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THE BEST DESIGN FROM NEW ZEALAND. AND AROUND THE WORLD. AND NEW ZEALAND! Homewares, Furniture, Interiors, Graphic Design... and lots of other awesome design.

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    First - a few months ago - came the Douglas and Bec dressing table, inspired by designer Bec Dowie's own Queen Anne dressing table, a loved, life-long possession. Then, that deceptively simple, meticulously-considered new dressing table inspired a range of complementary pieces... to form the just-released, complete Douglas and Bec bedroom range

    The brass drawer pulls and brass feet I loved so much from the dressing table are also there on a new night stand, a perfect sideboard (with a concealed drawer - my favourite thing ever) and a low boy, and there's also a geometric, minimalist bed head, and a series of kauri bedside lamps that are turned by master craftsman (and Bec's dad) Douglas Snelling and hand-painted by Bec herself. 

    Yes, yes and yes to furniture that is at once both contemporary and timeless. 

    And one more yes for Bec, who says she's taken her lead from previous generations, and their ability to live simply and slowly, yet with style. Amen and take me to church, you clever lady. 


    PS: This is the RD Dining Chair with leather saddle - not from the bedroom collection but new to the Douglas and Bec stable. Would you just stop it. 


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  • 09/25/14--14:49: Spring Collective







  • This makes me happy. Honest, simple, beautiful products... given honest, simple, beautiful branding and packaging. 

    Spring Collective is a boutique range of skincare, using organic, nutrient-rich natural ingredients, developed and hand-blended in small batches by NZ skincare specialist Maryse O'Donnell.

    The visual identity was designed by Maryse's partner, art director Campbell Hooper. Maryse's brief: a pared back and clean, modest feel, please... He took it from there. 

    When it comes to the product inside that lovely minimalist packaging, the entire process is taken care of by Maryse. From researching and developing each blend, to hand-pouring and labeling each vessel herself (the vessels being a weighty amber glass - my fave - which protects the nutrients inside from UV damage).  And all of this happens from her bespoke skin studio, tucked away in an historic brick building behind Simon James Concept Store in Auckland's Herne Bay. Every last detail has been attended to with care - the Multi-Vitamin Body oil, for example, has an all-natural scent of green fig and tea leaves that Maryse had specially formulated in Grasse, France.  

    3 new products will be added to the Spring Collective range this summer, and a website is on its way soon. Spring Collective is available online or in store at Simon James


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  • 09/29/14--16:35: All Black Everything



  • I'm really into B L A C K furniture and homeware at the moment and I want you to share my new love, not in a sister-wives way, just in a besties kinda way.

    // 1   Me so wanty. Thermo jug in carbon, from Menu - available at Let Liv.
    // 2   Normann Copenhagen's Hang light might just be my 6th favourite light of all time. 
    // 3   NZ online design store Mister Mister now stock the iconic Kubus collection, by By Lassen. 
    // 4   Why do toothbrushes all look like they were designed by Bell Biv Devoe back in '91? 
            Not these minimalist good-lookers from Paper Plane though. Their bristles are blended with
            binchotan charcoal, which has been used by the Japanese for its natural deodorising and
            detoxifying properties for centuries. Form and function, my friends. 
    // 5   Wire Bin from Menu, available at Let Liv.
    // 6   Digging the unexpected shapes of the Store range of canisters from Established & Sons,
            available from Simon James Design.
    // 7   Black oak utensils, from Paper Plane
    // 8   Tablo table (in 2 sizes, oh and P.S - in other colours) from Normann Copenhagen - available in
            NZ from Design Denmark.
    // 9   Uashmama paper bags (that feel like leather and wash like fabric) from Paper Plane. Use them
            for storage, or as contemporary planters.
    // 10  Fog Linen black metal tray, from Father Rabbit.
    // 11  Baker stool by NZ furniture designers IMO.
    // 12  Snippedy-snip, it's some Herb Scissors from Father Rabbit.
    // 13  Yes, Freedom Furniture, you are making my dreams come true. An affordable, black
             Spindleback. I'll take 6, pleasekaythanks.




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    Helen & Leah are a mum and daughter who share a love of making and all things interior design. They've turned their lounges into workrooms and are making a fast-growing range of cushions, banners, tote bags, chalkboards (my fave - the chalkboard bunting) and lots more. Go have a lookee!
    They were inspired to start Love Nest not only to make little design goodies for homes, but also to spread kindness and do some good along the way. 

    They're inviting you guys to nominate someone who deserves a little kindness, and every month, they Pass It On, picking one person to send a hamper of goodies to (go here to nominate someone).
    They're also using part of Love Nest sales to sponsor a child in poverty.

    Designing and making, doing good, hanging with your ma - I love it, Love Nest.







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    That bank of windows though...


