Mag Square

Friday, July 30, 2010

hooves & paws indoors

source of image unknown
I know these are pretend and I'm not sure what is compelling me to do this other than the mild obsession i am currently having with these life like teeny animal figurines.  Despite my very best efforts, i couldnt really interest my children in them when they were little but that didnt stop me from accumulating a collection of the farm variety. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon these impressive portraits on etsy and beyond.
barely domestic by Jeff Friesen on etsy

little hooves also on etsy

with confidence, the hare threw his running shoes aside (individual images from Schleich)

giraffa camelopardalis by marshall byrd from the where the buffalo roam collection.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

old blighty, so cool

vivien westwood lays it down for the rug company
 "Cool Britannia" was the slogan coined to describe Britain in the 1960's but this little motto enjoyed another moment in the 90's when London become super hip again (think New Labour, Oasis, Millennium  Dome, Mr Darcy and god forbid Gerri Halliwell's skimpy union jack spice girls get up).  Of late, it seems that icons of the old Blighty are back on the inspiration boards of designers everywhere.

Kate Moss - a poster girl for UK cool
At Magnolia Square we have chosen the very best of what speaks to us. Although we don't condone the idea of  'themeing' a room's decor or an outfit as such  - we do love a reference - or a gentle nod to a particular style.

lots of cool fashion at - search on union jack.  We particularly love the lulu guiness sequined clutch (yours for a mere $A475)

And because we have all had enough of the original slogan - there is this little gem to tie into the theme.

Something for the little lads and lassies on etsy
A little closer to home but still with a British flavour are these fab finds. 
Union Jack cushion available from Melbourne store Tiger &Peacock at 187 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North (which by the way you must check out - owner is the very clever Aimee MacCallum, visual merchandising superstar!! Think Husk windows)
typical breakfast menu at the local greasy spoon - available at Magnolia Square along with other great stuff from new retailer reg loves this

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

behind closed (yellow) doors

Is it just us – or do you love taking a walk around your neighbourhood at dusk? When the lights are switched on but the blinds and curtains are yet to be drawn, allowing little glimpses into homes you have admired in the daytime. It is fun imagining what might lie beyond closed doors. They say you cant judge a book by its cover but can you judge a person by their front door?

turning unremarkable on its head
Hamptons style always oozes charm - how could you not want to knock on this handsome fellow?

a pop of colour to old stone work is an unexpected feature - and it works so well

the light at the end of the tunnel and a cheery welcome home at the end of the day

it's not yellow - but it is complimentary

So just in case you were in any doubt - at Mag Square we love yellow and all the possibilities it conjures up. Vibrant, warm and cheerful - yellow helps to stimulate energy - and we all need a shot of that now and again. That said, we hope you are enjoying the fresh coat of paint on the snippets front door.

a garage but pretty none the less

Leaving our fave 'til last ... not a conventional front door, unless of course you reside in a barn.

Justify Full

Monday, July 26, 2010

loving lonny

image via

I have to confess that like many others I am completely and utterly addicted to the purchase of magazines; a little bit of gossip and fashion but mainly the interior/lifestyle type for me. I put it down to necessity, "research & development" even. An awful lot of inspiration and information can be gleaned from glossy pages!

That said I am also enjoying the online magazines (see we read). Not sure how this one has flown under my radar though. I am talking about lonny magazine now in its 5th issue.

lonny cover issue 5

The magazine was established by Michelle Adams, a former assistant at Domino magazine and colleague and photographer Patrick Cline. Many shelter magazine titles in the US where forced to close shop when the recession hit hard and advertising became hard to sell (domino, house & garden, blueprint). Adams, already forging a high profile career in textiles with her own start up felt passionately about the need for a substitute or alternative place where lovers of tear sheets & mood boards could happily seek inspiration. And that is how lonny came about.

lots of market style product info with interactive links

The bi monthly magazine uses flip page technology on the issu platform to give a very "real" magazine experience to the reader. Details such as subtle lighting effects and the slight division that is visible between the pages all enhance the sensory impact of the online mag. The interactive capabilities are very exciting and mean that immediate purchasing gratification might be only a mouse click away. Gotta love that!

loving this colour scheme!

