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Tile tales


Move over white subway tiles, we’re introducing a whole raft of new kids on the decorating block; there’s hexagon, finger tiles, mosaic and stone and they’re rocking a kaleidoscope of colours and textures. We check out some of the latest looks snaking their way across walls and floors.

 

Mixed geometrics: Geometric shapes made their mark in 2019, but they’re not going anywhere in a hurry. In fact, they’re actually getting more clever and creative than ever before with trapezoid, rhombus and diamond-shaped tiles hitting the homewares sphere.

Pencils and pennies: Pencil tiles or finger tiles – narrow rectangular tiles – are proving popular as accents on walls, while penny tiles – small coin-shaped tiles laid in sheets – are being used for borders, niches, accent strips or whole walls to add sparkle, depth and interest.

Industrial chic: Concrete and stone look tiles are a sleek, low maintenance, easily-installed alternative to actual concrete and stone, pairing beautifully with matte black fittings.

Moroccan magic: Morocco is famed for its vibrant colours and intricate designs, so Moroccan tiles add an exotic touch to the room, either as a wall or floor covering.

Darks arts: Just like the little black dress, a black bathroom is ultra chic. The dark tones work surprisingly well in small spaces and textured tiles add a sense of drama.


 

Cottoning on to sustainable fashion


Being fashion conscious is increasingly weighted towards the conscious part of the term. From ecological impacts on the environment to social justice issues in supply chains and modelling campaigns: designers and consumers alike have sustainability in mind.

A. LEVIS WELLTHREAD RECYCLED DENIM

Smaller collections, less often: Prada’s “refreshingly practical” (as one writer put it) Spring 2021 runway show last month was a pared back collection of well-made, working from home-friendly staples. Such collections may well become the new norm as the industry takes a Covid-enforced rethink of the necessity and eco footprint of large, frequently-released collections.

B. DEADLY PONIES MINI LEOPARD VEGAN

Cottonised hemp: Made from a hemp yarn that’s been processed to have the look and feel of cotton, cottonised hemp requires less water, chemicals and land to grow than cotton – making it a more sustainable choice. Jean geniuses Levi’s have just released its latest range made of this fabric into New Zealand.

C. LEVIS WELLTHREAD RECYCLED DENIM

Is pre-order the new order? Instead of releasing fully produced collections, some designers (like Kiwi labels Harris Tapper and Ellis) are opting for pre-order. The antithesis to oft-problematic fast fashion, pre-order might mean a longer wait for shoppers – but could spell the end of left-over, unwanted stock going to landfill.

Tactical textiles: Oranges, pineapples, potatoes, banana and coffee; excellent for eating, drinking and also, apparently, for wearing. New fabrics made from food waste are emerging the world over, with cult New Zealand handbag brand Deadly Ponies recently joining the fray with a trio of vegan handbags constructed from organic cactus leather.


 

Taking the cake


Traditional wedding cakes will always have their place, but if you’re looking for something which reflects the unique tastes and style of the newlyweds – why not forgo the fruitcake and white fondant for something a little different?

 

There are many ways to pay homage to the custom of a cake without being tied to traditional flavours or looks which may not align with what you had in mind for your big day.

Here are our picks for ways to mix up your nuptial confection choices so you can put a sweet end to your special day, your way.


CAKE BUFFET
Why settle on one or two cake flavours for your big day, when you could have them all? Create an indulgent sweet feast sure to satisfy the spectrum of palates on your invite list with a cake buffet. The serve-yourself table can be a fun and aesthetically pleasing way to add flavour variety, while simultaneously catering to any dietary requirements.


SAY CHEESE
For the savoury-leaning foodies, a cheese cake saves the day. By cheese cake, we mean wheels of cheese arranged atop each other like the tiers of a traditional wedding cake. Decorate your cheese cake with traditional wedding cake toppers like flowers, or opt for those which pair perfectly with fromage, like figs and grapes.