    Outdoor bath!

    This hilltop honey is The Block's Alex & Corban Walls' first home-build project, a container house at Muriwai beach. (I featured more photos from it here). 

    It's just one of many eco-conscious, contemporary NZ homes in the new Green Modern book by Claire McCall. Alex & Corban's place was designed and built by Corban and his surfing buddy - young architecture graduate Fraser Horton - out of six rusted and dented second-hand shipping containers and many hundreds of hours of hard work. 

    Green Modern's great-big-coffee-table-book pages showcase 15 different NZ homes that embrace the principles of stylish yet sustainable design and environmentally-sensitive building – from inner-city pads to remote island retreats. Amongst the 250 pages of inspiring NZ architecture and interiors, there's also plenty of tips and how-to's for creating or renovating your own green modern home. 



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  • 10/01/14--16:33: Inside Out Sneak Peek


  • styling by Marsha Golemac, photography by Brooke Holm for Inside Out magazine

    The owners of this amazing home (both graphic designers, hardly a surprise aye guys) describe themselves as being halfway between hoarders and minimalists. To me, that's the perfect recipe - lots of contemporary clean lines and clear space, dotted with garage sale finds and heart. 


    styling by Nicole Valentine Don, photography by Fiona Gailbraith


    This vintage-meets-industrial honey is an old rabbiter's cottage, lovingly renovated over 3 years by young couple Claire & Tim (she's a fashion designer for Sass & Bide). There's also the super colourful rented home of an dutch interior designer (amen to decent ideas for rentals!), aaaaand this yummy bathroom below is from the Styling Lessons feature - which has a bunch of easy little ideas for how to style your kitchen and bathroom.

    styling by Heather Nette King, photography by Derek Swalwell



    No one call my phone tonight, somebody My Sky The Block for me... I'm drawing a long bath, pouring a wine and disappearing to read my Inside Out. 


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  • 10/02/14--20:27: PICK n MIX Time!


  • Sweet little somethings just for you... 

    I think I'm going to buy one of these lucky little horseshoes from indie husband-and-wife designers Cast + Crew. (Vintage horseshoes, restored and powder-coated in loads of colours - including gold and some neons too - and only US$20.) 




    In shops I could live in news, this beauty is espoo (I'm not saying anything), a design store in Antwerp, Belgium. 

    (Some images care of the super-fresh Design Milk)



    When I'm fantasizing that Jimmy Fallon is single and invites me to his New York loft, this is the sort of lighting he's gone for in his living room (brass and raw rope, so masculine). P.S: nice name, Camp Provisions.


    Never could go past a good simple stool. This one is the Pal stool, from just-launched online furniture store, Hem. 


    Loving textile designer Mae Engelgeer's new Yeah collection of boucherouite-style rugs and wall hangings.


    Always keeping a crafty eye on what Australian makers Beneath the Sun are up to... and they're up to some choice big ceramic dinner plates! Individually handmade and painted and each with its own imperfect quirk or three. And a new collection of hanging ceramic planters (with leather straps), like this one...






    The Minimalist gives real good vessel.






    Pretty painterly cushions from Melbourne-based artist Belinda Marshall.






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    Photography by Gaelle Le Boulicaut for Homestyle


    One of my all-time fave designers, Caroline Gomez, took one of my all-time fave magazines, Homestyle, on a tour of her awesome home. It's the lightest, loveliest ex-pinball repair warehouse you ever did see! 

    See lots more of her home in the latest issue of Homestyle, along with: the home of Kip & Co's Kate Heppell, botanical styling ideas for displaying leafy goodness in your home, a black-clad modern beach house that'll give you some serious bach envy, and loads more NZ interior and homeware gems.

    Ooh! And P.S: Caroline Gomez will be guest Instagramming for Homestyle mag this week - follow them if you haven't already - instagram.com/homestylemag

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    Images from Highsnobiety with generous permission - more photos and info to be found there too


    Highsnobiety visited I Love Ugly's Auckland city design studio…. and it's every bit as flawless and handsome as you'd expect from the design-is-in-the-details menswear brand.  The same black walls found in every one of the label's flagship stores are here too, with masculine timber floorboards and black floors, a high stud and huge industrial windows, and artworks created just for the space by the ILU design team and creative director (and founder) Valentin Ozich. 

    Speaking of Valentin, there's also a really insightful interview (thanks to Chris Danforth - @c_danforth) with him over at The Hundreds, speaking on the I Love Ugly brand and design values, and also on the recent opening of ILU's first international store, in the La Brea district of Los Angeles...

