Making Space: Homestyle 2020

The first Homestyle issue of the new year is here, so get ye to the magazine shoppe tout suite. (Also, PSA for our Australian friends – Homestyle is now available in your neck of the woods! Send the Homestyle team a DM on Insta with your postcode, and they’ll let you know your nearest newsagent).

The cover girl this issue is this home above and below – a white-wood-and-concrete new build, perched high on a Te Arai hill.  Come for the incredibly beautiful interiors and architecture, stay for the story of how the family left Auckland for a new lifestyle in the countryside, and how they’re managing to balance lifestyle with work (love a good City Quitter story).

Substantial, yet soft –  interior designer (and owner) Melanie Sax and architectural designer Fraser Horton make quite the duo.

Photography by Duncan Innes for Homestyle

The master bedroom is divided by a part wall, behind which sits this ensuite of your dreams (see much more inside the magazine).

Along with this inspiring home, you’ll find five other house tours in this issue (six if you count the contemporary refurbed bus!) including this wee cottage below, the home sweet home of NZ architect Maria Hosking and her builder husband. I loved this feature – the home is packed with great ideas, and examples of what can be done in a small space with both an open plan and an open mind.

Gorgeous kitchen layout and materiality.

Photography by Simon Wilson for Homestyle

Styling Juliette Wanty; Photography by Wendy Fenwick

Unsurprisingly, Homestyle Art Director Juliette Wanty has me deceased again, with a styled feature (sneak peek above) that offers sophisticated ways to get sorted for the new year, plus we get a look at the unique workspaces of several NZ creatives, and editor Alice Lines takes us along on her recent artisan tour of Japan!

Grab your scissors and giant glue stick, and get ready to want to cut everything out to stick on your vision board.




New Year Spaces

Photography by Tom Ferguson
Love these very matte tiles, and the soft grey cabinetry in this renovated Sydney terrace home. If, like me, you dig period-era bones (hello, four original fireplaces throughout the house) alongside contemporary art and design, see the rest of this home – designed by Baldwin & Bagnall – over on The Local Project.

That fireplace! Yes, arches are everywhere now – but this is the first time I’ve seen them employed in a fireplace – LOVE it.
The way those linen drapes are playing with the sunlight too… gorgeous.

This superb space (above, the home office) is by Sydney interior designers Lane & Grove

To see the rest of this house (Clovelly 3), visit Lane & Grove’s website

Whitewashed walls, simple stone floors…

Photography by Salva Lopez

Nestled in an olive tree grove in the Italian countryside, Villa Castelluccio – a 1920’s villa given new life by wunderkind architect Andrew Trotter (also, btw, the founder and editor of the brilliant Open House magazine). He’s struck a beautiful balance of traditional Italian and modern Med, and it’s both rustic and substantial, while also having a light and airy feel about it. That thick custom concrete benchtop (and especially, especially the kitchen sink ) is the stuff of my dreams! Also love the double wooden doors throughout.

Stylist Pella Hedeby wove her magic wand again, creating this scene for Bricmate kitchen worktops. The black and beige works so great together with the lighter elements (like the woven-seat Wishbone chairs and the rice paper pendant), don’t you think?

This kitchen actually belongs to a new creative hub/co-working space in one of Berlin’s newest precincts.
Designed by the renowned Annabell Kutucu, who describes her aesthetic for the space as ‘brutalist silence meets wabi-sabi’.

One of the quiet workspaces in this same building.

1 – 3 /  4 – 7  /  8  –  17  /  18 / 19  /


Order your Free copy of Muse – Flooring Xtra’s inspirational interiors Lookbook



Photography by Nat Spada – The Palm Co

It’s our last Spaces of the year, so let’s make it a bumper, shall we? I love the simple but warm styling here. What caught my eye especially was those extra height curtains (the sense of greater space and extra elegance they give this space), and the super-tassel keyring on the door. Love little surprise touches like this!

Really like the shiplap cladding on the cabinetry (not something I’ve seen a lot, surprisingly?), the choice of the super slim matte white handles (and the choice of no handles) and a hidden fridge, always. Bonus points for the custom olive green kitchen island, the perfect counter to all that white.

Look, I feel as AWKWARD as you do about that bust in the kitchen, ok – but I just really wanted to share that cooktop.
(Also, those arched windows with the extra-deep, marble-topped ledges are incredibly beautiful). Can anyone tell me, is this sort of cooktop doable in New Zealand with the prods we have available?

This bodes well. It bodes very well indeed.  These are preview images of Hampden by RMA, a boutique development by Australian, nay international, design leaders Rob Mills Architects. Can’t wait to see the final apartments. Hang on, can you fairly call them ‘apartments’ when they’re this special?  Extra for experts: take a look at the incredible exterior.

Catherine Heraghty (The Stables) always creates such incredible bathrooms.

Predicting glass bricks will be making a come back in 2020.

This bathroom packs loads of dimension and visual interest into a small space, using texture rather than colour.
I particularly love the the slight pinky tone of the large format wall tiles, and the matte speckled texture of the bath outer.

What do we think of the cut-out handle in the sliding glass door? I like! Credit for this lovely bathroom goes to Renotech.
Styling and photography by Nat Spada of The Palm Co. See more of this home here.

