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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.



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.


Transforming heirlooms

Bringing a new lease of life to a well-loved piece of furniture is McDonald and Hartshorne’s speciality. One such piece of family heritage – a cherished rocking chair – belongs to a client, Abigail.






“My great, great grandfather is believed to be the original owner of the rocking chair, dating back to the early 1900s or possibly the late 1800s,” Abigail says.

“My grand dad eventually inherited the chair and had it re-upholstered, but he kept pieces of the original fabric as inserts because he wanted to retain the connection to his own grandfather.”

When Abigail was given the chair, she wanted to restore it again.

“Respecting my grandfather’s sentiment towards the original fabric, I too have chosen to keep that material and will have it made into cushions. I love the look of the restored chair, but most importantly it represents for me the history of my family, the connection I have to my ancestors and the precious memories I have of my grandparents.

“I have a photo of them next to the chair in my lounge and it feels like they are here with me and present in my everyday life. This provides me with a physical sense of connection. I feel honoured to be the guardian of this chair until it’s time for me to pass it to a future generation.”

If you, like Abigail, have furniture in need of restoration, enquiries are welcomed at McDonald and Hartshorne, phone 03 371 7500.


Beautifully Bespoke

Rob Carter of Furniture Dimensions knows all about furniture. He has been in the business for more than 40 years.


From his workshop in Sydenham, Rob creates unique pieces of furniture for homes across Canterbury.

Each piece at Furniture Dimensions is custom-made to the client’s specific design requirements, whether that is built-in cabinetry, floating shelves, contemporary side boards, entertainment units, bedroom furniture, vanity units or dining tables.

Rob enjoys the challenge of crafting a new piece of furniture, with this often based on a client’s own designs or images they have seen in magazines.

Using quality wood veneers of American oak or walnut and high gloss lacquered finishes, he creates a diverse range of designs to suit his clients’ needs.

Call into his Sydenham premises to discuss your ideas and view a range of his completed work in the adjacent showroom.


Expanding your living spaces

Now is the perfect time to protect your outdoor space and put the plans in place to extend your summer.



The expert team at Stratco has the skills to help you create a space that can be enjoyed throughout the year, with its own range of unique verandas and louvres – from design to installation.

“View our range online or visit us at our showroom to see what we can do for your outdoor space,” Stratco General Manager David Allingham says. 

A Stratco Outback® Verandah, Louvre or Carport provides protection from the elements, expands your possibilities for entertaining and storage or an all-weather play area for kids.

“A veranda not only adds functional living space and value to your home but provides protection from New Zealand’s harsh weather conditions. Our fixed-roof verandas offer an affordable alternative to our louvres. It’s a proven product with quality design – they’ve been around for years and there is no other product like this on the market.”

Whether you are building a new home or making extensions, by letting light into your outdoor area while blocking out harmful rays and rain, homeowners are able to get so much more function from their home.

The company offers a bespoke veranda which can be custom designed and built to suit your size, layout and attachment requirements.

“We manufacture and install the units ourselves, so we can really customise them to suit each space. They are ideal as either attached or standaalone units, and the addition of Stratco’s polycarbonate Outback Rooflite™ panels allows the supply of filtered light to the underside of the veranda.”

Another option is the Stratco Louvre. Controlled via a remote, Stratco’s systems also include a rain sensor as standard, so, if you are not home when it starts to rain, the unit will close automatically. Like the verandas, the louvres are ideal as either an attached or stand-alone unit and, if you want to add louvres to an existing veranda, the team can retrofit a louvre system into most veranda/pergola frames – just request a free site measure to determine the finer details.

From concept to finished product, Stratco’s louvre systems can be in place six weeks from the order date. Once the unit is measured at your home, the team runs each unit through an engineering programme, designed to confirm strength of system to suit your wind zone.

The company can also provide fencing and sheds, whatever you choose – the process is simple. Steve Cain, Outdoor Product Specialist at Stratco, will talk through the possibilities with you, and then measure and quote, which is free with no obligation.

Stratco then designs, manufactures and installs the products themselves – making the entire experience hassle-free.

Find the Stratco team at 55 Hands Road, Middleton, phone 03 338 9063.


