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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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  • 04/14/13--16:17: Fancy Loves: Maddie








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    I already put one of these pics of Maddie on the Fancy Facebook Page a few days ago... but in case we're not mates over there, I want to make sure you know about Maddie the Coonhound... 

    Because life is just BETTER with stuff like this in it.

    Her fame started with Maddie On Things - a photography project by Maddie's person, Theron Humphrey. The idea was just pictures of Maddie, standing on things. Then came a book. And now, a book tour the old fashioned way - Maddie and Theron road tripping around the USA in a ute. Along the way, they are putting together another photo project, called Why We Rescue - about how cool it is to adopt a rescue dog, rather than going to a breeder.

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    NZ brand The Green House first caught my eye because their packaging - with solid smoky glass vessels and minimalist design - looks good enough to have out on display. After buying it once I'm a convert - they use 100% natural ingredients and everything smells amazing. 

    You can buy The Green House all online, and shipping is freeeeee when you spend over $20.
    You might also like to like The Green House on Facebook if you like.
    The Green House have given me 3 awesome Gift Packs to giveaway!



    Sweet Passionberry Soy Candle
    Citrus & Lavender Room Spray (I have this - it's limey and lavendery and deliciousy!)
    Relaxing Bath Salts
    Hand & Body Wash
    Hand & Body Lotion

    To enter: just comment on this post! 


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  • 04/17/13--16:47: Fancy Spaces
  • Ahhhh, now this feels like home. 

    Yes, it's completely styled. But it's also completely AWESOME.

    Not sure I like that giant star. 

    When I showed this picture to one of my besties, she said: It just makes me want to get in the nude.
    Make of that what you will.

    Proof positive that just one inexpensive item can lift an entire room.

    S M E G love (which sounds a bit gross)

    Hello, Sunday Morning.


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    Fancy Spaces is brought to you by the Dilana family of NZ designer rugs.


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    More beautiful things from NZ's Douglas + Bec...


    Low Triangle Pendant Light. I'll take three in the copper, thanks.

    The atom-like copper chandelier with blown glass.

    I would buy these 3 chopping boards and display them vertically on my kitchen wall.  
    (Yes, that's quite specific, I know. But I think it's important to be specific.)

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  • 04/21/13--21:11: Steal This Idea

  • Until they finally start making non-boring light switches, we can DIY ourselves some... with washi tape.  Helpful instructions if you need them here


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  • 04/21/13--22:34: Studio Issue 3 is upon us

  • Issue toru of the most excellent NZ magazine Studio is ready for viewing.  Order your copy here.

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  • 04/22/13--16:15: Fancy Spaces!

  • I'm ready to move in here. Or at the very least, steal that bench seat with the floral upholstery. 

    No comment required.

    and... a close up! 
    (Check the links to see more photos of this wicked home)

    I bloody love a good archway. 

    Now this is a very cute idea: use a vintage ceiling light as a bedside light - and make the cord a wall feature. Weekend project?

    This seriously awesome sofa is from... IKEA! Yes.

    Studio Sweet Studio.




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    Fancy Spaces is brought to you by the Dilana family of NZ designer rugs.


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    Awesome Erica came to my attention when I saw her cute art prints over at endemicworld. She's only recently moved to Auckland, after 7 years in London working for Usborne as a book illustrator.
    COOL JOB!



    Tell us about your ‘day job’ - it seems like every young illustrators dream! 
    I guess I am one of those very lucky people that loves their 'day job'. It certainly doesn't feel like a regular 9 till 5, that's for sure. I have always loved to draw and actually, I had a lot of the Usborne ‘How to draw’ books as a child. I did art through school and college and when I went to art school, I was considering taking the path of fine art as I was good at portrait paintings, but it was my graphics teacher who had plans to make a designer and illustrator out of me!

    I think I then convinced myself, that maybe illustration was the way to go, when Robert Crowther, a fabulous pop-up book illustrator and paper engineer, came in to do a workshop with us. He pulled out my work up at the end of the week as one of his favourite pieces, and said that one day he thought that I might be a children’s illustrator too.

    That was it, from that point on I put down my oil pastels, and picked up my 0.5 black fine liner. I went to Uni and studied Graphic arts and design, but focused on children’s book design all the way through. I applied for a junior designer role at Usborne a few months after graduating and I got the job two interviews later.  

    In the 9 years I have been with Usborne I have worked on all sorts of books, the majority of which have been art and craft based books to inspire children to get creative. Over the last couple of years, I have helped to develop the drawing, doodling and colouring range and activity books for children ages 4+.