    "None of our team come from a fashion background, and our design team are all graphic designers by trade. This discipline and understanding of space and composition transcends throughout the store, which explains the cleanliness, minimal and simplified approach we take with everything" 
    - Valentin Ozich, from his interview on The Hundreds

    I Love Ugly's new LA store, images from The Hundreds with thanks


    Loved this quote from the interview: "Every product, every word, every smell, and every touch point of I Love Ugly has been considered with the utmost care and detail. We look at things in a different light, we value all human aspirations and endeavours with sincerity and intellect. We live and breathe the culture which we are continually trying to create. We have a goal to be the best in the world at what we do, and strive for nothing less."

    Read the whole piece (plus see more from the new LA store) over here





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    NZ fashion label Penny Sage have opened their first pop-up (on the second floor of Flotsam & Jetsam on Ponsonby Road). They'll be there until December, using the sunlight-soaked, minty-floorboards space to show not only their dreamy new Sleepaway collection, but also the work of NZ designers Marta Katarzyna Buda, Leilani Heather & Greta van der Star. 

    Marta is up first, with these hand-woven wall hangings (each one is coloured using only natural dyes including mango skin and rosewood bark). Marta's wall hangings are for sale from the pop-up until late October.  

    Marta creates her wall hangings to order, too - contact her here


    Marta is also a well-established textile designer - these are just some of her many custom prints/patterns (these prints all for Twenty-Seven Names).





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    Barkers couldn't have picked a better spot for their new (huge) flagship store - No. 1 High Street - the same street that Ray Barker opened his first store in 1972, but also in one of Auckland city's oldest and most WOAH-beautiful buildings. The category one heritage-listed South British Insurance Building is known as New Zealand's best example of the Chicago art-deco style, with monumental vaulted ceilings, giant marble pillars and exquisite interior detail unlike anything else in the city.

    The deco detailing has been restored to its original glory, and beautifully crafted furniture and lighting added.  In another nostalgic nod, Barkers have two other businesses joining them within the space - like all the best Queen St stores used to do, back in the day - there's an espresso bar (Burr & Grind, run by the rad crowd at Eight Thirty) and the Groom Room, a four chair barber. There's also going to be made-to-measure suiting. Fix up look sharp, men.

    Architects AND designed the speakeasy/prohibition style interior in collaboration with Barkers, and Switch took care of all the signage and internal graphic design. I spy with my little eye - white subway-tiled entrance to the fitting rooms, metre-high letters painted on the floorboards that spell out 'A STYLISH MAN MAKES HIS OWN LUCK', and antique chairs with Swandri upholstery.

    A couple of nice details from other Barkers stores









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    A little something from the Kubus collection (from Denmark design house By Lassen) has always been on my wishlist.... it was designed by renowned Danish architect Mogens Lassen in 1962, originally from blackened copper. Back then, the pieces were reserved for Mogens' family and close architect colleagues, and today, Kubus is most definitely considered a design icon the world over.

    Now they're F I N A L L Y available in NZ - Mister Mister are the exclusive NZ stockists of the Kubus collection.

    To spread the word, they offered me to offer you a Kubus 4 - in either copper (valued at $370) or black (valued at $295)!

    Man-lady-man, I'd have a hard time deciding between copper and black. Eeny meeny miny moe, my mother says to pick the very best one and that is...



    more goodies in the Kubus collection





    F I L L   I N   T H E   F O R M   B E L O W

    Please note: final option of copper or black is stock dependent. 
    Competition open to New Zealand postal addresses only. Winner will be drawn Monday 13 October.


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  • 10/11/14--13:21: Fancy Spaces
  • Room to breathe…
    (PS: amber apothecary-jar vases are always a fave)


    How sweet is this house? You should see the rest of it, too...
    Yes to black floors and black staircases.
    French doors indoors are my life goal.

    Those windows! That marble top! I can't! Can you? 

    Perfectly practised restraint. 

    Such a cool little study spot - with enough decoration to make it modern, but not too trendy. Love that leather chair too...

    Ah, the Sundayness of it all...




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    NZ illustrator Becca O'Shea (she's also on Instagram, here) is creating an icon every day for 100 days as part of the 2014 100 Days project - one creative thing. every day. x 100. 

    You can see some of the other hundred dayers' here.

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    Loretta identity by Dick & Jane.

    love those rough concrete walls hinting at the building's history, and that leather banquette seating...

    these photos for HOME magazine (with thanks), by Paul McCredie

    These photos by Mike Clare for Thonet - who took care of Loretta's furniture and fittings


    New to Wellington's  is Loretta - Floriditas more casual young sister, with a food philosophy based around simplicity and generosity, and a notion that green, wholesome and made-from-scratch definitely needn't be earnest or boring. 

    The overall vision for Loretta belongs to owner (and chef) Mark Weir, and it's a vision that percolated over the course of years, inspired by Mark's travelling and tasting the world, the finer details being blended like ingredients one-by-one until Loretta was his most exciting new dish.

