metropol » Archives for Jess Murray

Author: Jess Murray

Hair me out

It’s perfectly normal to find yourself spontaneously wanting to change up your hairstyle. Some people dye their hair a neon blue or purple, with the reasoning being ‘just because’. If you’re going to make a drastic (or not so drastic) change to your hair… you may as well be on trend.

Bangs are back: Not only do they help you to shape the face, if they’re cut right, they don’t require much styling at all. Our only recommendation with these – do not attempt to cut them yourself. If you haven’t seen the horror stories of self-cut bangs or fringes… take the time to before being bold and taking to the scissors yourself.

Bobs, bobs and more bobs: These days there’s so many bob-types it’s hard to keep up; blunt bobs, textured bobs, short bobs, long bobs (lobs), asymmetric bobs, wavy bobs… the list goes on! Lucky for you, they’re all on trend.

Colour me red: Brunette and blonde are everywhere, so why not stand out from the crowd? We’re not talking a fiery Jessica Rabbit red! A subtle warm tinge that takes centre-stage when you step into the sun is always nice.


Sweet like chocolate

Velvety tones of chocolate and caramel create a delicious bedroom retreat that is perfect for autumn. You won’t want to leave the comforts of your cocoon, as these cool combinations will give you Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory vibes (before things began to turn pear-shaped).




We’ve come up with ways to drizzle these tones into your sleeping quarters that’ll make you want to lick your lips.

Colour of choice: Cocoa-coloured walls are trending right now. Not only do they serve as a great backdrop for bold and bright colours but should you choose to go the opposite way and pair it with softer tones, the result is welcoming a feeling of comfort into your bedroom.


It’s all in your head(board): Thinking about adding a bit more oomph or oh la la to your bedroom? Try investing in a headboard (or if you’re feeling daring, try DIY). Why not try adding one in a chocolate shade? While it might resemble a chocolate bar, it’s the perfect bedroom centrepiece for those with a sweet tooth.


A match made in heaven: If you fall in love with the headboard, the addition of matching bedside tables might be just what you need to take your bedroom to the next level.



Tempting textures: Master bedroom paint colours set the mood of the space, whether that’s invigorating or calming and, when it comes to the bedroom, it’s the latter you’re going to be seeking. The beauty of brown tones is they do just that, brown is after all, a neutral. That doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Texture is a way to give ivory, taupe, grey, or tan a boost. Choose a glossy paint or add a shimmery or opalescent paint finish. Complete with velvet throws and coarse rugs.



Old Souls

There’s not many ‘old souls’ left standing in the Christchurch central city, which makes the opportunity to showcase any effort to maintain them a good one.


Photo: CCC/Newsline

The former Wellington Woollen Mills building at 96 Lichfield Street and the Design and Arts College building at 116 Worcester Street have each received $600,000 toward their multimillion-dollar repairs and refurbishments.

Christchurch City Council staff had recommended $900,000 for each building, but with only $1.2m left in the heritage grant kitty for this year, councillors decided against dipping into next year’s $1.5m budget, instead opting to cap the amount at $600,000 each.

Both properties are classed as ‘Highly Significant’ buildings in the Christchurch District Plan.

Dating back to the 1930s, the former State Insurance building in Worcester Street was designed by renowned architect Cecil Wood, in association with Paul Pascoe.

It has art deco influences and was first used as offices for the State Fire and Accident Insurance Company and for the Lands and Survey and Lands and Deeds Departments.

The building was damaged in the earthquakes but has changed hands since then. The new owners – 116 Worcester Street Ltd – have plans to fully upgrade it and restore this golden oldie’s historic façade, including the original coat of arms. Its new use will be for living and rental accommodation.

The second notable building is the former Wellington Woollen Mills building, a category 1 historic building in Lichfield Street, which dates back to 1920.

It was designed by architect William Gummer, whose firm Gummer and Ford, was responsible for many significant buildings around New Zealand including the Auckland Railway Station and the former National Art Gallery and Museum in Wellington.

Designed in a pared-down classical style, it was one of the first commercial buildings in Christchurch to feature glass curtain walling.

Currently hiding behind scaffolding and mesh, the new funding will be a welcome addition in the process of breathing life back into the building.

