Monday 30 September 2013

Bibby + Brady Styling Evening

Last Thursday Dael & I held our first Bibby + Brady styling evening at 'The Box' in Ahuriri, Napier. It's something we'd been wanting to do for a while, and when we found the fabulous venue, owned by Mackersey Development, we knew it was the perfect spot for us. A large shipping container on a paved stage, overlooking a lovely grass park area, it's situated behind Globe Theatre and Milk & Honey.

We decorated The Box with bright pink and orange dots that the amazing team at Good Regards had made especially for us in our logo colours. And we were absolutely thrilled when Lindauer sent us a case of their award-winning Champion Bubbles, Lindauer Classic Rosé to share with our guests. It is so delicious, and the perfect addition to any girls' night.

Once everyone had a drink and time to mingle, we gathered them around for a bit of a chat. Dael (who is a brilliant public speaker) gave a short intro about us and what we do - we work with clients, both residential and commercial, and design spaces to suit their needs and their personalities. Freedom Furniture lent us their CBD console table for the evening, as well as some of their homeware, and the rest came from our own homes. We styled the table in three different looks, giving tips as we went on how to achieve a similar look yourself.

We had such a brilliant audience. All our guests were so lovely and the night was a great success for us. We hope to hold more workshops in the future, so if you're in the Hawke's Bay area and would be interested in coming along to our workshops, send me an email. I'll let you know all the details about our future events. 

Thank you to the lovely Vanessa White who took all the photographs for us.

Friday 27 September 2013

Painted Walls

Phew, it's been a massive week for me! I've got a lot of exciting jobs on the go, and last night Dael & I held our first Bibby + Brady styling evening (more about that later). I'm on major catch-up mode now, even though all I feel like doing is curling up with a good book and chilling. I hope you all have a fabulous Friday and weekend ahead of you. I'll leave you with some beautifully painted walls. I hope it inspires you to be daring and get creative.

make a feature of your bed by painting a wide stripe behind it

yellow & gray are a perfect match, and this clever use of paint highlights the fire and adds to the warmth

a bit of masking tape and a lot of creativity can get you amazing results

more subtle, but oh so pretty in these soft tones

Thursday 26 September 2013

Magenta Magic

You all know by now that colour is my drug! It makes me happy - simple as that. But there's one colour in particular that makes my heart beat a little bit faster than the rest... call it what you like - magenta, hot pink, fuchsia, crimson - I'm crazy about it. Team it with inky blues, crisp white, emerald green, or sparkling gold and I'm swooning!

Is there a colour that has the same effect on you?

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Thread Design | Denim Collection

I love denim, and live in my many pairs of jeans as much as possible. I think there's a clear correlation between fashion and interiors, so I'm covering a window seat cushion in a really cool blue denim fabric. It looks cool, and it's hardwearing, I can't wait to see it finished.

If you're a big denim fan too, then you're going to love this gorgeous kids collection from Thread Design. Really striking and stylish bedding, you can choose between the denim & pink range and the denim & green range, or mix and match.

The ranges consists of a duvet cover and a range of standard pillowcases, as well as European pillowcases, sheets and cushions. What I love about this bedding is that it's not going to be outgrown too quickly. Through your choice of accessories you can create a look that your wee ones will love, as well as your tweens and teens.

Tuesday 24 September 2013


I have big love for beautiful stationery. Pretty paper and pens are something I coveted as a child, and that passion hasn't paled now that I'm an adult. kikki.K is the answer to all my stationery prayers. They have delicious solutions to all your organisational problems, and amazing style for all your stationery needs.

I'm looking at getting an iPad Mini, and am so excited already, it's the perfect size to slip into my handbag. When I discovered this iPad Mini case in mint leather with gold polka dots and a gorgeous co-ordinating gold striped rollerball pen, my excitement was tenfold!

With 2014 creeping up on us, I've got my eye on this cute A6 diary. Once again nice and compact for me to carry around in my bag. I know my new iPad will have a calendar and diary built in, but I still like to have a paper one to jot down notes and appointments. And this one has beautiful quotes and stickers as well.

Because presentation is really important to me I definitely want some stripe & dot envelopes - they are so cool.

And my friends and family won't want to unwrap their gifts when they're wrapped like this.

Now that I've looked after my own needs, how about my girls?! They have inherited my love of pretty things, and there is plenty to excite them too at kikki.K.

Monday 23 September 2013

The Parsons Table Three Ways

The Parsons Table is an absolute favourite of mine. So simple, so stylish and so versatile, it can be used as a console, a desk, even a small dining table. You can dress it up or down, masculine, feminine, style it any way you please. 

It was designed by Jean-Michel Frank while he was working at Parsons Paris School of Art and Design in the 1930's. Frank challenged his students to design a basic table that would retain it's integrity whether sheathed in gold leaf or burlap. Initially called the T-square table, it's square legs have the same width as the tabletop, regardless of it's other dimensions. The versatility of the Parsons Table has made it a perennial favourite of many, and I've chosen three differently styled tables to share with you today.

1 | 2 | 3

Friday 20 September 2013

Introducing Chalk Paint™ decorative paint

With my frequent travels throughout the cyber world, I have recently become aware of a unique and fascinating product called Chalk Paint™ decorative paint. This amazing paint was developed by paint legend, Annie Sloan, over 20 years ago. Not chalkboard paint or paint with chalk added to it, Chalk Paint™ was named for it's velvety matt, almost chalky finish.

