Monday, August 24, 2009

white wash

so remember the other day i said that i'm really into white right now? and that bright colors were actually making me appreciate white more, as paradoxical as it sounds? well, today, i'm happy to share with you the design work of anna spiro, of black & spiro, an interior design firm and shop in brisbane, australia. anna's work has been featured in many design publications, including most recently, this month's australian vogue living. she's also the author of the popular blog absolutely beautiful things, where she catalogs and shares all manner of images that inspire her work.

i find anna's style very appealing in the ways that it blends new and old, modern and traditional, and makes use of interesting and sometimes unexpected fabrics and patterns. and i love how every space is unapologetically pretty and gentle, while not being too girly to exist in a family home.

what i really love about the work shown on her newly launched website (and sampled for you here) is that she uses white as a tool - it's not just an unfinished or unconsidered backdrop, but instead an equal part of the color dialogue, and bright and milky white is often found on walls, floors and even furniture in her rooms. it's an answer to the colors she uses, and in her work, both white and all the colors look their best -- they work together and bounce off each other in such a way that all of a sudden, white looks like a new concept. somehow the white is the star of the show, even though there are so many bright colors surrounding it.

the look is intentional and punchy, and i credit anna with single-handedly making me leave my walls white, rather than painting, which had been my plan all summer. so i thank you anna, and so does mitchell. i'm realizing that when your walls are a color and your furniture is a color and your room's accessories are colors, it can start to look a little muddy and undefined. but with more white in the mix, it sharpens the edges on other things and makes them pop. in a way, it's similar to my love for my white dishes. i'm loving that the same concept can be employed on a larger design scale.

one of the best things about looking at the work of talented designers like anna is observing their choices and translating them into strategies you can employ in your own home. of course, this "translation" can be costly if you get carried away. because we're not spending tons of money on redesigning our home right now (who is, really?), i'm so happy to have discovered anna's work because her sensibility has helped me think about ways i can reconfigure things i already have.
(check back for pictures next week showing some of the work we've done). in the meantime, enjoy anna's work and check out her website and blog - i think you'll love her perspective and her taste.

all photos from


Anna Spiro said...

This is such a lovely post! Thank you so much!

Kind regards,

Anna Spiro

Erin said...

I love Anna's work...I can't agree more with your take on using white. I too am appreciating it more now because of bright colors. As you say, it really does sharpen the edges and make things pop. I love that!! Great, informative post!

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