The new owners (Wool House Investments Ltd) hope to both repair and upgrade the structure.

The Central City Landmark Heritage Grant Funding Scheme was set up by the council after the earthquakes to help owners retain, repair and strengthen the central city’s remaining historic buildings.

To date, grants of more than $13.5 million have been made to 12 different heritage restoration projects.

The heritage grants for the two buildings have been granted on the condition that full conservation covenants are registered against the property titles.


Sustainable Chic

We’re all about sustainability right now and, as society gravitates towards more eco-friendly lifestyles, we become more ecologically conscious and knowledgeable about the products we fill our houses with and their longer-term use – not just in function, but also in form. Welcome to the ‘Green Age’.



Bonkers for bamboo: This material is often labelled as the fastest-growing plant on earth, which results in it also acquiring the attribute of being highly sustainable. This is a material that can be used for almost anything around the home such as flooring, cabinets, lightshades and even outside furniture. Just be sure to get good quality bamboo from a sustainable factory, as it’s not always the sturdiest material.

Grow up: Plants are the reason we’re able to provide oxygen to our lungs. So why not get closer to the source? Adding houseplants to your home will improve the quality of the indoor air and constantly remind you that we have to nurture nature so that it can do the same for us.

A bright idea: It’s hard to believe that something as simple as switching your lightbulbs could be a stepping stone to making your home more sustainable. Well, believe it. Energy-efficient lightbulbs are the way to go moving forward. They’re cost-effective and long-lasting. It might be time for you make the switch.


10 easy eco swaps

Sustainability and eco-consciousness may be the hottest buzzwords of 2020, but neither of these concepts require significant time and resource. In fact, simply by swapping ‘this’ for ‘that’, you can help your home tread more lightly on the earth.

  1. Beeswax buzz: Say no to single-use plastic wrap and instead opt for an alternative option – beeswax food wraps. They are the big thing in food preservatives right now (everyone’s buzzing about it… including the bees). The wraps are reusable, biodegradable and are oh so awesome in this war on plastic.
  2. The last straw: On the topic of fighting against plastic, we have our next suggested swap – a stainless steel drinking straw. While the internet has somewhat turned these items in a joke about purely ‘saving the turtles’, that’s not their sole reason for being produced. Stainless steel straws = a sustainable solution.
  3. Light the way: Rather than fumbling around for the light switch on your way to the bathroom during the night, use the light from your window. Yes… you’re correct, it is dark at night. But we’re referring to the light during the day that will charge your solar powered nightlight. Not to mention, it’s also helpful to the power bill too.
  4. Second lease on life: Judging from the lead into this, the next suggestion is self-explanatory: but why not buy items second-hand such as clothing, furniture, electronics or even books? Not only is it cost efficient, but it’s also sustainable. That makes it a win-win.
  5. Say yes to soap bars: Rid yourself of the plastic containers that most body washes come in. Instead opt for a solid soap bar. Worried about it not lasting long enough? Buy a soap holder to ensure that it dries in between uses.
  6. Hung up… on plastic: How annoying is it when you go to hang something on the washing line and your plastic peg snaps? This can all be avoided with the transition to metal pegs! They won’t rust and they last much longer.
  7. Carry on: A plastic bag is a rare find these days – especially at the supermarket. But that doesn’t mean you should be a balancing act trying to carry everything in your arms back to your car. Buy a few reusable shopping bags then store them near your car keys after use, so you remember to put them back!
  8. A one trick pony: Paper towels are a single-use product. Once they’re wet, it’s sayonara. The answer is simple – washable dishrags.
  9. Something to smile about: Dentists recommend that you should change your toothbrush every two to three months. If those said toothbrushes are plastic… that’s not good for Mother Earth. Bamboo alternatives are great because they’re biodegradable.
  10. Lose the lightbulbs: A simple light switch is needed for your home to become one step closer to being eco-conscious. LED bulbs are a much better options and once again easy on the power bill.


React, Rebuild, Reminisce

Almost a decade has passed since the traumatic events of the 2011 earthquakes. That’s nearly 10 years of trying to get the city back on its feet. Bit by bit, building by building we’re started to rebuild the heart of the Garden City.



We’ve hunted out all the upcoming developments and cool things happening around town to get you excited about the year to come – we weren’t short of inspiration!

