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Designer's Diary: Unna of The Forest Cantina


Unna Burch lives with her husband and two littlies in Wellington, where she grows her own organic veges, keeps five beehives and has heritage breed hens. A make-up artist originally, Unna now shares her love of cooking and food styling on her awesome blog, The Forest Cantina.  

The first thing i did today was...
...have Leo wake me up by climbing on top of me tapping my head, saying ''Dada? Dada?'' (he could hear that his Dadda and brother were up and in the kitchen and wanted us to join).

The highlight of my day was...
I got a new wishbone tattoo, done by Caleb at The Writers Case in Stokes Valley. Such a beautiful space he has there, you can see that his heart is in that studio. I'm so in love with my wishbone. Everytime i see it, it makes me smile.

The fruits of home hives and hens

One challenge in my day was...
I get really nervous about meeting other parents. Today was only our second week at a wonderful Rudolph Steiner Playgroup and I knew there would be other parents that I was going to meet for the first time. So for me, a challenge that I overcame was meeting new people.

One thing I completed today was... I'm doing a series of images on Instagram called 7vignettes where you get a theme for each day and you create a picture to reflect it... I finally completed them and I'm so excited to share them over the week! Was fun to have a creative challenge and the 7vignette community on Instagram are so sweet. I've met some very incredible and inspiring people so far! 

If i could, I would... have an unlimited budget (and time) and cook and do food styling everyday

The Forest Cantina Website \  Instagram \  Facebook

Henrietta Harris

New from Tim Webber


Making my panties fly off this week: This amazing copper mirror - a new addition to the Press mirror range by NZ designer Tim Webber.  

Alllllll Good (and sparkling)


Can I just take a moment to appreciate the work that NZ brand All Good are doing? Thanks. 

The small Auckland business started out bringing the very first fairtrade fruit to New Zealand - fairtrade bananas. 

Then they created a new ethical soda, Karma Cola, working with a small village in Sierra Leone to harvest cola nuts. Despite growing the naming ingredient of the biggest soft drink in the world, these farmers live an impoverished life. The big guys don’t use the real thing anymore, meaning there isn’t much demand for cola nut. Karma Cola does, and profits are shared with the village.  Karma Cola also uses natural spices; cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander with lemon, lime and orange oils, vanilla bean grown by the Huiwani Fairtrade Cooperative in Papua New Guinea and organically grown and processed sugar cane from the Manduvira Fairtrade Organic Farmers in Paraguay. It's all fair. And all good. 

In fact, last year, All Good were named as one of the world's most ethical companies. 

And now, they've just launched these little flavour bombs (the bottles are teeny). Sparkling water, organic fruit, and organic sugar. Hat tip on the handdrawn type by illustrator Luke Lucas

@Iloveugly does homeware


NZ menswear brand I Love Ugly continues their move outside fashion, now with their first piece of homeware - the I Love Ugly floor rug. N I C E.  If you took Pharrell rug shopping (I'd like to take Pharrell rug shopping), he'd choose this one.

New Products (for Milan 2014) from NZ's Resident

Pick Up Sticks Chair by Simon James

Jamie McLellan's Fibre Light in Bottle (and Funnel, above with chair)

Architect Nat Cheshire is one of NZ's finest. This is his Parison pendant.

Tangerine Stool by Simon James

Finally get my first look at all the new products NZ furniture design collective Resident have prepared for Milan this year. Talk about a strong outing. 
My favourite has to be Simon James' upholstered chair, Pick Up Sticks. 

Fancy Spaces - my favourite interiors this week


L O V E the rug. Actually, love everything about this room. 

This is maybe the best vintage kitchen ever.  Those awkwardly slanting cabinets are so cute, the grid effect on the tiles is accidentally modern, dig all the little apothecary vases...

Pink suspended shelf!

I dream of living in a home with non-standard windows.

Not everyone's cup of tea, but I think this headboard set up's quite cool. Awesome white clamp lights, and I spy little dishes with wooden apples in them (love wooden apples). Also love grey linen bedding and framed art on the floor.

Exposed brick walls beat everything.

So much to love. When I grow up, I'll have a big dining table with chairs on one side and a bench on the other.

Shelving, you get today's smiley face sticker. I spy another apple - white this time.

Who woulda thought an old Ginger Beer bottle with a sprig would look so great? P.S: Feature walls are sort of back, as long as they're pale pink.