    I work closely with an editor to come up with ideas and themes for a particular title. They write the text and then it’s my job to take these words and bring them to life on a spread! I work on most of my titles from start to finish, either designing and illustrating all of the book myself, or working in collaboration with other illustrators.  

    Some of the books Erica has worked on


    You’ve recently moved here from London. What have been your favourite things about Auckland/NZ so far?  
    My personal work is inspired a lot by nature and New Zealand's full of it!

    Since moving here, and regularly escaping the city at weekends, my mind, and my camera are just crammed with images of amazing countryside, stunning coastlines and wonderful wildlife. The birds here are beautiful. I’m no bird expert, but I do love them. I really wanted to see penguins in the wild, so over Christmas we headed to the South Island and I wasn’t disappointed. I saw loads of Little blue penguins in Oamaru and the Yellow Eyed ones on the Otago Peninsula. Something I will never forget and something I wanted to record as soon as I was back in the studio, and so my Penguin Parade print was born.

    Close-up detail from Erica's Penguin Parade print


    What has been your favourite creative project you’ve done and why? 
    My favourite creative project so far is definitely the drawing, doodling and colouring book.

    It was a really exciting opportunity to create something different to what other publishers were doing, by making it bigger, better and more sophisticated than any other doodling books on the market. I love this range of books, mostly because I think they appeal to big adult kids as much as little ones!

    I have gotten to work with some fabulous international illustrating talent on these titles and I am very proud of the fact that the original title was nominated for ‘Best cover design’ at the British Book Design and Production Awards.


    Erica's favourite project so far - I can see why!


    Besides Graphic design and illustration, what else do you love to do?  
    Well, print making now takes up a lot of my spare time.

    In the minutes that I can find to spare around doing this and designing for Usborne, I really enjoy watching films. I love getting lost in a good book in the evenings, for as long as I can keep my eyes open.

    And number one I guess, is that I love to travel. Being on this side of the planet opens up a whole new world of places to explore.  


    Top: A freshly cut stencil for a new screen print, alongside Erica's studio essentials. 
    Bottom: A collection of Erica's greetings cards and her ‘Green machine’ art print.


    What would you like to be doing in 10 years?  
    I hope I will still be designing and illustrating children’s books. That would make me very happy.

    I would like to have a house (preferably by the sea) with a big enough garden to have a 'creative shed' at the bottom. I want to set up a permanent screen printing space where I never have to clear away my inks and it can be as messy as I want it to be! By then I hope to have travelled lots more too, to have seen more of the world and to have a head full of new creative ideas as a result.  

    Birds & Bow - limited edition print available at endemicworld


    Tell us about some people who inspire you...  
    With my printmaking, I find Scandinavian design hugely inspiring. I really like Sanna Annukka’s work. She now designs for Marimekko whose blog I follow for surface pattern inspiration.

    I love the work of Rob Ryan. I don’t think I would have started paper-cutting if it wasn’t for him. I have a beautiful screen print of his packed away in London somewhere and I kick myself regularly for not bringing it with me to New Zealand, as I miss looking at it!

    For book design and illustration, I love the work of Portuguese publishers, Planeta Tangerina. Very arty and beautifully designed books for kids.

    And last but not least, Jon Burgerman is my favourite doodler.


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  • 04/26/13--17:11: Joska & Sons

  • Copper Blond Lamp


    Copper Black Lamp

    Poise Lamp


    Scissor Lamp

    Some reeeeeeal nice launch products from young Christchurch designer Joska Easterbrook - and his new venture, Joska & Sons. 

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    Late last year, Kate Alexander made must-have-been-pretty-tough decision to leave her role as Managing Director of a leading Auckland design agency. As well as wanting to spend more time with her kids (aged 3 and 5), she was keen to experiment with a new creative direction. That new creative direction is Places & Graces - interiors styling and object library.






    Ceramic Pineapple!


    These pics are just some from the recent homes that Kate has styled for sale (some call it home staging - but we don't love that term). She also offers styling consultancy - she'll visit your place and give you advice on what to re-arrange, use and remove to make your spaces more inviting and enjoyable.

    Kate is also a collector of interesting vintage treasures, and has an ever-evolving collection of contemporary design pieces, textiles, furniture and and homeware. So she's decided to offer her compendium of awesomeness  - old and new - to the public. You'll be able to check out the entire Places & Graces object library on Pinterest, or visit Kate's new Devonport studio space to see it all, and choose pieces to hire at affordable prices...






