One of the things that really appeals to me about this paint is that it's extremely user-friendly and rarely requires any preparation such as sanding or priming. You can use it indoors and outdoors, and on just about any surface - wood, metal, matte plastic, terracotta... You can use it on furniture, walls, ceiling and floors, and it contains no lead and has no odour - sounds fantastic!

The great news for all of us down-under is that it has just been launched in New Zealand so we'll all be able to experience the brilliance! I was thrilled to receive a copy of Annie's latest book 'Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and More' this week. Packed with 40 step-by-step projects, this book shows you how to update tired furniture and transform your home.

Working with her own range of paints, Annie teaches us how to work with colour and undertake projects in lots of different styles, from French to Swedish, Boho Chic to Modern Contemporary.

Annie has chosen her palette of colours carefully, inspired by 18th and 20th century décor and design. They range from soft, pale hues to bright, vivid tones. My favourites are the blue and green tones, in particular 'Florence' - found in neoclassical Italian and French interiors, this sophisticated colour springs from copper green minerals and malachite.

These delightful kitchen chairs are one of the projects outlined in the book. Annie wanted to introduce some colour to help brighten up the dark kitchen, and shows us exactly how she achieved the look.

My absolute favourite project is this gorgeous painted and gilded bed. By painting the bed Antibes Green then gilding the central laurel leaves, Annie has created a divine centrepiece for the room.

Close behind the bed is this spectacular copper leaf bath. Copper leaf is layered over my favourite Florence paint, which is similar to the colour of verdigris - perfect!

As well as the paint you can purchase everything else you might need to create these works of art - loose leaf copper, brass & aluminium; soft wax to achieve a subtle sheen as well as protection and durability; the most delicious looking, pure bristle paint brushes; and more. The leaf is due to to be launched in Australia soon, so I'm sure it will be available in new Zealand soon too.

Make sure you visit one of our local stockists and try Chalk Paint™ for yourself. And if you do, please send me photos, I'd love to see how you've used it.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Fashion Match

Interior design is a massive part of my world! When I'm watching a movie I'll take in the set and interiors as much as I do the characters - The Great Gatsby was mind-blowing for me in that respect. But I also love fashion, and I think there's a real crossover between fashion and interiors. If someone is unsure of what colours to use in their home I tell them to look in their wardrobe.

To illustrate this, I have chosen some of my favourite interiors and matched them to some of my favourite fashion pics. So much fun!

all imaged from my Pinterest boards

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Scandi Style

Scandinavian style is incredibly popular both here in New Zealand, and world wide. The clean lines and simple colour palette create a serene and stylish interior. Black and white is widely used in Scandi interiors, and I love the addition of dusty pinks and light wood tones to soften the look and add warmth.

Using a little bit of Photoshop magic I've whipped up an example for you. You can't beat white walls and blonde wood floors to start with, then add soft grey sofas as your base -
I've used the Oscar 2 + 3 seater from Big Save Furniture. Layer with cushions, art and cute accessories to complete the look.

cushions l to r: Texta Print Cushion Three | Charcoal Penny Round Velvet Cushion |
Plus Printed Cushion in Grey | Romi Cushion | Chevron Cushion | Chunky Knit Throw |
Ribbon Stripe Rug | Stockholm Coffee Table | Homestead Candle Sticks

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Wooden Diamond

I always love to learn about new creative ventures, and the work of this clever couple has me totally inspired. Randa Kassem and Todd Millar formed Wooden Diamond early in 2012, with the aim to bring high quality, interesting pieces of furniture to the New Zealand market. They love to take a classic design and update it with a modern twist. Most of their products are produced in Egypt by an expert craftsman and family friend, and many are unique, one of a kind pieces. 

I had a bit of a chat with them recently to find out more about their business.

Can you tell me a little bit about your backgrounds?

Todd: I grew up at a beach in the far north surfing and spearfishing with three younger brothers. I made the move down to Auckland to study Communications at AUT and now I run a small landscape business as well as building and developing Wooden Diamond.

Randa: I was born and raised in Egypt until I was eight years old, and then we came over to Auckland as my mother's parents were here. I studied fashion and worked in the industry for five years before starting up Wooden Diamond and then falling pregnant!

How did you come to start Wooden Diamond?

Randa's grandfather used to be a Doctor in Egypt, and he treated patients for free in the poorer areas. One of his patients grew up to be a carpenter, and he and my father randomly crossed paths one day in Egypt. They got talking and my father suggested we use his skills to try something. And here we are!

Your rimu armchairs are beautiful. Can people contact you if they have a specific fabric colour or pattern in mind?

These are one of our faves! We like to make one-offs and enjoy adding a modern element to this style of vintage chair. We do have other chair frames available if people want to get some made up with their choice of fabric.

Do you ship your products New Zealand wide?

Yes, we can ship throughout New Zealand, and are happy to look at costs for this.

What inspires you?

Right now, our precious newborn Zarie Millar. But as far as business goes - geometric patterns, nature, wabi sabi and originality.

Do you have any future plans for Wooden Diamond that you can share with us?

New products are in the mix as we speak, so just developing them further. We would definitely like to have a store one day, and eventually take over the world!

Thanks so much Todd and Randa. One of your circle chopping boards is definitely going to have to come and live with me, and I'm excited to see what your new products will be. 

Make sure you all visit the Wooden Diamond website, as there is plenty more to see.
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