    Mark enlisted the help of Parsonson Architects to design the space, a historic building on Cuba street. Planit Construction stripped it bare to its original shell, readying it for Thonet's contemporary blonde timber furniture and interior design that Mark planned to be simple, honest and substantial - just like the food.

    The brand and visual identity was designed by Paul Johnson of new studio Dick & Jane. It's clean, super fresh, and authentic... and just a little bit cheeky. 

    When you visit, take special note of the plate you're eating from - and how it doesn't quite match your neighbour's plate. That's because every plate used in Loretta was individually handmade by NZ master potter Paul Melser, a project that took him 10 months to complete. He's actually still working on additional tableware...






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    Designer person, you're about to have your BEST DAY EVAH. Semi-Permanent is back in Wellington on Nov 5+6, and the speaker line-up is ridiculous. Who's gunna billet me so I can come down for it?

    OK, here's your chance to win a ticket to 2 days of crazy good design and creative inspiration from some of the world's best, including two speakers from New Zealand.

    Awesome letterer and illustrator Jessica Hische is speaking (#ladycrush), as is the team from Wellington's Resn - they're one of the most awarded digital agencies in the world and they're ours! (well, they also have a studio in Amsterdam now).  The CD at Google Asia-Pacific's Creative Labs, Tom Uglow, will be sharing some of their recent ground-breaking, woah-we-are-living-in-the-future projects. There's Phillip Andrew, the Executive Creative Director at Clemenger BBDO Wellington. He's worked in all the big shops for over 30 years, has won advertising awards all around the world (they had to stop giving them to him and asked him to judge now), and is the man behind "you know I can't eat your ghost chips". There's also the artist behind decades of those iconic Mambo artworks, Reg Mombassa; Blidholm Svensson, the woman who co-founded one of Swede's and Scandinavia's leading design and brand agencies; Tony Brook, from design studio Spin (London); and Antonin Kratochvil, one of the world's most uncensored photojournalists.

    Get yo'self a ticket! Or enter the draw to win one below...


    Just fill in the form below. Winner drawn Monday 20th October.


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    NZ designer Joska Easterbrook has a new Joska & Sons range. Following on from his sophomore copper collection, it's all brass-accented and all made to order. Yes, we like that. That brass bracketed simple shelf is my fave. 

    (Also, we like stories like Joska's - how moments in life that seem chaotic and awful can be the very making of you. When the catastrophic Christchurch earthquakes destroyed the cafe Joska worked at, he and two others set about creating a new space from which to keep the espresso flowing. Joska took charge of designing the interior for the temporary cafe, and with a post-quake budget restricting too much spending, he designed and made his own furniture and lighting for it. And realised that everything he'd been doing in his life up to then had lead up to this. You just never know when you're going to find that thing that makes your heart sing...)


    Joska & Sons    online store  //   Facebook  //   Instagram


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  • 10/15/14--19:54: Award-winning NZ Modern Barn




  • This very very sexy black barn just won the Supreme Award and People's Choice at the 2014 Architectural Designers New Zealand Awards. Designed by Tane Cox of Red Architecture.



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  • 10/18/14--13:19: Fancy SPACES…

  • You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happyyyyy when skies are grey. 
    Raining here today - perfect Sunday weather for staying under the covers and mooching around the interwebs looking at interiors. 



    Long term fan of a bench seat or pew at the end of a bed. 
    Also vintage school kids' chairs as bedside tables.

    Dem bones.

    Take me here…
    (black is also my current favourite accent colour)
    This could definitely coax me from my rainy-day Sunday bed. I'm imagining they're making waffles.
    (I also love the black kitchen wall but it's a rookie mistake, because that would be a soap-and-food-fragments bitch to keep clean)

    Lots of lovelies here - the brass lamp, the mid-century sideboard, the mega string shelf with desk (a little too much clutter there for my OCDness but looks good tho!), the black AJ lamp, the simple pendant light with brass fitting. REALLY didn't need the huge paper pouf on the floor as a styling choice though... 

    This is a huge old barn, painted bold black on the outside. And this bedroom is in the rafters. In the rafters, guys!!

    Cute things in small spaces.

    Love how unkempt looking this is. Did you spot the circle of lights on the ceiling?

    Somethings old and somethings new, somethings patterned and one thing blue.

    I'm just going up to my teeny tiny attic space to lie on my daybed and Sundaydream. I may be some times.



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  • 10/19/14--17:05: New wood newness from NDC


  • New Zealand makers NDC have some new newness online, and I'm a fan of their Scandi little Pivotante stool. It swivels (so you can lift your feet up and go weeeee) and is available in custom heights. Each one of these lovely handcrafted things takes more than 25 hours to cut and turn and lathe and lacquer. Don't you wish your bar chairs were hot like me? 



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