Contemporary Change

Meet James Howe: the Adelaide-based, self-taught contemporary furniture designer. We caught up with James to chat about the simplicity of his work, how his previous life as a journalist impacts his craft, and how his best ideas come to him while he watches Netflix.

James Howe first fell in love with furniture after discovering Danish designer Børge Mogensen’s J39 shaker chair – the journalist-turned-award-winning furniture designer was trawling through the internet in search of dining chairs. It’s fair to say Mogensen changed his life.

Seven years later, James has won an international award for his work and is about to open a private studio. “I basically became obsessed with furniture overnight,” he says. “I’d never seen anything like [Børge Mogensen]. Something about it grabbed me and made me feel a weird mixture of serene and wildly excited.”

But, it was the pending arrival of his first child that actually spurred him to craft his first piece. With a new-found interest in furniture design and creation, he designed and built a change table and Moses basket stand. “I just went in deep,” he says. “I found it enthralling. To discover something out of the blue that really lights you up like that – it’s a real gift.”

In 2015, his wife encouraged him to enter both pieces in the internationally-recognised Etsy Design Awards, where he won the New Talent category. “I started receiving press, and [my career] began to snowball in a way that was just crazy exciting,” James says. Then came a coveted position in the Jam Factory’s associate program where he undertook a two-year funded position. “It gave me permission to make furniture all day, every day. It was huge.”

James describes his aesthetic as minimalistic, basing his work around a material or an image he’ll imagine. “It’ll usually pop into my head when I’m watching Netflix,” he quips. He’ll then strip back the various layers of the initial concept until he finds a distinctive element to focus on. “It’s an important part of my design process. Finding what the piece brings that other furniture doesn’t.

The Rushcutters Bench (pictured right) exemplifies James’ commitment to simple yet thoughtful design. The first draft of the hand-dyed Danish paper cord seat with stainless steel frame featured timber legs and a metal top. “What set it apart was the hand-woven weave with these tapered ends that I developed,” James explains. “Once I realised that I eliminated everything other than what was structurally required for the piece to exist.”

James says the Rushcutters Bench is one of his favourite designs to date. “I feel like it’s the most resolved in terms of stripping it back to its core thesis,” he says. “I know how much work went into resolving it, reducing it and boiling it down until it resembled what it is today.” The piece was named as a finalist in the 2017 Australian Furniture Design Awards.

Other pieces in James’ portfolio include a credenza with chevron-fluted doors (picture above), a softly curved side table and the ‘Hubble Lamp’ – a simple rock maple and Limoges porcelain diffuser structure that emits swirls of light from the impurities in the handmade glass.

He credits Adam Goodrum, Tom Faraday and Adelaide-based Khai Liew as some of his most influential role models, but says his early success also derives from his appreciation of the materials he works with. James calls himself a ‘material fiend’ who tries to emulate the emotional impact furniture and form have on him in the work he produces

James’ previous life as a freelance magazine journalist and photographer has also given him a unique perspective on design, saying the two fields feel “identical” to him. “My ability to know whether the words I write are good and the ability to know if what I’m designing looks good comes from the same place,” he says. “It’s the same skillset.” This, coupled with his natural aesthetic sense and ability to be a step ahead of the trends, means he’s quickly moved to a place where he’s becoming comfortable with his identity as a self-taught designer.

While he gets ready to open his studio, James has also started to inspire the next generation of Australian contemporary furniture designers by posting educational videos about his work on social media. “I want to see people like me, who don’t feel permission to design furniture, to decide to start and to have the same life-changing experience I did,” he says. “It takes guts to put something vulnerable into the world. I want to encourage other people to take that leap.”

Inside Adelaide’s Award-Winning Green Home

An award-winning holistic space you will want to live in

Words: Laura Mappas Images: David Sievers

It’s the way the straight lines and harsh materiality of the exterior meshes seamlessly with the meticulously planned and executed gardens that makes this unique home in Adelaide’s inner north award-winning.

Picking up a commendation at the recent SA Architecture Awards, the design is the work of local firm, RAD Studio. “The key design element of this home lies in its function,” says Creative Director Chris Rowlands, explaining  that the central aim was to create a “gallery” for the sensational gardens, which are the work of homeowner and horticulturalist Ngoc Dinh.

Five thoughtfully placed courtyards and a greenhouse-like space that connects the original 1950s home to the new build are central to the execution of this concept. Polished concrete flooring combine with warm natural timbers to create a modern, earthy vibe, while polycarbonate panel shave been used to provide a sense of calm, enabling the diffusion of natural and artificial light. Lush greenery decorates the area, with a collection of hanging planters and pots injecting colour and creating shadows.

