Good Turn

Bec and Douglas – Daughter and Dad, Designer and Maker, Dreamers and Doers both
Photograph Greta van der Star


Every Douglas and Bec collection is a love story of craftsmanship, art history and contemporary interiors. And the New Zealand Dad and Daughter team’s 2018 collection, Turn, continues the anthology, with this ode named after the art of wood turning.

Designer Bec Dowie has created 14 new pieces for the new collection, including a slim side table, dresser and big beautiful hutch dresser. There’s also new linear pendant lights and wall lights which would add an architectural sophistication to any space (these come in chrome, but also in natural, lacquered or blackened brass, too) and a floor lamp with a playful Dutch feel.

Douglas and Bec pieces always manage to feel both right-on-time and timeless. They feel like nothing you’ve seen before yet somehow are familiar… like future-you is looking at a New Zealand design classic, know what I mean?

See everything in the Turn collection here.



Habitus House of the Year 2018 – 339 House

Habitus Magazine celebrates its 10 year anniversary this year and are marking the milestone with the launch of an annual awards programme to recognise the most outstanding examples of residential architecture in our region.

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 so pleased to be partnering with Habitus in New Zealand to share a few of the New Zealand finalists. Last week I shared Hahei House by Studio 2 Architects, and this week it’s 339 House by Strachan Group Architects.

Photography by Simon Devitt.

339 Mount Eden Road sits sandwiched between blocks of flats on both sides, and being on a main artery into Auckland city, is subjected to the noise and fumes of twenty thousand cars, trucks and city buses passing each day. Not exactly an attractive proposition. But for the creative mind, constraints and challenges aren’t so much a barrier as just a puzzle that holds opportunity for an original, beautiful solution, right? And that’s exactly what architect David Strachan has created on this sliver of land.

For himself and his family, he has created a home that’s warm, sunny and social. And for the architect community he’s created a masterclass in how to maximise space, light and views whilst maintaining peace and privacy.

To enter the house, you first pass through an internal courtyard designed to act like a lung, its insulated glass doors and glass roof, concrete cladding, aromatic cypress-lined interior panels and plants all working together to filter out road noise and fumes. The glazed roof floods the home’s kitchen with morning sun, and frames a view of Maungawhau, the sentinel of Mount Eden.

Through that courtyard and into the house proper, noise and neighbours become entirely a non-factor. Through clever planning and positioning, the home is open and light-filled, but oh so private.

MVP here is the two-storey negative space that cuts through the house from East to West. Upstairs bedrooms open onto it giving a mezzanine feel, and a window that stretches from the floor right to the top of the eight metre Cathedral ceiling floods the interior with light.

One of my favourite details is that deliciously industrial, still-showing-its-tie-holes, super thick, precast concrete wall that spans the whole length of the home’s north wall. Another is the vertical shiplap lining on the walls – actually just white-painted plywood panels, with a 4×4 negative groove cut into them.

Beautiful birch ply gabled roof

Little details I noticed and loved: The black oxide concrete floors juxtaposed with fresh white linear walls and lots of warm timber of varying textures; the delicate blown-glass lighting; the kitchen island – designed by David of course and made from black powder-coated steel framing with birch ply; the fact that the two big dining tables are on castors so they can they can be pushed together for big gatherings; beautifully-upholstered built-in bench seats; and – of course – the big glass sliders that open the living room right out onto the pool, so you can be lolling about in the water having a convo with someone sitting at the dining table.

(While we’re talking about the pool, would you just look at that welded black steel pergola? It’s both freakin’ sexy form, and considered function, acting as somewhat of a privacy screen from the next-door apartments.)

At the rear of the site is a steep cliff, and the house perches on its edge. From the pool, your view is all blue sky and treetops.

339 Mount Eden Road is also consciously energy-efficient, with double layers of heavy duty insulation, 6.5kw of solar panels on the roof, and tanks that’ll take 15,000 litres of rainwater.


Is this your winner for Habitus House of the Year 2018?

Vote for it to win the People’s Choice award,
by visiting habitusliving.com/houseoftheyear



Peeks at the MAJAH new Calile Hotel, Brisbane

Love this weirdo blend of art deco, Scandinavian, Moroccan (et al) influences at the HQ of design firm Swoon.
That amazing limestone and white ash coffee table is by Yucca.

Amazing timber and glass sliding window walls let in swathes of light but still delineate the spaces. The team are able to completely slide the doors open on all sides to create one large communal creative space, or slide them closed to enclose offices.

Studio dreams – upholstered cabinet fronts doing double duty as moodboards; an amazing bespoke display & storage cabinet that reminds me of the Reference section in my old intermediate school library (in a great way).

Millionaire ablutions.

Him: *during sex* tell me what you want…
Me: … a massive floor-leaning mirror that makes my room feel like a Copenhagen city apartment…

This apartment is a riot of colour. Digging the plum tiles with red grout.

It’s no surprise that the Copenhagen home of Niels Stroyer Christophersen, co-founder and Creative Director of design studio Frama, is impossibly cool. See the full apartment tour over at Our Food Stories, here.

Reeded glass screens for the win.

1  –  3  /  4 – 6  /  7  /  8  /  9  /  10  /  11 / 12  /  13  /  12

Get flooring samples (and more) sent to you in Flooring Xtra’s new Sample Box


The Night Shift

Triumph & Disaster started out as a distinctly masc. grooming line. But the appeal of simple, super effective products, laden with ingredients from nature is a universal one. So over the past couple of years, the internationally-loved New Zealand brand has consciously become more unisex, developing more high-functioning skincare products and presenting them in more pared-back, contemporary packaging. Highly approve.

They’ve just launched two new heavy hitters – Dichotomy eye serum and Dark Moon night cream.

Get you skincare that can do both –  look beautiful on the outside and be beautiful on the inside.  These two fit the bill, with their minimalist, modern, monochrome (all the M’s) aesthetic, and – more importantly – the ridiculously good formulations that have taken Dion and his team a year to develop and refine. The science they use is clinically proven, the ingredients traceable and sustainable.

Dichotomy Eye Serum is stacked with the supernatural benefits of ingredients like Kakadu Plum (a Vitamin C superhero for brightening and tightening), Norwegian Kelp, Persian Silk and Gotu Kola (combined, they work to firm and lift sagging skin), Swamp Maple (the bark extract is clinically-proven to increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity), and Horopito (found only in New Zealand, it’s one of the world’s oldest flowering plants, surviving for over 65 million years thanks to its natural chemical defence system. Rich in antioxidants and an amazing toning and conditioning agent). I could go on. Suffice to say, this little black bottle flexes big.

Dark Moon was designed to work with our body’s natural rhythm, applied when our skin is putting in its best recovery and repair work – on the night shift. More than a hydrating cream, it’s been scientifically-engineered to deliver powerful antioxidants to your skin, and to enhance collagen production using ingredients like Kakadu Plum (Aborigines have used this superfood medicinally for thousands of years – it has 100 times more Vitamin C than oranges), Swamp Maple, Rosemary and Horopito. It feels effortlessly fresh and light on the skin, and a little will go a long way. Oh, and it looks beautiful on your bedside table.

A New Zealand brand, delivering a beautifully-designed product, that’s also beautifully-considered on the inside. Not at all sponsored. Just my idea of perfection.

© The New