Returning from a month-long sojourn in South America over my summer break, I’m determined to live with less this year. It was the first time in over 10 years that I’ve travelled overseas with a pack instead of wheeled cases and carrying the weight of your belongings on your back tends to remind you of the advantages of living lightly!
Before I left home at the end of last year, I took a few small steps to start putting this plan into practice with a wardrobe purge. Sorting, washing and donating clothes I no longer wear to the charity Dress for Success not only gave me a leaner closet, but there’s also something to be said for passing on the things you no longer need to another who may need a hand with a fresh start in life.
Some people think of minimalism as living a spartan existence, but I like to relate it more to the idea of taking charge of the things you own – rather than the other way around! – to help make your living environment a happier, healthier place.
Speaking of happy interiors, our Art Director Juliette styled a story focusing on this very topic for this issue. It’s easy to get caught up in other people’s expectations of what your home should look like, rather than being guided by your own personality, so we wanted to explore the idea of decorating like there’s nobody watching. We’re not quite sure when interiors became such a serious business, but we can’t express enough the joy you’ll get from creating a space that reflects your lifestyle, and is filled with things that have meaning to you.
If you don’t know where to start, try taking a leaf out of our creative homeowners’ books. The can-do attitude adopted by Guy and Katrina Nurse to designing and building their dream dwelling from scratch is sure to instill a sense of purpose. Or, if your goal is to renovate, follow some of the sage advice shared by the owners of recently completed Auckland projects breathing new life into old abodes.
Whether you’re decluttering, decorating or renovating, we hope you find something amongst the following pages that excites and motivates you to truly be the boss of your own home.
Three great ways to utilise a classic chair.
Styling Gem Adams
Photography Wendy Fenwick
TOP Ceramic light shade, $110, homebasecollections.co.nz. Iris Flags artwork by Max Thomson, $950, tessuti.co.nz. Japanese vintage cushion, $129; Health Ceramics teapot, $89; Modern Originals book, $95, everyday-needs.com. Gidon Bing mug, $36, simonjamesdesign.com. Lawrence Peabody bench, $2250, mrbigglesworthy.co.nz. Apple Farmers basket, $189, everyday-needs.com. Organic cashmere throw, $890, tessuti.co.nz. Solo chair in Natural Ash, $746, simonjamesdesign.com. Adrian Bird bonsai, POA, bioattic.co.nz. Front wall in Resene Camouflage. Back wall in Resene Quarter Bianca, resene.co.nz.
MIDDLE Kat and Roger serving bowl, $230, douglasandbec.com. Design 3 print, by Organic Lines, $38, tessuti.co.nz. Rattan basket, $18, theblackbird.co.nz. Gidon Bing mug, $38, simonjamesdesign.com, Kat and Roger Straight vase, $215, douglasandbec.com. Bud vase, $79, everyday-needs.com. Asea Cebe anglepoise lamp, $450, mrbigglesworthy.co.nz. Fisherman basket, $30, theblackbird.co.nz. Godmother Stansborough grey wool blanket. $445, everyday-needs.com. Solid desk with one drawer, $1395, bauhaus.co.nz. Solo chair in Natural Ash, $734, simonjamesdesign.com. Chakati cushion, $125, goodasgold.co.nz. Front wall in Resene Camouflage. Back wall in Quarter Bianca, resene.co.nz.
BELOW Gold print, by Billie Cully, $500, homebasecollections.co.nz. Paper lantern, $20, wahlee.co.nz. Stonewashed linen Oxford pillowslip, $105, tessuti.co.nz. Vintage Turkish cushion, $179, everyday-needs.com. Fog Linen waffle blanket, $235, theblackbird.co.nz. Stonewashed linen flat sheet, $384, tessuti.co.nz. Natural sheepskin, $145, theblackbird.co.nz. Solo chair in Natural Ash, $734, simonjamesdesign.com. Modern Originals book, $95, everyday-needs.com. Curio Noir candle, $145, theblackbird.co.nz. Gidon Bing vase, $140, simonjamesdesign.com. Kat and Roger round cup, $72, douglasandbec.com.
Photography Silvia Rivoltella
Last year while visiting Milan, our Editor Alice discovered Spotti, a gem of a concept store doing it's own thing in an environment dominated by super brands. Over the last few years, they have become known for their seasonal store fit-outs, exhibiting iconic historic pieces, alongside contemporary design hero's.
Each season local design duo Studiopepe curate a new collection for the showroom with their impeccable styling. The latest iteration is The String Apartment featuring the Swedish brand String Furniture, that aims to present a modular shelving system that can be used in every room of the house.
We're inspired to give our bookshelf an overhaul!
Locally the String System is available from Bob & Friends.
Two creative Christchurch businesses have come together under one roof – which they designed themselves.
Words Gena Tuffery
Photography Lisa Gane
Coffee has long brought people together – but not usually in as dramatic fashion as it did with Christchurch-based AW Architects and Deflux Design. Following the demolition of both offices in the 2011 earthquake, AW’s Andrew Watson found himself working alongside Deflux’s Jono Ross and Simon Courtney in the premises of their mutual friend’s business, C4 Coffee Roasters. And they liked it. “Sharing a space worked well for all of us,” Andrew says. “So we collectively started looking for a building where we could create the same kind of relaxed environment, with our own aesthetic vision in mind.”
Tracking down this building in post-earthquake Christchurch also required the help of friends. Through Deflux’s association with Croft Print, the group secured a two-level building on centrally located St Asaph Street.
As the building had been penciled in to be demolished, AW and Deflux had to start from scratch – which has its bright side when you’re looking to bring a specific vision to life. After gutting the place and strengthening it, that vision was ready to take shape. They started by restoring the roof to its original rimu sarking and finishing the insides of the external walls in a natural plaster. The walls that were gibbed were cleaned up and left that way, leaving all the beams exposed.
Concepting the look and feel of the general scheme and fit-out was a collaborative effort; AW Architects took the design lead with architectural graduate Prue Johnstone managing the project. “Collectively Jono, Simon, Prue and I would all come up with the ideas and Prue would filter them,” says Andrew. “Then she’d fire them back to us to rough around again until we were all happy with things.”
‘Things’ that mainly centred around strandboard. “Materials really drove the direction,” Andrew says. “We found 50 sheets of strandboard in Matamata, of all places, shipped it down, then thought ‘now, what are we going to do with this?’”
After a few tests, they found that staining the boards black, then finishing them with a clear lacquer produced a tessellated, almost psychedelic look. This was just one of many ‘let’s see what happens when... ’ experiments – but that was part of the fun. “It was a real collaborative process piecing it all together,” Andrew says. “And we’re stoked with how it’s turned out.”
It doesn’t hurt that a great neighborhood is popping up around them. Pre-quake the area was fairly industrial and when the team moved in at the end of 2014 they were the first back on the block. Since then, Supreme Supreme has moved in across the road and retail outlets have followed. “It’s a colourful neighborhood, with all types of businesses,” Andrew says. “There’s a lot of new development, but the panelbeaters is still there – and the crazy welder over on Welles Street that loves a good yarn.”
In other words, the kind of inner-city mix that you get from a community that’s growing organically, rather than a precinct grown out of governmental intervention. “People have bought space and are getting their businesses up and going naturally around here. It’s got a lot more flavour than some of the other parts of town,” Andrew says.
“It’s like being in the dress circle of the main event. We enjoy being on the fringe of what’s happening, but it’s also great to be able to look out the front window every day and see a city literally rise in front of our eyes. It’s great having that optimism on the horizon.”
This bold home was designed to maximise its vineyard vistas.
Words Hilary Prendini Toffoli
Styling Danielle Howard
Photography Warren Heath
It was the sweep of undulating vineyards bordering the site in South Africa’s Constantia Valley that clinched the deal for New Zealander Victoria Bresler and her husband Matt. “They fell in love with the view,” says architect Jan-Heyn Vorster. “We all did.”
So they snapped up the site and started on a view-maximising plan to build on it. Although this was criterion number one, the Breslers also briefed Jan-Heyn to design a relaxed but contemporary home for themselves and their three young children, Jonty (8), Hannah (6) and Ollie (4) that featured a lot of“good, honest materials” such as glass, wood and concrete.
And the couple got what they asked for – and then some. Today the home features flyaway roof structures and an artful interior where generous amounts of solar film-coated glass and pale oiled oak are complemented by off-shutter concrete in both the walls and ceilings. The result is extremely easy on the eye – and on liveability.
From the outside, the bold construction is no less striking. The house encircles the vineyards, appearing to hover slightly above the ground. There’s a gentle transition down to a large salt-water pool that appears more like a pond. And, completing the picturesque setting, a fynbos garden curls alongside the vineyard, with masses of flowering trees, both indigenous and exotic, covering the one-acre plot.
Matt is a lifelong plant lover. For the garden he brought in 165 trees, some as tall as six metres, and many of them hard to source. “For some of the species on my wish list, I ended up tracking down the only specimen I could find in the country,” he says. “Our three-year old, Ollie, helped eight of us drag one of them, a 40-year-old kokerboom, from its first suburban home. It really felt as if he was being handed the mantle to look after it for the next 40 years.”
Also pencilled in to last another 40 years or so is Matt’s 1000-bottle-strong wine collection. The wine cellar housing them was another pet project. “We used cabling and stainless steel rods to create a minimalist structure that suspends the bottles against the cellar walls,” Matt says. “Then we clad it all with klompie bricks – small, traditional, handmade bricks that we chose to be in keeping with the vineyard setting.”
But as challenging as moving mammoth trees and erecting state-of-the-art wine cellars was, there were still bigger problems to tackle. The site’s previous house had been low, so mountains of soil had to be brought in to elevate things so that services such as geysers, the heat pump and the bore hole tank could be accessed. But the team managed to accomplish this without disrupting their desired aesthetic. While from the road the house appears to be a double storey, on the vineyard side it appears as a single level.
Another astute design feature is the multi-level, zinc-coated titanium roof. Angled above each room in order to best suit its purpose, it is double-height in the living and entertainment area and low-slung in the bedroom wing.
Matt and Victoria love their home’s contemporary design and open flow. “We always wanted to build a house out of straightforward materials,” Victoria says. “We’ve got what we always wanted and we’ve complemented it with the furniture we’ve bought, while adding a bit of interest and character with some of our favourite collectables from our travels.”
As for their talented architect, Jan-Heyn says it was a treat to work with people who understand how good design improves quality of life. “All successful architectural projects should be a collaborative process,” he says. “The garden and the interior design should both respond to the architecture – and, in this case, they really do.”
Summer: the season for laid-back living, blue-sky reflecting and reacquainting yourself with the outdoors.
All the homes we visited for this issue share an intrinsic link with the landscape that surrounds them. A series of modern cedar-clad cabins nestled into a kanuka forest on Kawau Island;a renovated cottage on a Finnish archipelago; the family farmhouse built using cowshed technology overlooking the Hauraki Plains; and a home that feels like a rural retreat set high on the hilltop above Brick Bay – the architecture of each of these properties celebrates a connection to the environment.
And it appears getting outdoors isn’t exclusively an Antipodean obsession. Our friend, Danish photographer Manja Washmuth (who now calls New Zealand home), returned to Copenhagen earlier this year and photographed Stedsans – aka “Denmark’s
most Instagrammed restaurant” – for us while she was there. This delightful pop-up sits within a rooftop community garden, paying homage to everything we love. While meat may be the main affair on the barbecue this summer, we encourage you to try Stedsans’ fresh produce-focused dishes that we’ve shared on page 126. They’re guaranteed to turn your otherwise ordinary barbie into a backyard banquet.
With entertaining in mind we asked a group of local tastemakers known for mastering their individual creative pursuits to flex their lesser-known skills as master entertainers. Claire Hammon, Juliette Hogan, Gem Adams and Billie and Leanne Culy all put on quite a spread. Find out whose dinner party you wish you were attending these holidays on page 37.
While we plan to spend most of our summer days disconnected from our digital devices, you can keep in touch with us on instagram @homestylemag, to see why #homestylelovessummer – both indoors and out.
Words Grace Ramirez
Photography Garth Badger
Grace Ramirez has a new book out – and it’s full of spice and all things nice, i.e. cocktails.
My Kitchen Rules judge Grace Ramirez is proud of her strong Latin heritage. So proud, she has just put out a book showcasing Latin food, La Latina.
Tracing her culinary roots back to her Venezuelan great grandmother who believed that the “superpoderes” (superpowers) of the kitchen enabled her to create great meals from humble ingredients, Grace has kept her family recipes alive with this book.
But it also features her own take on the food of Latin America, with some recipes simplified and many others adapted so you can find the ingredients right here on our own two islands.
Within 280 pages of sumptuous recipes sumptuously photographed, you’ll also find a series of fiesta menus – such as the Mexican one pictured above. But what’s a fiesta without a cocktail or two? We’ve nabbed a couple of our favourites from the book so you can have a fiesta of your own.
- 1 cup rum
1 ripe fresh pineapple, ½ juiced (about 2 cups) and the rest chopped lengthwise for garnish
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup coconut cream
Simple syrup (see opposite page), to taste
2 cups ice (crushed or cubes)
Mint leaves and edible flowers to garnish
Put half of all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Repeat with the other half (to avoid overflowing). Combine and serve, garnished with chopped pineapple, mint leaves and edible flowers. Chef’s note: You can use simple syrup in place of the sweetened condensed milk; it will just be less creamy.
1 litre water
¼ cup dried hibiscus flowers,
or 3 hibiscus tea bags
For the rims
1 tbsp chilli salt
2 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder
1 lime wedge
50ml lime juice
100ml triple sec
250ml hibiscus water (see above)
150ml simple syrup (see right)
750ml ice (crushed or cubes)
Hibiscus drinks, with or without alcohol, begin with a beautiful plum-red tea made from dried hibiscus blossoms. Hibiscus brews are fruity with an acidic edge, indicating ample vitamin C on board. That tart flavour says, for my tastebuds at least, “sugar needed”. So sweeten things up just a bit, with sugar, agave nectar or honey.
Bring water to a soft boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Turn heat off and add dried hibiscus flowers or teabags. Let them infuse for about 10 minutes. Strain into a container. Cool in the refrigerator.
Combine chilli salt and raspberry powder in a small bowl. Spread onto a small plate. Coat rims of chilled glasses with the juice from the lime wedge. Dip rims into chilli salt/raspberry mixture.
Combine margarita ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth, or stir together with a wooden spoon. Pour into prepared glasses and serve immediately.
Chef’s note: This recipe makes more hibiscus water than is needed. You can use it to make a bigger batch, keep it in the fridge for up to a week, or add lemon and sugar to make a hibiscus lemonade.
Makes 2 cups
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Put sugar in a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir for a minute or two until sugar dissolves. Take off the heat and cool to room temperature. Store in a very clean jar; any solid particles may cause crystals to form. Refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to a month.
Reproduced with permission from La Latina, by Grace Ramirez. Published by Random House (NZ). RRP $60.00. Text copyright ©Grace Ramirez, 2015. Photographs copyright ©Garth Badger, 2015.
When she's not busy dreaming up designs for her jewellery brand Meadowlark, creative director Claire Hammon indulges her love of interiors and entertaining. With a penchant for collecting bespoke wares, a party at Claire's place is always well dressed.
Photography Wendy Fenwick
When it comes to styling a dinner party, I tend to keep things really relaxed and easy – I’m often stressed so when it comes to gatherings I don’t put pressure on myself and just throw things together. I work with what I have which is usually natural and handmade. The way things feel to hold and use is really important to me. I like the aesthetics to be inviting and appealing to all the senses.
When it comes to creating the right feel for a party, I think timing is important – I intuitively go with the vibe and bring out food or wine or change the music when it feels right, to keep people pumped with each stage of the dinner.
I always bring out a cheese board at the start, because it’s basically the easiest thing to throw together without much effort. I get four or five different cheeses and a few cracker options then some honey to top it off. It’s always good to have a selection of fruit, nuts and olives too.
I like to kick things off in the afternoon and let them go late into the night. The longer the party, the better the dancing!
GET THE LOOK Stonewashed charcoal linen tablecloth, $295; stonewashed charcoal linen napkins, $23 each; Slate medium rectangle plates, $28, tessuti.co.nz. Matte charcoal dinner plates, $90 each, steinerceramics.com. Bayly & Collis black side plate, $24.99, stevens.co.nz. Broste Copenhagen 16-piece cutlery set, $240, sabato.co.nz. Serax medium glass jug, $34, nest-direct.com. Mad et Len Figur Noire candle, $170, theshelter.co.nz. Flowers, made to order, botanist.co.nz. Custom made walnut board, POA, kentandleijh.com. Brass cheese knife, glassware and chairs Claire’s own. CHEESEBOARD Mahoe Blue and Very Old Edam, mahoecheese.co.nz. Walnut oat crackers, 180degrees.co.nz. J. Friend and Co. manuka honey, raw honeycomb and panforte, nzartisanhoney.co.nz. Whangaripo Valley Flying 15 cheese; Crescent Dairy Truffolait, the-dairy.co.nz. Sparkling mineral water, antipodes.co.nz. Amisfield Brut, amisfield.co.nz.
For our summer issue photographer Manja Wachsmuth travelled home to Denmark, and while there she visited Stedsans – a pop-up restaurant based out of a glasshouse in Copenhagen, which looks set to leave a legacy that will last much longer than its glass walls.
Mette Helbæk wanted to open a restaurant in a greenhouse ever since she first heard of Petersham Nurseries in England. When the first rooftop farm ØsterGRO opened in Copenhagen last year, Mette and her husband Flemming saw their chance. Setting up a pop-up greenhouse restaurant on this rooftop complemented the food they make – plant based, always in season and always local; it’s food that reflects the abundance and beauty of the lush, green surrounds. Stedsans is a place where people can sit and eat in the middle of a field, in the middle of the city, and be reminded of the fact that their food was living not too long ago. Life-giving and life-celebrating – what more can you ask of a meal?
What is the secret to Stedsans’ ‘just like home but better’ food? Most of our people aren’t trained chefs or waiters. We do ‘à la minute’ cooking, which means that we cook like you would at home. We don’t take prepped stuff out of our fridges and plate it – we make the food when the guests are seated because we want it to be as fresh as possible. That said, we have a professional sommelier on staff because we think it’s really important that food and wines match – but more than that, we find it important to have people in front-of-house positions who like to spread happiness and good energy to our guests. Several of our waiters are trained yoga instructors. They understand how easily energy spreads – both good and bad.
Can you talk us through a day at Stedsans? We don’t use a lot of the crops from the rooftop, because it operates as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), where members pick up veges for their own use. So the day starts with unpacking the deliveries we get in straight from the biodynamic farms we work with. Then we set the greenhouse, arrange flowers, wash the veges and make vinaigrettes. But the main cooking is done when the guests are seated. The food comes in on large trays for the guests to send around the table to share – like you would do it at home. Only here you don’t necessarily know the person next to you, which isn’t typical for Danes. But after a few hours of eating and drinking wine together, hey, everyone’s your friend!
8 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
100g soft goat cheese
Fresh coriander flowers
Cut the strawberries into small pieces and place the pieces on a plate. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and black pepper. Crumble the goat cheese over the strawberries and top with rocket and coriander flowers.
Courgettes with Parmesan, almonds and basil
4 medium-sized courgettes
8 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
50g aged Parmesan cheese
Juice of ½ lemon
Basil leaves and nasturtium flowers for serving
1 tsp fine salt
Cut each courgette into four pieces lengthways and grill on high on a dry grill or frying pan for 5 minutes on each side until they’re done. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. They can be prepared beforehand – the courgettes don’t have to be warm, but it’s nice if they are.
Almonds: Set the oven at 200º Celsius. Wet the almonds and toss with the salt. Place them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Let the almonds cool down and chop them roughly.
Place the courgettes on a tray and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, almonds, lemon juice, basil and flowers.
You may be familiar with the relaxed, yet elegant aesthetic of the clothing Juliette Hogan designs, but what you may not know, is that she's also well versed in the art of the dinner party. We sit down with Juliette to find out how how she'll be entertaining this summer.
Photography Duncan Innes
I love entertaining, cooking beautiful food and creating inviting settings – but I don’t like formality. The atmosphere has to be relaxed, but I think the table setting, music and lighting can all be used to create a luxe look.
I’m into super minimal settings. I think a luxe black linen tablecloth and napkins offset with an amazing floral centrepiece is a striking combination. And the added beauty of having the flowers strung from the ceiling is that you can keep the whole table free for food. They also provide a really nice low faux ceiling to make the setting more intimate. I love the Tom Dixon candelabra too, which adds a bit of drama and structure to the table.
Food-wise, I like to do an ‘elevated barbecue’ – you can’t beat a beautiful piece of meat with a handmade rub. It has to be cooked over a charcoal barbecue though – it’s just not the same when cooked over gas. That, and a beautiful set of plates can take it from boring backyard food up to the next level. I also like to create a cosy atmosphere when entertaining. That’s pretty much the reason behind our cashmere blankets; having something that you can wrap yourself in to keep warm, but still look stylish.
GET THE LOOK Tio chairs, $844 each, simonjamesdesign.com. Bespoke hanging floral arrangement, made to order, markantonia.com. Spin candelabra by Tom Dixon, $1295; Merchant Archive footed bowl, $180; Merchant Archive footed platter, $180; Menu grinder set, $148; Menu wine breather, $208, simonjamesdesign.com. Black ceramic side plates, $24 each; dinner plates, $31 each, fatherrabbit.com. Cashmere blanket, $649, juliettehogan.com. Candles, linen tablecloth and napkins, Juliette’s own.
Use bold patterns and colours to create your own leafy outdoor oasis.
Project & styling Juliette WantyPhotography Wendy Fenwick
You will need
Painter’s tape in a thick width
Resene paint in Lumbersider
Resene Waterborne Aquapel
Large piece of paper
FOR THE CONFETTI PATTERN Seal the interior and exterior of the pot with Resene Waterborne Aquapel before painting. Cut strips and squares of painter’s tape and stick them on the planter randomly, but spaced evenly apart. Press tape edges to ensure it is firmly adhered. Apply two coats of paint and leave to dry. Peel tape to reveal your pattern.
FOR THE WAVY PATTERN Coat the interior and exterior of the pot first with Resene Waterborne Aquapel to seal before painting. Measure the circumference of the planter you’re painting. On a large piece of paper, measure out the circumference length as a straight line. Over the straight line, draw a wave pattern, making sure it will match up at each end. Cut along the wavy line to create the template. Spray glue one side of the wave template, and wrap around the planter. Apply two coats of paint, and carefully remove the wave template from the planter straight after painting.
Planters start at $29.90, from Church Street Garden Central, Onehunga. They were painted in Resene Can Can, Resene Moulin Rouge, Resene Decadence and Resene Sulu, resene.co.nz. Front wall painted in Resene Resitex Coarse, and Resene Can Can, resene.co.nz. Front wall edge painted in Resene Resitex Coarse in Half Tea; back wall painted in Resene Moulin Rouge; floor painted in Resene Neutral Bay; stool painted in Resene Decadence, resene.co.nz. Zamioculcas and bromeliad plants, from Church Street Garden Central, Onehunga. All other plants stylist’s own.
This home is bound by the family that dwells in it – and by the strong relationship between the architect and builder.
Words Anya Brighouse
Photography Simon Wilson
Builder Ryan O’Malley met architect Dominic Glamuzina back when they started the same high school. Firm friends ever since, they started working together once each went into complementary professions. Over the proceeding years they have completed six projects together – but it was a very special one that would form their seventh.
When Ryan and his wife Rachel bought a piece of land overlooking Matakana’s Brick Bay Winery in 2011, they knew Dominic was the right person to design a house to fit it. Unfortunately the architect was just about to leave for an extended work trip to London. “We had one meeting in person, then all the meetings from then on were through daily Skype sessions,” says Rachel. “Either at 6am or 10pm.”
But it was via these alternate early starts that the plans quickly took shape. “We had the whole thing nailed in three months,” says Rachel. “It really helped that we all know each other so well and work so well together.”
It also helped that the O’Malleys had a clear vision from the outset – and were open to that vision being shaped by their architect. “Our brief to Dom was for a family home that maximised the view,” Rachel says. “Ryan had a lot of good, functional ideas and I had a lot of aesthetic ones for what the spaces would look like inside. But we’re also both of the opinion that when someone is trained in something you should let them do their job. That’s how we got the touch of magic that we wouldn’t have had without Dom’s input.”
This touch of magic is what Rachel calls “a rusticated, softened version of Dom’s signature high-end look”. She says: “We wanted a very relaxed feel to the place that suits its location near the beach.”
And this is exactly what they achieved – over a 10-month build with Ryan and an employee working on the project fulltime and friends and family being called in to help from time to time. Ryan and Rachel’s three children Noah (10), Ari (8) and Matai (6) also lent a hand where they could.
Although Dominic was still overseas, he also played an active part in the construction process. “There were lots more Skype meetings discussing all the decisions along the way,” says Rachel. “And it all went pretty smoothly because of them.”
In fact, there were minimal diversions from the original plans – the only big one being the only major thing that the O’Malleys and Dominic had differed on from the start. “We put in a wall in the lounge then changed it to windows after realising the view was too insane to cover up – just as Dom had said.”
Four years on that insane view can be seen from every room in a house that appears, from the outside, to meld into it. The exterior is made from roughly sawn macrocapa, which has weathered to a soft grey which fits beautifully into the surrounding landscape. And from the inside, Rachel says, “It feels like you’re living outside when you’re inside because of all the windows and the way the house has been positioned.”
This positioning makes the home seem deceptively small from the outside – until you see the outdoor living area running the entire width of the building at the far end. This space is Ryan’s favourite: “I love lazing in the hammock in the covered area next to the outdoor fireplace,” he says.
Rachel’s favourite space is the kitchen, dining and living area which all flow into each other. “It’s great to have everyone hanging out chatting and really feeling a part of things,” she says. “It’s also amazing to always be able to enjoy an incredible view – even while we’re doing mundane things like making dinner.”
Making meals is made even more enjoyable by the kitchen layout and design. Working benchspace has been hidden behind oversized cupboard doors, with big drawers in the main part of the kitchen housing any other clutter. “This leaves nothing to look at but clean lines,” Rachel says.
There are more special architectural details to be found down the hall in Ryan and Rachel’s bedroom. A simple, cantilevered room with a macrocarpa-clad feature wall at one end and a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door at the other, the only elements to distract from the views over Brick Bay Sculpture Park and Kawau Bay are their bed and bedside tables. This was achieved by tucking a dressing room and bathroom behind a walk-through wardrobe. “Laying in bed, you feel like you’re floating out over the land and out to sea,” Rachel says.
Rachel, Ryan and Dominic are all feeling pretty floaty with the results. In fact, the collaboration was so successful the trio have worked together again on Rachel and Ryan’s boutique homes company, Little Tree Homes – a unique collaboration showcasing their combined talents in a small, sustainable building company. “We all saw there was a need for sustainable, architecturally designed homes that are financially achievable,” Rachel says.
In between these endeavours there are less lofty pursuits to be enjoyed. “We all love visiting the winery that our property backs onto,” Rachel says. Hey, perks of the job – and of buying land in the right location.
Spice up your morning ritual with a vanilla and cardamom hit.
Recipe Alice Lines
Photo Wendy Fenwick
The smokiness of the cardamom spiced coffee pairs perfectly with
the slighty sweet, creamy flavour of coconut milk in this dairy and refined sugar-free iced treat.
For 2 servings you will need
3x Nespresso Livanto Lungo shots to make the ice cubes
4x Nespresso Vanilla Cardamon Limited Edition Variations capsules
2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
250ml coconut drinking milk
2 tsp toasted coconut
You will need to make the coffee ice cubes ahead of time, using three Nespresso Livanto Lungo shots to fill an ice cube tray with coffee, then freezing overnight.
Prepare the Nespresso Vanilla Cardamom coffee in a small jug, stir
in the maple syrup and leave to cool.
Fill glasses with the coffee ice cubes and pour over the cooled coffee. Slowly pour the coconut milk in, and then serve immediately.
We visit the LA home of Emily and Fred L’Ami to talk about their wellness business, Bodha.
Photography Megan Cullen
Bodha is the cumulation of Emily L’Ami’s lifelong fascination with rituals and aromatherapy. It was this, combined with a desire to help people reconnect with themselves, that led her to start Bodha in Wellington in 2013. Just two years later the business is now based in LA, after Emily and her husband Fred applied to the Green Card lottery on a whim and won.
It might not have been planned, but the move has worked out. Soon after arriving in LA, the couple found their dream home and studio in West Hollywood. From there Emily designs Bodha products alongside Fred, who designs for his own business, South Society. They invited us in to see how it all works.
How did you get into the business of creating ritualistic products? Emily: Growing up in New Zealand with hippie parents I was introduced to things like yoga and meditation from a young age. I always loved the little rituals that went with them – lighting the incense before meditation, or selecting an essential oil for yoga.
I started Bodha because I felt like people were craving simple ways to reconnect and rituals and aromatherapy do this incredibly well. Because rituals work on the subconscious, their power builds slowly over time, while aromatherapy works on the most primal part of your brain, so it’s the fastest way to naturally come back into equilibrium.
Why did you make your new home your studio too? Fred: It had the space and we couldn’t bear the thought of a daily commute in a city as large as LA. We’ve found working together can be intense, but also a lot of fun.
How do you maintain work/life balance? Emily: I feel like it’s a mixture of going with the flow, combined with making a conscious effort to step away from work. When you’re busy you have to work more, but when you’re not you can go for a hike, catch up with a friend or check out a gallery. Working for yourself is a blessing and a curse. You have the luxury of flexibility, but you also have to treat it with a lot of discipline to get things done and enjoy it.
We also start every day with a walk. It helps to clear the head and get the day off to a good start.
What attracted you to your new home and workspace? Fred: So much of your experience of living in LA centres around where you live, so after we landed we rented a bunch of places in different parts of the city to get a feel for each neighbourhood because they’re all so unique. We decided on West Hollywood because it was close to friends, had more space than other places we were considering, and had a high walkability score. It’s also right in the middle of LA, so it’s handy to most things.
Having set up home in various parts of the world over the years, are there many pieces that have come along for the ride? Emily: Art, books and things that friends have made always come with us – which is pretty much everything we own. Basically anything that has a memory attached to it. The Pedro stool made by a friend makes me infinitely happier to see and use each day than something new.
How would you describe your interior style? Fred: Simple, functional, with touches of personality. We love living in a space that has its own character – in this case there’s a Spanish influence throughout with the whitewashed rendered walls and curved ceilings. This makes the place feel bright, while the north-facing aspect provides shade from the blazing LA sun.
What are your own everyday rituals that you perform at home? Emily: Each afternoon I go to my little meditation space, light my diffuser or a stick of incense and sit down to meditate for 20 minutes. It’s a super simple ritual but it gets me through that 3pm slump. I love the sense of ceremony it brings to my day and I always feel better afterwards.
We hear you’ve recently collaborated with a couple of other talented Kiwis on the latest products in your collection? Emily: Yes! We worked with Jamie McLellan and Gidon Bing on our new Ritual Oil Diffuser. We wanted to make a diffuser that was so beautiful it inspired people to use it every day so we knew we had to work with the best. I’ve admired Jamie’s work for a long time – everything he does is so thoughtful and timeless and his eye for shape and form is incredible. He spent over two years working with us to understand how a diffuser functions and how we wanted people to feel when they used it. Getting to work with Gidon to make the diffuser was the icing on the cake. His eye for colour and glazing is so refined it just takes things to the next level. I’m so happy with how the diffuser turned out and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work with them both.