To the left and right of this ‘connector’ are two of the five courtyards – each a private space servicing a bathroom on one side and an ensuite and robe on the other. RBW Dimple wall sconces soften these wet areas, offering ambient lighting, while custom walnut cabinetry adds another level of luxury.

The central courtyard, which sits alongside the kitchen to the east of the home, has been planted with Japanese Maples and mature Frangipanis. This space is also home to an elaborate outdoor kitchen, complete with oven and cooktop. Back inside, and perched above the kitchen, is a bright and breezy mezzanine area, which boasts views to the Maple garden below. To the west of this central courtyard lies another calming enclave featuring a dedicated reading nook and study looking out onto a pond filled with Water Lillies.

It’s this clever layering of greenery against the cold surface of concrete, the choice of textures and the influx of natural light that opens up the otherwise small spaces and gives this home it’s overall appeal. And it’s not just aesthetic– opening the home up to the north was essential for passive thermal performance. “We wanted to get as much natural light in winter as possible,” says Chris, explaining that the room sizes and window openings were designed purely off solar angles, so in the middle of winter the entire room is flushed with sun.

Likewise, the green elements and the materiality also has significance. “Early on in the design phase Ngoc shared with usher passion for architecture,” explains Chris, “in particular, she spoke of buildings she had grown up with. Ngoc presented Vietnamese Brutalist architecture – buildings that had this beautiful juxtaposition between rigid architectural forms and heavy plantings that engulf and soften the structure. The integration of garden and building Is something we wanted to celebrate.”

Designing for Development

Leading design and build company Urban Habitats is expanding its contemporary design style through new building initiative, UH Projects.

For more than 20 years, Urban Habitats has been known for its considered approach to architectural and interior design. But while the Goodwood-based company are experts at thoughtfully rendering clients’ visions into reality, the leading team of architects, project managers and interior designers have now developed a new way to build forever homes.

UH Projects, a new initiative by Urban Habitats, is a way for the architecture and trade team to continue creating stunning suburban homes while developing an individual style that showcases their industry capabilities. “We love working with clients to design and build their dream homes, however, we realised we wanted to build our own dream homes as well,” says Development Manager Milly Nott. “We see opportunities everywhere to improve properties…and we lean into the challenge of deeply considering a property to find the best opportunity and outcome where it may not be initially perceptible.”

Although UH Projects is still in its infancy, its two most recent projects in Norwood and Goodwood have already been well received. Two homes on Edward Street, Norwood, were completed in early 2022, with the properties sold off-market before construction finished. The Albert Street project is now underway, with one house already sold and the other expected to hit the market in March 2023.

But while it’s been an exciting opportunity for the UH Projects team to flex their architectural creativity, creating spaces that clients can see themselves living in still remains a top priority. “At the centre of UH Projects, we aspire to build homes that individuals, couples and families will fall in love with,” says Milly.

UH Projects
96 King William Road, Goodwood
0450 965 858

Open Plan Luxe Living

An elegant sandstone Tudor gets a modern makeover in Linden Park. Harris Real Estate property consultant Effie Vlachoulis shows us through.

Curb appeal is everything in real estate, and this classic two-level Tudor home overlooking Austral Park in Linden Park has it in spades. But it’s what’s behind the imposing double entry doors that really impresses – a transformation that pays homage to the original home while adding a new modern open-plan rear extension, perfect for family life. The result is grand.

Every inch of this majestic home has been thoughtfully planned – in actual fact, from concept to completion it took four years, with the old 1932 home being architecturally recast with the help of award-winning design studio Enoki.

The flexible floor plan is at the heart of the build’s success and the dedicated outdoor space demands instant attention. A full-sized turfed tennis court, heated pool, two alfresco pavilions and outdoor kitchen making it an entertainer’s dream.

Inside, there is a lavish master suite, which takes up the entire upper floor, and a plethora of luxe fittings and finishes including Jarrah floors, Miele appliances and more. Add to this, the home’s enviable park-side location, within the prized zone for Linden Park Primary and Glenunga International High School, and you have an impressive, inviting, exquisitely finished home that is perfect for the family who wants a little more.

“The luxury market in South Australia is still performing well as buyers are looking for high quality homes in sought after suburbs and preferred school zones. I am confident we will have a lot of interested buyers for this property!”

Effie Vlachoulis, Harris Real Estate

Effie Vlachoulis
Property Consultant
0412 677 189

Terrace Floors + Furnishings Spring Trends

Spring is a time of transformation, and this extends to your surroundings. Your home should be your sanctuary, a place where you can recharge and reset. And with a little help from the team at Terrace Floors + Furnishings, it can become just that.

