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Homestyle - Reno Inspo


The brand new issue of Homestyle is an ode to the New Zealand renovation - complete house makeovers and loads of additional room-by-room ideas.

This is the very very very freaking cool home of interior designer, stylist and Dulux New Zealand ambassador Alex Fulton, whose mantra is that you should 'Design like no-one's watching'. It's a heritage Marlborough on the outside, colour-block contemporary beauty on the inside - playful and bold and .  If you're super into this like I am, go check out Alex's interior design services and store, here. There are a huge amount more photos of Alex's family home in the new issue of Homestyle.

Also, can we just talk about those pink floors? (Dulux Pale Blush, if you're wondering)

Styling by Alice Lines and Juliette Wanty, Photography by Melanie Jenkins & Wendy Fenwick

Also in this issue, Homestyle shows us how to office correctly. This particular look is highly relevant to my interests. 

Another inspiring NZ home reno;  this one at the other end of the colour spectrum - all Scandi and sandy and light and bright. Designed by interior consultant Suzanne Allen.

This breathy little beauty is a Herne Bay bungalow. Proving that good things take time (like cheese), the family that live here waited years to begin and then complete this stunning renovation.

The latest Homestyle magazine is on shelves now - go treat yo self and get inspired.

FABRIC: A new pocket neighbourhood that's bursting with interior style


In the guest bedroom, a bedside table by Homebase Collections holds a Line table lamp by Douglas and Bec.
Circular mirror by MarkAntonia.

The guest bedroom artwork is Botanical Garden by Billie Culy 

The muted tones of Shapes Study No 2 and Palm Stairs by Samantha Totty pair prettily with a DS Hand Turned lamp and sideboard by Douglas and Bec. A collection of plants (in pots by local ceramicists Renée Boyd and Felicity Donaldson of Wundaire) throughout the display suite continue the green theme planned for FABRIC.

Photographic artwork South (left) by Brooke Holm and No 14 by Berit Mogensen Lopez hang above a sofa and coffee table from Città. The floor lamp is from Lighting Direct, and the Sherpa Weave rug by Armadillo & Co is from The Ivy House. 

Glinks Gully photographic print by Duncan Innes features in the master bedroom, where a Monmouth Glass Studio pendant is suspended over a Douglas and Bec bedside table.

Interior Styling by Alice Lines, Photography by Larnie Nicolson

One of Auckland's oldest suburbs is now also the spot for one of New Zealand's most contemporary living concepts - a 'pocket neighbourhood', inspired by similar developments in international cities. Designed by architects Ashton MitchellFabric is a collection of five low-rise buildings, housing very beautiful (as you can see!) and very spacious apartments, organised around a series of green spaces with established trees, vertical gardens and shared atriums. 

It was those green spaces that inspired the aesthetic direction for the interior - a palette of natural materials (wood, NZ wool and linen) and nature-inspired hues including soft greys, olive green and terracotta. The babe responsible for these dreamy scenes is none other than Homestyle magazine editor, Alice Lines, who was approached by Lamont & Co to specify the interior design and styling of the Fabric display suite. 

Alice has an unequalled eye for texture, and relaxed, unpretentious sophistication, creating spaces that - though they're beautifully contemporary - will stand the test of time. Her design also includes a considered edit of the best New Zealand designed and made pieces. (We're looking so good these days, guys. You should be proud.)

I don't think I'd ever go out if I lived here. Yeah, I know it's the staff Christmas Party Richard, but I have some kitchen ceramics I haven't broken in yet and this linen bedding won't roll around on itself. 

New Year New You New Friday Pick n Mix:


When something's reeeeeally good, I have a physical reaction. I start rushing like I'm late for work,  I start breathing funny... This new Melbourne eatery - designed by new future superstars of interiors We Are Huntly - has me reaching for the rescue remedy.  Those amazing arched windows (my current and forever favourite thing), that warm grey exterior, those punches of Tuscan pink and swathes of deep teal... hang on, need to go sit in a quiet space and do the 5-5 breathing technique for a minute...

Simon Says: Go to the Dowel Jones website. Simon Says: Fall in love with the minimal, stackable stool. Simon Says: Give Dowel Jones all of your money.
(Simon Says stool, from Aussie makers Dowel Jones)

I shared two photos of this space a couple weeks ago, and you kids loved it, so I thought it was worth showing you the entire place, and the business concept behind it. Super inspiring. Located on the top floor of an old printing factory, Rye London is an industrial kitchen photography studio with loads of natural light and simple style. The space belongs to Holly Wulff Petersen and Renée Kemps, but they kindly let others hire it for shoots, filming, workshops and events.  Holly and Renée are also designers, photographers and stylists in their own right, and offer their impeccable taste and skill to brands through styling and photography services, and the creation of lifestyle and campaign imagery. You might like to follow these inspiring girls on Instagram - Holly /  Renée

Eliza O'Sullivan is a textile designer from Melbourne who, after years designing for household-name brands, has started her own little homeware label, Mosey Me. Her launch range aims to add playful pattern to your kitchen and table and includes tablecloths, napkins and tea towels.