Any plans to add your line? Emily: At the moment we’re working on a range of ritual oils to go with the diffuser. They’ll be aromatherapy blends – like our incense, designed to calm, refresh, ground and purify. We’re also collaborating with the amazing Marta Buda – and will hopefully do some more projects with Jamie. I really want to make things that help people find that little moment of reconnection – it’s the simplest and hardest thing in life at the same time. bodhamodernwellness.com
Three great ways to utilise a display ladder.
Styling Juliette Wanty
Photography Wendy Fenwick
Top: Inflatable pool ring, $7, thewarehouse.co.nz. Wooden display ladder, $149, letliv.co.nz. Festoon lights, $135, tessuti.co.nz. Fruity basket plant, $80; cluster palm, $70, silllife.co.nz. Field bread board, $189, simonjamesdesign.com. Glass water bottle, $59; Diablo glass, $16, nest-direct.com. Hollywood pool sunglasses, $369, karenwalkereyewear.com. Walls painted in Dulux Tuakau, corrugated wall painted in Dulux Lawrence, dulux.co.nz.
Middle: String light spear head, $1465, ecc.co.nz. Pale grey leaf fitted sheet by Fictional objects, $95, fatherrabbit.com. Marimekko Tasaraita duvet cover and pillowcase set, $199, boltofcloth.co.nz. Alpha classic blanket in Deep Lake by Kate & Kate, $149, letliv.co.nz. Wooden display ladder, $149, letliv.co.nz. Flute crop tee, $200, twentysevennames.co.nz. East Coast ankle jeans, AU$139.95, rollas.com.au. Lucy flares, $350, twentysevennames.co.nz. Jemma heels, $289, kathrynwilson.com. Lou loafers, $249, kathrynwilson.com. Walls painted in Dulux Tuakau, bed painted in Dulux Lawrence, dulux.co.nz. Tote bag stylist’s own.
Below: Wrong geometry poster by Paper Collective, $95, fatherrabbit.com. Line side table, $490, douglasandbec.com. Mr Miyagi ceramics set with plants, $90, silllife.co.nz. Handmade ceramic tumbler by Houston Design Co, $30, letliv.co.nz. Plum chair by Adam Goodrum, $3945, cultdesign.co.nz. Wooden display ladder, $149, letliv.co.nz. Everyday Superfood book, $65, collected.co.nz. Nourished journal, $40; The Plant magazine, $20, douglasandbec.com. Walls painted in Dulux Tuakau, floor painted in Dulux Lawrence, dulux.co.nz.
Leanne and Billie Culy set the scene for a relaxed meal after a day's work in the studio.
Photography Brian Culy
Leanne & Billie Culy
Homebase Collections artists and designers
LEANNE: Here we have one of my favourite dinner party menus – Pink Beetroot Risotto with Honey and Orange Glazed Duck. This is followed with our take on an Eton Mess; a lemon honey cake with ricotta and mascarpone, topped with honeycomb and lemon honey syrup.
The inspiration for the setting came from my painting studio and honey bees. After a day of painting and mixing colours you are often left with a beautiful palette of lines, colours and shapes, so Billie and I re-created that, as a backdrop for the food – and also to sit alongside our beautiful beeswax bowls.
Food is always an event for our family – almost a ritual, rather than a chore. We all have our speciality dishes. Billie is a dressing queen and her partner Matt is incredible with fish. My husband Brian butts out most of the time, but is always there to photograph and document our dishes – as he did here. I enjoy plating and very rarely just throw something on a plate and eat it. It’s an artform for us and we enjoy the whole process from laying the table to arranging the flowers. Flowers are usually Billie’s thing, but there are no rules really, we all cross over into each other’s domains.
Shared meals usually involve making something fuss-free that allows us to relax and enjoy friends and family – something generous and with the best ingredients from around the Hawke’s Bay. Cooked simply works best.
GET THE LOOK: 100% beeswax bowls, $20 each; handmade ceramic plates, $29 each; Kim Morgan serving bowl, $49, homebasecollections.co.nz. Recycled craft roll (375mmX15m), $8.99, warehousestationery.co.nz. Trestle table, chairs and cutlery, Leanne and Billie’s own.
Pink Beetroot Risotto with honey and orange glazed Duck
2 cups risotto rice
2 large onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 stalk celery, finely sliced
4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Beetroot, cooked and cubed into irregular pieces
Salt and pepper
Splash of white wine (optional)
Dob of butter
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
In a shallow risotto pan fry off the onions, garlic and celery in olive oil until just golden. Season, then add the risotto rice and fry for a few minutes.
Add a splash of wine and continue stirring until evaporated. Add the hot stock slowly cup by cup, stirring well. (You could also add all the stock at once and cook until the rice is al dente, but I prefer to add slowly and stir to get the consistency I want. I like my risotto quite soupy and wet.)
Just before the risotto is cooked add the beetroot chunks, a large dob of butter, parmesan cheese and a little more stock, depending on the consistency you like.
Serve in bowls and top with the Duck, (recipe below). Pour over any juice left in the pan and garnish with a quartered roasted beetroot and fresh thyme.
Honey & orange glazed Duck
2 duck breasts
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp of honey
2 oranges, 1 sliced and 1 juiced
Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper, then pan fry over a medium heat for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden.
Place in an oven proof dish and top with a drizzle of honey, thyme, orange slices and juice.
Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.
Set aside to rest and cut into thick slices, ready to be placed on the pink risotto.
Lemon & Honey Eton Mess
175g sugar (can be substituted with honey or coconut sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
200g almond flour
3 lemons, zested and freshly squeezed
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup of honey
Honey comb if available
Dehydrated strawberry powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla extract, then beat until fully blended, but do not over beat.
Add the baking powder and ground almonds. Then the juice and zest of one lemon, and mix together until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into a lined cake tin and bake for 25-30 mins.
To make the syrup
Put the honey, along with the juice and zest of the two remaining lemons into a saucepan over a high heat, bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes then lower to a simmer for 3 minutes, and reduce to a syrup consistency. If desired, add more honey to taste.
When the cake is cooked, pierce all over with a skewer and pour most of the syrup over the cake, leaving a little syrup for dressing the dessert at the end.
Once it has soaked in, gently pull the cake apart, into pieces a little bigger than bite size. Put a couple in each small bowl or glass, dollop a few spoons of mascarpone in between the pieces. Top with honeycomb and drizzle the remainder of the syrup over the top. To make it extra pretty, we used dehydrated strawberry powder sprinkled on top, and few little edible flowers.
Pastels have been around on the interiors scene for a couple of years now, and Dulux are predicting that they're here to stay. Their 'Design Age' 2016 forecast consists of four distinct colour trends, with the Bio Fragility palette pictured here focusing on softening the pure pastels of last year for a sophisticated take on adding subtle muted tones to your interior.
Dulux stylists Bree Leech and Heather Nette King have brought the look to life with a serene interior "inspired by natural and living matter - flesh tones, lichen moss and stone influence the subtle hues of the palette which are derived from chalky brittle elements rathe than soft textures."
Dulux Colour Expert, Andrea Lucena-Orr, says the key colours of summer, such as Dulux Mangaweka, Old Eagle, Silkwort, Partita and Manorburn Half, create a beautiful, tranquil setting that is very easy to live with.
“You can create a relaxed interior with beautiful detail by introducing these gentle summer hues that add a touch of colour but are not overwhelming,” says Andrea.
If you're not bold enough to transform an entire room, try using smaller volumes on accents, trims and accessories.
“For a mini summer makeover, a lighter shade such as Dulux Partita with Manorburn Half can be introduced in smaller applications to complement colours in soft furnishings such as cushions and ceramics.”
Andrea’s top tips for homeowners using colour this summer are: “Always consider the lighting in the space to ensure you are making the most of natural daylight to create a beautiful summer experience. Remember to review existing furnishings to ensure these colours will work with fittings that cannot be changed easily, and look to your surrounding environment and colours in your garden for inspiration.”
Swapping weekends in the city for ones spent on an isolated island comes with sacrifices – as well as many rewards.
Words Claire McCall
Photography Emma-Jane Hetherington
There was a good reason behind Lorenzo Canal telling his two pre-teen boys “no more Saturday sport”: freedom. It wasn’t that Lorenzo and his wife Melissa couldn’t bear to stand around a frigid field every weekend, but because they wanted to concentrate family time at their second home on Kawau Island.
Lorenzo and his twin brother, Edoardo, bought seven hectares of land on Kawau Island 15 years ago. They imported sand to create a private beach, added a wharf and installed a cable car for easy access. Then they subdivided the property into 10 sites and named it Hideaway Cove.
The section Lorenzo kept for himself faces west on a 30-degree slope that bows towards the Kawau Boating Club, a veritable mecca for locals. An engineer by trade, he took on the role of project manager after asking Tim Dorrington of Dorrington Atcheson Architects to design him something bach-like.
Tim came up with a plan comprising of a series of small buildings, like a campsite. A duo of pavilions – one for living, the other for sleeping – are loosely connected by two slender spines housing a utility and storage ‘shed’ and a container for a galley kitchen, pantry and wood store. A covered courtyard sits between the forms; a visual connection enhanced by a horizontal line of black flashing thatwraps the buildings as a package.
On approach they look like sophisticated cabins with crisp lines, mono-pitched roofs and a clean materiality of timber and black aluminum. Yet, tucked into a kanuka forest on a hillside, they are barely visible from the water.
But, while the end result looks effortless, getting there was not. In a location where, logistically, it makes sense to erect a pole house, Lorenzo had his heart set on concrete foundations. “We made concrete on site in a diesel-powered mixer,” he says.
The detailing was similarly labour-intensive. “Both of us were committed to being uncompromising with the detail,” says Tim.
Starting with the cladding. Narrow cedar boards make for an elegant exterior but are demanding to construct. “You can buy weatherboards routed with grooves to appear slimmer,” says Tim, “but the colour variation wouldn’t have looked natural. Hand-making them was the
right thing to do.”
Internally, there are no architraves or skirtings – and not a sheet of plasterboard to be found. The floors are American oak, the walls are lined with Italian poplar plywood and the tongue-and groove ceiling emulates the shiplap exterior cladding. This is a composition where transparency and solidity are in optimal balance. Sliding doors disappear seamlessly and carefully placed windows frame the sea and trees.
Although the footprint is small – the two main structures are each 6x8 metres – this is big-picture living, with no room for pretentiousness. Shared facilities in the bathroom operate like an ablution block to ensure a quick turnaround of family and guests. Walls divide the shower from the washbasins and a changing area, with a separate loo.
There is one extravagance, though: an extra WC on the southernmost end of one spine of the home features a stable door which can be thrown open to the view for leisurely loo-stops. “It’s our version of a long-drop and we’ve added some shelving to create a ‘library’,” says Lorenzo.
Simplicity is key here. The family pared back the way they live in the city, in order to be able to afford the good life on Kawau. “We play more games, fish, dive and socialise,” says Lorenzo. “If I fancy some scallops, I head off in the inflatable dive boat and they’ll be on the barbecue within an hour.”
Time to just be, rather than do, is precious too. When a westerly is blowing, a concrete patio with an outdoor fireplace is a sheltered place to hang out. The cantilevered platform with its glass end that hovers in the trees facing the bay is the ideal spot to plop into a beanbag, lean back on the sloping sides of the deck and watch the boating brigade come and go.
The jetty where the boys, Louis (12) and Jules (10), enjoy catching snapper is another favourite spot.
“In Auckland, we spent our weekends driving around sports fields and somehow being busy. Here, it’s so wild and anything goes. There are weka and wallabies and, from town, I can be on the island in 90 minutes and yet it feels so remote,” Lorenzo says.
When they aren’t catching fish or diving for scallops, the boys are encouraged to be hands-on in the kitchen. They’re happier, of course, to hop on their paddleboards and make their way over to the boat club for an ice cream. And they still play for their school teams – just not on a Saturday.
It’s spring! And homestyle is celebrating the season by sharing the simple pleasures of life at home. So whether that means getting stuck in to some spring-cleaning, filling your house with plants, or cooking up a storm with the best seasonal produce you can find, we have you covered this issue.
For me spring cleaning naturally starts in the bathroom – and not just in your own. There are three countries whose inhabitants know how to make a good clean something special: the Turkish with their hamams, the Japanese with their onsen and the Finnish with their saunas. I’ve learnt the hard way, literally, about the benefits of being scrubbed top-to-toe at a hamam in Istanbul. I’ve channeled my inner zen to endure the scolding hot waters of a misty onsen in rural Kyoto. And heading to Helsinki for a sauna is on my holiday wishlist.
Without a real culture of bathing rituals here, all too often the New Zealand bathroom can be relegated to a utility space. We love the idea and benefits of relaxing in a long bath, but many of us don’t make the time to do it. So we enlisted Gem Adams to style two bathroom moods to help make your space a place you want to spend time in. Turn to page 54 to take your pick from a dark and dramatic luxe look; or see her fresh take on serene with a hint of green.
If I were to single out one indelible moment in the making of this issue, it would be my trip to the Canterbury high country village of Castle Hill, to photograph Tim and Jane Andrews’ kitchen. I haven’t stayed there since I was young, but it was a welcome return trip where I was able to mix work with the pleasure of renting a cabin with friends; sharing plans for the future over a pot luck dinner and adventuring in the surrounding rocky landscape. There’s something to be said for being able to leave work from any main centre in New Zealand and be in the splendor of the mountains in a matter of hours – it’s a great way to clear the head and mentally bathe, so to speak.
While the word ‘cleanse’ gets bandied about fairly frequently at this time of year, creating this issue has inspired me to jump on the bandwagon at home – and by employing the simple healing power of nature more often. Perhaps with this in mind, I’ll make it an all-year ’round custom – I hope you can too.
A Wellington family has renovated a home which fits precisely with their non-plans.
Words Meg McMillan
Photography Russell Kleyn
Khandallah is a Wellington suburb known for its breathtaking harbour views – and it’s on one of its streets that Jo and Mike Bullock were lucky enough to find their second home 10 years ago.
Built in the 60s, the house was tired, but with all-day sun and incredible views, the potential was there to create the long-term family home that they were searching for – and would come to need.
Over the last decade the family has grown from just Jo, Mike and Mike’s daughters Maia (13) and Sophie (11), to include Abby (2), baby Charlie and Dizzy the golden retriever. So, two years ago, Jo and Mike began planning a renovation that would see their house grow too.
After studying building and design websites and poring over magazines and books, they were clear about what they wanted to achieve. “We didn’t want stark,” Mike says. “We wanted it to be a renovation that kept the character of the place. We definitely didn’t want to end up with something that looked like a new-build spec home.” Which is lucky because a cookie-cutter spec home is exactly what they didn’t get.
“We made decisions as the builders came to each stage,” says Mike. “We knew it would be slower this way, but it worked for us,” Jo adds. “Regan Powell was in charge of the project. He had never worked like this before but he said he really enjoyed it. Nothing was a problem.”
Not even the garage door. Mike spent months researching how to integrate this feature so it would fit flush in its frame. “There’s not much of the house you can see from the street so it was important the garage door was a key feature,” he says. But the idea was knocked back by several garage companies until they were finally able to convince one firm to make them the door.
This ‘push to get things flush’ theme continued throughout the house. The door to the wash-house is integrated into the exterior wall so visitors don’t notice it. And in the kitchen the benchtops sit flush with the joinery – fortuitously. “The marble company repeatedly told us we couldn’t have the benchtops flush with the joinery,” says Mike. “But when they were installed, they were flush.
The company had made a mistake with their measurements!”
The living spaces were also redesigned to work with their young family. “We wanted to all be together – even if one of us was on the computer, someone was watching TV and someone was in the kitchen,” says Mike.
The new layout has an open kitchen and living area leading through to a formal dining area then into a comfortable family room. There is also a second lounge which can be turned into a media room with soundproof walls and a large screen hidden in the ceiling.
Other made-to-measure features include the temperature-controlled glass wine cellar and a deck running the length of the house.
Downstairs there’s the kids’ playroom and all of the bedrooms. Jo and Mike’s bedroom is a small sanctuary from the rest of the house. The bed is positioned for the views and lit by Tom Dixon’s Fin Obround copper lights. They are very happy with an uncluttered space created by having everything in a separate dressing room. Jo loves the small details in this room, “right down to the light washes on the hallway wall leading to the bathroom at night”.
“We’ve used high-spec, quality fixtures and fittings,” says Jo. “But this is firstly a family home where the kids can play. We are not overly precious about it all.” And although the furniture is sourced from the heavy hitters of the design world such as Eames, B+B Italia, Carl Hanson and Kartell, there’s a relaxed and inviting feel to their home. Nothing is matched, yet it flows seamlessly and comfortably together.
It would seem all has gone according to the non-plan.
This family has travelled the world – but they’ve found they’re most at home in rural Hawke’s Bay.
Words Alice Lines
Photography Sarah Horn
Tucked away among the trees at the foot of Te Mata Peak, the board-and-batten abode of Emma Hagen, Bart Narracci and their two children Santino (8) and Isabella (11) looks as though it has been part of the landscape for some time. There’s little trace of the mammoth makeover undertaken less than a year ago, which transformed a once tiny cottage into this spacious country home.
The couple met in the US, where Bart’s from. But after a 16-year stint living there, Emma was ready to return home – and with the promise of an outdoor rural lifestyle, Bart was keen to try New Zealand out for size too.
Establishing themselves in the Hawke’s Bay six years ago, they literally set up shop in Havelock North – in a space big enough to house their two businesses. In the front you’ll find Bellatino’s, their fresh produce, wine and artisan food store which draws on Bart’s Italian-American roots. Upstairs is Emma’s domain, a space for her homewares and a children’s clothing business called Another World Trading. “After visiting India – which is ‘another world’, I was entranced by the intricate handmade fabrics and skill of the craftsmanship,” she says. “So I decided to start an import business bringing in vintage kantha quilts, cushions and suzani, along with colourful fabrics that I have made into children’s clothing.”
It’s a busy gig for the family, with two businesses to run and kids to ferry around to various after-school activities. To make it all work, they needed a home that was close to the action. They had been hunting for the perfect spot for a while, so when they came across a single-bedroom fibre-cement-board cottage a mere three-minute drive from their store, they decided that the location was too good to pass up – despite its small size.
As self-confessed serial renovators, the pair had a strong vision of what they wanted to do to the place. They quickly engaged a draftsman to draw up their plans. “We essentially needed to rebuild the entire house,” says Emma. “Extend it in all four directions, adding a master wing with a dressing room and ensuite, a kids’ wing with two bedrooms and their own sitting room, pushing out the existing lounge and adding all the decks and the outdoor room.”
This outdoor room has been an invaluable investment, providing much needed shade in the scorching heat of the Hawke’s Bay summer, and a cosy night-time spot for gatherings around the open fire in the cooler months.
Living in the home through the renovation was exhausting, but what they lacked in space and privacy at the time, they have made up for with accomplishing the result they were after. “Our builder was great, but his previous experience consisted mostly of new builds and development projects, so it took a while to convince him of my vision for the ‘imperfect’ finishings to create the lived-in look we were after,” says Emma. “But as it all came together, it grew on him.”
When it came to decorating, Emma’s aesthetic is decidedly global; a collection of pieces that remind her of the experiences gleaned through her travels. “I was born in Ghana – so there’s a few items from when my parents lived there – and I’ve added to the collection with fabrics from India, a few Moroccan items, and then of course there’s the American influence from my time there. We lived in rural Pennsylvania, which led to some interesting finds – in fact, most of my antique furniture has Amish origins,” she says. Now they’re well-rooted back in New Zealand, Emma has discovered a penchant for New Zealand art too, adding to her collection with pieces by local artists Dick Frizzell, Leanne Culy and Charlotte Handy.
Emma and Bart don’t know if this will be their forever home, but after living through the renovation, they’re pretty sure that they’ll be enjoying it for a while. And if they do move, it won’t be far from this part of the country where they’ve come to feel so at home. “At heart Bart and I love the countryside,” says Emma. “Maybe some day we’ll start from scratch with an American-style barn house out in the golden rolling hills of central Hawke’s Bay, but for now, this is home.”
Shibori is the Japanese art of binding and dying fabric to create patterns. Here we show you how.
Words & photography Gem Adams
You will need
Dylon Blue Jeans dye
1. Accordion-fold your fabric horizontally, into 8cm folds. Then fold your accordian-folded fabric in half, then in half again.
2. Place your wood blocks on either side of your folded fabric.
3. Wrap your string tightly around both fabric and blocks – the tighter you go, the less dye gets through. Tie the string off.
4. Make up your dye, following the instructions on the pack. Most dyes require added salt; this is a fixer and helps to keep the dye from running.
5. Pop your folded and tied fabric in the dye bath, wetting it first for a subtler result or putting it in dry to create more obvious lines.
6. Follow the instructions on the dye packet for the length of time the fabric should sit in the bath, then take it out and rinse until the water runs clear.
7. Dry in the shade to avoid the colour being affected by the sun.
8. Now you have your shibori fabric and are ready to make a cushion, some tea towels – or an ironing board cover like me!
Note: cotton, linen or other natural-fibre materials work best. Polyesters and mixed fabrics don’t take dye well and the result is a patchy or dull colour.
New-season blooms deserve to have their arrival heralded with a pretty posy, especially when peonies are flowering.
Styling & Photography Greta Kenyon
“As a photographer my choice of flora is usually based solely on colours and textures I think will photograph well – I often put very unusual things together, but I like how pretty the unexpected can look.”
You will need
Spring flowers (peonies, craspedia, poppy heads, scabiosa, wild flowers Queen Anne’s lace)
I wanted something bright for spring so I visited the Remuera Flower Truck and picked out the yellow peonies, scabiosa flower heads, poppy heads and craspedia, commonly known as ‘Billy Balls’. Then on my way home I stopped at one of my favourite foraging spots to acquire some extra bits to bulk up my arrangement. I was lucky enough to find some Queen Anne’s lace and some wispy yellow wild flowers.
When I put an arrangement together I find it useful to lie all my flowers and greenery down in little groups so I can easily pick out the bits I want. I start with the feature flowers, which are the peonies in this case, from there adding medium-sized blooms and working my way out towards the delicate wildflowers and seed-heads. I find it’s best to make the arrangement loosely, so it’s not symmetrical and retains a bit of personality. Don’t be afraid to leave some extra long stems to drape across the vase.
The wild stylings of the 80s Memphis Design movement are back. We pay homage with this table and coaster project, in association with Resene. The coasters can be completed in an hour or two, whereas the table is a weekend project.
YOU WILL NEED
Cork placemats and coasters (from Spotlight)
Wood panel, (600 x 1800)
Ruler and pencil
FOR THE CORK COASTERS, place painter’s tape on each placemat, creating stripes and areas for block colours. Apply two coats of paint and leave to dry. Finish with painted squiggles and spots in purposefully clashing colours for that quintessential Memphis look.
FOR THE GEOMETRIC TABLETOP, you’ll need to start by drawing an underlying grid. Divide the short end of the table into quarters, then rule three pencil lines down the length. Make a horizontal mark every 18cm, dividing the long side into tenths.
Starting at the bottom left corner, rule a diagonal line connecting with the second mark on the opposite side. Continue this process, drawing a criss-cross pattern diagonally up the table. Repeat in the other direction, from the top back down.
Mask out the white diamond shapes with painter’s tape, then apply two coats of white paint (we used Resene Quarter Alabaster) and leave to dry. Remove the tape and mask out the second colour, before painting with two coats of a bright paint (we used Resene Aqua). Leave the third section as natural wood to acentuate the mix of materials.
Place on top of trestle legs and dress with your Memphis Design-style coasters, ready for a spring brunch.
Eleanor Ozich shares everyday wholefood recipes from her new cookbook, My Family Table.
Between running MONDAYS WHOLEFOODS, writing the popular food blog Petite Kitchen, contributing recipes to magazines and raising a family, many would find Eleanor Ozich’s weekly To Do list a bit overwhelming. But somehow she manages to fit it all in – and does so with a radiant smile on her face. It’s an impressive schedule for someone who emerged onto our local foodie scene just three years ago. And behind the scenes over the last year, Eleanor has made the time for another impressive feat. She has just published her second cookbook, My Family Table – excerpts from which you can see on the following pages.
“This book is centred around simple family recipes – the food I make every day,” she says. “I often plan recipes, or ideas about ingredients that I think will work well together. Then I’ll go out and buy all the ingredients, only to sometimes find that those recipes don’t work as well as expected. Whereas, I often find the throw-together dishes I come up with on weeknights at the last minute turn out to be the real winners.”
Because Eleanor took all the (gorgeous) photos in My Family Table herself, she found that after she had stumbled across one of these accidental winners she could just whip out her camera and take down notes then and there. “If it worked, it worked and if it didn’t I moved on,” she says.
As for the namesake table featured throughout the book, yes, that’s authentic too. The beautiful vintage butcher’s block is the kids’ breakfast table and is photographed complete with their pen markings. “I think it really tells part of the story,” says Eleanor.
A spectacular platter
Serves 6-8 as a tasting platter,
or 4 as a light meal
GF, DF, Veg (if no anchovies used),
V (if no egg used)
For the spice & seed mix:
40g sesame seeds
30g crushed hazelnuts
3 Tbsp fennel seeds
3 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
8 baby carrots
8 baby beets
4 kale leaves, stems removed,
leaves roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
4 free-range eggs, at room temperature
2 small radicchio or cos (romaine) lettuces, stem ends removed
1 red capsicum, cut into sticks about 1 cm thick
6 celery stalks, cut into small sticks
For the dipping oil:
125ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 3 lemons
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
For the creamy cashew aïoli:
235g cashew nuts
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
60ml olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Combine spice and seed mix ingredients in a small bowl.
Arrange the carrots, beetroot and kale in a large roasting tin. Drizzle generously with olive oil, then sprinkle with the seed mix. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the carrots and beetroot are cooked through and the kale is crispy.
Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, then carefully add the eggs. Simmer for 7 minutes. Drain, then run under cold water to cool. Carefully peel the eggs, then slice each egg in half.
Combine all the dipping oil ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add all the aïoli ingredients to a blender, pour in 250ml of water and whiz until smooth; you may need to add a little more water to achieve a lovely creamy consistency. Add a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, then check the seasoning.
Arrange the roasted vegetables, raw vegetables and boiled eggs on a large platter. Serve with the aïoli and dipping oil.
Apricot frangipane tart with ginger, orange & hazelnuts
2 free-range eggs
55g rice flour, or 45g buckwheat flour,
or 40g quinoa flour
100g almond meal
Zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp baking powder
5 fresh apricots, halved and pitted, or 10-12 dried apricots, soaked in water until soft and plump
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 25cm tart tin.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until pale. Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the honey.
Gently fold in the flour, almond meal, lemon zest and baking powder. Pour the batter into the tart tin, then arrange the apricots around the top.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin until completely cool, before carefully turning out onto a plate. Cut into slices to serve.
The tart will keep for 2-3 days in an air-tight container.
Edited extract from My Family Table, by Eleanor Ozich. Published by Murdoch Books, $45.
A 50s-inspired kitchen hides modern-day conveniences in the Southern Alps.
Words Gena Tuffery
Photography Lisa Gane
Castle Hill just sounds NOSTALGIC. To Tim and Jane Andrews and their three grown-up children it is personally so. “Castle Hill was a favourite spot for us when our kids were small,” Tim says. “We used to rent cabins there with two other families and come and go from Mount Cheeseman ski field all day long.”
Now Tim and Jane and two out of three of their kids come and go from Christchurch, where they all live just an hour away. “When we decided to build a holiday home somewhere Castle Hill was an obvious choice,” Tim says.
Building another log cabin was another naturally occurring decision. One with an inviting, kitchen-surrounding congregating space just like they had on those extended family holidays. “We wanted to build a classic alpine-style log cabin, aiming to make it look like it’d been there for 50 years,” Tim says. “So a retro-style kitchen was always on the cards.”
Getting things off the cards and into practice was a pretty seamless task too. “We own a Mitre 10 business, so it made sense to incorporate a Mitre 10 kitchen into the project,” Tim says. “Then our major supplier Heather Wood from Stewart Scott Cabinetry heard of our
plans and approached us with some ideas of her own which we loved. She immediately understood the atmosphere that we wanted to create.”
Which is to say warm, inviting and gently backward gazing. “The brief was clear,” Heather says. “Design a 50s-style functional space with all the mod cons hidden away. They wanted the kitchen to provide a warm and inviting place to enjoy the company of family and friends.”
And Heather knew exactly where to start. “Colour choice was critical. Tim and Jane were clear in their vision for their dream hideaway cabin – and white didn’t feature in it.”
There’s not a lot of room for white, you see, when you have so much green to fit in. “When we were doing our research on cabin designs and looking at old photos it surprised us how common green was in interiors 50 years ago,” Tim says. “Heather used a mint shade, which not only has the retro feel we wanted, but is also modern, fresh and light. It’s amazing how many people who visit the cabin mention that colour. I think it must remind them of their childhood.”
The layout of the space forms a simple ‘L’ shape, so the dining room table could be positioned right in the center of things. Cabinetry was then installed around the outskirts. Made using ply as the basis, it has exposed edges which are oiled and a high-pressure laminate which provides great contrast to the logs.
Unfortunately they weren’t allowed to put any leftover logs on the fire. “The original plan was to install an Aga wood fire range and have an open fire,” says Tim. “But open fires are prohibited in this area, so we went for a woodburner and a retro-style SMEG oven instead. And we added the dishwasher and fridge from the same range to complete the feel we were after.”
Comprising of three separate ovens, the SMEG oven is a serious piece of kit. “It’s hard to beat preparing a stew in our cast iron pot, putting it into the oven on low and disappearing into the hills for the day,” Tim says. “That recipe is likely to be repeated hundreds of times.”
We talk to Kip & Co about the inspiration for their new collection, The Summer Storm.
Words Alice Lines
Take us through your design process. Alex: We kick off a season by reflecting on the previous one – what worked, what was missing and what colours connected best. That gives us a framework for the size and shape of the collection to come. The next stage is creating a moodboard of our inspirations, which we get from a whole range of things – people, art, memories, colours, fashion and travel. Once we pull all these references together, we’re able to get a sense for what the overall story for the next collection will be. With a broad aesthetic in mind, we then have a series of design sessions where the three of us will get together and bring a tonne of print ideas to the table. Some of these will come from the moodboard, from things Kate and Hayley’s kids have drawn, or some treasure found at the local op-shop. It’s a long process from there to narrow it down to the small number that we will actually get samples made up for. A final decision on the collection is made at that stage, when we can see how the prints have translated to fabric and look at them as a cohesive collection.
How did the theme for your new Summer Storm collection come about? Kate: We often start by talking about what sensation or ‘moment’ we want the collection to convey – and when you’re designing the summer collection deep in the depths of winter you get pretty nostalgic about summer holidays! So SS15 captures that first moment when you arrive at your summer lease – when you know you’ve got the whole summer to look forward to and the time to relax, skinny dip, have long terrace lunches and kick back with a glass of rosé while you look out over the vista. The name itself came during the photoshoot when this most amazing storm rolled in over the Bass Strait – it created the perfect moody backdrop and we just named the range then and there.
Your ranges are inspired by the everyday and the out of the way. Where did you adventure to for Summer Storm? Hayley: India is always a key part of our story; we go every year and love thecolour, chaos and intensity of life there. We also spent time this year in Vietnam, Indonesia and all across Australia. We’ve all got the travel bug, clearly.
Kip & Co has become known for a bold mix and match aesthetic. Any tips for making the look work at home? Kate: I think the awesome thing about Kip & Co is that we are encouraging people to throw any combination together. We definitely all mix and match across seasons, textures, and colours and love the cavalier style that this creates. At the same time, we totally understand that not everyone wants a colour explosion. Actually, this season we’ve really pulled things back a bit and styled our shoot in a more simple, sophisticated way. I think for that person it’s about picking one or two statement pieces and styling them with some of our beautiful velvets or linens that offer a more subtle end result.