Christchurch Hospital Acute Services Building:

If you haven’t been into the CBD and seen this colossal 10-storey building creeping up in size near the Christchurch Women’s Hospital, then you may need to look again.

This gigantic project has been in construction since 2015 and, as the largest government project in Canterbury coming in at 62,000 square metres, it’s easy to see why this is such a big deal for the city – literally and figuratively! It’s set to throw open its doors later this year.

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre:

The Convention Centre, scheduled to open in October this year, will provide the facilities we’ve been lacking since its predecessor was demolished in early 2012.

Supported by accommodation, retail, hospitality and public transport, it is set to be world-class and it’s certainly got the look down pat; the braided river façade of the new building is already the talk of the town.

With 43,000 herringbone tiles set to be installed on the building… no wonder it’s popping into conversation here and there.

The South Frame:

This project is in construction stage, with around three quarters of it already now complete.

Ōtākaro Ltd describes the site as “a place for markets, events and celebrations – an area to gather, dine, be entertained or just relax”.

The Greenway will be at the heart of this project, providing an oasis in between the hustle and bustle of city life.

3D interactive visualiser:

With all these new developments, you might be keen to look back on just how much this city has evolved in the few years following the earthquake.

The Christchurch City Council can help you do that with their ‘3D interactive visualiser of the CBD’.

Not only can you view the buildings we lost during the quake, but you can also see the revival and emergence of the new CBD.

It really puts into perspective just how far we’ve come in such a short time.

Canterbury Multi-Use Arena:

Labelled a ‘game-changer’ for the city, the multi-use arena will help Christchurch re-establish itself as New Zealand’s sporting and cultural capital.

The 25,000-seat arena is set to come in at $472 million to build.

A small(ish) price to pay to transform Christchurch into a super-host for major sporting and cultural events.


End of an EQ era

It’s the end of an earthquake era; the site that was used to sort through the material from buildings that were damaged or demolished after the earthquakes is being transformed into a recreation area.


Burwood Resource Recovery Park


Final landscaping plans are being drawn up so that the Burwood Resource Recovery Park can be incorporated into neighbouring Bottle Lake Forest Park by early 2022.

The Burwood Resource Recovery Park was established after the earthquakes to sort through the vast volumes of construction and demolition waste from across Christchurch.

As much of the waste as possible has been recycled but that which could not be re-used remains on the site.

Material from sites where there was a loss of life in the 22 February 2011 earthquakes is also stored at the park but kept separately.

Christchurch City Council plans to engage with quake victims’ families later this year on how the sensitive material will be dealt with long-term.

In the meantime, the majority of the Burwood Resource Recovery Park is being readied for its transition to a recreation site and about 35,000 native plants have already been planted in the area.

“When the landscaping work is completed we will have an additional recreation area that will include walking tracks, mountain bike tracks and areas for bird watching,” Council Solid Waste Manager Ross Trotter says.

“It will offer some great scenic views of the Kaikoura Ranges and the Canterbury foothills, so it will be a good addition to the Bottle Lake Forest Park.”


Time to regenerate

The Avon River (Ōtākaro) is a Christchurch local that can be described as the heart of the city. Flowing through the centre of the city, it’s a popular recreational waterway for locals and tourists alike.

Now it’s set to get better than ever before, with three footbridges, a riverside landing and a restored band rotunda set to appear alongside the Avon, with the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust approving more than $14.7 million in funding for Council-led regeneration projects.

The Appeal Trust’s $18 million package of grants to the council and community groups includes a $13,765,500 grant to kick-start infrastructure projects along the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor.

The projects in the former residential red zone include three pedestrian/cycle bridges at Medway Street, Snell Place and Aranui and a riverside landing near Dallington, as originally outlined in Regenerate Christchurch’s Regeneration Plan for the area.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the Appeal Trust funding for the Regeneration Area will greatly improve the connectivity of communities and begin transforming the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor into a valuable asset for the community.

“The three pedestrian and cycle bridges mean communities along the river will be more connected to each other, and users will be able to create their own walking and cycling loops as they explore the area,” the Mayor says.

“Installing a landing at Dallington will also enable people to connect and interact with the Ōtākaro Avon River on a much more personal level.”

