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Flooring with a story

This New Zealand story goes back decades, so too does the story of Foret flooring, which was founded almost a century ago.


Stephen Goodenough Photographer

At the heart of this local business, is a love of timber and, while sometimes these magnificent buildings can’t remain, Foret’s suppliers carefully and respectfully salvage their essence, providing timber that has stories in its soul. Imagine at the heart of your design project, timber that has a legacy of hundreds of years.

New timber is being sourced all the time and every piece is special – sometimes very rare.

Sourced from reputable suppliers from genuine reclaimed demolition material or declassified mill product, the company’s reclaimed timber is carefully and respectfully salvaged to keep its essence and its story intact for your design project; heritage-rich timber for future generations to enjoy, cherish and admire.

Foret flooring tells a story of how the past meets the sustainable future with its European-sourced French oak.

It is primarily sourced from a family that are true artisans in the French timber industry.

Established in 1921, this third generation family business is truly passionate about timber and their mill, taking immense pride in ensuring a consistently high quality product.

The company only sources timber that is milled from sustainably managed and PEFC-certified forests.

Foret is proud to offer to you this collection of quality French timber flooring and engineered flooring boards from the Loire Valley that is renowned for tradition, innovation and expertise.

Reclaimed, recycled, repurposed timber, where you’ll find a little bit of history in every piece.

Email or call 021 766 750


Extend your summer!

Hello summer! We have long awaited your arrival and are happily basking in the great outdoors once again. Summer just can’t help but bring friends and family together for barbecues, enjoying cool beverages outside and finally getting to uncover the patio furniture that has been in hiding for the past several months.



The timing is perfect for expanding your indoor living into the warm and sunny outdoors.

Louvre Solutions can create a custom space that suits your individual needs with a rain-censored louvre roof, complete with options such as pull-down side screens, LED lighting and heat lamps.

Entertaining at home has never been easier and Canterbury-based Louvre Solutions, owned and operated by Craig Rogers, knows how to create the perfect outdoor space.

Whether you’re entertaining, relaxing, or simply expanding your indoor area, Louvre Solutions can bring your ultimate outdoor environment to fruition.

The louvres move at your command to allow full sunshine, filter shade or provide solid rain protection.

The roofs are water proof and you will no longer need to cover your outdoor furniture, barebecues and upholstery, as they will be protected from the harsh New Zealand elements.

Louvre Solutions’ louvre systems are manufactured with quality elements, precision engineering and aesthetic options to realise your vision of the ultimate outdoor space.

The patio louvre system is strong and conforms to all wind and snow load requirements.

The louvres integrate flawlessly into any architectural style. Louvre Solutions manufactures its louvres from extruded aluminium which offers greater durability than traditional patio covers. These components will outperform fabric and plastic in heat, wind and rain.

“When we started out, these premium products were prohibitively expensive and reserved for the elite,” Craig explains.

“Even with ongoing improvements and advancements in technology to our products, we are able to offer Louvre Solutions at an affordable price to a wider market. We are now able to be accessible to markets from entry-level properties to very high-end spec homes.”

There are many benefits to a louvre roof, ranging from aesthetic to practical and environmental.

They are a brilliant addition to homes and can be proactively planned as part of the design and build process or can be retrofitted once the need is identified post construction.

On a practical note, the roofs create shading when required and light and heat from the sun when necessary which can significantly reduce energy required for cooling and heating.

With more than 15 years in the industry, Louvre Solutions’ reputation has been built on a solid foundation.

Craig and his team pride themselves on their burgeoning portfolio of repeat and referred business generated through word of mouth, independent builders, architects, landscape architects and building companies.

Louvre Solutions manufactures its products at its Canterbury-based factory.

A louvre roof can be ready for installation within four to six weeks, making today the perfect time to order yours to ensure an extended summer of outdoor enjoyment.


Unique approach to home design: Designer Homes

Designer Homes (DH) Senior Executive, Ajit Kumar, says it’s been interesting to follow the evolution of architectural designs over the last decade. Prior to then, New Zealand homes tended to be of one architectural influence – such as Victorian, English cottage, Greek Neoclassical, Cape Cod, Ranch and Spanish – but a far different approach to home design has since taken root and is flourishing; the finest examples of which can now be seen gracing our landscape up and down the country.

“We don’t see singular architectural designs in New Zealand any longer,” Ajit says.

“Today’s homes are about reflecting the lives of the people living in them. Our designs are client-driven because it’s paramount we meet their needs and requirements.”

Ajit says the typical New Zealand family home of 2020 might be a design that’s a blend of influences and styles – be it European, Asian or American – reflecting their cultural heritage and experience.

“For example, a client might request a kitchen reminiscent of kitchens in India, to give that touchstone of familiarity, as well as function and purpose, but the rest of the plan may well be something that has a ‘Kiwi feel’ to it, which complements and completes the overall design seamlessly.”