NO CAKE AT ALL
Cookie-cutter weddings may be undesirable for some, but cookies instead of cakes could well be the order of the day. Iced with personal messages or the newly weds’ initials, wedding cookies can even be cute keepsakes for guests to take home when wrapped. Or, instead of cookies, you could indulge in wedding macarons, wedding meringues or wedding cake pops.


LET YOUR TASTE BUDS DO THE TALKING
Of all the organising, decision-making and double (quadruple?) checking that goes into your big day, choosing which sweet treat you’ll serve has potential to be one of the most enjoyable. So why not let your taste buds do the research for you? Sample your favourite sweet treats and dessert dishes – and simply pick the one you just like the best.


DANCE FLOOR FRIENDLY
Many couples choose to cut and serve the cake about the same time as the celebrations move to the dance floor. Consider making this timing a feature and serve cake (or cake alternatives) which complement the post-dinner dancing. Think cupcakes, donuts or the popular French wedding dessert, croquembouche.


A NOD TO NOSTALGIA
Weddings are known as celebrations of the happy couple’s pasts, while toasting to a new future. So why not take this one step further by serving favoured culinary confections from your childhood. Some couples have served stacks of pancakes, cookie towers or even soft serve cones from foodtrucks.


 

Statement Sofas


Whether you call it a couch, a sofa, or a settee, nice and neutral has long been the name of the style game when it comes to picking a stylish seat.

 

 

We get it – it is one of the largest pieces of furniture in the main room of the house, so it’s natural to approach this purchase with some trepidation. And neutral, by its very nature, goes with everything right? But then nobody remembers the wallflower…


Bold and bejewelled: We’ve been crushing on jewel tones for the past couple of seasons and sorry to all the commitment-phobes around; it seems this infatuation is here for the long haul. These richly saturated hues named after the corresponding gems, such as sapphire blue, ruby red, amethyst purple, citrine yellow and emerald green, are not going anywhere.


Size counts: In a large living room, a large sofa is a great option, but when your room is on the smaller end of the sizing scale, smaller may just be better. When you’re going for loud and proud, size becomes an even more important consideration. You want a couch that makes a statement for all the right reasons.


Crushing on textures: Velvet may have been a hallmark of the eighties, but the luxurious fabric is experiencing a renaissance and is well and truly at home in the modern day. We’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for its sumptuous style. But there are plenty of other textures that can make a statement, such as a hard-wearing waffle fabric, or a timeless worn leather.


Cutting shapes: Ok, so we’re talking the living room, rather than the D-floor here, but let’s be honest, it’s just as critical to look cool when those shapes are that of your new couch. There’s lots of interesting shapes on trend right now, from modern square shapes to curvier edging. Start with the vibe you’re wanting to create and go from there.


Natural instinct: Natural colours in various shades are coming through strong in 2020. But don’t go thinking you can’t make a statement in natural shades! Pastel blue, sage and coral pinks are all popular natural couch colours that still make a stylish statement. The best part? They’re all so easy to decorate around.


 

In the trenches


A new decade may call for reimagining the classics, but some things need little updating.

BRAVE + TRUE SAFARI TRENCH.

When it comes to the trench, we’ll never say no to the classic cut, but reimagined iterations have been trickling in for the last few seasons, as the darlings of the design world work hard to ensure it maintains a modern edge.

This year trench coats are coming through in unique materials – including silk, organza and leather. It’s not just the materials that are getting a revamp, with the trusty trench also being paired in unique ways, such as the popular dress and trench combo.

Structured check trench coats make the perfect addition to your transeasonal wardrobe, so you can turn heads come rain or shine.

MORRISON EMMANUELLE TRENCH

It pairs well with a white tee and wide-leg blue jeans, or buttoned and wrapped up with a pair of straight-leg trousers and heels.

If we’re seeing trench coats made of organza and covered in checks, it’ll come as no surprise that we’re also getting clever with colour.