    Kid. Candy Store.


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    Every so often, you spot design talent that stops you in your tracks. And you just have to find out about the person behind it. I'm super stoked to introduce you Dave Coleman, a young designer and insanely talented letterer who shows how working in a big city for a big agency does not define a designer.... And that good guys can produce BAD ASS work.


    Pixels are good, but Dave likes playing with the tangible, too




    You've just gone freelance recently. How did that come about?   
    Well to tell that story, I need to take you back to the end of 2008, when myself and my best friend hurled our college education and barista's apron strings aside respectively, and started a freelance design studio. It was a gloriously exciting and very challenging road that lay before us - any freelancers reading this are empathetically nodding their heads at this point.

    We were young and inexperienced, but we did great work and we sucked up knowledge and online photoshop tutorials like a sponge.

    We met plenty of resistance; our clients had a penchant for ignoring invoices, work came in slowly and irregularly, and our bills/rent stacked up! But we were living the dream, and so pushed onward; until the end of 2011, when we parted ways. It was a sad and difficult time, but also the beginning of the rest of our lives, respectively. Though he may not know it, I feel the years we spent together as mates and in business were invaluable to my growth both as a designer and a person.  Around that time I started dating the girl I would one day marry, and began the search for a design job in the big city!





    I applied for a myriad of positions and with a week got an interview at a small but energetic mobile design agency in the middle of the Sydney CBD.  I began as a junior in the February of 2012 - with much gusto as this was my first 'real' full time job.

    I enjoyed my time there, but yearned for the freelance life - bringing jobs from beginning to end myself, dealing personally with clients, working from home etc. After staying there for a year (to the day!) I left and now I am blessed to be freelancing full time, with Laura helping me every step of the way.

    It is the most incredible thing to have the honour of doing what you love each day, and have it earn you a living. I thank God for that honour!  







    What's a project you'd love to work on?  
    I have a few 'bucket list' projects, but one of the most long-standing (since I was a wee toddler!) is to write and illustrate a children's book. I've got a few ideas there - I was on the phone to my Mum the other day and she loved them so I think that's a good sign.



    There is also a fantastic letterpress shop in California that I've been chatting to lately about getting some limited edition prints and books done, which I'm really stoked about. I have a deep love for letterpress.

    But I'd also really like to design a beer label, make a sweet backpack out of canvas and leather and brass zippers, creatively direct the entire fit-out for a cafe or little bookshop (logo, website, signage, interior etc), design/build/release a mobile app and a bunch more.  

    What's your favourite piece of work/project/job you've done so far - and why?  
    I think my favourite on-going project is with my church, Blue Mountains City Church - they constantly pass me open design briefs (the good kind of open!) for events that are happening, and I'm able to get really loose with the designs. They held a Holy Spirit Conference a while back and I had heaps of fun designing some custom type for that.







    Currently working on the album art and little website for a singer/songwriter - She - from the Gold Coast, which has been so much fun!

    Ask me this in a month or two though; there are some really fun projects that are starting to come in, as more folks are noticing my work - it's a very exciting time!  

    What are you looking forward to?
    Actually it's funny you ask me that now - Laura just applied for a scholarship to go to Spain and teach English there for a year - and GOT IT! We couldn't believe it! Which means that her and I will be packing up and moving from our little house in Glenbrook to a new place in the beautiful Spanish community of Asturias in October this year.

    I am so looking forward to that, as I will be continuing my freelance practice from Spain, and gathering new clients and new opportunities in a new country! As well as travelling far and wide from our vantage point in Europe.






    Up until just recently, I have operated under the simple moniker of 'dave'. With my photography becoming something I'm more passionate about, I decided to keep my dave logo for photography, and split that off into a separate website and brand (http://dvclmn.com | www.facebook.com/dvclmnphotography). This means I needed a new business name and identity for my design work! It has been an exciting process thus far, and I have been documenting every step. I have a name, a logo, am currently nailing a website together and hope to have these released in the next month.



    OK, I love a good recommendation Dave – tell us about something or someone that we should know about:

    Well you just HAVE to check out Bek Grace, a dear friend and one of the most incredible photographers around. So inspired so constantly by her.

    Recently I was quite taken with a fantastic design studio A Friend of Mine; their work is amazing. I am constantly inspired by the illustrator Matthew Hodson, the letterer Simon Walker, the photographer Andrew Myers, the painter John Tierney.  

    Dave's workspace - on the deck, in the morning sun. 