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My fridge was in need of a little graphic update, so I was stoked to be asked to try out Magnapix. Like you'll probably guess from the name, Magnapix turns your favourite pics into little polaroid-style photo magnets. The whole process is super easy - you upload any 8 images to the Magnapix website, use their handy-dandy tool to crop and re-size if you need to, and then order (with free shipping). 

A few days later, your postie brings you a pack of rad little printed magnets. 

Of course, most people use them for fave photos (they're almost 7cm square, so a good size for photos), but I like the idea of choosing some inspo images to create a mini moodboard on your fridge, or - like I did - choosing graphics to make some designer fridge magnets to hold my grocery list and To Do list and alllll the lists. I do love lists.

You can see some more examples on the Magnapix Facebook Page.

The guys at Magnapix are super generous, so they're giving Fancyreaders 30% off any order.
Just enter the code mag30off at the checkout.

\\ This post was sponsored by Magnapix, but words and thoughts are my own.

Fairytale vintage lodge in the woods, to modern container home high on a hilltop. Thanks, @HomestyleNZ Mag...


This beautiful home and event venue - Old Forest School - is in my neighbourhood here in the Bay of Plenty. Tucked away in a wooded valley, it's a fairytale vintage wedding venue with an historic 1930's schoolhouse and onsite accommodation (restored worker's cabins). There are L O A D S more images - thanks to photographer Heather Liddell - in the Homestyle issue, these are just a teeeeease. 

A.may.zing. Muriwai hilltop home, made from 6 shipping containers! (and P.S: it's currently for sale). This is the beautiful design and build project of a young NZ couple, Alex and Corban Walls. 

Photography by Simon Wilson

The latest issue of Homestyle also tours a bunch of other inspiring NZ homes, and includes recipes for an Autumn feast (with gorgeous moody styling), a DIY for concrete candles and, as usual, lotsandlotsandlots of products and ideas for your own home/style (see what I did there).

W I N... Tickets to Semi Permanent!


Semi-Permanent returns to Auckland for 2014 on the 2nd and 3rd of May. Wooooooo!
You know what Semi-Permanent is, right? It's a two-day symposium with talks by 12 inspirational people from the creative fields - graphic designers, fashion designers, photographers, directors. It's been going for 11 years, and happens now in 11 cities around the globe. It's a definite highlight of the year for creative professionals, and anyone who aspires to be one.

Tickets are $200 for the two days - or only $100 for the two days if you're a student - and with your ticket, you get the 200-page Semi-Permanent coffee table book and an event pack (tote bag with goodies). For pure inspiration, its $200 very well spent. Ask your boss to subsidise for professional development.

On the bill for Semi-Permanent Auckland 2014:

Niki Caro
One of NZ's most successful screenwriters and Directors, Niki Caro is the force behind Whale Rider, North County and other feature films.

Legendary design duo from Paris.

Matt Willey
London-based Creative Director and founder of the seriously good Port magazine.

Ashley Gilbertson
Critically-acclaimed, internationally renowned photojournalist.

Tiffany Bozic
US-based illustrator with a soft, nature-inspired style.

Mike Mizrahi
Creative Director and director of a NZ production company producing massive-scale events and experiences (like the giant Louis Vuitton suitcase in Tokyo that housed 2000 guests).

The world's largest independent design consultancy. The prolific Abbot Miller is here from New York to share Pentagram's work and philosophies.

Nat Cheshire
NZ architect and product designer Nat has spent the last couple of years building and fitting-out much of the new Britomart, inventing the City Works Depot, and pursuing a new vision for both architecture and Auckland city.

Ian Wharton
App designer and Art Director for global ideas agency AKQA.

... and more

See more info on the Semi Permanent Website, or check Semi Permanent on TwitterFacebook or Instagram. Tickets are for sale online here.

Fancy has 4 x single tickets to Semi Permanent Auckland to give away. As per, I'm keeping it easy. Just share this competition on Facie, IG or Twitter (tag @nzdesignblog into your post so I can track it) then fill in the form below. 

Happy Friday Design Pick n Mix


A bag of treatsies, just for you.

Awesome new Wary Meyers candles.

Love these knitted diaper covers (and other goodies) by BabyDegen

When I grow up, I'll have one of these so-so-beautiful plaster pendant light shades, designed by young frenchman Julien Renault - available to buy online. Damn, the kids are alright.

The internet is crazy for Pineapples right now - so I thought you might like a little paper fruit toy for your desk, or shelf, or kid's room. Free to download, print and make - from Mr Printables

Ehmergerd, look at this shop and home...

