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Beards of Wellington


You know me, I love a good personal photo project. Wellington photographer Michael Valli normally shoots interiors and architecture, but - inspired by a series of Rembrandt's self-portraits (and having just grown his own chin cosy) - he decided to document the big lovely beards of Wellington. He put the call out on Twitter, finding 45 men from all walks of life to be involved. 

Men with Beards of Wellington, your misterwhiskers are beautiful. 

New Newness: These leather camera bags by NZ brand The Brothers


Styling by PROCESS, photography Stephen Tilley

Small NZ brand The Brothers make leather bags and accessories with the idea they'll be passed from generation to generation. Each style is given the name of a notable man (Cousteau, Hemingway, Selleck). And now there's two new brothers in the line up - these hella handsome camera bags, Ray (named after American modernist Man Ray) and Avedon (photog Richard Avedon). 

Perfect Bound: NZ designer launches simple, stunning notebooks made from fusuma paper


I know my journals, oh yes. You could say I'm an unlined notebook specialist. (and an expert in black inky pens). So I was super excited to get an email from Wellington-based designer Rina Ogura sharing the launch of her simple, yet substantial new notebook, Ogura MEMO.

The notebook binds together specially-treated Japanese paper, the same paper that Rina's family (back home in Japan) has, for three generations, used to craft fusuma - the traditional sliding doors and wall panels of Japanese architecture.

Rina’s great-grandfather Hirokichi opened a fusuma workshop in 1923 and passed the art-form to his son, Kazuo. Now, Rina has taken the same ivory paper and is binding it into these sleek little notebooks.

MEMO has 208 fusuma paper pages and a cloth marker inside its hard cover, and it also comes with its own matching hard case. 

One of my judging criteria in my Notebook Appreciation Index is whether or not the journal sits flat when laid open. Tick!

Yes, I want one. If you do too, you can get yours from Rina's website - (Free shipping in NZ)

Fancy S-P-A-C-E-S!!

That window though!  

As much as a big open-plan, huge-kitchen-island, servery-to-the-deck kitchen would be amazing, I secretly think I'd prefer a humble little space like this.

External internal doors. I love these poky rabbit-warren Scandinavian apartments.

Can't go past a good ornate archway.

Who wants to move to Sweden with me and open a boutique hostel?
This one's for sale - it has 4 buildings, 17 bedrooms, and it's right by the beach.

Could we make believe, just for one minute, that this is my studio?
(it's not, its the Margaret Howell fashion and lifestyle store in London)

Do you remember when Yucca plants were all the rage? Heehee.
Anyway, back on topic - I like how this mid-century drawer unit is used as a room divider here. It'd be so nice to have a bedroom big enough to create different zones within it.

Black wooden floors which remind me of shared villa flats in Grey Lynn circa 1998 (in a good way). And painted old chairs as a bookcase.
This is relevant to my chair interests. 
(Also, I suspect that brick wall is actually a brick wallpaper. But I'm blocking that out because wallpaper that pretends to be something other than wallpaper upsets me.)

Gratuitous Pineapples.

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A Day In The Life...


All photography by Swift & Click for Fancy NZ Design Blog

endemicworld's Elliot Alexander is up at sparrows to bike to the ferry, and not home again 'till
you-need-a-headlamp-to-chop-wood hour. In between, with Spotify providing the soundtrack, it's helping customers, packaging orders, artist visits, scouting out new designers, homemade sangers, working on endemic's in-house design and prints, packaging more orders... and plenty of laughs.
I reckon if you looked up down to earth in the dictionary, you'd see Elliot standing there, with a beanie on his head, a fresh-caught snapper in his hand and a wicked grin on his face. But don't let the laid back fool you. This is a guy who  - back in 2008 - launched NZ's very first online design store. And then as the market got crowded, he switched things up and again lead the category, re-launching as an online art print store. There's big plans ahead too - for the online space and the one at 62 Ponsonby Road. 

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

NZ Well Groomed Fox are B. A. C. K. with these very handsome lights...


Love the light stone colour

OMG you guys, you have no idea how long I've been waiting for these imaggeeeeeessssss! They're the newest product from NZ's Well Groomed Fox, whose first few products scored tonnes of kudos and international awards, but who have been super duper quiet for the last year or two... 
Now I know why! Amongst their other projects, Emma and Nigel have been meticulously experimenting with colours (they created over 250 colour test samples!) and slip-casting, to achieve the precise combo of hue and depth they wanted for these new Notch light shades. 

