Object stories: Botanical planter screen by Helen Kontouris

By Penny Craswell

It seems that us city-dwellers have gone crazy for all things green over the last couple of years, and Melbourne designer Helen Kontouris has responded with an inspired take on the screen that also acts as a planter, creating curtains of vertical greenery that will suit the smallest interior space or balcony.

Wattle, Acacia and Banksia Botanical planter screens by Helen Kontouris for LEN Furniture. Image: supplied

Designed for LEN Furniture, the  Botanical Planter Screen is self-watering and suits climbing plants, with only one plant per screen required for the full effect – you can even plant climbing vegetables like tomatoes, passionfruit or snow peas.  Read more

Top 10: Ethical gift guide

By The Good Outfit

This year’s Ethical gift guide, which once again highlights the work of designers whose work is sustainable, socially inclusive, charitable or otherwise ethical, has been put together with the help of Nicky Lobo and Jess Noble from The Good Outfit, an ethical fashion news source “without all the beige”. Thank you Nicky and Jess for this stellar list of items, all of which are available now to help you make your Christmas shopping an all-good affair.

Mithila bag. Image: Ashira and Kin


1. If your present wrapping usually makes people cry on Christmas Day, Ashira and Kin has a solution that will put you in a new light. This brand-new Sydney-based collective aims to ‘explore diversity; educate and empower makers and consumers; and encourage intercultural exchange’ by bringing products from artisans, makers and designers across Nepal and The Philippines to Australia. These LOK-TA reusable gift bags and wine bags are crafted in ethically grown and sourced handmade LOK-TA paper made from the local Nepalese Daphne plant. Adding panache to the paper, original artworks preserve and celebrate painting traditions that have been passed down through generations of women in the Mithila regions. Read more

Review: Muji store comes to Sydney

By Penny Craswell

Muji is a Japanese brand that sells a huge range of products – clothes, packaging, storage, stationery, even furniture – under the philosophy of “no brand quality goods”.

Entry to the store. Image: Muji
Entry to the store. Image: Muji

The Sydney store is the third in Australia, after two in Melbourne, and was designed by DKO who worked collaboratively with Muji to translate a global roll out into a design that is specific to its location. One of the key ways in which this has been achieved is through using local materials, such as the timber that lines the walls. Read more