Fabulous Finishing

Understanding colour, having good taste, and knowing how to select individual elements to create a beautiful and inviting whole is not something that can be taught. It comes from the heart, it is innate and, combined with attention to detail plus a natural empathy with clients, it leads to an interior design house of the calibre of Christchurch’s own Kit and Caboodle.



At the studio, Alex Marie and Andrea Tudehope have created a temple of gorgeous fabric, furniture and finishing touches that are just a tempting hint of the luscious comfort that they can create for your home.

Inspired by the great designers, Alex and Andrea follow the William Morris ethic – that you should not have anything in your home that you do not believe to be beautiful or useful.

European designers such as David Hicks, Robert Couturier, Colefax and Fowler, and more latterly the Americans such as Albert Hadley and Daniel Romualdez have shaped their approach.

Distilling the giants of interior design and adding their own flair has created an ethos of comfort and soul at Kit and Caboodle, which means they are well on their way to becoming one of the ‘greats’ themselves.

While never trend-driven, “it does follow that fashion in clothing design filters down to influence things that are happening in interior design,” Andrea says.

For them it’s about layering to get a beautiful room to come together.

“A beautiful room must be personal; it must never look like a ‘stage set’ and we would never fit out entirely in one brand,” Alex says.

“Not everyone gets everything new,” Andrea says. “We often work from at least one existing item that is staying in the room, such as a work of art or a sofa.”

If they are working with a blank canvas, they start with floor, walls, and curtains.

“We begin with the most expensive items and then it is about layering to create the intimate and comfortable style of life, with accents or surprises to stimulate the senses,” Alex explains.

Freshening up antique or classical style furniture with contemporary fabrics or with bright colours is a passion, and this is a delicious task to undertake with clients given the huge range of fabrics available.

New Zealand agents for the stunning range from Melbourne, Nine Muses Textiles, the gorgeous fabrics are suitable for all furnishings including upholstery, curtains, lampshades and cushions.

Printed onto Libeco Belgian Linens using digital technology, artist and director of Nine Muses Tigger Hall has hand-painted every design, bringing the imperfections and colour variations, while keeping the aesthetic and beautiful feel of traditional textile processes.

“There is something for everyone, modern and contemporary colour juxtapositions through to traditional colour palettes,” Alex says.

“The range feels fresh and clean, and we’ve done some lovely projects with it over the years,” Andrea adds.


Bespoke Beauty

Providing a personalised service, the small team of talented craftsmen at Oakleigh Fine Furniture can bring your ideas to life by creating bespoke furniture from scratch.


Specialising in crafting custom-made solid timber furniture and joinery such as dining tables, entertainment units, floating shelves, bar units and beautiful solid timber benchtops.

The company can also design, build and install kitchens, wardrobes and washhouses.

Owner Richard Hutt has been in the industry his whole life, and set up Oakleigh Fine Furniture in New Brighton 15 years ago.

It quickly grew through word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business from many satisfied customers. Initially focused on supplying furniture for high-end retailers before branching out to sell direct to the public for the last decade, the company prides itself on the highest quality workmanship.

The team’s customer service is also exceptional, offering a home consultation service to ensure the new design fits in with the environment, décor and existing furniture.

“Whether the client knows exactly what they want, or just has an idea to start with and needs some inspiration, we work closely with them to ensure they’re thrilled with the end result,” says Richard.

“And because we are such a small team, they deal with me throughout the entire process, which provides more of a personal touch.”

Bespoke American oak furniture is a popular request and the team can also create pieces from other sources of timber and materials.

“We are very flexible in what we do – basically, anything you need, we can make it.”

For more information, phone 03 382 0677 or visit


Distinctive Luxury: Trenzseater

Trenzseater’s vision is built on the foundation of custom-made luxury design which is authentic, personalised, distinctive and instantly recognisable. Directors Ben and Hamish Lewis offer a full interior design service with a deserved reputation for detailing some of New Zealand’s finest residences.



Their interior design service has gained international recognition through awards at the International Design and Architecture Awards – in September of this year, Trenzseater took home the prestigious International Interior Design Award! They have also received accolades at the International Design Awards (IDA) and the Andrew Martin Design Review over the years.

Trenzseater has a large portfolio of renowned international brands that it represents and exclusively distributes through its beautiful showrooms. Sourced from Italy, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, England, and the United States of America, the collection of brands demonstrates Trenzseater’s commitment to bringing the finest in international design to New Zealand.