Take your cues from nature with a soft colour palette, luxe natural fibres and a beautifully tactile rug underfoot, and you will soon have your own haven to retreat to each day.

We’ve wrapped up some of our favourite Spring trends to help you transform your home this season.


The warmer weather is (finally) arriving in South Australia! Embrace spring by inviting elements of the outside world into your home. Throw the windows open to let the fresh air in, and place the Armadillo Mesa Nook Rug at your back door to welcome traffic to and fro between the home and garden.

Introduce natural textiles like linen and cotton to make your home feel more connected to the world around it. It can be as simple as adding a cushion or a throw into your living space with shades inspired by nature.

Our pick? The L&M Home Burton Seagrass Cushion makes the perfect Spring addition (see Steal the Style below). You can elevate this feeling further with a bunch of flowers from your local florist!


Silly season is nearly here so finding a space where you can feel calm, collected and at peace is a must for those whose schedules are starting to fill. Carve out an interior sanctuary to rest and relax in by incorporating the GlobeWest Sketch Nysse Occasional Chair into a reading nook, or use the Armadillo Agra Rug in a light and uplifting colourway to soften your living space. The experts at Terrace Floors + Furnishing say the Agra Rug will add a sense of luxury to your room, and wool is a natural and durable material that is soft underfoot.

Organic Shapes

Harsh forms and sharp corners are fading from the interior trend cycle as we gravitate towards organic shapes this Spring. Rounded and irregular shaped furniture helps create movement in a space, bringing a sense of energy and freedom to your interior.

Soften any hard lines in your home by introducing the Armadillo Petunia Rug, which will add texture and a relaxed vibe to your space. Looking upwards, our pick is the LaForma Druciana Light Shade which is hand woven from natural rattan (see Steal the Style below). Add two or more pendants for a bolder statement and to create visual harmony.


Spring is also the season for outdoor entertaining, as end-of-year parties and backyard barbeques start to fill our calendars. The GlobeWest Ossa Ribbed Stool is our go-to trans-seasonal piece. Its durable concrete finish is suited to both indoor and outdoor entertainment, meaning you’ll get double the use out of this flexible piece.

Place the ribbed stool in your alfresco area as seating, a side table or even pop a plant on it for a minimalist statement. Pair it with the matching GlobeWest Ossa Dining Table for a cohesive look.

Steal the style

1.Armadillo Mesa Nook Rug, from $160 2. Armadillo Agra Rug in Duchess, from $4900 3. GlobeWest Ossa Ribbed Stool, $680 4. LaForma Druciana Light Shade, $589 5. GlobeWest Sketch Nysse Occasional Chair in Woven Red Clay, $1830 6. Armadillo Petunia Rug, from $890 7. L&M Home Burton Seagrass Cushion, $108

Terrace Floors + Furnishings
51 Glen Osmond Road, Eastwood

Get To Know Effie Vlachoulis From Harris Real Estate

Effie Vlachoulis from Harris Real Estate knows the importance of trust and relationships better than most, and now it’s paying dividends.

We chat to the property consultant to find out more.

You’re a property consultant now, but that hasn’t always been the case– tell me about what you were doing before Harris.

Before real estate, I owned and operated a fashion boutique in Burnside and Norwood called Niki Belle. I stocked some beautiful brands including Zhivago, Lexi, Viktoria & Woods and was the go-to for any formal occasion. Working in fashion introduced me to so many people; I formed so many great relationships and really became part of my client’s lives, helping them choose outfits for special occasions and enjoying their return clientele. Helping people gave me such a great sense of job satisfaction, and luckily for me I continue to enjoy this same job satisfaction as a property consultant.

So, what made you decide to make the move from fashion retail to real estate?

I have always had an interest in real estate and, after approximately 10 years in retail, I felt it was time for a change. Surprisingly, the two industries are really quite similar – it’s all about helping people, it’s about relationships and it’s about trust. I have been able to maintain many of the relationships formed during my time at Niki Belle, and some of these people are now also clients of mine at Harris.

This is obviously one of your key points of difference.

Yes, and this is because I understand the importance of trust and commitment. My clients know that I will put 100 percent effort into their property campaign, from arranging trades and getting them sale ready, to doing the negotiating and ensuring the settlement runs smoothly. When I am selling a property, all of my attention is about that property, I’m not just thinking of the next one.

What other attributes make you a great property consultant?

Being personable, friendly, genuine, approachable and humble are attributes that I believe make me a great property consultant. Positive energy and a capacity to work under pressure is also very important.

You made the change just before COVID hit, at a time when interest rates were low and house prices were on the increase – what impact did this have on your entry into the industry?

