Homestyle – Dream Weavers

Photography by Simon Wilson

Perfect interior magazine fodder at the start of a new year – stories of real New Zealand renos, and how the homeowner made them happen. That’s the focus of Homestyle magazine’s freshy fresh issue – it’s on shelves this week, kids!

Above is the CoverGirl, the home of Hamilton stylist, writer and mum Erana Te Paa. When the family first moved into the home (which was most recently a government-owned boarding hostel) they thought a complete transformation would be in order, but instead, they’ve fallen in love with its mid-century modernist curves and quirks – and completed a ‘lighter’ reno that celebrates them.
Erana has an inimitable style (along with some mad secondhand hunting and DIY skills) which makes for a truly unique, cover-worthy home.

Photography by Duncan Innes

You know how we see all those overseas homes that used to be old factories and industrial buildings and think, yeah yeah that’s nice and everything – but that doesn’t really happen in New Zealand? Well here’s one! Formerly a mechanic’s workshop, transformed into this amazing Grey Lynn home. Polished (and painted) concrete floors, internal black steel framed glass doors leading to that very cool office up there, and a floating staircase up to a mezzanine… you’ll love this one.

Nice choice of black-stained pine (against that amazing ceiling) to add depth!
Photography by Michelle Weir

Homestyle also pokes around the homes of the founders of NZ interior design practice, Material Creative, and hears how Toni and Liv each tackled their different renovations.

Styling by Alice Lines, Photography Wendy Fenwick

aaaaaaaaand I couldn’t not share one of the images from the playful (and gender neutral) Kids’ Spaces feature – because the star is Editor Alice Lines’ own handsome boy, Teddy!

The Feb/March 2018 issue of Homestyle magazine is out on shelves now and I give it a whole sheet of gold stars.


Summer Loving

Styling Alice Lines & Sam van Kan; Photography Simon Wilson

It’s the Dec/Jan issue! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Meh, I may have aged another whole year in what feels like two months, but at least I have midday swims, dining outdoors, sun-kissed skin and legitimately wearing sunnies at 6pm to look forward to! Oh, and a little refresh at home that I’m planning, with some inspiration from Homestyle’s Summer Loving issue.

This bathroom sink! Photography by Pernille Kaalund

Just one of many babe’n homes in the latest Homestyle. A 1800’s cottage renovation, in an old fishing town just outside Copenhagen. Owned by an interior designer Louise Kamman Riising.

Photography by Bonny Beattie

As always, there’s the best New Zealand homes hiding out in the pages too – this is the Hamilton home of Jacinta Stevenson, the founder of contemporary knitting brand Plump and Co.

Teeny tiny tiles for the luxury-spa-at-home win. Photography Simon Wilson

And my fave home tour this issue – this Auckland home where the interior design risks they’ve taken (like the super-dark kitchen) have paid off, maj.

Get your copy (actually, get yourself a subscription so you can feel flash when each issue lands in your mailbox a week earlier than the peons get it. #lifehack because it saves money but feels so, so good.)



Meet Pepa

Within the historic Christchurch Arts Centre…

Inside a room in the Gothic Revival Boys’ High Building (built in 1881)…

Behind this door (This door though! Beautiful!)…

You’ll find the best little stationery boutique you ever did see.
This is Pepa.

Product styling by Bonny Beattie

Ami Muir, Pepa founder and amazing person.

Photography all by Bonny Beattie, with thanks

SO excited about today’s feature! Allow me to introduce Pepa – an all-things-stationery store that’s just opened in Christchurch. Pepa is the boutique baby of Ami Muir (you might know Ami from her Great NZ Wrapping Paper book we’ve featured before) – 35 year old mum, ex-advertising agency career woman, and lifetime stationery addict. (We’re sisters from another mister, Ami.)

Through Pepa (Maori for paper), Ami is bringing some of the world’s best, cult-classic and contemporary brands to New Zealand. And what’s more, these are brands you can’t get anywhere else in New Zealand. As an unashamed papyrophiliac (it’s been 3 days since my last stationery purchase), I gotta say Ami’s curation is off-the-charts good. I added over 20 things to my Cart. Husbo, please get my Christmas gift from Pepa. Ami also promises that Pepa will be an evolving mix of cool new stuff – the world of stationery is constantly moving with aesthetic trends, and Ami has more ideas than she has store space.

