Today I Love… Marshmallow Pastels

Over the past couple of weeks we have seen lots of emerging designers and architects experimenting with foam as a material. Its soft, touchable qualities draw us in, offering comfort in exaggerated forms. Foam is an essential building material used for many different applications around the world and the experimentation of this material is being pushed to the boundaries.

We’ve seen architects use it for installations designed for child friendly exhibitions such as Sungsin Eo, product designers that are experimenting with tactile installations and fashion designers that combine a range of different materials to create inspiring shaped garments on the body.

I love the use of the pastel colours, they offer a quiet calmness that has a clean, pure impression rather than it being a feminine palette, it promotes a more experimental concept with tactile qualities in the materials, shapes and textures.

It’s fun, experimental and begging to be touched, sat on, and even worn!

The use of pastel colours are very on trend right now, check out how you can work these colours into your wardrobe and home here!



1. Form follows foam by Therese Granlund

2. Neoplasticism in foam by Katja Windau

3. Valeska Jasso Colladoby

4. Foam and Glass by Roos Gomperts Studio

5. Form follows foam by Therese Granlund

6. Foam and Glass by Roos Gomperts Studio

7.Stefanie Högl and Matthias Borowski for kollektiv plus zwei

8. Valeska Jasso Collado

9. Neoplasticism in foam by Katja Windau

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Whatever happened to Zak?

Cast your mind back a couple of years and if you’ve been reading our blog since around 2012/13 you might recall a Work Placement student at Scarlet Opus called Zak who wrote a whole bunch of posts and helped to create our Autumn/Winter 2014/15 & trend boards.

zak and vAlthough Zak left us last summer to return to University to complete her degree, we’ve kept in touch and kept a keen eye on her development during her final year until last month Zak finally finished her degree and showcased her final collection.  And today we’re proud to share that collection with you!

Zak’s print designs were heavily influenced by our ‘Dangerous Apparitions’ trend forecast for 2014 (it’s a trend that Catherine took inspiration from for our dark, seductive Valentine’s Day post this year which included a fab montage showing how to translate the trend for Interiors – check it out if you missed it!).  It was fascinating for us to see Zak’s take on our trend and her translation into a truly sumptuous wallpaper collection.  Below Zak talks us through her designs, the inspiration and intention:

1ABOVE: Initial inspiration board

‘Hidden wonders” is a concept which is based upon what lies beneath the surreal transparency of the wild garden. It has an explosion of colour from my artistic expression of the imagination through dreams, free of conscious control and is linked with the perception of reality. It is a naturalistic approach revealing the unconscious and relating it to the realistic world, as there is ‘more that meets the eye’.


ABOVE: Initial Market board

It has two characteristics – dark seductive surrealism fused with light delicate femininity creating a mysterious mood full of soft, dreamy layers of the natural environment, which intervenes with releasing the imagination.

3ABOVE: Final wallpaper designs

The aim of the project was to create a tranquil, relaxing spa environment, which is stress free and transports the mind to a heavenly haven. It is an ultimate vision for a luxury majestic spa that is designed for the high-end of the market.


ABOVE: Close-up sections of Market board showing design in-situ

The wallpaper and cushions give the appearance of tactile textures and allows one to explore the potential of the luscious natural floral wild garden. The inspiration and creativity forms an escape to a Riviera of bloom and allows the individual to drift into a dream, opening doors to a new reality.


ABOVE: Close-up images of designs on cushions on Market board

78We are pleased to announce that Zak was awarded a 2:1.  Congratulations!!!

As she sets out on her journey into industry we wish her well.

zakYou can contact Zak regarding commissions or employment via:

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How to be Creative with your CV in a Millennial Generation

Being part of the millennial generation myself, I know how hard and frustrating it is to find a suitable job you want to apply for, not to mention then writing the perfect CV to accompany it!

As the economic climate didn’t favour our generation well, we have to work even harder to achieve our dream careers, carving our own path, the way we want to do it. We are the most educated generation, not to mention the deepest in-debt for this education, and most of us, including myself, are probably still living at home with parents! Yet we are tech savvy, we like flexibility and we are ambitious to move up in our career, on average only staying with the same company for 2 years. Therefore regular updates of our CV’s are essential.

This month I expect lots of millennials have attended their graduation date and will be spending the foreseeable future writing and sending their CV’s to potential employers. It is important for your CV to stand out from the rest, it’s not just about what you say but how you say it, presentation is vital! By no means am I saying everyone should have an extreme ‘outside the box’ CV, but I am encouraging you to take the time and care into writing one that accurately reflects who you are, the more effort you put in to the creation of your CV the more likely employers are to read it.