Designer and art director Jocelyn Fortier spent years developing branding and campaigns for other brands, now she gets to pour her passion into her own brand, Pour L'air. I love her poetic black and white packaging, and the scent-story concepts, each conceived to create a specific state of mind. Jocelyn makes scents of stories. Forest Bathing, for example, is a story about a sun drenched forest (and a girl needing to be there) and was designed by Jocelyn to help you feel grounded. Jocelyn's inspiration for the design of the Pour L'air box was "a young Paul Newman in a white cotton t-shirt. Elegant yet raw." (< I just thought that was awesome.)




Ways I know I'm all grown up, #214 - super organised laundries are my jam.

Love that sage green bathtub, love the black steel casement window, love the floor (grey's a great choice).

Cloverdel is an incredible old farmhouse in rural Victoria, turned boutique property for-hire
See more herePhotography by Sharyn Cairns

Teeny two-story cabin (available to book for a wine country escape) in the Hunter Valley.

Industrial, modern and vintage all playing together so, so nicely here.
Photography by Lisbeth Grosman

The very stylish office of a London-based design firm. Ugh. Even the carpet looks amazing.
Photography by Benoit Linero

You know I couldn't go one Spaces feature without a Scandi master bedroom. Love the white-on-white broken with a deep inky blanket, the huge simple rug on those hardwood floors, sheer top-to-toe curtains, and ornate moulding forevah.

A chalet in the Swiss Alps. COME ON, REALLY? 

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The Neighbourhood Studio


T-shirt screen for Wellington's Union Tattoo

(can't not include any pictures provided to me of dog-pals)

Illo'ed tea towels for artisan peanut butter brand Fix + Fogg.

Photography and styling by Bonny Beattie

Since setting up shop late last year (we showed you around the studio here, go see!)
The Neighbourhood Studio have been collaborating with local brands and creatives screen-printing their designs on tees, tea towels, totes, and other things that don't begin with T. They've enjoyed it so much they're now offering custom screenprinting as a service - whether you need 1 item printed or a run of 100+. And while they're in Wellington, you don't have to be. They can even supply the blank textiles. That's when good neighbours... become good friends. (Sorry, I had to.)

(This probably reads like a sponsored post but it's not - we don't do those. I just really dig what Eloise and the girls at The Neighbourhood Studio have created, and these styled images from Bonny Beattie were too good not to share!)

Design Diary - Wellington Photographer Meg Wyper


I'm looking forward to bringing you a bunch of these Diaries this year, as a look into the lives of all sorts of New Zealand creatives. 

Today's the turn of 31 year old Meg Wyper, Wellington-based photographer, stylist and coffee roaster. Meg lives with her husband Mark and baby girl Eilidh in Karori, Wellington. As well as being one of our amazing contributing photographers, Meg has her own lifestyle blog Meg and Lou, where she shares recipes, DIYs and more all in her quietly relaxing, atmospheric style - go check it out! (Oh, and if you'd like some lifestyle imagery for your brand, your product or just to record a moment or milestone in your life for posterity - you should definitely get in touch with Meg.)

Meg and Mark's garden and greenhouse is a big part of their lives

Corners of the Wyper home (thanks for having us, Meg)
Little Eilidh - turning the big 1 next month

Meg loves her coffee and is a professional coffee roaster (for Wellington's Flight Coffee)

Natural lemon cleanser - there'll be a How To for this coming up on Meg & Lou

 Lemon, honey and rosemary cordial - Meg's going to put this recipe up on her blog for you also

Silverbeet and pear coleslaw - recipe will also be up on Meg's lifestyle blog for you

One of the first things I did this morning was…
My daughter Eilidh was very impatient this morning and demanded to be fed, she felt that waiting for me to get sorted was much too difficult. Once she was attached, Mark brought me a cup of coffee and all was right again.

For work today, I...
I work part time for Flight Coffee as a coffee roaster and professional coffee drinker, today was a non-Flight Coffee day so Eilidh and spent the day hanging out. We wandered the neighbourhood and foraged a little, went to the park for a swing and dug about in the veggie garden - well she ate grass and I dug. While she napped, I edited a recent photo shoot I've done for a client, worked on a story I'm writing for the blog, planned the next month and started thinking about the March calendar page. Yup March (insert surprised emoji face here).

The highlight of today was…
Walking in on Eilidh standing up leaning on the edge of her cot asleep. It was both amusing and cute. Secondly; A shoot and recipe came together perfectly, I love it when a plan comes together!

A challenge/frustration in my day was: I've been thinking about a new sewing project for ages. I'd finally gotten around to getting everything together, I'd taken a couple of set up and progress shots and then, in the end, it didn't really work. I'm a very basic sewer so I don't think I quite had the skills to pull this one off, well, not yet anyway. Watch this space...