The new wall hangings add another dimension to the range, how did they come about? Hayley: We’ve got a long list of amazing products we want to introduce to the Kip & Co range and wall hangings have been very high up on that list for quite a while! We’ve just been trying to perfect the product. It’s really a piece of art, something that we hope people will cherish for life, so we didn’t want to rush the development. It has been so worth it though! I cannot wait to get a couple for my own home which is always a good sign when you are introducing something new.
See kipandco.net.au for New Zealand stockists.
In this new series we take one great piece of furniture and show how it can be used in three great ways. First up: the bench.
The Sunday Bench was designed by Alana Broadhead of Fancy New Zealand Design Blog, in collaboration with Nigel Cotterill of NDC Design. It is one of the first products from Alana’s new line, The Sunday Kind.
“I love to change up my space every so often for a fresh look,” Alana says.
“So I wanted to create a flexible piece of furniture that could be used in multiple rooms and in multiple ways. The Sunday Bench is awesome as seating at a dining table, at the end of the bed, in the hall or entranceway – even in the bathroom.”
Priced at $380, each Sunday Bench is handmade to order by Nigel at NDC in solid White Ash wood. It is available in blonde (natural) or black from thesundaykind.com.
WIN WITH HOMESTYLE! To celebrate the launch of The Sunday Kind, we have a Sunday Bench valued at $380 to give away. Take your pick from blonde White Ash, or a black stained bench. To enter, click here.
TOP Ocean art print, from $89, thesundaykind.com. Mono lightshade, $269, cittadesign.com. Faux fiddle leaf fig tree, from $189.90, fluxboutique.co.nz. Uashmama paper bag, $139, paperplanestore.com. Radial dining table, $2890, cittadesign.com. Sunday bench in blonde, $380, thesundaykind.com. Nourish linen apron in ice pink, $59.90, cittadesign.com. Visu chair by Muuto, from $535, bauhaus.co.nz. Albion rug, $199, freedomfurniture.co.nz. Conical glasses, $30 each, mekka.co.nz. Jana marble platter, $99.90, countryroad.com.au. Astrid jug in Nutshell, $39.90, countryroad.com.au. Light Blue Dine linen napkin, $12.90, cittadesign.com. Tam platter in pale pink, $21.90, countryroad.com.au. Handmade Ceramic Sands plates, from $39.99, alexandcorban.co.nz. White enamelware cutlery, $12 each, nest-direct.com. Paige Jarman Koi bowl (small), $22, mekka.co.nz. Tam spreader in parchment, $8.90, countryroad.com.au. Breakfast board, $24, mekka.co.nz. Tapas coffee cup in pale pink, $8.90, countryroad.com.au. Tam medium bowls in pale pink, $12.90 each, countryroad.com.au. Cape vase, $34.95, freedomfurniture.co.nz.
MIDDLE Brass round mirror, $295, meandmytrend.com. Sunday bench in blonde, $380, thesundaykind.com. Black Paired wallet, $345, deadlyponies.com. Found My Animal Black rope dog lead, $88, eightpaws.co.nz. Sunday Kind cushions, from $79, thesundaykind.com. Blush Bucket bag (tall), $395, mydeerfox.com. Dandelion rug, from $485, theivyhouse.co.nz. Shoes, stylist’s own.
BOTTOM Linen headboard in smoke, from $1150, threaddesign.co.nz. White linen pillowcase pair, $135, threaddesign.co.nz. 100% linen white duvet cover (king), $410, threaddesign.co.nz. Washed Egyptian cotton pillowcase pair in ice pink, $79.90, cittadesign.com. Fictional Objects Pale Grey Leaf flat sheet (king), $130, fatherrabbit.com. Soala cushion, $64.90, cittadesign.com. Dots cushion; blush circle cushion, from $79, thesundaykind.com. Sahara knit throw, $144, cittadesign.com. Hand-looped cotton rug, from $710, nodirugs.com. Sunday bench in blonde, $380, thesundaykind.com. Yu Mei clutch, $130, and key fob, $29, yumeistore.com. Hide and Seek book, $89, paperplanestore.com. Start Me Up book, stylist’s own. Marble notebook, $39, paperplanestore.com. Mint Wild Wagon journal, $32, wildwagon.co.nz. White Kiondo basket, (small), $139, cittadesign.com. Grey Moss blanket, $299, nest-direct.com. The Seeke X Milly Dent candle, $109.90, fatherrabbit.com. American Oak low stool, $219, cittadesign.com. Concrete side plate, $24, xohome.co.nz. Ash Wild Wagon journal, $32, wildwagon.co.nz. Beautiful Dreamer art print (framed) $189, paperplanestore.com. Fields art print by Swiden (framed), $168, endemicworld.com.
The Superette team feel at home in their new headquarters.
Words Gena Tuffery
Photography Larnie Nicolson
Superette owners Rickie Dee and James Rigby don’t work from home – but they’ve designed their new Takapuna headquarters to feel like they do. Granted, not everyone has a neon “Do Epic Shit” sign hanging in their entranceway, but if it was pretty much your family motto you might consider it.
Other “things we say around here” are hung on other walls – “Not Here to Fuck Spiders” in Rickie and James’s office and “Start Somewhere” outside the meeting rooms. It’s all part of the plan to create a fun working environment that people instantly feel comfortable visiting.
The family of 14 – Rickie and James plus 12 – moved into their new office-home in July this year after 10 months of construction. It was a move prompted by the most common real estate prompter of all, the need for more space.
They found it in a large warehouse fortuitously located adjacent to an even larger carpark on Lake Road. Formerly a Paper Plus storeroom, the building was a “horrible rabbit warren of rooms”, but Rickie and James saw through that to the bones of what it had been – Takapuna’s oldest commercial building and home to the area’s original post office. “It was the pitched ceiling and wooden floors that sold us,” Rickie says.
First point of business was demolishing everything inside. The second was commissioning architecture design duo Material Collective to do the fit-out. “We wanted to use them because we liked their work and we knew that they would work with our ideas rather than try to tell us what to do,” says Rickie.
These ideas included having lots of open space but also a couple of meeting rooms and an office for Rickie and James to share. They also wanted to spread their relaxed signature store look through their head office, creating a space that is “light, bright, a bit special – but not fizzy.” Says Rickie: “We knew what we wanted and Material Creative added the specialness.”
Specialness such as leopard-print wallpaper in the girls’ toilets and a screenprinted surfing scene in the boys’. And white shutters behind reception that expand on the modern-day fairytale introduced by that “Do Epic Shit” sign – while adding a place to tuck away everything that needs to be tucked.
“Our vision was to create a space that epitomised the essence of Superette – a trove of objects of desire,” says Material Creative’s Toni Brandso. “The materials are soft and luxe. Gold, whitewashed timber and louvre details are woven through the design. You feel like you’ve entered someone’s beach retreat rather than a fast-paced office.”
But as for the finishing touches, the Superette team wanted to take care of those themselves. “We want to showcase our suppliers and favourite things,” says Rickie. “So we’ll change the cushions and things like that seasonally – just like we do at home.”
Alex Fulton turned three bathrooms into two – adding a whole lot of colour along the way.
Photography Jim Tannock
You started out with three bathrooms and ended up with two. Was there much spatial shuffling to get what you wanted? A bit! Originally we had an ensuite – and now we don’t, but our girls do. And the two main bathrooms were practically side-by-side, so one had to go. The first was at the end of a long hallway and separated a small TV room from the kitchen and dining spaces. We decided to take that bathroom out to create one big open-plan area. The second bathroom was a long, thin one which we expanded, stealing space from an alcove in the living room.
You opted to design an ensuite connecting your daughters’ rooms, rather than keeping the one you had off the master bedroom. Why was that? We’re not really fans of ensuites and were happy to give ours up so that the girls could have their own shared space. It also meant that this bathroom can be used as a guest bathroom as it’s got external access. It just made sense.
Talk us through your design process in the main bathroom: We wanted to mirror what we had done in the girls’ bathroom – with a double sink and customised door handles. But I wanted the accent colour to be different and that beautiful bright burnt orange was just the ticket. The orange was inspired by the Laminex Solid Surface 100% acrylic Neon Orange benchtop, which I colour-matched to Dulux Hot Embers and sprayed to make it look like a floating orange sculpture. The orange is also highlighted by a vintage poster I bought online from Melbourne-based Vintage Posters Only. It was a huge punt buying online, but the oranges matched perfectly. Yellow and royal blue were also in the colour palette but used in smaller doses like in the Muuto pendants, wall dots and the Hay Design towels.
And what about the girls’ bathroom – with a shower at one end and sliding doors from their bedrooms at the other, plus an exterior door to fit in, how did you decide on the spatial arrangement? The exterior door was to give the girls access to the outside spaces and pool area as well as providing a bathroom that guests and wet people could use instead of traipsing through the house – and it works a treat. As far as the spatial plan for the rest of the layout, well that really was all about accommodating the other key items for any girl’s bathroom: a large mirror and double sink. Our architect Chris Nott was happy to work with us to help fit all our requirements in.
The colour palette for both bathrooms is clean and fresh with pops of colour added in the details. How did you choose the feature pieces? For the girls’ bathroom yellow was always front of mind. I wanted a yellow ‘box’ at the end of the space, with the rest of the bathroom largely white. I added a few other colours like Dulux Boyzone for the heated towel rail and a trio of colours for the footstools to add playfulness to the space. This room has been called the Lego Bathroom because of these elements and the oversized handles I designed. We love it.
If design is in the details, what were the finishing touches in these spaces? Just because a space is a bathroom it doesn’t mean that it should lack personality or not contain items that make your heart swell. I like things that make me happy and oversized paper fruit and a display of coloured toilet paper will do that every time I lay my peepers on them. Case in point is the disco ball pendant hanging over the toilet in the main bathroom, with changing LED colours – I mean, how can you not smile or crack a disco move when that turns on!
What does a well-designed bathroom mean to you? Someone once said a good bathroom should be a place you feel good being naked – I love that! Badly designed bathrooms disappoint me the most. Bathrooms should be fun, comfortable and just like the rest of your house – containing treasures, collectables and colours that make your house your home.
What songs are the Fultons singing in the shower? How did you know! We love having music through out the house and the bathrooms are no exception. We are George FM-heads and we are not ashamed to admit that we live-stream dance music into most of the rooms in our house. The bathroom has most excellent acoustics! The disco ball gave us away, didn’t it?
Pick up a copy of our October/November issue to find out how to get the look.
Colour. It’s a powerful tool when creating spaces to live in, but it’s still one of the aspects of interior design that we tend to struggle with the most. If you were asked which colours make you happy, can you rattle off the items in your home that make you feel this way?
In this issue we help you get clear on how to find the colours you love – and how to make them work for you. In our Colour Decorating Special we take a look behind closed doors into the real-life living spaces of a couple of New Zealand’s most colourful creatives. Anya Brighouse shares her favourite room in her house – the delightful den that you see on this issue’s cover. Meanwhile, Alex Fulton reveals her freshly renovated bedroom, where the palette evolved from a ‘must have’ wallpaper.
Both Anya and Alex are bolder than I am with their commitment to colour, but after visiting both of their homes,
what I learnt from these chromatically charismatic ladies is
that the best thing about splashing a bit of colour around is the make-you-smile moments that doing so creates.
With this in mind, the most important thing to do when choosing colours for your home is to trust your own instincts. Be brave, as the more you experiment, the more confident you’ll become with your choices. If painting your walls seems like a daunting task, try taking creative baby-steps with test pots, objects and furniture. And remember that the inspiration for developing your signature colour scheme can come from anywhere. Take, for example, our decorating story. Our stylists Amber, Sophie and Gem each created a room set where the paint palette was drawn from photos they had snapped on their travels in the great outdoors. Turn to page 41 to see how nature’s hues can not only transport you to a certain time and place in your life, but work harmoniously in an interior too.
Speaking of travels, this issue also sees us bidding farewell to our superstar design/stylist slashies Amber and Sophie. They’ve both been fantastic proponents in the evolution of homestyle and we wish them well on their own colourful adventures ahead.
At first you may think you’ve seen Kirstin Carlin’s work somewhere before – until you take a closer look.
Words Sammy-Rose Scapens
Photography Heather Liddell
Kirstin Carlin’s heavy brush- strokes and dreamy imagery blend together to create works of mystical realism. Inspired to re-imagine historical still-lifes, the Auckland painter’s small-scale impasto works showcase floral arrangements and landscapes. But Kirstin’s work, which seems familiar at first, soon distorts into something new and unexpected as the path you thought you recognised begins to twist and the landscape you thought you understood becomes unhinged.
On the challenge she sets herself to give new life to commonly portrayed images, Kirstin says: “I like to play around with subjects which are recognisable from painting’s history and ones that have become ubiquitous through reproductions in calendars, mouse pads, framed prints and stuff like that. Working from an image which is highly recognisable lets me get carried away with the paint and formal elements.”
Each of Kirstin’s paintings exhibits strong gestural lines. And the offbeat colour combinations and introduction of pastels to her latest offerings are a move inspired by Matisse’s Fauvist works.
Having challenged herself to use “fruitier”, less monochrome combinations, Kirstin’s upcoming exhibition Pleasure Garden will exhibit landscapes that could be “anywhere, everywhere and nowhere”. A contemporary nod to historical public pleasure gardens, the landscapes intend to give the viewer a feeling of something special and somewhere familiar – with each painting, at second glance, speakingof the importance of adventure and play.
Pleasure Garden will run until August 22 at the Melanie Roger Gallery in Auckland.
Inside the home of the couple behind the label.
Words Alice Lines
Photography Duncan Innes
Ingrid Starnes and Simon Pound have a busy household. There are seven-year-old twins Ned and Olya plus three- year-old Gertie to look after – but also a busy workroom to run downstairs in their central Auckland rental. Ingrid Starnes, the label, has been in the fashion business since 2009, and over the last two years has diversified the brand offering with the addition of its own all-natural fragrance and skincare line. Ingrid Starnes, the person, makes it all work by keeping everything under one roof. Alice Lines sat down with her to find out how it all comes together...
This house is both your workplace and your family home – how does that work? It’s the kind of set-up that we’ll be grateful we had when we’re old, as we see a lot of the kids. Sometimes though, being grateful that the kids are right there is not always our first feeling! Overall, it’s great though. The workroom team are part of the family – our three-year-old is good friends with all of them, running to show them her latest paintings and always coming in to ‘help’. We knock off for a few hours to get the kids down and then often pick back up again. There’s lots to do in a small business when you make everything locally.
How does your landlord feel about you running your business from home? We’re very lucky to have lovely landlords who raised four kids in this house, so they’re happy for us to have our bustling three-kids-and-a-workroom situation here.
Is there a crossover between how you approach your work and how you curate your home? We try to only have things that we love, following the sustainability ethos of “buy once, buy well” and looking after the things we have. Everything in this house has a special story or attachment. There aren’t a lot of things that might go out of fashion any time soon – though they might accidentally pop back into fashion.
How would you describe your aesthetic – and how does it inform your design? We have a love for detail, fabric, craft and drape – beautiful things that are not of a season but can be loved for years
to come. We appreciate and like to make special things for everyday use. We like to know our impact and the lives of the people involved in the production of what we do. We love things made with care and detail, that were built to be beautiful forever, that are classic and perhaps a bit eccentric.
You’ve recently expanded your brand into homewares – how did this come about? We started with a perfume, because we love perfume, and didn’t know that we probably shouldn’t because of all the difficulties in getting it down to a sensible scale. It has been enormous fun though and has led to us making a range of all-natural perfumed products. We have products at all stages of development everywhere and live in a constant haze of Vetyver Bergamot. We are looking forward to the day that our lives are as fancy as they smell!
Does your collection of iconic, locally designed objects influence the homewares you’re making? Simon is the collector – he has Maori chieftains made from Jim Beam bottles, an original print of the false rendering of Captain Cook’s death and a Temuka chieftain tobacco jar that is loaned to museum collections – you know, just the stuff any normal 33-year-old is into. But yes, our Brentleigh Ware vases helped to influence our candle ceramic. We tracked down the last Crown Lynn mould-maker and made our own floral relief ceramic. We use them for pretty much everything around the house and are in the process of making one that is ridiculously big, like a full vase. It might end up being the world’s most over-the-top candle, so we’ll probably end up with a few of those around the house too.
Is it true that your spring/summer clothing collection is partly inspired by the work of Kirstin Carlin? Yes, Kirstin Carlin is an artist we’re a bit obsessed with – that’s her work hanging in the lounge. We first saw one of her works in the background of a photo online, tracked her down, met her for coffee, went to an exhibition she had in her living room with our three kids under five in tow, and have been friends since. We love her application of paint, the luscious texture, the colours... they are just magical.
And what about the magic in your house – what is your favourite aspect of it? The big living room and kitchen – we often have friends over and all the kids in there too. We love to cook and eat, so it is a very important space – well, if we had to boil it down, we mainly love to eat.
From the mountains to the sea, the world around us provides a wealth of colour inspiration. Here our stylists translate their favourite nature-inspired palettes into new looks for living spaces.
EARTH AND STONE
By Gem Adams
The inspiration I have always found nature to be a brilliant source of inspiration, and on my latest adventure to Tongariro National Park I was struck by the intense hues of the aptly named rusty rocks. The dried-out volcanic rock tone of Resene Baroque featured as my wall base here, with Resene Ayers Rock – a tone reminiscent of the rich sediment – as one of my feature colours, along with the lichen tones of Resene Pendragon. Resene Half Trojan grounded the room in a dark rocky grey. I picked up hints of Resene Quarter Napa in the floor rug that echoes the tones of the soft russets – and the deep Resene Desperado matched the dried flower arrangement.
the look Resene Baroque (wall); Resene Ayers Rock (wall block); Resene Pendragon (wall stripe); Resene Half Trojan (floor), resene.co.nz. Markantoina dried arrangement and vase, $POA, markantonia.com. Tom Dixon Bash vessel (small), $425, simonjamesdesign.com. Best console table, $1949, boconcept.com. Max-Beam stool by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba for Kartell, $495, backhousenz.com. Temuka bowl, stylist’s own. Indian kilim rug, $845, indiehomecollective.com. Harp chair, $2650, karakter.co.nz. Icelandic sheepskin, $498, cultdesign.co.nz. Mustard cotton velvet cushion cover, $44.90, cittadesign.com. Douglas and Bec Line floor lamp, $1325, douglasandbec.com.
A master bedroom makeover that all started when Alex fell in love with ‘that’ wallpaper.
Photography Jim Tannock
Where did you get the inspiration for your bedroom makeover? It all started with the wallpaper, by Swedish designer Hanna Werning for Boras Tapeter. I loved the navy base colour
with the unexpected colours of the flora and fauna in the design. This room has a very high stud so I knew that teaming this with a design-heavy paper would yield a very impressive result. We also needed practical things like storage, because, as with most old houses, there wasn’t any.
How did you go about pulling the colour scheme together? I’m a huge fan of mixing pattern on pattern so I just take cues from the palette and mix and match with those in mind. For this space anything goes – tartan, slubby linens, Marimekko designs, budgie prints, stripes and shibori. It’s mad but we love it. Every time I change the bed I choose a different combination of four pillowcases, which makes it forever changing and exciting.
The cabinetry colours are on point with the rest of the room – were these custom made? Yes they were. I wanted them to be built-in and tie in with the space – I designed them to proportionally fit the room and to create the feeling that they had always been there. We kept the design fairly plain but added the decorative skirting board to the base, which nods to the era of the home. The exterior of the units was painted in Dulux Deep Storm, which matched perfectly to the wallpaper base colour. I’m not really a fan of white internal spaces inside joinery so we chose orange-red for me and purple for Jeff. It makes us smile every time we open the wardrobe doors.
What’s your top tip to stop bedsides being boring? Storage and lighting. I use Uashama bags to store all those bedside bits and bobs that are better off not being on show and a Pug Light from Teapea to add some fun. We also have wall-hung lights from Catherine David Design which complement the era of our home but with a modern twist of unexpected colours of pink and yellow. We also got the electrician to add a main light switch by the bed so we don’t have to get out of bed to turn off the light. Ask them to put it low so it’s out of sight. Another thing I have recently done is ditch the LED bedside alarm clock and replaced it with a pink Tivoli for music. It only took me 40 years to work out that having a bright red light glaring at you is probably not a great move for a rested sleep.
Combining pattern on pattern can be a daunting task for some – how did you make it work here? Use your new colour palette to guide you with the colour choices then go a little crazy with mixing themes, patterns and designs. If you love it then it works, if it’s too much try pulling it back. There is no right and wrong so go with what feels right to you.
What is the white bedding about? For a colour nut like yourself, it is quite a departure! A few years ago it was so hard to find coloured bedding and duvet covers and now we have so much more choice. It must be in the blood as my daughter Isla is obsessed by foodie bedding with pizzas, pasta, watermelon and bananas. But this white bedding is a work-in-progess as I brought it from Father Rabbit three years ago with the plan to shibori it after I had done a workshop with Megan Morton at The School. I haven’t done it yet, but watch this space!
What was your best buy for this room? The two side tables from Nood. I loved that they weren’t white or wood but an unusual shade of bright olive green. They have no storage but that means we can stack magazines and books underneath and storage options on top.
If I wanted to makeover my bedroom, how would you recommend going about making it feel a little more like ‘me’? Start with a favourite piece of art or wallpaper. Use that as the base for your colour story. Pull out three or four tones and design around those. Add colour to unexpected places like the inside of your wardrobe, the back of your door or on your ceiling. This is your space to experiment a little and stamp your personality on it. Have fun with the design elements and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Ange Dye, owner of interiors store Macy Home loves colour, but just two of them – black and white.
Words Alice Lines
Photography Duncan Innes
Ange Dye grew up in East Auckland at a time when lots of great things were happening around her, design-wise – think the Nanette Cameron School of Interior Design and the Fisher Art Gallery. There she spent most of her time scrapbooking her ideas, long before Pinterest was a twinkle in the internet’s eye. “Most of my money would go on key pieces that I knew would stand the test of time – looking back, there was always a strong chance that I was going to end up involved in design in some way.” Involved indeed. After studying fine arts at Whitecliffe and “stumbling into and then through some pretty amazing jobs in floristry”, Ange poured all of this widely accumulated know-how into her Auckland design store Macy Home. And into a home of her own in Ponsonby. Alice Lines sat down with Ange to get her home creation story...
I’ve always had a very clear idea about what I liked, design-wise. This house has been another opportunity to put that into practice. It’s actually my first home – I bought it 20 years ago from my landlord. I’d flatted here with friends and when the offer came to buy, I pounced on it.
I tore up the forest-green carpet and polished the floorboards as soon as I bought it. Then I renovated the kitchen and bathroom and redesigned the courtyard in the front. Storage was added as it was non-existent.
Then we had shelving, drawers and cupboards built into the living room and wardrobes built into each of the bedrooms. I’ve always felt at home here, but after it was renovated it really felt like mine. I think the process of choosing the surfaces, paint shades and fittings and installing them made that difference.
All the key pieces are monochromatic to make it easy to add new décor. I also just find black and white to be a restful combination. With black-and-white photography, for example, I like the way that the subject matter is left to speak for itself through texture and tone, light and dark. For me, it’s the same way with interiors. I think simplicity is key – and keeping the fundamental parts of a home that make it what it is. With this house being a villa, that meant keeping the fireplaces, mouldings, original doors, ceilings and floorboards. The interior is painted white which gives it modern feel and makes for a great canvas. I have chosen simple, modern light fittings as well as modern classic furniture.
When it comes to styling a room, I always have an idea of how I want it to look. For example, in my bedroom I chose white, grey and light wood knowing I’d add in Perspex, white and copper accents. I also find it helpful to choose key items early on in the process – such as bedding, furniture, fittings and art – then build around those things.
Then you can add in your favourite pieces. For me these are my Alvar Aalto Savoy vases – they are a Finnish classic and I love them because they look great with or without flowers in them – and my Fornasetti plates that I started collecting in my early 20s.
The key pieces in my home were chosen to stand the test of time in aesthetic and quality, so I guess you’d call them investment pieces. I’ve found thatsometimes you have to make a purchase that’s not sensible at the time if you really love it. My Barcelona chair, for example, was purchased with money that my grandfather gave me towards a car. This was really naughty, but I’m so pleased that I did because it’s a design classic and looks as great as it did the day I bought it.
I also chose these pieces because they are a good fit for my home. In regard to homeware and décor choices I will generally choose good-quality items that are pleasing to the eye. That doesn’t mean that these pieces have to be expensive, just a good fit. If it doesn’t fit it doesn’t work.”
House prices are pushing more and more people to the outskirts of the city – and in some cases that’s not a bad thing.
Words Tina Stephen
Photography Larnie Nicolson
With the Auckland housing situation being, well, a situation, many city dwellers are heading for the outer suburbs. And the Pardys are four of them. Looking for a lifestyle choice for their growing family in 2013, Candice and David found themselves flicking through the real estate pages. “We wanted to get our slice of the Kiwi dream,” says Candice. “We were looking for the big backyard, the laid-back lifestyle, good schools, a great community and a social neighborhood.”
They found all this and more in an area earmarked as one of the city’s up-and-coming satellites: Pukekohe. Finding a rental in the area, they made the move a year before building, allowing them to scope out their new surrounds and gain a local perspective so they could act quickly when they came across the perfect piece of land. “We were able to find a local child-carer, get to know people at our neighborhood Christmas party and investigate all the local cafes, parks, and beaches,” says Candice. “Plus, we both work centrally, so we wanted to test out the commute to see if it was do-able.”
By staying close to Pukekohe’s main hub, they found that it was. In their search for that elusive combination of privacy and community, they found a small development on the edge of the township with pretty tree-lined streets in a sunny position. Their new home would tuck comfortably into the ridgeline, facing north-east over fields – and yet still offer close access to the southern motorway.
Spot secured, it was time to design. As with many New Zealand families, the Pardys went for the design-and-build option. But they chose a company that offered the flexibility of working closely with the architects in the early stages to create a family home that met their needs and wants exactly – which included avoiding a design that looked like many others in the area. “Most building companies take a one-size-fits-all approach,” says Candice. “But Haven tailored a design for our sloping site, our needs, our specifications and budget.”
Utilising this natural slope resulted in two modern barn-style boxes, overlapping at right angles to each other. The first has a street-level internal garage and also • houses the bedrooms. The other is tucked underneath, with the family areas centred around the kitchen and flowing out onto an expansive back lawn.
With the build happening quickly, Candice kept a close eye on the interior finishes, organising much of the detail herself, but delegating where needed. Although they had a strong sense of what they wanted, the couple collaborated with an interior and lighting designer to help pull the project together. “I built a collage of ideas by using Pinterest and building a scrapbook of magazine clippings,” says Candice. “I would then share these with my project manager, kitchen designer and interior and lighting designers so we were all on the same page.”
Also front-of-mind was the best way to incorporate a collection of mid-century furniture, which had been tucked away in storage for years. This was achieved by creating a backdrop of soft white and dark grey paint finishes behind a bold retro colour palette, with the main living level flanked by opposing dark walls that accentuate the raked ceiling line. Intermittent colour now greets the visitor in unexpected nooks and a continued theme of black, white and bold colour is offset with that collection of honey oak furniture and copper accessories.
Incorporating existing treasures seamlessly also meant complementing them with new purchases. Equipping New Zealand furniture designer Adam Sinclair with the brief of “modern retro”, for example, led to the creation of gorgeous shelving and entertainment units which are now the focal point of the family room.
Then the lighting plan was designed in keeping with the architectural elements, balancing not only form, but all-important function. “Lighting is one of the most important elements of the home for me,” says Candice. “I didn’t want a cookie-cutter plan of downlights in every room of the house, so engaging a designer from the outset allowed us to get a wonderful, considered lighting plan for both our interior and exterior lighting.”
The end result of these collaborations is a unique family home that is a perfect combination of heritage and modernity; one where designer lighting and furniture sit comfortably next to vintage finds and department-store pieces. Each room has its own distinct personality, while still connecting to one another. And the overall aesthetic is one that lends itself to relaxed family living – well away from that hectic and overpriced city centre.
Used as both a home office and space for relaxing, Anya has gone to town with vivid hues and bold patterns to create this delightful den.
Photography Mel Jenkins
What does this room mainly get used for? This is my absolute favourite room in the house. I currently work from this space, as well as it being my preferred place to watch TV or read in the evenings. My children joke that there is a dent in our sofa where I religiously sit. I decided if I was going to spend so much time in one space then I would put all my favourite things in it. So when we packed up the old house I put stickers on all the things I wanted for in here. A few extra pieces have arrived in the four years since we moved here though – the orchid pink Tolix locker that holds all my work, the beautiful Kartell POP chair with its Missoni fabric covers and the outrageous IKEA sofa.
That couch is amazing! Did you know it was going to work in the space before you purchased it? No, I didn’t. I was very hopeful it would, but I did have a bit of a crisis of confidence and thought maybe I was taking it all too far. I had decided to move it into another room when a friend told me to stop panicking and trust myself as I am usually right. She told me to try it – what would it hurt? Then I didn’t think it needed cushions but somehow some got on there, and then finally after thinking it just needed a quiet painted wall above it I realised I had too much many great things in storage and that they needed to go on the wall. I was inspired by Alex Fulton – she’s a colour maximalist just like me!
Did you have a colour scheme in mind when you started the makeover? I was 100% committed to using this amazing cerulean blue from Porter’s Paints called Avalon. I have loved it for years and just knew I wanted to use it. The house actually has about seven colours used throughout in various levels of intensity. I didn’t want to make any concessions in this room – I just wanted to include everything! I used a lot of hot pink and orange – two colours that go beautifully with the blue. Shots of yellow, orange and even apple green work with it. The black and white I used to ground it all – the all-white floor certainly helps do that.
It looks as though this is the kind of space that changes a lot – how do you make the colour scheme work when you’re adding and subtracting pieces? It is in high winter mode at the moment. Lots of rugs and cushions and there is • usually a basket of blankets in the corner and large floor cushions so everyone can lie on the floor. Most of that disappears in the summer and if I change the artwork, it tends toward more white with more flowers. I remove a bit of the black as well.
What’s your secret tip for making pattern-on-pattern work? My secret is that you just have to keep trying things. I am drawn to colours in a certain bold palette – and I know they all work together. When you’re combining colour on colour, use tones of a similar intensity to make the look cohesive. With the patterns I have used there is a lot of black which helps link it all together.
How do you arrange your artwork so artfully? I love the process of laying it all out on the floor to get the shapes fitting well together. I get it how I want it and then take a photograph to help me remember. Then I generally start in the top left-hand corner and work my way down and outward with the frames.
What was your best buy for the space? My favourite thing would be the Tolix locker in that amazing orchid pink. I have loved those lockers for years and saved for a long time for it. I use it every day. It has emerald green shelves inside which make me smile every time I open it.
If I wanted to jump on the bright-and-bold bandwagon at my place how would you recommend starting?
Start with the thing that you can’t change. If you already have a brightly coloured piece of furniture that you love – begin with that, or a large piece of adored art. I always keep the ceiling, joinery and floor colour the same where
I can, and I prefer neutral curtains. This means I can put all the colour I want onto the walls and furniture. It generally isn’t a thing that happens quickly, it is better to let it all grow slowly. If you are lacking in confidence, a lot of companies will let you take things home and try them in place to see if your instincts are right. Just loving something isn’t enough – but that certainly helps. Think about what other things you could bring in from other spaces in your home and experiment with flowers and brightly coloured vases as this is always a cost-efficient and non-permanent way of playing with colour. And just keep adding until you are completely satisfied, then do what I do, and start all over again by moving furniture when you get bored of it.