The Notch pendants are handmade to order in Emma and Nigel's studio, using traditional slip-casting and finishing techniques. Unlike typical ceramic objects, the colour is actually within the body of the porcelain and not applied as a glaze, so the shades keep a really raw, matte ceramic texture. LOVE that. 

Each Notch gets hand finished with small perforations notched into its top surface that cast an up-light. Emma and Nigel also intentionally developed the porcelain so doesn't become translucent when the bulb is on, retaining the matte aesthetic and funneling the light down and up. 

It's NZ ceramics, all grown up. 

There are 5 sizes and 7 bespoke colours to choose from (white, light Stone, charcoal, black, petrel blue, drake blue and soft pink), and every Notch comes with a simple ceiling rose in the same bespoke porcelain as the shades. 

Well Groomed Fox are easily one of New Zealand's most exciting designers, and I can't wait to see what's next...

Well Groomed Fox   Facebook /  Instagram  / Twitter

A modernist table designed in NZ in the 60's... relaunched today by the designer's family:


This super cool cuboctahedron is the first product from Homebase Collections' newly-launched sub-brand, Culy & Co. It's called Geo Baby, but this baby's actually around 50 years old. The table was originally designed and made back in the 60's by (the late) David Culy - dad to NZ photographer Brian Culy. His day job was heading up the cabinet-making department at a local technical school, but in his spare time, he'd design and make homeware - recruiting his kids to help out - and supplying to Wellington's iconic Kirkcaldie & Stains (NZ's first Department Store, since 1863!)

One of the products was this bold, modernist table. A few originals still remain in the family today, and they inspired David's son Brian and daughter-in-law Leanne to remake and relaunch the design.

Geo Baby is available now from Homebase Collections.

Ben Crawford does Stockholm...


Husqvarna sent Ben Crawford (author, photographer and winner of the inaugural The Block NZ) to Huskvarna, Sweden (yip, a city after which the chainsaw was named) - to help celebrate their 325th birthday and to document the 'forest to furniture' process. After visiting Husqvarna's headquarters and having a go at felling a tree, Ben explored Stockholm city to see where all the milled timber ends up - made into chocolate-box Scandinavian houses, used to fit-out spaces, and and of course crafted into all the danish furniture I so love. 

"They're a seriously stylish bunch, even in the forest! I think you'd still be in some of those stores Alana - they're filled to the brim with chairs! I'm loving the marble/metallic and wooden combos that seemed to be everywhere. There was one cafe that was just beautiful, fully tiled floor to celling with copper piping cross-hatched over the ceiling..."

Thanks for the pics Ben! But I still sort of hate you a little bit. Just kidding! (not really).

The Most High: BRILLIANT work from NZ's Inhouse...

Sexy as hell wordmark and super minimalist packaging for NZ wine brand Akitu (meaning 'the most high')

The origin of the grapes - in the shadow of NZ's stunning Southern Alps - became a large-scale poster 
(black and white photograph on reverse)

branding... you're doing it right

more clever, classy work - for an architectural practice

AND this next one is so. very. very. good. that it deserves some kind of important introductory trumpet sounds (imagine I'm making them with my mouth)…

All of this SUPER NICE and new-ish work is from NZ designers Inhouse
(Look who's about to get lotttts of BEST Awards this year then!)

One to watch: NZ (in NYC) filmmaker Tom Gould:


I was going to share the video for David Dallas'Runnin' with you months ago, but forgot to. Then today, I watched this brilliant short film SKIN (below), and worked out the same guy created both. That guy is Tom Gould,  a New Zealand photographer and film-maker based in New York city.


Newstyle Homestyle…

NZ's Homestyle magazine went and got itself a whole new look - including a verrrry nice indeed new website. Simplified, refined, still super cool.

This issue, the Homestyle team put together interior looks inspired by NZ fashion collections.

