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A Day In The Life of... Material Creative


Flat whites at the coffee joint they co-own, client presentation preparations, choosing colours for a fit-out, design installation planning, pop-ins for pick-ups at home, proofing event invites printed on an authentic old letterpress, afternoon icecreams at a co-op client, installing in-store awesomeness, sun-downers at a Ponsonby bar... all part ofone summer's day in the life of Olivia (Liv) Harper and Toni Brandso, good great friends and together Material Creative - award-winning commercial and residential interior architects. 

A big thank you to Fisher & Paykel for their commitment to New Zealand design 
in sponsoring Fancy's Day in the Life series.

Happy Sunday - FANCY Spaces...


Happy Sunday, sun babes. I found some real nice spaces for you.

I'd be quite happy having my office in the lounge if it looked this good. 
Let's check out the bedroom and kitchen, shall we?

Yes, good, everything seems to be in order here...

... and in here. Approved. 

Loving that old iron bed/bench seat, the industrial trolley on castors and the grey pendant light.  
I'd wear socks on this floor and do the meanest moonwalks.

Niiiiiiiice sofa. 
And how good are the bones in this place? Boner Bones.

D R E A M Workspace - old warehouse, huge windows, high stud, wooden floors. 
(It belongs to San Fran designer Emma Robertson of this blog.)

Yes please, yes I do, yes I will, yes.

You should start a Tumblr called Beds On Floors. 

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Citta Design goes Copenhagen


Last week, I got a lucky little look at Citta Design's new Winter '14 range. Each collection is inspired by a city, this one by Copenhagen. Hardly surprising, given that my middle name is Scandi (it's not really) that I think it's their best yet...  clean lines alongside more folksy graphics, and Nordic niceness in the form of some verrrrry cool new bedding, THAT BLACK AND WHITE RUG THOUGH, cushions, cozy blankies.... 

Will bring you some product picks soon, kay? 

FANCY Reader Survey (tell me what you think and you could win $350 worth of Design Store vouchers)


This blog started way back in the way backs (years ago) as a way for me to escape the soul-sucking executive-level career I had, to discover all the awesome people making proper cool things, here in NZ... to inspire myself and hopefully one or two others. I would never have believed that more than a few people would read and look, let alone the tens of thousands a month who do now. 

Including you.

Loveyouheaps, aye... yeah. (looks down at feet).

So it's about time I checked in to see how Fancy has been suiting you. 

F A N C Y    R E A D E R    S U R V E Y

If you're a regular reader of Fancy, please tell me everything. What you love, what you really don't, what you want more of... (You can also fill the survey in anonymously, if you like.) 


I have $350 worth of design goodies for one of you! Firstly, my homies at endemicworld have a big ol' $200 voucher for you - so you can pick several art prints, or perhaps a huge framed print

Plus, one of my fave design stores The Flock (they have seriously well-curated online shelves - you will love) have given me a $150 voucher for you to spend. Super decent prize, right? 

After you've given me your thoughts on stuff and things and items (click here to open the survey), there's space for you to fill in your email address - that's your entry into the draw.

Douglas and Bec's collaboration with emerging designer...


Very super cool to see an established NZ design brand collaborating with emerging talent... This brand new and beautifully simple Vanity Mirror is the result of a mentorship Douglas and Bec's Bec (Rebecca Dowie) undertook with year two Industrial Design students last year. 

Just look at that cheeky subtle tilt. And the teeny shelf for your up-close-face items, with a hexagonal rod to keep items from falling out. Nice. 

The Antonio Wan X Douglas and Bec Vanity Mirror will be in store at the end of this month, and is available now for pre-order ($289).

C U R R E N T L Y - What NZ designer Jamie McLellan likes lately...


NZ Product designer Jamie McLellan in his office - looking sharp in Gubb & Mackie

My album of the year thus far is the new Warpaint album. Have also just now been streaming Beck's new album which sounds great too; smooth, slow and calming.     

Feral by George Monbiot. This book sat beside the bed for ages but I've only just got around to starting it. Very curious to see where it goes. I've read and followed George Monbiot a bit, but I have to admit it was the cover that first caught my eye in Time Out - a deer in an inner city car park. Picking the book up and seeing a quote from Thom Yorke on the back sealed the deal.

A lovely new sofa from Simon James. A new Avanti pushbike this time with gears and brakes. Ongoing rust repairs to my car. Re-roofing the house. Longer term, saving for a sabbatical perhaps (wouldn't that be nice!) and a wedding.

Travelling to Indonesia later in the year to work on a rattan project. My family lived in Indonesia for a year when I was 9 years old. I haven't ever been back and am curious to see whether the sights and, more potently, the smells refresh my memories. I'm also naturally really excited to be working with local craftsman and furthering my own knowledge of what is a very organic yet structured material.

