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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31.10.2019

My Debut Book: Our Spaces


I did a thing! Introducing Our Spaces – Contemporary NZ Interiors,
a coffee table book curated and edited by little old me!

A sourcebook of ideas for contemporary interiors, Our Spaces takes you room-by-room through what I consider to be New Zealand’s most stylish, most inspiring homes – spaces that are relaxed yet refined, modest yet modern.

Inside its linen-bound hardcover, Our Spaces features over 400 beautiful interior images by my friend, NZ photographer Michelle Weir, along with ideas and insights pulled from each space, for yours.

In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing some of the beautiful imagery from inside the 288 pages, as well as some of my (and Michelle’s) thoughts on designing a home that’s both beautiful and meaningful.

Our Spaces will be available in all good bookstores and my favourite design stores from Tuesday November 5th.
Or pre-order now through my own homeware store, Sunday – and I’ll courier your copy out to you myself!

Click here to order

16.09.2019

Go Your Own Way – Homestyle


Photography Larnie Nicolson

The postie delivered me a new copy of Homestyle magazine this morning. Seriously, do yourself a favour and subscribe ($51 for a full year) – it’s always such a lovely little surprise when he latest issue turns up, and life’s made up of those kind of moments. #betterlivingeveryone #leahpanapa

Above are some sneaks from one of the many New Zealand spaces in this issue – the home of Gretchen Houston, food stylist and recipe developer of My Weekend Table. Gretchen and her husband are renovating an old Grey Lynn villa as time and funds allow; and this issue of Homestyle takes you through what they’ve completed so far.  STUH. 👏🏼 NING.  👏🏼

Photography by Simon Wilson

Let there be light! This prefab-pretty home concept was developed by architect and interior design couple John and Nikki McNamara. It’s their real home, but also the first prototype of Modhouse, their new prefab homes venture. Sign me up.

Before you head off, I want to take a quick moment to congratulate the team at Homestyle for their wins at the Magazine Media Awards 2019. Alice Lines (follow her here on Insta) won Best Editor in the Home & Food category, Juliette Wanty (Insta here) won Best Designer (same category) for the third year running, and Homestyle’s parent company (a boutique business, not a big media conglomerate) won Best Small Publisher.

 

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