Photography by Nat Spada (The Palm Co)

The prettiest waiting room for Beauu Sydney, created by Something More Design.

Photography by The Palm Co, design by Zephyr and Stone.

Still obsessed with a white finger tile.  If you love a good laundry, see more of this one here.

Inner-city dreams…

LOVE this pink-marble-topped table from Harper’s Project

And this Artwork by Ash Holmes

ADORE this super-thick benchtop and custom sink, and the splash back, and the narrow/edge-like timber shelving.
Photography and Styling by The Palm Co

Styling by Bone Made; Photography The Palm Co

Well there you have it! A whole year of Spaces perused; I hope you were as inspired as I was. Wishing you a safe and super happy holiday, and I’ll be back for a whole new decade of design and interior goodness.

12 / 3 – 4 / 5 – 10 / 11 /  12 – 15 / 16 / 17  / 18 – 21 / 22  /  23

Order your Free copy of Muse – Flooring Xtra’s inspirational interiors Lookbook


Our Spaces, Her Eye: A Chat with Photographer Michelle Weir

Julia Atkinson-Dunn captured this candid of Michelle Weir
photographing her vibrant Christchurch home 

NZ photographer Michelle Weir was the natural choice for photographer of my new coffee table book, Our Spaces: Contemporary NZ Interiors – she has a superb eye, a personal passion for architecture and interiors, understands that details are everything, and is THE most gracious, awesome human (with great taste in memes). Years ago when I left corporate life, I had a mission to ‘Do Good Work with Good People‘, and Michelle’s the personification of that phrase.

To put together the Our Spaces imagery, Michelle tripped around the country visiting scores of inspiring homes and home owners – I thought it would be cool to share some of Michelle’ highlights and ideas from the project with you!

A pared-back palette of earthy hues feels like visual meditation in Lucy Marr’s master

Sandra Kidd’s new-build beach house features a mid-century-inspired
credenza transformed into bathroom vanity

Sweet moments in Gem Adams’ daughters room – one of my personal
faves from Our Spaces, too. See more in the book!

What are some of the spaces that really resonated with you or were most memorable?

Sandra Kidd’s recently completed her new townhouse in Waihi Beach. I think she navigated the blending of a contemporary home with her love for mid-century furniture thoughtfully, including custom made vanities that feel like furniture in the bathrooms that reflects both styles.

Moving into her Titirangi home, Lucy Vincent Marr ignored current sentiment and instead embraced the dark timber beams and painted the walls a soft cream. Her pared back aesthetic and tonal colour palette along with the home being surrounded by bush, felt very serene, almost like escaping to a cabin in the woods. And her moody, textural ensuite was a big hit with me.

Gem Adam’s daughter’s bedroom was another memorable room. Thoughtfully renovated, Margot’s bedroom in its dark, dusky pink tone and Turkish floor rug felt both daring while comfortable and intimate, filled with a few baskets of toys, books and other objects that are important to both Mum and daughter.

Dreamy afternoon light in Homestyle editor Alice Lines’ living room

This statement slot window in interior architect Annique Heesen’s (Gezellig Interiors)
home makes a special feature of natural light

Light is obviously key to beautiful photography – but in what way is it important when designing or decorating a space?
Very important! But I would also add that spaces with great light, aren’t necessarily the spaces with the most, or largest openings. Careful placement of windows and doors is key to making the most of light where you want it at certain times of the day. Maybe it’s morning light in your bedroom when you rise, but late afternoon light in the kitchen, where you are preparing dinner.

I also consider the window furnishings to be very important, often acting as a diffuser, especially in NZ where we can have strong light. Most of my favourite images from Our Spaces have magical light.
You work from home – which was your favourite workspace, Michelle?
Ali McIntosh’s workspace in her Ponsonby apartment was flooded with soft morning light when I arrived, overlooking the tree tops of Western Park. I love to start work early, so found this outlook invigorating. Ali surrounds herself with objects and art that she has collected over the years, along with piles of books on the nearby table. I like to do that too, giving my mind small moments to wander and dream.

The home workspace of Ali Mcintosh – owner of one of our favourite homeware boutiques, Tessuti.

What do you think is key to something becoming an interior Moment?
I think ‘a moment’ is capturing the essence of a space by taking a closer look, whether it be a cosy window seat with light streaming in, or perhaps even a cluster of objects on a table or shelf etc. I think they’re often moments you experience in a space that make your heart dance a little, like Annique Heesen’s slippers in the sunlight, Lucy Marr’s melted candles on the sideboard, and our opening image of Claudia Zinzan (of Father Rabbit) guest bedroom window.

A few favourites from the Moments chapter in Our Spaces

As you travelled the country capturing these spaces, were there any common threads that you noticed?
Lots of these, but always with the home owner’s personal take on it, like the softening of crisp, white interiors with natural timbers, rattan, linens and greenery; or the revival of dining tables as a place to gather for the everyday tasks. I particularly appreciated how bathrooms are becoming spaces where you are encouraged to linger – Perhaps a response to the busy lives of our homeowners and the need of some self-care!


There’s still time to order my new coffee table book,  Our Spaces: Contemporary NZ Interiors and to receive it before Christmas. Order online here.

© The New