So here are a few inspirational creative CVs to have a look at.

The Resume- Ale

js1024_Brennan GleasonBrennan Gleason definitely thought outside the box when he brewed his own ale and used it as a way of promoting himself. The outside box contains his CV while the bottles display a portfolio of his graphic design work.


 Embroidered CV

js1024_MELISSA WASHINFor all you textile creatives take a look at Melissa Washin’s embroidered CV. It may be time consuming but it is unique and demonstrates technical abilities in it’s design.


 Three-Dimensional CV

js1024_odgers3Dresume_frontweb1Why not be imaginative and original in your CV creation, have a look at this three-dimensional CV idea by Sarah Odgers. This is an innovative idea that will no doubt have a dramatic effect on its reader.

Presentation Pack

Pat Schlaich is a graphic designer that created a promotional piece that was a miniature portfolio with business card and CV. This idea is fun and interactive for the reader yet it is clear and demonstrates all relevant information.

js1024_Pat Schlaich cv Fold out Envelope

Zi-Huai Shen’s  CV is a beautifully presented piece of design work within itself, he works on the idea of presenting personal visual design qualities in the work of the CV so that the interviewer can understand easier and gain more insight into personal and design abilities.­

js1024_zi-huai shen cv

Another way of promoting yourself is via video. There are many examples of video CV’s online as well as many tutorials on how to make it as professional as possible.

Check out Graeme Anthony’s video to give you an idea.


Here are 10 Top Tips to think about when writing your CV

  1. Keep it short and sweet, ideally no more than two A4 pages
  2. Make it well-structured and well presented
  3. Keep it relevant to the job description
  4. Don’t list irrelevant work experience
  5. Include what skills you learnt in each job that you list
  6. Don’t include passive interests like watching TV, make it interesting and diverse
  7. Keep it error free!
  8. Be clear and precise don’t use extravagant fonts or background images
  9. For creative jobs – online portfolio or website is essential
  10. Positive language, concentrate on strengths and sell yourself well

js1600_scarlet opus edit We are a positive and confident generation ready to take on the world! Have the best CV and be the best at what you do!

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Decor + Design – The Highlights

It’s our last day in Melbourne at the Decor + Design show and if you’ve been following us on twitter then you’ll have seen the photos of our sell out seminar. It’s been a great trip but before we leave Australia I wanted to leave you with my pick of the best products in the best area of the show, and for me that was VIVID:

VIVID (Vibrant Visions in Design) is Australia’s longest running design competition for new and emerging designers.  This year at Decor + Design it showcased the work of over 80 innovative lighting & furniture designers (including students from the excellent Central Institute of Technology in Western Australia)  competing for a prize pool of $10,000.  In no particular order here are my favourites:

1. CLING LAMP by Megan Devenish-Krauth

Student at the Central Institute of Technology, WA –

Inspired by origami this beautifully executed wall light, made from the Australian tree species Spotted Gum, can be installed in groups but looked equally striking as a single wall light feature.  It genuinely did appear to be clinging to the wall, having paused for a moment before it continued to creep further towards the ceiling:

1 cling2. HEKSY PENDANT LIGHT by Daniel Giffin

These aluminium alloy lights had a stripped-back elegance that appealed to me.  They were designed to be hung in clusters and would most certainly make a stylish statement if hung en masse:

2 heksy3. CRACKED LOG PENDANT LIGHT by Duncan Meerding

Because a chunk of my trend seminar was dedicated to biophilia, our relationship with nature and natural materials, I was naturally drawn to these lights made from reclaimed timber.  They emitted a pleasing warm glow through the cracks of the logs and, although I resisted, I had an almost irresistable urge to touch the bark and physically connect with these simple but stunning lights.  Also check out Duncan’s STUMP cracked log table/stool design available in his shop:

3 cracked4. UNDERGROWTH PENDANT LIGHT by Jackson Turner

Student at RMIT –

This was a really stunning light on quite a large scale – I loved the contrast between the smooth gentle curve of the blackened aluminium dome and the carefully criss-crossed reclaimed Eucalyptus branches which were tucked underneath.  This light would look so good over a dining table:

4 UNDERGROWTH5. DIAGRID PENDANT LIGHT by Rowan Page, Marinos Drake & Ilya Fridman of Studio Batch

This talented trio were the winners of the Beacon Lighting Award (prize money of $5000). The ‘on demand’ design was 3D printed in nylon and then hand-dyed. The lights are created through computerised code which generates a unique form each time it’s printed. Their printed lights will be available to purchase via their online store soon … but in the meantime why not buy yourself a piece of their very affordable and unique 3D printed jewellery (I’m LOVING the ‘Diamond Cage Ring‘).

