29.05.2017

Material Creative


 

When I heard one of my favourite NZ interior designers, Material Creative, had a new office space, I knew I had to send someone along to shoot it for you guys.

A turn of the century building on Auckland’s K Road, the empty shell was first re-designed and extended by Glamuzina Architects. With a beautiful blank canvas to work with, Material Creative’s founders Toni Brandso and Liv Harper lead their team (now seven-strong) in the complete fit-out of the space,  and then invited a bunch of brand friends to join them.

They’ve created a workspace with that’s an extension of who they are as designers and people – light and bright, high quality but hospitable, on trend but one step ahead.


The space is shared with Nodi Rugs, Hannah Design Studio, Brandology, Gault’s and Amber Armitage

Genuine Thonet chairs and original floorboards…

Material Creative designed the LED and had it made locally

That beautiful deep green paint is Aalto Domain, and the small green tiles are from Tilespace.
P.S: Can we just stop to appreciate the black power switch for a second? OK, good, on we go.

Those half circle handles were an ikea find from years ago
(the girls were just waiting for the right project in which to use them)

The materials library, with shelving by Lundia, and some beautiful lights that
first made their first appearance in Biskit eatery in Parnell (designed by Material Creative)

The centrepiece of the materials library is the marble-topped vintage table, found on TradeMe

Probably my favourite bit (next to the kitchen tiling and paint) are these linen curtains,
used to close off and delineate spaces and give a residential feel

Shared desk space, below the best-looking ceiling you’ve seen in a while

Another one of those custom-made LEDs injects some modernity into the classic architecture

My all-time fave print by Anthony Burrill

When someone’s office is more comfortable than your own house… 
love the layered rugs (from Nodi) and the use of old plan drawers as a table

One of two meeting rooms (the paint colour is Chevron, by Aalto)

Love this wall colour – Aalto’s Sovereign

Did we just become best friends, guys? I have this same sink and black tapware

Material Creative purchased the cactus pattern as a stock image
and had their sign guys print it as a wallpaper 

The green grout is a genius move

 

See some of the commercial spaces Material Creative have designed, over on their website.

 


Photography by Josh Griggs for The New

 

26.04.2017

True Collaboration – Seed Ceramics


You know how much I love a collaboration. And this one is a clever little threesome, combining the delicate illustrations and simple aesthetic of young creative and slow-living proponent Abigail Bakker (find her on Instagram here) with the handmade earthenware ceramics of JS Ceramics, and the ethos of design store Paper Plane.

The beauty of handmade ceramics like these are in the mindfulness of the makers. Every piece requires patience and presence to be realised. The Seed Collection at first glance may seem simple, but each little detail is completely unique to that piece, and has taken time and complete focus to create. (The metaphor for nature isn’t accidental…) I also love how subtle the sage green watercolour pattern is, it still lets the form of the ceramics shine.

The Seed collection includes a tea bowl, small dish, spoon, pasta bowl, dinner plate, and platter. Available exclusively from our friends at Paper Plane.

22.03.2017

Fearon Hay’s Faraday Street Studio


One most exciting things about Auckland city in recent years has been the move to transform its historic buildings. The Imperial, Seafarers, City Works Depot, Amano… there’s been a rebirth of relics all over the city. Two of the architects responsible for creating this new-old Auckland are Jeff Fearon and Tim Hay. They were, at first, just looking for a new office for their practise, but decided to go one further – to purchase a dilapidated cluster of old warehouses (1940’s wool stores), and turn them into a new office, hospitality and retail precinct. They saw past the roller doors and painted-over windows to see what the old sheds could become – a pocket neighbourhood from which they could not only headquarter Fearon Hay, but grab coffee during the day and a drink after work.

And here it is – the new (and already award-winning) Fearon Hay digs, with the feel of a sexy loft apartment and the functionality of a high-performing work space. The office is essentially a massive mezzanine that floats above the original carpark, an open plan office that celebrates the bones of the old building, and introduces a pale poured concrete floor, huge communal pin-up surface, very sophisticated black-tiled bathrooms, and perhaps the best-looking meeting room I’ve ever seen.

The crowning glory is of course that exposed gabled ceiling – anyone with eyes can see why Tim and Jeff would want to design themselves working as close as possible to those huge, rough sawn, criss cross beams. What an inspiring place from which to design other inspiring places.

Special mention to that broodingly handsome steel stairwell.
 
 

Photography by Auckland photographer Michelle Weir of Studio:Weir
Michelle specialises in shooting interiors, architecture and fashion.

14.03.2017

At Home and Work with… Penney + Bennett


Loren, and Sarah

 Testing out their own range of sleepwear (which is coming soon)

 

Choosing materials for an upcoming (secret squirrel) project

 

Tweaking details for their upcoming display at Auckland’s INEX (interior design exhibition)

Lunch stop at little vietnamese joint, Try It Out – the girls often order this in if they’re working late
(Try It Out? Best English-as-second-language name ever! How good does this look?) 

 

Back in the studio – time for some emails and phone calls (Oh, and a baben portrait)

 

Planning the roll-out of the new collection 
Wrapping and boxing orders for retailers and customers
Refining patterns for linen house slippers – coming soon!
Penney and Bennett art prints have hand-applied gold leaf
Penney and Bennett sleepwear – coming very, very soon…
End of the day – bread, red wine, good cheese – that’s all the food groups.
 

Sarah Carson and Loren Marks first met at Whitecliffe College of Art & Design, where they collaborated on a few projects that combined their varying fine art practises. They found a shared passion for homeware, fabrics and furnishing, and during breaks between lectures they’d go to cafes and drink tea and talk about how they could turn their designs into beautiful textiles. After graduating, they each went into the workforce for a year, but kept meeting up for those chats over tea. The informal cuppas soon turned into more serious meetings on evenings and weekends, as they began to design and develop what would become Penney and Bennett.

Today, Sarah and Loren are both 26 and Penney and Bennett is almost three! And they’re about to launch their third collection, Guardian. Inspired by New Zealand’s native forest, it’s a moody, botanic direction, with a palette of deep greens and autumn shades.

Each surface pattern is created using a media mix of photography, painting and digital design, then printed onto metres of beautiful quality linen, cotton and silk, and transformed into cushions, pillowslips and bed linen, throws and more. Their range also includes table linen and large scale art prints.

Sarah and Loren live at opposite ends of Auckland, so sometimes before a big work day, they have a sleepover at one of their houses. It’s a chance for them to make the most of the day, starting with some early morning exercise to get the brain humming. (On this day, they went for a walk around Auckland’s Te Atatu Peninsula boardwalk). Days are spent getting orders of their dreamy printed textiles out to their customers and an expanding fam of retailers, and developing new collection prints and new products. Specifically, on the day Jonny visited them, Sarah and Loren were choosing materials for a whole new product line, checking the progress of their display stand for an interior design expo (INEX – happening in Auckland later this month), testing a new pattern for their linen house slippers, and finalising details of their new sleepwear range – a full range of pyjamas, which will come in plain linen, organic cotton and printed cotton.

Watch out for their new 2017 collection of cushions and throws, Guardian, in-stores very soon.
 
Explore the Penney and Bennett catalogue here:

 

 
Thank you Jonny!
Follow Jonny’s Narrative of Love Instagram here.

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