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Category Archives: Blog

Spotlight :: Miriam show’s off her home

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Past student, Miriam Ragen, recently had her home featured in the Newcastle Herald.

Miriam’s “interest in modern Scandinavian style has led to her beautifully minimalistic smatter of slimline furniture, simple ornamental pieces and monochrome colouring with gentle pops of pastel throughout her home.”

Check it out here

Artist Spotlight :: Vanessa Lewis

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When I first discovered some of Vanessa’s work through the Blessing & Honour’s stationary range, I instantly feel in love with her hand drawn work; the textures, movement of every stroke and the beauty of each of her subjects.
Upon meeting Vanessa, she revealed her love and passion for discovering traditional techniques. Creating her work by hand, with imperfect dots and lines where the ink merge together naturally forming stunning  design pieces.

Here’s her story….

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“I feel like I have been an artist all my life. I was born in Zimbabwe, Africa to two beautifully creative humans, who loved life and gifted me with a yearning for knowledge, beauty and truth. When I was ten, my family traveled through Europe, on a kind of ‘lets see everything’ pilgrimage, I fell in love, so deeply, with art and the rest as they say.. is history.

Now based in the excitingly understated city of Newcastle in Australia, I make art, I draw and paint, study, research and explore the recipes and techniques once used by artists throughout the centuries. Sometimes feeling more like a chef than a modern day painter, I work with deliciously luscious ingredients..eggs, vodka, walnuts, pomegranates..and more. Every day in the studio is an exhilarating learning experience, as I explore the chemistry, the botanic’s of painting and turn it into new art.

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The more I learn about mediums, the more there is to know. I started with tempera as its such a beautiful yet challenging medium, and I really liked the idea of learning to make my own paint, like artists used to do. Recently I have been exploring old inks, from recipes from the renaissance etc.  They are all so historically rich and yet almost forgotten by contemporary art, and yet they are so wonderful to work with even if they are occasionally quite rebellious. Gold leaf is also an ‘historic’ medium with a long history, it has been a real treat to learn how to use the different metals, and I think it adds a new dimension to the picture I’m working on. I love love love working with charcoal, its a medium that’s long been undervalued, but its so versatile in its mark-making abilities. I get my charcoal from Coates, a family run willow charcoal factory in England, which I would love to visit one day.

I  am influenced a lot by how other artists work and I love to see the world through their eyes. I have learnt that the only way to grow as an artist is to keep doing. For my own art, I look to the life around me, anything that makes my heart skip a beat whether its something in nature, music, people anything beautiful even if its achingly sad. Creativity flows from a  full heart, and that becomes the starting point. Then I let the mediums do the rest.”

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Meet Vanessa and fall in love with her beautiful work at either Hunt & Gather Markets or The Olive Tree Markets.

Discover more at Apothecary Artst

Inspiration :: Timeless Leather

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Leather is often described as timeless and classic.

It’s soft and supple, with a natural patina developed over time, leather lends warmth to an interior, creating contrasts and offsetting other finishes like wood, steel, stone and concrete, becoming a conduit for effortless style.

Leather has become a favourite and essential material throughout design history. It is one of the distinctive hallmarks of coveted Scandinavian style and was the fabric of choice for the renowned Eames Lounge chair. American designer Ralph Lauren’s use of leather is evident in home furnishing whether it’s on the New England coast or his Western ranch.


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Inspiration images sourced from: designattractor.comroadkillrescue.nethandmadecharlotte.comthedesignchaser.comdreambookdesign.comkarinecandicekong.com


Similar products can be spotted locally at: 

Me Me Homewares; Empire Furniture; InsideOut

Exploring Japan

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Japanese Architecture, Art, Design, delicious food and an exotic culture are just some of the many joys of visiting Japan.


Donna will be travelling to Japan later this month to meet with the Kobe Design University in hope of establishing a relationship between the Hunter Design school and Japan. This trip will also include some planning for our second student excursion tour later this year.


Last year students enjoyed a 10 day excursion to Japan, experiencing Japanese culture, learning some Japanese craft and visiting a few of the amazing design and architectural interests of Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. If you are thinking this may be an exciting opportunity, you can contact the school or come along to our information night next term (date to be confirmed) and you too can join us for what will be a truly memorable Japanese experience.

Watch out for further details in our next newsletter.

INSPIRATION :: Pantone Colour of the Year 2015

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Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.


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Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth.Leatrice Eiseman

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The impactful, full-bodied qualities of Marsala make for an elegant, grounded statement color when used on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors.

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Information Session

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Always wanted to get in touch with your creative side?