I've only just discovered the joys of G&T. Best served with Quina Fina tonic whilst bobbing at sea-level.

Outside of work, lately I have been doing very little other than just re-charging on or in the ocean. I can't complain though as my work has become rather diverse and really stimulating - wool running shoes, a rattan furniture collection, paint tinting machine, carbon fibre light shades, windsurfing sails, a shelving system, bicycles, a knife project with an über talented chef, a wrist watch, a console and an entertainment unit, an oil burner and an incense holder for a friend's lovely yoga brand, and the biggest project of all being a little bit confidential at the moment. Phew!

Walnut is the Captain

I'm always grateful for the simple little daily routines in this city that I love. Cycling to work via the waterfront. Working hard during the week, in an office with friends and one little scruffy dog. Making a living from drawing scruffy pictures and making scruffy models. Heading home to the humble good life in Arch Hill with Alice and Walnut. Boating and beers on the weekend with friends. Nothing too glamorous, but very rich in substance.

Well, I never tire of Twitter. Present And Correct are my favourite shop that I have never been to, a stationer in London, and their contribution to Twittersphere never fails to make me smile.

Jamie McLellan website  \  twitter  

AND - Two NZ-designed art prints with a nautical flavour

It's OURS, Charlie! Wellington Chocolate Factory!


Down in Eva Street, Wellington, in a building called Wellington Chocolate Factory, Rochelle and Gabriel are making bean-to-bar chocolate. As in, gently roasted cacao beans, each batch with a unique flavour profile depending on its source - rainforests in Trinidad, Madagascar, Venezuela... And they're working with NZ artists on the paper wrappers, (these ones are by illustrating babe Gina Kiel) - each design inspired by the flavour. If you're in Welly, could you get me some of their mini tasting bars? 

But for now, Goodbye, Mrs. Gloop. Adieu. Aufwiedersehen. Gesundheit. Farewell.

(This post with a high five for Kalista.)

Treat Yo Self... it's design Pick n Mix time


Leah Duncan, I love the way you do what you do when you do what you do.

Olive & June, a nail salon (in LA) with a proper excellent brand and interior. Love the leather chairs, fresh flower garland, the large tables... and those side tables with sling caddy are you for real! All of it, really. Oh, and they have a smoothie menu! NZ nail salons, you're doing it wrong.

Australian designers ISM offer up this new table lamp. I give it a Grade A.

Double wicks, double awesome!  Sydney Hale Co.

The world needs more good sideboards. Like this new one by French brand-to-watch Colonel, especiallyparticularly because it makes that awesome grid pattern when the horizontal and vertical slats cross. The grey version's a bit pretty too.

Dishing up some brand appreciation for this Mexican joint in Singapore. They don't have one logo - instead, they have a suite of them, all hand-drawn. I especially dig that ingredient-origin map - I want to know where my food's from.

Something fluffy to finish? Ok! I just discovered Dogist, a street-style photoblog about the dogs of New York City. This makes my tail all waggy.

Design Diary - Tim Grocott, NZ Ceramicist


Design Diary is a new regular series on Fancy. 

Taus Ceramic has been a long time in the making. For the last 10 years, Tim Grocott's made his living as a TV editor. But he wasn't fulfilled in his job; he wanted to make. Exploring different design disciplines, he decided to enroll in a night class at Auckland Studio Potters, and fell in clay-love. That was back in 2010. Since then, Tim's been perfecting his craft, and slowly setting up his own workshop at home. In October last year - encouraged by the chance to work part-time in the Douglas and Bec workshop - he took the triple-jump leap (with an Auckland-sized mortgage) to give up TV editing for good, and launch his own business. Taus Ceramic produces simple, beautiful, functional ceramics - vases and vessels, serveware of all kinds and sizes, and even porcelain hip-flasks. 

The first thing I did this morning was…pour myself a pot of tea and sit down at the computer to colour grade some product shots.  

The highlight of my day was…Scoffing a chicken salad for dinner out of a bowl I made myself with greens and tomatoes grown from my own garden.  

A challenge in my day was… figuring out how to shape a coffee cup handle which would be appropriate for a mould, and also comfortable to use.

One thing I achieved today…finally pulling together all of the elements for packaging of the Taus Ceramic hip flasks. (With info cards and branding designed by my super talented fiance...she's a gem.)

 If I could, I would... work with my hands everyday.

Taus Ceramic website  \\  Facebook   \\   Instagram 

Inside Out March issue sneak peek


Inside Out and their style editor Jessica Hanson continue to be totally awesome - love this Wallpapers feature. (Photography by Amanda Prior.)
The Kidding Around story has loads of super cute ideas for decorating for kids.  And for Alanas.
(Styling by Jessica Hanson. Photography by Sam McAdam-Cooper.)

