Thursday, March 29, 2012

How do I read water rating labels?

The water rating labels you may have seen on whitegoods and plumbing products are part of a scheme to help reduce domestic water consumption. It requires most household water-using products to carry a label like the one below:

Labelled products include:
  • washing machines
  • dishwashers
  • showers
  • toilets
  • taps for sinks and basins

These labels let you easily compare the water efficiency of these products and offer consumers helpful information to guide them on product choices that will save water, energy and greenhouse gases – and money.

The star rating at the top of the label indicates a product’s water efficiency with more stars meaning greater efficiency.

Labels for washing machines, dishwashers and toilets display the water consumption in litres per use. Toilets display their full, half and average flush consumption.

Tap and shower labels show water use as the flow rate in litres per minute. A higher figure means more water is used over a given time.

Be careful to ensure products are registered and properly labelled at the time of purchase, particularly if you intend to claim a rebate offered for higher efficiency products. Unregistered products will not be eligible for a rebate and may not be legally installed.

Unlabelled or incorrectly labelled products may be in breach of the law and should not be offered for sale.

To check a product’s registration status and water efficiency claims go to

At this site you’ll also be able to compare the water efficiency of all the products that must be labelled. If you need help finding your product on the site you can phone 1800 218 478.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Subscribe Now! Grand Designs Australia Pre-Launch


“If you loved the UK show (and who didn’t?) and are now a devotee of the equally fabulous Australian series, like me you will be excited about Grand Designs Australia magazine. Our first issue launches in May 2012 when we will be exploring more houses and talking to more homeowners and industry experts who will share their stories — all in the name of inspiring you to create your own grand designs. I look forward to sharing the excitement with you.”

Kate St James, Managing Editor.

Subscribe Now

Design Session with Kate St James

Register now for Coco Republic's Design School Session with Kate St James


3 hours per session
Wednesday 11th April: 6pm-9pm
Friday 13th April: 10am 1pm


$95 (incl GST)

Designing for the Austr
alian Home
Are you embarking on a new build, renovation or interior project and would like to discover the newest trends and directions in home design in Australia? Kate St James will take you on a journey of discovery through the eyes of an interior designer and home design magazines editor.

Participants will look at living and dining rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, outdoor living, space planning and furniture layout. Discussing the ways in which colour impacts your home's design both inside and out and Kate will show you examples of a variety of homes designed by some of Australia's leading architects and designers.

Kate St James is the managing editor of Grand Designs Australia, Luxury Home Design, Design & Decoration and Renovate magazines. Kate is also an interior designer with more than 25 years experience in the residential market. Kate looks forward to sharing her knowledge and ideas with you!

Register Now at Coco Republic Design School

Friday, March 23, 2012


During Salone del Mobile 2012 (the Milan Furniture Fair) this April, Fashion House, Marni will present a collection of 100 chairs which have been made in Colombia by ex-prisoners. This Marni venture aims to reinforce their resettlement into social and working life. All chairs consist of a metal structure and multi-colored PVC threads featured on the backs and armrests.

The chairs are linked to the “L’Arte del Ritratto” project through a photo exhibition created in collaboration with the photographer and filmmaker Francesco Iodice. His performances are based on work of categorization: the chairs are used as background for a series of portraits of Marni teams from different departments. “L’Arte del Ritratto” is an homage dedicated to them, destined to last in time, which is also accompanied by a video that reports the shooting experience.

The collection of 100 chairs, the photo exhibition and the video will be presented at the Marni boutique and its adjacent courtyard. All photos will be published on ANTICAMERA2, Marni’s online magazine, which will be published on during the Salone del Mobile 2012.

The project reaffirms Marni’s involvement in charity initiatives. The amount raised from the sale of the chairs will be entirely donated.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


After a wildly successful inaugural national event in 2011, the multiple award winning program, Garage Sale Trail is back in 2012, and this year, everything is for sale.

Taking place on May 5th of 2012, the Garage Sale Trail welcomes everybody from households, local businesses, cultural institutions, charities, schools, libraries and community groups to participate in the biggest real-world, community-based market-place in Australia.
“We learned from last year’s program that Garage Sale Trail isn’t just about households getting involved. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to make some money, raise money for a cause and make positive community connections. It’s all about discovery and sustainability; discovering pre-loved and hand-made goods, discovering and connecting with locals in your local area and of course keeping a whole load of stuff out of landfill,” adds Co-Founder Andrew Valder.
“You don’t even need a garage, just host a sale with friends, neighbours or community group. Buying something second-hand instead of a new product saves you money, saves natural resources and reduces the amount of rubbish going to landfill,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP.
Held at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, against the backdrop of the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Valder and Nichols welcomed guests to the official launch of Garage Sale Trail 2012 presented by the City of Sydney. Lord Mayor Clover Moore made a formal address at the launch, hosted by Garage sale Trail ambassadors Tracey Spicer and Brendan Moar, as Andrew and Darryl shared a range of exciting developments for this year’s program including an impressive line up of new ambassadors and supporters.
Acclaimed fashion designer Marnie Skillings was present at the launch. “This program is great for the wider fashion community. For those who want to clear out their wardrobe, for brands who want to hold sample sales and to aspiring fashion designers and makers and creators who can use this as a way of showcasing their talents,” says Marnie. It’s also the such a great way to nab a great find.” Skillings adds.
A program that was initially aimed at households, Garage Sale Trail 2011 was adopted by a range of organizations and groups including cultural institutions, local businesses, makers and creators, community groups and charities as they made their own interpretation of what garage sales are all about.
One such example of this is Friends of the Botanic Gardens who have taken to the program and who this year will be running a garage sale to raise money for their Foundation, connect with the community and practice sustainability.
“The Royal Botanic Garden involvement is an example of a cultural institution who’s supporting the 2012 campaign. Friends of the Botanic Gardens will be hosting a second hand book and plant sale on the BIG day Saturday May-5, 2012,” Says Brendan Moar, official ambassador of the Garage Sale Trail 2012. “There'll be a range of begonias, blue ginger, Australian natives, plus a number of unusual herbs, bromeliads, native orchids and native ground covers to name but a few,” he adds. In addition to this schools and libraries have also confirmed their involvement in this year’s program.

