Glass furniture is having a moment – but not as you know it! Far removed from the mass-produced, bevelled edge relics of the 1980’s, the latest glass design pieces are all about celebrating the raw, handcrafted nature of the medium. German brand Pulpo are leading the charge in this realm, with a range of customisable lozenge-like tables, sleek fluted glass cabinets, plus lighting and accessories that showcase the organic, imperfect nature of handblown glass.

For stylist and interior decorator Karin Bochnik, this trend is all about the balance of traditional craftmanship and refined, contemporary design. A reflective glossy glass surface adds a sleekness to any interior, but handcrafted glass, with its irregularities and suspended bubbles, elevates these pieces to one-of-a-kind status – a sculptural focal point in any room.

‘As a stylist and a decorator I enjoy layering different textures and finishes’ Karin explains…  ‘Glass offers the perfect balance of traditional craft and contemporary design – some of these pieces are actual works of art!’.

We recently spoke to Karin for her take on the glass furniture and accessories of the moment!

Hi Karin, could you let us know little background about yourself – how did you come into interior styling?

I remember at a very early age knowing the importance of a home that feels good, and I was constantly redecorating my bedroom. My favourite thing to do was roaming the markets in Israel (where I grew up), shopping for bits and pieces to add to my Mum’s collection. In my early teens a very strong interest in fashion kicked in, and I used to make clothes for all my friends on the weekends so we can go out clubbing in the 90’s! I enjoy anything visually interesting and different.

I actually started my creative career by way of fashion, studying a bachelor of fashion at RMIT. I worked in fashion for a few years but felt it wasn’t truly what I wanted to do. After having my daughters 10 years ago, I decided to go back to RMIT, this time to study interior design and decoration. It didn’t take long for me to realise I had finally found my calling, and I never looked back.

My career started out slow, working mainly as a decorator, but my mind was set on shoot styling and art direction. I had ideas and a passion for bespoke pieces, but more than anything I just felt that coming from a different country and having lots of different influences from places outside of Australia that my aesthetic was simply different. Shoot styling gives you so much freedom to inspire, set a tone and have self expression.

How would you describe your aesthetic as a stylist?

I consider myself ‘comfortably minimal’. I could never be completely minimal, as I love too many things! I’m still highly influenced by fashion, and tend to look at an interior like putting together a fashion show, it can be really earthy and minimal, with lots of beautifully textures that are completely muted and tonal, or it could be a glamorous show stopper with all the bells and whistles. I don’t pick favourites, I love working to a brief and develop a story.

My personal style I would describe as sculptural, material and texture driven and well considered. Not everything needs a function but it certainly needs a place, even if that place feels a little unusual. I like interesting pieces in unexpected places, life’s too short to be so serious!

Your recent styling work highlights Pulpo’s latest range of glass furniture, from DOMO – what is it you love about this collection?

My favourite thing about this range is just how unique and different it is to everything else out there at the moment. It’s the perfect balance of traditional craft and contemporary design – some of these glass pieces are actual works of art!

As a stylist and a decorator I enjoy layering different textures and finishes, and these Pulpo pieces are incredibly beautiful and make such a great addition to most interior styles. I like that for a hand made artisanal product, they have such a refined bespoke finish.

It feels as if glass furniture and accessories are really having a moment – what can you tell us about this trend?

I totally agree, It’s certainly making a comeback and has been getting some attention recently. It’s just an incredibly complex production process, and such an art form in itself. After watching how some of these pieces are made I was blown away at how they come to be, and with the nature of their production no two pieces are the same, which I think is so wonderful.

What’s your advice for integrating glass furniture and/or accessories at home – where do these pieces work best, and what other sort of furnishings of textures would you pair them with?

I’m all about mixing and layering materials, to make a space feel unique and bespoke. Glass can look earthy, and it can have glamour depending on the environment and the style of the interior.

I can see the Stellar lamps and Bent side tables in a moody formal living room with dark walls, dimmed light and lots of velvet – but then also in a bright minimal coastal home, combined with fresh crisp linen, natural stone and ceramics. They offer so much versatility, just have a play and mix things up.

What’s next for you!?

I am really enjoying what I currently do and feel that I’m just getting started! Whether selecting furniture, objects, rugs or a lighting range, my job is creating stories people want to be part of, or conveying a story someone wants to tell. Creating a moment to be immersed in.

I’ve had a good start to the year, Covid has really given me time to rest and allowed my creative juices to flow. I couldn’t be happier with the work I’ve been producing, and the clients and photographers I’ve been working with have been incredibly trusting and supportive in seeing my ideas come to life. I forever have to pinch myself when I realise this is what I get to do for work!

For more than 30 years, DOMO has remained Australia’s exclusive stockist of prestigious design brands from Europe, and across the globe.

With showrooms in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Gold Coast, DOMO offers a curated collection of classic, contemporary indoor and outdoor furniture ranges that last a lifetime. Their newest showroom is now open at 516 Church Street, Richmond!

For more design inspiration, follow DOMO on Instagram here.

Pulpo’s Bent side table and Lyn cabinet bring texture and artisanal details to this modern, contemporary space. Photo – Dylan James, Styling – Karin Bochnik.

Pulpo’s Bent side table and Atoll Candle Holders. Photo – Dylan James, Styling – Karin Bochnik.

Stylist Karin Bochnik, captured mid-shoot! Photo – Dylan James.

Pulpo’s Alwa Two occasional tables, and Pina Side Tables.

Pulpo’s Alwa Two occasional table adds weight and dimension to this interior. Photo – Dylan James, Styling – Karin Bochnik.

Pulpo’s Alwa Two occasional tables. Photo – Dylan James, Styling – Karin Bochnik.

The Magma handblown glass light by Pulpo. Photo – Dylan James, Styling – Karin Bochnik.

The Magma handblown glass light by Pulpo adds a sculptural focal point to this space. Photo – Dylan James, Styling – Karin Bochnik.

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