Come find out more about our Nationally Accredited Certificate IV in Design CUV40311 courses.

We specialise our Certificate IV’s in:
– Colour & Design
– Graphic Design

Date: Thursday 11th June 2015
Time: 6 – 7pm

We’ll be talking about…
– What you will learn on the program
– Creating your assessment portfolio
– Meet an industry expert, Luke Burrell
– Student Q & A

Be inspired by our guest speakers:
– Donna Burrell, School Director
– Luke Burrell, Director Mezzanine Media
– Ana Saiao , Program Educator
– Julie Kosy, Past Student

RSVP: hello@hds.nsw.edu.au


INSPIRATION :: Furoshiki

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Furoshiki (風呂敷) a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods.

Originating from Japanese culture where it promotes caring for the environment and reducing waste; Furoshiki is the eco-friendly wrapping cloth.

Using techniques similar to origami, it can be used for gift wrapping, grocery shopping or simply as decor.

Why furoshiki? It is reusable and multipurpose. Each year billions of plastic bags end up as litter; reusable bags, such as, furoshiki can help reduce the impact to our environment. Its versatility allows you to wrap almost anything regardless of its shape or size.




etsy.com Furoshiki


Image’s sourced via pinterest

Mothers Day 2015

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If you’ve left spoiling your mum on mother’s day to the last minute…it’s ok.

Here’s a few things that are happening around Parry St.

Hunter Design School:

All About Flowers Mother and Daughter Brunch

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Spend the day with your mum learning how to make a boxed floral arrangement using environmentally friendly techniques (no floral foam!). Kate from Two Wild Hands will guide you through traditional and inventive arrangement techniques, with a delicious brunch. Tools, vessel and flowers are provided, be creative with the vessel you bring, and feel free to bring along clippings from your own garden! Everything you make is yours to keep.

Click here to register

Mother’s Day Pop Up Shop’s

Local designers and artisan’s are popping up with their beautiful hand made gifts, cards and wrapping paper from 9.00 – 1.00pm

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Shop’s include:

Blessing & Honour

Mim Concepts

Tuga by KZ

Diana Bower Accessories 

Apothecary Artist 


Keep an eye on instagram and facebook for other surprise shops


Pappa Sven’s


Pappa Sven’s shop is open from 9.30 – 1.00 on Saturday, with an assortment of Swedish homewares and small gifts. Plus will have arrangement’s of flower’s by Little Wren.

Find Pappa Sven here



greg natale

Greg Natale will be in store from 12.00 – 2.00 to do a book signing of his newly released book “The Tailored Interior”. Books can be purchased in store now or on the day.

Find out more here


The Edwards

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Treat your mother’s to a lovely Edwards style brunch on Mother’s Day the 10th of may.  With every booking on the day will receive a complimentary glass of champagne and chocolate coated strawberries for Mother dear on arrival. Plus The Edwards would like to gift to you, and your mum (who we love) a little keepsake to capture and remember the day by offering an authentic vintage photo-booth experience.

The girls from Oh Fleur will also have flower arrangements available to purchase on the day.

Find out more here


Greg Natale is coming to insideout

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Greg Natale  is an award winning designer known for his use of bold colour and pattern and creating warm, layered, livable spaces.

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In his new book, The Tailored Interior, Greg offers a generous and unique view into the creative process, sharing his passions, experiences, advice and the philosophy behind his richly tailored, sophisticated style.

Be sure to secure your personally signed copy at his Newcastle book launch on the 9th May.

For more info :: insideout online or facebook 

Juliana Joins the Team at insideout

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Juliana L Martin, graduate from the Hunter Design School has now joined the team at insideout, located in Parry St Newcastle.

Juliana’s passion for interior design has seen her work with companies such as Space, King Furniture and other high-end interior decoration and furniture showrooms over the past 15 years.


Born in Brazil, Juliana has lived in different countries expanding her knowledge of different cultures and styles, whilst driving her passion for vintage objects, fabrics and interesting textures.

‘I always try to meet the clients needs and interior decoration expectations in a practical, efficient and friendly way.  Just returning to Newcastle after 12 months in Western Australia, I am now working as a design consultant for insideout in Newcastle, and have the pleasure of working with the most beautiful and friendly team Chris, Deborah and Liz.’

The team would for you to drop by and check out some of these new products.

Lazytime sofa by Camerich

CAMERICH lazytime modular

Ascot Parque Buffet.

 ascot parque buffet

Drake Buffet

drake buffet

insideout :: 192 Parry St Newcastle West