So does the future of publishing mean the demise of the printed mag in favour of the virtual variety? No probably not but e readers such as the iPad certainly facilitate the growth of the online publishing phenomenon as does the very low cost of publishing this way. It's exciting to think that original content can now be generated, published and accessed so quickly. Watch this space!

to read lonny magazine go to
to check out other online magazines see
blog by lonny co founder Michelle Adams,
great reading at

Friday, July 23, 2010

a good vintage

These European inspired, provincial luxe design schemes are just heavenly! They have us yearning for a weekend somewhere in the French or Belgian countryside. Decorating with a vintage aesthetic remains a strong theme in interiors according to Izzi & Popo founders Bernadette and Harry Wyer. With an intimate knowledge of the brocante and vintage fleas markets of Northern Europe, the Melbourne based husband and wife team import 3-4 container loads of furniture, objets, glassware, ceramics and more to Australia each year.

Izzi and Popo will be at our next show with a select range of peices from their enormous collection.

In a similar vein, with a look and style all of their own is Scarlett Jones, who presents an inspired collection of gift and homeware items with soul. Many beautiful pieces, some vintage & some handmade, combine to make this a special range with an eclectic sensibility. Owner Lynn Clay is a self confessed bower bird and treasure hunter, never failing to unearth magical discoveries in the most unlikely places. Scarlett Jones will show a capsule range at Magnolia Square.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

cooking it up EDFD style

Magnolia Square’s resident Melbourne eatery, Ed Dixon Food Design, shares our passion for all things innovative and fresh.

From Flinders Lane to Phillip Island, Ed Dixon Food Design (EDFD) pop-up all over Victoria producing stunning weddings, private parties, cooking classes and corporate celebrations.

Since 2007, EDFD has been delighting Mag Square Melbourne shoppers with a lunch and snack menu based around the best quality produce and a simple, seasonal fresh food philosophy.

Highlights on the menu at the next Malvern event (2 weeks away) are winter warming blue cheese and onion marmalade tarts and a hearty roast tomato and basil soup. Our retailers are regularly seen consuming their daily fix of brownies or the super size lolly bags, both an EDFD specialty!

At our next show check out the EDFD sweet stand; a space dedicated solely to the provision of beautifully packaged cup cakes, lollies and old fashioned chocolate crackles.

So who are the EDFD team? Professionally they are a bunch of chefs, cooks and event managers; personally they are a close knit group of kitchen & style enthusiasts who bond daily over a love of creative food and design. We are very lucky to share an office with them, although it does come with occupational hazards (top of mind is over consumption of Belgian chocolate brownies!).

the very lovely EDFD girls from left to right ...
tupp, ed, ellie & alex (missing!)

for more
ph 03 9419 4502

ed dixon food design cooking class give away

To celebrate the launch of their latest season of cooking classes, EDFD is giving away two tickets to each class held at their Abbotsford headquarters.
new season dates:

Thursday August 26
Wednesday September 22
Wednesday Oct 27

To win two tickets, valued at $110 each, send your name, phone number, postal address and nominated class date via email to with SNIPPETS COMP in the subject line.

The three winners will be drawn at Magnolia Square August 7, 2010.

Updated Post 18 August 2010:

Winners were ...
Kim Sutton of Kensington
Carmel Hartnett of Mount Eliza
Stephanie Conti

Each winner will be sent two tickets to the value of $110 per ticket.

Monday, July 19, 2010

mobile market makers

At Magnolia Square – we are a bit partial to a pop up shop – we also love supporting the direct from the source markets, which is why we love this clever idea.

Answering the eternal question ‘what’s for dinner tonight?’ Holten Farms brings fresh food from the paddock to the streets within hours. We spotted this clever idea of a mobile food market breathing fresh air to the streets of New York and couldn’t help but wish someone would give the idea legs here in Melbourne. No parking dilemmas, no crowds no bulk shopping that ends up in the bin. Just seasonal fresh produce. This van would mean the kiss of death to the soggy remnants of the crisper for good.

Urban Crop selling from the back of Loom Rugs in Prahran, Melbourne

bagged tulips by urbancrop

Locally we have Urban Crop bringing us fresh flowers direct from the source (still in the soil) and bagged up upon sale for you to transfer to your bench top. Sold from the back of a travelling van, Urban Crop pop’s up in neighbourhoods all over Melbourne selling fresh flowers and herbs that will outlast and outbloom the average cut flower. Urban crop is the work of Joost Bakker.

The witty creation of Innocent Drinks quirky, moving, dancing, grass covered van, selling fresh smoothies to the Brits also caught our eye – don’t you love the seat covers? And yes the van really does dance – so we think this is a case of ‘if the van’s a rockin – then please bother knockin’!

the innocent drinks truck en route

But hey. Lets not forget who started this mobile trend. The humble, pink & garishly decorated Mr Whippy van, cruising our streets playing that familiar tune. Love it.

a culinary icon of the streets!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

design made trade

cardboard booths at DesignMadeTrade

DesignMadeTrade at the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton finished today. The show is now in its third year and judging by the numbers it has gathered a large supporter base, not only within the design community but the public at large. If you were unable to make it this year our tip is diarise for next!