Today, I learned:  How supportive social media can be, it gets such a bad rap sometimes, but I recently I've met some really amazing creatives. Being self-taught can be a bit tough sometimes as I find myself in ruts quite frequently - so I'm hoping that a wee trade swap (I've recently set up) will keep me out of the ruts I find myself in.

The tastiest thing I ate/drank today was: Warm croissants dipped in this morning's second cup of coffee. 

If I could, I would ... every day
Plan my days a little better, my days always start with a plan but I get to about 4pm and realise that I haven't done nearly as much work as I would have liked. I then sit up late at night and swear that I will try harder the following day. It's a vicious cycle. If Eilidh was still going through her 'napping is for losers phase' I'd be going crazy. Nap time is work time! One day I will be a superstar-planning-follow-througher! And... shoot on film, which was my preferred medium when I lived in the UK but have you seen how much it costs here?! Now it's only a special occasions thing.

Meg & Lou portfolio  /   lifestyle blog  /   Meg's Instagram




This just makes me really happy... aaaaand sleepy.

The STUH-NING home of stylist Lotta Agaton.

Fun, Folksy and feminine. Love that wallpaper - I'd totally have it up in my own little studio.

The amazing loft kitchen of celebrated chef, store owner and photographer Alastair Hendy. An industrial-feel bowerbird nest, built over decades of cooking and photography. Go see the rest of this space here (worth the click if you're into your kitchens).
Colour-block, modernist kitchen appreciation! Love the green sink, of course, painted exposed brick wall, sneaky little shelving unit, and blonde ply cabinetry.
I LOVE this idea - a black steel-framed partition to separate your sleepy-time area from your dressing/skincare/makeup (or study/reading) area. I want a master bedroom large enough to have dedicated areas for various lovely activities, goddamnit! What do I need to do in my life to achieve this?  Love that huge sheer curtain for privacy/light softening/texture, too. Also probably goes without saying that I love the grey walls, and that beautiful chair.

More babeness from the same house, feat. herring-boner flooring and whisper-grey walls.

This space is the new Sydney HQ of fashion brand Bassike, but I'd take it as my personal kitchen and dining room, please.

Danish magic from Muuto - photographed by Petra Bindel

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Nib - sweet ceramic bird feeder by NZ student Sophie Lemaire-Sicre


This is Sophie Lemaire-Sicre. (Famous-sounding name - this bodes well, Sophie.)
She's a bird nerd like myself. As part of a Uni project (Sophie's studying industrial design in Wellington), she's designed Nib - this sweet little ceramic bird feeder. Slip cast by hand, with clever curves and folds to keep the bird seed safe from possums and dry if it rains. Sophie's now making these to sell, so if you want one for your teeny garden visitors to visit and feed at, email sophielemairesicre.design@gmail.com to order.

HOLM Speciality coffee house/collective workspace


Holm wall's are a rotating exhibition space for contemporary NZ artists

The fine art of pour over will make you appreciate a 'hand brewed' cup of coffee that much more

Joining K Road's recent renaissance of destination eateries and seriously decent little shopping spots is HOLM, a speciality coffeehouse and collective workspace. Mates Cameron Thorp (professional photographer) and Steffan Levet (web developer) have pretty much just gone and created their ideal work space - a very cool inner city cafe that they can park up and work in all day - and then invited the rest of Auckland to come hang, too. 

There's 16 dedicated work stations, and the month-by-month rent includes free batch brew coffee in the mornings, your own desk, superfast ethernet internet, a meeting room and kitchenette and 24/7 access for those all-nighters. (So if you're a creative or solopreneur who wants a desk in the city, with hella good coffee and likeminded new-generation professionals to work alongside, HOLM could be your new office.) More info on the shared workspace here, and check out HOLM's Instagram here.

Of course, you might just be here for a damn good coffee. Holm is a speciality coffeehouse, passionate about the art of the brew. Cameron and Steffan, with their head Barista JD Coulter, aim to showcase worldclass coffees from farms and roasteries across the world, in a choice of filter, Chemex, Kalita and - natch - espresso. 

Imagery with all credit to Auckland-based photographer Rachel Soh.
We're so, so excited to have Rachel on our small team of contributors
and look forward to sharing even more of her work with you here.

Rachel also has her own blog - go check it out here.


Sunday morning means Fancy Spaces...


Digging the super soft sorbet shades in this room (accidental alliteration).
Also, sheers with crinkled linen make a great couple - they instantly create a peaceful, textural space.

The kitchen-lounge at our place is so teeny, I enjoy seeing how other people work with it. Painting the kitchen a distinct colour I think is really the only solution - in this case, overcast grey on the lounge walls, and white-on-white in the kitchen to delineate it and open it up. Appreciating the extra space they've grabbed here by way of a good looking cabinet, where all your nicest tableware can show off.