When an architect and a builder decide to build a home, the result is bound to amaze.
Words Gena Tuffery
Photography Tom Ferguson
Architects are people of vision. They can see a site on a narrow street in inner Sydney currently occupied by an 1880s terrace house and immediately start to picture a gorgeous, lofty, distressed brick-and-cedar home with an enclosed courtyard space in its place. The original water-damaged and unstable structure was coming down anyway, but Amelia (Sage) Holliday of Aileen Sage Architects didn’t have to wait till it did before she started building the Courtyard House in her mind.
So real were her ideas that she kept planning the house even after she and her husband were outbid at the auction. The property was passed in, but it wasn’t till a year later that they were able to negotiate a deal. By which time they were well ready to get started.
But, as keen as Amelia was to start fleshing out her concepts, she couldn’t do it alone – and when your business partner is fellow talented designer Isabelle (Aileen) Toland, why would you want to? “It’s a risk when architects are their own clients,” Amelia says. “You want to try to do too many things in your own house; all those ideas you’ve had for other projects but were never able to realise. So it was great to work closely with Isabelle to continually refine our thinking.”
The other half of this “our” is David Lakes, a gifted builder whose pairing with Amelia makes you suspect some kind of property god is taking a special interest in this couple. •
David would, of course, be in charge of constructing the
home. But when it came time to hand over the plans, he
didn’t always get to keep them. “We were renting a house
four doors down the road during the building process so we
were both on site most days,” Amelia says. “There was a lot of design detail that was worked through as it was being built.”
Design details include off-form concrete reveals in the living area, a clever play of light throughout the house and the central space opening up internally into a secluded outdoor area. “The light and the way this space opens to the courtyard garden make it a really special spot to sit and relax,” Amelia says.
Besides which, you can’t have a Courtyard House without a courtyard. The landscaping was designed in collaboration with Sue Barnsley Design, who built on the layers of colour and texture within the interior, making it feel like one continuous space throughout. The walled garden and series of smaller courtyard spaces were carved out of the original home’s envelope, with each of the living areas opening up to this ‘secret garden’.
“We tried not to double up on spaces between inside and out,” Amelia says. “For example, the sliding doors in the dining room are able to fully retract, creating a space that’s more like a covered outdoor desk than an indoor room.” Which all has the clever effect of extending the outdoors in rather than the indoors out.
But the interior was in no way neglected. Although
architects are known for often having a dubious regard
for interior design, Amelia isn’t among them. “We love
interior design and considered it alongside developing the
more ‘architectural’ palette of the house,” she says. “Anyway, because we had lots of special furniture pieces, art and objects that all needed to find a place, we had to consider how it was
all going to work. The piano, for example, which belonged
to my grandfather, was always envisaged as the anchor to the
Unexpected bursts of colour act as anchors in other parts
of the house. “We used layered, unexpected colour pairings to articulate and expand rooms into adjacent spaces,” Amelia says.
According to Dulux, they were successful in their mission. Awarding the house this year’s Single Residential Interior prize in the Dulux Colour Awards, the judges noted: “Rather than using colour to delineate between zones, it cleverly uses bold pops of colour in a thought-provoking manner, using different combinations to mark your journey through the house.”
Though it got off to an unstable start, Dave and Amelia’s
own journey to creating their own home has reached its
blissful destination. With cocktails and sunsets in an inner
Food styling and photography with Unna Burch
After sold out workshops in her home town of Wellington, we're bringing Unna Burch of The Forest Cantina to Auckland to share her food styling and photography secrets!
Unna is a self-taught cook, food stylist, photographer and now author! In this workshop she shares the food styling and photography skills that landed her a cookbook deal.
Unna will show you how to take photos on both a smartphone and camera, share tips on editing, transforming your images with apps and how to build a props collection. You'lll have the opportunity to create a beautiful vignette of your own too.
Tickets are $100 including a signed copy of Unna’s debut cookbook (valued at $45), afternoon tea, and a goodie bag to take home.
Having spent more nights in Europe than in my own bed over the past two months, I’ve thought a lot about the concept of home. While I love the adventure of being plucked from my everyday life and dropped into unfamiliar surroundings, drawing comparisons to life at home is inevitable when negotiating the basics of breakfast, local modes of transport and figuring out how you can fit into a culture that’s not your own.
I’m not of the ‘take a scented candle with you to make your hotel room feel more homely’ camp. But if I’m staying for more than one night, I unpack as many clothes as possible and take over the bedside with my own things – small gestures towards creating that universally desired lived-in ambience.
Before setting off to Italy, I scoured Airbnb to seek out lodgings with a little more homeliness than your average hotel. From an apartment in a charming little neighbourhood in Rome, to a stone cottage in the country back-blocks of Tuscany, I found that staying in places where someone had taken pride in feathering their nest went a long way towards making me feel at home where I wasn’t.
After two blissful weeks of participating in local life from one end of the country to the other, it was time to hit Milan Design Week – where the business of nest-feathering is taken to a whole new level. With over 300,000 designers, architects, buyers, retailers, press and design tourists in attendance it was hectic, to say the least. But discovering fresh designs from around the world was an awe-inspiring experience. I share 20 of my favourites on page 27, plus four rising trends that are defining interior design right now.
That said, I would warn against taking your trend-watching too seriously. I think of design trends as an opportunity to shake things up; providing fresh inspiration from which to inject your own personality into your space. What I have concluded from my time away is it’s the life lived within a house – rather than the house itself – that truly makes you feel at home.
You’ve tried everything from Vietnamese to Ethiopian food. But have you tried Nordic? You should.
Recipes & photography Simon Bajada
As featured in Jun/Jul 2015
New Nordic cooking aims to achieve a perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. Sometimes this is done simply through the clever use of a quickly pickled garnish to offset a sweeter dish; or it could be via a more complex layering of flavours. To make things even more interesting though, the lines between sweet and savoury are often blurred, with flourishes of each dotted throughout. In the past 10 years there has been a surge in interest in what the chilly, often sparse Nordic habitat can bring to the dining table, and with coastlines and forests ripe for harvesting, foraging is a popular endeavour. I encourage you to look at what is growing around you and all that is local to your environment.
Dream cake with barley & berries
Serves 8 –10
300g (2 cups) plain flour
3 Tbsp baking powder
3 large eggs
300g caster sugar
90g unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
200ml pouring cream
175g fresh or frozen blackcurrants or blueberries
Cream or custard, to serve
180g unsalted butter
60ml (¼ cup) full-cream milk
300g soft brown sugar
175g barley flakes or rolled oats
3 Tbsp dark malt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Sift the flour and baking powder into
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar for about 10 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture and fold to combine. Stir in the melted butter, vanilla and cream. Fold in the currants or berries.
Pour the dough into a 20 cm round springform cake tin (you can use a larger cake tin, but bear in mind to reduce the cooking time). Bake for 40 minutes,
or until the middle of the cake is firm to touch.
About 5 minutes before the cake is ready, make the topping.
Mix together all the ingredients for the topping in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook, stirring, until it bubbles slightly.
Remove the cake from the oven and increase the temperature to 220°C.
Pour the caramel over the cake then return it to the oven for 5-7 minutes, until you see it set and start to turn dark brown at the edges. Allow the cake to cool in its tin for a few minutes before running a knife around the edge and releasing the springform. Cool and allow the topping to set before cutting into slices. Serve with cream or custard.
Extract taken from The New Nordic, by Simon Bajada, published by Hardie Grant, $54.99. Thanks to Hardie Grant Publishing we have three copies to give away. To enter, visit our competitions page and enter the code: NORDICFOOD.
Snuggle up this winter with these cosy-making essentials.
Styling Sophie Peacocke
Photography Melanie Jenkins
As featured in Jun/Jul 2015
GET THE LOOK Resene Black White. Air plant, POA, Ponsonby Plant Centre. John Derian Leaves plate, $169 each, lawninteriors.co.nz. Rocky (594mm x 841mm) print (unframed), $160, amberarmitage.com. Monmouth Glass Studio large dome pendant, $650, tessuti.co.nz. ON THE MANTLE White enamel tumbler, $8.50, fatherrabbit.com. Large Kokedama succulent, $75, collected.co.nz. Small white house, $25, collected.co.nz. Ivy plant, POA, Ponsonby Plant Centre. Syuro copper can, from $42, aaaselect.co.nz. Terracotta pots, from $1.17, bunnings.co.nz. ON THE CHAIR Grayson chair, $799, freedomfurniture.co.nz. Zinc 100% linen cushion cover (45 x 45cm), $89, penneyandbennet.co.nz. Isla de Aroha 100% cotton screen-printed cushion cover (50 x 50cm), $95, arohaandfriends.co.nz. New Zealand honey sheepie, $150; Sea tangle 100% linen throw in silver birch, $169, superette.co.nz. ON THE FLOOR Aechmea Primera plant, $24.84, bunnings.co.nz. Copper bounty baskets, from $55, nest-direct.co.nz. Classic hatchet axe, $175, garden-objects.com. Iris Hantverk dustpan and brush, $52, izzyandjean.co.nz. Caroline Z Hurley linen throw in mint with black spots, $228, fatherrabbit.com. Calf hide, $125, collected.co.nz. Indigene hand-weaved indigo linen throw, $249, nest-direct.co.nz. Beast rug, US$110, thingindustries.com. Fog Linen blue and white striped trays, from $24, paperplanestore.com. Enamel mug, $8 each, paperplanestore.com. Skandi wool runner #2, $649, izzyandjean.co.nz. All other items, stylist’s own.
This pegboard organiser is a great addition to your entranceway – taking care of all those things that tend to get left on the floor.
Project & styling Amber Armitage
Photography Melanie Jenkins
You will need
Pegboard, 1m x 1.2m
Resene Quick Dry
Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen paint in Resene Black White
Testpots in Resene Gum Leaf, Resene Kandinsky and Resene Flourish
Roller and paint brush
Long screws suitable for the wall you’re screwing into
Pegboard hooks (we used 112mm loop hooks and 25mm locking curved hooks)
1. PRIMING THE PEGBOARD Apply a primer of Resene Quick Dry. Then, once dry, roller Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Black White over the top. Coat both sides twice so the board doesn’t warp. If the holes start to fill up with paint, wait until dry then use a skewer to push through.
2. COLOUR BLOCKING Use painters’ tape to mark out the shapes you want to colour block. You may want to measure the size of the object you will hang before doing this to make sure it fits inside the painted block. Making sure the edges of the tape are pressed flat onto the pegboard, paint in your chosen Resene feature colour. Do two coats. Once dry, remove the tape. Use a small paint brush to tidy up the edges if you need to.
3. HANGING Stack six small washers on each screw before attaching to the wall, so the board will sit out slightly – making it easier to insert and move the pegboard hooks around. Attach your pegboard to the wall in all corners with a drill, as well as halfway down the board.
4. DISPLAY Hang your pegboard hooks. You can play around with objects being contained by the coloured blocks (as shown with the keys) or overhanging. Have fun!
ON THE WALL Resene Permanent Green. on the pegboard Resene Black White, Resene Gum Leaf, Resene Flourish, Resene Kandinsky, resene.co.nz. Also in the scene Ori Bunnies key ring, $25, mydeerfox.com. Rains long jacket in white, $180, fatherrabbit.com. Mirage Fedora by Lack Of Colour, $79, superette.co.nz. Le Femme petit handbag in salted creme, $375, georgiajay.com. Wall bracket, $12, livingconcepts.co.nz. Living & Co fabric wall plug cable, $15, thewarehouse.co.nz. Dolly bulb, $12.50, flotsamandjetsam.co.nz. Planted philodendron, $45, houseofbotanica.co.nz. Arnold Circus stool in chalk by Martino Gamper, $230, everyday-needs.com. Shoes, stylist’s own.
homestyle’s Amber Armitage has just released a collaboration with Studio Ceramics. She looks into the history behind this iconic local business.
I have always had a love for beautiful ceramics. I’ve also long been familiar with the work of Studio Ceramics. But my first real introduction to this West Auckland-based business – and its owners Phillipa and Ken Croft – was when I visited the factory about a year ago to borrow a few ceramic pieces for a photoshoot. I was blown away, not only by the resources on offer, but also by the ethos of the business and the history behind it – especially after learning that head mould-maker Bruce Yallop was on the team at the iconic ceramics company Crown Lynn for over 40 years.
Phillipa and I soon got talking about the benefits of quality craftsmanship in New Zealand, and the joy of creating beautiful things. We were both excited about the idea of creating a new range of ceramics together and so a collaboration was born.
I designed the range so you could match each piece with its colourway set, mix them with other colours in the range, or use them alongside your other ceramics. This would allow the pieces to be collected over time, encouraging the collation of personalised collections from the different colourways. It also encourages the notion that ceramics should be kept and treasured for a lifetime, not bought and discarded as part of a passing fad.
The stylist in me also wanted the ceramics to be multifunctional; so they could sit as well in the bedroom as they could in the kitchen or living room, and move around the house when you want to change things up. To achieve my objectives, the designs needed to be simple, clean and refined – all of which matches perfectly with my aesthetic.
Seeing this project come to life has been an exciting journey, one that opened my eyes to the amount of work and time involved in developing a new ceramics range. The designs have grown and developed through the process of making, and the final result is something that I am very proud to put my name to.
Wanting to find out more about Studio Ceramics, and the history and perspectives of this unique business, I sat down to ask Phillipa a few questions...
There are all sorts of treasures to be found once you open the front door of this unassuming West Auckland house.
From the outside, Cruise Tuakura and Mikayla Flavell-Miller’s West Auckland home appears stock standard: a two-storey former state house, painted white. But the front door hints at the fun to be found inside, painted as it now is in a bold canary yellow.
Opening this door is like cracking open a lucky fortune cookie; its interior a more-than pleasant surprise. Walking in, the visitor soon finds proof that a rental property can be converted into a striking and personality-packed abode – with just a few coats of paint, a clever array of furniture and accessories and a decent splash of creativity.
But, when Mikayla and Cruise moved into the house with their dog Rusko and friendly feline Mr Kat four years ago, it was the traditional structure that originally grabbed their attention. “There’s a certain character about an older state house,” says Mikayla. “We fell in love with the wooden floors and the big windows from the moment we walked through the door.”
She says the most impactful thing they did was make the most of those big windows, ripping down the net curtains as soon as they’d moved in. “From there it was just a matter of adding a little bit of us to every corner.”
Cruise is an aircraft technician in in the New Zealand Air-force and Mikayla an architectural consultant at Robertson Bathware, so it’s no wonder their taste encompasses a vast range of styles. Inspired by overseas adventures, their travels have played a strong part in influencing their personal style. “We’ve both been lucky enough to explore the world,” Mikayla says. “Mexico, Hawaii, the Cook Islands and Palm Springs are all such amazing places to experience – there is a certain
vibe about all of them that triggers creative inspiration.”
Cruise agrees: “Travelling definitely opens your eyes to different design styles. And it’s nice to see something in your home that you discovered on the other side of the world.”
While the majority of the walls are white and work to keep each room looking fresh, Mikayla is a big fan of colour. Having once worked for Resene, it’s no surprise to see many splashes of brightness extending beyond that cheery front door and right throughout their home.
Cruise is more materials-focused – with a hands-on approach. Evidence of his “plywood phase” is seen in the bench in the dining room, and the desk and trolley in the office. Plywood provides a natural feel to the shared office space, creating a calm area emphasised by touches of green.
Anything that hasn’t been self-made has been lovingly sourced and personalised. Decorating their home on a shoestring hasn’t proven difficult, as their creative genes go hand in hand with an eye for a bargain. The green cupboard on the office wall, for example, was a $2 bargain from a tiny op shop in Whangamata, which the couple had spray-painted. The yellow wire plant stand in one corner of the lounge began its life as a chain-store rubbish bin. And the geometric lightshade, also in the office, was a bargain find from a market in Cambridge. “I nearly didn’t get it, which would have been a mistake,” says Mikayla, “as it really does make the room.”
Commissioning creative friends and family members to help out has also saved the budget considerably. “I’m absolutely in love with our Good Vibes lightbox in the lounge,” Mikayla says. “We’re so lucky to have crafty people around who can make us things! I drew up a quick sketch for my dad who, with a helpful eye from mum, put the whole thing together for us.”
All of the changes made have been purely cosmetic – a general tidy and a splash of colour on the walls. “It’s amazing how a house can be completely transformed simply by adding these personal touches,” Mikayla says. “As soon as we styled all of our furniture and artwork, it really did become home.”
One of the biggest pieces of advice Mikayla has for others looking to transform their house into a home is: “Don’t feel pressure to follow trends. Take a few risks, use quality products when painting or building and don’t be fooled into taking shortcuts – a worthwhile project is always a long one!”
Dried flowers have ditched their old-fashioned image. Create an everlasting arrangement that will cheer up the dreary winter months.
Project Antonia De Vere Photography Neeve Woodward
You will need
Flowers and foliage for drying
1. Drying flowers can be an experimental process, as not all flowers are alike and therefore don’t dry alike either. Hanging bunches in a space without direct sunlight and with good air flow works best. You have to be patient while they’re drying! Drying is a beautiful process because you are often surprised by the outcome – sometimes the shape or the colour of the flower changes completely. It can also be helpful to get old books out of the library on floristry, as there are often some great tips in these forgotten, dusty old tomes.
2. Once dried, flowers become very fragile and have to be handled with care. Gather the flowers you want to include in your arrangement. Start with a few key blooms grouped together. Add to this, using individual stems and sticks to create height. I always like to give room to my flowers – less is often more.
I also like to use flower frogs to keep the fragile flowers in place so they don’t move or get damaged. You can hunt these out at garage sales or secondhand shops – ask your friends to always look out for them and you will amass a collection like mine.
Choosing a monochrome interior is a minimalist stance, a refusal to get caught up in the drama of colour and all the associated complications of what goes with what. Here interior stylist Hilary Robertson shares her five basic rules for combining black, white and all the shades of grey in between...
Words Hilary Robertson
Photography Pia Ulin
As featured in Jun/Jul 2015
In black and white
White loves black. Black loves white. Exploiting their symbiotic relationship builds an interior that is timeless, flexible, practical and liberating. An interior combining black and white is greatly affected by the balance of each. The white envelope approach (pale walls and floors) that wraps a space in light demands some defining characteristics if it is to be anything but a blurry snow scene. Mixing black furniture, black-and-white photography and a lamp or two adds punctuation, and a rug combining both colours will ground it all – because there’s an awkwardness to a room where objects float, leaving the eye with nowhere to rest.
Given that paint companies offer so many versions of white and black and a variety of finishes from matt to shiny, the monochromist has many choices to make: chalkboard paint is a softer black that works well with vintage and antique pieces, while gloss and lacquer suit crisper modern spaces. Brilliant whites have a more contemporary feel than softer shades, which sit well next to objects with some patina and age. Texture is all important in the monochrome interior, which relies on the tension created between hard, soft, rough and smooth to add character.
Welcome to the middle ground. The uninitiated might accuse the grey interior of being neither one thing nor the other, a cop-out for the undecided or those who prefer to play it safe. But as every Farrow & Ball paint chart aficionado can testify, there’s much more to grey than a politician’s flannel suit. Fashionably complex greys with names like Pigeon, Down Pipe or Plummett are far from a basic mix of black with white. The most successful execution of a grey-on-grey scheme combines several paint shades (with green, blue, brown or violet undertones) and naturally grey materials such as slate, zinc, steel or wood weathered to a shade of silver. Grey may be warm or cool, it plays nicely with other colours, tones down brighter shades and illuminates softer ones; it is calming and restful and, when used judiciously, it is far from boring. Dutch master colourist Axel Vervoordt uses the most sophisticated range of greys in the soothing interiors he designs: shades that veer towards green or brown, letting light, texture and scale operate as the decorative elements. In Sweden, 18th-century Gustavian interiors employed a pale blue-grey as both the backdrop and the shade used for painted furniture of the time – a device which made for some atmospheric interiors that made the most of the available light.
Black earned a bad reputation in the 1990s, when Gordon Gekko and his tribe were spending their bonuses on Le Corbusier chaises and Artemide lamps for their newly converted loft apartments. Black took its time to slink back, but here it is, reinvented for our times in a softer, more sensual incarnation. The dark materials emerging today are far more subtle, far more esoteric: ebony, Maarten Baas’s scorched wood, chalkboard paint, floors made from rubber or poured resin and paint colours with names like Railings and Old Mystic. A room painted in a subdued shade is imbued with a certain romance, inviting the eye to enjoy the dynamic contrast between the backdrop and the brighter things chosen as a foil.
In the mix
A monochrome background, be it white, grey or black, demands contrast, texture and some playful elements to temper its serious side. Choosing bleached wood, a nubbly jute rug, handwoven baskets or a lampshade knitted in wool takes an interior in a modern rustic direction, whereas adding geometric copper candlesticks, a severe side chair fashioned from sleek folded metal, industrial lighting and sculptural marble objects takes a lead from contemporary Scandinavian trends. Even in the most minimal interior, accessories are the pieces of the puzzle that conjure the narrative of the person living in the space. Consider stone, a coil of rope, cast concrete, gold, zinc, black-and-white postcards stuck onto the wall with paper tape, a collection of curvaceous olive wood cutting boards or a group of ceramic vessels.
Shades of pale
There are countless good reasons to choose white. So many, in fact, that I’m baffled by people who insist on asking if I don’t worry about it being cold, sterile, empty? No, no and no, I reply, quite the opposite. White is reflective, peaceful and restorative. It is the optimum choice for Scandinavians, who live in a harsh, chilly climate under leaden grey skies for much of the year. Their interiors are made for comfort not ostentation, but they have developed an extraordinary ability to create relaxed yet simultaneously sophisticated homes that put human life and its quotidian needs at the centre of design. They choose white because it maximises the daylight that they do have and because it serves as the perfect neutral, unobtrusive canvas for their furniture and decorative objects. White and its related shades of pale seem to enlarge a space. Not only do Scandinavians like to paint their walls white, they also are keen on cloaking floors in coats of heavier duty white floor paint or rubbing a liming paste into wooden boards so light bounces around from surface to surface. White isn’t tricky or self-conscious; it doesn’t dominate or demand attention, but simply allows you to focus on living your life, to lend your character to it.
Edited extract from Monochrome Home, by Hilary Robertson, photography by Pia Ulin, $49.99. Published by Ryland Peters & Small.
As a time-honoured home decoration motif, flowers have preoccupied artists for generations. We discover one of its latest converts, Wellington painter Rebecca Phillips.
Words Alice Lines
Photography Russell Klyne
As featured in Jun/Jul 2015
It was in the final year of her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Massey University that Rebecca Phillips fell in love with the traditional floral patterns found on old wallpapers and fabrics. Reinterpreting them in her own way, she started using floral motifs in her large-scale acrylic-on-board paintings. After graduating with Honours in 2009, Rebecca continued to explore the art of floral depiction, and re-creating the flat forms found in interior floral design.
Camera in hand, Rebecca starts each painting process with a trip to the Wellington Botanical Gardens. Returning to her studio, she then plays around with her photos in the digital space until she arrives at her desired composition. Next, she redraws the images, turning the realistic forms into figurative shapes, before enlarging them for her oversized canvases. “It’s funny that my process is so drawn out, as I’m not otherwise the kind of person who takes a long time to do things,” she laughs.
The painting process is not completely straightforward either. Using acrylic on wood, Rebecca has developed a signature palette of nostalgic hues. “I enjoy the process of colour mixing, and each work is built up with many thin layers of paint. I have a specific sky blue that I gravitate towards – I love the combination it creates with the dusky corals of the roses.”
Nominated in both 2013 and 2014 as a Signature Piece Finalist at the New Zealand Art Show, Rebecca will be showing the floral paintings that she is becoming known for at the event in June again this year. “I know I’m not going to paint flowers forever, but for now I enjoy the repetition of the process and seeing my work evolving.”
It’s raining, it’s pouring... but Sharn Blackwell is making raincoats worth getting out of bed for.
Photography Matt Queree
As featured in the Jun/Jul 2015
How did you come to be making recycled raincoats? I’ve always loved working with recycled fabrics – not only for the environmental factor, but also for the stories they hold. The idea of applying that in this way came about while I was living in one of the wettest cities in Europe, Amsterdam. The biking culture coupled with the constant rain was all the inspiration I needed.
Why did you name the business ‘Mushama & Me’? The word “mushama” literally means raincoat in Albanian – I was in Albania before moving to Amsterdam. I love the sound of the word “mushama”, and together with “me”, it’s saying, “just me and my raincoat”.
How do you create your raincoats? It all starts at the op shop. When I decided to re-launch Mushama & Me in New Zealand the first thing I did was go on a bed-sheet shopping spree, to all my favourite small-town op shops. From there the sheets are washed in Napisan, dried, cut to the same width and stitched together, creating one continuous length of fabric. Then I waterproof by bonding a soft, micro-thin layer of PVC to the surface of the fabric, before hand-cutting each garment. The cutting is crucial. I have to cut around stains and inconsistencies – such as cigarette holes from the days when it was normal to smoke in bed – as well as ensuring that the print placement is perfect. Being one-off garments, this can take some time. To minimise as much waste as possible I then cut smaller products from the scraps, such as babies’ bibs and bike seat covers. Lastly, the cut raincoats head 8km down the road to be made up.
Who are your coats designed for? I have to think about the urban commuter, the walker, the public transport user and the biker. But, as a lover of the biking culture and lifestyle, I give extra consideration to the urban biker. I’ve designed a raincoat with discrete strap clips around the back and out and around the legs to keep the knees dry. This was something I came up with after many days working with wet jean legs till lunchtime. I’ll be launching coats for men next. They’ve been a bit left out till now.
Antonia De Vere from MarkAntonia specialises in creating new art out of that provided by nature.
Photography Neeve Woodward
As featured in Jun/Jul 2015
Mark Seeney and Antonia De Vere are otherwise known as MarkAntonia. Under this alias, they creatively endeavour in the realms of flowers, furniture and candles
for weddings, events and general home beautification. We sat down with Antonia to find out how it all comes together.
Specialising in flowers and furniture is a specialty indeed. How did this creative marriage come out of your marriage to Mark? Back when Mark and I were just friends studying design together, we discovered that we have a similar ethos and aesthetic taste. After we got together I ventured off into floristry and Mark went into architecture. It was then that we discovered that the contrast between my wild, whimsical floristry and Mark’s industrial, clean designs created this great juxtaposition – this really balanced aesthetic – so it seemed only natural that we work together. So now we do floral work and styling for weddings and events, and custom-design and manufacturing of furniture. We also have an in-house range of scented candles, so we can custom blend scents to complement the ambience or floral work of any occasion. It all works together really well.
What’s it like being partners in life as well as business? It’s nice as a couple working together, as we play off each other for advice and input when we have more specialised projects going on. Mark’s opinion is the most important to me – in work and in life. His logic balances my rather illogical thinking – he’s like a tree and I’m like the wind.
Is sustainability important to your practice? One of the main reasons I focus on dried flowers is their longevity. Fresh flowers, as beautiful as they are, just don’t have the lifespan that dried do. Dried arrangements should last months if not years if treated well. I treat my dried arrangements more like sculptural pieces, constructed using appropriated parts of plants combined to create something that doesn’t grow in nature. I am treating flowers like a precious rarity, rather than a commonplace and disposable commodity, as is increasingly the norm.
Do you have any other philosophies that guide your work? Yes: trust your creative instinct, don’t listen to too many opinions, as everybody has an opinion of what you should be doing. I’m trying to trust myself more and trust in the things that I think are beautiful.
What do you love about working with dried flowers? They give you the potential to create work that’s long-lasting and interesting. You can potentially be more creative with them because as the flowers dry they become like paper and so can be used differently to fresh flowers, in all kinds of different ways.
How did you develop your signature style? It came out of wanting to create floral arrangements that were long lasting but made from organic plant matter – not fake. I thought of ways that I could do that by reading about drying techniques and came up with what I do today. Although put it into practice, there was a lot of making, making and more making. Always trying new things and accepting disasters allowed more ideas to spring out of that process. I discovered what I really loved making and I would like to think that shows through my work. I think you have to love what you do, no matter what that is. If you don’t it’s very hard to grow artistically. I do what I love and am very lucky that people appreciate it.
What is a typical day for you? I tend to be quite a sporadic person and go through ‘crazes’ observed by my husband from week to week. I am a terrible emailer but try my best to email as soon as I wake up. Then I go for a walk and take snippings from weeds, unloved plants and wild things along the way – sometimes I take a bag to collect fallen leaves, moss or anything interesting left on the ground. Then it’s back to the studio or the market for any flowers I might need. I spend the day either rushing around or creating in my studio. Six o’clock is chips o’clock and time for a break, to play with the cats or catch up with my friends. Work is left for the next day, unless there is something that absolutely must be done. That said, I have been known to work into the wee hours on something I am quite obsessed by.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of working at home? Working from home is wonderful if you love what you do – and I do. I’m always surrounded by my work and love watching my flowers dry and seeing the different stages they go through. The disadvantages are outnumbered by the positives in my belief. However, if you want a day off not thinking about work, forget about it! Also the whole house tends to be turned upside down for big jobs. My house resembles more of a flower forest than a typical home but that is how I choose to live!
For more information visit markantonia.com
Usually, when people build to accommodate a ‘growing family’ they are talking about kids. But a family with six grown-up children also requires a fair bit of space.
Words Alice Lines
Photography Matt Queree
As featured in Jun/Jul 2015
Sandy footprints and salty air add to the relaxed, open-door policy at Diane and Mark Bedford’s Coromandel holiday home.
The pair had been holidaying in their original Matarangi beach spot with their
six kids for years, before admitting two years ago that with those kids fully grown and bringing friends and partners along for holidays, it was officially bursting at the seams. “To house our extended family we need a lot of space,” Mark says. “Inside, as well as space outside to pitch tents.”
Mark and Diane loved their original holiday house with its pool and proximity to the beach – but the time had come to let it go. “We would have had to undertake a major renovation to accommodate everyone,” Diane says.
So when opportunity (otherwise known as a buyer) knocked, they sold it furniture and all and started afresh. “Luckily we came across this section that was one of the only ones in the area that was big enough for us, while still being within walking distance from the beach,” Mark says.
Diane had a fair idea of their wants and needs, so she sketched up plans, recreating the best aspects of their original holiday home. A large kitchen and dining area connected to a covered living area outdoors were at the top of the list, along with a bunkroom downstairs. But when it came to connecting the ground floor with their plans for a master bedroom sanctuary upstairs, they drafted in the help of draftsman Marcus Bonk of Huis Design. He helped them piece together the overall flow and refine the design.
Building in the Coromandel can be fraught with difficulties – from transport costs, to the reluctance of some builders to provide fixed quotes. So Diane and Mark felt very luck to secure the commitment of local builder Darren Walker to the project. “Having someone local that we could trust to project manage the build while we were at home in Tauranga was key to the process,” says Mark. “Not only that, but Darren also has a storage facility down the road, and generously oversaw the delivery of • building materials as well as purchases for the interior throughout the process.”
“We bought all the appliances, furniture and big-ticket items over the course of the build, so when we were finally able to start moving in, seven months later, it was like Christmas,” Diane adds.
The detailing of the finished result is testament to Darren’s high level of craftsmanship. But, as with many builds, the budget was blown along the way – although the couple were okay with that. The board-and-batten exterior was initially chosen as a method to keep costs down, but Diane and Mark didn’t realise that installing this cladding would be very labour-intensive. “We didn’t want to skimp on materials though, as we were focused on the big picture,” Mark says. “It’s a pretty tough environment next to the beach, and we needed to make sure we were future-proofing the place, as we’re in it for the long-term.”
