20.11.2019

An Organised 2020


Photography by Hannah Roche

Styling and Photography by Kirsty Dawn

Today marks 6 weeks until a whole new decade. I don’t know about you, but that gives me even more drive to make 2020 a milestone year in my life – personally and professionally.

Cue An Organised Life – a world-class, modern stationery brand that just happens to be from New Zealand.

(Ok, so most of us here – being lovers of good design – already know about An Organised Life, but for those who don’t: The brand was started back in 2013 by New Zealander Beck Wadworth. Then in her early 20’s, Beck was working in Australia in the frenetically-paced fashion and PR world, and couldn’t find a simple but stylish diary. A diary that deserved its place as an accessory to Beck’s otherwise chic, sartorial daily looks. If you’re one of the 57,000 followers of Beck’s personal Instagram, you’ll know by the life she leads (splitting her time between her home here in Auckland and her HQ in Sydney, running her business, contributing to Vogue AU and being brand ambassador for Lexus NZ) that she’s the perfect person to be designing tools to bring structure to a busy life. Beck also juggled An Organised Life as a side-hustle to her main career for over 5 years. So yeah, she knows a thing or three about organisation.)

Beck’s first An Organised Life piece – the Signature Diary – is still a bestseller each year, but An Organised Life now offers a wide range of diaries (weekly planners, daily planners, a5 and A4 size), along with a large collection of notebooks and blank journals, calendars and wall planners, weekly planner pads and notepads, all with beautifully-considered details. The aesthetic has never deviated from Beck’s original vision – classic, minimal, fresh, monochrome.

An Organised Life’s  2020 Collection is now available to order. All the diaries can be monogrammed, and they all begin in December, so you can start getting organised now.

Post Script: I’m a stationery and organisation nerd and I like hearing what other people use. So here’s what I use: I always have two of Beck’s plain leather notebooks constantly on the go – I use one for personal journalling, and another for work: for lists, ideas and design development. They come in a lined option, but I choose blank, and always use the same brand of black ink pen (I’m fussy about pens). I get my stationery monogrammed with my first initial – A – because An Organised Life offers free monogramming on many/most of their products – you can choose from a range of foils or blind deboss. For my 2020 Diary, I’m opting for the A4 Daily Diary in Gold

13.11.2019

Real World Refinery


A coupley short years ago, I shared this post on a new brand called Real World. They’d caught my eye with their bold minimalist packaging (the first dishwashing liquid to actually look stylish in your kitchen), and the fact that all the products were completely natural, handmade in small batches from founder Nicola Mossman’s home. At that time, they’d launched with their Dishwashing Liquid – a natural alternative to the supermarket’s many toxic concoctions – and a small range of hand wash and hand cream.

The Real World range has grown to include (takes deep breath): haircare, deodorant, shaving foam, baby bath wash, a comprehensive natural skincare line, more homecare products including bench spray, a pet wash, a brand new laundry liquid, lip balm, bath salts, and much more. All plant-based. All beautifully packaged.

And, even more exciting, Nicola and husband Adam have just – a couple of months ago – opened the doors of a flagship space, in their Hawke’s Bay hometown. They spent months completely gutting and re-designing what was a newspaper printing plant, reusing and upcycling some of the industrial gems of the old building and transforming the space into what you see here – the Real World Refinery, a retail store and refillery.

Visit to see the complete Real World family of products, refill your empties from the brass 13-tap sink, and watch Nicola and the team hand-making products out back, through those black steel-framed windows (yes, everything is still done by hand).

Real World Refinery – 211 Queen St, Hastings  /  Real World online store  /  Real World Instagram

Photography by Hazel Redmond and Andy King

 

12.11.2019

Aesthetics + Ethics – Kowtow Auckland


Photography Simon Wilson

 

This quietly confident beauty is the sophomore space for New Zealand global brand Kowtow, now open in York Street, Newmarket.