    A couple of pages from Dave's sketchbook(s) - including an idea for a children's book character



     Besides design and photography, what else do you love to do? 
    There are few things I enjoy more than sharing a coffee with my love, especially early in the morning when it's cold but sunny. I married a very active and adventurous girl so Laura is teaching me (slowly) the joys of leaving the house/desk/computer/sketchpad and taking bush walks, and going camping and hiking and road trips (which I do love!). And I couldn't be happier because of it...




    You should totally hire Dave, or keep an eye on his ridiculously good work at:
    Dribbble • Tumblr • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram


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  • 05/02/13--19:03: Mint Magazine Rack



  • Want one of these, please! The Storyboard magazine rack, the work of a new NZ designer, Jed Hooker. I'm a sucker for mint green and the pegboard/polka dot feel... $195 each, from Mr Bigglesworthy.



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  • 05/04/13--19:01: Just a few Sunday Spaces


  • Good afternoon, McDreamy. I'd be happy spending this lazy Sunday in any of these spots...




    Hope you're having a beautiful, restful weekend.


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    Fancy Spaces is brought to you by the Dilana family of NZ designer rugs.


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    Coming to Auckland on 31 May & 1 June...
    15 massively inspiring speakers over two days...

    SemiPermanent brings us some of the world's best designers and creatives, from a range of different industries, and puts them on stage at the Aotea Centre to share their work, their lives and their ideas. 

    It's just so damn good.

    This year, the line up includes:


    Digital Kitchen
    An interactive agency with offices in 3 cities in America, Digital Kitchen works with brands on live action, digital and experiential design.

    Curious Films
    Curious represents commercial directors; the best storytellers in Australia and New Zealand.



    Kelly Thompson
    Crazy-talented NZ (gone Melbourne) illustrator and photographer. 

    Askew
    New Zealand street artist and creative entrepreneur.



    March Studio
    Rodney and Anne-Laure are creators of spaces - retail interiors, houses... and those amazing worldwide Aesop concept stores. I can't wait to hear these two.

    Dominic Hofstede
    Hofstede is a design studio in Melbourne. They do really, really good work - particularly strong in type.



    Sandra Dieckman
    Folksy, nature-inspired illustrator from London. Love her stuff.

    P.A.M
    Perks and Mini - fashion label with a cult creative following.

    Annie Sperling 
    Designs and art directs sets for commercials, music videos and feature films.



    ...and more!


    To get your tickets, or get more info on the speakers, the 2-day programme and the different side events and exhibitions, check out the SemiPermanent website here. Or connect with SemiPermanent Auckland on Facebook or Twitter.

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    I missed you guys...


    My desk is missing these little message masking tapes from Hello Friend

    I'm going to have a child, just so I can buy Little River's super cool growth chart. 
    Children - not just for Christmas.









    If Frankie magazine opened a hotel, I reckon it would look alot like The Michelberger - a boutiquey accommodation in Berlin. Located in an old factory, and decorated almost entirely with vintage and craft.


    Well played, little Gold polka dot dish.
    Go and have a look at all the great things Sideshow Press design and make... 





    Aces Laces from awesome indie brand Mavericks



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    Hello, Leggy Blonde. 
    The Douglas + Bec collection now includes a beautifully simple garment rack. Lucky, lucky shoes and clothes. 
    PS: They're custom made to fit your place.


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    The June issue of NZ's HOME magazine has the best looking cover on shelves this year. So good! 
    It's HOME's annual furniture design awards issue, and the finalists include...


    David Moreland's Elevation range...


    The Baker stool by IMO

    (Love the aluminium details - can I request one in gold instead of silver?)


    Tim Webber's new Switch floor lamps.  
    I spy a wood turned American Ash fitting that acts as the on/off switch... very cool.  


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    These lamb's wool blankies are the work of New Zealand designer Virginia Busmann (now based in the Netherlands), for her new boutique brand Forestry. Also available in NZ through Everyday Needs.




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  • 06/10/13--17:00: Worthy of a Gold





  • NZ designer Nathan Goldsworthy has been a busy boy. His new Monarch series just won a finalist placing in the annual HOME design awards.

    As did his new Kimono stool...


    But my favey fave is the Halo stool, now in timber. 































    I can see your Halo (halo halo) oo-ooo!
    Yellow oak Halo, please come and live at my house.

    PS: You can buy Goldsworthy furniture directly from Corporate Culture.

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  • 06/11/13--20:22: Form & Fable ceramics


  • Some cool pieces from NZ's Form & Fable. (aaaaand i'm jealous of their name.)


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