When it came to the interior, Diane relished the opportunity to design her dream kitchen and entertaining space, complete with an expansive island bench, groove-ply cabinetry, industrial-style lighting, and an easy-access scullery with a generous butlers’ sink. “It’s big enough to bathe the grandkids in one day,” she laughs.
The concrete floors are not only hard-wearing, they also provide a thermal mass for passive heating from the light that streams in from the floor-to-ceiling bifolds surrounding the open-plan living area.
With heating in mind, Diane was an advocate for installing open fires, managing to talk Mark into two large Warmington fireplaces for both the lounge and outdoor living room – despite his disinterest in chopping firewood. With family and entertaining at the core of the bach’s purpose, they can often all be found outside relaxing fire-side in the evenings, indulging in the new family tradition of whipping up a batch of pizzas to cook in the outdoor pizza oven.
Looking around, you can see that, finally, there is space for everyone – and those ‘one day’ grandkids too.
A dark maze of tiny rooms found down a pokey North London street has been transformed into an oasis that is white, bright and inviting.
Words Annabel Davidson
Photography Evie MacKay
As featured in Jun/Jul 2015
London-based New Zealander Anna Fraser says it was her aversion to clutter that lead to an interior with lots of places to hide things. But the narrow, black-painted exterior of the end-of-terrace house she shares with her husband and three children hides something in itself – an airy, spacious, light-filled family home that seems quite incongruous in the pokey streets of Kensal Rise. There’s a hint of the wardrobe that leads to Narnia here in the way the front door opens to reveal a gleaming, white oasis of calm. However, this wasn’t always the case.
When purchased in 2011, the North West London home was a dark maze of tiny rooms and a backyard that Anna describes as “basically a parking spot for recycling bins”. But with the addition of a side-return (extending the house over the largely redundant outdoor pathway running from front to back), and a loft conversion, plus some ruthless culling of existing trees in the back garden, the house is now a five-bedroom family home with a view that could be mistaken for leafy parkland. “It’s one of the things I love most about it,” says Anna. “We had no idea we’d get this view of all the gardens beyond ours until we pulled all the existing trees out which were blocking the view and the sun. We did keep the pear tree though,” she says. “We felt like we had to keep something!”
Working with Kiwi builder Sam Cross, who now operates his business Cross Construction back home in the South Island, the Frasers set about turning the house into something “light, but durable”. Anna describes her childhood home as being filled with antiques and wanted something “less precious” for her young family. While she admits to being fussy about the white marble kitchen island, the home is otherwise somewhere the children can literally draw on the walls – a concealed sliding door which can be used to divide the kitchen and the living room is actually a huge blackboard wall for the kids to scribble on. Bikes and toys are kept hidden but handy in clever cupboards tucked into corners and under stairs, and a pleasingly large area of floor which could easily handle a full-sized dining table is kept clear for the kids to “do circles on their bikes”.
But despite these additions and the conscious decision to avoid sharp corners that might do harm to little heads, this is • still a sophisticated home. With a clean colour scheme of white, dark and pale grey, with the occasional splash of acid yellow or green via a cushion here and a plant there, the mood is crisp and clean, but not cold. Instead, warmth is added via Anna’s collection of large vintage pieces – sourced from the nearby Golborne Road (a street full of vintage furniture dealers, upcyclers and bric-a-brac peddlers) as well as out-of-town antique markets.
A huge slate fireplace found in a reclamation yard and painstakingly stripped of several layers of paint by Anna in the middle of winter was worth the effort, housing a cosy fire in winter which she gazes at while her husband watches TV. An old bookseller’s sign has been turned into a mirror and hung from the downstairs loo, and original radiators have been resurrected to fit with the colour scheme. An old car boot has been reclaimed as a unique storage solution, while allowances have been made for security, with modern safes hidden from view.
Anna confesses to feeling conflicted between the different styles she is drawn to when making decisions for interior finishings and furniture– from modern minimalist, to vintage-sourced and a streak of stark Scandinavian – but the end result is perfectly balanced. And it’s all hidden behind an unassuming door in North West London.
The owners of one of Auckland’s favourite eating and drinking establishments have set up another soon-to-be-legendary spot – in Queenstown.
Words Gena Tuffery
Photography Greta van der Star & Lucy Vincent Marr
As featured in Jun/Jul 2015
First there was Golden Dawn, four years old and already such an Auckland institution that it hardly needs its albeit spot-on descriptor “Tavern of Power”. And now its owners Sam Chapman and Stephen Marr – yes, of that other institution of the hairdressing kind – have teamed up with eco-developer Adam Smith to create a second ‘let’s meet at’ establishment of legendary proportions.
This one is in Queenstown. Called The Sherwood, it is a lodge, restaurant, bar and music venue with an onsite yoga studio, massage room, vege garden and bike track created around and out of the would-be ruins of a mock-Tudor 80s motor inn.
But in adopting a use-what’s-usable approach to the whole project, no mock-Tudor structure was fatally harmed in the making of The Sherwood. Rather, things were replaced here and there, added to and sympathetically beautified, so the things that remained, such as the odd stretch of green-flecked carpet and a pink Formica vanity or four, became what the French call jolie laide (beautiful ugly).
The lodge is several kinds of hybrid. Part boutique hotel, part upmarket hostel, you can choose to stay in a dorm room on a queen bunk or in a fully reconditioned lakeside studio on a macrocarpa king. All have commissioned poster artworks by New Zealand artist Joel Kefali hanging on the wall, beds cloaked in merino, and curtains made from Italian army blankets.
But this is Queenstown, so it is, of course, what is seen when those blanket-curtains are drawn that holds the strongest aesthetic pull. The Sherwood sits on the side of a hill looking out over mountains and Lake Wakatipu, a place where light dances over the rocky slopes all day long. And it is well utilised. This may be one of New Zealand’s first mock-Tudor structures with an entirely solar-panelled roof. It’s certainly one of the country’s largest privately run solar generators, with 248 multi-crystalline panels creating more power than the place can use, returning the rest back to the grid.
Adam, Stephen and Sam didn’t just want to create a place for out-of-towners to rest their skied-out heads, however. Seeing that Queenstown was in need of a really good intimate live music venue, they created one – the beautiful timbered restaurant turns into a venue après dessert-plate clearing.
Said restaurant serves food grown in the garden outside The Sherwood and from those around Queenstown. Head chef Ainsley Rose Thompson has adopted what she calls a 1970s wholefoods cooking style: she makes kombucha and her own kim chi and there are ample pickles, preserves and jams lining the kitchen shelves. She also avoids sugar, going through litres of Central Otago honey instead. Herbs are foraged. Local cuts of meat are grilled over a Big Green Egg – the finest of charcoal barbecues. And it’s all served with natural wines selected with the goal of ensuring you don’t have to trade in the next day for a great night ahead.
The Sherwood is not a health retreat. But it is the kind of retreat – whether it is for a few hours or a few days – that makes you feel more alive upon leaving. And last time we checked, being really alive is a pretty healthy state to be in.
Join homestyle and stylist Gem Adams of Blackbird for a creative workshop where you'll learn how to turn a simple linen cushion cover into a winter ready woven cushion (as seen in the current issue of homestyle). During the workshop you'll be fueled with delicious bites from the Kokako kitchen, and we'll be concocting a warming drink with a kick to share with you too.
No crafting expertise or materials required, simply come along, have fun and we'll show you how it's done.
Spaces are strictly limited, so be sure to secure a spot for this one off workshop.
INCLUDED: Snacks and drinks, plus your own Citta Design linen cushion, inner, and workshop weaving kit to take home, valued at over $100.
A Wellington couple adapt to country life after they take on the job of revitalising an old shearers’ quarters in rural Wairarapa.
Words Alice Lines
Photography Evie Mackay
As featured in Jun/Jul 2015
Rollo Wenlock was always trawling TradeMe, forever on the lookout for a quirky bolthole, wherever it may be. He favoured the beautiful Southland art deco service buildings, particularly those which could be snapped up for $20,000. A steal, he thought. But not for a young couple based in Wellington with a brand new baby, reasoned his partner Gemma Freeman. “Three flights and a hire car to get to our holiday home wasn’t really the sort of travel commitment I was into for a regular getaway,” she says.
But Rollo also had his eye on a shearers’ quarters in the Wairarapa. It had been listed online for months, but was within driving distance from their home in Kilbirnie. Besides which, Gemma didn’t want to kill his excitement again. “I thought we should at least take a look at it,” she says.
The photos on TradeMe were pretty rough, but in person the couple saw the potential for revitalisation beneath the layers of dust and dirt. Tongue-and-groove walls, original kauri floorboards and a quirky layout that could accommodate large gatherings of friends and family for weekends away were all key selling points. “The maze-like floorplan would be annoying if you lived there permanently, but as a weekender, we saw the opportunity to have a lot of people staying there with everyone having their own space.”
So they signed on the dotted line – despite the fact that Rollo had just started his company Wipster a couple of months before, baby Harper was only three months old and they hadn’t long been in their main house. Gemma shrugs: “Hey, when opportunity knocks!”
Soon after getting the title they did some knocking of their own, visiting their only neighbours at the farm next door. “They were quite cautious at first, as they were used to being the only house for miles. But once they realised we were just a young family who wanted some fresh air for our kid on the weekends, they soon warmed to the idea of having neighbours.”
Which was lucky, as it was critical to have them onside. “There was an unofficial arrangement that the water for the property came from their shearing sheds,” Gemma says. “They also introduced us to the local plumber, electrician and builders.”
And so the work began – and there was a lot of it. With only the bathroom and living room having been occupied previously, everything else was thick with farmyard grime. Plus, the whole front lawn had served as a dumping ground for old tyres, fridges that didn’t work and assorted pieces of scrap metal. So Gemma and Rollo found all their weekends following the same pattern for six months: hiring a high-sided trailer, fillling it with stuff to take out to the farm, spending two days cleaning the place, then returning to the city via the dump with the trailer full of junk to get rid of.
“There were certainly a few ‘what are we doing?’ moments. But there was no way out, so we had to just get stuck in and carry on,” says Gemma. “At first we were really detailed, scrubbing and painting with precision, but after spending four weeks working on one room and realising there were 12 rooms to go, it dawned on us that we were going to have to work a lot faster if we were going to be hosting all our friends and family for Christmas!”
So they adopted ‘rustic but clean’ as their new brief. And they re-thought their original plan of painting the floors, instead choosing to use linseed oil to bring up the original floor to achieve an even better result with far less labour.
Then came the fun part – returning to TradeMe to hunt for furniture to fit out eight bedrooms. “There are also lots of good op shops en route from Wellington to stop at on the way out. So between those, TradeMe and a few bits and pieces inherited from a friend moving overseas, we furnished the place on a shoestring budget.”
This meant they were able to afford to shell out a bit more in the kitchen for quality cutlery, cookware and a coffee grinder – necessary purchases as they were planning to rent the place out when not using it.
Still, some things stayed. “Because it was a shearers’ quarters there were lots of single beds with nice old wooden bedheads, so we kept the original frames and replaced the mesh bases with slats. Even in summer it gets really cold at night, so we found cosy flannelette sheets in sales – because, when you have to buy ten of everything, it gets expensive!”
By December 2013 they were ready to move in – and put those beds to use, with 18 people staying that Christmas. “We thought some people might have to be out in a tent, but with a bit of shuffling, everyone was able to sleep inside. We thought people would go a bit crazy, crammed in like that, but because of the layout it never felt too crowded. You can be having a quiet afternoon read at one end of the house, and not even hear the goings-on in the living areas.”
The family has recently moved to San Francisco to further expand Rollo’s startup business, but they will always have fond memories of their place in the country. “Looking back, all those crazy weekends with a tiny baby, lugging trailer-loads of stuff, it was all part of the adventure – an experience we won’t forget,” Gemma says. “Not to mention the amazing summers we spent there.”
It’s called a living room for a reason. But as Gem Adams discovered, it doesn’t become a place you want to relax in without some hard work.
Words & photography Gem Adams
In a previous life, this room didn’t exist. And as a later addition to the home, it had a patchwork hardwood floor and a rather awkward layout. On top of that, when the house travelled from the mighty Waikato to be with us in the sunny Hawke’s Bay, this was the spot where it was cut to make it around the bends. Suffice to say, we had a big job on our hands to turn the living room into something that was actually liveable.
After ripping up the worn-out carpet, chipping away at the lino tar, stripping the wallpaper, re-gibbing where needed and creating a bulkhead to conceal and strengthen the cut, we were ready to get creative. Because, with the width of our lounge clocking in at a mere 2.7 metres and a prerequisite to fit more than ourselves and the dog, there was a definite need to think creatively.
Going for an all-white colour scheme helped to prevent this small space from feeling like one. The subtle flux in Resene Black White makes a perfect choice for a living room; clean and bright without feeling sterile.
To make the most of our stitched-up floorboards, we hired a sander and brought them up to a smooth finish. Priming with Resene Sureseal and finishing with a few coats of gloss in Resene White, we were able to keep the character, while concealing their mish-mash nature.
Injecting a bit of personality into the room was our next quest. Sheepskin rugs, textured cushions, plants, a bespoke tree-stump table and artwork all encouraged a feeling of warmth – leaving us with a living room that is, yes, totally liveable.
GET THE LOOK Striped cushion, $49.90, cittadesign.com. Moroccan pouf, $179.90; lamp, $309, letliv.co.nz. Fifth Avenue couch, $3749, bigsave.co.nz. Tweed cushion, $49, jamiekay.co.nz. Coffee table, POA, blackbird.co.nz. Curio Noir Feather My Tears candle, $165, simonjamesdesign.com. Assorted sheepskins, POA, lapco.co.nz. BUDGET Paint, $500. Gib, $225. Sander, $150. Curtains, $68. Day bed $40. Squab, $20. Fabric, $55. TOTAL: $1058.
Every year over 300,000 designers, architects, buyers and retailers descend on Milan for Design Week. This year homestyle editor Alice Lines joined them. Here, she reports back on what she saw at both the Salone Del Mobile and the FuoriSalone offshoots – and what you can expect to see instore in the seasons ahead.
Words Alice Lines
First making an appearance over 30 years ago at the Salone Del Mobile (the official Milan Design Week fair showcasing the work from the super-brands), it is only natural that the Memphis movement – encompassing clashing colours, block shapes and loud patterns – would have a revival back in Milan. Known for its polarising properties, we wonder if this modern riff on the theme will meet the mass market – or with mass rejection, as it did in the 80s? Regardless, there is something to be said for injecting a little bit of fun and frivolity into interiors.
IMAGE ONE Morten & Jonas is a design duo from Norway, who design products, spaces and environments with a focus on shape, function and visual perception. Their 2015 collection is as practical as it is aesthetically pleasing, making an impact with its debut at Milan Design Week. Hoff sofa (left), from Salone Satellite. morten-jonas.no
Compelling colour combinations
Pastels have been a hot interiors topic for a while now, but there was a fair share of jewel tones returning to the mix in Milan. Think tangerine with topaz, ruby with petal pink, or emerald and amethyst. Iridescent and watercolour effects embraced the whole spectrum and were used across a variety of solid and transparent surfaces. Also noted: rich red is back – see more on this in my Last Word in homestyle Jun/Jul 2015.
IMAGE TWO Prolific Danish design house Normann Copenhagen shared some dramatic pieces at Salone Del Mobile. New designs such as this Era lounge chair allow customers to mix and match materials and colours to suit their home. Available locally through designdenmark.co.nz
Out of this world
Designers from around the world paid homage to the human fascination with outer space, and all things related to the great beyond. Celestial patterns played out across
a variety of surfaces from tabletops to wallpapers and dinnerware.
IMAGE THREE The young guns at Brooklyn-based Calico Wallpaper teamed up with Amsterdam studio BCXSY to present a conceptual new work at Spazio Rossana Orlandi. The imagery for Inverted Spaces, their dreamy pastel and metallic bespoke wallpaper, was sourced via NASA’s free image bank of photos from the Hubble Telescope. calicowallpaper.com
Despite the fact that metal and marble have almost defined the current minimalist interior zeitgeist, neither material is going anywhere fast. In what could be catergorised as refinement rather than invention, designers explore new interpretations of archetypal, geometric structures in their pursuit of creating luxe everyday objects. It was refreshing to see the attention to detail that many of the new generation of designers applied to the material composition of the objects they were creating.
IMAGE FOUR The Milanese design duo of the moment, Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto of Studiopepe, work across a variety of projects from product design to spatial styling. They are responsible for seasonal takeovers at the showroom of Spotti Milano, who give them carte blanche to share their unique approach to interiors. The velvety background sets the scene to showcase Spotti’s curation of contemporary and re-issued classic furniture. studiopepedesign.it
As the nights draw in and the clocks turn back, our attention is drawn to intimate evenings indoors. So we are dedicating this issue to one of our favourite spots to cosy up at home: bed.
The proliferation of bed ware brands may have dominated the last year, but it’s one trend I won’t be tiring of. In a once barren landscape, the options for styling your own bedroom oasis are now abundant – and autumn is the perfect excuse to layer up.
Check out the Bedroom Special on page 35 for our edit of luxe linen, his-and-hers beautiful bedside essentials, and notes on the science of snoozing. All in all, we hope it aids you in the quest for a better night’s sleep – or at the very least gives you the inspiration to re-style your sleep sanctuary for the cooler season ahead.
Beyond the bedroom, this issue we visit five creative families, who have built home environments to suit their needs. From a pair of architects in Auckland, to a New Zealand jeweller and her internet entrepreneur husband in London, an interior store owner, a stylist, and a fashion designer and illustrator… basically, we’ve rounded up a pool of inventive individuals, with each sharing how they’ve personalised their home to reflect their lifestyle.
What I love about these abodes is that they’re not strictly archetypes of style. Rather, they are private retreats, designed to shelter those who live there and provide a base for the activities they enjoy. Turn to our Home Section on page 53 to check them out for yourself – preferably while cosied up in bed.
The onset of autumn is a great excuse to snuggle up with Kate & Kate’s latest blanket collection, Quiet Geometry. Building on their previous collections of cotton knitted blankets, this season they have added linen throws and towels to the range that measure up perfectly for the bedroom and the bathroom too. kateandkate.com.au
Four-Poster Beds are no longer just the domain of little princesses. Incy Interiors has teamed up with wunderkind stylist Megan Morton to create a collection fit for a good (looking) night’s sleep. The familiar antique look of the four-poster has been given a modern makeover, to neatly sit pride of place in the bedroom. And if it is the juniors in your life that need a royal resting place, they comes in kid-size too. With a bed like this, you need little else to decorate your sleeping space, so you can rest your stylish head peacefully when you slip between the sheets. Available now in New Zealand from gorgi.co.nz.
Fashion designer Deborah Sweeney and her husband Niels Meyer-Westfeld have found a natural fit for their family – a mid-century hideaway nestled amongst nature.
Words Alice Lines
Photography Russell Kleyn
As featured in Apr/May 2015
The lights of Wellington can be seen flickering across the harbour a mere 20-minute drive away, yet this house is nestled in native bush and the only sign of a neighbour is the wafting lilt from the resident opera singer down the hill. A short cable car ride from the street takes you up through the spindly trunks of beech trees, to reach a home clinging to the steep hillside with sweeping views of Days Bay down below.
Fashion designer Deborah Sweeney, her husband Niels Meyer-Westfeld and their sons Lars (5) and Romeo (1), were living in a two-bedroom home in nearby Point Howard until Romeo was born. But after the new member of the family arrived things changed. “We loved our old place, but it was too small for a growing family,” Deborah says.
So they started looking for their next project. Business partners in the Deborah Sweeney fashion label, the couple knew they wanted to stay on the Eastbourne side of the harbour close to their workroom. They balance family and work life by splitting their time between the two – with Deborah focusing on her work as a designer, while Niels, with his background in graphic design and photography, takes care of the website, photoshoots and marketing material. Their unique combined skillset almost affords them complete autonomy, allowing the pair to fit work in around raising their boys.
So, the location was set in stone. The house, on the other hand, could be made of anything. Their main aesthetic drive was to find something that would satiate their hunger for all things mid-century, while giving them scope to put their own stamp on the place. When they stumbled upon a 60s cottage they immediately recognised it as ‘it’. Previously belonging to a family of seven that had added to it over the years, Deborah and Niels instantly saw the potential for their own growing family. All they had to do was move in and start renovating.
They limited their costs by keeping to the home’s existing footprint, while planning to complete the renovation in stages. Like many modern families, Deborah and Niels were keen on the idea of open-plan living. So their first job was to knock out a wall between the kitchen and living area, before repainting the whole interior white.
The kitchen floor, rustically tiled in terracotta, was next on the list. “At first the tiles came away easily from the particle board beneath, and I thought it was going to be a cinch,” says Niels. “But about halfway through removal we realised they had been glued straight onto the concrete slab – and the man hours doubled!” But once recycled timber floorboards had been installed throughout the kitchen, laundry and TV nook, they realised all their efforts were well worth it. •
With freshly painted white walls and timber underfoot, the neutral backdrop was utilised for display purposes. Niels’ artworks are now dotted around the home, seamlessly paired with Deborah’s treasured collections. Despite only being part-way through the renovation process, the spaces they’ve completed are perfectly finished, in keeping with the era the home was built. Investing in permanent pieces such as lighting and furniture has given the interior a concise decorative direction, which can be added to over time as Deborah finds pieces on her wish list. “I’m currently hunting for a leather three-seater to finish the lounge,” she says.
Said lounge is successfully demarcated from the kitchen and dining area with a step down to a cosy carpeted space. An open fireplace at the heart of the room has also been updated from schist to a tiled surround and a mantel to hold more of their collectables. Emitting a soft glow from above, four replica George Nelson bubble pendants complete the look.
Deborah’s passion for vintage lighting is notable from room to room, with considered placement of decorative pendants and wall-mounted lamps found throughout the house. Over the dining table is an original 60s Danish shade by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulson, brought home from a trip to Copenhagen. “It went in the overhead locker on international, but on our domestic connection to Wellington it was too big, so the crew stowed it in the toilet for me,” laughs Deborah. “It was all dusty and grotty in the back of an old secondhand shop so I got it for a steal. In fact, the next day I spotted the same one in a museum for about three times the price!”
While Deborah can be found scouring eBay and local op-shops with her penchant for vintage finds, Niels is more likely to be found beach-combing in search of inspiration for his bird illustrations.
Another drawcard in the purchase of their new abode was the artist’s studio tucked behind the house. Inside is a cabinet of curiosities where Niels has meticulously catalogued his collection of feathers, bird skulls and all manner of materials for his drawings. “I’ve always been a keen collector of natural stuff,” he says. “Everything I find helps me with my quest for documenting local flora and fauna in my painting process.” Evidence of such can be seen in Niels’ recently published first book, Land of Birds. Looking out of the windows of the studio, it is clear that while the natural collections aid his work, so does the native forest outside.
This is a simple yet stunning home, inside and out. There is no excess or over complication, just a welcoming feel of considered calm – one that draws family and friends in from near and far for peace and birdsong.
Personalise your own corner of the room
Styling Sophie Peacocke
Photography Melanie Jenkins
ON THE WALL Dulux Lyttelton paint. Alphabet learning card, $2; framed Am painting, $15, flotsamandjetsam.co.nz. ON THE SHELF Joska and Sons brass bracket shelf (1100mm), $360, joskaandsons.com. Marbled enamel pitcher, $45, flotsamandjetsam.co.nz. Chopes Unie glass, $7, fatherrabbit.com. Garrett Leight Bentley opticals, $389, publiclibrary.co.nz. Herbivore Botanicals men’s face elixir, $44.50, tonicroom.co.nz. Log incense burner, $22.50, flotsamandjetsam.co.nz. Kat and Roger cereal bowl (used as planter), $60, douglasandbec.co.nz. Succulent, POA, Ponsonby Plant Centre. Page Thirty Three emergency candle, $42; Herbivore Botanicals beard tonic, $29.50, tonicroom.co.nz. Everyday cork coaster, $4.50; LA Bruket hand crème, $42.50, everyday-needs.com. Fabric cord (3m) with brass light fitting, $95, flotsamandjetsam.co.nz. All other items stylist’s own.
ON THE WALL Dulux Alexandra paint. Zakkia brass button wall hook, $44, letliv.co.nz. Lonely Hearts teddy, $199, lonelylabel.com. Moscot Frankie blonde opticals, $409.95, publiclibrary.co.nz. Tom Dixon Plane round pendant, $815, ecc.co.nz. ON THE BEDSIDE TABLE Douglas and Bec nightstand, $650, douglasandbec.com. BKR water bottle, $47, paperplanestore.com. O-Check Design Graphics cloth-bound notebook, $32; Deadly Ponies notebook with cover, $165; Ingrid Starnes Vetyver Bergamot hand cream, $49; O-Check Design Graphics Message in a Bottle, $17, tessuti.co.nz. Delphonics gold pen, $22, fatherrabbit.com. Salus patchouli and rose body oil, $46.50, tonicroom.co.nz. Martina organics toner, $72, tessuti.co.nz. George and Edi fig candle, $22 (Baby Metro), georgeandedi.com. Buffalo wide-tooth comb, $35, blackbirdpopup.bigcartel.com. Fog Linen square brass tray, $24, fatherrabbit.com.
Create your own abstract graphic headboard with a simple stencil and metallic paint for a burnished metal look.
Project Greer Clayton
Styling Alice Lines
Photography Melanie Jenkins
As featured in Apr/May 2015
You will need
Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen
Resene Enamacryl Metallic
1. Measure the width you want your wall panel to span (approx 10-20cm wider than your bed). Mask it vertically with painters’ tape. Paint the panel with a Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen basecoat colour according to your choice of metallic paint.*
2. Apply two coats of Resene Enamacryl Metallic on top of the basecoat. Leave to dry before taping the stencil.
3. Create a vertical and horizontal grid with painters’ tape over the metallic paint. Rip pieces of tape and randomly fill in the grid sections with criss-crossed lengths of tape.
4. Apply two top coats of Resene Alabaster over the top of the tape. When dry, carefully remove the tape to reveal the web-like pattern underneath. Once you’re happy with the look, clear coat the complete headboard with Resene Aquaclear to protect the metallic finish.
*Note When using Resene Metallics, a basecoat is recommended for a more vibrant result. Once you’ve selected your metallic paint, you can find the corresponding basecoat on the Resene Metallics & Special Effects colour chart.
For more information see the Resene website.
A Wellington student wins the Bolt of Cloth textile competition
Words Alice Lines
Photography Andy Hewson
As featured in Apr/May 2015
Now in its second year, Bolt of Cloth’s competition offering budding textile designers the chance to turn their working drawings into real-life prints has once again created some amazing results. After some tough competition, Wellington textile design student Maddie Morton took out the top prize at the end of last year, and has gone on to spend the summer working at Bolt of Cloth. Here she talks to us about her winning collection – based on the aesthetic of the iconic Cuba Street – and how she has honed her skills to suit the market.
What was your inspiration for the prints you worked on for the Bolt Of Cloth collaboration? After living in Wellington for three years, Cuba Street became my main influence for this design. It is an eclectic and iconic street in Wellington, home to award-winning restaurants, as well as quirky fashion and design boutiques.
What I found most interesting about the street was the contrast between the beautiful Edwardian architecture featured on the exterior of many of these buildings, and the textiles inside almost every one of them. I began drawing elements from both, and through collage, painting, and drawing my textile collection was formed.
After winning the award, was there much refining to be done before the designs went into print? The designs have developed a lot since winning the award. The initial collection was blue and a • salmon pink. After careful consideration, I decided to change the colours to both truly reflect my subject matter, and also to be a lot more gender neutral. I want people to be able to easily place my designs in their homes.
Are they available as fabrics by the metre as well as cushions? Yes. The fabric is printed on medium-weight cotton-linen blend, so it can potentially be used for soft furnishings as well as cushions.
You’ve been working at Bolt of Cloth over summer. Has dealing directly with customers influenced your decision-making process as a designer? Definitely! It has been a really amazing and inspiring experience, helping people choose really beautiful textiles for their homes. I have definitely been listening to what customers want in terms of colour and practicality, and I hope my designs can offer people this. It has been really interesting in terms of designing for both current, future, and classic trends, and has really built my knowledge and influenced my need to be diverse as a designer.
What is next for Maddie Morton? I have one more year of my degree to go so this year I will mostly be focusing on that. I hope to continue designing in New Zealand after I finish university, and would love to look into creating and promoting sustainable textiles in New Zealand, which are both visually pleasing and ethically sourced.
Maddie’s cushion collection can be bought instore or at boltofcloth.com – where you can also find details on how to enter this year’s competition.
Rosie Birkett thinks the best dishes all start with the best ingredients – and her new cookbook is evidence of that.
A Lot on Her Plate is packed full of meal ideas made from top produce – and we have one here for you to try here in this extract. For more see the Apr/May 2015 issue of homestyle
Recipes Rosie Birkett
Photography Helen Cathcart
Maple glazed pear and hazelnut tart
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
⅓ cup ground almonds
Pinch of salt
180g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tbsp demerara
(raw) sugar, for sprinkling
160g skinned, roasted hazelnuts, plus a few extra, halved, for garnish
½ tsp grated fresh ginger
½ cup golden caster (superfine) sugar
¼ cup plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
Nutmeg, for grating
80g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 firm pears
Maple syrup, for glazing
24cm pie dish and pastry brush
For the pastry, put the sugar, flour, ground almonds, salt and butter in a food processor, and blitz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor still running, add about 3 tablespoons of the beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of ice-cold water, and pulse until the mixture starts to clump together into a dough. You need to be cautious at this stage as you don’t want sticky pastry. Add a little more water if necessary.
Remove the dough from the food processor, divide into two, flatten each portion into discs, wrap each disc in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least
Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease the pie dish. Remove a disc of pastry from the fridge, unwrap it and roll it out on a generously floured work surface to 3mm thick and about 2cm wider than the pie dish. Transfer to a floured baking sheet and chill for about 10 minutes. Repeat this process with the remaining disc of pastry.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease the pie dish. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 3mm thickness and about 2cm wider than the pie dish. Using a floured rolling pin, carefully transfer it to the pie dish and drape it across the top. Let it sink into the dish, and, holding on to the edges, lift and tuck the pastry into the edges of the dish, all the way round, to line it. Trim off any excess pastry and lightly prick the base with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
While the pastry is chilling, pulse the hazelnuts, the ginger and half the sugar in a food processor until finely ground, then add the flour and a good grating of nutmeg, and quickly pulse to combine.
Using a hand-held electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, remaining sugar and extracts until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Then gently stir through the nut mixture until it’s totally incorporated.
Remove the pastry from the fridge, line it with a piece of baking parchment and fill with baking beans. (Scrunch up the baking parchment before you line the dish and it will be more pliable and fit more snugly.)
Blind bake the pastry case for 10–15 minutes, until the edges are golden.
Remove the parchment and baking beans, and bake for a further 3 minutes, until the pastry is set and the base is golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then spread the nut filling evenly into the tart shell. Halve and core the pears, then slice them lengthways, holding the slices together to retain their pear shape.
Arrange 3 sliced pear halves on top of the filling, fanning the slices slightly and pressing them lightly into the filling. Scatter the halved hazelnuts around the pears, pressing them lightly into the filling. Bake for 30–40 minutes until the pears are golden and the frangipane is puffed and golden brown. When you remove it from the oven, use a pastry brush to brush the pears, but not the filling, with some maple syrup. Allow the tart to cool for about 15 minutes on a wire rack, slice and serve warm, or allow to cool completely and chill.
Find it, style it, sell it. Alex Fulton turns her keen eye for interiors to retail in rural New Zealand.
