Category Archives: Lifestyle

Hopefully, in the next few months, my ‘Australian Architecture’ book will be published and available in retail outlets worldwide. The project is a collaboration with my editor Cheryl Weber, who is an acclaimed author in her own right. She has always been captivated by Australian contemporary homes, which are located in many diverse regions. Interesting for Country (continent) with such a small population it really punches well above its weight in terms of innovation. Another region that has a few unsung heroes is Canada and Severn Sound Cottage by Trevor McIvor Architects perfectly illustrates this point. » Read more

Four years ago I visited Singapore to meet clients and also new influential contacts. One of my meetings was conducted in the prestigious Marina Bay area. The gentleman I arranged an appointment was a high flyer in commodities and had a penchant for exclusive mechanical watches. In fact, his collection (worth millions of dollars) was incredibly impressive and somewhat surprising. As well as owning select pieces from Harry Winston, MB & F, De-Bethune, Vianney Halter, Rolex etc. he also owned some rare vintage models and a Nixie watch. Before I forget there were a few limited edition Urwerk timepieces in the display case he brought along. That is why I am sure he has reserved one of Urwerk’s phenomenal UR-111C watches. » Read more

Normally on Sunday, I have a routine, which involves either a long morning walks or a Gym session. This is normally followed by a leisurely breakfast/brunch at home or in one of many trendy local cafes. However, this particular week I opted to do something slightly different to mix things up a bit. In fact, I decided to embark on a 2-hour round trip to visit a marvellous custom-designed house in Adelaide Hills. Certainly, the time and effort were well worth as this home was completely enchanting. » Read more

In the United Kingdom, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA for short) is considered a really prestigious organisation. In fact, if an architecture practice isn’t accredited by this body then literally it’s not worth it salt. Obviously, there are exceptions but I just wanted to illustrate the importance of a global membership with this institute. Every year the RIBA has a coveted national award for a residential home displaying an exceptional degree of merit. The shortlist has now been devised into a TV show hosted by the charismatic Kevin McCloud. It would be an understatement to say that the selections were outstanding. However, there can only be one winner and in 2017 the prize was award to Caring Wood. » Read more

Over the last few years, I have really become more fascinated with contemporary design. Certainly, this has inspired me to write many books (luxury design, architecture, horology) about the topic and how it influences our lives. It also ignited a passion in me to create my own bespoke products like watches, leather jackets, and even kid’s scooters. I feel the overall experience has been very cathartic and is something I want to pursue more actively. Having an understanding of the challenges and obstacle involved (during the process) has enabled me to express these feelings in words. Ultimately this has helped me to relate to the brands I feature on Total Design Reviews. » Read more

Ever since childhood I have been fascinated with design and that has massively influenced my career choices. After obtaining a diploma and degree in art I became a freelance illustrator/agent. This commercial faction of the industry taught me several valuable lessons. For example, adhering to exceptionally tight deadlines and not being too precious about my work in general. In the commercial art world, clients expect many compromises. Ultimately this means adopting other (more famous) artist’s techniques at a fraction of the price. Interestingly designers in other fields also encounter this rigid form of direction including horology. » Read more

Generally, I look forward to relaxing in front of the television on Thursday, Friday and Sunday evenings. Primarily that is because I am treated to episodes of my favorite programmes that feature aspirational residential homes. I have always been fascinated by innovative architecture because it makes an indelible impression on an otherwise generic landscape. Far too many new builds are poorly constructed and devoid of any design merit. That is why homes like Siglap Plain by Aamer Architects really deserve editorial exposure. » Read more

The origins of single malt whiskey distilling date back centuries. The two main regions that have become synonymous with this grain-based beverage are Scotland and Ireland. In fact, there is even an organisation which was founded in Edinburgh in 1983 called the “Scotch Malt Whisky Society” (SMWS). Operated purely on a membership basis they exclusively distribute over 125 unique varieties worldwide and even have 3 private member’s rooms in different UK locations.

Growing up in the UK I was familiar with the prestige associated with Irish or Scottish single malt whiskey. However, there are many other countries that produce their own high-quality variations including Australia and in particular Tasmania. In fact, many of the boutique distilleries based in this unique state (which isn’t connected to the mainland) have established themselves on the world stage. Here are 6 companies that have taken this craft to an exceedingly high level. » Read more