egg-eating seriously. How very grown up.
Set of 4 Egg Cups
image cred & details: http://monoqi.com/

No. 3. 
 TAKAE MIZUTANI AND SONS has SURELY nailed it with the greatest set (complete with setting for soldiers), for the Best. Breakfast. Ever. I don't have kids, but if I ever do I will have these for sure.
Egg And Soldiers Breakfast Set
image cred & details: https://www.notonthehighstreet.com

No. 4.
Industrial Designer NAOTO FUKASAWA proves that sometimes simple is best. With sleek lines and nothing over-stated, this work is confident and modern.
Wire Ware
image cred & details: http://www.iainclaridge.co.uk/

Nice Kettles

Kate O'Connor

FACT: The simplest things in life are the best. Like a good cup of tea. Winter is definitely in the works in Australia, so we may as well talk about a good kettle. Even though I'm a Summer girl at heart, I do like any excuse for a cuppa – so I'm willing to embrace you on that basis, Winter-Gods. I'm also pretty excited also that my brother and sister-in-law are in Japan buying me amazing green tea as I write this. Here's CHEERS to cosy days (and nights) on the couch and heart-warming warm cups of tea sharing the happiest of little life moments over a good brew!


No. 1
MAUVIEL is a breathtakingly wonderful French brand. I am unequivocally in LOVE with this kettle and actually can't stop thinking about it. The sleek lines, simplicity and colour... Love also how dainty it is – truly the most sophisticated of boilers. It's so rare in a kettle – which are often so bulky and utilitarian.
Tea Kettle
http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/mauviel-mcook-tradition-teakettle/

No. 2.
LE CREUSET is one of those brands that will just never go out of style, from generation to generation. I love their rich red colour (have many a piece of theirs in my kitchen), and the strength of this kettle is no exception.
Zen Kettle
image cred & details: www.http://lecreuset.com/

No. 3. 
 HOLMBÄCK NORDENTOFT makes form and function beautiful. Love the wooden detail of the handle, to make the pleasingly slender body feel balanced and friendly.
Emma Kettle
http://twentytwentyone.com/product/emma-electric-kettle-stelton-Holmb%C3%A4ck-Nordentoft%20

No. 4.
ALESSI kettles can be found in many a kitchen globally, and isn't their 30th Anniversary Edition of Michael Graves Tea Kettle divine? Instead of the trademark bird sitting on the end of the spout to "sing" once the water is boiled, you'll find a dragon. Brilliant. Why shouldn't making a cuppa be fun?
30th Anniversary Edition of Michael Graves Tea Kettle
image cred & details: http://blog.2modern.com/2015/08/alessi-releases-30th-anniversary-edition-of-michael-graves-tea-kettle.html

Nice Activism

Kate O'Connor

Usually my Style Crush is a little more frivolous. But this week I wanted to focus on some of the art that I have seen around in support of Womens marches, love trumping hate and the celebration of diversity. I truly believe that in times of despair, darkness and hate is when you see more courage, hope, light and love. (side note: apologies for not knowing all the exact titles of artworks... not my intention to be rude or to not apply appropriate reference).


No. 1
LISA CONGDON is a prolific and heart-warming American illustrator who will always puts a smile on your face. Her books and prints are just stunning and of late she been sharing some uplifting politically themed artwork, reminding us all of the good in the world, and the importance of compassion. Lisa: you are amazing.

image cred & details: http://lisacongdon.com/

No. 2.
HOLLY MAGUIRE is an illustrator based in the UK. This work featuring the importance of diversity is playful and understated but in my mind, hugely POWERFUL. You can buy her prints on etsy and they make my heart sing.

image cred & details: http://www.hollymaguire.co.uk/

No. 3. 
GALE KABAKER creates exceptional, expressive illustrations and animations This image was created for the cover of RESIST and her poignant description on insta "making art heals a broken heart" resonates greatly with me!