Let’s hear a little from Ami, in her own words: “I’ve always had a really unhealthy love for stationery and all things paper, that coupled with my love for old fashioned pen and paper culminated in a need to open something I had always searched for in NZ, a stationery store.” The underlying values of Pepa are even more personal than this for Ami: “As a child I used to love checking the mailbox every single day, and luckily for me there would often be a letter from one of my two nanas. I know how much receiving an unexpected letter can change someone’s day, and if I can be a little bit responsible for making people smile as they open the mailbox I will be a very happy person. I also worry that the digital age is completely overcoming us, and the kids of today are missing out on the little things – like writing or receiving a letter.”

While having her very own little stationery shoppe had long been a dream, it wasn’t until Ami spotted this space – the perfect mix of nostalgia and modernity – that she knew she had to do whatever it took to make her dream happen. Pepa is located in one room within the Boy’s High building, part of the historic Christchurch Arts Centre (a collection of Category 1 heritage buildings). The Christchurch Arts Centre is progressively re-opening after extensive post-earthquake restoration, and the Boy’s High building started welcoming new businesses a couple of months ago. Side note: I really need to get myself down to Christchurch for a weekend – so many exciting new openings there recently.

Pepa’s brand (aesthetically a nod to famous English poster artist Tom Eckersley, and illustrators of his kind like Anna Kovacses) was designed by Rikki Burns, and Ami’s also collaborated with one of my fave NZ creatives, Bonny Beattie, for interior styling of the store, product styling and photography.

Get yo’ stapler-appreciating friends and make a day of it, or if you’re too far from the garden city, Pepa has a full, super-good-looking online store.


Pepa Stationery

Boys’ High building, The Arts Centre, 28 Worcester Blvd, Christchurch.
Open 10-5, seven days a week

Pepa online store   /   Pepa instagram   /   Pepa Facebook


Here Comes the Sun – Homestyle Preview

Blush and woven textures pair beautifully
Styling by Juliette Wanty, Photography Wendy Fenwick

Hi, my faves. If you know me, you know I’m an open book. But that’s not the book you were asking to read when you come here, so I don’t share personal bits often…

I’ve had a rough couple of months. A broken ankle, and then a broken heart. I’ve been in a cast up to my knee (washing yourself with a flannel for 8 weeks is – ahem – humbling) but – much more significantly, because bones heal and not being able to walk actually just makes you really, really grateful for your normal ability to do so – I had to say goodbye to my very best friend, my faithful little shadow for over a decade, my dog Company.  So I’ve felt broken, and pretty empty, the past few weeks. But this morning, I literally woke up to the sound of birds singing, the sun was streaming through my bedroom window, and I had this little tune in my head:

Here comes the sun (doo-doo-di-doo), here comes the sun, and I say… it’s all right…

And instead of working, I’ve spent this morning sitting in a patch of sunlight with a coffee, reading the latest Homestyle (I subscribe – you should too – it’s like a little gift you send yourself every 8 weeks!).
Let me share some highlights with you:

This bespoke suspended shelving (designed by the home owners) is a great idea for adding
storage to a small kitchen, without sacrificing light

Photography by our friend Michelle Weir

As per, Homestyle takes us through a bunch of inspiring, real New Zealand homes. This was one of my faves this issue – a sunny bungalow belonging to young Auckland parents Sarah and Danny Carlsen. Their place is a testament to what you can do on a budget – keeping the palette simple, and layering custom pieces and creative ideas (like the way they’ve done that floor tiling, above) with op shops finds (like vintage chairs, given a quality paint job) and good basics.

Styling by Juliette Wanty, Photography Wendy Fenwick


It’s also Homestyle’s annual Kitchen & Bathroom spesh, and their stylists have created a very cool selection moodboards to suit all sorts of aesthetics – so if you’re planning or just fantasising about a kitchen refresh, you’ll definitely want to pick up this issue.

This might be my fave home tour from any magazine this year – a reno’d bungalow belonging to some very stylish newlyweds. You guys know how much I gravitate toward a simple white interior, but what’s so cool here is that they’ve taken that very clean, contemporary base and created a casual coastal-boho vibe, thanks to their choice of homeware, textiles and art. LOVE this.

Styling by Kerrie-Ann Jones, Photography by Maree Homer

Photography by Michelle Weir for Homestyle

This bedroom above is from the small inner-city apartment of a NZ graphic designer. But thanks to his collection of houseplants, his home feels less like part of the concrete jungle and more like a greenhouse sanctuary. Little tip for you from the story: to find established plants, get out your weekend paper and go garage-saleing. Also, TradeMe is full of people trying to get rid of their over-sized, unkempt plants.


The October/November (how did that happen?) issue of Homestyle magazine is out on shelves now. Get yourself a copy, find a little patch of sun and give yourself some Vitamin-Me.

© The New