Photos by Larnie Nicolson for Homestyle

Mumma, total babe and super lovely person Kirsten Reid lives just around the corner from me here in Mount Maunganui. There's loads more pics of Kirsten's super cool, graphic home style in Homestyle (seewhatIdidthere) - you should see what she's done with her little boys' and girl's rooms!

photos by Evie Mackay for Homestyle

Here's beautiful proof that delicate and contemporary aren't mutually exclusive. This is the Auckland home of Tiffany Jeans, the owner of NZ brand Curio Noir.

And how cute is this behind-the-scenes vidyo? So cute. 

New from NZ's Designtree...

Tim and Rebecca's newest product, the Acorn light.  Yes please, I want many.

The Frankie pendant (which can extend lengthways for longer spaces) and Chamfer stool.

The Frankie pendant comes with black or red cable

Tim crafting Frankie pendants in his workshop; Rebecca has an attic studio. JEALOUS.

NZ (Wellington) designers and makers Tim Wigmore and Rebecca Asquith have been creating lighting and furniture separately for a number of years now... but recently-ish joined forces as Designtree.
One of the first products they launched as Designtree (at last year's International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York) was the grey felt Frankie range - the Frankie lights are pictured above, but there's also a table lamp and coat rack in the range. 

What really caught my eyeballs this week though, is their brand new Acorn light, in that beautiful blonde timber. Wolf whistles! (Available exclusively from Backhouse, who stock the full Designtree stable).

Win a one year subscription to INSIDEOUT


YUSS. We used to have to wait two whole months for each issue of InsideOut... now it's delivering full fat bottled goodness monthly.  A N D.... I have a one year (12 issues) subscription to give away - scroll ye down to enter.

styling by LeeAnn Yare, photography by Larnie Nicolson

This issue features a NZ (Auckland) home - an original 1916 square-front villa, that's been totally modernised inside. (I know, I know - no fair). 

styling Joseph Garder, photography Amanda Prior

styling Jessica Hanson, photography Amanda Prior

As usual, InsideOut kills me, buries my body, then digs it up and kills me again with their styling.

Love a doer-upper, and this is a real goodie - a family who turn their tired green-and-cream weatherboard cottage into an open-plan designer home. (If you're in Australia, you can actually go on a tour of this home with InsideOut's editor Clare and one of their guest stylists - ticket details in the issue). 

And a big hello to those yellow Muuto wall dots in the entranceway up there...

styling Ruth Welsby, photography Martina Gemmola


OK! Let's get you a 12-issue subscription, shall we? 

Share this competition on Facebook or Instagram. 

To be in the draw, you just need to:
tag @nzdesignblog in your post, and
mention the InsideOut magazine subscription.

No form to fill in - I'll draw the winner directly from Instagram/Facebook and contact you that way too.

Make sure you tag Fancy (@nzdesignblog) in your post,
or I won't see it (and you won't have entered the draw)

/ / / / 

This comp is open to all New Zealand and Australian readers 
(anyone with a NZ/Australian postal address)

For your afternoon delight… a few Fancy SPACES


Fave bits: the huge photographic print (ocean) leaning against the wall, concrete planters, those white painted floorboards, AND THOSE WINDOWS THOUGH.

I have a feeling I've posted this before (it's a corner of the super cool SF Girl By Bay's studio)… oh well, it deserves double the attention anyway. Always love a couple of framed prints on the floor… and that vintage wardrobe is everything.

Let's sit here and have a jasmine tea and I'll tell you all my secrets… 
(P.S: Don't you just love windows inside a house? I do.)

If load-bearing walls have stolen your open-plan living dreams, this could be a good compromise…

Cabinet handles need to be swapped for something less 2008 and the lightshade needs updating - but other than that… love.

This kid is already cooler than me and he's not even in school yet.

A studio like a makeup-free face… 

I am.

Yes to all.

I count my Sundays like weekly blessings...

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Dialog - a capsule collection of NZ furniture

I mentioned the other day this capsule collection initiated by Backhouse. They've collaborated with some of NZ's best furniture and lighting designers on a bunch of new products - collectively called Dialog

My fave pieces are the Ballerina table (above) by Nathan Goldsworthy, Tim Webber's high Edge stool (above), Jamie McLellan's Batten chair (especially the all-timber version), and Tim Wigmore's Acorn lights.

Citta Design - Summer '14


NZ's Citta Design is taking us to the city of Hanoi with their summer'14 collection - A Midsummer Daydream - online (here) now.

