With a strong focus on sustainability and upcycling, Ronnie Dunbar Upholsterers (RDU) is an expert at transforming both antique and contemporary furnishings into stylish pieces that appear brand-new.
Thanks to a reputation that extends across the globe, the company has worked on top-quality projects for royalty, celebrities, country estates and multi-national businesses. All this experience – an impressive 80 years between all three staff, to be exact – is now available right here in Christchurch. Ronnie’s expertise is well-known in New Zealand. He started his career by completing a four-year apprenticeship with respected furniture store Anderson & England in Elgin, Scotland and, after a few years, formed RDU Ltd. Following more than 20 years in Scotland, he made the move to Queenstown in 2008.
Building a strong reputation for genuine customer service, he saw a growing demand for the company’s services in Christchurch following the earthquakes and set up a branch working on both commercial and domestic projects. The company is a specialist at combining modern materials with traditional techniques, offering a range of services that includes re-upholstering and re-covering, antique upholstery, bespoke upholstery, upholstered headboards, window pelmets and even wall art.
From start to finish, the team focuses on making sure every detail is perfect, undertaking repairs, respringing, webbing and padding. So, if you have a beloved piece of furniture that could do with a makeover or modernisation to restore its original beauty, call RDU for a consultation and quote today. To save time, you can even make the most of the pick-up and delivery service.
It’s ideal to take design cues from the characteristics of a place.
The perfect room for a geometric or organic wallpaper might, for instance, be one with a window overlooking a stunning copper beech tree, if the chosen pattern repeats the leaf shape or colour. So before going shopping, take a couple of pictures in the room. Which architectural shapes and scales are already on site? Look at the window shapes and sizes. Which shapes or patterns outside are within view?
If there’s an organic theme you can repeat, that’s often a successful strategy. We love repeated pattern, or shades of the same colour. Our eyes crave a certain amount of order and repetition. For an organically-themed room, it feels good to include something natural or rustic, like a vase of blooms or a potted tree. We love symmetry and we also delight in the restful qualities of green.
Vary the scale of similar shapes in other furnishings. To finish your room, it’s fun to add something unexpected, slightly crazy, or whimsical. Don’t over-think it. Often the parting touch on a successful scheme happens almost by accident.
It may have been inspired by some rather wishful thinking on our part, as we engage all our survival tactics to make it through the winter months. But tropical prints are gaining notoriety across interiors, fashion, prints, home decor accessories and art.
At it’s heart, this trend is about incorporating lots of lush, exciting greens into the home, whether it be a beautiful palm tree-inspired wallpaper feature wall or, for those feeling less adventurous, some exotic cushions and vases can do the trick.
The holiday-inspired trend is a somewhat natural inclination towards a more laid-back, relaxing vibe that we’re increasingly yearning for in such a fast-paced modern world.
In fact, many of the trends that are creeping into our home spaces in 2018 are related by virtue of their natural and earthy nature. And, although the tropical aesthetic most certainly meets this brief, its vibrant green elements enable you to create a natural, earthy vibe without losing any of its fresh, summery feel.
Just add elements of natural fibres and plenty of white to your tropical theme and you’ll be ready for a summer holiday. Though be warned, it may create some wanderlust for the more travel-inspired types out there.
They say blondes have the most fun and, while we’ve been on the blonde bandwagon when it comes to our timber furnishings for the longest of times, furniture is set to take a walk on the dark side this season.
From side tables, consoles and coffee tables to cabinets, dining tables or shelving, furniture in darker timbers is on the rise again, as we opt for walnut, ebony or even completely black tones.
If your home dons a neutral palette when it comes to walls, flooring or furniture, putting its dark foot forward with a statement timber piece can add drama, interest and warmth to your space.
Pair dark woods with off whites for modern minimalism, or some more down to earth décor for bohemian warmth. Whatever your aesthetic, these glamorous dark woods offer a timeless touch of retro glamour, while gold and brass handles and legs are the perfect partnership.
So why not eschew the starker for the darker this season, using our mood board for inspiration.
Curtain store Officine Voluptas is thrilled to announce it has moved home from the character building in Picton Street to a beautiful and bright new showroom in the complex at Thirty Five on Riccarton. With parking at the door, the showroom is located in a café and restaurant heartland, so you can ponder your curtain and blind choices at leisure over a latte or a lychee tea.
With Officine meaning workshop in Italian, and Voluptas being the Roman Goddess of pleasure and enjoyment, you certainly feel you have entered a workshop that diverts the five senses. The showroom is a riot of curtain options in every colour, weight and texture, with fabrics varying from velvet to silk to sheer and each room in your home catered for. The only difficulty in this temple of fabric fancies could be deciding which to choose.
Fortunately, Retail Manager Kris Yang and his team of three circumvent that issue by presenting most curtain fabrics displayed in a full drop, rather than just as tiny fabric samples. You get a graceful preview of the finished effect of the curtain.
The team is currently excited about helping you get your home cosy for the cold months. All clients this winter will receive free black-out weight lining with their new curtain order. The large range of winter-weight fabrics includes a luxurious 95 percent cashmere option.