Go and see inside the rest of this sweet Sydney apartment, over on The Design Files - Photographed by Eve Wilson

I think a fireplace in your bedroom is the ultimate in hygge
Just want to hang out here all day today, drink coffee and read books. 

I love the transitional spaces in a house - hallways, entranceways, stairs. 

Amazing #softminimalist apartment in Stockholm. (See the rest of this place here)

Pink door! That is all.

Double Bay house by one of my favourite interior architects, Arent & Pyke

Australia has a ridiculously high quota of amazing interior designers and architects per capita. This is White House by Melbourne's Clare Cousins. (Go see the whole house here - the black fireplace is maybe the coolest I've ever seen)

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Wellington's Ali Johnson and her artisan soap brand, Sphaera -


Ali makes her own Kawakawa oil to include in one of the soaps

Here's some I prepared earlier (no, really - days earlier)

Bevelling the edges - it's the little details...

After cutting and moulding, the individual bars
need to cure for around 6 weeks before they can be packaged

one by one, the job gets done

Modern minimalist packaging (love that soft sage colour)

Ready to head out to stores

Activated Bamboo Charcoal soap - designed to be a deep facial cleanser

You can see just by looking at a Sphaera soap that maker Ali Johnson is an artist at heart. She trained as a sculptor, and began a career in visual arts before putting work to one side for life and love and family. But a few years ago, in pursuing her personal goal of only using natural products in her home, she made her first batch of soap. As she experimented with formulations and ingredients, she began to see soap as something that could be beautiful as well as functional, a 'domestic art form', as she says. Sphaera is now stocked in some of the best design and lifestyle stores throughout New Zealand. It's become a full-time gig for Ali - she's very carefully composed each recipe, and she takes care of every step of the process herself. It's become a very busy life - people are loving the fact that Sphaera soaps are made using only natural ingredients and pure essential oils, loving the modern minimalist packaging, loving the formulations designed especially for face and body, or for kitchen and handbasin.

Ali has plans to grow Sphaera with new product ranges... I for one can't wait to see what she lends her artist's eye and clean, contemporary aesthetic to next.

Images thanks to Wellington photographer Meg Wyper
for Fancy NZ Design Blog

(You can follow Meg on Insta @megandlou)

Citta Elevation


A fave pattern from the new range - the pebbly Flint.

Absolute fave piece of the new collection - Citta's new Eve sofa.
It's also completely made in New Zealand, which is a big deal for real.

Gorgeous modular shelving - I want

Can we just take a moment to talk about how Citta have named their Winter 17 collection in the most kismet of ways... because while Elevation was so named for the mountainous landscape of Bolivia after which the new range was inspired... actually Citta's themselves just keep upping and upping their design game, and this just-launched collection is, again, an Elevation for the brand. 

Like the South American country, the collection is warm but definitely moody, with gorgeous texture, light and shade. I love love love the colour palette (greens, pinks and new neutrals - or more specifically Forest, Scoria, Date, Amethyst and Russet - don't those names just paint a picture?), and don't even get me started on the styling and that aspirational shoot location... 

Side note, how impressive is New Zealand Design now? You're all grown up, you've definitely passed that awkward prepubescent stage, and good god you're beautiful. 

New Aspen Chair Obsessed

Much of the new range of cushions is available online now

Definitely on the wishlist - the new modernist style Gaussian containers 


Fancy Spaces


A young couple rebuilt a neglected 100-year-old farmhouse into a stylish space brimming with reclaimed pieces, clean lines, and warmth. See more here.  Love the 9-foot windows, lots of textile texture, a fireplace in place of a TV, an most of all, that enamel sink (I have one very similar). Oh also, did you spot that MASSIVE BARN SLIDER? Wowzers.

Fave bits: shiplap walls, a bench seat for dining, a trio of wish-boners.

I love that huge floor to ceiling cabinet with everything on display.

The new office and showroom space of Stockholm's Note Design.

Oh just stop. Just. Stop. It. This is Balwyn House (You've made it when your house has a name. Actually, never mind that, I think I might just give my humble little nest a name anyway. Broad House? Alana Residence?) Designed by an all-time fave, Fiona Lynch (Australia)

That huge mirror, those teeny floor tiles, those timber stools (Kalon Stump stool or similar - a fave), and of course, little details that sprinkle on that 5% extra magic that chefs talk about - in this case, Aesop body wash and a tray of perfectly rolled-up hand towels. 

I want a copy of that Hug More poster. And in case you do too, it's here.
(You don't actually read these captions, do you? Jeez I hope not. I assumed you just looked at the pretty pictures...) 

These scenes are from a great little home tour over on Rue.

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New from NZ designer Tim Webber...


New from NZ furniture designer Tim Webber, hisLayer sofa. Looks good from all angles, like ya girl, has different modules so you can create your own L-shape to suit any space, and comes in about 100 different options for fabric and colour (not an exaggeration!) 