This 1860's cottage in the countryside is the weekend getaway of interior designer Kali Cavanagh. Lucky Kali! (Styling by Julia Green and beautiful photography by Armelle Habib.)

I spy, with my little eye, something awesome beginning with E. Hint: Everything. This was definitely my fave home in this issue (so many more nice big photos in the mag of course), and the people living here are renting it, which is cool to see more of in the interiors magazines.
(Sunny Side Up styling by Claire Delmar, and photography by Prue Ruscoe.)

The March issue of Inside Out is 170 pages of good goodness - available on shelves, or online at Zinio, Google Play, Apple's Newsstand and Nook.

Two designers with serious vision reinvent a brand from the 1920's

New Zealander Kam Young and his British wife Emma are together Kiwi and Pom. From their design studio in London, the pair work on product design and branding and interior architecture.

In 2009, researching for a company to supply crockery to one of their clients, they re-discovered Falcon Enamelware. Here was an iconic, nostalgic brand with a heritage dating back almost 100 years, just gathering dust at the back of discount stores. Kam and Emma approached Falcon with an offer - let us develop a new identity that celebrates your character and quality, and in return, supply us with enough product to test the market. That's some serious design vision, right? 

Falcon accepted. So the reinvention of Falcon began - with a new brand identity (inspired by the classic blue rim) and packaging, and an updating of the product - new colours, detailing and additional product lines. Falcon Enamelware is now a major international enamelware brand, selling in stores worldwide. 

Anyyyyyway, I wanted to show you Kam and Emma's most recent work for Falcon - a pop-up shop for London Design Week. Inspired by Falcon's utilitarian packaging, they created a traditional London storefront, constructed entirely (even the cash register) out of corrugated cardboard.

CURRENTLY... What home stylist Kate Alexander is loving lately...


What home and interior stylist Kate Alexander of Places & Graces has been liking lately...

National radio! It sounds geeky but I love my mornings with Kim Hill and afternoons with Jim Mora. I learn so many things about the world. Plus, when you work alone it's nice to have the chatter of voices in the background.

Magazines, magazines, magazines. I have a total addiction. From near and far, if it's got interiors in it I'll have it! My favorites are Australian Home Beautiful and British Vogue. And to balance the visual overload I read theskimm.

A Frenchie. I feel ready for a dog and my partner loves French bulldogs, who can blame him, they're super cute!  

Lunch with Linda Halinan at her home and garden in Hunua with Lyn from Finding Flavour tours (discovery tours for foodies). And the NZ Home and Garden tours because I have two friends whose homes are featured.

We have a new local bar in Devonport, Tiny Triumphs. It's a place where you feel at home, get comfortable and stay a while. My recipe of the moment is: Mexican Corn Salad - courtesy of BITE magazine and Warren Elwin. I serve it with barbecued pork steaks. Oh, and my favourite afternoon tea right now is a piccolo and a scoop of salted caramel ice-cream from my local dairy… add them together and you have a super naughty and delicious affogato!

My locals. My day starts with a visit to Vauxhall Cafe for a flat white. Next door to Cheltenham Dairy for a fresh juice. Across the road to Chateaubriant for a pastry. Then a meandering chat with the uber knowledgeable Lindon at Cheltenham Curiosity shop who always has something new and interesting. They're people that I meet when I'm walking down the street. They are the people in my neighborhood...

Having a career doing what I truly love and being surrounded by choice, happy people!  

Fantasticfrank. The future of real estate and home styling is happening in Stockholm and Berlin. I could quite possibly pass out from excitement if I got the chance to style a home for them!

Places & Graces website  \\  Facebook  \\  Pinterest 

Good Morning, Good Morning, the sun will shine - it's breakfast time, Good Morning, Good Morning to yooooooou... (FANCY SPACES)

Doesn't surprise me that the woman who makes these amazing leather bags has a bedroom this boho-lovely. I want to lay here and read Mary Oliver poetry (not joking, I love Mary Oliver)
Uncomfortable designer chair finds new use as a clothes hanger/small table - yip I can definitely get with that.

Hey, don't judge. Addiction to Scandi interiors is a serious illness.

Many good.
So design.

So, you wanna see the rest of the place, and the girl who calls this her workspace?
I don't blame you at all, buddy. Go here!

Lived in and loved in.

Praise Be for authenticity and under-accessorising.

Good Morning, Good Morning, the sun will shine, it's breakfast time, good morning, good morning, to yooooouu...