There’s nothing quite like colour to brighten up a chilly day and now we’re giving our trench coats the same treatment.

JAG HOLLY RELAXED TRENCH ALMOND

Meanwhile the classic double-breasted military trench makes its welcome return, with its timeless and universally flattering silhouette.

In 2020 however, it might be time to swap out the soft military trench for a crisp cotton iteration featuring a strong lapel, wide belt and sharp, interesting details.


 

Cementing a new trend


The historically exterior concrete is creeping indoors and cementing itself as one of 2020’s top interior architecture trends.

 

 

THE NEW WHITE
As design thinking moves towards more natural aesthetics, the seemingly eternal trend of stark white kitchens may be coming to an end, and hand trowelled- effect concrete may well be taking its place. Described by Italian architect Andrea Maffei as “the material that best defines modern architecture”, concrete is rich in hue and texture bringing a sleek and contemporary feel to the home when paired with wood grains and solid monochromatic palettes.

BEYOND THE BENCHTOP
Concrete benchtops are far from new, but how about concrete cabinetry and rendered feature walls? Enter Lookcrete, an authentic concrete-look melamine product available in New Zealand and used for everything from kitchen doors and bathroom cabinetry, to feature islands, wall panelling, bookcases, and desks…and it can be done with paint!
When using concrete or adhesive alternatives are out of the picture (or price range), a realistic concrete effect can be mimicked with paint. Porter’s Paints has a range of paints which can achieve the coveted concrete finish, like its lime-based Interno Lime Wash when applied by block brush in random left-to-right strokes.


 

Spring Fling!


Spring has long been associated with regeneration, but it’s equally time to update, refresh and create a whole new vibe. We’ve looked forward to the spring 2020 colour palette so you can prepare for a spring fling!

 

MAKING ME BLUSH: ‘Millennial Pink’ has been a colour craze since the summer of 2016 and it is showing no sign of slowing down. It’s a colour that has paved the way and angled the spotlight on the ‘world of pink’. By doing so, it has allowed for the colour blush, a more subtle version of the punchy millennial pink, to come to the forefront. The colour matches well with white, camel and soft pink.

MUSTARD MADE THE SKINNY IN OLIVE AND BLUSH

FEELING BLUE: Classic blue is Pantone’s colour of the year for 2020, making it a hue that you’re more than likely to see everywhere this year. Described by Pantone as “a reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence and connection”, blue has long been used to connote serenity, reflection, calmness, serenity and trust, helping to calm the mind and help it focus.

ADAIRS FADED GREEN ENCYCLOPAEDIA CANVAS

GREEN WITH ENVY: Green is another colour to watch out for in spring this year, specifically sage green. There’s something that’s so fresh and organic about it. Not to mention it’s unisex, perfect for masculine and feminine spaces. The ‘go green movement’ doesn’t just have to represent the switch to sustainability, go green in all aspects of life.

LINEN HOUSE SHANI BLUSH PILLOWCASE.

PRETTY AS A PEACH: Peach Jelly to be exact. This pastel peach will be all the rage next season. The colour really gets a chance to pop when it’s matched with strong shades of dark green or grey. It looks great on accessories around the home such as rugs and cushions.

ADAIRS MONGOLIAN SHEEPSKIN CUSHION

GOOD AS GOLD: Maybe don’t go overboard with this one… the only place ‘all-gold’ everything looks good is in a palace. But that’s not to say that it can’t look good in splashes throughout your space – it’s time to create a regal feeling. It also pairs nicely with the sage green listed above.

LINEN HOUSE SHANI BLUSH PILLOWCASE

 

Tricks up its sleeve


We’re embracing the statement sleeve this sartorial season because, if you want to stand out from the crowd, this is a silhouette with a few tricks up its sleeve.

 

MORRISON TILLIE SHIRT

 

Whether you want big and billowy in shape, extra-long in length or intricate detailing, there’s a statement sleeve for everyone, from bell sleeve blouses to ruffled sleeve tees and everything in between.