Also, Tim has other news... He's started bringing some of the best contemporary furniture brands here to New Zealand - including Hem, Bensen, Ondaretta, and Hay. This is good news for anyone with eyes, fans of Scandinavian furniture, and those of us who want to slowly, slowly fill our homes and workspaces with beautiful pieces. 

Hem's hugely popular Pocket armchair and Pal stool. One of each, please.

Last Stool by Hem - one of the most exciting Scandinavian design brands to launch in the past couple of years. A selection of Hem's best-sellers are now available in NZ through Tim Webber Design.

Hem's Verso shelves come in the best palette of colours. Tim has chosen to stock black and white for now, but will expand the range over time.

Key Side Table by Hem, now available in NZ from Tim Webber Design. 

The future-classic Bai Chair by Ondaretta, now available in NZ from Tim Webber Design

I don't know much, but I know my chairs. And this is probably one of the best-looking ever.
This is Tokyo, by Bensen. Bensen is now available in NZ through Tim Webber Design.



You might like to go explore the rest of this Ponsonby, Auckland home - here.
That shiplap style gabled roof, to-the-floor sheers, and separated dressing room of this master has turned my eyes into lovehearts. Discovered via Urbis Magazine, Photography by Sam Hartnett

Oh, that photographic still life is by NZ photographer Billie Culy.

Nursery sweetness.

I collect pictures of teeny kitchens like your great-Aunty collects cat ornaments. This one's going straight to the pool room. Spot the double Belfast sink (don't see them too often).

Hi, #SoftMinimalism. Good Lord I love this aesthetic. 
This is Bell Street House, by Melbourne architects Techne.

I laaaaaaaaav what they're done with the chairs here. Classic bentwood shape yet contemporary, mis-matching colours but super modern, intelligent palette. Ugh. Also appreciating the extra-wide floorboards.

Just a freakin' perfect bathroom, NBD. (Love that black marble flooring)

See more of this place here. Photography by Tom Blachford, Styling Lucy Bock.

Had to share this little scene with you...
From the home of Serena Mitnik-Miller, the owner of General Store (and her beautiful Insta account)

Call me old and boring... but sexy storage is sexy.

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Mr + Mrs Ward


I'm getting that asthma-attack feeling again...

NZ interior designer Janice Kumar-Ward and her husband, furniture maker Julian Ward

Slim Jim and Brutus robes. Slim Jim is painted in Resene Zion and is black on the inside (oooh nice).
You're able to choose the layout of the internal shelving, the exterior colour, and the style of leg

The Wedding Chest. 

Legs from Scandi brand Pretty Pegs, and close up detail of a Bedside Box
(in the Frill pattern, and in Resene's Birthday Suit)

Another Bedside Box in Resene Woodstock

OK guys, I'm super excited about this - a new family of storage solutions from NZ interior designer Janice Kumar-Ward, and her furniture-crafting husband; together Mr + Mrs Ward

Yip, I said I was super excited about storage solutions. Your point? I also get freaky for freshly-vacuumed floors and an organised laundry. (Why does pantry sound rude right now?)

One thing we've been seriously lacking in this country are options for free-standing robes. Enter stage left, Mr + Mrs Ward's family of STORE robes. There's the Slim Jim, the Brutus, and the Wedding Chest (wood veneer inside and out). Beautiful in a bedroom, you could also use them as a hide-yo-TV cabinet, or just to store different belongings out of sight. I'd like one for my office. 

The Mr + Mrs Ward range also includes those Bedside Boxes up there, dining tables, shelving and more.

All the Mr + Mrs Ward products are made to order, and very customisable. For starters, you can choose any Resene colour you like. (Although I have to say, I think Janice has gone and designed the nicest palette off the bat.) Janice and Julian have also teamed up with Scandinavian brand Pretty Pegs to offer some cool new leg options, on top of the castor and plinth legs they offer.

Ward is a 35-year family business, and Julian and his brother Tristan have been at the helm since they left school. They've seen many of their contemporaries have to shut their doors in recent years, as talented local makers compete with an influx of super low cost (read: cheap) furniture. You can't beat New Zealand designed and crafted, bespoke pieces, made using FSC (international certification for sustainable timber), low-formaldehyde board. Buy less, but better. Support local. 


Fancy Spaces


I like this space, and I'm forever a fan of painted-white floorboards, but think it looks a little unfinished. I'd put a nice big art or photographic print on the wall above the dining table, or a statement light above it. (Also, sorry, but that vase is literally just full of pointy branches - it's making me wanna grind my teeth). What would you do here?

I know we're anti-clutter around here, but don't we also love a bit of exposed shelving in a kitchen.  

This is the kitchen make-over of Avenue Lifestyle blogger,  Holly Marder. So much to love in this one little pic - the Mid-Century style cabinetry with it's incorporated shelving, the way the floorboards meet the white kitchen tiles, the chairs that don't match... Also, kitchen trolleys are underrated. They look great and they're practical AF.