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I could live in The Foxes Den


Put the kettle on for Fancy's newest sponsor, online store The Foxes Den. The Foxes Den is the imaginary home of a fox family, with things both beautiful and functional to be found in each room.
I picked a few of my faves... from top left:

If you sign up to receive The Foxes Den's email newsletter (very bottom right of home page), you'll get a $20 gift voucher to spend. 

Pick n Mix Yo


Goodies for all you goodies.

Gold, geometrics and lotttsss of notebooks! Yeah, you know the way to my heart Kristina Krogh.

Digging Kinfolk's short film series, Saturdays - the idea being to inspire you to do something awesome (pick berries, make homemade soda, swim in a river) with your day off.

There's nothing I don't like about design store/cafe/studio and workshop space, Studio Bomba.
Photos by Style & Focus

One of these would make a super cute gift for someone who likes cooking.

Ceramic Bento trays! By young Canadian designer Jessica Nakanishi

Grow me a beard and put a duffel on my back, I'm sold. 
Independent brand Juniper Ridge was started by a group of outdoors-loving guys who wanted to put the mountains in a bottle. They 'wildcraft' fragrances by harvesting aromatic plants from wilderness locations around America, extracting the essential oils in a converted whiskey still, and then turning them into colognes and other products. How this for a scent note: driving down the coastal highway along 500ft ocean cliffs and through misty Redwoods, the smell of wild sage and sea mist in the air.

If you're not sure which one to choose, they do a sample kit of tiny elixir bottles. You had me at tiny elixir bottles. Great story, great products, great design. They also give 10% of their profits to wilderness protection groups. Much more to see on their website.

Design Diary - Evie Kemp


When NZ illustrator Evie Kemp isn't making awesome animal art prints, she's hanging with her two cute pups, or working with Amy Clarke on their new textile print brand, Rust and Stardust

The first thing I did this morning was… 
Take my dog Bonnie down to the park to play fetch before it was too hot. I also checked emails and packed up orders ready for my super-lovely courier, Jeff, to collect before heading off to my studio. 

The highlight of my day was… Peanut Butter brownie and coffee at Humbug cafe with Amy (studio mate, Mylarke and other half of Rust & Stardust). We pretend we’re going to talk business but very rarely do. When you work with someone it’s so good to still be able to have solid ‘friend’ times, also to slack off, and eat amazing peanut butter brownie. 

A challenge in my day was…
I’m working on some commissions at the moment and it’s always a challenge to get them just right. For most of my work I’m primarily my own client so when I have two sets of eyes to please, I always find it more of a challenge. A challenge I feel I face almost daily is trying to find a solid block of time for creative work, also, avoiding talking on the phone - a very real challenge. 

One thing I learned… I’m not sure ‘learned’ is the right word, but I am now very up-to-date with the shows from London Fashion Week. 

Something I achieved... was completing a portrait of a very handsome pug, it’s for a present so I can’t show it just yet but I’m very happy with it. 

If I could, I would... hang out with kittens and puppies, then go for a cocktail on the waterfront at 5pm ...every day.

Evie Kemp Website \\  Facebook \\  Twitter \\  Instagram

Five Faves

Digging Designworks' new digs.


Love me some Tom Dixon lights

Custom designed display case to show off great work and NZ Best Award pins.

art prints and cushions and art prints and cushions and art prints and cushions

NZ design agency Designworks has a verrrrrry extremely good looking new space, in the old Auckland Art Gallery building. Double-handed high fives to their in-house spatial team.

Fancy Spaces (aka - interiors I saw and liked this morning)

Happy Cyclone Sunday everyone! (unless you had damage at your place or a big power outage or it was your wedding yesterday. Then I'm real sorry.)

Idea: Instead of art over your bed, go for a shelf. You can still put art on it, plus/or a bunch of other things that you like looking at. And it's far easier to rearrange, if you're like me and need to rearrange things all the time.

Cutest footstool in footstool land!  

I'm resisting the urge to paint some of my chairs pink. 

Don't think I'll ever get sick of circular mirrors. 
PS: In interiors, grey is the new white. But would you paint a wall this dark? Huh? Would ya? Would ya?

Cute black and white gallery wall in this nooky nookerson. I also like that the grey couch isn't trying too hard with its cushions. That's right, couch, just be yourself.

Cool. A little cold, maybe. But cool. 

This picture got picked because of the giant A. 

No, not just the A this time, jeez. Mainly for that amazing vintage chair.  
If you have one amazing chair in a room, you can get away with just about anything.

S C O N C E S! 

P.S: It's almost time to get our blankies and throws out of the hot water cupboard and start draping. 
(and if you like that duvet cover, it's by Hay - available through Corporate Culture in NZ)

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