image cred & details: http://gkabaker.com/

No. 4.
As we have all seen, SHEPARD FAIREY adapted the Obama "HOPE" poster and created the now infamous "We the People" poster featuring an image of Munira Ahmed taken over a decade ago. It has become a symbol of the Womens Marches that happened across the globe as we all witnessed history in the making. It is truly an example of how art and design can effect every day life. Wow.

image cred & details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepard_Fairey

Nice Australian Fashion

Kate O'Connor

Hey KEN DONE: Eat. Your. Heart. Out. (actually I think that Ken Done did a talk at my college back in the day and I remember it being FAB... and quite frankly I think he also ROCKS). But the sisters be doin' it for themselves.... It's AUSTRALIA DAY so lets celebrate that beauty that is "Australiana" in fashion, and the beautiful Aussie women that are bringing it to us. I love how our Great Land inspires artists and how our irreverance, playfulness and positivity is reflected in the prints below. 


No. 1
JULIE WHITE makes the BEST Aussie inspired prints. I actually could have listed four of her products here. Like, uuhhhhh her prawn napkins. Genius! But lets focus on just the one here: Those wild flower socks. With many a pretty aussie flower, but most noteably in my mind, the Sturt Dessert Pea. Gorgeous!
Wildflowers Socks Pink
image cred & details: http://www.juliewhite.bigcartel.com/product/wild-flowers-socks-pink-new

No. 2.
JENNY KEE. She is a rockstar. An Earth-Mother. A style guru. Her knits are out of this world and her scarves are to die for.
Flamingo Waratah
image cred & details: http://www.jennykee.com/#product-25

No. 3. 
CAMEO THE LABEL did a Floral Wonderland campaign in 2014 with the most elegant prints and extraordinarily stunning art-direction. SO truly after my own heart and it has always stayed with me.

image cred & details: http://cmeocollective.com/#

No. 4.
CASSIE BYRNES is a Melbourne based designer who does the MOST stunning modern prints. They are all expressive, confident, fun. The almost dance in front of your very eyes and she's done some amazing collaborations. This protea inspired number is stunning.
Elko Dress – Protea
image cred & details: http://www.cassiebyrnes.com/shop/

Nice Beachy Days (Beach Towels!)

Kate O'Connor

The only thing I really know for sure in this little life of mine is that Vitamin Sea is the one things that continues to keep me sane. Living near the water is truly one of the greatest blessing I could ask for and I'm grateful for it every day. If I'm happy, sad, pensive, stressed, celebrating or relaxing, you'll find me at the beach. I'll be honest, I've never understood those people who say they "don't like sand"! Hehe. Which means a good beach towel is a MUST...


No. 1
THE BEACH PEOPLE make the original "roundie" and the most beautiful styles. I think The Tulum might be out of stock atm but it's still one of my faves. I love the strength of their brand, their sense of style and beauty (plus they're a great size to share if you want to snuggle up with someone nice on the beach).
The Tulum
image cred & details: http://thebeachpeople.com.au/beach/roundies/the-tulum.html

No. 2.
COUNTRY ROAD are a staple in my house. The bold and confident designs never date and the quality/weight is beautiful as well. Love this monochromatic beauty.
Montego Beach Towel
image cred & details: https://www.countryroad.com.au/shop/home/beach-towels/60201591/Montego-Beach-Towel.html

No. 3. 
ADAIRS do like to run with a FUN graphic and this not-so-prickly cactus gem is testament to this. Why shouldn't your towel make you smile?
Velour Cactus Beach Towel
image cred & details: https://www.adairs.com.au/bathroom/beach-towels

No. 4.
ARROW AND HEART get on the round-towel bandwagon with a beautiful palm print. I haven't seen one of these beauties in the flesh but they look like beauties from the interwebs!
Palm Leaf Round Beach Towel
image cred & details: http://www.arrowandheart.com.au/product/banana-leaf-round-towel/

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