No matter how many books we read with helpful tips for minimising the number of possessions we own or attempts we make to follow the ‘one in, one out’ rule, it can still be difficult to decide what’s a special memento and what’s general clutter when it’s time for that start-of-the-year tidy up. (I’m not sure about you, but it’s one of my annual rituals.) A piece of advice I took on board while watching a downsizing TV show years ago was if an object is no longer useful but has associations that make it difficult to part with, photograph it – it can liberate you from needing to keep it any longer. It’s good advice, although I’m not always capable of following it!
What makes organising easier is having the right kind of storage spaces, so everything can be tucked away neatly. Turn to our ‘Buyer’s Guide’ on page 26 for a round-up of functional and aesthetically on-point solutions that will keep your place spic and span.
Continuing the storage theme, sideboards are one of the most useful pieces of furniture to own. As well as hiding all manner of mess, they provide places for displaying artful arrangements in different parts of the house, as in our ‘Three Ways With’ story on page 30.
Another item on the New Year’s resolution list is often that renovation project you’ve been meaning to tackle. Although renovating can be stressful, time-consuming and costly, when the hard work is done, the results make the effort worthwhile. In this issue, you’ll find six makeovers that are nothing less than inspirational. On page 49, we visit the Auckland homes of Toni Brandso and Olivia Patience, the talented duo behind award-winning spatial design studio Material Creative. They transform spaces for their clients every day, but recently they’ve both renovated their own homes, infusing each with their unique sense of style.
The homestyle team has developed a serious soft spot for Erena and Joe Te Paa’s mid-century modern Hamilton home (page 62). We love it not only for its extraordinary original features, but also for its revamped interior enhanced by Erena’s clever secondhand sourcing and DIY skills, which prove sophistication can absolutely be achieved on a tight budget.
If you’re looking for a smaller-scale decorating project that will deliver a similarly big impact, turn to page 38 for our ideas for kids’ rooms; editor-at-large Alice Lines picked up the paint brushes to create colourful murals for two gender-neutral looks. But if you’re not the DIY type, starting the year with a new purchase may be your route to an instant refresh. The following pages are packed with beautiful products and styling suggestions that’ll give your place an easy update for the months ahead. Enjoy.