200 Women

Introducing you today to what’s both a landmark book, and the realisation of an epic global journey by two New Zealand creatives to meet with 200 women across  the world – rich and poor, black and white, educated and uneducated, famous and unknown and ask each woman five fundamental questions. What really matters to you?, What brings you happiness?, What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?, What would you change if you could?, and Which single word do you most identify with?

Their answers, alongside honest portraits by photographer Kieran E. Scott, form this almost-400 page hardcover book. I’ve been reading my copy of 200 Women slowly, dipping into one interview at a time, and the women’s answers take you through the whole gamut of the human condition. It’s an at-times painful, but ultimately massively powerful – inspiring, empowering, and real.

Along with iconic internationals such as Jane Goodall, conservation and animal welfare activist and Graca Michel, widow of Nelson Mandela and an impressive political and social activist, there are a number of New Zealand women featured in the book too – golfer and Olympian Lydia Ko, musician Kimbra, designer and fashion empire founder Karen Walker, noted NZ feminist Marilyn Waring, co-owner of beloved NZ eatery Coco’s Cantina Damaris Coulter, politician and change-maker Marama Fox, and more.

Images copyright © 2017 Kieran E. Scott 


Behind the book are New Zealanders Geoff Blackwell and Ruth Hobday. Geoff and Ruth are the founders of Blackwell & Ruth, award-winning creators of international book projects for publishers in 40 countries. The duo’s books are founded on subjects that matter personally to them and books that they hope, in their own words “will add to the volume of good in the world.” Their bestselling series of cookbooks, as just one project of note, has already raised over $1 million for organisations devoted to providing meals for people in need. Give these people TV news coverage, not Don Brash.

A percentage of revenue from book sales goes to organisations nominated by the women in the book.

Buy a copy of 200 Women here   /  Visit the dedicated 200 Women website

200 Women by Ruth Hobday, Geoff Blackwell, and Kieran Scott,
Distributed by Upstart Press, $75 RRP 


New Style Homestyle

It’s a good week! Homestyle magazine is on the shelves again – and for me at least, it’s an invitation to an hour or two of lovely interior-perving uninterrupted me-time. Let’s serve you up a little amuse bouche….

But first: see pic above – Homestyle has a new look! A fashion-forward but still very considered design update, courtesy of Homestyle’s Art Director Juliette Wanty.

My fave home in this issue is a New Plymouth renovation. This kitchen! Originally the ‘kiwi standard’ U-shape, the owners had it re-designed by Rowson Kitchens to be a galley shape. It’s actually a very clever re-design – and there’s loads more images and info about it in the issue. P.S: I LOVE those green tiles on the splashback. If you like the Subway tile look but agree the glossy white ones have been done to death now, choosing a tile with surface texture or patina (even if a textured white tile) is a nice evolution of the trend.

Photography by Gina Fabish

One of the beautiful bedrooms from this same New Plymouth home.

Styling Susana Ocana; Photography Paul Candales 

Along with loads of real New Zealand homes, there’s this inspiring feature from Copenhagen, or a former-factory turned family home. This huge terrazzo island, with built in drawer storage and corner hobs is my dream!

Styling Alice Lines & Sam van Kan; Photography Simon Wilson

As we enter the early-to-bed months, stylists Alice Lines and Sam van Kan take us through a Homestyle How-To to a dream bedroom – in various styles.

As always, this is just a little taster – so get thine self to where Homestyle is sold and get the whole enchilada.




Potless Plants

Coraleigh in her outdoor studio – all photography by Larnie Nicolson


Launching today in New Zealand – Hanging Kokedama, a book by NZ botanist Coraleigh Parker (of Pickled Whimsy). Coraleigh has been introducing folks to the Japanese art of Kokedama for years, running weekend workshops that teach how to create a hanging garden at home – suspending your plants in mid-air, supported by nothing more than a series of strings intricately wrapped around a root ball.

Now she’s put all her mad Kokedama skills into print, and in collaboration with NZ photographer Larnie Nicolson, presents step-by-step instructions for 25 different Kokedama projects. You really can turn any of your fave plant pals into a kokedama (check out that small tree suspended in the living room up there!) – no pots or hanging baskets needed. Kokedama have a magical quality, as the plants are suspended in mid-air, supported by nothing more than a series of strings, intricately wrapped, cocoon style, around a root ball.


Hanging Kokedama is available where all good books are sold,
and direct from the Pickled Whimsy online store


Homestyle – Dream Weavers

Photography by Simon Wilson

Perfect interior magazine fodder at the start of a new year – stories of real New Zealand renos, and how the homeowner made them happen. That’s the focus of Homestyle magazine’s freshy fresh issue – it’s on shelves this week, kids!

Above is the CoverGirl, the home of Hamilton stylist, writer and mum Erana Te Paa. When the family first moved into the home (which was most recently a government-owned boarding hostel) they thought a complete transformation would be in order, but instead, they’ve fallen in love with its mid-century modernist curves and quirks – and completed a ‘lighter’ reno that celebrates them.
Erana has an inimitable style (along with some mad secondhand hunting and DIY skills) which makes for a truly unique, cover-worthy home.

Photography by Duncan Innes

You know how we see all those overseas homes that used to be old factories and industrial buildings and think, yeah yeah that’s nice and everything – but that doesn’t really happen in New Zealand? Well here’s one! Formerly a mechanic’s workshop, transformed into this amazing Grey Lynn home. Polished (and painted) concrete floors, internal black steel framed glass doors leading to that very cool office up there, and a floating staircase up to a mezzanine… you’ll love this one.

Nice choice of black-stained pine (against that amazing ceiling) to add depth!
Photography by Michelle Weir

Homestyle also pokes around the homes of the founders of NZ interior design practice, Material Creative, and hears how Toni and Liv each tackled their different renovations.

Styling by Alice Lines, Photography Wendy Fenwick

aaaaaaaaand I couldn’t not share one of the images from the playful (and gender neutral) Kids’ Spaces feature – because the star is Editor Alice Lines’ own handsome boy, Teddy!

The Feb/March 2018 issue of Homestyle magazine is out on shelves now and I give it a whole sheet of gold stars.

© The New