As outlined in the Regeneration Plan that the Council approved, the footbridges and Dallington landing will form part of a 350-hectare “Green Spine” running the length of the Ōtākaro Avon River from the city to the sea.

It will eventually consist of seven riverside landings, formed and unformed walking and cycle trails, and regenerating native forest.

“With the Global Settlement between the Council and Crown finalised, this grant, together with funding outlined in the Long Term Plan, means we can start the regeneration of the Green Spine in earnest,” the Mayor says.

The Council also received a $1 million Appeal Trust grant for the restoration of the Thomas Edmonds Band Rotunda, along with funding towards many other well-deserving local projects.

Here’s to hoping that the ‘red zone’ turns into a ‘green zone’.


We love pizza!

Finding yourself sitting there on a Friday night thinking ‘I’d love a pizza right now’? Well you’re not alone… our crazy pizza cravings have been off the charts! So much so, that we’ve scoured all of Canterbury to collate a culinary hotlist of the best pizza joints in town.


La Rangis Pizzeria
It’s not new news that Akaroa is a buzzing hub enjoyed by many. Combine the scenery, sun and sea with a mouth-watering pizza and you have a winning dining experience. Manuka smoked salmon, dill and cream cheese pizza… take our money!
Check out La Rangis Pizzeria on Facebook

Mediterranean Food Company
Take on Tuam Street at the well-loved pizza place with a great price point and a substantial selection of popular pizzas. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options – literally everyone can enjoy a slice or two… or three.

Cassels Brewery
We just have one thing to say: Cassels Brewery is one of two operational wood-fired breweries in the world and the pizzas too are baked to perfection in these clever contraptions, bringing people in from all over town.

BASE Woodfired Pizza
Situated at Little High Eatery, you may have to fight the hordes of hungry humans to get a taste of BASE wood-fired pizza. But we can safely say it’s worth the wait – although we wouldn’t recommend attempting to crowd surf to get it.

The Birdwood
Our mouths are watering just thinking about the pizza combinations. If it’s premium pizza you’re after, this is it. You’ll get the best of the best at the Birdwood.

Two Fat Possums
You can’t argue with 4.5-star rating on Trip Advisor. The public loves Two Fat Possums and so will you. Situated in West Melton, it’s the perfect excuse for a quick getaway for a lovely meal.


Autumn Accessories

Sometimes you don’t always have throwaway money to totally re-vamp your wardrobe every season… and that’s okay! The little things can make all the difference, that’s why we’ve compiled a collection
of autumn accessories that you can thrift, borrow or purchase new to improve your outfits – without the huge price tag attached.

Bring it back: Old vintage-inspired scarves are an autumn trend that are making a major play this fall. Whether you tie it around your neck, waist, belt buckle or bag – this is an accessory that is so versatile. Not to mention, can be totally unique, how many other people are going to be rocking a 1970s vintage scarf with the exact same pattern as you…

Oversized baggage: In terms of your must-have arm candy, sometimes the bigger the better. Other than the fact it’s so practical to have a big tote to carry all your things, it’s just as if you’ve given your outfit an extra bit of thought. Channel your inner Mary Poppins with a tote that is practically perfect in every way.

Hair me out: In our opinion scrunchies will never go out of fashion, they’ve been around since the 60s and don’t show any sign of slowing down. There seems to be a scrunchie out there in every pattern – fall colours are at the top of our list to add to our accessory collection. If you think they are just a casual look, try typing ‘pearl scrunchie’ into google.

Buckle up: Occasionally all you’ll have to wear in your wardrobe is a plain old dress. Take it to the next level by accompanying it with a wide belt. Cinch these over your sweaters, dresses, blazers and that baggy oversized dress to define your waistline and add dimensions to any outfit.

Hold on tight: Embellished tights will be all the rage this autumn. Married with the right colour combination, this accessory is a perfect way to make a statement whether you’re at the office or even your local coffee shop. Throw away those plain, black opaques (unless of course they’re mandatory at work) and add a bit of pizazz into your outfit choice.

Shady lady: It might be obvious, but they’re practical! Sunglasses are a great way to keep out the glare and make people stare. Currently, we are obsessed with retro-glam sunglasses, they’re just so vogue-chic. Feel like you’re in a photoshoot anywhere you go.