With a DH build, clients can choose from either their single level or double level plans and, with a template of pricing based on three build categories – Standard, Grande and Luxe – it makes for a straightforward and simple process when it comes to budget parameters.

Proud to uphold their motto that they build homes literally from the ground up, the team at DH follows an eight-step process (which can be viewed on the website under Our Process), to ensure each project undertaken is a full and collaborative working relationship with clients to achieve their dream home, from the moment the site is chosen right through to build completion when the keys are handed over.

With the team currently working on five residential projects in Auckland and Christchurch, clients are assured that their build is in the hands of extremely competent, professional people whose knowledge on developing bespoke interiors and exteriors is rich and vast.

The underpinning philosophy of DH has always been the close link between the disciplines of architecture and interior design. Key to achieving a home that’s beyond ordinary is to plan the home that is timeless and survives design trends.

“Our homes are distinctive because they not only reflect the individuality of the people with architectural designs of their choice, but they’re also the most innovative in design and, with an attention to detail as to colours and materials, clients are assured their home will look just as superb 30 years from now as it does today,” Ajit says.


Surprising & Smart

There is nothing so gripping as a mystery slowly revealed and that is what you get with this surprising and smart Marama Crescent home, designed by Ben Brady of Linetype Architecture and built by Dean Harrison from H3 Builders.



At street level, the observer sees the garage and entry way, angular and facetted in stack bond concrete block.

Those who make it across the threshold then see the home expand into the courtyard downstairs, with a stimulating range of spaces and orientations.

The sloping site generated three levels: entry, down to main living and master bedroom, down to two further bedrooms on the lowest level.

Extensive glazing provides sight-lines through the building to capture views of the city around to the Kaikoura Ranges, from that vantage.

Large windows frame the vistas from each room while clerestory glazing above the living room captures light.

With easy care in mind, the owners sought low maintenance and solidity, choosing cladding in powder coated aluminium in Bronco and Canvas Cloth, with colourfast timber composite Innowood.

They also briefed a concrete floor to provide solidity, building performance and heat, but this required a robust structure involving plenty of steel with panels underneath, designed by Ben.

“There are almost as many structural drawings as architectural drawings for the house,” he says.

Connected yet separate spaces are a feature, as is a blurred concept of inside and out.

Concrete block is used inside as interior pillars, and an off-form concrete beam plus the courtyard extend in to support the top-level landing.

Vaulted stagger patterned poplar plywood ceiling, in the living areas connect them to the upper level.

Ben found Dean impressive to work with. “He needed very few calls to get his head around the structure. He is so enthusiastic, with high standards and close attention paid to sequencing.”

Dean says, “We loved the build complexity: angles, three-storeys and the sheer variety of elements, which included exposed insitu concrete beams, honed concrete blocks, pre-finished cladding and timber ceiling.”

Hands-on every day from shovelling mud, to project management, Dean loves the challenge of a hill site.

“Ben’s plans were great and he is easy to work with: always ready to discuss ideas and solutions. The enjoyable challenge created a really great house.”


The foundations of a good home

Your home is your castle, but it’s a faulty fortress if the foundations are not solid. Precision Solutions is the expert in levelling every type and age of home, on every foundation. Offering a free assessment of your home, the Precision Solutions team then collaborates with a select team of builders and project manages all the way from paperwork, to a levelled, repaired and finished home.



“This is exactly the moment to give us a call to get your earthquake repairs completed once and for all,” Contracts Manager Charles Porter says.

In August last year, the government announced a $300m policy for homeowners of over-cap on-sold properties in Canterbury to apply for an ex gratia government payment to have their homes repaired.

You can also apply for the payment if you still own your home but believe the repairs done post-earthquakes were not satisfactory, or overlooked leveling.

Details and registration are available at, but you must register by 12 August, 2020.

Managing the paperwork with EQC can form a significant part of the project and Charles will work with you on this every step of the way. Working remotely is no problem.

“We’ve releveled a home in Beatty Street for an owner based in Australia and another in Switzerland.”

The team relevels around 40 homes per year.

“We love what we do – building relationships with clients. It is great to be able to help someone who might have been really struggling to get where they need to be.

“We feel a real satisfaction looking at the finished project knowing that our client can now move on with their life.”


A stand-out showhome

Hallmark Homes invites you to visit their outstanding new show home at Te Whāriki. Co-Director of Hallmark Homes Mike Bonne says that, while this home is built to executive standard for the homeowner ready for the finer things in life, the company can vary all its plans to suit your needs and budget.


* Find the showhome at 162 Southfield Drive Lincoln, open Wednesday to Sunday 12pm-4pm or by appointment.*

Presenting an airy room-to-breathe 2.55 metre stud, the home has four bedrooms with two living areas.

