30.07.2020

Aotea Flagship


Photography by Jono Parker

Good Design (caps intended) has style, substance and sustainability. Style, because aesthetics are important, and we all deserve to have more beauty in our lives. (Plus, when something is pleasing to look at and hold, we also tend to better respect it, take care of it, and be more present for our enjoyment of it, if that makes sense). Next, substance. For something to be well-designed, it should be perfectly fit for purpose. Useful, effective. Life-enhancing in some way. The last part is sustainability. For me, in the context of design, sustainability is a product having longevity, and being made with conscious consideration for people and planet.

Welcome to my TED Talk. But all that to say, that Aotea is one of those New Zealand brands that I feel completely embody Good. Design.

Aotea is a range of therapeutic products inspired by rongoā māori (traditional māori medicine), using native New Zealand flora grown sustainably on Aotea, Great Barrier Island. Ingredients used for hundreds of years and backed today by scientific research – such kawakawa, mānuka, harakeke and kūmarahou – are the hero ingredients in Aotea’s range of small-batch skincare and health products. Their journey began in 2015 at the Parnell Farmer’s Markets with one herbal tonic drink, and Aotea now have over 250 stockists globally. Two Hundred and Fifty! They proactively work to protect Great Barrier’s ecosystem and provide job opportunities for locals, and gift scholarship grants to the island’s māori youth, so they can participate in a high level of schooling (there are no high schools on Great Barrier).

(If you’re interested in learning more about Aotea’s business model and how tikanga māori underpins all they do, or you want to know more about the efficacy and provenance of their products, I can def recommend checking out the Aotea website – it has loads of info.)

OK – so to the reason for today’s post – this beautiful moody space. Aotea recently opened the doors on a flagship retail space at Auckland’s new Commercial Bay precinct. I love how simple they’ve kept this space, and especially the choice of low light – for me this would be a verrrry welcome sensory relief from all the artificial light and noise of the typical ‘mall’ environment.

Like Aotea’s products, the ingredients in this space are simple but substantive – and storied, too. See that centre table? Aotea founder Tama Toki tells me: “The slab is from an old kauri tree that stood on North Hauturu (Little Barrier Island). About twenty years ago it came down in a storm and actually floated into our bay on Aotea called Katherine Bay. My uncle went out in his boat, towed it in and then lifted it out of the water with his tractor. I remember it being quite the scene! From there he cut the tree into slabs and gave them to whānau. This was one of the slabs, and so we decided to restore it for the store.”

You know I have a thing for sinks, and this curvy number gets 10/10 from me. The team were inspired by some of the old communal wash basins they have on their papakāinga. So they wanted to make one similar – but using corrugated iron, because there’s so much of it on the island.

Concept and design by interior architects Wonder Group.

Two hands way up for indigenous international success stories, values-based brands, and Good Design.

 

Visit the Aotea flagship at Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen Street

Aotea online storeAotea Instagram

30.06.2020

Well and Good – Hana Space


Handmade ceramics by Waiheke Island’s Thea Ceramics;
naturopathic organic teas from Mayde Tea

Forever florals by Mark Antonia

Artwork by The Hera Series

I love that they’ve left the floor perfectly imperfect


Gorgeous custom shelving unit that echoes the curvature seen throughout the space.

Arch mirrors by Sunday Homestore feature throughout the space; beautiful arched towels by Baina

Photography by Jono Parker

In Auckland’s Grey Lynn, the developer behind Ponsonby Fire Station, City Works Depot and Osbourne Laneways has turned an old industrial scrapyard into a series of organic, character-filled spaces. And the newest resident of The Scrapyard is this incredible wellness business, Hana.

Hana founder Sara Higgins’ worked as a pharmacist for over a decade, fuelled by a passion for helping people on their wellness journeys. When faced with her own health struggle, she began to focus more on the root causes of illness and how to support the body to repair itself. She discovered for herself the healing power of infrared saunas and red light therapy, and set about creating a space to offer these world-class treatments to others (along with massage and pilates), within a sanctuary that would encourage deep relaxation and self-care.

This quiet chrysalis in the city was designed by interior architects Pennant and Triumph (who also created much of the custom cabinetry and seating), in collaboration with Sara.
 

HANA website  /  HANA Instagram

 

26.05.2020

Rituals on Repeat – the new Homestyle


Just the tiniest tease of the covergirl – Alex and Corban Walls’ (AC Homestore) jaw-dropping new home. And ah, I don’t say jaw-dropping lightly. Photography by Sophia Bayly


The dream – early 1900’s villa in the front (ornate historic fretwork and facade) – and hiding around back, a clean, modern extension. Photography by Sam Hartnett

This handsome New Plymouth home with five lofty pavilions is another of Homestyle’s excellent June/July features. Photography by Simon Wilson.

 

You really don’t need to read this copy, you just need to get yourself down to your local Homestyle stockist and pick up this issue because SHEESH. The heroine of the issue is the prodigious new home of Alex and Corban Walls (of AC Homestore). It is everything you’d expect from the taste-making couple but yet so much more – from the world-class architectural choices and the super-minimalist-but-monumental travertine-walled pool and lawn, to the staggering bathrooms and the stylish-yet-soft bedrooms… It’s every synonym of incredible. 

The rest of the issue is similarly all-killer-no-filler. Look, honestly, you just need to close down this tab and go get a copy, ok? This one’s a don’t-miss.

 

 

online-homeware-store

17.03.2020

Inward Bound – Homestyle April/May


Photography by Sam Hartnett

This renovated Herne Bay villa is the covergirl for this issue. Her reinvention  was helmed by architect Natasha Markham of MAUD. Pick up a copy of this issue to see this home’s impressive walled courtyard, and the beautiful juxtaposition of original architectural details with modern additions.

Photography by Claire Mossong

These prefab ski-cabin style homes in Ohakune are both simple and humble, yet filled with warmth and character

Photography by Simon Devitt, Design by SGA

These are the sort of times that make you extra-grateful for small joys and happy distractions. Like my new Homestyle magazine (April/May 2020 edition) that arrived in the letterbox a few days ago – didn’t even have to venture out to buy one – and it’s got all the interior inspiration you’ll need to take your mind off current events.

This issue shows us how to create small vignettes with big meaning, has us visit and talk with with three inspiring creative women (in this issue, a painter, a clothing designer, and a founder of her own art gallery), and takes us on a tour of several New Zealand homes. There’s plenty more pieces of content too… all of which has that unquantifiable It-factor that Alice Lines and her team have the most well-honed radar for.

I also really appreciate the balance of aspirational and attainable that Homestyle fold in to each issue. This go round, at the more attainable end of the spectrum, there’s the story of a couple who waited over 10 years to build their happy place (and what a place it is), and a matching pair of DOC Hut-inspired, cabin-style homes in Ohakune, prefabbed by a couple of snowboarding mates.

Keep calm (and keep well) and Homestyle on.

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