If this were a D-grade Freaky Friday movie, I'd totally switch bodies with Stockholm-based Mimmi Staaf. Her home and her design store - Mobelmakeri - are both A W E S O M E.
(Images above from a great article over at Freunde von Freunden)

Another photo of Mimmi, just because she's the coolest.

Get in my house! These brass pendants and stools from young one-to-watch UK designer Daniel Schofield.

If these are posters just for kids, then I'm five and like my crusts cut off. Walnut and Walrus, cute new Swedish brand with an online shop.

These are the Golden Days

My Golden Days print is now available in A3 size, and you can get it either framed or unframed. 
The gold foil is printed on a 320gsm (nice and thick) bright white, textured stock - all lovely and stuff.  Want one? Buy online here. 

The black and white version is also still available, over here.



We're always looking for just the right mid-century sideboard for our place. It's gotta have at least one lockable part, with working key, like the one in this picture. The 8 year old girl in me still likes secret hiding places.
(PS: Love that white Hee chair by Hay)

Mustard, goldenrod (haha), maize - whatever you call that colour, it sure looks good with grey.

Cute corner of a new little cafe. I'm making a slightly-grimacey not-sure face about the non-matching pendant lights, but you know I can't ever get enough of mixy-matchy chairs. 

This is actually a shot from the latest Ikea look-book, they have these awesome storage modules that you can put together anyway you like, with white or pastel green accents. Only $34 each, or if you're in NZ, probably around $146.25

I'm a little over grey sofas with cross blankets and other paint-by-numbers Scandi set-ups. There, I said it. (Disclaimer: I have a grey couch and own a cross blanket. And I like this space lots.)
It's my birthday tomorrow, and all I really want is some spindleback dining chairs. 

Neon hasn't been and gone, it's just dialed itself down a bit. 
Love what this kitchen's doing with it.

Mustard looks clashy-fantastic with pastels.

Yes, bathroom, yes. You are doing it all right.  L O V E that bath!

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Flux espresso bar and boutique


My neighbourhood continues to increase the awesome with the re-opening of Flux boutique and espresso bar. 

Emma Walsh has been operating Flux for a few years now, in a couple of different locations. This is Flux 3.0, and I reckon it's finally the space Flux needed all along. It's a little tucked away, down behind Zeus Gallery at 106 11th Avenue, but gives you that fizzy feeling that you're discovering something relatively unknown; that you've been let in on a bit of a secret. Anyway, the coffee alone is worth the trip. 10/10 for crema.

The space also gives Emma room to properly style and showcase her Flux wares - all sorts of goodies for your home, from vintage and re-worked vintage to contemporary. 

Next time you're in Tauranga, you should totally go visit.

C U R R E N T L Y - with NZ designers George & Willy


George: I went to India and Sri Lanka in Feb with my mate Dave, which was fun.

Will: Spent January exploring Nepal for the first time. Can’t wait to go back. Some of our photos are here

George: Eating avo on toast for most meals, with a cup of tea made by whoever loses paper scissors rock.

Will: I live on a small avocado orchard so avo on vogels is my go-to. I also love Piako yougurt and ginger beer is epic. I also love cheeseboards. 

George: Our new lightweight paper roller, new shed and finishing Uni in 2 months.

Will: Going to work in New York at the start of May, which will be pretty exciting. Hopefully I get a Visa.

George: On Instagram, this family called our open road. They are just travelling the world living in their van, and post about all the people they meet.
Will: I saw this Sesame Street video the other day on the Smith Journal blog - ‘How Crayons Are Made’ - it's pretty cool. There is another Sesame Street one showing how they make saxophones.

George: Having both my Grandads to help me with ideas.

Will: The smell of freshly sawn Macrocarpa and Feijoa season. 

George: This morning was Geoff Robinson’s last day doing the National radio morning show since starting in 1970. Not that I ever listened to it, but its pretty awesome that he has been doing it for that long, it reminded me of my Grandfather, who has listened to him every morning since 1970. 

Willy: Anything with a saxophone in it. I like the happy stuff. Music in the morning is crucial, I want speakers in the shower. 

George: Chopper Chatter, a book about a helicopter pilot based in Wanaka, interesting guy with heaps of stories about flying around the Southern Alps. 

Will: Monster Children’s 10 year anniversary book is very good, also Smith Journal. books with heaps of pictures and ones which feel and smell nice. I don’t like it when hardcover books still have that protective sleeve on. 

George: Helicopter Licence.

Will: Hopefully I will be able to go skiing a bit this year. 

George and Willy's industrial clothing rack and wall-mounted paper roller (love that!)