The selection of outstanding international brands includes names such as Eichholtz – renowned for its grand opulent scale and exquisite taste in beautiful objects, lighting and accessories. The very desirable Italian Vittoria Frigeiro label’s pieces radiate austere perfection, sophisticated details and contemporary design with time-honoured traditions for the luxury market.

Lighting brands have been hand-chosen for their excellence in design, innovation and beauty. Historic British luxury Bert Frank draws influence from the design codes of the industrial era, but with a modern twist. Bomma of the Czech Republic showcases that country’s historic expertise in stunning hand-blown glass, while Buster and Punch lighting and hardware draws inspiration from London’s fashion, music and subculture scenes.


Jonathan Browning lighting from San Francisco employs beautiful aged bronze, brass and steel finishes, combined with crystal. The Venetia Stadium collection from Venice features silver and gold leaf on the interior of the shades. Authentage lighting from Belgium is timeless and classic for both interiors and exteriors.

Trenzseater’s selection of superb rugs and carpets is unrivalled. Belgian Limited Edition create an exquisite collection of rugs, artisan designed in wool, silk and cowhide. Kasthall’s hand-tufted and woven rugs from Sweden are known for vibrant colour and eclectic design. Finnish company Wood Notes specialise in spun paper yarn carpets and rugs that provide a unique and beautifully simple aesthetic. Mohebban rugs from Milan are full of chromatic and tactile contrasts while Italian silk rugs from GT Design are innovative and luxurious.

Furniture choices are equally distinguished: Desalto from Italy specialise in a beautiful collection of dining chairs, bar stools and tables using unique materials and components. LUXY produces commercial chairs that are beautiful and comfortable for natural movement.

Trenzseater’s own curated collection of sofas, armchairs, ottomans, sideboards and tables, consoles and entertainment units, coffee and dining tables, barstools, and bedroom furniture is the most comprehensive anywhere and exclusively made in New Zealand.

Drapery and upholstery fabrics exude modern elegance with an international collection available. Visit Trenzseater at 121 Blenheim Road and




Bringing ideas to life: Furniture Dimensions

An expertly handcrafted piece of high-quality furniture will last almost a lifetime – making it a much smarter investment than buying cheap items that break within a couple of years.



“Many people come in here with an idea or a picture of something they like, so I then draw it up to scale and make it work for their home,” says Rob, who has worked on a wide range of projects during his career, from smaller jobs to units in award-winning homes.

Using a variety of quality wood veneers and high-gloss lacquered finishes, he can also produce anything from sideboards, dining tables and coffee tables to kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and built-in wardrobe units.

Rob who started his career as a chair and frame maker, started his own business 15 years ago. His Sydenham workshop features an adjacent showroom that allows potential customers to view the finished work firsthand.

If you would like to discuss how Furniture Dimensions can bring your creative ideas to life, with the skill of an experienced furniture craftsman, visit the showroom today, or check out for more information.



From trash to treasure: McDonald and Hartshorne Upholstery

A recent couch makeover by McDonald and Hartshorne Upholstery is proof that one neighbour’s old sofa can easily be another’s treasure.



Two locals have taken recycling and repurposing to a new level, and successfully given an old piece of furniture a new lease of life.

The McDonald and Hartshorne Upholstery team tell us that when the dilapidated couch was spotted on a neighbour’s veranda, headed for the dump, the owner next door decided it would be the perfect shape, size and style for her home.

After negotiating a deal, the new owner’s husband was surprised to see the settee now gracing their lounge covered with a blanket. She had a vision and saw potential in the retro piece, so she called the experienced team at McDonald and Hartshorne Upholstery.

Using both traditional and contemporary methods, the highly skilled upholsterers are the experts in transforming old or damaged furniture into stunning new statement pieces. Keith Hartshorne and staff note that the frame is the most expensive part of any quality piece of furniture, so as long as it’s in good condition, you’re already halfway there.

Checking the framework and springs are all part of the process, as they build furniture back up to its former glory, as well as replacing foams to a density that’s to the client’s liking. The new owner chose Warwick Jenga Sunshine fabric with contrast piping in Warwick Bendigo Storm, and the transformation is clear to see.

To arrange a free, no-obligation quote, visit