Friday 28 November 2014

Introducing Leven

I'm a firm believer in having a dream, and doing something every day (no matter how small) that will help to make that dream a reality. That's how I got to be working in a job I love, and that's why I get really excited when I hear similar stories of people living the dream!

Leven is a homewares store that you can visit at 14 Empire Street in Cambridge, or online. Here you'll find a treasure trove of beautiful products just waiting for you to discover them. Owner and founder of Leven, Kath Pilcher, had always dreamed of owning her own design store. A break from her career to bring up her young children gave her the opportunity to make a change. She spent a year and half setting up her business and sourcing products from New Zealand and around the globe. The doors to Leven home and design store are now open and ready for you to explore.

You can find some of your favourites in-store and exciting new products - Ashley & Co, Triumph & Disaster, Madam Stoltz, Bloomingville, Jamie Kay, and Boskke, to name just a few. If you live in, or are visiting Cambridge, make sure you pop in to see Kath. Or head over to her online shop right now. And to keep up with all new arrivals and special offers you should definitely follow Leven's Facebook page. Happy shopping.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Christmas Tree | Three Ways

Who's getting ready to put their Christmas tree up this weekend? I know December 1st is the official "tree putting up" day, but that's on a Monday, so surely one day early is OK?! I have friends who have already had their tree up for a week and more - they are true Christmas-aholics. If you feel like doing things a little bit different this year I have three creative ideas...

You can still keep it quite traditional, but take your creativity up a notch. Hide the base of your tree in a lovely big basket, and use smaller baskets to house all the presents.

Flag the tree altogether and attach your decorations to the wall in the shape of a tree. This is one for the die-hard crafty, creative types.

1 | 2 | 3

A simpler idea, and one I would definitely attempt is this beautiful tree made with Christmas themed photography.

What do you think?... will you go traditional or more creative this year?

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Me & My Trend | Giveaway

It's alway exciting to meet someone who loves and lives colour and pattern as much as I do. English born, Karina McGregor is the founder of the fabulous online furniture and homeware store, Me & My Trend. After studying surface pattern and design in the UK, Karina then travelled to India where she fell in love with colour and pattern. From there (long story short) she travelled to New Zealand, fell in love again, this time with a Kiwi bloke, and now together they source fun and quirky home and lifestyle products that are fashion forward and all very much 'on trend'.

It's a brilliant website where you can shop by category... "living", "homeware", accessories"...; or by trends..."copper luxe", "scandi pastels", "monochrome", even "as seen on The Block NZ".

It's so great to see very cool, unique products that are destined to add style and personality to someone's home. Here are a few of my faves...

Now we want you to know your favourites. To go into the draw to WIN A SET OF CERAMIC STORAGE OF YOUR CHOICE, simply visit the Me & My Trend website, choose your favourite pattern (maybe gold diamonds, perhaps orange starburst...), then email me your answer and where you would put the canisters - the more fun your answer, the better your chances! :)

You'll get an extra entry for "liking" Me & My Trend on Facebook, and another for "liking & sharing" this post on my Facebook page (let me know if you've done this when you email me). The winner will be notified by email next Wednesday 3 December by 5pm, and announced on the Cush & Nooks FB page (open to NZ & Aussie readers only). Good luck everyone and make sure you sign up to the mailing list to keep up with all new arrivals and special offers.

Competition now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Maree Halcione!

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Tech Wish List

My eldest daughter turns 12 in a week, and it seems she shares my love of cool tech accessories - she's left me a ton of clues for birthday presents. The wish list below is mine, but it does cross over with my daughter's (she might get one of these if she's lucky). If you need a USB cable or a charger, you may as well make it a good looking one!

Skinnydip London USB iPhone 5 cable | Layla rose gold headphones | Nacre striped iPhone 5 case back me up mobile charger (also available from Alex Fulton Design) | Clare Vivier oversize clutch
- to hold my laptop and accessories
| Kate Spade bluetooth speaker

Monday 24 November 2014

Tiny Moscow Apartment

We can be a little bit spoilt here in New Zealand with the size of our homes, many homes in Europe have a lot smaller floor space to work with. It's amazing what you can achieve with a clever design, as you can see by this gorgeous 45m2 apartment by Russian architecture firm, INT2 Architecture.

A one bedroom home, it's kept light and airy with white painted brick walls and light floorboards. A hole in the wall between the living room and kitchen provides a tiny casual dining area, and makes the small kitchen feel more open.

The bedroom is on a raised platform allowing essential storage underneath. Hooks on the wall can be used for hanging clothes, and a curtain can be pulled for privacy.

I love the use of geometric pattern throughout the apartment which helps with the sense of cohesion. Ceiling high cupboards in the kitchen provide ample storage.