Also in the same house, Holly's workspace doubles as a guest room (that cool sofa is a pull-out jobbie). 

This beauty is a corner in the new boutique of a South African fashion designer, Margot Molyneux. HELLO to YOU, wraparound, emerald green cash desk. Love that green against the pink travertine walls, and the archway with its sand-coloured curtain.

The Farmhouse home of US interior designer Leanne Ford. You know you wanna see more - here.

Danish studio Norm Architects designed a new head office for Kinfolk magazine (located in central Copenhagen). Giving me Scandinavian meets Japanese vibes... so beautiful. See the rest of the office over on Dezeen.

I could totally live here - but it's actually an exhibition at the recent Stockholm Furniture Fair (for String). Captured by one of my #WCEs, design blogger and stylist Katerina Dima

Loving that kitchen cabinetry - special shoutout to the recessed handles. Table is cool too (although I'm not sure I could live with it in a home. Maybe as part of a workplace fit-out...)

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At Home and At Work with... Penney + Bennett


Loren, and Sarah

Testing out their own range of sleepwear (which is coming real soon)

Choosing materials for an upcoming (secret squirrel) project

Tweaking details for their upcoming display at Auckland's INEX (interior design exhibition)

Lunch stop at little vietnamese joint, Try It Out - the girls often order this in if they're working late
 (Try It Out? Best English-as-second-language name ever! How good does this look?) 

Back in the studio - time for some emails and phone calls (Oh, and a baben portrait)

Planning the roll-out of the new collection 

Wrapping and boxing orders for retailers and customers

Refining patterns for linen house slippers - coming soon!

Penney and Bennett art prints have hand-applied gold leaf

Penney and Bennett sleepwear - coming very, very soon...

End of the day - bread, red wine, good cheese - that's all the food groups.

Sarah Carson and Loren Marks first met at Whitecliffe College of Art & Design, where they collaborated on a few projects that combined their varying fine art practises. They found a shared passion for homeware, fabrics and furnishing, and during breaks between lectures they'd go to cafes and drink tea and talk about how they could turn their designs into beautiful textiles. After graduating, they each went into the workforce for a year, but kept meeting up for those chats over tea. The informal cuppas soon turned into more serious meetings on evenings and weekends, as they began to design and develop what would become Penney and Bennett.

Today, Sarah and Loren are both 26 and Penney and Bennett is almost three! And they're about to launch their third collection, Guardian. Inspired by New Zealand's native forest, it's a moody, botanic direction, with a palette of deep greens and autumn shades.

Each surface pattern is created using a media mix of photography, painting and digital design, then printed onto metres of beautiful quality linen, cotton and silk, and transformed into cushions, pillowslips and bed linen, throws and more. Their range also includes table linen and large scale art prints.

Sarah and Loren live at opposite ends of Auckland, so sometimes before a big work day, they have a sleepover at one of their houses. It's a chance for them to make the most of the day, starting with some early morning exercise to get the brain humming. (On this day, they went for a walk around Auckland's Te Atatu Peninsula boardwalk). Days are spent getting orders of their dreamy printed textiles out to their customers and an expanding fam of retailers, and developing new collection prints and new products. Specifically, on the day Jonny visited them, Sarah and Loren were choosing materials for a whole new product line, checking the progress of their display stand for an interior design expo (INEX - happening in Auckland later this month), testing a new pattern for their linen house slippers, and finalising details of their new sleepwear range - a full range of pyjamas, which will come in plain linen, organic cotton and printed cotton.

Watch out for their new 2017 collection of cushions and throws, Guardian, in-stores very soon.

Explore the Penney and Bennett catalogue here:

Thank you Jonny!
You can (and should!) follow the Narrative of Love Instagram here.



A much, much sexier Fifty Shades of Grey. 

Having two sinks is just being greedy, but I can't hold that against this Barcelona beauty. The herringbone flooring is everything. Love the suspended shelving, and that ancient-looking brick wall.

You didn't think I was going to overlook that amazing black steel arched window did you? Wait, they're french doors? Ded.

I love almost everything about this - the rug, the brick, the mouldings... (but word to the wise - that coffee table is impractically small, babe.)

Steal this palette - greyish blues, with bold black and a warm wood base.

OK so I really like this wooden work top with the extra-extra wide draws (am imagining the most precise organisation inside those draws!) and the shelving at the end. Also, I'm all for minimalism but that shelving is being SIGNIFICANTLY UNDERUSED, guys. See the rest of this Scandinavian lakeside home here.

Bathroom details by the always on point Flack Studio.

Lovely little workspace by NTF Architecture. (I spy some very cool half circle handles, love those - and I appreciate how they're the same colour as the cabinetry, so they're not drawing too much attention to their modern selves).

