11.08.2020

Spatial Studio


Segment Low No. 8 – with eight gorgeous big legs and a bronze trim (see that?).

Segment Side 02 has a curved antiqued brass base and a fine marble top

This first Spatial Studios collection includes a line of marble-topped tables with a mix of oak and bronze/brass legs

Segment Console – with 3 push-to-open cupboards each with adjustable shelves. Love the thin oak battens.

My fave, Segment Low No.6

Segment Side Table 01, in Oak. 

 
 
This furniture from New Zealand’s Spatial Studio stopped my eyeballs in their tracks, and I just had to share with you all…

While Spatial Studio is normally kept busy creating beautiful residential and retail interiors, founder Kristen Basra (winner of the Emerging Design Professional Award at last year’s Interior Design Awards) actually specialises in bespoke cabinetry design, and designing furniture is a natural progression of her craft. Our Level 4 Covid lockdown turned out to be the perfect creative incubator for Kristen – she finally got the time to make a long-held dream a reality, designing her debut furniture collection.

Every piece is handmade in New Zealand, and every material is customisable – it’s a Choose Your Own (Design) Adventure with stone finishes, timber and stains, metal accents, and sizes. Now that the debut collection is launched, Spatial Studio are aiming to release new items twice yearly, as Kristen is continually inspired by design and interiors around the world.

My head is gone for the Segment Low Table 06 with its six (yes, six) thick legs in turned solid oak. It’s curvy and playful, but still so refined. Explore the complete Spatial Studio’s collection here, and follow them on Instagram @spatialstudio to see what Kristen comes up with next…

30.07.2020

Aotea Flagship


Photography by Jono Parker

Good Design (caps intended) has style, substance and sustainability. Style, because aesthetics are important, and we all deserve to have more beauty in our lives. (Plus, when something is pleasing to look at and hold, we also tend to better respect it, take care of it, and be more present for our enjoyment of it, if that makes sense). Next, substance. For something to be well-designed, it should be perfectly fit for purpose. Useful, effective. Life-enhancing in some way. The last part is sustainability. For me, in the context of design, sustainability is a product having longevity, and being made with conscious consideration for people and planet.

Welcome to my TED Talk. But all that to say, that Aotea is one of those New Zealand brands that I feel completely embody Good. Design.

Aotea is a range of therapeutic products inspired by rongoā māori (traditional māori medicine), using native New Zealand flora grown sustainably on Aotea, Great Barrier Island. Ingredients used for hundreds of years and backed today by scientific research – such kawakawa, mānuka, harakeke and kūmarahou – are the hero ingredients in Aotea’s range of small-batch skincare and health products. Their journey began in 2015 at the Parnell Farmer’s Markets with one herbal tonic drink, and Aotea now have over 250 stockists globally. Two Hundred and Fifty! They proactively work to protect Great Barrier’s ecosystem and provide job opportunities for locals, and gift scholarship grants to the island’s māori youth, so they can participate in a high level of schooling (there are no high schools on Great Barrier).

(If you’re interested in learning more about Aotea’s business model and how tikanga māori underpins all they do, or you want to know more about the efficacy and provenance of their products, I can def recommend checking out the Aotea website – it has loads of info.)

OK – so to the reason for today’s post – this beautiful moody space. Aotea recently opened the doors on a flagship retail space at Auckland’s new Commercial Bay precinct. I love how simple they’ve kept this space, and especially the choice of low light – for me this would be a verrrry welcome sensory relief from all the artificial light and noise of the typical ‘mall’ environment.

Like Aotea’s products, the ingredients in this space are simple but substantive – and storied, too. See that centre table? Aotea founder Tama Toki tells me: “The slab is from an old kauri tree that stood on North Hauturu (Little Barrier Island). About twenty years ago it came down in a storm and actually floated into our bay on Aotea called Katherine Bay. My uncle went out in his boat, towed it in and then lifted it out of the water with his tractor. I remember it being quite the scene! From there he cut the tree into slabs and gave them to whānau. This was one of the slabs, and so we decided to restore it for the store.”

You know I have a thing for sinks, and this curvy number gets 10/10 from me. The team were inspired by some of the old communal wash basins they have on their papakāinga. So they wanted to make one similar – but using corrugated iron, because there’s so much of it on the island.

Concept and design by interior architects Wonder Group.

Two hands way up for indigenous international success stories, values-based brands, and Good Design.

 

Visit the Aotea flagship at Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen Street

Aotea online storeAotea Instagram

28.07.2020

Inside Stories – Homestyle Aug/Sep


The cover home for this issue belongs to NZ artist Anna Church (who now lives in Canada with her family)
Photography by Anna Church and Rebecca Wood

Styling by Juliette Wanty; Photography Wendy Fenwick

 

Not sure where the last 8 weeks went, but *shrugs* at least we have a new issue of Homestyle to show for it.

The August/September edition is out on shelves and in mailboxes this week, packed to the end pages with beautiful New Zealand homes (eight of them!), modern editorial styling, and the team’s reliable curation of lovely new things that definitely deserve your attention. The cover girl this issue is the *chef kiss* Canada home of New Zealand artist Anna Church (whose new body of work you really need to check out). Put on your comfies, switch the phone to airplane mode and give yourself some self-care in the form of SSR time with the new Homestyle.

 
 
 

online-homeware-store

09.06.2020

Future Heirlooms – Trio by Douglas and Bec


New from NZ design industry leaders Douglas and Bec, the Trio lighting collection. Like the Pare and Line families before it, the Trio collection takes elegant traditional silhouettes and interprets them for a modern aesthetic. There’s a floor lamp and table lamp (customisable in terms of both the metal finish and the blown-glass globe colour – white, camel, midnight, bronze green or blush) and various pendant lights. And as with everything Douglas and Bec, each piece is made right here in New Zealand, ready to make itself at home in any stylish space around the world.

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