The scrabble tiles in the bathroom are a lovely, quirky touch. Using a floating vanity and loo is another trick to give the illusion of more space.

Even the tiny balcony has managed to fit in lots of storage. At one end old army boxes act as storage and seats, and at the other end a shelf fits snuggly.

When you live in a very small home you learn to only have what you need. Now is a really good time to have a spring clean in your home - be it big, small or medium size. I've been cleaning out cupboards and drawers over the last few weekends, and it's such a satisfying feeling to declutter and only keep what you need or love. Just like William Morris said... "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful".

Friday 21 November 2014

Florence Broadhurst Beach Range | Recline

Florence Broadhurst is one of my most favourite designers. Her designs are quite spectacular, and just as popular today as they were in the 1960's, if not more. "Cockatoos" in golden yellow is the ultimate summery pattern, and now you can purchase your very own Florence Broadhurst beach accessories from Recline - the perfect shopping destination for your outdoor lifestyle.

The Florence Broadhurst range includes everything you need for a trip to the beach. The beach towel is large and plush with retro loop tassels at each end. It comes with a handy carry strap, and fits comfortably into the matching beach tote. The tote is a generous size, with an inner lining, internal zip pocket, and a magnetic closure. Last, but definitely not least, the beach seat is super comfy, but very lightweight and easy to carry by it's adjustable carry strap.

My girls and I have tested each of these products and we think they're all absolutely brilliant! The quality is exceptional, and I love the cockatoos design. If you want to be comfortable while still looking stylish this summer, these are the products for you, and they'd make fantastic Christmas gifts.

Make sure you check out everything else that Recline has to offer too. Each product is hand-picked to make living outdoors easy and fun.

Thursday 20 November 2014

A Little Bit Crafty | Frankie Magazine

I know many of you are big fans of the fabulous frankie magazine. Any why wouldn't you be?! Their magazines are gorgeous, beautiful quality, and with their covers like little pieces of art, they look fab on your desk or coffee table. 

Well, I've got some exciting news for you... just in time for Christmas, frankie have released their first ever craft book, a little bit crafty. It's a delightful book bursting with ideas - 39 diy projects collected from crafty creatives around New Zealand and Australia.

My copy arrived a few days ago and I've had so much fun looking at all the clever and quirky ideas. The projects are all cheap and easy, with an emphasis on using recycled materials. For anyone with older kids that are creative, this would be a fantastic Christmas gift, as it would help to keep them busy over the school holidays. Or purchase a copy today and give all your family and friends amazing hand crafted gifts this year.

There are so many wonderful projects in this book. I've selected a few of my favourite to inspire you, but I highly recommend you picking up your own copy.

blooby acquaintances mobile | laura blythman & peter cromer

wordy wrapping paper | carla hackett

the virtually new old vase | alice oehr

the top secret bag | penelope ferguson

going postal | ebony bizys

All photography (apart from the very first pic) is by the uber talented Hilary Walker.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Tipi Modular Shelving System

One of the things I love about my work is all the amazingly creative people I get to 'virtually' meet. I was recently contacted by Asaaf Israel, the chief designer at Joynout Studio in Tel Aviv, Israel. He wanted to tell me about the new modular shelving unit he has designed.

Asaaf designed the Tipi Modular Shelving System after a year spent travelling the world. It inspired him to consider the borders between transience and a permanent home. "The ease of nomadism, when carrying one backpack and stepping towards the unknown, is a wonderful feeling. In fact, when we allow ourselves to put aside our comfort zone and walk towards such an adventure, we actually free ourselves. The freedom of nomadism allows us to study new worlds, and alongside to explore our own private cosmos."

The upper part of the poles on the Tipi shelving system is fixed with screws, but the cone-shaped structure allows the shelves to sit unfixed by any screws, nails, or brackets. The diameter of each hole in each shelf is precisely measured so as to stand in the exact and desired height. The beauty of the Tipi system is that it can be assembled, changed, disassembled and rebuilt into a new object - shelves, a wardrobe, or a desk with a shelf. Such is the versatility of nomadism, you must be able to change and adapt.

It's so clever, don't you think?! Currently produced in Israel, the units can be shipped internationally - they're compact when packed down making them quite portable. But Asaaf and his team are looking for a furniture company in New Zealand or Australia to produce the Tipi system down-under, therefore reducing the cost for us. If you're interested, get in touch, and tell them I sent you! :)

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Arkpad Inspiration

I am constantly looking for interior inspiration. There are loads of fab online sources... other blogs, Pinterest, real estate websites, and many, many more. Somewhere I like to check from time to time is the Brazilian website Arkpad, and it never fails to inspire.

Pop over and see if you can find some images that speak to you!
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