Like the inaugural Wellington flagship, the design of Kowtow Auckland was again a collaboration between Kowtow and Rufus Knight, and is again an expression of both minimalism and warmth. Kowtow does balance beautifully – simplicity and sparseness meets rich material tactility, linear forms meet organic shapes and flowing curves, art meets the elemental.

Aspects I love: the dropped Japanese-inspired ceiling; the original concrete ceiling trusses (this building is fairly historic) that have been left exposed; the floor-sweeping heavy linen curtains; and that monolithic centrepiece – the giant, ‘floating’ brass table with heavy oak legs. The exterior also deserves special mention –  Kowtow and Rufus Knight created that abraded plaster façade, and the extra deep-set windows.

Like the Wellington flagship, all aspects of the store have been selected with sustainability in mind;  much of the interior timber is traceable New Zealand grown oak, finished by hand with a non-toxic and enviro-friendly oil. The rugs (from NZ brand Nodi) are hand-braided and made from sustainably grown jute. Those changing room curtains are made from sustainably grown and processed linen, and the ottomans – designed by NZ’s Simon James – are locally made and upholstered with renewable and biodegradable organic linen. Not a surprise from our own trailblazing ethical (seed to garment) clothing label.

06.11.2019

Our Spaces – Coffee Table Book


Photo via @bridget_lee 

 


Photography by Michelle Weir – Studio Weir

Totally teasing you below with just a teeeny tiny fraction of the incredible, inspiring interiors in Our Spaces – my new coffee table book published by Penguin and out now.

There’s more than 400 images over 288 pages, and I promise you they’re all killer, no filler (thanks to my friend, architectural photographer Michelle Weir). A showcase of New Zealand interiors now, Our Spaces shares all the design decisions, furnishings and finishing touches that make a home not just beautiful, but meaningful.

I wanted Our Spaces to have the digestibility of the best Pinterest board you ever saw (nice big images, and loads of them, with not too much to read); to be something beautiful and tactile you’d be proud to display on your coffee table or bedside (hello linen-bound hardcover); and to be filled with homes that are world-class and not overtly ‘Kiwi’ (I believe this book can sit alongside any international interiors book as a peer, thanks to the incredible style of the homeowners in it.)

I selected spaces that are both timeless and right-on-time, not trendy. Spaces that are clean and contemporary, yes, but with a casual feel. There are enough books out there on multi-million dollar houses that are out of reach for most of us. What is harder to find are homes that are massively inspiring and aspirational in aesthetic, but that still feel achievable. Because money doesn’t equal style. Actually, there’s a saying I like, that style is just a matter of being yourself, on purpose. The homes in Our Spaces express this sentiment superbly.

Our Spaces also gives you a peek into the homes of some of the NZ creatives who continue to inspire me – Homestyle magazine editor Alice Lines, Krista and Tim Plews of Paper Plane, Father Rabbit founder Claudia Zinzan, stylist and Blackbird Goods owner Gem Adams, Tessuti director Ali McIntosh, a number of interior designers including Annique Heesen, Thandi Tipene and Amy de Court, Sansceuticals founder Lucy Vincent, furniture designer Bec Snelling (Douglas and Bec), the designers behind some of my favourite NZ clothing labels, and so (so so) many more.

The Our Spaces tour takes you through (by chapter): Bedrooms, Bathrooms and Laundries, Kitchens and Dining Rooms, Living Spaces, Modern Kids’ Rooms and Nurseries, Workspaces, and finally, Moments (little corners, styling touches and details that elevate something ordinary into a design moment).

The text is purposely light, but it speaks to the design decisions the homeowner has made that makes the space extra-special, pulling ideas and insights from each space, for yours. There’s also a thread that runs through the book, an expression of my philosophy that Design is the Art of Living Well. (More on that in a future blog)

Our Spaces is available at my own design + lifestyle store, Sunday Homestore (order here!) – but you can also get it at all good bookstores, as well as at my favourite homeware stores, Paper Plane, Tessuti, Blackbird Goods, Father Rabbit and more.

 
 
 

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