Kris says they will work all around the South Island, with many orders coming from the Southern Lakes area. Clients based in Christchurch and its surrounds receive free aluminium tracking, free hanging and, of course, free measure and quote.
You’ll find blinds and sunscreens as well, and all are made to measure at very competitive prices, because they are created in the company’s own factory in Auckland. The fabrics are sourced from New Zealand and China, while the roller blinds come from Australia. Most fabrics are in stock for immediate use, but should you choose something that isn’t, it will be air freighted in immediately. Where fabric is in stock, your new curtains and blinds can be hanging at your windows in under three weeks.
An established business in Auckland for almost 20 years, the company expanded to Christchurch in 2016, being sure to bring the south its goal of ensuring you “receive high quality curtains at a very reasonable price”.
Officine Voluptas offers a two-year warranty on all its fabrics and installation. The team would love to see Christchurch people in the new showroom and for out of town clients to phone
w03-349 4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Combining expert craftsmanship with personalised service, New Style Blinds and Curtains is a family business with 20 years’ experience.
Founded in 1992, owners Paul O’Loughlin and his partner Alina took over the reins from Alina’s father more than a year ago. With the majority of items manufactured on site at the Waltham-based premises, New Style has been built on a solid reputation, due to many repeat clientele and word-of-mouth referrals over the years. Many of the long-standing staff have been with the company for almost as long as it’s been running.
From shutters and roller blinds, to curtains of any style – traditional to ultra-modern – the team use the latest technology and industry developments combined with old-school manufacturing quality, for every creation. Offering the complete package, from consultation and design to installation, they take care of the entire process. “Not all windows are exactly the same – a couple of millimetres in a measurement makes all the difference, so it’s all about getting everything just right,” Paul says.
“We have our own in-house installers and our clients’ satisfaction is of utmost importance.”
Motorised roller blinds are very popular, Paul says. “It’s very affordable to motorise your blinds – prewired or battery operated – you never have to pull a blind again, just press a button.”
New Style Blinds and Curtains is open Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm and Saturdays by appointment at 14 Opawa Road. Visit
www.newstyleblinds.co.nz or phone
Carpetbinders, formally Rugs Ltd, is a true family business. Continuing as Christchurch’s specialist rug and binding company and part of an intergenerational succession plan, Michelle MacWilliam and her brothers, Richard and Mark Cassidy, have taken over the business from their mother – 40 years after she started it.
Offering a professional rug binding service for the homeowner, as well as carpet retailers, contractors, architects and designers, the siblings have more than 85 years of experience in the industry between them. The company prides itself on its one-on-one service, Michelle says. “We provide two different types of edging services, for a seamless, quality finish – the woollen blanket stitch overlocking, or the sleek, narrow tape binding.”
Homeowners who have surplus carpet pieces from new carpet being installed can take advantage of the company’s pick-up and delivery service. “We can create beautiful and useful rugs, designed to fit any area or space you wish. We specialise in catering to any odd shapes, such as in caravans and motorhomes, as well as extra-large squares for open plan living.”
Embracing the digital era, the company’s extensive selection of rugs is available to browse and purchase online – from traditional to contemporary-style. “We have a depth of knowledge that stems from where the business began and we’ve changed our format of delivery to meet the changes of the market. We work with selected international rug buyers and being online also opens up the opportunity to sell to wider South Island. And over the coming months we will be further updating and expanding our selection and the options available.”
Visit www.carpetbinders.nz for more information.
We’re heading into the part of the year where we spend an increasing amount of time indoors, so it’s the optimum time to start bringing the outside in, so we’re not feeling trapped inside.
You don’t even need a large, open space or window to bring the feeling of nature indoors. Green fabrics and textured rugs made from natural fibres are a great start; just don’t forget to invite some green guests to the party.
Check out our top tips for bringing life into your home – both in the literal and figurative sense of the expression. But, if keeping them alive is a cause for concern, fake it until you make it with some realistic plants and plant motif bedding and drapery.
Hanging plants are just plain cool, so why not give macramé hanging planters a go?
Pot plant stands enable you to stagger the heights of your potted perennials, adding drama and dimension to your spaces, while self-standing pots are great for softening stark corners.
Herbs are great in the kitchen, so why not try a hanging herb garden; you never know, the easy access might inspire a little culinary creativity.
Certain plants thrive in the moisture of the bathroom and they’re a great option to break up the stark white we so often find in this space.
Terrariums come in all shapes and sizes and make a great centrepiece for the dining table.
The four walls of our home are a blank canvas waiting for our creativity to work its magic. They have long provided a home for artwork and accents that see them dressed to impress. But what of the fifth wall?
This isn’t designed to be a cryptic question if you are sitting there scratching your head. Just raise your eyes skyward and we’ll be on the same page. The fifth wall, is in fact, your ceiling. It’s commanded quite the following with interior designers who have a ‘sky’s the limit’ philosophy when it comes to introducing colour and texture to their abode.
It’s a pretty big commitment practically and financially so not for the faint hearted but if you feel like your home is hankering for some X-factor, then the fifth wall might just fit the bill.