George and Willy Website  \   Facebook  \   Instagram   \   Tumblr

Timothy John x Paper Plane - good good looking new stuff


By now, I'm sure you know that NZ designer Timothy John and his interior design wifey Krista Plews started their own design store, Paper Plane. It's a fave. But what you may not know is that Tim (note the consistently great taste in footwear) has started producing a special line of furniture and homeware exclusively for Paper Plane - Timothy John x Paper Plane

The in-house Timothy John x Paper Plane brand kicks off with some new recruits to the Sidekick family of furniture...

Archibald hogging the limelight. 

...there's the hellasexy new Sidekick Coffee Table...  aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa get in my lounge!

... and the new Sidekick Tall Side Table.
All the Sidekicks come in 5 different base colours and 2 options for the top so you get to choose your own adventure.

The Sidekick crew - from left: the original Sidekick stool, chilling next to the Sidekick Tall Side Table (new to the group), Sidekick Counter Stool, Sidekick Side Table (low), and another original Sidekick. 
In front, the new Sidekick Coffee Table.

I'm imagining they're b-boys and they're about to battle the rival crew.

Oh, Archibald. Even you, with your fine sartorial choices and deeply engaging and intelligent conversation can't upstage the new Bowler light, Splay table and Nordic chair.

Splay table is made to order in custom sizes and top colours.
Tipping my imaginary hat to this playful Bowler pendant. 

Those curves. (Hand-turned in NZ by a master craftsman.)

Dat ass.

Paper Plane  online store \  Facebook \  Instagram

Beautiful from the inside out - new Auckland boutique The Tonic Room's brand and interior design.


Images via Gather & Hunt

It's been a bumper couple of weeks on the NZ design scene, and one of the pieces of work making me as proud as ever to be an Aotearoan (let's pretend that's a word) is the identity and interior design of new Auckland organic health and beauty boutique Tonic Room.

Along with creating the logo and complete visual identity, Hardhat designed stationery, appointment cards and tonic bottle labels, art directed the product photography... basically, crafting an overall look that even Aeosop could be a little jealous of. 

Early in the branding process, designers Hardhat recommended Material Creative for the interior, and then the two studios collab-ed, sharing interior moodboards and colour swatches and pulling the brand's icons and patterned graphics - inspired by old alchemic symbols - into the space. You kids are a dream team.

A M A Z I N G NZ homes in the latest issue of @Urbismagazine


The latest issue of URBIS is out on shelves now, and it's a special Renovation issue. Five amazing reno'd homes, with a sneak peek for you below. Wear a bib!

I literally have trouble breathing when I look too long at those chairs.

Somebody pass me an inhaler...

From the Soft Focus story - Photography by Armelle Habib and styling by Heather Nette King

This is one of my all-time favourite homes (a 1960's modernist cottage, renovated in a fresh Scandi style), and there's 12 pages - T W E L V E great big bright glossy pages - of photos of it. 

Photography by David Straight

Not surprisingly, NZ fashion designer Juliette Hogan's 1970's apartment reno is total pared-back finesse. This is her kitchen - grab the issue for the full tour.

Photography by Simon Devitt

Ah, my dream - traditional villa exterior, modern interior - this old Auckland dame has had the most stylish reno imaginable, thanks to her owner, Auckland interior designer Tomi Williams. 

And aallllllso, URBIS Issue 79 visits our capital city, meets 6 Wellington creatives, and reports back on the best spots to eat and visit.

New from Tim Webber...

NZ gone AU - two NZ design brands just opened in Australia

I spy awesome spindleback chairs, cute paper autumn leaves 
and a copper bowl that my salads wish they were served in.

Two New Zealand design brands have crossed the Tasman this month, opening their first showrooms in Australia. Citta Design opened their doors in Sydney's Surry Hills, with an Winter Wonderland event styled and hosted by interior don and blogger Jason Grant. If you're in Sydney you should most definitely visit - Citta's Copenhagen collection is its best yet.

And Douglas and Bec opened a showroom in Melbourne, sharing a dreamydreamboat warehouse space (high ceilings, brick walls, HUGE industrial windows) with fashion brand Dagmar Rousset. Reason 4,653 to visit Melbourne. I need to start a Melbourne notebook.

Photo by Andy Johnson for The Design Files - with kind permission.

Photo by Andy Johnson for The Design Files - with kind permission.

Photo by Andy Johnson for The Design Files - with kind permission.

Just remember, Australia, you're really cool and everything, but they're New Zealand-born brands, kay? We don't want another pavlova, Russell Crowe situation (actually you can keep those two).