ARGH! This. Sink. at Ten Over Ten, a beautiful nail salon in New York.

I love everything that Whiting Architects do - they're my A1 since Day One. This is from one of their projects that I've shared a lot, the O'Grady House.

That'll do ya.

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Restful Retreats


It's a good day! The new issue of Homestyle is out, which means you can go and buy it, and refuse to do anything this evening aside from get lost in its pages. (And maybe watch The Bachelor? Don't judge me). The theme this issue is Restful Retreats, and - as per - they've packed loads of sanctuary styling into the pages.

Above is a sneak at one of this issue's home tours - Clare and Simon Cato's Snell's Beach home. The newlyweds spent over a year living in a boat shed (that had no hot running water) whilst they worked on the renovation nights and weekends. Their story - and the finished home - is definitely inspiring.

Styling Alice Lines and Sam van Kan; Photography by Simon Wilson

Homestyle Editor Alice Lines and Citta designer Sam van Kan make one mean aesthetic team; they've been touring the country hosting Homestyle Magazine and Citta Design styling workshops, showing how to create beautiful but lived-in looks for your home. Case in point, this moody-blues bedroom above. In this issue, they take one space and style it two ways - with more than a couple of ideas to steal.

This New Plymouth home is a stunning sanctuary for its owners. Love the soft and hard of those sheer curtains against the polished concrete, the wee corner sink in the back there, and the wall tiles mirrored under the kitchen island.

Photography by Larnie Nicolson

This very elegant home - with her palette of light timber, brass and jewel blues - is this issue's cover girl. It was designed by the owner, Interior Designer Nikki Willis. See it, and so much more, in the April/May issue of Homestyle which is on shelves this week. Go!

~ W I N ~

Homestyle magazine are giving away some amazing prizes at the moment (including a $500 voucher to spend at my online homeware store, Sunday). Head to the Homestyle website (go here) to enter.


Fearon Hay's Faraday Street Studio


One most exciting things about Auckland city in recent years has been the move to transform its historic buildings. The Imperial, Seafarers, City Works Depot, Amano... there's been a rebirth of relics all over the city. Two of the architects responsible for creating this new-old Auckland are Jeff Fearon and Tim Hay. They were, at first, just looking for a new office for their practise, but decided to go one further - to purchase a dilapidated cluster of old warehouses (1940's wool stores), and turn them into a new office, hospitality and retail precinct. They saw past the roller doors and painted-over windows to see what the old sheds could become - a pocket neighbourhood from which they could not only headquarter Fearon Hay, but grab coffee during the day and a drink after work.

And here it is - the new (and already award-winning) Fearon Hay digs, with the feel of a sexy loft apartment and the functionality of a high-performing work space. The office is essentially a massive mezzanine that floats above the original carpark, an open plan office that celebrates the bones of the old building, and introduces a pale poured concrete floor, huge communal pin-up surface, very sophisticated black-tiled bathrooms, and perhaps the best-looking meeting room I've ever seen.

The crowning glory is of course that exposed gabled ceiling - anyone with eyes can see why Tim and Jeff would want to design themselves working as close as possible to those huge, rough sawn, criss cross beams. What an inspiring place from which to design other inspiring places.

Special mention to that broodingly handsome steel stairwell.

Photography by Auckland photographer
Michelle Weir of Studio:Weir
Michelle specialises in interior and architectural
photography, and fashion photography

Check out a few of the other features Michelle has shot for Fancy:




Just lovely.

I'd personally steer clear of black in the kitchen if it were anything glossy (hello, fingerprints) but this stained oak is loooovely. Also, I really dig a sink at one end of a counter... who says it has to be in the middle? Espesh if you have a small kitchen. 

Predictably, I love this. Bench seat with storage baskets underneath and a wee dining table set-up with mismatched chairs; tiniest of balconies that's probably an OSH hazard and can't actually be used; pale timber floorboards, vintage cabinets that aren't perfectly uniform; gas hob. All yo' classic Scandi ingredients.

No, this isn't a showroom. Yes, this is someone's house. That sink! Those faucets! The knobs! 

Welcome to my bathroom, here is my black vintage bath with gold claw feet. Here's all my Aesop things lined up in a row. Here's my antique cabinet with towels folded with the folds displayed outwards (not the ends, never the ends) and things arranged neatly. This is my happy place. Want to see the rest?

Simple but lovely. It's the little things - like a pure linen white towel on a little brass hook.

If I were single, I'd be looking for a profile picture like this on Tinder. Don't show me your eggplant in grey sweats, show me your beautifully organised bachelor pad. 

What do we think of a hook rail in the bedroom? Good? Random? Is the candle a fire hazard there? 
I think we can all agree the wall colour and bedding combo is stunning tho...

Steal this idea: Nursery tucked into a reno'd wardrobe - because bebes don't actually need wardrobes, and this is an awesome idea for getting more space out of a space.