Fortunately, it was the best time for me to get into the real estate industry. Properties were selling quickly for increased vendor expectations. Everyone was very optimistic and everyone was getting great results. I believe you still need to work hard when selling a property in any market as there are high and low times and managing buyer and vendor expectations is essential.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I hope to be able to help as many people buy and sell in Adelaide. I am committed to ongoing training and development and want to be known as Adelaide’s most honest, genuine and successful real estate agent

Effie Vlachoulis
Property Consultant
0412 677 189

White Wash Minimalism

It is time to bring the outdoors in with light and airy home interiors. The team at Oz Design Furniture show you how.

Minimalist, open plan homes with tonal décor are having a moment, but will this trend continue into the coming season? The experienced team at OZ Design Furniture say spring is all about having a fresh look and feel using vibrant colours to connect to nature. Natural textures will be huge, with handcrafted rattan furniture filling homes. Rattan can also be injected through décor such as baskets and lamp shades.

Slip-cover fabric sofas will also be resurfacing, providing both style and functionality. Easy to clean and offering the perfect relaxed look, slip-cover sofas pave the way for a fresh and light interior (the Whitehaven three-seater from OZ Design Furniture is our pick). Finally, the use of vibrant décor will see a shift away from winter with the use of oversized artwork, vases and table centerpieces.

Shop in-store or online at OZ Design Furniture and discover the latest sofas, dining, storage, homewares and more!

 Whitehaven Armchair in Skye Cloud, $1399; Airlie
Side Table in Natural Rattan, $399;
Simpatico Cushion 50x60cm, $109.95

OZ Design Furniture
800 Marion Road, Marion
08 8472 3630

Gepps X Home HQ750 Main North Road, Gepps Cross
08 8472 3640

Simple Ways To Add Value To Your Home

There is so much behind the scenes work that goes into preparing a home for sale. Nick Tirrell, project manager at Presenting Beautiful Homes, shows us through their latest transformation in Kensington Park.

The Brief

A rundown villa, set on 1227m2 of premium land in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs, had sat vacant for an extended period of time, and a lack of regular maintenance had the property in need of some love and attention before it hit the market for sale. It was important that the home presented as ready to move in and appeal to a broad demographic of buyers, including families and professionals

The Project

The goal was to return the run-down property to its former glory in a modern and sophisticated way, capturing the attention of as many potential buyers as possible. This involved updating the colour palette throughout, replacing and updating light fixtures and fittings, re-tiling, landscaping and more.

The Results

When the hard work and vision pays off for the owner – as it did with this project – it’s a win for all. This resulted in a staggering sale price of$3.15 million. More than 100 groups viewed the home throughout the duration of the campaign and there was a huge turnout on auction day with competitive bidding. The home also achieved the highest sale price in Adelaide for the week it went to auction.

“Presenting Beautiful Homes managed the whole process of delivering and project managing all required trades, and then furnished and presented the property magnificently during the sales period.”

Simon, client

Simple Alterations That Added Value

  • Interior and exterior painting with a modern colour palette of whites, greys and blacks.
  • Replacing old worn flooring and carpet throughout with lighter and more modern selections.
  • Updating old-fashioned light fixtures.
  • Repairing and installing new fencing along the boundary and a compliant pool fence to match the new exterior colour palette.
  • Retiling and filling the existing swimming pool.
  • High-pressure cleaning of all outdoor areas and paving.
  • Landscaping of property, including planting.
  • General maintenance repairs.
  • Full styling of every room.

Discover This Quaint Seaside Cottage

This old weatherboard cottage started life in Sweden, it now sits proudly overlooking the Spencer Gulf in picturesque Marion Bay.

In post-war South Australia pre-fabricated kit homes were rife, imported from Sweden by the South Australian government to help with the social housing crisis. That’s where this 1950s home originated, although it occupied a block in Adelaide for years before being relocated to the beautiful Marion Bay on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.

Seven years ago, it was then snapped up by renovating sisters Emma and Sarah, who have stripped it back, sanded, painted, restored and refurbished to create what is now an idyllic seaside getaway.

“It was in great structural condition when we bought it,” says Sarah. The renovations were therefore mostly cosmetic and completed ad-hoc during summer holidays, and on odd occasions when the girls could make it to the seaside town from the irrespective homes, just around the corner from each other in Willunga. “We would drive down with recycled materials like salvaged doors and windows and add them as we went along,” she says

The white-washed home was repainted throughout with Dulux Vivid White, while a large deck was added out the back, along with an indulgent out door bath. The garage was converted to a large rumpus room, thoughtfully decorated in a modern, eclectic style to compliment the rest of the house. The bones of the cottage (and the stunning location) were obviously a big part of the appeal for the co-owners when they purchased the property, but post-renovation it is now the impeccable styling that is the stand-out. The girls’ ability to pay homage to the original home while also injecting a decent dose of luxury with simple styling is a big part of its appeal.

