New NZ home design book, Green Modern (and The Block's Alex & Corban's VERY cool container home)

That bank of windows though...

Outdoor bath!

This hilltop honey is The Block's Alex & Corban Walls' first home-build project, a container house at Muriwai beach. (I featured more photos from it here). 

It's just one of many eco-conscious, contemporary NZ homes in the new Green Modern book by Claire McCall. Alex & Corban's place was designed and built by Corban and his surfing buddy - young architecture graduate Fraser Horton - out of six rusted and dented second-hand shipping containers and many hundreds of hours of hard work. 

Green Modern's great-big-coffee-table-book pages showcase 15 different NZ homes that embrace the principles of stylish yet sustainable design and environmentally-sensitive building – from inner-city pads to remote island retreats. Amongst the 250 pages of inspiring NZ architecture and interiors, there's also plenty of tips and how-to's for creating or renovating your own green modern home. 

Love Nest - a NZ mother and daughter craft combo

Helen & Leah are a mum and daughter who share a love of making and all things interior design. They've turned their lounges into workrooms and are making a fast-growing range of cushions, banners, tote bags, chalkboards (my fave - the chalkboard bunting) and lots more. Go have a lookee!
They were inspired to start Love Nest not only to make little design goodies for homes, but also to spread kindness and do some good along the way. 

They're inviting you guys to nominate someone who deserves a little kindness, and every month, they Pass It On, picking one person to send a hamper of goodies to (go here to nominate someone).
They're also using part of Love Nest sales to sponsor a child in poverty.  

Designing and making, doing good, hanging with your ma - I love it, Love Nest.

All Black Everything

I'm really into B L A C K furniture and homeware at the moment and I want you to share my new love, not in a sister-wives way, just in a besties kinda way.

// 1   Me so wanty. Thermo jug in carbon, from Menu - available at Let Liv.
// 2   Normann Copenhagen's Hang light might just be my 6th favourite light of all time. 
// 3   NZ online design store Mister Mister now stock the iconic Kubus collection, by By Lassen. 
// 4   Why do toothbrushes all look like they were designed by Bell Biv Devoe back in '91? 
        Not these minimalist good-lookers from Paper Plane though. Their bristles are blended with
        binchotan charcoal, which has been used by the Japanese for its natural deodorising and
        detoxifying properties for centuries. Form and function, my friends. 
// 5   Wire Bin from Menu, available at Let Liv.
// 6   Digging the unexpected shapes of the Store range of canisters from Established & Sons,
        available from Simon James Design.
// 7   Black oak utensils, from Paper Plane
// 8   Tablo table (in 2 sizes, oh and P.S - in other colours) from Normann Copenhagen - available in
        NZ from Design Denmark.
// 9   Uashmama paper bags (that feel like leather and wash like fabric) from Paper Plane. Use them
        for storage, or as contemporary planters.
// 10  Fog Linen black metal tray, from Father Rabbit.
// 11  Baker stool by NZ furniture designers IMO.
// 12  Snippedy-snip, it's some Herb Scissors from Father Rabbit.
// 13  Yes, Freedom Furniture, you are making my dreams come true. An affordable, black
         Spindleback. I'll take 6, pleasekaythanks.

Spring Collective

This makes me happy. Honest, simple, beautiful products... given honest, simple, beautiful branding and packaging. 

Spring Collective is a boutique range of skincare, using organic, nutrient-rich natural ingredients, developed and hand-blended in small batches by NZ skincare specialist Maryse O'Donnell.

The visual identity was designed by Maryse's partner, art director Campbell Hooper. Maryse's brief: a pared back and clean, modest feel, please... He took it from there. 

When it comes to the product inside that lovely minimalist packaging, the entire process is taken care of by Maryse. From researching and developing each blend, to hand-pouring and labeling each vessel herself (the vessels being a weighty amber glass - my fave - which protects the nutrients inside from UV damage).  And all of this happens from her bespoke skin studio, tucked away in an historic brick building behind Simon James Concept Store in Auckland's Herne Bay. Every last detail has been attended to with care - the Multi-Vitamin Body oil, for example, has an all-natural scent of green fig and tea leaves that Maryse had specially formulated in Grasse, France.  

3 new products will be added to the Spring Collective range this summer, and a website is on its way soon. Spring Collective is available online or in store at Simon James

Sweet dreams are made of these... new from NZ furniture designers Douglas and Bec

First - a few months ago - came the Douglas and Bec dressing table, inspired by designer Bec Dowie's own Queen Anne dressing table, a loved, life-long possession. Then, that deceptively simple, meticulously-considered new dressing table inspired a range of complementary pieces... to form the just-released, complete Douglas and Bec bedroom range

The brass drawer pulls and brass feet I loved so much from the dressing table are also there on a new night stand, a perfect sideboard (with a concealed drawer - my favourite thing ever) and a low boy, and there's also a geometric, minimalist bed head, and a series of kauri bedside lamps that are turned by master craftsman (and Bec's dad) Douglas Snelling and hand-painted by Bec herself. 

Yes, yes and yes to furniture that is at once both contemporary and timeless. 

And one more yes for Bec, who says she's taken her lead from previous generations, and their ability to live simply and slowly, yet with style. Amen and take me to church, you clever lady. 

PS: This is the RD Dining Chair with leather saddle - not from the bedroom collection but new to the Douglas and Bec stable. Would you just stop it. 

APLUS design - Choice Taste...

Hand-painted sign by Ben Maitland / Fitch & Ferrule

Fortune coasters!

I always keep one little eyeball on what NZ design studio APLUS are up to. And what they're up to, generally, is creating killer identities for brands - including these two, for new (yeah, ok, ok, new-ish) Auckland eateries, Goodness Gracious and Burger Burger. 

The Burger Burger interior was designed by Mexico restaurants' Mimi Kilgour and the Goodness Gracious interior by owner Greg Cornes, with collabo from APLUS.  

One of my fave aspects of both premises is the hand-painted signage. What once was a dying craft is enjoying a revival, thanks in part to a new generation of young talent mastering the art - guys like Sureshot Sam (his letterforms adorn loads of cool spots around Auckland), and Ben Maitland of Fitch & Ferrule

AND - two nice NZ-designed things

Superette x Evie Kemp linen blanket (neon trim loves gold hand-painted gold splodges)

Hand-painted to order polka-dotty duvet from NZ maker Lauren Butler


This space has all I need in life. High ceilings and wooden floors, huge factory windows, a cosy bed, and a cuddly dog. I'm serious… that's all I've ever needed, right there. 

This is the bedroom equivalent of how it feels when you hop between clean sheets with freshly shaven legs. Ahhhh...

Lots to love. Concrete bench seat / low shelf for the win. Also, change IS good. 

Something something blonde timber something something.

Now that's a fireplace! (I'm imagining these people have only just moved in, and they haven't got around to adding most of their stuff)

My adult self sometimes misses the college-through-flatting days when your bedroom was your everything space - the place you worked and created, the place you lay on the floor for hours playing music, the place you could escape to. (WOAH SOMEONE'S FEELING EMOTIONS TODAY)

Dressed in yellow, she said hello, come sit next to me you fine fellow. 
Good god I love that glass light, mid-century dining set, black ledge shelf...

If you need me, I'll be in a cottage kitchen like this somewhere, making rosti.

Steal this idea: your fave books, opened so your fave pages are facing out. 

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