Nathan Goldsworthy's Tio chair gets reissued (and damn, gurl must be using Olay, she hasn't aged a day...)


Damn, gurl... you haven't aged a day - are you using Olay? Fancy's very first blog post ever - back in 2009 - was about Nathan Goldsworthy's Tio Chair (hollah at me, Cooper Black). Well my old pal  has just been re-issued for 2014. The new version is all-oak-all-the-time.

And in collaboration with Six Hands, there's a spesh limited edish (too busy, can't type full words) (not really) of 100 Tio chairs, upholstered in one of 5 Six Hands prints.  Available from Goldsworthy Studio.

(PS: I just spoke about Tio like she's a girl, but if furniture is people then Tio is actually a guy, don't you think? A well-dressed one, but still with manly working-mans hands. )

(Pick of the) NZ BEST Design Awards 2014 - Interiors


NZ's Best Award finalists were announced this week! Here are just some of my faves (aside from spaces I've already shared before) from the Spatial category...

yes, there's a caravan - with a giant icecream light on top of it - in this space

The home of Mt. Atkinson coffee roastery and flagship cafe, The Tannery. Designed by Material Creative.

Beautiful soft interior by Cheshire Architects for Esplanade - a beachfront Italian restaurant down in Dunedin (Esplanade also have a super nice identity too, thanks to Hardhat Design - check it out here)

Space-within-a-space! The IMO furniture showroom and studio space (designed by IMO themselves) is contained within a huge old warehouse. Le sigh...

(PS: I spotted so many finalists this year rocking the IMO A2 and Baker stools - including the one below.)

It wouldn't be too much of a hardship to work in Fisher & Paykel's product development headquarters (alongside lots of IMO stools!) - designed by Custance

(Pick of the) Best NZ Design Awards - Graphic & Identity:


Hello to YOU and you and YOU, design finalists. (Like for the Spatial category, I only chose a few of my faves - and design I haven't already shared before - you can see all the finalists on the Best Awards website).

Promotional packaging for Coffee Supreme's limited edition coffee sodas (three varietals of bean)...

... and bangin bean bags. 

I dig this (I see what I did there and I'm not proud of myself) because they made an entire typeface and suite of icons with actual potato stamps! By Special Group.

Nature Baby catalogue by Designworks. Yes, yes it does.

Read the copy up there, I'll wait for you. Read it? Good, I do love a bit of substance with my style. Kudos, Colenso BBDO.

Loooooovely identity for a NZ master craftsman, by Studio Alexander

Love these Neat Places pocket guides to the dopest little spots in New Zealand cities. (Designed by McCarthy).

Lemmy Lemonade is my shorty! (Also by Special Group.)

Yay, Friday! And Yay, a Pick n Mix! -


Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey... (that's you I'm referring to you)

It seems everyone's doing a mirror. But no-one does a mirror like Australia's Jardan does a mirror. (Love you Jardan, blowing kisses)

Aside from the packaging being BEAUTIFUL, the story of The Pressery's also great. Two London-based girl buddies, who couldn't find organic, unsweetened almond milk, so decided to make it themselves. Now they're selling their homemade almond milk to discerning cafes and local delis all over London.

Obsessed with this contemporary chocolate, by Melbourne's (of course they're from Melbourne, that city just won't quit) boutique cakery, Nectar and Stone

Pretty awesome measuring cups (and bargain time at around $30 for the set). 

Lanyards are generally pretty awful. The corporate merch kind, anyway. But these camping/nautical flavoured ones by Etsy designer Karen Kimmel are alright with me.

Maybe the most photographed store in the city of Vancouver - Old Faithful Shop! The very epitome of that old saying: have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
And would you look at their space! 

I like this so much it physically makes me nauseas... anyone else get that?

Their website is also awesome.

Even cooler, because DOG friend!

Mjolk not only have the best taste, they also have the best taste. They're now starting to produce their own designed products, in collaboration with other makers and designers. Above, their new Baking Cart.  And below the dual-use Ceremony (brass pot rest and maple serving board)

Like I need another excuse to eat whole loaves of bread. (That little stamp says 'established daily' - awesome tagline). One of a whole portfolio of nice work by Hawaiian designer Scott Naauao.

Have an awesome weekend, lovers.