Can Obsessions be Healthy?
I have an obsession...well ok, maybe there is more than one, but the most recent one I’ve recognised is that I’ve become obsessed with Florence Broadhurst - not her personally, but her designs - her wallpapers and fabrics.
There, I’ve admitted it, and now I’m feeling a better - but truly, I have developed more than a little ‘crush’ on her designs and they are beginning to feature in more rooms than one in my home.
Do you have any decorating obsessions? Have you ever copied a particular designer or their style to a point where it would be difficult to determine your copy from their original?
Many of us have all followed a particular design style at some point – it’s really nothing new. Trends do come and go. You find a brand you like, a decorator whose style you can relate to or an architect whose designs all make you swoon and secretly wish you could build a new home every year - yes, OK, my obsessions do begin and end with home design - both interior and exterior.
They say that copying is the greatest form of flattery...and the individual decorating styles of good designers are frequently followed or copied - I think that any good designer could only feel validated by knowing their work has been replicated in someone’s home.
The trick though, is to do it with subtly and try to put your own spin on it, to make it look your own.
For the uninitiated amongst us, Florence Broadhurst was a pioneer in Australian Design. In 1961, at the age of 60, she launched herself as a designer - with a high class, hand printed design studio -where her designs were printed on wallpaper and were vibrant, diverse and full of colour. Over 530 designs, many of which were uniquely ‘Australian’ despite being produced at a time when our country was still developing its own heritage and sense of style.
Broadhurst lived her life with flourish, she had a varied past and travelled extensively, which is evident in many of the designs. My personal favourite is the cockatoo range - another of my obsessions is definitely good Australian designs.
They say good design will stand the test of time - and Broadhurst’s designs are certainly testament to that - with her designs being resurrected and reproduced not only in wallpapers, but can also be found gracing our homes in linen, cushions and even drapery fabrics - all now being reproduced under licence arrangements.
My self-proclaimed obsession with Broadhurst’s work actually began when I was introduced to the work of Adelaide based artist, Emma Hack. Hack has a rather unorthodox manner of reproducing Broadhurst - she actually paints the designs across nude models and then photographs them. These spectacular pieces are highly sort after - and most of her collections sell out fairly quickly, not to mention they come with a hefty price ticket - so for now I might just have to settle for another cushion, or two...