MORRISON BROCK SHIRT

The puff-sleeve trend dominated the red carpet at the 2020 Golden Globes, with celebrities from Dakota Fanning to Rachel Bilson adding serious drama to their looks with statement sleeves from romantic pink to canary yellow.

ORDER OF STYLE RUFFLE TOP

So it might just be time to wear your art on your sleeve! After all, to wear your heart on your sleeve is to let it all proverbially hang out and, when it comes to this fashion-forward flirtation, the sentiment is the same.

APERO LABEL TRUE BEAUTY KNIT JUMPER

 


 

Petite Retreats


Far more than just a means to cater to personal hygiene, the bathroom is a space we turn to when we need to relax, recuperate and enjoy some respite from the outside world.

 

 

As such, the interior should be welcoming and comforting, but the room’s measurements need not be reminiscent of a sprawling spa to serve up an idyllic aesthetic.

For bathrooms that are more akin to cupboards-under-the-stairs, a few tips and tricks are all it takes to prove pint-sized bathrooms shouldn’t have to scrimp on style or comfort.

Eschewing an abundance of noisy wallpaper in favour of a single feature wall will inject a dose of personality into a space without making it feel crowded or claustrophobic.

Whether opting for a mural, a lick of bright paint or a sheet of captivating printed paper, be sure to keep the adjoining walls colourless and sparse to harness the bigger, brighter illusion that white walls bring.

A similar effect can be obtained via the use of furnishings. Incorporate mirrors and glass wherever possible to give the appearance of a larger space, and add flavour via various tchotchkes and artworks that tie in with the captivating hues and patterns found within the feature wall.

The finishing touch? Whether it’s a melange of cacti placed upon the sink or a hanging basket suspended from the ceiling above the bathtub, flourishing greenery will ensure that even the most miniscule of spaces remain welcoming, charming and notably on-trend.

Remember, good things do come in small packages – especially that of the discerning bathroom.


 

Dishing the dirt


Winter’s arrival may conjure up images of the indoors, snuggled up fireside with a good book or Netflix series. But green thumbs know winter is not the time to retire the gumboots and secateurs. Instead, it’s an opportune moment to prepare for the flowering seasons.

 

 

Whether it’s a full-scale landscape or pre-spring spruce up, here’s our pick for the handiest gardening trends, tools and tips to help you in the garden this winter

The Tip: Let’s landscape
With summer foliage long departed, June and early July marks the best time to re-think your landscaping. Perhaps you’ve been eyeing up a new spot for a vegetable garden, want to plant some citrus, or relocate some shrubs and small trees. Now is the time to do it.

The Tool: Garden carts
Move over wheelbarrows, there’s a new yard companion making tracks. Often sporting four wheels with an extendable handle, the gardening cart is gaining traction as a functional addition to your shed designed to make your days in the garden easier.
While wheelbarrows have long been the go-to for carting gardening waste, soils and tools, the flat bed of a cart is perfect for also moving more delicate items like pots and plants. Some models even come with lids which can double as a seat or bench.
When looking for a gardening cart you may want to consider its ability to bear weight with a sturdy chassis; its manoeuvrability with pivoting wheels, and how easily it can tilt and dump your contents.

The Trend: Indoor plants
If there’s no landscaping to be done, why not indulge that desire to turn your attention indoors and embrace the greenery trend of the decade: houseplants. The addition of indoor greenery to home, retail and commercial spaces is a gardening trend that just won’t quit. And there’s no better time to bring your gardening indoors than over the chilly, wet wintry months. Not only do houseplants freshen up your space, there’s a bunch of evidence interior vegetation can provide psychological benefits like stress-reduction, boosting creative thinking, and reducing anxiety. As many indoor plant parents will know, it’s always important to ensure your houseplants are well placed for sunlight, watered regularly and get enough access to warmer temperatures.