The project first took place in Bondi 2010 as part of a community festival and has grown rapidly since. “The last 12 months has been an amazing journey for Garage Sale Trail. We went from an event in one suburb to last year having over 3000 households participate in sales that attracted over 75000 shoppers nationally and redistributed over 50,000kgs of items. We were honoured to receive sustainability awards both here and internationally, and this year we’re stoked to announce that local government participation has almost doubled meaning our program is just growing and growing. The support we are getting locally and internationally is amazing,” said Co-Founder Darryl Nichols.
Council participation has already doubled to date and City of Melbourne have also signed onto the program for 2012 bringing to life various activations within their area.
By registering sales at participants can list items for sale have their sale details included in all Garage Sale Trail marketing and be eligible to receive a registration pack (for those within participating council areas). To make it easy for buyers and sellers to connect and sell on the day, there are two major technology developments with Garage Sale Trail 2012.
Consumer review and business directory site, has partnered with Garage Sale Trail providing the location of on-the-day sales onto its mobile site making it easier for shoppers with smartphones to navigate the day. Shoppers type into their smartphone browser to access a map and garage sale trail locations.”
To make cashless payments easy on the day, secure payments innovator PayPal, is supporting the Garage Sale Trail community by encouraging sellers and buyers to make payments via their mobile phones, eliminating the need for cash.
Adrian Christie, PayPal, commented: “Garage Sale Trail is a fantastic initiative that facilitates trade within local communities. We are delighted to support Garage Sale Trail by providing communities with a safe and secure way to make payments on the day.”
Find more details at:

2012 ambassadors to date:
Dave Rastovich
Marnie Skillings
Angus Stone
Sibella Court
Liane Rossler
Pip Edwards
Tracey Spicer
Brendan Moar
Jay Laga ‘aia
Simon Marnie

About Garage Sale Trail
Garage Sale Trail is a community-based market place that happens all over Australia on one day, May 5th, 2012. With roots in sustainability, Garage Sale Trail is all about discovery, creativity, community and micro-enterprise.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


On the occasion of the Eurocucina kitchen show and the opening of Dada’s new Flagship Store in Via Larga in Milan, the company is renewing its Hi-Line 6, a project by Ferruccio Laviani, with new modular units.

The rigorous and linear geometry of the kitchen meets the demands of everyday living including greater space and volume and numerous shelves on which to store or display everything, in perfect order. And the kitchen becomes a warm, functional, homely place, where you can enjoy every moment of the day.

The framework, designed for even greater flexibility, is taller and more spacious.There are higher worktops, for enhanced comfort, greater space inside the units, slim shelves, just 12 mm thick, and built-in hoods. The new suspended shelf, open on both sides of the island, incorporates the 2-track rod for kitchen utensils,
the LED lighting system and the ultra thin extractor hood. The wood essence worktops become independent elements, high and low, for a variety of configurations. They can rest on the containers, on the aluminum shelves or directly on the wall, providing greater space and allowing for everything to be better organized.


On the occasion of the International Furniture Fair of Milan to be held in April, Alessandro Ciffo will present, at the Triennale di Milano, Iperbolica: a new collection of 11 unique, silicone armchairs, entirely self-produced.

The exhibition’s title is inspired by the name of a series presented by Dilmos for the first time at the 2008 Design Week events, in a Scaccomatto (chequeboard-style) version, followed, in 2009, by Cubik, his first inflatable model exhibited at the Plart in Naples and Damien (Hirst), his first armchair dedicated to an artist, shown at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin; in 2010, by Gerhard (Richter) presented by Dilmos and at the Galleria Armory in Perugia; in 2011, by Alberto (Burri), again presented by Dilmos.

All of these creations are shaped simply by compressed air, which gives substance to the shape, making it solid but soft and inviting at the same time.

Designed to be a set of unique pieces, in a new version where the air is replaced by elastic polyurethane foam, making it more functional and safer over time, this latest series is dedicated to other masters of the art world: Jean Micheal (Basquiat), Michelangelo (Buonarroti), Willem (De Kooning), Anselm (Kiefer), Jason (Martin), Joan (MirĂ²), Claude (Monet), Mark (Rothko), Ettore (Sottsass), Victor (Vasarely).

The relation with the art history masters also becomes an unexpected malicious game where the artist takes the chance to ironically portray himself in the shape of a silicone armchair Ale (Ciffo).

Alessandro Ciffo lives and works in Biella. His research is focused exclusively on the use of matter that he describes as “ideal to be transformed into something beautiful.“

The original shape of his armchairs is created through silicone elasticity shaped with air or foam mixed with natural coloured pigments with the result of an uncommon incandescent polychromy.

This entire experience becomes a discovery of texture, ductility, colour mixtures and their combinations.

The collection will be published in a catalogue designed by Franco Mello, with photographs by Emilio Tremolada.