The whole home is ‘smart’, with lights, curtains and blinds, doors and the garage door able to be controlled remotely by voice activation.

With interior design plus exterior colours and tile selection by Sandalwood Design, the icing on this very desirable cake is provided by the al fresco room, which could easily be classed as the third living area.

Temperature, moisture, shade and air movement are all yours to control in this entertainment or personal escape space.

At 40 square metres, this amazing room features a raking ceiling, three solar controlled Velux skylights, a full outdoor kitchen with rangehood and fridge, television, speakers, outdoor heating and barbeque.

Sliding stacker doors retract into the wall, opening onto the private garden with a water feature and green wall. “The al fresco room is next level,” Mike says.

“It’s a standout; a real favourite for me.”

The entrance is lined with cedar sarking and beamed with dummy rafting. Lighting is provided by designer LED fittings.

In the lounge, a cathedral ceiling framed by a large picture window provides plenty of light.

A metallic charcoal Venetian plaster wall with gold flecks along with a frameless Rinnai fire create ambience together with the extensive LED lighting.

Drama is created by a vaulted ceiling, found in the open plan dining and family room, and wellbeing is enhanced by a built in TV cabinet and circular timber shelving on a Resene Fuscous Grey backdrop, which certainly makes a statement.

The oversized Caesarstone kitchen bench runs to 6.5 metres, hosting twin sinks, a pair of Bosch ovens and a scullery with plenty of shelving hidden but easily accessible, while a study recess spells productivity combined with easy access to refreshments.

The master bedroom is a palette of soft neutrals and earthy tones combined with a bespoke Nordic pine geometric headboard dimly lit with LEDs, creating a cosy and restful atmosphere to unwind.

An elegant freestanding bath elevated on a plinth and flanked by Italian feature tiles is positioned beneath two Velux windows, allowing for stargazing while you soak.

Outside, 100 square metres of decking meets a fully planted and irrigated garden.

“It represents our commitment to excellence,” Mike says.


A modern treasure

A modern treasure of innovative solid construction and historical reminders provides the ultimate central apartment lifestyle.



The second and final stage of the Latimer Central Apartments is now complete.

Adjacent to the new sports stadium, the prime-positioned build becomes an iconic part of the CBD’s eastern fabric.

At 272 Barbados Street, parallel to Latimer Square, the design is a head-turner.

The standard is high-end for all 34 units built by Street and Cook Construction.

Each one, a future-proofed investment. The first residents moved into the main building this month and now just five of the sought-after apartments remain for sale.

The drive-through entrance is via a portico under the project’s first stage, The Gatehouse, which is home to four exclusive apartments.

The 20 residents’ outdoor carparks are secured behind the central automatic security gate.

The ground-floor brick façade retains timeless character, melding with history – namely the old brick Orion substation.

It still stands as a grand feature point between the gatehouse and the main building – a nod to Christchurch’s past.

Director John Street of Street and Cook Construction has run an outstanding operation from Taranaki for over 35 years.

This is his second noteworthy development in Christchurch, which includes the award-winning GCH Aviation Centre.

Site foreman Brad Shotter moved his family down to Christchurch to project manage each exciting development.

“The apartments are very cleverly designed, to fit the relatively tight space we had to work with,” Brad says.

“Each one has its own unique view. All the balconies and courtyards are generously sized and most face north. The Hebel exterior is extra thick at 75 millimetres and provides a high acoustic rating and thermal barrier.”

The four floors and penthouse of the main building are of classic black and white exterior.

Fresh and light, neutral décor throughout connects the inside the 30 apartments to the spacious common areas.

The one and two bedroom apartments, are all generously proportioned and include Bosch appliances.

Strict acoustic tolerances mitigate the usual sounds from a bourgeoning CBD.

Solid Kwila treads and rises create the wide stairwell, provide an alternative to the internal elevator.

Brad says the project was a real pleasure to work on. It was almost like clockwork for the 18-month project that was completed on schedule.

“The build is up there with the best in innovation. BRB patented-design seismic-strength structural steel from America makes it a standout construction by John Jones Steel. The extremely solid foundation included 73 screw piles, some as deep as 14 metres, supplied and installed by Smith Cranes and Construction. These subcontractors were an integral part of this successful project.”

Cobalt Electrical and Security Systems provided the very latest requirements.

The company’s previous accolade was installing the security systems for the Christchurch Town Hall rebuild.

“We had six tradesmen on the Latimer site most days,” says Liverpool-born owner Eddie Russell, who has operated his one-stop-shop Christchurch business for more than 30 years.

“It was a nice job, and we needed to be there at every building stage. Everything worked out great. We were proud to meet every tight deadline and scope of works.”

Cobalt provided all of the smart features for the building and apartments.

