The Lilian wordmark and menu design was created by Lotte Design – see more here

Photography by Sarah Grace

Sitting in this establishment, two good Italian proseccos in, stealing the last bite of burrata from the shared plate as you eye-up what’s for mains, you’ll probably have forgotten you’re not in some family-run osteria, on some little cobblestoned laneway, somewhere in Tuscany. You’re in Lilian – Auckland’s ‘newest oldest’ eating establishment, in the neighbourhood of Grey Lynn.

Lilian is the creation of Honey Bones‘ (we featured that space on The New when it opened, here) owners, Hugo Baird, Willy Gresson and Otis Gardner Schapiro. Lilian was actually the name of Otis’ grandmother, and the concept was for a space that would be evocative of her imagined home and hospitality – comfortable and comforting, almost humble in its simplicity.

There’s a very authentic sense of heritage here, as if Lilian’s been a part of the fabric of Grey Lynn for decades. They could have made the traditional osteria concept twee, but everything feels substantive and storied. The deep-toned, aged and detailed timber, the textured walls, the extra-thick stone and marble countertops, the genuine-vintage lighting, the handcrafted tiles… even the leather is worn-in. Nothing in the space feels new. It’s the work of Interior Architects Ctrl Space, in collaboration with co-owner Hugo. Together, they’ve created a space that feels as though it’ll be around for a while.

One of my favourite details is the pass – it could have been considered by the designers as a purely functional space, but they’ve made it a feature that adds to this rich visual story… I love the detailed European windowsill with the sash windows and pebbled glass.

Can we also just talk about how beautifully photographer Sarah Grace has captured this space? She’s saying more with light and shadow than my words ever could. For more atmospheric imagery, check out Sarah’s website, and follow her on Instagram @sarahgracephoto.

See more of Ctrl Space’s portfolio of design here, or follow @ctrl.space. Check out the Lilian menu and wine list here, or follow @lilian.akl



The creamy dreamy minimalist home of stylist and mumma Kristin Rawson. For the full house tour (you know you want it), head to Real Living online.

Big sink energy

Aged french doors into the bathroom

Reading corners where the world stops
Photography Erin McGinn

This for me is the evocation of Autumn – soft changing light, weathered wabi-sabi, quietude. It’s a home on Rhode Island, renovated (by Moorehouse Design) to be a quiet retreat for the owner to return to after a long surf. I’m imagining a 3pm dip in the ocean, then back here for a rinse off in that beautiful shower, then some SSR time on this bed before getting dinner on.

So then of course, I went stalking on the Moorehouse Design’s Instagram and saw this bathroom in their own work-in-progress home.  Love the huge rainfall showerhead (this one is Perrin & Rowe – available in New Zealand from In Residence),
those stone (read: every tile slightly different) herringbone tiles, the exposed beams, the rough-cut linen shower curtain… shall I go on? Ok, my pleasure: the silhouette of the sink, the choice of faucet, the sash window…

Styling Ginny Branch

exposed brick, steel casement windows, black cabinetry. Small English village in Autumn, but make it contemporary.

More perfect styling from Ginny Branch.

Book a stay here immediately and add one more guest, because I’m coming: The Beach House East Coast.

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Thonet at Home

Photography by Bonny Beattie

Thonet NZ Ltd. have been making furniture here in New Zealand for over 20 years. They’ve been giving commercial spaces an aesthetic edge since ages ago, but this year, launched Thonet Home – a capsule collection handpicked from their extensive commercial and hospitality brands, for a new focus on New Zealand homes.

The Thonet Home edit includes custom-made, New Zealand made pieces, along with iconic Scandinavian pieces like the Artek Tea Trolley (above – on my forever wishlist) and the most stylish Thonet Bentwood models – including the No 18 which has been produced, unchanged, for over a century, and those super clean, contemporary-but-completely-classic Hoffmann’s (with the rattan inserts) you see in at the dining table above.  (P.S. penpals: We love full dining set-up where you have the regular dining chairs along each side, then the armchair versions at the heads of the table – Class. Act.)

Thonet specialise in custom-made (and New Zealand made) dining tables, too. Their classic Dairy Table, in the images above, is the perfect hard-wearing family dining table with a timeless aesthetic, and is available with open plank detail top for more of a farmhouse look, or a solid top.  It can also be made for you as an extendable table. (My fave – I lovelovelove extendable dining tables.)

Have a peruse, Louise, through the new Thonet Home website – or if you’re in Wellington, the Thonet showroom has just unveiled a fresh new home-interiors look : 10 Cambridge Terrace, Te Aro, Wellington.



One of the best phrases in the English language: BARN. CONVERSION.  These are teasers of two different English barn conversions by McLaren.Excell (yes they certainly do) – on full show over at Est here and here. (You gotta see the exteriors!)

Colour palette to steal: soft grey, punches of black, then layer with accents of dirty peach and cinnamon.

Another very pretty palette. We’re going to try and ignore that too-small and off-centre art print…
Does anyone else feel like they just broke out in hives? Or like they need to sneeze? Just me?

Ok, so I love the idea of planting a wee (olive) tree in their nursery, and watching it grow alongside them.

I’ve always wanted a home with an (original) archway. Now, I want a home with a keyhole archway.

Ok, so the story behind this home above and below is very cool: it’s a 1941 Californian bungalow that Dee Tang and Des Sweeney affectionately call The Lady California, and they fell in love with it so hard that they put an offer on it and moved literally across Australia (Sydney to Fremantle) before they’d even applied for a home loan. Now, with new coats of fresh white from floor to ceiling, its their family home with daughter Rafa, and also houses a guest studio Airbnb (yes, you can stay here!) and Des’s art studio.

Adore this completely open kitchen unit

Such an inspiring family! To see much more of their home and lifestyle, follow them on Instagram here.
(Also, you can see more of the home and hear more of Dee and Des’ story over at the Real Living website.


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