The space was filled with 60+ cardboard booths, each containing clever designers, artists, jewellers, furniture makers etc. We saw some of our own retailers including leoni & vonk, lox & savvy, me & amber, klei, sunday morning designs and vince letterpress.

Here is a quick look at some more design brands that caught our attention - look out for some of these at Magnolia Square in the future.

Julie Paterson is the founder and designer at Cloth. The range uses natural fabrics like hemp, linen and organic cotton with bold graphics referencing the Australian landscape. Cloth sell fabric yardage but also manufacture (in their Surry Hills Sydney studio) homeware products including cushions, lamps, table linen, wallpaper and art.

I have been trying to "meet" Julie over the phone for sometime now so I pounced at the chance of introducing myself today. If I am persistent enough we might get Cloth back to Melbourne for one of our shows. I have Julie's permission to keep bothering her!

Today we also met the founders of Poulier & Poulier Design, a Melbourne based textiles business using iconic typography such as optical test charts for t towels, art prints and card designs.

"hard work never killed anyone but why take a chance"

The simplicity of the I Design Things booth has lured me over for a second look for the past two years now. Artist Anke Kindle suspends stylised bird shapes from twigs; a lovely addition to any space in the home.

Laser cut grandeliers by Who Did That. Really stunning and so simple. We particularly loved the Scandinavian aesthetic - blonde timber against the recycled cardboard booth walls. Available in different shapes and varying sizes and finishes. The best part; the stunning pendant lights double as floor lamps. Website not yet ready but not far off. Check it out soon.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

bensimon love

You might be pleased to know that sitting comfortably beside the Manolo’s and Louboutin’s is another shoe that is equally hot right now and a darn side more accessible for everyday folk. Enter the bensimon tennis shoe. This is not a brand new shoe; the thoroughly French sneaker created by style guru Serge Bensimon has been walking amongst us for the past 25 years. So relaxed, laid back and worn in are these shoes that you wouldn’t give them a second look. And therein lays the appeal. Chic and effortless, they were marketed as the disposable shoe for French women in the 1970’s.

Even the rich and famous liked the idea of a cheap and cheerful trainer. Bensimon were the casual shoe of choice for oh-so-cool-without-trying women like Jane Birkin below (of Hermes Birkin bag fame) Princess Diana and even our own Naomi.

effortless chic by Jane Birkin in bensimon (and that bag Hermes named after her!) via

So how did this humble canvas knock about become a cult phenomenon in the bottom of the wardrobe? The cynic in me says a big marketing budget but I’m not sure it was that deliberate. Sure, being on the feet of a beautiful model or famous movie star doesn’t hurt. And the scarcity factor outside of France (read limited supply) is just plain economics – the full 21 colour range has only recently become available in the US. But how do they feel?

My own 9 year old son (this is a true story) took a very sudden liking to a pair of bensimon sneakers about 12 months ago at Tree in Flinders. He insisted the laceless, slip on variety were awesome and low and behold a child who had thus far been impossible to find appropriate shoes for, wore nothing else on his feet for the next 9 months straight. In the end what was left of the rubber soles (very little!) had to be surgically removed from the sole of each foot – and disposed of appropriately. So there is truth in the notion of disposable shoes, not sure this is what they meant.

Ok so maybe the bensimon “it” factor has nothing to do with smoke and mirrors marketing, celebrity endorsements or shortage of places to buy. Maybe they are just plain comfortable, look so damn cool and work equally well with jeans and an oversized cardy on a cold day or a trench and a floral dress when spring arrives.

image via bohemia life

Manon Bis at 568 Malvern Rd Hawksburn are the largest stockists of bensimon in Melbourne. They are kindly giving away 2 pairs of the classic tennis shoe rrp$65 to a couple of lucky snippets blog readers. For a chance to win email and tell us why you love this chic French trainer. Remember to include your phone number. Two winners will be announced here on Thursday 29th July.

(ENTRY POSTED 29/7/10 10.33 PM Winners were Shoshi Vorchheimer & Cindy Asp - congrats!!)

P.S. clever alliances with other iconic brands like liberty (below) always helps bolster popularity. Look at these limited edition babies! Get the liberty version at Manon Bis also.

Want to know more about the shoe of the moment ...

Check out the official bensimon website

Blog by US based bensimon groupies

Online shop with HUGE range of bensimon stuff

Funny blog post by American girl in france who eventually learned to love the ugliest tennis shoes she’d ever seen!