all things bright and beautiful #7

The summer break is definitely a time to slow down and unwind. I love that all the day to day things stop and if you manage to get away, a quieter, simpler way takes it place. Recently we had the pleasure to stay with friends in Pt Wells for a weekend. Prior to that I had a couple of days at Port Waikato with two girlfriends and their children. We mostly stayed at home this year as there just didn’t seem like I had any good reasons to actually leave for too long! The day seemed to just be about eating, wandering to the estuary to throw ourselves in and float down, eating, sitting in the hot afternoons with a book in a quiet spot, another swim but this time in the sea, eating and then sitting around waiting for the kids to tire themselves out before retiring after a glass of wine and good company. Holidays are all about the slow and the small for me. I don’t think about upcoming work projects, things that need finishing around the house, and the rush of christmas is over (we had 20 people for Christmas Lunch – which I do love). It is a time to read books, flick through magazines and just let the creative part of my brain absorb and recharge. So the things that I have included in my all things bright and beautiful this week, are  things that I have loved over the holiday break.  And they give me a bit of comfort now that we are back into crazy busy again. I think I will just try to close my eyes for a couple of minutes to think about long lunches and equally long swims in the ocean…

Just before Christmas, I was reminded by my Mother that the wardrobe space in our guest room was inadequate. I have always intended that I would put a fabulous Tolix Locker into that space eventually.  I was hoping no-one would really notice that there was nowhere to put things when people came to visit. My eagle-eyed Mother soon sorted that out. The locker is a long way down the list of financial priorities (I think we might get there in about 3 years time) but I hate ‘making do’ with something cheap and my philosophy has always been to wait til you can buy what you want (eventually). So while looking on the internet I found these fabulous hooks. Made by Danish company HELGOS, they are similar to the Dots Wood Coat Hooks by Triet + Tornoe stocked at Douglas & Bec. Stocked by Australian company twenty21 the process of shipping them over was very painless after I discovered they weren’t available in New Zealand. I paid about NZ$200 including shipping. They come in the multi coloured set that I ordered, also in single colour sets and in beech as well. I have used three of them to hang in the guest room for clothes on a wall, and then the others are in the laundry and bathroom with hand towels hanging off them.


My Lovely Daughter tracked down an Alexander Girard Wooden Doll for me for Christmas. I have long loved them, but have found the cost more than a little prohibitive! She discovered the New Zealand based design site designonline  which is stocking them for @$160.  They are stocked elsewhere here for upwards of $300. So it now sits in the kitchen watching me while I cook…


While I was having my small creative break, I discovered another great website allied LetLiv based in Wellington. They stock the fabulous leather stuffed footstools that I only ever saw on Australian websites.  They have a great colour range but it appears they can order any colour if you have a particular preference. I just love this orange one.


A quiet contemplative moment is not complete without a scented candle for me. I have a small obsession with them, and they are pretty much in every room in my house. My absolute favorite at the moment was sent to me just before Christmas, and is a collaboration between one of my favourite clothing labels, Company of Strangers and the South Island based George & Edi. The hand poured soy candle comes in slick black glass, and has deep notes of cedar, sandalwood, vetiver, bergamot and pepper that I love. At just $40 it can be bought from their on-line store, and comes boxed in black with old encyclopedia pages cushioning it, with a ribbon around it making it a beautiful present.  I am trying to ration mine, and am just enjoying it unlit on my desk at present…


Lastly during my trip to the lovely Matakana region, I got to visit the amazing Vivian Gallery. It is located just past the turnoff to Omaha, heading toward Leigh, just the first round on your left.  There is nothing else there, so you get to enjoy this beautiful building/gallery without interruption. It feels like an old woodshed with its simple design.  The clever use of colour with one side stained a soft grey with black detailing, and the other side is painted black with soft grey detailing. The current exhibition has work from a wonderful range of artists – many of the based in Matakana. The entire project was put together, and is owned by Helen Crosby, Virginia Leonard and Ollie King with design assistance from Mike Petre. All of those people and many more including Billy Apple and Vicki Fanning are currently exhibiting in their January Showing. It is worth the trip for the art, but also for the beautiful building – with clever internal detailing. The rough sawn panelling has each board a differing shade of white which adds to the texture while not distracting from the artwork. The furniture is from Herne Bay store Hawkins and Scuffell and suits the space perfectly. Go and enjoy. You can find The Vivian at 39 Omaha Valley Rd.








the vivian 1

2 Comments on “all things bright and beautiful #7

    • Ah well, what can I say to that Greta? Thank you – and I have to agree, there are some great things in that post! Let me know if you acquire anything new…

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