Written by Anna images by Edwina

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

In the first week of August 2012, the HomeStyleFile team had the pleasure of attending of attending one of most highly anticipated trade events on the boutique retail trade calendar – Life Instyle – wwwlifeinstyle.com.au.  The Centenary Hall Precinct at Melbourne Showgrounds was filled with a stunning display of  local and international designers and we loved being in the thick of it!

Life InStyle is always a joy to attend because the calibre of exhibitors is so high. The products are exceptionally creative, high quality and well designed making it a visual feast to behold. The theme for this show was ‘Green With Envy’ and this set the scene for a brightly coloured and exuberant event. Colour was evident across the board and there was a distinct celebratory feel.

There was so much to see, and SO much to love (and covet) making it terribly hard to narrow down our favourites. Here is a small showcase of what we loved at Life InStyle and which gives you heads-up on what you’ll see arriving in home and giftware stores around the country in the following six months.

1. Textura It was a delight to chat to Laurent, who resides at the helm Textura.  Textura is a distributor of innovative and contemporary furniture, lighting and textiles all  imported exclusively to Australia. Edwina and I were bowled over by the Pluma Cubic lighting – every lamp is entirely hand-crafted from 2,000 to 4,000 goose or rooster feathers. They are so beautiful it’s hard to give them a description worthy of their breathtaking elegance.

2. Pooccio This new label used Life InStyle as the launch of their brand new range of luxury lifestyle products for dogs and their owners. We loved, and we mean LOVED their colourful cushions and can see a wonderful array of uses for these stylish numbers both inside and outside the home – for either your pooch or for yourself. Yes,  Pooccio is one hot new label to watch.

3.  The Market Basket Co.  Import an exclusive range of genuine French market baskets directly from Morocco. Each one is handwoven using traditional methods and techniques and so is unique. It was lovely to see the collection in all it’s fullness on display and get a sense of the rich history behind these baskets from The Market Basket Co’s founder Lindy.

4.  Epicure Trading Company Are the distributors for a unique collection of brands from around the world including Korbo who make the stunning handmade wire baskets you can see pictured. Made in Sweden, they are truly a timeless design piece. Each basket is so sturdy and amazingly woven from a single length of wire. Inside or out there are so may uses for these grand baskets.

5.  The Ada & Darcy Trading Co. had to be one of THE most colourful stands at Life InStyle. Their vibrant collection of textiles, soft furnishings, lifestyle products and furniture was pure joy for the soul. Mrs.Darcy brings a whole lot of happiness to the world.

6. Apple Green Duck Designed in North Fitzroy, Melbourne, we loved the affordable but stylish range of bags on offer by Apple Green Duck. There was so much to take in including products made from jute, calico, hemp and paper twine. We were particularly taken with the pot plant holders you can see pictured. Totally degradable they would make for a superb handing herb garden.

7. Bonnie & Neil The gorgeous Bonnie of Bonnie & Neil is pictured with the stunning new collection of homewares. All screen printed we loved the collection of cushions, storage, tablecloths, and were really taken with their timber flower displays too.

8. Sapone Sapone seeks to make bathing a luxurious and soothing experience by providing fine soaps and other toiletries from Australia and around the world.  They are the exclusive distributor in Australia of the Lucia, Beautea Organic and Casa Collection brands. Edwina and I had a lovely time smelling our way through their amazing candles, soaps and home scents.

9. Pili Pala Pieces  It is always a delight to stop by the clever folk at Pili Pala Pieces who were showcasing the latest additions to their handmade range. There are two things I never leave home without – my wallet and my phone so we’re tipping out hat to designer Helen who has created a lush leather wallet that features a signature illustration on the front, with a place to store your cards, notes, coins and even your smartphone inside.  Available from October, you can jump to the front of the queue and per-order yours here.

10. Loft Furniture We were drawn in from afar to to view the French lifestyle label La Fiancée du Mékong, renowned for bold prints and happy colours available at Loft Furniture. Their melamine plates packed a punch displayed together as you can see pictured.

11. MOZI The distinctive & playful aesthetic of MOZI as a label is as delightful as their creative team, so it was such a pleasure to spend some time being introduced to their new and wonderfully colourful collection. Watch too for their beautiful Christmas collection in store later this year.

12. me and amber The HomeStyleFile team and our readers alike have a soft spot for Amber & Me, so it was wonderful to meet the creators behind this lovely label. We loved their signature cushions, their new A-Z prints and cards with a touch of neon – fabulous!

13. Antonio Ben Chimol There was so much stunning jewellery on show at Life InsStyle we just had to highlight something of what was on offer. We love the rainbow of colours from the new Antonio Ben Chimol ‘Art to Wear’ collection. Made from leather, these stunning bracelets and necklaces feature innovative magnetic stainless steel clasps – I wanted one of every colour!

14. Exhibit Interiors The back lit display by Exhibit Interiors had so much style on offer – an eclectic range of furniture, ceramics, lighting, textiles and glassware. We loved their delicate new glassware in particular.

15. Sustainable Stubbies Brand new to Life InStyle, Sustainable stubbies up-cycles manufactured bottles into re-fillable, re-usable vases, jugs and tumblers. By using traditional hot glass techniques, Ruth Allen takes reclaimed bottles and uses the heating process to transform them into unique, collectable treasures.

Please visit individual stores for availability information and shipping costs to your location.