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.

04.11.2019

Baina


 

Let me introduce you to new brand Baina, founded by New Zealand friends Anna Fahey and Bailey Meredith.

I’m excited about Baina’s super contemporary approach to towelling. The aesthetic goes from subtle to sonorous, the designs playing with colour theory, texture and shape to bring a little sense of fine art, architecture or sculpture to your bathroom.

For me, design is the Art of Living Well – I believe that good design can genuinely improve the quality of your life and the lives of others – and Baina as a brand encapsulates this sentiment for me in every way. Not only is the design beautifully considered and the product premium (thick, super-soft absorbent towels), it’s a brand born of two friends who’ve decided to carve a creative and career path for themselves (and others). And everything is mindfully produced – Baina towels are 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, and are made by a four decade family-owned, sustainably-progressive mill in Portugal.

Currently the Baina collection includes a reversible pool towel that’s taking me to Capri, along with big bath towels and hand towels in three aesthetic match-ups. (I can’t decide which bathroom pairing is my favourite – the pink towels with the simple texture of an arch shape stitched into them, or the reversible sage green towels, one with a fine grid, one boldly checkered…)

For Anna and Bailey, the core idea behind Baina was to create a ceremony of self-care. A shower or bath is often the only time we have to be with ourselves, no screens, no-one else demanding our attention. Having a freakin’ beautiful towel, from a brand you believe in, to extend that moment of calm and presence? Yip, totally worth the investment.

Shop Baina Online   /   Baina Instagram

 

SUNDAY-online-homeware-store

12.09.2019

Atlas


Same but different – the Atlas tabletop swivels to re-position

New from New Zealand designer Nathan Goldsworthy, the Atlas Table. Crafted from solid blocks of Oak (on the base), with a disc top shaped from New Zealand Rimu – love the use of two different timbers. The top swivels and moves so it can be positioned perfectly. I’ve also spied a taller, smaller sidetable Atlas on the Goldsworthy Studio Instagram, hoping Nathan releases that soon too.

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