Love the super bleached floors, a little touch of brass, and grey on grey bed linen - with a little deep green thanks to foliage and that linen cushion  - super elegant, right?

Love a big injection of black into an otherwise light, clean space.

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Together Journal


Covetable; collectable

Your first look at Issue Seven - in subscribers' mailboxes today and on shelves this coming Monday

This INSANE cover shot is by Queenstown-based photographer Jim Pollard

Style and Substance - Together is more like a periodic coffee table book than a trad magazine

World-class floral styling is a regular feature of Together Journal's content

From a small studio in a Parnell home, to the world. 

Discussing layouts with designer Hannah Lawless
(Hannah won Best Designer at the Magazine Publishers Awards last year - so deserved Hannah!)

The Together Journal team, from left: Hannah Lawless - Designer; Rose Hoare - Sub Editor and Senior Writer;
Greta Kenyon - Founder & Editor; Caroline Waldergrave - Writer;
Delena Nathuran - Editors Assistant and Vendor Sales & Marketing (Greta's right hand lady)

Together Journal's founder, wedding photographer (and mum of three) Greta Kenyon

No, print is not dead. In fact, there's a renaissance happening for a small number of niche, high-end publications - magazines with a standard of content and print quality that make them every bit as collectable as coffee table books. (You and I know this, of course.)

Together Journal - founded by New Zealand wedding photographer Greta Kenyon - is now one of these very special publications finding a cult following around the world.

When she started Together Journal, Greta was travelling NZ and abroad shooting creative, contemporary weddings. Working alongside her clients, fellow photographers, and other wedding specialists such as stylists, she saw a very inspiring new niche of the industry developing - a direction being driven and lead, in many ways, by our New Zealand (and Australian) wedding professionals and their ideas. This world-class talent deserved a global platform.... 

So, Together Journal was born. A curated quarterly dedication to the modern wedding, and to the phenomenal creative talent that a wedding represents - bringing together fashion and wedding couture, design and illustration, styling, cuisine, flora, contemporary homeware, travel... and breathtakingly beautiful photography. Yes, it's for those planning a wedding, but it's also just for aesthetes in general. Each issue involves up to 40 different contributors - including those who shoot on assignment (such as Danelle Bohane who won Best Photographer at the Magazine Publishers Awards last year for her work for Together) and photographers who submit inspiring real weddings. 

This small-but-perfectly formed New Zealand brand is now very much global. Together Journal is sold throughout NZ, Australia and the US (including in Anthropologie stores and over 300 Barnes and Nobles'), and the team are currently working on European and Asian markets for distribution, too.

As Issue Seven is about to be launched (to subscriber today, and on shelves from Monday) I thought it was the perfect time to share the story of Together - it's one of vision, cajones and the power of collaboration.


True Collaboration - Abigail Bakker X Paper Plane X JS Ceramics


You know how much I love a collaboration. And this one is a clever little threesome, combining the delicate illustrations and simple aesthetic of young creative and slow-living proponent Abigail Bakker (find her on Instagram here) with the handmade earthenware ceramics of JS Ceramics, and the ethos of design store Paper Plane.

The beauty of handmade ceramics like these are in the mindfulness of the makers. Every piece requires patience and presence to be realised. 

The Seed Collection at first glance may seem simple, but each little detail is completely unique to that piece, and has taken time and complete focus to create. The metaphor for nature isn't accidental...
I also love how subtle the sage green watercolour pattern is, it still lets the form of the ceramics shine.

The Seed collection includes a tea bowl, small dish, spoon, pasta bowl, dinner plate, and platter. Available exclusively from our friends at Paper Plane.

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Fancy Spaces


The home of Danish lifestyle and interiors blogger Allan Torp (Bungalow5).
Photography by Brooke Holm; stylist Marsha Golemac for Inside Out.

'Grammer to follow - Carole of Sunrise over Sea (and her beautiful little home). Love the light ply door, the white painted floorboards and always a white Smeg.

Love a layered rug. Melbourne's Pop and Scott (designers of the sofas, tables, planters and lighting) always get it right with their boho-beach vibe.

I dream of owning a home with a big grand hallway (high stud, extra wide, ceiling moulding, wooden floors) like this... Also, if you're framing up a photograph/photographic print, consider a thin black frame - it defo kicks up the modernity and sophistication factors.

This master bedroom has been getting a lot of love around the interweb in the past couple of weeks. Imagine having a turn-of-the-century home with a bedroom that's bigger than your current lounge. This looks like a hotel suite... in a good way. 

Humble, simple and calming.

What would you do in this space? It's lovely as it is but I see a few things I'd change right away - like put those cushions on the chair, and change out that light shade... Love that black bench seat though.

Love this breakfast bar with its view of Stockholm city...

Remember that time the judges crucified Hayden on The Block for his black kitchen? They had it so wrong. I mean, the splash-back was 50 shades of awful, but the kitchen itself was very cool.

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