12.05.2020

Work Wives and Homebodies


Meredith Crawford (47) and Toni Gale (30) were work wives at a bedding and homeware company for years. Through their friendship, they discovered not only a similar taste in and obsession for interiors, but a shared dream to one day have their own linen brand. It wasn’t until after they parted ways professionally that they released how much they missed and loved working together, and started thinking about how perfect a team they’d be – a designer and a marketing consultant – if they joined forces.

While each maintaining their own freelance careers, they started a side hustle – to build a brand of their own. Toni is actually a qualified textile designer, and having worked for several homeware and interior companies in her career was able to bring a solid knowledge of the industry and production processes to the project. The two poured every spare moment into development and design, including a painstaking search for suppliers who could manufacture their products beautifully, ethically and sustainably. Then, in November last year, Toni and Meredith took a leap of faith and launched their brand, Homebody.

Archie cushion (like the other Homebody styles, Archie also comes in a large Euro, standard pillowcase, and a linen throw)

Fleur

Daisy

Cruella

Homebody is a casual-contemporary range of pillowcases and Euros, cushions and throws, in four debut styles designed by Toni – Cruella, Daisy, Fleur and Archie. They’re intended to be mixed and matched together, or added to your bedding basics. I’m especially digging the soft painterly strokes of Archie, and the way Toni has turned a bushel of hydrangeas into a more abstract textile pattern in Fleur.

Everything has been printed on our fave fabric, linen. We all know how yummy real linen looks and feels, and how durable it is (and how it gets even lovelier with age), but did you know it’s also more of an environmentally-sound choice than cotton? The flax plant requires much less energy and water resources to produce than other fabrics, and the entire plant is used, leaving almost no waste footprint. Linen is also naturally biodegradable and recyclable. There’s very little (no) choice out there in real linen that’s not plain Jane… Homebody have a carved a cool statement-print niche here, and I’m excited to see what they do next.

Actually, what they are going to do next is release a new series of prints – they’re working on those at the moment. They’re also planning some new products, too. Who run the world? Work Wives.

 

Homebody online store  /  Lookbook  /  Homebody Instagram

07.05.2020

Wild Kinship


There’s no doubt we’re in a watershed time in human history. We must start changing our habits of consumption, for our own survival, and the survival of the planet. But while it’s never been more critical to make change, it’s also never been easier. When it comes to conscious and sustainable brands to buy from, we have an embarrassment of riches, right at our fingertips. And we don’t have to compromise on quality or (as is relevant to my interests and presumably to you, readers of a design blog) aesthetics to do it.

My friend Monique Hemmingson’s new book Wild Kinship is testament to this. The book itself is a perfect example of its own premise; aesthetically it’s a thing of beauty to look at (including gorgeous lifestyle and landscape photography by Ilk’s Erin Cave), it’s the product of a small and independent New Zealand publisher, Beatnik, and the entire project aimed to eschew – as best it could – print media’s traditional high carbon footprint. Wild Kinship has been printed in small batches, on recyclable paper, using vegetable inks, and the team calculated and paid back carbon credits to offset the project’s total travel emissions. It’s not perfect of course, but that’s actually a key takeaway from Monique’s book – doing something is always better than nothing. 

Author Monique Hemmingson

Monique actually started working on the book concept a couple of years back, when she still owned her Mount Maunganui café Wild One Wholefoods. At the time, she was working with scores of conscious brands and was constantly inspired by their devotion in a difficult industry. She could see that they had a wealth of knowledge and some amazing stories that people could really benefit from hearing – fellow business owner or not. The seed for Wild Kinship was sown.

Wild Kinship: Conversations with Conscious Entrepreneurs is a collection of 28 interviews with the New Zealand and Australian founders of ethical and sustainable brands. Brands who are forging progressive paths and changing the world in their wake – from clothing designers and tiny-home builders to potters and permaculturists. Including Kowtow’s Gosia Piatek, Kokako Coffee’s Mike Murphy, and GoodFor stores’ founder James Denton.

Victoria Aguirre and Carl Wilson of homeware brand Pampa

 Jacob and Georgia Faull of organic baby brand Nature Baby, at their flagship NZ store

Al Thursfield, founder of The Daily Bar 

New Zealander Hannah Jack, making product for her all-plants skincare brand

Co-founder Michael Zagoridis at work at Pocket City Farms, bringing permaculture to inner cities.