Words Alice Lines
Photography Jim Tannock
Stepping inside Alex Fulton’s design store is not unlike walking through the wardrobe into Narnia. One minute you’re deep in the heart of Marlborough wine country, and the next you’re surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colour – shelves stacked with custom printed cushions, African baskets attached to the walls and tables topped with trinkets from a whole host of creative talents sourced from all corners of the globe.
That this is a very unusual shop may be down to the fact that Alex never set out to be a shopkeeper. The idea was sparked when a space became available at The Vines Village – an artisan hub run by her husband Jeff that sits on the road into Blenheim. “We were looking at dividing a larger space into two for a business that wanted a smaller presence. After putting a wall in, the resulting empty space was the perfect size for a design store. Next thing you know, we’re mocking up concept sketches for the Alex Fulton Design store!”
With recently revamped branding and a website for her primary pursuit as an interior designer, it made perfect sense for the store to become another branch of the business. And, as with many things Alex turns her hand to, after the plan was hatched she cast away the ‘what ifs’ and took to the task with calculated optimism.
As it turns out, her instincts were on point. The locals were hungry for some colour. Everyone from farmers in the Marlborough Sounds, to vineyard owners and wedding-gift purchasers visiting from out of town are discovering the AFD store. “Even though its a farming culture here, people have sophisticated taste,” says Alex. “There are also a lot of young people choosing to set themselves up here for the lifestyle.
“I love that people come in when they’ve just moved to the area, and it’s like they let out a sign of relief, knowing that we offer a slice of big city style in the country. People are so connected now via the internet and social media, and I love that we can create a physical link to the outside design world.”
In keeping with Alex’s aptitude for crisp colour combos and patterns in her interior design work, the store houses all manner of homeware and accessories that also share a playful sophistication. “I’m all about the organised chaos,” laughs Alex. “My goal is to push people to think about things differently, and have fun decorating their home.”
As a physical home of the AFD aesthetic, the store is a curatorial movable feast. “My goal is to handpick people I connect with from around the world, stock their products,
and give them a little launch pad here in New Zealand,” says Alex. “I’ve got collaborations in the pipeline with some of the creatives I’ve been connecting with too. These days it doesn’t matter so much where you’re physically based, as it’s so easy to tap into your network online.” And, with that in mind, look out for the online version of
the AFD store, which will be popping up soon too.
Creating an upcycled, urban garden has provided all kinds of rewards for this Auckland couple.
It began with the simple goal of adding visual value to a barren piece of land. But over the past few years Dave and Phoebe Atkinson have reaped much more from their increasingly lush garden than they could have anticipated.
The property, in Forrest Hill on Auckland’s North Shore, is the couple’s first. After moving in, in 2011, they deemed the house to be largely live-able, so got stuck into landscaping the bare section instead.
They started by trucking in 30 cubic metres of soil to elevate the back garden and give them a level starting point. Then they planned and implemented every aspect of the landscaping with the long-term look in mind, adding layers of foliage and edible greenery as they went.
Their patience has paid off. Five years later, the stunning garden is a point of conversation for visitors and a welcome retreat for the couple. Indeed, meandering through the foliage hearing about the journey they have been on, you get a sense of the depth of satisfaction they have gained from the project.
And it’s easy to see why. With both in people-focused careers – Phoebe as a teacher at Takapuna Normal Intermediate, and Dave as a presenter and programme developer at The Parenting Place – their work days are heavily invested in giving to others. “There is something refreshing and simple about being in the garden at the end of the day,” Dave says. “When you are working with people, particularly young people, there is never really an end to your work. Being in the garden and working on a tangible project that you can plan, work and see the end results... there really is a simple satisfaction in that for both of us.”
It is this retreat mentality, mixed with clever creativity and an almost unnatural level of patience, which gives every aspect of this garden its own story. They built the glasshouse, for example, this past summer • from discarded windows found in roadside inorganics and junkyards. “We literally spent a year and a half sourcing the windows after I was inspired by a similar project undertaken by [Auckland hairdressing duo] Stephen and Lucy Marr,” Phoebe says.
With the assistance of helpful builder mates, the couple spent time planning how to jigsaw the pieces together. Finally assembled, it serves as a stylish glasshouse for seedlings and cuttings to take root.
Phoebe and Dave find real satisfaction in repurposing old things. Most of the materials used around the yard are discarded items they have salvaged from the side of the road or in demo sites. “We are constantly keeping an eye out for things we can use, instead of just popping into Mitre 10 for the stock standard,” says Dave. Phoebe adds: “Dave is always looking – he is the ultimate eagle eye!”
The evidence of their love for collecting is everywhere, with concrete man-hole frames around fruit trees, recycled sleepers for the vegetable beds, trolleys for garden supplies and a tonne of windows. One of Dave’s favourite scores is the water storage container they use for their vegetable patch. While driving out west to Piha for a surf one weekend, Dave spotted the barrel outside Sapich Winery and stopped for a closer inspection. The owner came out and after a bit of a yarn offered it to them for free.
It is this wonderful mix of personality, creativity and practicality which gives the Atkinson garden its unique and peaceful feel. Unable to be manufactured or replicated, the garden is not perfect or staged. It is in a constant state of evolving, just as we are as people; thriving in the successes, and adjusting to the failures and imperfections while finding ways to grow life anew.
1. Mulch, mulch, mulch and water, water, water.
2. Save water by diverting a downpipe into a bucket or wine barrel.
3. Don’t be afraid to take one step back for every two steps forward – such as cutting down less desirable trees to make room for those you want to grow.
4. Don’t leave your garden until last. Make the garden your first project so you can enjoy it while it grows. “The best time to plant a fruit tree was 20 years ago,” says Phoebe. “The second best time is today.”
5. Divide store-bought plants to make them go further and share between friends.
6. Don’t rush to finish a project, the joy is in the anticipation and the process.
7. Don’t be afraid to get dirt under your fingernails. You can’t avoid digging a hole if you want to plant a tree!
You can see all kinds of things inside this Terrarium
Words Gena Tuffery
Photography Matt Queree
It was once the Kingsland Curiosity Shop – and half of it still is. Now named Terrarium, the design store continues to feature a range of delightful KCS wares. But now a collective of designers has taken up residence too.
Terrarium also houses terrariums – but that’s not where the store got its new name. “There were no terrariums when we started, it was more based on the idea of observing creatives at work – us,” says co-founder and Mydeerfox designer Lisa Li.
The store window explains the goings-on on the other side of the glass: “TERRARIUM [tuh-rair-ee-ium] place. A small enclosure for keeping and raising living local creatives and observing them under their natural conditions.”
But not everyone reads store windows, and Lisa and fellow co-founder Georgia Jay had a stream of people popping in looking for a terrarium of the literal kind. Fortuitous, then, that this is about the time the duo met Claire Steele, of House of Botanica – who happened to specialise in living décor. “The name works for me, big time,” Claire says.
The name hasn’t hurt the other brands in store, either. Besides Georgia Jay’s self-titled range of handbags and wallets, Lisa’s structured and assembled Mydeerfox accessories and Claire’s terrariums, Terrarium is also the busy point of sale for Hannah Mackinven’s Mackinven & Co soy candles; Felicity Donaldson’s Wundaire ceramics; Justine Conolley’s Mini Camis; Charlotte Penman jewellery and prints from Playground by Amber Armitage. Sponsors Kokako coffee and NiceBlocks also keep hot chocolate, coffee and ice treats on hand.
But this isn’t your average drop-off-and-leave boutique. Members of the collective are all very involved, popping in and getting together regularly to discuss new launches, displays and events.
“We all have our own brands, businesses and websites, but this is a shared flagship store for us all,” Lisa says. “We all represent each other – we’re growing our own brands, but collectively.”
And there is always room for one more, if the fit is right. “If we like what someone is doing or there is a gap in what we are offering, we get them in,” Georgia says. Which leads us to ask, how does having two handbag designers running the store work out? “It’s fine,” says Lisa. “I do hard – as in structure – and she does soft.” Soft as in specialising in fur and skins. Georgia lets each unique material dictate the design, leading to a series of one-off pieces. Lisa, meanwhile, constructs her bags without using any sewing whatsoever – relying on design, assembling... and a bit of maths. “Both of my parents are civil engineers,” she laughs.
The girls aren’t sure what the future holds for Terrarium, but for now they’re happy going with the flow – in and out of their front door. “It’s all about engaging with people; we’re a little community,” Lisa says.
Clearly sensing his cue, the florist from next door walks in with a beautiful bouquet. “Thanks Nima,” says Georgia. “I’ll pop in and see you later.”
To see more from these designers visit terrarium.co.nz
When two creative types purchase an ex-council house, you can be sure it’s about to get a complete overhaul.
Words Julia Holderness
Photography Evie Mackay
New Zealander Hannah Upritchard and her German husband Christian Ahlert have created a charming yet unconventional home in London’s East End that suits every aspect of their lives. Hannah, a jewellery designer, and Christian, an internet entrepreneur, met in the city 10 years ago – and have lived there ever since. However, it took a while to find the right spot to suit their eclectic lifestyle and creative interests. But they eventually found what they were looking for on a street named Pedro in the vibrant neighbourhood of Clapton.
“Clapton is changing really fast – it’s quite close to the centre of London but not too expensive, so a lot of creative people are moving in,” Hannah says. “That said, we’re lucky to still have a lot of the original residents on our street – many of whom moved here in the 70s and haven’t left. Our neighbours are first- or second-generation immigrants, like ourselves, and many of them are Carribbean or Turkish, which means lots of amazing barbecues and wonderful spicy food smells in the summer. We love it.”
The couple felt fortunate in other ways too – namely that the house was still available and within their budget, due to its condition. “The previous owners had been in the house for 35 years without renovating – it was still full of shag pile,” Hannah says. “It was also filthy, as they’d smoked inside and had a huge dog.”
Still, this was exactly the type of property the couple were hunting for – one on which they could start from scratch and make their own mark. Spanning three floors, it was also a larger space than they had imagined being able to afford.
Being self-employed, Hannah and Christian did the majority of the fit-out themselves – even the wiring and plumbing work. It was a massive undertaking over a whole year, although they were helped along the way by their creative friends and family. After gutting it completely, they changed the layout of rooms to open the space out, laid parquet floors, tiled, designed and constructed built-in furniture and storage solutions, established a community herb garden, added a jewellery studio in the yard where Hannah can also teach, and even planted olive trees.
The end result is a one-of-a-kind house, full of whimsy and fun, which wholly reflects the creative and well-travelled people who live in it. “One thing I always promised myself when it came time to create a home was that I would try to look at the project with the eyes of an eight year old,” Christian says. “So we tried to use standard materials in unusual ways to keep the project within budget but also fun. There is lots of plywood, Formica and bright colours.”
Hannah has made her own creative contributions. The extraordinary attention to detail used in her work is mirrored in the home’s interior. She has turned ceramic eggs made by her mother into a series of door knobs and created towel hooks which feature similar creatures to the ones seen in her rings. There are also vibrant textiles and hand-sewn bedspreads adorning the sofas, floors and beds, sourced from around the world, and stunning tiles from Morocco which are the main feature of the exotic bathroom.
Although the space is a visual feast of fine details, objects, textures and colours, the magic of the place is that is also feels uncluttered, fresh and cohesive. Plants are dotted throughout, and the generous use of wood creates a grounding quality.
With the living room on the first floor, the ground-floor kitchen is where everyone tends to hang out. Favoured food-related activities range from fermenting kimchi to distilling sloe gin from berries collected in the nearby Hackney Marsh. Hannah forages in the area for the ingredients to make jams, cider, nettle kombucha and dried mushrooms. They also founded and run Tavolone.com, a pop up dining club and catering company, and produce a guide to Bangladeshi cuisine around Brick Lane. Not surprisingly then, the kitchen was a crucial space to get right.
“It had to be highly functional because we often have dinners for more than 15 people, or prep for Tavolone here,” says Hannah. “We spent a lot of time planning and playing with solutions.”
Hannah’s brother-in-law, the talented furniture designer Martino Gamper, designed one of those solutions – a tailor-made metal splashback from which they can hang knives, pans, pots and other kitchen equipment. Martino also helped them decide on the layout, cupboards and colour schemes alongside their other designer friends, Lars Frideen and Tiago Almeida. “We ended up with a contemporary kitchen with modernist Scandinavian references, and a bit of Mondrian thrown in,” says Hannah.
Today life inside the house is more reminiscent of life in sleepier parts of Europe – or even New Zealand. Returning back here each summer, Christian and Hannah spend time on several Canterbury farms, where they get their fix of agricultural pursuits such as preparing sheepskins.
This alignment with nature, craft and a desire for comfort is reflected in a house filled with warmth. Their home provides a bespoke creative HQ for their many interests, and a snug retreat from the urban clutter and daily grind – no mean feat in a heaving mega-city.
Sleep. You need it like you need water – yet so many of us are slumber-thirsty. You require seven to nine hours every night, unless you’re genetically lucky – in which case, people can consistently get by on significantly less. Napoleon and Margaret Thatcher, for example, laid down for just four hours a night, while Barack Obama rarely gets horizontal for more than a Michelle-infuriating six.
There’s the usual unsavoury lineup of sleep deprivation side effects – depression, memory loss, slow reaction times etc. And then there are the others. ‘Social jetlag’ is an industrial age-old problem that’s recently been given a name. Caused by early starts on weekdays, ‘corrective’ binge sleeping on weekends, then pitting body clock against alarm clock on Monday morning as a result, social jetlag proves that sleep deprivation is as bad for your health as working.
Then again, it could be that said alarm clock is going off too late rather than too early – cutting you off just as you’ve entered a new sleep cycle and leading to murderous levels of brain fog as a result. As a sleep cycle lasts for 90 minutes, some experts advise counting backwards from your planned wake-up time in 90-minute blocks – which may ironically involve staying up for an extra hour in order to get a better sleep.
But wait, are you even using an alarm clock in this Age of the iPhone? You should be. We now know that using blue-light-emitting devices before bed suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin and stimulates the brain, leading to less time spent in restorative REM.
There are even more obvious things that stop the slumber. So obvious that we often overlook them till the toothpicks propping open our eyelids snap in half. Owning the right mattress, for example. Sleepyhead suggests laying on a showroom bed in the same way you would at home – unless, of course, you sleep naked. Better for everyone involved then, that you wear comfortable clothing and test each bed out for five to 10 minutes. And, if you sleep alongside someone, take them along to check for partner disturbance of the physical kind.
Other tried-but-forgotten advice includes avoiding going to bed thirsty – or overly hydrated. Exercising every day – even if it’s just for 20 minutes. And ensuring your room isn’t too light, cold, or noisy.
But what if your body is at optimum hydration levels, you’ve walked around the block seven point five times, and your room has been feng shuied to grand master standards? Why can’t you get to sleep?!
Okay, calm down. Have you tried inhaling through one nostril? Yes, really. This is a yoga method that is said to reduce blood pressure, relaxing you. Just lie on one side, rest your finger on the opposite nostril and breathe deeply.
Or, how about patting your own head or stroking your own hand? Doing so is said to set up a comforting sleep trigger that you can repeat whenever you need to send yourself back into a sleepy state.
Are you rolling your eyes yet? Good. Apparently rolling your eyeballs upwards repeatedly can send you into sleep mode as it simulates what happens when you drift off – possibly inducing a rush of melatonin.
You could also try eyemasks, white-noise machines in flavours ranging from cricket to dolphin, or industrial-strength self-moulding ear plugs. But, at the literal end of the day, the key is not to stress – even though, we know, a lack of sleep can lead to high levels of the stuff. Scientists have recently found that a 30-minute nap can restore hormones and proteins to normal levels after only getting two hours’ sleep the night before. So do your best to keep your eyes closed, but if you don’t succeed, just try again later on.
Because you actually may not be failing in your failure to get eight hours of unbroken sleep at all – there are historians who point to evidence that we may not be wired to sleep that way in the first place.
In pre-industrial times broken sleep was not only the norm, it actually sounded kind of fun. There was the First Sleep, for four to six hours, then people would wake up, kick around for a couple of hours – even catch up with a neighbour – before heading back to bed for another round of sleepy time.
When a study simulated this pre-industrial 14-hour dark winter night, with no access to artificial lighting, results were telling. Participants, after a few days of catch-up binge sleeping, fell into a similar rhythm of two sleeps with a couple of hours of leisure time in between. So, next time you wake up at 2am, wake your neighbour up for a chat. After all, we’re all in this long night called life together.
homestyle’s 'Sleep sanctuary' feature, Apr/May 2015 - in association with Beds R Us.
FIVE SLEEP TIPS – COUNT THEM BACKWARDS
5. Eat to sleep Choose sleep-inducing foods, those that are high in tryptophan, such as poultry, milk products, cereal grains, avocados, pumpkin, chickpeas and walnuts. Also include foods containing magnesium and vitamin B when making dinner.
4. Alco-no Avoid alcohol altogether if you have hit crisis point. It can disturb your normal sleep phases and can make you wake in the night with a full bladder. Although a seductive depressant, alcohol demands too much of the body and conflicts with peaceful slumber.
3. Make a list Rather than constantly running through everything you want to remember the next day, make a list. Then you can stop worrying about forgetting and relax.
2. Get cosy Cold feet can keep you awake, so pull on some bed socks or have a warm bath before bed.
1. And... stop. Cease all work three hours before you turn in. Eat, then wind down and relax. Use a routine to prepare for sleep – but only go to bed when you feel tired. Read a book or listen to relaxing music, making sure your bedside light isn’t too bright.
Tips edited from I Want To Sleep, by Harriet Griffey, published by Hardie Grant, $24.99.
It’s your own personal retreat. We show you how to make your bedroom truly restful.
Words & Styling Amber Armitage
Photography Melanie Jenkins
Print and pattern packs a punch. An artwork, rug or piece of furniture is a great place to springboard from when curating your colour scheme. Taking colour cues from the Kirra Jamison print, a complementary colour palette of indigo and mustard kicked this roomset into top gear. When you’re mixing prints, make your colours match so the overall effect easier on the eye. Try painting a bedhead straight onto the wall, then stack feather pillows to up the comfort factor.
THE BED Sleepyhead Chiropractic Ultra Sleeper, double mattress and base set, $3389, bedsrus.co.nz. ON THE BED 100% linen flat sheet in Indigo, AU$180, inbedstore.com. Arro Paper Play duvet cover in queen size, $169, collected.co.nz. Cashmere throw in mustard, AU$380, inbedstore.com. Linen Waffle throw in mustard by Coast, $239, threaddesign.co.nz. Grey cushion made from Dove grey linen, 140cm wide, $38/m, marthas.co.nz. Grey water linen pillowslip, $135, penneyandbennett.co.nz. Arro Paper Play pillowcase, $59 (set of 2), collected.co.nz. Teal velvet pillowcase set, AU$79, kipandco.net.au. SIDE TABLE Radial round side table, $390, cittadesign.com. Holm large vase in pale pink, $44.90, countryroad.com. Bloomingville side table lamp in white, $195, macyhome.co.nz. Small Spells mug in navy and tan, AU$50, inbedstore.com. ON THE FLOOR Arro Home pastel kilim rug, $450, collected.co.nz. Calf skin, $99, lapco.co.nz. Walnut Euro mid-top plimsoles in dove, $69.90, macyhome.co.nz. ON THE WALL Love Me Two Times V 2014 print (one of 25), by Kirra Jamison, 100x69 cm, $1100 unframed, contemporaryeditions.com.au. Howard painting 2012 by Gavin Hurley, $4250, melanierogergallery.com. PAINT COLOURS ColourMaster Bone on the floor; ColourMaster Coast as bedhead, colourmaster.co.nz.
homestyle’s 'Sleep sanctuary' feature, Apr/May 2015 - in association with Beds R Us.
A new year always starts with the best intentions and a resolve for self-improvement. For many (myself included), that means promises to exercise more and eat better – but I’ve also turned my attention to interior resolutions for my home.
A home detox is at the top of my to-do list, so I’m taking the advice of Japanese tidiness expert Marie Kondo who says you should discard anything that does not “spark joy”. At first, questioning whether objects were “sparking joy” seemed amusing. But as I empty out the crockery cupboard and find myself sitting amongst stacks of retired dinnerware, I find it an effective method of elimination.
With the mission to rid my home of joyless objects well underway, goal number two is to “buy less and buy well”. This phrase cropped up a few times when we asked some of our contributors what they were committing to in 2015 – you can read their answers on page 117. Credit really has to be given to William Morris for the concept, who penned the words: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”.
With the busy nature of life, there has never been a greater need for your home to be a place of calm, with space for relaxation. For some, calm means a minimalist interior with pared-back furnishings in a neutral palette – as seen in the rooftop apartment of Leah and Darius Taylor, who live and breathe the ethos of their store The Minimalist (page 58). Others, such as our cover homeowners Sean and Marianne Falconer, find peace surrounded by an eclectic array of old and new objects, inherited and collected over time. You can see the home that they lovingly renovated themselves on page 46.
Whether it be renovating, decorating or planning your dream home, we encourage you to spend time thinking about what you love, and how you can create an environment that will reflect that, so you too can create a haven to come home to this year.
The creative force behind Father Rabbit, Claudia Zinzan shares her renovation story – one that was guided by the classic, understated ethos that her business is known for.
I guess a Grey Lynn villa isn’t your typical first home. But this one had been split into two flats in the 60s, so we’ve had someone helping out with the mortgage the whole time we’ve been here. Regardless, it has still been a stretch financially at times – meaning the refurbishment has taken place at a relaxed pace.
We were never in a position to do the ‘dream’ renovation, so we made the decision that we would live in the back flat, and it would be up to the next owner if they wanted to do the major restoration needed to return the split property back to one grand villa.
So we focused on making our changes authentic, with simple timeless touches, rather than a half-hearted attempt at a huge modern renovation that we could ill afford. We asked ourselves some hard questions based around our budget: What could we do that would make sense stylistically, and make it a lovely place to be, but was realistic within our budget constraints?
The answers ruled out anything structural. But the basic 60s lean-to that formed our living and dining area wasn’t the most beautiful addition, so we re-lined it with 135mm horizontal match lining to give it some character, and more of a stylistic connection to the original home. The result is similar to what an old villa laundry’s walls would be like.
This soft and subtle approach began to dictate how we treated the other areas in the house. I approached styling decisions by asking myself what my grandfather – who has a strong Father Rabbit-ness about him – would have done. What would he have built back in the 50s that is practical, classic and really well executed?
I bought a set of twin wall lamps off TradeMe, as they were reminiscent of the lights in my grandfather’s bach at Clarks Beach. The old mantel supports can often be found at old demolition yards. They are used to display ornaments, and also look amazing in super-modern homes as a wall feature. The blinds and curtains are a soft white linen from Martha’s Fabrics. For the header of the curtains, I used a standard pencil pleat tape but didn’t pull the gather string. The washed-grey Source Mondial rug and Joe Sofa are from Father Rabbit, with Caroline Z Hurley cushions added in similar muted tones.
We weren’t putting in a temporary solution here, but we also weren’t overdoing it with a fancy bespoke modern fit-out. We compromised to a level where we ended up with a lovely democratic update that made sense to us. It wasn’t too over-the-top should the next owner want to pull it out and replace it with a $100,000 version. It was about doing that ‘in-between’ update that satisfied two visual creatives who love nice things and nice spaces, that wasn’t wasting money by over-capitalising, and at the same time gave us a lovely place to gather around and cook together. The result is functional, compact and full of character. We painted the room in Aalto Umpire. Then we lined behind the bench and oven with vertical tongue-and-groove. The shelves were made out of MDF stair treads, and our builder cut an old-style bracket shape out of MDF to make the supports. We made our own island bench and had the stainless steel top put in. It has dear little cupboards on one side, while the other side houses our dishwasher.
My husband Nick made his own painted white trestle tables and used tongue-and-groove floorboards for the top. We found the green wall cabinet on TradeMe years ago, and it makes the perfect vessel in which to stash glassware for an after-dinner drink. The industrial antique French lamp shades work well with the cabinet, and finishes the room off perfectly.
Our kids share a small room, so we keep it free of toys and clutter. Instead, we simply treat it as a restful sleeping space for a five-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl. There is a strong rabbit theme going on in the kids’ room – and not by our hand. Everybody else buys them rabbits! The room is painted in Aalto Florin, and we chose to add muslin curtains to soften the incoming light, while maintaining privacy.
A place to Rest
We have a strict no TV or computer rule in our bedroom. It is very restful and calming, painted in Aalto Half Division. We found the birdcage years ago at Redcurrent and fashioned it into a pendant light shade. We keep the room clutter-free with large inbuilt cupboards, so only the essentials are needed by the bed. You can really get creative when it comes to bedsides – an old fold-out table, stool or even an armchair can work when mismatched in an odd pair. We keep our linen white and mix in pillowcases in various shades, adding a Caroline Hurley throw at the end of the bed.
Ours is a small bathroom, but I wanted it to have personality – so I splashed out on butchers’ brick tiling. I made sure we got the smallest size and we kept the tile grouting as small as possible. This is one thing I notice when it’s done badly; when tilers do the biggest grout gap because the homeowner doesn’t know to specify a small gap to keep it looking sharp. The wall light, mirror and old basin were all bargain buys off TradeMe (including the taps), and Nick built a little wooden unit under the basin for storage.
I used to be a colour consultant for Aalto Colour – I love the way their paints are multi-pigmented and have such a complexity and depth to the shades. I adore the subtle changes in our pastel colour palette. I have a deep love affair with pea green, and our hallway was the perfect place to splash a little bit of that around. It is in an Aalto Custom Colour, called, of course, Zinzan Hall. The colours were done five years ago – and I still love them as much today as I did then.
Creating a space for active play is easy. All you need is paint – of the magnetic, chalk and write-on varieties, that is.
Styling & projects Alice Lines & Greer Clayton
Photography Melanie Jenkins
You will need
Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen, assorted colours
Resene Blackboard Paint
Resene Write-On-Wall Paint
Resene Magnetic Magic
1. MAKE IT MAGNETIC Magnetic paint can be used as an undercoat – and this can be applied to the whole wall. Prepare and prime your surface, then apply Resene Magnetic Magic in smooth, full coats. A minimum of two coats is required as the smoother the finish and thicker the application, the stronger the magnetic effect will be.
2. MAKE SPACE Divide the wall into a grid where different activites can take place – a square for drawing with chalk, another for writing on with washable markers, and then the remaining spaces in colours of your children’s choice.
3. CHALK IT UP For the chalk square, apply two coats of Resene Blackboard Paint by brush, roller, or spray.
4. UPDATE FURNITURE You’re not restricted to the walls when adding colour. Here we’ve painted a stool in Resene Renew and Resene Glorious to match the space.
FIRST IMAGE Geometric magnet set, $29, paperplanestore.com. Tatlin archetype buildings magnetic cardboard set $45, aucklandartgallery.com. Le Chat print, $69, se3.co.nz. Wall painted in Resene Glorious; Resene White Thunder; Resene Blackboard Paint; Resene Sakura, resene.co.nz. on the Desk String shelf desk, $985, bobandfriends.co.nz. Stack up dolls, $22, flatoutfrankie.com. Pink heart vase, $69, lovestar.com.au. Headphones, $19.95, warehousestationery.co.nz. Toadstool lamp, $179, perchhomewares.co.nz. Additional items listed opposite. on the FLOOR Striped storage bag, $29; Oyoy Mumi stripe cushion, $99, perchhomewares.co.nz. Tassel garland, $180, spoonfuldesign.com. Crayola washable sidewalk chalk, $19.99, Warehouse Stationery. Canvas shoes, $49.90, countryroad.com.au. Floor painted in Resene Quarter Foundry. Stool painted in Resene Glorious and Resene Renew, resene.co.nz.
SECOND IMAGE String shelf desk, $985, bobandfriends.co.nz. Black spot bag, $16.90; House Doctor storage boxes, $49 (set of 3), perchhomewares.co.nz. Assorted notebooks, from $24.95, frankstationery.com. Black and white canister, $22, perchhomewares.co.nz. Crayola Washable markers, $10, warehousestationery.com. A for Awesome print by Papermint Studio, $39; Super greeting card, $15 (set of 3), endemicworld.com. Little Heart postcard, $2.50, se3.co.nz. colouring book, $27, aucklandartgallery.com. Wall painted in Resene Blackboard Paint, Resene White Thunder and Resene Renew, resene.co.nz.
You will need
Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in assorted colours
Resene Paint Effects Medium
Resene Blackboard Paint
Foam roller kit
1. BLACKBOARD TEEPEE Prepare and prime your wall
and paint the whole thing in the colour of your choice. Mask out the triangle shape and paint with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen, which will serve the same purpose as Resene Blackboard Paint. We also painted the floor with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen – but be prepared for some messy playtime if you go down this route!
2. Stencilled pinboard Hessian pinboard can be purchased from hardware stores. We used 1200mm x 1200mm for the project.
‘Grey’ the board with Resene Gunsmoke diluted with 30 percent Resene Paint Effects Medium mixed in as a colour wash and applied by brush. (Be careful not to lay the paint on too heavy, go lightly and add another coat if necessary).
Once dry, the board can be stencilled. We used a dart stencil purchased from cuttingedgestencils.com. Tape stencil to the board, and paint with Resene Alabaster Spacecote Low Sheen, applied with a foam roller.
THIRD IMAGE Hessian pinboard, $69, bunnings.co.nz. Bamboo flag, $48, spoonfuldesign.com. Assorted art prints and cards, from $15, endemicworld.com. Peg clip, $29.90, corso.co.nz. Cross wall hook, $36, mintsix.com. Headphones, $19.95, warehousestationery.com. Wall painted in Resene Half Kumutoto; teepee painted in Resene Coast, resene.co.nz. ON THE TABLE Trestle table and metal legs,from $320, trestleunion.co.nz. Books, from $18, aucklandartgallery.com. Concrete Dala Horse, $64.90, indiehomecollective.com. Marco pencil case, $15, frankstationery.com. Cubebot, $34, aucklandartgallery.com. ON THE FLOOR Round rug, $220, letliv.co.nz. Maileg badger, $59, perchhomewares.co.nz. Slip cushion, $120, yourewelcome.co.nz. Floor painted in Resene Coast. Chair painted in Resene Spritzer, resene.co.nz. Dartboard, stylist’s own.
ANIMAL ANTICS Now here’s a fun idea: When you’re picking up your paint, get your kids to select a few Resene testpots to create their own colourful zoo at home. Paint the animals all over in one colour, leave to dry, then experiment with dipped feet, stripes or spots in contrasting colours.
For more information on the paint used see the Resene website
Kenko is Japanese for health – and these sugar-and gluten-free recipes, taken from Kate Bradley’s new cookbook, are all about that.
Recipes Kate Bradley
Photography Elisa Watson
Prep time: 5 minutes
1 Tbsp matcha
½ tsp cinnamon
80g (½ cup) blueberries
30g (¼ cup) raspberries
30g (¼ cup) blackberries
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
375ml (1½ cups) almond milk
1 banana, frozen
1 tsp almond butter
1 tsp psyllium husks
Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve in 2 large glasses.
Courgette and Mint Bruschetta
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp kelp
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tsp olive oil
2 slices good-quality gluten-free baguette or ciabatta
1 garlic clove, cut in half
2 Tbsp Cashew ‘Goat Cheese’ (recipe below)
Start by peeling long ribbon pieces of the courgette. Place the pieces in a bowl and add the mint, salt, pepper, kelp, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Mix to combine, then set aside. Brush 1 teaspoon of olive oil on each slice of bread. Place under a grill until golden, turning halfway through.
Remove from the oven and rub the cut garlic clove on each slice of toasted bread.
Spread each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of the Cashew ‘Goat Cheese’ and then top with the courgette salad to serve.