The result is a space that is warm and inviting, incorporating a mix of modern and vintage. “We like to use what we have and source the perfect piece, but we will not compromise when it comes to French linen bedding, a good room scent and handmade ceramics”, says Emma.

Other non-negotiables are a generous sofa, the type that engulfs you, enveloping you as you sit – “comfortable seating is a part of creating an environment where you feel like you can rest, and that is important to us” – that and modern kitchen appliances.

The cottage is an original wooden shack, so while having a modern kitchen didn’ts eem like the right fit, the inclusion of high-end appliances was high on their list. Their solution was to work with the existing kitchen to maintain the authenticity of the space – they painted the cabinetry, added brass handles and exchanged the existing upper cabinets for open shelving so everything was in easy reach – while adding an induction worktop and a new oven perfect for holiday baking.

Other rooms that were given a quick cosmetic fix included the bathroom –“when we first bought the cottage, we considered that at some point we would renovate the bathroom, however over time we grew to love the authenticity of the room – the large windows, the layout, we even grew to love the mustard tiles,” laughs Sarah.

It’s the simplicity of it all – the earthy colour palette, the natural textures and the sprinkling of collected treasures and curiosities – that breathes life and love into this home away from home. The carefully curated interior has been executed to perfection, with each lick of paint, cosy nook and upcycled piece thoughtfully placed to evoke calm and beach holiday vibes.

Follow on Instagram here.

A Day in The Life of an Interior Stylist

We chat to Monika Tirrell, Director and Head Stylist at Presenting Beautiful Homes.

What does a typical day in the life of an interior stylist really look like?

Well firstly, no two days are the same! Most days we start very early, this could be straight off to a home with our trades to consult on renovation work or it could be straight into our warehouse getting ready for the day’s styling installations.

We also visit new homes and meet real estate agents and new clients every day. Travel is a big part of our days, sometimes we are visiting clients and agents up in the Adelaide Hills or others right along the coast. Then comes the office work…proposals, emails, accounts, stock buying and much more.

The other major task is the packing of product for each job. This is individually done for every job and can take many hours, depending on the size and complexity of the property.

You have a large furniture warehouse to select pieces from – tell us a bit about this space.

We have enough furniture in our warehouse to style more than100 homes at once! Everything is set up and displayed in categories such as cushions, artwork, side boards, occasional chairs, sofas, mirrors, accessories and more. It’s set up so that our team of stylists can seamlessly work their way through each category, making their selections for each home.

You work with so many different clients and each space is unique – how do you continue to come up with new concepts and ideas?

We like to draw concepts and ideas from each home based on their era and come up with a style and layout that will best compliment the property and appeal to the demographic it is being marketed to. You will often find our team having a huddle in the warehouse, brainstorming ideas together, which is where a lot of the magic happens!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

There really is inspiration everywhere– magazines, books, art, travel, shops, the outdoors. Of course, Pinterest and Instagram are also a fabulous resource.

Describe the process, from the first client meeting to the final product.

Firstly, we always meet with every client to discuss their individual requirements –styling, partial styling and/or trade work.

After the initial consult, we will then present a home styling and/or trade quote to the client. Upon confirmation of a provided quote our team will book the job in with the appropriate contractors, trades or logistics. For any trade work, our project manager will provide a schedule of works and manage the project through until all the trades have completed their work.

For all home stylings booked in, we individually select each item of furniture, artwork, layering and accessories that will be used in a property, producing a bespoke and personalised look every single time. This process is time consuming but gives the best end result. Once selections have been made, it’s then install day where our team of removalists and stylists will rally together to complete the job on time.

When the property has sold or you notify that you wish to cease hire, our team will pack up and collect all hired items. The goods are then returned to the warehouse, checked, cleaned and re-stocked.

What are the advantages of engaging an interior stylist to style your home for sale?

There are many benefits of interior styling for sale – most importantly it helps to create an emotional connection and allows buyers to picture what it would be like for them to live in the home, often resulting in them being willing to pay more.

Our interior stylists are very good at what they do and know how to highlight the best features of a home to help it stand out in a competitive real estate market. As stylists, our job is tofocus on the property’s potential buyers’ needs and wants, to work hard to create a space they will want to live in, and to make more money for the vendor.

Presenting Beautiful Homes
10 Transport Avenue, Netley
08 8297 8339