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My one night (den)affair ...

Josh Stapleton

Posted on June 10 2017

Give me velvet sofas from Italy, brass consoles, champagne served at the BMW Art bar, delicious oysters at the BELLE restaurant designed by Fiona Lynch and you've got me talking with a capital someone-get-me-a-microphone!

Something Beginning With 

DENFAIR has landed in Melbourne for its third consecutive year and the talent pool was stronger than vodka in a Russian pub. With a variety of Australian and International designers, DENFAIR amalgamated the very best of established and emerging talent to a specific audience of interior designers, stylists, architects and retailers. Walking in I felt like Marty McFly in Back To The Future as everything felt futuristic, cool, new, fresh and so forward. To be honest I thought the waiter would serve me champagne on a hoverboard.

Although being somewhat overwhelmed by the forward-thinking of the fair itself (as DENFAIR prides itself on) each design and space felt comfortably relevant. Sofas from MEIZAI for example presented themselves lower to the ground to stay in line with accompanied oak media units yet, the fabric choice was a simple crushed smokey linen letting the architecture of the sofa become the hero. 

Bonnie and Neil 

Lighting and art were at large this year possibly due to the demand of clients wanting to purchase a statement piece for their space, to break the ice of how the rest of their choices will evolve. Kerry Armstrong gave a groovy sense of calm with a shift from her regular pastel and candy coloured pops of colour to a beautiful warm and muted palette that followed a keen focus from various retailers.

Bonnie and Neil, Fred International, District and Zuster took note of this seasons forecast on trends in terms of textures, colours, shapes and forms. If you have an interest in fashion you would've noticed that this 2017 spring collections saw fashion houses such as Proenza Schouler, Marchesa, Zac Posen and Carolina Harrera use earthy and rusty colours of burnt orange, fawn, charcoals and crisp ruby as well as a ample amount of 'millennial blush' (our favourite of course). The exhibitors at DENFAIR provided nothing less than the same on-trend path. With Zuster banquet chairs feeling like they were literally made out of Tory Burch dress.   

Kerry Armstrong / Anaesthetic 

On the topic of trends, I always walk into new season showrooms or spaces feeling nervous that the brass lamp I bought six months ago will be "over" and the blonde timber chair I just saved for will be "out" but that's not the case and it certainly never is. Whilst yes, things such as sunflower yellow and copper wasn't necessarily sort after, the brass was plentiful and the blonde timber was just well...blonder! Henry Wilson showcased the epitome of the latest approach being, that the texture became as important as colour. Stunning crafted brass wall scones with textural, almost brick-like surfaces to it became the standout lighting creation for me.  


Not only were my eyes bulging in awe of such design but there was certainly plenty for my ears to listen to as well. This years star studded line up in DENFAIR'S speaker program included Fiona Lynch, Hecker Guthrie, Lisa Cahill, Rob Mills and Chris Connell to which I had the privilege to listen to. Chris almost put all our fears to rest... "you don't have to get it straight away". He focused on his own struggle with working as a furniture designer and architect feeling overwhelmed by the sense that he has to have an idea and when it comes to fruition make it even more "perfect or great". The path was clear in his non-methodical way of designing something as simple as a stool, resinating that creativity cannot be forced and to simply scribble, doodle and jot down whatever comes to mind, not what everyone else is telling you to do.

Space Furniture 

 Taking away from hearing Chris speak it was comforting knowing that you don't have to know everything or how to do something straight away, it's completely okay to make mistakes, whether it's buying the wrong shade paint or too smaller a rug, it's a good thing. I mean look at me I just drool and blabber all day and call it a Blog...

DENFAIR runs a public day on the final day of the event every year, so in 2018 do yourself a favour and grab a ticket and get inspired! It's how you motivate yourself to come up with something wonderful!

Till next time,

Josh :) 

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