Cashew Goat Cheese
Makes about 250g (1 cup)
Prep time: 15 minutes, then 2-3 hours setting, plus soaking time for cashews
310g (2 cups) raw
cashews, soaked in water overnight, drained
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil
60 ml (¼ cup) water
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp savoury yeast flakes
Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz until the mixture is smooth. Roll the cheese into a log shape or ball using a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) or baking paper. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours to chill and set. This will keep in a container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks and in the freezer for 1 month.
Roasted Pear and Lentil Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
2 Tbsp rice malt syrup
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp plant-based oil
400g tinned brown lentils
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
80g (2 cups) mixed salad leaves
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 tsp hibiscus vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Slice the pears and place them in a bowlwith the rice malt syrup, ¼ teaspoon of the salt and the plant-based oil. Toss everything together to coat the pears.Place the fruit on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes until nicely roasted.
Drain and rinse the lentils and place them in a bowl with the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, remaining salt and mixed salad leaves. Mix together and place in 2-4 serving bowls or plates. Top with the roasted pears.
In a small bowl combine the orange juice, hibiscus vinegar and olive oil and lightly drizzle this dressing over the salad at the last minute before serving.
To Yuka and Tristan O’Shannessy, good design is more about what isn’t included than what is.
Tokyo-born Yuka O’Shannessy arrived in Auckland 12 years ago to study fashion at AUT – and ended up spending almost as much time at K Road’s iconic Brazil cafe. The place did great coffee, yes, but there was another reason for her visits – a barista reason called Tristan O’Shannessy.
Today they’re married and living in the West Auckland suburb of Avondale with their two daughters, Hana (8) and Monae (6). And they have another baby too – their Japanese-inspired Yuka&Tristan clothing label that they run from their home studio and sell via yukaandtristan.com and also from their Japanese concept store, An Astute Assembly.
The family settled in their 800m² bungalow in 2009, deciding to renovate first, then convert the garage into a workspace later on. Coming from a family of builders, Tristan set to work with the help of his brother; replacing the bathroom, putting in a new kitchen complete with simple concrete benchtops, then adding bi-fold doors and a deck, and working with the already established garden to give it structure.
Yuka says: “The garden is the main reason we bought the place.” Which may be why, although the garage has recently had its studio makeover, Yuka can still often be found cutting patterns at the kitchen table overlooking the garden.
All around her is a running theme in the clothes she makes, the Japanese homeware she imports, and the way everything is displayed in their home. “It’s all about minimalism, about using what you have cleverly, and about taking away anything that doesn’t need to be there,” she says. “It’s a Japanese thing.” •
Indeed, there is much evidence of Yuka’s approach of being “very selective”. In fact, it was this philosophy, coupled with an interest in the re-emergence of the handmade movement in Japan, that fuelled her desire to start An Astute Assembly – seeking out Japanese craftspeople and importing the objects they make into New Zealand.
One of Yuka’s favourite AAA objects is the Magoroko knives which are handmade in the same way they have been since the 18th century. There is a set of them in the family kitchen, amongst other sentimental things. “I have lots of lovely bits and pieces from An Astute Assembly that I adore; that really remind of home,” she says. “We have been given so many treasures too, such as a collection of Tristan’s mother’s paintings, which are not only beautiful, but incredibly precious to us as she passed away only a couple of years after painting them.”
The house has many of these personal touches, a true reflection of the people who live there. But more than that, everywhere you look – inside and in the workroom – you find evidence of Yuka’s mantra: “Design away what’s not needed.”
The Minimalist is a well-known online design store – with a lesser known physical location in Sydney’s Surry Hills. Also home to the store’s owners, serious minimising was undertaken before the building could live up to its signage.
Words & Styling Tahnee Carroll
Photography Felix Forest / Living Inside
Three years ago Leah and Darius Taylor discovered a building in Sydney’s Surry Hills that’d had a few former lives. The now four-storey structure had started out as a single-storey stable for the adjoining terrace houses, and had last served as the Porters Paints building. Leah and Darius could only imagine what it had been up to in between. “My mind was in overdrive about all the things we could do with the space,” Leah says. Especially because a bit of location luck meant the structure was cross-zoned, so they could move themselves in as well as their products.
But, though gorgeous on the outside, the interior needed attention if it was to cater for the store downstairs and Leah, Darius and their Devon Rex kitten Asher in the three storeys above it. Featuring a hodge-podge of styles with different colours and finishes in every room, minimising was suddenly expanded from a business concept to a way of life – or at least a way of serious re-jigging.
First the ground-floor garage was converted into the shop, a space done in shades of white, grey, black and lots of greenery, that perfectly showcases the delightful pieces that fit The Minimalist ethos of “buying better”.
Then, from the bottom of the building, they moved straight to the top. Making the rooftop terrace into a great place to hang out was a priority because: “it was summer when we moved in and we couldn’t wait to use it”.
The terrace hadn’t seen any entertaining for some time. But the couple quickly injected life into the overgrown space by stripping it back, then adding a pizza oven, built-in seating, herbs, citrus trees and oversized armchairs – the perfect place from which to watch the sun set over an impressive view of the Sydney skyline. Then tiled walls by Byron Bay artist Jai Vasicek, Bein’ Frank cacti beakers and a strip of synthetic grass were added to complete the relaxed feel. “It’s now our favourite place to eat, soak up the sun, read and entertain friends,” Leah says.
Leah and Darius’ bedroom was an easier job. An elegant space with a covered balcony extending from it, Leah simply added a low bed by Furninova and affixed unframed prints to the walls with black washi tape.
But it was the kitchen that really needed the minimalist touch. The walls were red and the upper shelves were white, while the lower ones were done in a brown timber veneer. “That, combined with mismatched cabinetry and open shelves, made the room look extremely busy,” Leah says. “So our priority was to simplify and streamline the space and make it more monochromatic. We painted the walls a very light grey and replaced cabinetry with a matte black finish with new handles. We didn’t do much, but what we did changed the entire feel of the space.”
Leah’s background in interior design with a focus on commercial interiors has undoubtedly been a huge help in the process. “The place is still a work in progress, I think it always will be,” Leah says. “It has been really challenging turning such an odd space that also used to be a paint showroom into one coherent setting.” But a coherent setting is exactly what has been created. One that is also striking, unique – and minimalist.
Creating a beautiful kitchen doesn’t have to cost a lot – in fact, the results can be better when you’re forced to think laterally.
Words & photography Gem Adams
As featured in Feb/Mar 2015
Planning and executing your own renovations is not for the faint hearted. Over the last few months of renovations, strict budget-keeping and long nights on the end of a paintbrush have brought a new respect for the humble tradesmen. To all the painters and plumbers, the builders and the tilers, I salute you.
Our plan for the kitchen was to do something cost effective, with a classic and fresh aesthetic. A new benchtop was in order, as was a coat of paint, lighting, shelves and restoring the beautiful floorboards that were inexplicably covered in faux floorboard vinyl. The budget, as with the rest of our house, was tight – I’m not talking thousands tight, but hundreds. And the time frame was pretty snug as well. Not up for camp-stove-cooked baked beans for weeks on end, we wanted to be up and running in our new kitchen in a week. So began the plan of attack.
We opted for plywood for the benchtop as, after tossing up the cost of laminate and wood and the time issues of concrete, it emerged as our best option. We spoke to a Resene paint expert who suggested using a coat of paint, and sealing it with Resene’s handy Uracryl GraffitiShield. Keeping to our strict budget, we sourced a ‘new’ sink from our local demo yard and a gooseneck tap from TradeMe. Creating a splashback not only helps with clean up, but adds another texture to a neutral zone. We chose cheaper tiles in a brick pattern with a classic white grout. We then began the painstaking task of prepping and re-painting the entire kitchen, along with all the cupboards.
REPURPOSE VINTAGE FINDS
Storage can be more practical than pretty – unless you think laterally. You can find all kinds of goodies lurking in op shops and garage sales – and relatives’ cupboards. The vintage bread bin one belonged to my grandmother, then my mother’s and now mine. It’s been around, gotten a bit beaten up, but still stands strong.
TRY TILING YOURSELF
If you are looking at installing a simple splashback in your kitchen, chances are you may be able to give it a go yourself. Talk to the staff at your local hardware store or ask around friends that may be able to help. Tiling comes down to precision – measure, measure and measure again.
1. BUILD YOUR OWN SHELVES
Open shelving is a great way to add interest to your blank canvas. Stack your recipe books, vases or jars filled with everyday items. Brackets and shelves can be found at hardware and homeware stores. Ours were fashioned out of benchtop remnants and leftover paint.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN LEATHER HANDLES
Handles make all the difference to a kitchen and I often struggle to find any that I truly love. So once again I decided to make my own. With a strip of leather from Lapco and a few screws I was on my way. For more details visit theblackbird.co.nz.
3. BLACKBOARD-PAINTED WHITEWARE
Although I would have loved an array of new whiteware, the budget said no, so a refresh was in order instead. After we attacked the fridge and dishwasher with wet-and-dry sandpaper I applied two generous coats of Resene blackboard paint. Done.
Get the look
Industrial shades $99, kiwiliving.co.nz. Leather, POA, lapco.co.nz. Tea towels, $25, mavisandosborn.com. Resene Double Alabaster paint, resene.co.nz. Coffee machine, $249.95, presso.co.nz.
Paint, $178. Tile splashback, $150. Benchtop, $140. Hardware, $12. Tapware, $70. Sink, $60. Lighting, $300. Extras, $70. Total: $980.
Follow Gem’s renovation at theblackbird.co.nz
Going out for drinks is fun – but so is stocking the bar cart to entertain friends at home.
Cocktails are cool again – Mixologists are the new baristas. And the latest interior design must-have is the home bar. It can be a kitsch faux bamboo bar cart, a mid-century classic, even a silver or mirrored tray on a side table or chest of drawers. Whatever style suits your home, turn it into the focal point for when you have friends over.
With an interest in entertaining, Clare Andrew founded Les Gens, a social community designed to connect like-minded creative people. She also has a
few creative ideas on creating a chic home cocktail bar. “Nothing beats afternoon drinks with friends in our glass conservatory. I like to set up a bar on a small
table at the end of the room, with all my favourite summer liqueurs on an antique silver tray and lots of gorgeous crystal glassware. It creates the perfect set up for at-home entertaining.”
Styling your home bar
– Make sure the aesthetic works with the rest of your home. You can change the accessories and colour scheme regularly, to keep the look fresh.
– Choose several elegant bottle designs, such as Chambord, for a touch of glamour. (Chambord is also a versatile ingredient for many of your favourite cocktails.)
– Source vintage crystal decanters and glassware. Contrast these with an ultra-modern copper cocktail shaker.
– Add a simple vase of fresh flowers or a bowl of citrus, groupings of books, and a framed picture.
A brief history
Late 17th Century – The French nobility enjoyed liqueurs and Cognac with evening meals. Louis XIV visited Château de Chambord and was served an indulgent liqueur made from wild raspberries.
May 1917 – The first cocktail party in history was thrown. Mrs Julius S. Walsh Junior of St. Louis, Missouri, invited 50 guests to her home at noon on a Sunday. The local paper reported: “The party scored an instant hit.”
1920s – American Prohibition fuelled the rise of private cocktail parties. In 1924, war artist Christopher Nevinson hosted the first cocktail party in England.
1930s – The art deco drinks trolley was invented.
Late 1940s – Christian Dior was the first to call early evening-wear a “cocktail dress”.
1950s – Cocktail parties were a hugely popular way to entertain. A stand-alone bar was an essential piece of furniture.
Today – Entertaining at home is a major trend, with food and drinks more sophisticated than ever. Cocktail hour makes a welcome comeback.
Chambord French Martini
45ml Chambord vodka
15ml Chambord liqueur
Juice of half a lime
45ml pineapple juice
Combine the Chambord vodka, Chambord, lime juice and pineapple juice with ice in a cocktail shaker, and shake briskly. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top off with Champagne and garnish with a raspberry or blackberry. For an added touch, line sugar around half the rim of the glass.
GET THE LOOK Eclectic Plum tongs, $90; Eclectic ice bucket by Tom Dixon, $405, simonjamesdesign.com. Eclectic Plum cocktail shaker by Tom Dixon, $245, ecc.co.nz. Champagne glasses, $85 (set of 6), flotsamandjetsam.co.nz. Chambord, $49.99, glengarrywines.co.nz, @Chambordnz
If you’re going to tackle a major renovation it helps to be a carpenter – especially one married to a housing portfolio manager.
Nestled in a forest of New Zealand natives, a duck-egg blue mid-century home pops out of the foliage. A single glance at this West Auckland property is enough to glean that it is not just an ordinary house on an ordinary street, but a thoughtfully renovated retreat from the hectic buzz of city life to be found just a few kilometres away.
The home’s owners, Marianne and Sean Falconer, were both Waikato born and raised, but had been living overseas for years before returning to New Zealand in 2011. Auckland was the obvious choice for Marianne’s marketing career, but Sean was reluctant to live the city lifestyle. The leafy suburb of Titirangi was a beautiful compromise.
After many weekends spent scouring open homes, they knew they’d found the place for them when they stumbled across an untouched 1958 abode tucked away on a private street. It was everything they wanted: space, privacy and tranquility. Floor-to-ceiling windows on the elevated front facade framed the property’s extensive bush views; an established garden provided a screen from the neighbours and the location offered wild West Coast beaches for surfing and bush tracks for hiking. Plus, a bonus for Sean, there was a good shed with space for all of his building projects, and ample room to restore his GB400 motorbike. They wasted no time – the deed was soon in their name.
Still, as exciting as their purchase was, they clearly had a do-up on their hands. The house was dark and dingy, with retro wallpaper and well-trodden carpet. Luckily they had some serious in-house skills to call on. Owner of Falcon Builders, and with 14 years’ experience as a carpenter, Sean was more than fit for the task. And knowledge garnered from Marianne’s work with the Housing Portfolio at Westpac would help them add value to the property.
As the house was largely liveable, adding an extra bedroom and living area was the first priority. “We wanted to add value,” Marianne says, “but we also wanted to create space so our out-of-town friends and family could come and stay.”
That space was found in the ‘dungeon’ downstairs. Successfully transforming the uninhabitable space into a second living room with a spare bedroom and ensuite gives guests their own space to relax downstairs – and provides a man cave for Sean to use the rest of the time.
This area is one of his favourite spots to relax after a busy day project-managing builds. It is also a place to display his favourite possessions; including his grandfather’s staghead, antique skis and a steering wheel from his old racing car.
But the most exciting part came in tearing this room apart rather than putting it together. “We discovered beautiful • Oregon timber beams with herringbone bracing in the ceiling structure,” Marianne says. “So we cleaned them up and kept them exposed to keep a point of interest in the room.”
Then it was time to move the renovation upstairs, starting with the kitchen. Careful planning and inventive handiwork were needed to make the small space more usable. “We pushed out the hallway, so we could add in the kitchen island,” Marianne says. “This was a must, because we love cooking.”
The macrocarpa kitchen island with concrete benchtop, both crafted by the talented Sean, gives extra bench space – and looks gorgeous too. “We love macrocarpa as it has a great smell and is naturally durable without the need for nasty chemical treatments, and we wanted to tie in natural materials wherever possible.”
The end result is an open-plan living space, merging the kitchen, dining and lounge. The area is light and spacious, and with outdoor living flowing from both the front and back, it is perfect for entertaining.
And guests are bound to be impressed. With Scandinavian elements, mid-century features and curious contemporary edges, this home does eclectic to perfection – piles of character having been added to its strong bones.
Reflecting on the couple’s teamwork, Marianne says: “If I have a vision, Sean knows how to execute it. His craftsmanship goes beyond building work, to metalwork and more – he really can make anything. Typically I bring the soft furnishings and colour to the table, and Sean has the structural ideas and carpentry detailing.”
When you walk around this stunning home, the quality of workmanship, quirky design features and seamless flow is indeed evidence of the marrying of two talents.
Creating a restful yet practical living space was the first priority for this Hamilton couple.
Natural fibres and tranquil tones have long been associated with restful environments. Sitting on the outskirts of Hamilton, the home of Sarah and Ben Quinn and their two daughters Charlie and Millie is one such environment. Both a gallery of sorts, and a peaceful family haven, it features a clean and bright interior that provides a fresh and flexible canvas for its owners.
When Ben and Sarah decided to build their house in 2012, it was a no-brainer to enlist the expertise of architect and close friend Tane Cox. It was intuition at its finest – this year Tane won multiple awards for his design of the Quinns’ Modern Barn.
“It was a fantastic experience from start to finish,” says Sarah. “Every meeting we had during the drafting process was exciting and creative, we were all on the same page design-wise, and Tane knew we weren’t afraid to push a few design boundaries.”
Although the Modern Barn is the couple’s first-ever build, they brought a lot of ideas to the table. Their brief to Tane was to create an energy-efficient home, using sustainable materials, and to utilise the extensive views over the Raglan hills with seamless flow from the interior through to the outdoors. It was also imperative to Sarah and Ben that their home be comfortable, reflect their style, and remain suitable for their family in 10 years time. “We tried to think of how the girls would use the spaces as they get older, and how we could maintain our privacy,” says Sarah. “Future-proofing was important to us.”
Before embarking on the build, Ben and Sarah extensively researched ways in which to achieve an energy-smart home within their budget. “We wanted to incorporate things like
solar power and concrete flooring, and to look for other ways that we could make our home more efficient in regard to power and water usage,” says Sarah.
Extensive concrete flooring was an efficient solution to store the sun’s energy and retain heat. An investment was made into a solar-powered water-heating system, but in winter their main source of heat comes from the large freestanding wood burner in the living room. Tane suggested they build the living area walls thicker than usual, which also promotes further heat retention, and specified high-grade insulation throughout to ensure this home is warm and energy efficient. Additionally, Ben and Sarah opted not use any downlights in their home, due to their high energy consumption, instead choosing very simple light features consisting mainly of LED and energy-saving bulbs. •
The couple’s signature style is simple and calm. One that is made up of an uncomplicated colour palette of white and muted pastels and paired with ply timber accents, ensuring
the interior doesn’t feel sterile. The ply accents are extended to the ceilings of the living and dining spaces, all kitchen cabinetry and some of the flooring, giving an overall look of elegance, simplicity and cohesiveness. A wall made from recycled red bricks, salvaged after the Christchurch earthquakes, brings warmth and colour to the entranceway and creates an inviting welcome to guests.
Keeping to a restricted colour palette has allowed vintage, industrial and contemporary pieces to work in unison. “We just do what we like, and try not to worry about what others might think,” says Sarah. “Our inspiration has come from various media. We realise our style might not be to everyone’s taste, but we’re comfortable with that.”
Grey wool carpet in the bedrooms adds a cosy texture, and defines the spaces in the open-plan living area. Pastel-toned paint used on the bedroom ceiling adds an unexpected touch, which brings warmth and personality to the rooms without overwhelming the spaces with intense colour.
As owners of a landscape design and construction business, it’s no surprise that the deck was non-negotiable in their brief to Tane, as a way of joining the two living spaces. “When all the bi-fold doors are open it feels like the centre of the house is outside,” explains Sarah.
Indeed, the couple strived to bring the outside in – even their hall runner was cut from artificial turf left over from a recent landscaping job. “We didn’t want carpet in the hallway and the artificial grass just made things a bit more fun,” says Sarah.
Downstairs a colourful storage nook in the entranceway is made up of a collection of pop art posters glued to several sheets of leftover ceiling ply. “It was important to have an allocated storage closet to house muddy gumboots, shoes and school bags, so Tane designed this space as a mini cloakroom area that we could shut off from view if we needed,” Sarah says.
With no need to fill every wall with art, the resulting home is one where every window has been specifically designed and placed by Tane, ensuring the stunning views out over the Raglan hills become the home’s art installation, a gallery
It’s time to get organised for the year ahead. Here’s everything you need to do it in style.
Styling Sophie Peacocke
Photography Melanie Jenkins
ON THE WALL IKEA Bondis clock, $69, myflatpack.co.nz. Bang Bang pegboard, $340, georgeandwilly.co.nz. Concrete pots in black and natural, $46, mintsix.com. The Dots coat hooks, $42 each, bauhaus.co.nz. Mon Poney Petit bag, $435, georgiajay.com. ON THE FLOOR Team Work pot plant stand (800mm), $125, trestleunion.co.nz. Marble Basics cannister, $129, letliv.co.nz. IKEA Helmut drawer unit, $219, myflatpack.co.nz. House of Botanica potted succulent, $35, Terrarium store. Kikki K CD storage box, $19.90; A4 storage box, $29.90; A3 storage box, $39.90, kikki-k.com. Nood DSW dining chair, $159, nood.co.nz. Wink black and white cushion (with inner), $120, yourewelcome.co.nz. IKEA linnamon table top, $129; IKEA Oddvald trestles, $59 each, myflatpack.co.nz. Dante desk bin, $89.90, countryroad.com.au. ON THE DESK Wooden in-tray, $34.90, kikki-k.com. Deskwise magnifying glass, $3.99, thewarehouse.co.nz. Fiskars cutting mat, $16, warehousestationery.co.nz. Delfonics pen, $16; laptop duster, $22, paperplanestore.com. Everyday gel pen, $4.90, kikki-k.com. Craft design tecnology stapler, $34.95, theobjectroom.co.nz. Deskwise mesh metal clip holder, $15 (4 piece set), thewarehouse.co.nz. Wooden pen holder $19.90; Mechanical pencil sketch, $6.90; Premium rollerball pen (black and white), $24.90 each, kikki-k.com. Craft Design technology scissors, $99, theobjectroom.co.nz. Design House desk lamp, $30, thewarehouse.co.nz. All other plants supplied by Ponsonby Plant Centre. All other items are stylist’s own. PAGE 13 Le Femme Petit Poney bag, $345, georgiajay.com. Phillips DJ headphones, $24.95, warehousestationery.co.nz.
It may feel like summer is just around the corner, but we’ve been working on warmer weather content since early September. Putting together each issue of homestyle is like an advanced screening of the season ahead. At times that involves fervently dodging spring rain to capture houses in the sunshine, but it also allows us to get an insider’s look at how people create a holiday for themselves at home.
Take our cover home, for example. How fantastic would it be to come home every day to the comfort and warmth of a house that feels like a bach? When I visited the Easterbrooks’ home, I admired how they have built an environment for their family
that embraces a simpler lifestyle – something that is so important in today’s busy world.
Sometimes getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life means going a little bit further afield. Another couple of our homeowners often escape to their architecturally designed holiday home on Rakino Island. It’s a mere 40-minute boat ride from Auckland city, but it truly feels a world away when you’re there.
But, when you really are based a world away, how do you make your house feel like home? According to New Zealand artist and interior stylist Anna Church, the key is stamping your personality on a space with art, vintage finds and things you’ve made yourself. Anna has put this theory into practice in the rental she currently resides in with her family in a leafy suburb in Toronto. See the results on page 56.
Anna’s ethos struck a chord with me, as I’ve been applying the same approach to my own home, and have a list of handmade projects to embark on this summer. These are not limited to, but include my newfound passion for pottery, a topic I had the pleasure of discussing with Holly Houston and Felicity Donaldson – two emerging potters who I have much admiration for.
Between said projects, long lazy brunches with family (inspired by Kelly Gibney’s delicious wholefood recipes on page 126), and adventures in the outdoors, I’m looking forward to getting away from it all with a holiday at home.
We hope you can find the time this summer to do the same.
A festive summer brunch is a beautiful way to showcase all that is wonderful about the season. These wholefood recipes by Kelly Gibney of Bonnie Delicious are designed to share with loved ones; a menu of delicious and healthy food that will still please a crowd.
Honey & thyme roasted cherry tomatoes
3 punnets cherry tomatoes (approx 5 cups)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 large handful thyme stems
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Flaky sea salt
Cracked black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 180° Celsius.
2. Cut tomatoes in half and drizzle with olive oil and honey. Scatter thyme leaves and garlic over the tomatoes. Stir well to coat evenly.
3. Place in an ovenproof dish. Season generously with sea salt and cracked pepper.
4. Bake for 30 minutes until lightly browned and starting to blister.
5. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Paleo breakfast loaf with zucchini, & Rosemary
This absolutely flavour-packed gluten-free loaf replaces boring old toast on the breakfast table. It’s excellent with avocado and freezes really well. Enjoy fresh or freshly toasted.
2¼ cups almond meal
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 cup grated kumara
1 large zucchini (grated, then squeezed)
1 cup grated parmesan
6 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1 large garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
Flaky sea salt and cracked pepper
Mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame and sunflower)
1. Preheat oven to 165° Celsius.
2. Using a large bowl or a food processor, combine all ingredients and mix until very well combined.
3. Pour into a greased and lined loaf tin. Sprinkle seeds on top as desired. Bake for approximately 60-70 minutes until golden. Use a skewer to test that the inside is cooked.
4. Leave until cool before slicing.
Hot smoked salmon tart with almond & oat crust
You’ll be amazed how delicious and rich this wholesome wheat-free crust is. You can make the crust ahead of time and the tart itself is lovely both hot and cold.
Crust (can be made the day prior)
1½ cups almond meal
¾ cup rolled oats
⅛ cup melted butter, ghee or olive oil
3 Tbsp water
¼ tsp flaky sea salt
Cracked black pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Olive oil for sautéing
1 x 200g hot smoked salmon fillet
4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
Zest of one lemon
Small handful dill or parsley to serve
1. Preheat oven to 165° Celsius.
2. Combine all tart crust ingredients in a food processor and blitz until it starts to come together in large, slightly moist crumbs.
3. Tip into a greased tart tin. Using your hands press the mixture evenly around the sides and base until you have an even crust. Use a knife to tidy the edge.
4. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the tart crust four times, then blind bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden (use pie weights if you have them but it’s fine without), then set aside to cool.
5. Gently sauté the onion and garlic over a medium/low heat until soft and translucent. Do not allow to brown. Set aside to cool slightly.
6. Break the salmon into bite-sized pieces. Lay evenly along the bottom of the tart crust. Whisk together all the remaining filling ingredients (including the garlic and onion), pour over the top and garnish with additional herbs.
7. Bake for approximately 35 minutes until the egg is set and the top is lightly golden. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes, and scatter with fresh dill to serve.
Kale, bacon & pine nut salad
5 slices free-range bacon
2 bunches kale, de-stemmed and finely chopped
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Pinch flaky sea salt
Generous grind of cracked black pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped.
1. Brown the bacon in a pan or under the grill in an oven. Slice into ribbons.
2. Place dressing ingredients into a jar and shake for roughly a minute, or until well combined. Adjust seasoning to taste.
3. Place the kale in a large bowl and pour ¾ of the dressing over the top. Use your hands to massage the leaves for a minute. This will help soften the kale. Set aside to marinate for 10-20 minutes.
4. Place kale on a serving plate. Drizzle with additional dressing if desired. Sprinkle with bacon and top with toasted pine nuts to serve.
Balsamic Roasted Strawberries & Chia Parfait with Maple Nut Crumble
The individual components of these divine breakfast desserts can be made a day in advance. Assemble up to an hour before serving. Any leftover crumble freezes well.
Vanilla chia pudding
½ cup chia seeds
2¾ cups coconut milk
Seeds from one vanilla pod
¼ tsp nutmeg
3 Tbsp honey/maple syrup
2 punnets strawberries, trimmed and halved
3 Tbsp honey/maple syrup
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
¾ cup almond meal
½ cup hazelnuts
½ cup cashew nuts
3 Tbsp honey/maple syrup
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
Pinch sea salt
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Coconut chips or desiccated coconut
Cacao nibs (optional)
1. Combine chia pudding ingredients in a bowl and whisk/stir until well combined. Place in the fridge for at least an hour (can be made the night prior).
2. Preheat oven to 180° Celsius. Combine strawberries with honey and balsamic vinegar, coating evenly.
3. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the strawberries are tender and the juice is glossy. Set aside to cool.
4. Place all crumble ingredients into a food processor and process until the coconut oil and honey are evenly distributed and the mixture is starting to clump together (should take about a minute).
5. Pour into a slice tin lined with baking paper. Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
6. To serve: Using four small glass jars, place a small spoonful of chia pudding in first. Top with a spoonful of strawberries, then a generous sprinkling of nut crumble. Add another layer of chia, then another spoonful of strawberries. Finish with the nut crumble and top with desiccated coconut, coconut chips or cacao nibs.
Kombucha & Nectarine Rose Sangria
2 cups dry rosé wine
1 cup nectarine juice (we used Benger)
1 cup kombucha (we used Daily Organics)
1 cup ginger beer (we used Allgood Gingerella)
Chopped strawberries, sliced cucumber and mint leaves for the jug, plus extra for garnishing individual glasses.
1. Pour ingredients into a glass jug of approximately 1 litre capacity. Stir gently to combine. Fill jug with ice and garnish with strawberries, cucumber and mint leaves. Serve in glasses filled with ice.
For more delicious wholefood recipes visit bonniedelicious.com
GET THE LOOK Chemex, $78, kokako.co.nz, Duralex glasses, $5.50 each, parnellagencies.com. Tapas coffee cups, $8.90, countryroad.com.au. Chambray linen napkins, $17, mavisandosborn.com. Enamelware bowl. from $8; Pallarès bread knife, $72; Fog linen maple scoop, $13; French Duralex Gigogne glasses, $6.50 each, fatherrabbit.com. Pearl-speckled lunch plate, $64; small thrown side plates, $37, steinerceramics.com. Nkuku glass jug, $42, fatherrabbit.com. Brass muddler, AU$15; Brass square spoon, $10, lightly.com.au. All others stylist’s own.
Designer duo Douglas Johns and Marta Buda bring new meaning to the word busy – but very happily so.
Words Sammy-Rose Scapens
Photography Heather Liddell
Wellington-based designers Douglas Johns and Marta Buda are known for doing many things well; their combined ‘tool-belt’ giving them the ability to master a wide range of creative endeavours. For starters, Doug works fulltime with Coffee Supreme as their designer and marketing guy, while Marta is a mother and freelance textile designer currently working for Twenty Seven Names and Auckland-based label Penny Sage.
But, though their days are largely taken up with work for other people, they still find the energy to undertake their own creative projects, with Doug crocheting beanies and blocking out days for photo shoots, and Marta hand-dyeing natural yarn for her intricate weavings.
They have also taken the time to create a functional home that suits both their creative needs and the requirements of family life. The couple undertook renovations prior to moving into their Brooklyn house, removing walls and adding a skylight to achieve an open, light-filled sanctuary. This, paired with good insulation, allows them to enjoy the warmth of their home – and especially their main congregating space, the dining area.
The table, which they inherited when friends moved overseas, hosts shared meals, as well as functioning as an office space, loom area, and even a frame for a fort for their four-year-old daughter Anouk. “We really value a humble home,” says Doug, “a space that isn’t pretentious, but that is thoughtful and liveable and where children can play without the fear of something being broken.”
Anouk’s presence has not only shaped their home life, but also the design of their interior space. The compact layout and connected flow mean that Marta or Doug can be preparing food in the kitchen, while Anouk plays nearby, still clearly in view. A new deck has expanded the living space through to the outdoors, and has connected them to their new plantings, which are eagerly observed as the garden takes shape.
Aside from simply creating a treasured environment within the home, the house positions Doug close to work, and near to their friends and family. The backdrop of the hills and beaches adds to their love of this compact, liveable city, and when not involved in their projects, garden and enjoying life with Anouk, they take pleasure in visits to their favourite local bays.
Doug’s 9-5 job lends itself to a deep appreciation of coffee and weekend mornings tend to find them breakfasting longer, with round-two coffees.