With ICT card access control for the security gate and security walk in entrance, KNX Worldwide automation systems controlling the building through sensors and timers, including the carpark and emergency lighting. Installed in every apartment was smart-lighting control, data hub, Sky TV, fibre optics for the high-speed WIFI built into the walls, and the latest ABB video intercom.

The apartments are now state of the art.

Street and Cook is looking forward to the next exciting Christchurch project.

To view the apartment listing for sale visit Harcourts Gold.


High-end apartment life

Located just a few blocks from Riccarton Mall, a new Christchurch townhouse development now offers all the buzz and convenience of city living, without having to compromise on space.



The five high-end units – produced by local company Michael Stratford Builders – will open soon at 8 Lyndon Street.

Designed by Adam Cronin, of Cronin Design Ltd, the two-storey townhouses each have three bedrooms, two bathrooms and three toilets (two upstairs, one downstairs) and four even boast double garages.

The front unit facing the road has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and is spacious at 160-170 square metres.

Modern and stylish in their design, the units, which range in price from $665,000 to $695,000, are finished with white Rockcote and navy blue linea weatherboard, complete with black fascia and windows.

Inside, the beautiful final touches will astound.

The designer kitchen features stone benchtops, the rooms are spacious and bright, and offer carpet and tiled flooring throughout.

All this, and the units are located only two and a half blocks from Riccarton Mall!

For more information, contact Glass Miles Real Estate agent Christine Binnie on 021 711 243 or First National Christchurch Ltd agent John McClelland on 03 423 1908.


Secluded Beauty

An iconic build, which also blends naturally into the secluded Banks Peninsula site, was the creative challenge presented to award-winning Architect Tim Nees.



“The brief was for an informal weekend retreat, to eventually become their retirement home,” he says.

“It was designed not only for the look, but to take advantage of water views and hillside vistas on each side, while letting in light and breezes.”

Self-sustaining and completely off the grid, with two water-collection tanks, the surrounding four hectares was once part of an old farm.

“It has been left by the clients to ‘re-wild’ itself,” says Tim, who recently designed his own unique seaside escape.

“The clients were really happy, saying it was like a work of art – and beyond beautiful! It almost feels like an architectural tramping hut to me.”

The saw-tooth roof, painted heritage red, has its highest points facing the east to catch the morning sun.

Two bedrooms on either end and a cosy nook up a few steps surround the open-plan high-stud living areas.


A purposeful mix of non-treated timber features throughout the 172 square metre interior including exposed beams of macrocarpa and Douglas fir, a well-oiled plywood floor and walls lined with birch plywood.

A solid-timber kitchen bench top was sourced by the clients. The deck of purple heart, like the larch cladding, was left to silver over time.

Huntley Quinn was our builder,” Tim says.

“He was exceptional at thinking through the challenging strategy of working in a remote location, and very organised and honest. The communication was great, which was very important.”

The award-winning construction firm hired a bach about 15 minutes away, where his crew of six stay during the week.

As a second-generation builder and Project Manager for 29 years, Huntley also spent a day or two each week on the tools.

Completed last year, Huntley says it was quite a technical build with a lot of joinery, complex roof and an elevated subfloor.

“Logistically it was a challenge, but enjoyable and rewarding – especially with building through all four seasons, from scorching heat to snow.

We achieved the right balance of design to budget through a very close collaboration between architect, builder and client.”



Exceptional in the South

For as long as he can remember, James Rabbette, of Rabbette Ltd, has been involved in the building industry.



Growing up with a father who was a builder meant James loved spending almost every school holiday on site with his dad and, after starting a New Zealand Diploma in Business at Otago Polytechnic, he soon realised working indoors just wasn’t for him.

He began doing outside labouring jobs before starting Rabbette Ltd at just 21!

“I spent the next five years working by myself before taking on my first apprentice,” he says.

“Now, after 15 years, we’ve built up a fantastic team of guys who love masonry trades, get along really well, work hard for the team and take real pride in their work.”

The business has now grown to include wife Alana who manages the accounts, three tradesmen, a third-year apprentice, a first-year apprentice and a labourer.

“It’s hard to attract young people to take up brick and block laying, stone masonry, tiling and plastering trades, but it’s an extremely rewarding job; hard and physical, but really satisfying.”

Rabbette Ltd covers Central Otago and the Southern Lakes area, with a special interest in masonry houses, built completely out of concrete blocks.

“It provides amazing insulation,” he says.

“People think concrete is cold because in the 60s they used to strap and line the inside of the block.

Nowadays, the insulation is on the outside, which means the thermal qualities are exceptional.

Having built two for myself, I find them extremely warm and comfortable to live in.

“They hold the heat in winter and can’t burn or rot, so it’s a no-brainer, really.”

For more information, email