New Zealander (and now Byron Bay resident) Stacey Burt, of skincare business Little Company.
Photography by Bobby Clark

Andrew Morris and Amanda Callan of Church Farm General Store with their two boys

The conversations are honest, intimate and ultimately very inspiring – personally and professionally. It’s packed with ideas and advice, not just about sustainable business, but also about overall wellbeing, about community and connection, about balancing livelihood with lifestyle.

An incendiary read, whether you want to start your own conscious small business or pivot your existing business, or just understand how you as an individual can take the power back and change your own habits, to improve your own life, the lives of others, and the life of the planet.

Wild Kinship: Conversations with Conscious Entrepreneurs is $60
See more and buy direct from Monique herself, here.

Follow Monique on Instagram here.

All photography by Erin Cave (See Erin’s Instagram here)

 

 

 

online-homeware-store

09.03.2020

Lilian


The Lilian wordmark and menu design was created by Lotte Design – see more here

Photography by Sarah Grace

Sitting in this establishment, two good Italian proseccos in, stealing the last bite of burrata from the shared plate as you eye-up what’s for mains, you’ll probably have forgotten you’re not in some family-run osteria, on some little cobblestoned laneway, somewhere in Tuscany. You’re in Lilian – Auckland’s ‘newest oldest’ eating establishment, in the neighbourhood of Grey Lynn.

Lilian is the creation of Honey Bones‘ (we featured that space on The New when it opened, here) owners, Hugo Baird, Willy Gresson and Otis Gardner Schapiro. Lilian was actually the name of Otis’ grandmother, and the concept was for a space that would be evocative of her imagined home and hospitality – comfortable and comforting, almost humble in its simplicity.

There’s a very authentic sense of heritage here, as if Lilian’s been a part of the fabric of Grey Lynn for decades. They could have made the traditional osteria concept twee, but everything feels substantive and storied. The deep-toned, aged and detailed timber, the textured walls, the extra-thick stone and marble countertops, the genuine-vintage lighting, the handcrafted tiles… even the leather is worn-in. Nothing in the space feels new. It’s the work of Interior Architects Ctrl Space, in collaboration with co-owner Hugo. Together, they’ve created a space that feels as though it’ll be around for a while.

One of my favourite details is the pass – it could have been considered by the designers as a purely functional space, but they’ve made it a feature that adds to this rich visual story… I love the detailed European windowsill with the sash windows and pebbled glass.

Can we also just talk about how beautifully photographer Sarah Grace has captured this space? She’s saying more with light and shadow than my words ever could. For more atmospheric imagery, check out Sarah’s website, and follow her on Instagram @sarahgracephoto.

See more of Ctrl Space’s portfolio of design here, or follow @ctrl.space. Check out the Lilian menu and wine list here, or follow @lilian.akl

04.03.2020

Thonet at Home


Photography by Bonny Beattie

Thonet NZ Ltd. have been making furniture here in New Zealand for over 20 years. They’ve been giving commercial spaces an aesthetic edge since ages ago, but this year, launched Thonet Home – a capsule collection handpicked from their extensive commercial and hospitality brands, for a new focus on New Zealand homes.

The Thonet Home edit includes custom-made, New Zealand made pieces, along with iconic Scandinavian pieces like the Artek Tea Trolley (above – on my forever wishlist) and the most stylish Thonet Bentwood models – including the No 18 which has been produced, unchanged, for over a century, and those super clean, contemporary-but-completely-classic Hoffmann’s (with the rattan inserts) you see in at the dining table above.  (P.S. penpals: We love full dining set-up where you have the regular dining chairs along each side, then the armchair versions at the heads of the table – Class. Act.)

Thonet specialise in custom-made (and New Zealand made) dining tables, too. Their classic Dairy Table, in the images above, is the perfect hard-wearing family dining table with a timeless aesthetic, and is available with open plank detail top for more of a farmhouse look, or a solid top.  It can also be made for you as an extendable table. (My fave – I lovelovelove extendable dining tables.)

Have a peruse, Louise, through the new Thonet Home website – or if you’re in Wellington, the Thonet showroom has just unveiled a fresh new home-interiors look : 10 Cambridge Terrace, Te Aro, Wellington.

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