After hours, Doug is currently working on crocheting more beanies, as well as on a project for Little and Friday. Meanwhile, Marta is finishing off a couple of weaving commissions alongside him.
With artistic drive, talent and the energy of young-family life, their functional, beautiful home is just another blank canvas for this creative family.
Having time to tinker is an integral part of the Rakino Island escape that is, as the brochures say, “40 minutes from Auckland, yet a million miles away”. And there has been a lot of tinkering on this 10 acre property…
Words Claire McCall
Production Janice Kumar Ward
Photography Duncan Innes
Building a chicken coop from demolition weatherboards is a sustainable idea, but one that’s harder to bring to fruition than you might imagine. This is just one lesson that Stephen and Stacey Thomas have learnt from hard-won experience since they’ve become regular weekenders at their 10 acre property on Rakino Island.
With only approximately 16 permanent residents, Stacey’s mum Judi took the brave step of moving to the island three years ago to become the caretaker of the property. Although she can live unhurried every day, enjoying two shingle beaches overhung by gnarled pohutukawa, her learning curve has also been a steep one.
At least the house build went according to plan. The design, by architect Darren Jessop, is mindful of its manners in a landscape that’s treasured by locals and visitors alike. Even though it’s built on a knoll facing the sea, the structure is low-set and unimposing – answering the client brief well. “I was concerned with how inserting a man-made structure would affect the nature of the bay,” Stephen says.
The home is made up of two intersecting pavilions; one a half-step higher so its flat roof hovers above that of its companion. This lightness of being is reinforced by a material palette that is sparse yet substantial: a trio of in-situ concrete, hardwood timber, and glass – acres of the stuff.
The layout is also uncomplicated. One pavilion contains the living, kitchen and dining, while the other has two bedrooms, each with an en suite. Thus this project could have ended up a rather humdrum pair of rectangles with little that made it sing. Not so. The proportions of the home are special; the details elevate it beyond the average, and the windows are placed precisely, so that views are framed like works of art.
Darren has the geometry of architecture finely mastered. There’s mathematical rhythm in the set-up of the black aluminum joinery as it steps gently down the hill. There’s lineal magic in the sarked-cedar ceilings that lead the eye to lift off into the view of the bay and the rocky forms of the Three Sisters. And there’s heft in the concrete wall that begins externally and traverses the glass sides of the home to become a fireplace at the north-west end. Its sheer volume and rough boxed finish anchors all that architectural grace and weightlessness.
Stephen and Stacey love the freedom such no-nonsense materials give them to live casually – especially now their 18-month-old daughter Scarlet is on the scene. For this reason, they added aged oak floors throughout. “The surface is ‘skipped’, meaning they’re planed and then sanded not much further back from their rough-sawn state,” explains Stephen. The result lends an antiqued contrast to the contemporary cool of the other materials. •
Not sweating the small stuff becomes a mantra for living on the island, and Stacey, a former singer and music company owner, kept this top of mind when choosing the furnishings. “I wanted to keep things sparse, with just one big statement piece,” she says. A burnt sienna leather-upholstered L-shaped sofa is that piece. “It tones in with the warmth of the cedar ceilings.”
Stephen commissioned a steel-framed table which Stacey teamed with black polypropylene dining chairs. “They’re so easy to clean while retaining some style,” she says. “Easy care is best when you have a small child and two dogs running around.”
Indeed, in this off-the-grid home where appliances run on solar power and the rainwater is collected for irrigation, cleaning is not a high-priority pursuit. When they draw up the anchor on their aluminum runabout and leave the big city lights behind, Stacey would much rather spend her time outdoors tending to the chooks – and, these days, bees. “I mentioned to Stephen that I’d love to start beekeeping, and suddenly one day he bought three hives from a friend of ours.”
How to care for these amazing little creatures, and protect them against mites, was another lesson that had to be learned – rather quickly. “They’re so complex,” says Stacey, “but I do have help from Oliver at Beez Thingz and in my first season we gathered about 70 kilograms of honey.” Not bad going for an amateur apiarist.
When she’s not getting a buzz from her newfound hobby, or knee-deep in the vege patch, Stacey loves to hang out with Scarlet on the deck overlooking the shingle beach and the changing scene of boats in the bay. “In summertime we put out the paddling pool under an umbrella and just muck around,” she says. Those with more energy can hop in the dinghy and putter out to gather mussels off the nearby rocks.
However, for now, such leisurely times are the exception not the rule. These city folk have had to become practical and self-sufficient – and that means work. Most weekends at the bach are spent planting, clearing scrub, mowing lawns, maintaining machinery or cleaning out the chook house. “When you live on an island, you need the capability and means to fix something if it goes wrong,” Stephen says.
But the couple see this busyness as a transitional phase rather than a permanent state of being; once the kikuyu is beaten and the bare land reforested, it will be time to kick back and enjoy island life as it was intended.
Gem moves the big renovation on to the biggest ‘room’ of all – the outdoor area.
Words & photography Gem Adams
It’s been fair few months since we moved from ‘the big smoke’ with grand plans of living the quarter-acre dream. And, although ours is definitely more of a sixth-of-an-acre dream, we’re not complaining. Now, with the faux brick a distant memory and a fresh coat of Resene Foundry on the walls, it’s time to tackle the strange little corner at the back of the property. Square metres of potholes and grass face us: what to do, what to do? With a small plot of land and only small change to work with, there come a few obstacles. How can we make the most of every square inch, and do it practically, affordably and stylishly? Listen closely little grasshopper, I will show you how...
Create your space
Find out exactly what you’re working with – what is the area used for? What sunlight does it get? What cons can be turned into pros? For us we had an odd-shaped area, with a heap of delicious morning sun, that was mostly a thoroughfare for the clothesline and other utilities. With a corrugated iron fence thrown in, what we were looking at was not pretty.
Draw it out
Getting aerial can give you just the perspective you need. Looking at our space from above we started to see what it could be, rather than what it was. The shape of the fence lent itself perfectly to a built-in corner seat. The high fence created an intimate and cosy space. And the need for hard-wearing materials prompted us towards something other than the usual paving extravaganza.
First off, practicality. The main traffic heads out to the clothesline and around the corner to the utilities. As I’m not the biggest fan of pavers, we chose to mix and pour a concrete path ourselves, echoing the lines of the house and creating a concentrated area. And yes, I was in there, trowel and all. With the built-in seat we decided to use a base of marine ply and fence paling with a liftable lid for extra storage. Keeping true to the area, we filled in the space with Hawke’s Bay river stones. And let’s not forget the fire pit foraged from an old washing machine!
Always begin with a colour direction – I channelled deep blues and burnt oranges. For the deep moody blue on the fence I chose Resene Blue Bark. Then, to add warmth to the pine seating, we stained it with a Resene Cedar oil stain. With the built-in nook the requirement was that it be warm and inviting, great for balmy summer sunsets, as well as snuggling up on crisp winter nights. Heading straight to The Fabric Store for material, my handy mama and I whipped up oatmeal linen squab covers and simple pocket cushion covers in a spread of burnt red and navy blues.
The finishing touches
Lighting is key, and in this instance there was no option other than to hang festoon lights, along with a few candles. I am a complete sucker for greenery, so we dotted the area with a few terracotta pots housing a palm and some bromeliads. An upside-down crate became our outdoor coffee table, with a Moroccan pouf for extra seating and a fluffy sheepskin for added comfort. We finished the whole thing off with Fred-the-ram, sourced from a local auction house, and ram-bam: we have ourselves a great little outdoor space.
Follow Gem’s renovation at theblackbird.co.nz
Coffee culture may be deep rooted in New Zealand, but sisters Storm and India Bellamy, along with their mother Dooley Crighton are on a mission to reinvent the humble cuppa with their beautiful range of Storm & India bespoke organic teas. You can find out how they are taking their bespoke brand to the world in our current issue, and here we include an online exclusive Iced Coconut Chai tea recipe from Storm. We're prediciting this will be on high rotation in the office this summer, or perhaps served with a splash of something stronger for an afterwork tipple.
Iced Coconut Chai
3 cups organic Almond Milk
4 teaspoons organic runny honey
1. Brew 4 heaped teaspoons of Coconut Chai in a large teapot for 20 minutes.
2. Pour the strong brew into ice cube trays and freeze.
3. Distribute the Coconut Chai Ice cubes into four glasses.
4. Pour chilled almond milk over the Coconut Chai Ice cubes.
5. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of honey into each glass, then garnish with sliced of toasted coconut and a cinnamon quill.
6. Stir to combine and enjoy.
An extended Auckland family have worked with their architects to bring a specific brief to life: the creation of two homes on one site that work together, while each affording their own separate enjoyment of the surrounding land.
Words Alice Lines
Photography Emma-Jane Hetherington
As Featured in December/January 2015
Building a new home can be an arduous task – and finding the right piece of land to build it on can be even more trying. But when Mark and Susie Easterbrook came across an idyllic section in West Auckland it was love at first site. “We had made the decision to move to Titirangi from Mt Albert and build,” explains Mark. “And, I’m slightly embarrassed to say, we fell for the first piece of land we visited!”
The first decision very easily out of the way, the Easterbrooks moved to the second – which architect should they choose to help them with their site-specific build? They dreamt of bringing up their boys Hunter (10) and Jake (5) in a home that would take advantage of the surrounding environment – but, as Jake has been diagnosed with autism, they also required a second house for Susie’s mother and stepfather who were moving with them to help out.
“I have several friends who are architects, but I didn’t want to work with any of them in case things went wrong,” Mark laughs. So, after consulting said friends, it was decided that Tim Dorrington of DAA would be a good fit for what they had in mind.
As creative director at boutique design and advertising agency Goodfolk, Mark had some strong ideas for the house design – but this wasn’t a problem for Tim. “I didn’t want to be an interfering client, but I also had my own thoughts,” Mark says. “Luckily, Tim and I were on the same wavelength with most things. I’d like to think my contributions to the design process had a positive impact – hopefully Tim agrees!”
The design team – Tim and his colleague Marie-Claire Henderson – set about creating a pair of buildings, compact in size, with forms inspired by the simple structure of a shed and a tent. But, although aesthetics were important, something else trumped them.
“The need for privacy was the major driving factor for the placement and orientation of the two dwellings on the site,” says Marie-Claire, who was responsible for the finer details of the design. “It is evident from the physical closeness of the buildings that they operate as an extended family unit, but there are no windows which look from one house into the other. The offset and 15-degree change in orientation also means that neither house stares directly out at the walls of the other, but rather each gets its own views of the site and surrounding bush.”
The end result is impressive, in the most unassuming of ways. On approach from the sweeping driveway, the main home appears humble in structure. But on entering, you’re welcomed by a great sense of space as the centralised living area opens on both sides onto lawns and an outdoor living area.
Flanked on either side by bedrooms and bathrooms, for Mark and Susie at one end, with the kids’ rooms at the other, the spaces are all colour-coded. Mark explains: “We used yellow for the boys’ rooms, since they’re the sunshine in the family; orange for the front door, because it’s warm and inviting; turquoise for the bathrooms and laundry, to signify water; and red for the master bedroom – because if it’s closed, it means ‘No entry’!”
These pops of colour work well with the rich, timber-oriented palette of materials – plywood, aluminium joinery and concrete floors giving the house a bach-in-the-bush feel. This is accentuated by the Glulam beams that frame the living space, and floor-to-ceiling glass looking out to the established fruit trees and natives beyond – the perfect spot for the boys
Regardless of whether they’re playing outside or in, clever planning has provided plenty of space for varied family activities. While the footprint is only a modest 120 square metres, and the main living space four metres wide, it efficiently contains an open-plan kitchen and dining area, along with a drop-down sunken lounge. It is wrapped on
two sides by low in-built shelves full of books and games. And, with the TV tucked away behind more in-built cabinetry, you can easily imagine nights spent reading around the pot-belly fire in this modern take on a conversation pit.
It all just works. After all, a good home is one that can comfortably accommodate not only family life, but those the family enjoys sharing it with. “We were invited back for the housewarming and it was fantastic to see all of these social spaces working beautifully, and everyone enjoying being in them,” says Marie-Claire. Job done – extremely well.
The Wards welcome Penelope, an Anglo Capri caravan, into their fold.
Words Gena Tuffery
Photography Duncan Innes
s featured in December/January 2015
Janice and Julian Ward have two children, Stella (6) and Ted (4) – and now there’s a new addition to the family. Formally known as Sandy, Penelope is a 1972 Anglo Capri caravan. She joined the Wards via a TradeMe Buy Now whim last year, one that was sparked out of fear the caravan they were already restoring wasn’t going to be ready for their already-booked-and-paid-for camping trip.
It was a valid fear. “We realised finishing our Tannercraft was a job that was going to be long and complicated,” Janice says. “That, coupled with an aversion to tents, lead us to the conclusion that we needed something sound and road-worthy – ASAP.”
Which all sounds like they packed Penelope up and headed off into the summer sunset. Uh, no. “We pretty much removed everything inside,” Janice says. “Then we added new squabs, upholstery, roller blinds and repainted it all.”
At least they were well-equipped for the job. Janice is an interior architect and designer with Macintosh Harris Design and Julian works as a cabinetmaker for his family business, Ward Manufacturing. The couple worked together, but Julian did all the grunt work; replacing the benchtops, reinstating the original pull-out table and adding much-needed storage. “He made it all look easy,” Janice says.
Which means it got done in time for that booked-in holiday last year – and then some. “Last summer alone, we did the beaches of the Coromandel and many trips to Piha.”
Said trips to Piha are going to be Penelope’s long-term purpose in life. She is expanding the extended Ward family’s accommodation options at Julian’s father’s bach at the West Coast beach. “The entire Ward family gathers here annually, so it’s nice to have our own little space.”
Sounds like Penelope is the harbinger of fun times all round. “She also serves as extra accommodation for the small cottage we call home, when friends come for long lunches, early dinners – and unplanned dancing.”
The great interior designer David Hicks once said: “the best rooms have something to say about the people who live in them”. Having recently returned from visiting family in Australia, I noticed that from house to house, there was a commonality in the dwellings of my family. It wasn’t a similarity in the new homewares or furniture they had purchased that caught my eye, but rather the curation of things gathered over time – from a bowl full of shells and fossils collected on annual island adventures, to a salon hang of pictures celebrating milestones together, it appeared our sentimentalities were as alike as our noses.
A home is not a gallery, it is meant to be full of the stuff of life. Personally, some of my favourite rooms are those with a sense of organised chaos. But there is definitely something to be said for starting with an ordered approach when it comes to the art of displaying the objects we collect along the way. We’ve explored this idea in our decorating story, on page 34.
There’s a bit of a renovation theme in this issue too – from the rural home of Kip & Co designer Kate Heppell (page 48), to the warehouse apartment of designer Caroline Gomez (page 80), you’ll see ordinary spaces transformed into extraordinary ones by some very clever creatives.
With makeovers in mind, we’ve focused on the kitchen to kick off our new regular Renovation section. Not that long ago, the kitchen was intended merely for the preparation of food, but since the widespread adoption of open-plan living it has truly become the heart of the home. During an interview for this issue, chef Al Brown imparted some wise words on the subject that resonated with me. For Al, the kitchen is “a place that evokes memories, and the only room in the house where all the senses are enlightened”. Pondering this thought, I’m lining up a laid-back lunch, with the delicious dishes and refreshing cocktail from this issue to create some memories of my own around the table.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the ultimate kitchen kit-out, renovating your current abode, or searching tirelessly for a new home, we hope you find the inspiration you need in these pages in your journey to make your house a home.
Paint isn’t just about adding colour. We show you how to create coloured and textured effects for your planters.
Project Greer Clayton
Styling Alice Lines
Photography Melanie Jenkins
As featured in October/November 2014
You will need
Terracotta plant pots
Resene Terracotta Sealer
Resene Resitex, medium grade
Low Sheen in assorted colours
Resene Paint Effects, medium grade
Resene Crackle Effect
1. Seal your pot Paint your pot inside and out with Resene Terracotta Sealer to keep it looking good for longer. Only one coat is needed, and as it’s water-based clean up is simply a matter of running your brush under the tap. Seal the night before painting, as there’s a six-hour dry time.
2. ADD TEXTURE To create a concrete look use Resene Resitex, brushing on two coats to build up a surface layer. Water-based Resene Resitex can be tinted to your favourite colour, or painted over when dry with Resene SpaceCote. This will create the basic textured look.
3. PAINT EFFECTS From here on you’re ready to get creative. You can sand the texture back, or add a wash of colour by using 1 litre of Resene PaintEffects medium grade, with 1-2 Resene testpots added, depending on the intensity required for colourwashing. We used Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Alabaster white for the wash and Resene Resitex in Resene Half Stack for our concrete look.
CREATING TEXTURE AND COLOURS
Painting on your texture with Resene Resitex and Resene Sandtex will instantly give you that ‘grunty’ concrete look, while layering with earthy greys and moody hues will result in an organic feel. Have some fun experimenting with the colourwash effect for ‘ageing’ your pots. We’ve used colours that complement our cactus plants; a colour palette inspired by nature.
It’s not surprising that Talia O’Connor has a stylish kitchen – she is, after all, the co-owner of design mecca MintSix. There are a few surprises in how she went about creating it though.
Photography Jenny McCreanor
As featured in October/November 2014
Talk us through the process of creating your kitchen... The original was typical of a 30s bungalow – awkward spaces, dark colours and no dishwasher! Our family loves to cook and congregate around the kitchen so we needed a space that was a pleasure to both cook and socialise in.
We didn’t have a big space to work with so we wanted to try and keep it simple. On the top of Chris’ wish list was functionality, while I wanted a fresh, clean space that wasn’t going to date. The kitchen is Chris’ domain. He was once a chef so his years of working in professional kitchens have given him firm ideas on the ideal kitchen layout.
Did you engage a kitchen designer or create the room yourself? I’ve been formulating my ideal kitchen design since we moved into this house, so we didn’t feel the need to engage a kitchen designer. I’ve been drawn to images of monochromatic kitchens and knew this would fit with my need to be timeless and era-appropriate.
I decided to follow the same process I would for one of my interior design clients. I started with a mood board to help me zero in on the right products, fittings and materials for the space. I then worked with our joiner to firm up ideas and draw the design with the correct specifications.
From there I sourced materials and products and reworked certain elements, such as the benchtop, to ensure the kitchen came in on budget. The custom-made American white oak benchtop softens the dark cabinetry and is in keeping with the era of the home. We were lucky to have a joiner who was up for the challenge of crafting it specifically for the space.
What was on your list of must-haves? I only wanted fixtures and fittings in black, white and wood. This meant the range of products available was limited – which actually worked to my advantage, as it simplified the decision-making process. I was also pretty set on having cabinetry reach up to the ceiling where possible. The wooden and black wall lights were the starting point as they combined the right mix of colours and materials.
The black ceramic sink worked for the space both aesthetically and practically – you can’t put hot pots on a wooden bench. The black tap works well with it too.
Then there was the mixture of black and white cabinetry, and pigeon-hole shelving to display cookbooks and good-looking kitchen paraphernalia.
What appliances have you used? How did you choose these? We used Fisher & Paykel everything, as we got a great deal. We installed a dishwasher, oven, extractor fan and gas-on-glass cooktop. The oven was our most considered purchase and we’re so happy with it.
What is the most overlooked aspect of kitchen design? Functionality. The space needs to be well thought out and facilitate your cooking, not hinder it.
Any MintSix tips for styling kitchen spaces? Include some texture in your kitchen. I achieved this by using bevelled subway tiles with a slightly mottled surface. Take your splash-back all the way to the ceiling where possible. And use a good mixture of task and ambient lighting, just as you would in the living spaces.
And what do you like to cook in this wonderful new kitchen? Wild food such as venison and blue cod (caught by my hunting- and fishing-mad husband) combined with fresh produce from the garden. At the moment we have asparagus, baby carrots and purple broccoli in abundance.
The Japanese art of kokedama (simply translated as moss balls) is making waves in the world of indoor plants. But don’t be fooled by their intricate appearance – these hanging string gardens are super easy to make.
Project & photography Duncan Innes
You will need
Small potted plant
A 7:3 ratio of peat and potting mix
Bowl for mixing soil
Moss or coconut fibre
Bucket of water
1. PREPARE Remove plant from its pot and shake away the excess soil to expose the roots. You may also have to trim the roots.
2. MIX Combine peat and potting mix together, adding water until it’s at a consistency where you can shape it into a small ball. Make sure the ball is big enough to contain the roots of your plant.
3. PLANT Break soil ball in half and insert plant into the ball, adding more of the soil mix if necessary. Lay pieces of string across a bowl, cutting lengths long enough to wrap around the soil ball and plant.
4. WRAP Moss is often used to cover the soil, but in this instance we used coconut fibre. Line the inside of the coconut fibre with sphagnum moss to help retain moisture in the soil. Gather the coconut fibre up around the plant and begin to wrap and tie strings around the ball.
5. BIND Once the basic ball structure is secured, it is time to bind it together by continuing to wrap with string. This is easier achieved with two people – one holds the ball, while the other winds the string around the ball, making sure to leave enough room at the top for the plant to breathe. Tie off the string at the top of the plant, so it will hang upright.
6. SOAK Once you’ve made your kokedama, soak the ball in a bucket of water for about 5-10 minutes. Wipe off excess moisture, and then it’s ready to hang. Keep your kokedama hydrated by spritzing with a spray bottle once a day.
Set the table for spring dining with fresh florals and delicious recipes to match.
Recipes Gretchen Lowe Photography Manja Wachsmuth Styling Alice Lines & Amber Armitage
Goat’s cheese & spring onion tarts with roast lemon
20g butter, coarsely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
150g goat’s cheese
½ cup parmesan, grated
2 tbsp each finely chopped thyme,
Italian parsley and chives
1 lemon, zest and juice
3 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg and tbsp water, lightly beaten, for egg wash
4 bunches of spring onions, cut lengthways
olive oil, for drizzling
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 200°C. For the filling, melt butter in a small saucepan over a medium to low heat, add shallots and garlic and sauté until tender (2-3 minutes). Combine in a bowl with cheeses, herbs, zest and juice. Season.
Cut part-thawed sheets of puff pastry into rectangles (16cm x 10cm). Prick the pastry pieces with a fork, then spread the goat’s cheese mixture evenly, leaving a 1cm border.
Using a fork dipped in the egg wash, indent the edges. Lay the spring onions lengthwise, drizzle with oil, then season. Brush edges with egg and bake until crisp and golden, 20-25 minutes. Garnish with rocket and chives. Add Chilli Walnuts and Roast Lemon.
Spring chicken salad with wild rocket, broad beans & citrus Greek yoghurt
600g skinless chicken breasts
½ cup finely chopped tarragon
80ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
¾ cup unsweetened Greek yoghurt
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 cup broad beans
1 cup thinly sliced, stringed,
sugar snap peas
½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup finely chopped chives
¼ cup basil
1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
2 cups wild rocket
1 cup micro herbs and edible flowers, to garnish
Preheat oven to 180°C. Coat chicken with some of the tarragon, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake 30 minutes, or until cooked. Cool and shred.
Whisk yoghurt, remaining oil, shallot, garlic and lemon zest in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Blanch broad beans and sugar snap peas for 5 minutes, then plunge into ice-cold water. Drain and cool for 10 minutes.
Combine chicken, yoghurt dressing, remaining tarragon, parsley, chives, basil and lemon juice, and toss to coat. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Place rocket on a large serving platter and tumble chicken salad mix on top. Garnish with herbs. Serve with crusty bread.
Orange-blossom, raspberry & white chocolate Cheesecake in a jar
3 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
⅓ cup caster sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ packet digestive biscuits, crushed
30g butter, melted
400g cream cheese, softened
½ can sweetened condensed milk
150g white chocolate, melted
4 tbsp orange-blossom water (optional)
2 tbsp orange juice and rind of two oranges
Make the topping, then chill until needed. In a saucepan, combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice.
Over a medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then quickly reduce the heat to low, and allow the mixture to simmer, stirring, until the sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture thickens to a syrupy consistency. This will take about five to seven minutes. Allow to fully cool.
Make the base by mixing biscuits with melted butter and pressing into the base of 6 short jars (around 200ml each). Chill while preparing filling.
For filling, beat cream cheese, condensed milk, white chocolate, orange blossom water, orange juice and zest until creamy and smooth. Pour into jars over prepared base. Cover with topping.
Chill cheesecakes for at least three hours.
With one half a seamstress and the other a cabinet maker; this couple couldn't have come up with a better work-from-home concept than Needle and Nail.
The best part of Jeremy Rolston’s day used to be getting home in the evening. The worst part was having to leave his wife Dee and their five children again the next morning.
Then last year he injured himself while building. Recuperating at home over the next four months, Jeremy realised he really didn’t want to have to leave Dee, Jada, Ty, Monte, Danny and Sawyer again. So he decided to look into working from home. After tiring of “waiting for something to come up”, the creative couple decided to make something of their own – literally.
Dee had already been working from their rural Waikato home, largely selling handmade dolls on Felt and Etsy. Well known in crafting circles for her attention to detail and her beautiful use of vintage fabrics, she was already doing the needle work in what was to become their business, Needle and Nail. A cabinetmaker by trade, Jeremy would become the ‘nail’ in the equation.
These days going to work for Jeremy means walking into his work-shed straight from the house, coffee in hand, with one of his younger children tagging along to help. There he makes hand-crafted wooden rifles, kids’ post boxes and wooden sewing machines, complete with moving parts. He couldn’t be happier.
Inside, Dee home-schools the children each morning, with the help of a degree majoring in linguistics. Afternoons are given over to whatever adventure the kids can find on their two-and-a-half acre lifestyle block in Whatawhata. Meanwhile, Dee settles in for a session at her sewing machine.
But it’s not just in the work-shed and sewing room that you’ll find evidence of the Rolston brand of creativity. Their home is a wonderful fusion of op shop finds, salvaged, gifted and family pieces, as well as both Jeremy and Dee’s handiwork – quilts and cushions made from vintage fabrics, and art on the walls.
They have also created custom-designed spaces for their kids. Four of them share their L-shaped space with good grace– with only the youngest, Sawyer, having his own room. Yet each has a special corner to call his or her own.
Both Jada and Ty’s spaces reflect their love of horses and outdoor life. Ty’s bed is a sight to behold, with a ‘bivvie’ Jeremy constructed out of fence palings over the top of it.
The foot of the L is Jada’s space, an ode to a love of vintage fabric that she shares with Dee. The two younger boys, Danny and Monte, share an alcove with vintage truck wallpaper, celebrating one of their favourite interests. A shared Lego
Pit completes the fun room – a great idea when you have five children who all take after their parents in their love of craft and construction.
Making things together is something the Rolstons plan to continue doing for a long time to come. For a family who loves living, learning and playing together, working as a whole was the perfect last ingredient to add to the creative mix.
The original kiwi bach has gone, but its relaxed atmosphere is still alive and well inside the architecturally-designed home that replaced it.
When Andrew and Katie Graham bought their Stanmore Bay beachside section on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, the land came with a small Kiwi bach. Seven years later an impressive, architecturally designed house stands where that bach once was – yet it has a distinctive holiday-home feel inside.
Andrew built the new house single-handedly. But despite being a builder by trade, there was a full year of planning to do, working alongside architect Chris Tate – with a further eleven months of building after that. “We thought long and hard about every aspect of the design in order to avoid changes during the building process,” explains Andrew, who all too often sees people making costly changes mid-project.
Andrew and Katie’s design brief was to have a home focused around family, incorporating seamless indoor-outdoor flow, with large decks for entertaining and to promote the uninterrupted views over the Hibiscus Coast. The final design concept encompassed two boat-shed style gables, one at either end of the house, and an adjoining living pavilion, complete with an expansive sun-drenched, north-facing deck.
“Chris really took in every aspect of the property while he was planning the design. He ensured our views were captured from every room, and that every corner of the long site was utilised,” Katie says. “The deck is sheltered by both gables and the interior pavilion, making it perfect for year-round use of the outdoor fireplace.”
Although Andrew built the house, it was Katie who drove the look of the home’s interior, choosing to mix modern components with earthy, raw and industrial materials. “I wanted to bring the outside in,” she says, “so natural timbers feature heavily throughout – as do nautical, industrial and retro pieces. I want to have a home that reflects our love for the outdoors, so that every day we come home to a house that is filled with things you would find at a bach – like oars and fishing nets.”
During the build they took up residence at Katie’s parents’ house, living in a refurbished caravan parked in the front garden – no mean feat with two young
sons, Kody (6) and Karn (4).
But today the boys are pleased with their more expansive living quarters. Kody and Karn’s bedrooms are situated in one gable at the end of the house, and their rooms boast stunning views out over the Hibiscus Coast back towards Orewa, Red Beach and Stanmore Bay. Katie had custom blinds made to fit the 40-degree pitch of the windows, but they’ve fallen in love with the scene beyond the glass, so they haven’t hung them yet.
The boys’ bedrooms mirror each other, met in the middle by a kids’ lounge, featuring a vintage pinball machine. Located upstairs at the opposite gable end, taking advantage of the highest view-point, is the master bedroom. It is a private parents’ retreat where glass panels run the entire width and height of the room, ensuring the views are the focal point. The defined space in the ensuite next door has been maximised by introducing natural light via a skylight and using white on the walls and ceiling.
Linking the two gables is the north-facing central kitchen and dining zone, which opens up to the outdoor decks. It’s Katie’s favourite room in the house. “It’s the hub of the home where we cook, eat, entertain and socialise. It’s where the kids do their homework – and you have that incredible view.”
The self-proclaimed hoarders have collected retro accessories and furnishings, including a pair of vintage armchairs they have had re-upholstered. An up-cycled pallet has been given a new life by Andrew, cleverly made into an industrial-style coffee table. Found in opportunity and secondhand stores alike, these pieces have added some talking points to their contemporary family-focused home, while at the same time paying homage to the Kiwi bach that once stood here.
Halloumi veggie burgers
It’s a common misapprehension that you can just stick two fried halloumi slices inside a burger bun, fill it up with some fresh cucumber, tomatoes and lettuce and call it a halloumi burger. I’m the first to admit that it’s a quick and delicious treat, but a burger? Nah. Try instead to coarsely grate the halloumi together with carrots, courgettes and some fresh mint and fry it for a couple of minutes in a pan. Then you’ll have yourself a proper halloumi burger. We first got the idea for these burgers at a food stall at one of the Sunday markets in London. There they served it almost like we have done here, on a cabbage leaf and with a yoghurt dressing, but you could also just go all the way with classic burger buns. We have fried these in a pan, but you could also do them on
MAKES 6 PATTIES (GLUTEN-FREE)
1 small courgette
1 large carrot
200g halloumi cheese
5 sprigs of mint, leaves picked and chopped
120ml (½ cup) plain yoghurt
2 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp maple syrup or clear honey (preferably unheated)
Pinch of sea salt
Large green leaves, like savoy cabbage
Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
Grate the courgette, carrot and halloumi cheese on a box grater on the coarsest side. Place in a bowl, add the mint and toss to combine. Form six patties with your hands.
Stir all the tahini dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Heat a dry,
non-stick frying pan and fry the patties on each side until golden and soft.
Serve on a large cabbage leaf with a dollop of tahini dressing, some pea sprouts and sliced avocado and a spoonful of sauerkraut. The patties and the dressing can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Green Kitchen Travels is the healthy vegetarian culmination of the authors’ trip around the world illustrated in recipes, photos and stories. Containing almost 100 recipes, including Harira & Date Soup and No-Noodle Pad Thai, it is a book that proves you can have fun with vegetarian food wherever you are in the world – or wherever you’d like to imagine you are, anyway.
Extracted from Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, published by Hardie Grant, RRP $45. We have two copies to give away. Enter on our competitions page with the code: Greenkitchen