5 diagrid6. THE TREEHOUSE by Ali Sattarpanah

Student at the Central Institute of Technology, VIC –

I LOVED this free standing piece!  It presented a bonsai plant, lighting and a small storage shelf on bamboo legs.  It takes inspiration from childhood treehouses – personal, secretive spaces. I liked that it combined a whimsical concept with an honest construction:

6 treehouse7. REYKJAVIK CABINET by Amy Perejuan-Capone

Student at the Central Institute of Technology, WA

Made from American Rock Maple, MDF, copper, brass and steel, this compact cabinet inspired by the capital of Iceland was full of character and getting lots of attention at the show.  Amy describes it as a place to “tuck away or display all your special little keepsakes.”  Perfect.

7 cabinet7. LUSTRE COFFEE TABLE by Alexandra Tyquin

Student at Swinburne University, VIC –

This laser cut and manually folded coffee table in American oak, steel and sapphire glass successfully showcased the beautiful grain of the timber on a faceted platform of futuristic gloss white steel:

8 lustreCongratulations to all of the finalists and winners of VIVID 2014.

I’m closing this post with my 5 takeaway memories of Melbourne:

  1. Cool city vibe – edgy, vibrant, accepting & welcoming.
  2. Queues around the block at H&M!
  3. The best/most unusual hotel room service delivery ever = hi-vis jackets, bottle of wine & taxi fare (thanks Annette!)
  4. Animal print.  Leopard.  Lots of.  No but really, what’s with all the leopard print ladies?
  5. The enthusiastic audience at our sell out seminar at Decor + Design.

Thanks for coming everyone!

seminar finalOur special thanks to the Decor + Design show team who looked after us so well and put on an excellent show; The Langham hotel in Melbourne; Natalie; Alex&Elle for the fab graffiti wall art; Lisa Green from Australian House & Garden; Harry the Greek!

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The Best of The Best Millennial Designers 2014

Last month I visited the Huddersfield University Textile Degree Show preview night; I still find it hard to believe that I was in the same position last year and now, one year on, I’ve returned to check out the new designers as part of the Scarlet Opus team!

There is always a diverse range of Surface Design, Textile Design and Textile Craft work on display that shows a variety of material manipulation, colour and pattern design.

The atmosphere was amazing as usual, all the students had worked extremely hard to display their work and create a fantastic space for the viewers to walk round. I want to congratulate all the students on receiving their results and I hope we see a lot more of these amazing designers in the future (some are exhibiting at New Designers).

Here are some of my faves…

Chloe Fisher

Such an interesting and delicate use of materials. I love the unusual shapes created, the intensity of colour and the detailed patterns.

js1600_Chloe_FisherDaniel Matthews

Beautiful innovative illusional digitally printed fabrics inspired by the art of paper weaving and London architecture. I would also like to congratulate Daniel on his success in the SDC International Design Competition.

js1600_Daniel_MatthewsHeidi Beesley

Woven fabric designed around the photography of everyday moments. I love the sophisticated colour palette and simplicity of the presentation.

js1600_Heidi_BeesleyNichola Duce

Love the concept, it’s unique and wonderfully presented. The intricate embroidery adds detail and originality to the product.

js1600_Nichola_DuceAmy Leigh Green

The Eclectic Vibes collection reflects a relaxed, hippie, bohemian style (How very on trend). With inspiration gathered from gypsy cultures which for centuries have fashioned themselves based on floral elements, folkloric patterns and jewellery.

Fantastic use of colour and bold patterns!


Fatima Hussain

I love the minimalistic architectural influence created within the structured weave. Simple but very effective.


Amy Price

Amazing presentation of printed fashion fabrics with beautiful photography.


Adriana Tavares

‘If you can draw it, you can tuft it’ is a collaborative community lead project. This project promotes the educational benefits of crafts. The project challenged the perception of rugs and revolutionised them by pushing the boundaries of shape, colour and aesthetic.

js1600_adriana_tavaresKimberley Harrington

This collection takes inspiration from the growing variations of street art throughout the colourful city of Berlin. A very bold use of bright colours, it’s exciting, energetic and the ‘organised chaos’ presentation makes it unique and inspirational.


Melissa Oswald

Surface design at its best, the colour and material combination create inspiring designs!



js1600_scarlet opus edit

Intense use of colour, disorderly pattern and precise themes define this year’s final shows.

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