Fearon Hay's Faraday Street Studio

One most exciting things about Auckland city in recent years has been the move to transform its historic buildings. The Imperial, Seafarers, City Works Depot, Amano... there's been a rebirth of relics all over the city. Two of the architects responsible for creating this new-old Auckland are Jeff Fearon and Tim Hay. They were, at first, just looking for a new office for their practise, but decided to go one further - to purchase a dilapidated cluster of old warehouses (1940's wool stores), and turn them into a new office, hospitality and retail precinct. They saw past the roller doors and painted-over windows to see what the old sheds could become - a pocket neighbourhood from which they could not only headquarter Fearon Hay, but grab coffee during the day and a drink after work.

And here it is - the new (and already award-winning) Fearon Hay digs, with the feel of a sexy loft apartment and the functionality of a high-performing work space. The office is essentially a massive mezzanine that floats above the original carpark, an open plan office that celebrates the bones of the old building, and introduces a pale poured concrete floor, huge communal pin-up surface, very sophisticated black-tiled bathrooms, and perhaps the best-looking meeting room I've ever seen.

The crowning glory is of course that exposed gabled ceiling - anyone with eyes can see why Tim and Jeff would want to design themselves working as close as possible to those huge, rough sawn, criss cross beams. What an inspiring place from which to design other inspiring places.

Special mention to that broodingly handsome steel stairwell.

Photography by Auckland photographer
Michelle Weir of Studio:Weir
Michelle specialises in interior and architectural
photography, and fashion photography

Check out a few of the other features Michelle has shot for Fancy:


Restful Retreats

It's a good day! The new issue of Homestyle is out, which means you can go and buy it, and refuse to do anything this evening aside from get lost in its pages. (And maybe watch The Bachelor? Don't judge me). The theme this issue is Restful Retreats, and - as per - they've packed loads of sanctuary styling into the pages.

Above is a sneak at one of this issue's home tours - Clare and Simon Cato's Snell's Beach home. The newlyweds spent over a year living in a boat shed (that had no hot running water) whilst they worked on the renovation nights and weekends. Their story - and the finished home - is definitely inspiring.

Styling Alice Lines and Sam van Kan; Photography by Simon Wilson

Homestyle Editor Alice Lines and Citta designer Sam van Kan make one mean aesthetic team; they've been touring the country hosting Homestyle Magazine and Citta Design styling workshops, showing how to create beautiful but lived-in looks for your home. Case in point, this moody-blues bedroom above. In this issue, they take one space and style it two ways - with more than a couple of ideas to steal.

This New Plymouth home is a stunning sanctuary for its owners. Love the soft and hard of those sheer curtains against the polished concrete, the wee corner sink in the back there, and the wall tiles mirrored under the kitchen island.

Photography by Larnie Nicolson

This very elegant home - with her palette of light timber, brass and jewel blues - is this issue's cover girl. It was designed by the owner, Interior Designer Nikki Willis. See it, and so much more, in the April/May issue of Homestyle which is on shelves this week. Go!

~ W I N ~

Homestyle magazine are giving away some amazing prizes at the moment (including a $500 voucher to spend at my online homeware store, Sunday). Head to the Homestyle website (go here) to enter.



A much, much sexier Fifty Shades of Grey. 

Having two sinks is just being greedy, but I can't hold that against this Barcelona beauty. The herringbone flooring is everything. Love the suspended shelving, and that ancient-looking brick wall.

You didn't think I was going to overlook that amazing black steel arched window did you? Wait, they're french doors? Ded.

I love almost everything about this - the rug, the brick, the mouldings... (but word to the wise - that coffee table is impractically small, babe.)

Steal this palette - greyish blues, with bold black and a warm wood base.

OK so I really like this wooden work top with the extra-extra wide draws (am imagining the most precise organisation inside those draws!) and the shelving at the end. Also, I'm all for minimalism but that shelving is being SIGNIFICANTLY UNDERUSED, guys. See the rest of this Scandinavian lakeside home here.

Bathroom details by the always on point Flack Studio.

Lovely little workspace by NTF Architecture. (I spy some very cool half circle handles, love those - and I appreciate how they're the same colour as the cabinetry, so they're not drawing too much attention to their modern selves).

ARGH! This. Sink. at Ten Over Ten, a beautiful nail salon in New York.

I love everything that Whiting Architects do - they're my A1 since Day One. This is from one of their projects that I've shared a lot, the O'Grady House.

That'll do ya.

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At Home and At Work with... Penney + Bennett

Loren, and Sarah

Testing out their own range of sleepwear (which is coming real soon)

Choosing materials for an upcoming (secret squirrel) project

Tweaking details for their upcoming display at Auckland's INEX (interior design exhibition)

Lunch stop at little vietnamese joint, Try It Out - the girls often order this in if they're working late
 (Try It Out? Best English-as-second-language name ever! How good does this look?) 

Back in the studio - time for some emails and phone calls (Oh, and a baben portrait)

Planning the roll-out of the new collection 

Wrapping and boxing orders for retailers and customers

Refining patterns for linen house slippers - coming soon!

Penney and Bennett art prints have hand-applied gold leaf

Penney and Bennett sleepwear - coming very, very soon...

End of the day - bread, red wine, good cheese - that's all the food groups.

Sarah Carson and Loren Marks first met at Whitecliffe College of Art & Design, where they collaborated on a few projects that combined their varying fine art practises. They found a shared passion for homeware, fabrics and furnishing, and during breaks between lectures they'd go to cafes and drink tea and talk about how they could turn their designs into beautiful textiles. After graduating, they each went into the workforce for a year, but kept meeting up for those chats over tea. The informal cuppas soon turned into more serious meetings on evenings and weekends, as they began to design and develop what would become Penney and Bennett.

Today, Sarah and Loren are both 26 and Penney and Bennett is almost three! And they're about to launch their third collection, Guardian. Inspired by New Zealand's native forest, it's a moody, botanic direction, with a palette of deep greens and autumn shades.

Each surface pattern is created using a media mix of photography, painting and digital design, then printed onto metres of beautiful quality linen, cotton and silk, and transformed into cushions, pillowslips and bed linen, throws and more. Their range also includes table linen and large scale art prints.

Sarah and Loren live at opposite ends of Auckland, so sometimes before a big work day, they have a sleepover at one of their houses. It's a chance for them to make the most of the day, starting with some early morning exercise to get the brain humming. (On this day, they went for a walk around Auckland's Te Atatu Peninsula boardwalk). Days are spent getting orders of their dreamy printed textiles out to their customers and an expanding fam of retailers, and developing new collection prints and new products. Specifically, on the day Jonny visited them, Sarah and Loren were choosing materials for a whole new product line, checking the progress of their display stand for an interior design expo (INEX - happening in Auckland later this month), testing a new pattern for their linen house slippers, and finalising details of their new sleepwear range - a full range of pyjamas, which will come in plain linen, organic cotton and printed cotton.

Watch out for their new 2017 collection of cushions and throws, Guardian, in-stores very soon.

Explore the Penney and Bennett catalogue here:

Thank you Jonny!
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