It took a long time but I got there…

It’s taken me 16 years to make the journey to Cuba. Not because I was attempting to walk all the way from Australia but because during my first attempt I was in New Orleans, en route to Mexico City and then on to Havana, when I was called home because my mother was gravely ill. Back [...]

2019-01-29T22:01:36+00:00January 29th, 2019|Chada Living, Culture, Hotels, Travel|345 Comments

Chada Design Project: The Brentwood, Wellington

I’ve recently got back from windy Wellington, New Zealand, were I went to inspect a new project that’s ripe for refurbishment. It’s a smallish hotel called The Brentwood that has been part of the fabric of its local community since the early Sixties. On the surface it looked like a rather ordinary establishment with dated [...]

2017-11-27T08:25:02+00:00November 26th, 2017|Chada Living, Hotels, Travel|1 Comment

Today’s Stop: Jarkarta

It’s Thursday, it must be Jakarta! Life’s a bit like that as Creative Director of a design firm which has projects all over the globe. Although it doesn’t mean I’m hopping on a plane every few days, I’m happy to report, as I often have to conjure up cultures from the comfort of our studio [...]

2017-10-30T01:01:50+00:00September 19th, 2017|Hotels, Interior Design, Travel|0 Comments

A Floating Home in Amsterdam

Home stays come in many guises, not all pretty. The more time you put into researching the area, reading peer reviews and even checking out Google Earth, the luckier you're likely to get. I struck gold in Amsterdam with a home stay that was just about the most novel, romantic and comfortable stay I have [...]

2017-10-30T01:02:12+00:00September 12th, 2017|Hotels, Interior Design, Travel|14 Comments

Chada Design Project: Skyline, Queenstown

Two days in our design studio at CHADA are rarely the same. We may be brainstorming a new hotel complex which has to accommodate people and well as horses - actually three times the number of very expensive thoroughbreds to human guests. Or, learning about designing beautiful living spaces for dementia patients or maybe designing [...]

2017-10-30T01:02:34+00:00September 5th, 2017|Hotels, Interior Design, Travel|0 Comments

Prague: the city of Art Deco and Art Nouveau

Designing a carpet for the grand ballrooms of a hotel in the old town of Prague in the Czech Republic, I looked around this beautiful city for inspiration and found boulevard after boulevard of ancient buildings, including the world’s first university. Art Deco and Art Nouveau treasures are everywhere and every style of architecture before [...]

2017-10-30T01:03:12+00:00August 29th, 2017|Art, Interior Design, Travel|0 Comments

The Art of the Dutch

My friend, the talented photographer Anna Maryke Grey, spent seven years putting together a body of work which she exhibited last year in Sydney. I bought a work a particularly moody still life that depends so much on a perfect shaft of light that illuminates its dark centre. All the works shared this quality but [...]

2017-08-20T03:28:29+00:00August 20th, 2017|Art, Interior Design, Travel|0 Comments

A Source of Inspiration

I recently found myself in a glittering palace of crystal admiring chandeliers whose designs had been created for Marie Antoinette and Napoleon themselves. My inspiration is water and the project is in Jinan (China), which is famous for its natural springs and the large reservoirs and waterways which connect the city, a bit like Amsterdam. [...]

2017-08-20T02:32:38+00:00August 9th, 2017|Hotels, Interior Design, Travel|0 Comments