This is SALA – a new boutique gym located in a refurbished factory in the heart of Ponsonby, Auckland.  The journey to opening SALA began when yoga instructor Sarah Lindsay, who has moved from London to make New Zealand her home, couldn’t find a ‘home’ for her practise.

For Sarah, a lot of Auckland gyms seemed hyper-masculine and intense, with a work-harder-be-your-best-self-8-week-challenge sort of culture. That wasn’t for her. Sarah wanted to find a place that embodied her desire to be healthy and to take care of but more importantly to enjoy her body, and her desire to surround herself with like minded people.

So she designed SALA as an antidote – a place where you can come and feel at home, and where no one expects you to be any better than you already are. I love that. There’s also no contracts locking people in, and with 12 different types of classes, there really is something for every body – whether that body wants to feel stronger, fitter, or more flexible, just dance, feel in flow, or be restored and grounded.

Of course, it was the design that caught my eye. Minimal, and modern, simple and serene, and with lots of little details that you can’t see in these sexy pictures, like natural hair and body care products waiting for you in the bathrooms, and thick rubber Lululemon mats so you don’t have to bring your own. And I just love a story of shaking up a category, especially when its done by a young woman who puts design as a priority.

Photography by Brijana Cato (a personal fave, check her Insta)


See the SALA classes here, or check SALA out on Instagram



Photography by Brooke Lean and Gina Fabish – The Virtue

This is Tahi, a modern wellness space (offering yoga, natural healing therapies and more) in New Plymouth. Designed by one-to-definitely-watch Thandi Tipene – you might remember her amazing beachside home which featured in Homestyle this year.

Thandi designed the space with an ethos based on mother earth and the elements. Many aspect of the original building were embraced and given new life – for example, the original whisper-soft pink tiles in the bathrooms were kept, but a deeper pink was painted above them to ramp up the colour. I’ve seen the Before images and this is quite the transformation – from the custom ply ceiling and timber flooring which add so much warmth, and the bespoke slatted screens which define the space, to the different look and wall colour each treatment room was given.


Retreat Yourself – Homestyle Dec/Jan

Hi, my name is New Zealand. I went through an awkward teenage stage for a while there, but I’m aalllll grown up now.

In the new December/January issue of Homestyle (on shelves this week), there’s a focus on summertime hosting, including some of the most stylish Air BnBs our country has to offer. Homestyle Editor Alice Lines has done the trawling so you don’t have to, discovering holiday hires for the discerning design lover – like this covergirl, the Riverbank Modernist Retreat.

Owners Tara and Nick were living in New York, hunting for a home-back-home, when they fell in love with this mid-century Waikanae Beach babe. The beautiful Japanese/Californian vibe was created by interior designer Katie Lockhart.

See a lot more of this home, read about the couple’s sea-change from big city living to small town NZ, and learn how this inspiring aesthetic came together, in the new issue of Homestyle.

Dem bones. Styling by Juliette Wanty, Photography Bonny Beattie

Photography by Michelle Weir

I adore a walk-in shower, and how good is this tiling choice! This bathroom is part of the renovation of a 100-year old Grey Lynn villa, also in this issue of Homestyle.

Photography by Lynden Foss

As well as loads of New Zealand homes and holiday homes, there’s a couple of international interiors this issue too, including this Australian family abode above – originally a 1930’s church. Never met a church-to-family-home transformation I didn’t like.

The December/January issue of Homestyle is on shelves now. Go and obtain!




Habitus House of the Year 2018 – Point Wells House

Habitus Magazine
 celebrates its 10 year anniversary this year and, to mark the milestone, have founded an annual awards programme to recognise outstanding examples of residential architecture.

The inaugural Habitus House of the Year (2018) presents 25 homes that are exemplary embodiments of how the region lives through design, and includes five New Zealand homes amongst the honours. 

I’m partnering with Habitus to share some of the New Zealand finalists with you. We’ve been to the beach (Hahei House by Studio 2 Architects) and the city (339 House by Strachan Group Architects), and now we’re out in the countryside with Point Wells House, designed by Paterson Architecture Collective and Steven Lloyd Architecture.

Photography by David Straight

This Omaha home’s owners requested a gabled-roof farmhouse for their idyllic country setting. The resulting home is one that honours rural tradition and nostalgia, while offering beautifully modern, minimalistic details that make the rustic, refined.

It has the vocab of a simple barn, striking a bold silhouette with that iconic 45-degree gable roof. It’s raised off the paddock on piles, in the manner of a classic rural shed. And the cedar weatherboards look like they could’ve been here as long as the huge old macrocarpa trees… But, look closely, and the contemporary details start to shine.

Like those thin steel-boxed windows, did you spot those? Or the fact that there are no bargeboards. Look again – I love this detail. In fact, there are no fascia boards or soffits, either. And those weatherboards, they actually graduate in size, steadily getting wider as they reach the roof.

Inside, it’s top to toe timber, with dark stained oak floorboards, and walls and ceilings clad in rough sawn South Island Beech. I’d end up needing to see an Osteo if I lived here, I’d be staring up at those amazing trusses all day (I especially love the exposed bolts and the steel tension rods – shearing shed chic).

Today’s aesthetic is for super light, bright, open spaces – but here, the architects have sought to create beauty with shadows and dappled light. They’ve been very deliberate with the amount and intensity of light the house lets in, creating depth and drama in quiet spaces, and illuminating others (I love how they’ve accentuated the trusses with skylights in the great room).

It reminds me a little of an old rural church. Have you ever been inside one of those New Zealand colonial chapels? They have those tall, grand cathedral ceilings, but with a relatively long, narrow volume, few windows and timber interior, they’re also very restful and intimate.

The home is made up of three of these barn buildings – one has a garage and guest house, while the other two form the house proper. The west barn houses a great room (with massive poured-concrete fireplace), kitchen, scullery and laundry, while the east barn has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a study and another living room.

A long boardwalk passes almost through both pavilions, connecting the east and west ‘wings’ through their living spaces and creating a beautiful big outdoor room between them.

Having three distinct buildings, connected through pathways, gardens, porches and courtyards, gives the site a village-like feel, and creates multiple outdoor spaces, so no matter the time of day or the direction of the wind vane, you can find a sunny, still spot to sit.

Other aspects I noticed and loved:

Those tall, narrow casement windows, with bronze hardware by NZ company Chant; the simple poured concrete steps into the house – more of that shearing shed chic; how the kitchen actually sits within a timber box at one end of the Great Room; and the simple form of the two poured-concrete chimneys. Also, look, I dream of a modern black barn as much as the next woman, but I really love that they didn’t choose black for this beautiful home.


To see all the Habitus House of the Year 2018 finalists, visit habitusliving.com/houseoftheyear

You can also vote for this home – or another favourite – to win People’s Choice. Vote here. 



© The New