Instagram | November


As November draws to a close, I thought I had better squeeze in an Instagram post for the month. It also gives me a chance to say a massive thank you to all my followers out there. Knowing that you are gaining inspiration from my daily posts gives me the encouragement to keep going, even on those days when I'm struggling to pick up the camera, or the house looks like a complete tip. Despite how it may appear, ours is very much a lived-in family home and what you see is the edited version, when the scattered toys have been swept out of view. This week has been the most challenging yet, because our youngest son Marlow managed to cause a flood downstairs when he decided to run a bath while I was upstairs cooking dinner. Four days of dryers and dehumidifiers going has caused the house to become like a sauna, and my brain also feels completely fried. A mention of this little disaster on Instagram resulted in some lovely (and amusing) comments, which immediately made me feel better. Especially the story from a fellow Mum whose son (also four at the time) put the hose through the living room window to make a 'swimming pool'.

Images via @thedesignchaser

The current situation at home has me holed up in my warm little office with the fan on full. Keen to get outside for some air, I promise to share some favourite feeds with you next time. Have a lovely weekend!

Father Rabbit | Behind the scenes for Summer 2014


From my early days of blogging I have been following the Father Rabbit journey, and watching in admiration as the NZ-based brand has grown from strength to strength. First launching their online store in 2010 and now with two Auckland retail stores under their belt, owners Claudia Zinzan and Nick Hutchinson have always remained true to the Father Rabbit ethos. Using a discerning eye and consistently searching out products that fit with the brand's core values has been integral to their success, and even more so as the market becomes increasingly noisy and crowded. 

I recently caught up with Claudia to take a little look behind the scenes. From her first moodboard developed several months ago, through to the instore realisation of the concept, Claudia kindly tells us how Father Rabbit's beautiful Summer edit for 2014 came about. 

Father Rabbit Summer 2014 Moodboard

Let's start at the beginning. How did you go about selecting products for the season?

As a direct result of being immersed in social media and now having a bigger store (at BLOC) I have many product choices on my horizon, and receive lots of emails from beautiful brands. As such, I have had to be more selective within our Father Rabbit aesthetic. We've also sensed that we need to have a new or seasonal offering that works alongside our basics ranges, to help remain one of the leaders in the home wares offering in NZ. This a lovely challenge for me as a creative and helps me formulate a mood or palette for the season. It's really just a simple touch to my buying to make it as narrow-minded as possible, so that all the different ranges and brands are harmonious within the physical space.

Were there any standout products that served as a starting point for your Summer Curation? 

I go along with some serious gut feelings about a direction and I usually have a deal-breaker key product that is so amazing, I can't not have it in Father Rabbit. This latest season it was the Basil Bangs Black and White Stripe Beach Umbrella and the Erstwhile Prints. I was also working with our selection of Christmas Decorations from Denmark that I had ordered months and months before, so I had to select products that filled the gap to create harmony among our signature brands that we carry.

Summer inspiration from Boards by Blank, the Erstwhile Prints and Basil Bangs Beach Umbrella  

Tell us about this season's moodboards... 

The one below has a heavy nautical theme with sail boats and stripes, while the other one (at the top of the post) has lots of dark green botanicals, black and white stripes and geometric simple patterns. These moodboards correlate to different parts of the space. I really wanted a summer feel to the store, but was also aware of our Christmas theme. Often the two can clash in look, so I was very restrained with our Christmas palette... all red was banned.

Father Rabbit Nautical Moodboard

How did the collaboration with Boards by Blank come about? 

At the same time as working on our Summer look I discovered my friend Jon Chapman Smith was on the sly setting up a boutique custom surfboard brand called Boards by Blank. They were just so understated and different, I had to work them into the store somehow, so we did a custom Father Rabbit design which features white with a black dip. Then he told me he was making these super well-crafted day bags aimed at people like him. Made in NZ from canvas and leather, they are not only incredibly functional they feature one of my signature colours of the season, bottle green. So that was perfect timing.

Father Rabbit Summer 2014 realised in store

What's next for Father Rabbit?

We will soon have the next season moodboards for 2015 coming into effect, so they must also have harmony with previous seasons.  We don't suddenly ship everything out of the shop each season to start a fresh, so they all need to talk to each other in some way. 

As a brand we have grown up a bit and we are now in a position to develop our own products. That is the most exciting part of this journey.

Father Rabbit Summer Nautical Theme realised in store

Huge thanks to Claudia for sharing so much with us today. For store locations or to shop online, pop over here

Images courtesy of Father Rabbit 

Homes to Inspire | Light + Airy in Stockholm


The kitchen is certainly the heart of the home in this gorgeous Stockholm apartment. Recently renovated, I love the mix of dark and light grey cabinetry, gold handles, Carrara marble benchtop and industrial style. If you're ever in a position to consider knocking some walls out to create more of an open-plan kitchen/dining area, this is great inspiration! Original details including the high ceilings and beautiful big windows further enhance the airy, light-filled space.   

Grey and gold accents continue throughout the home, along with oodles of charm and character. Contrasting sofas in well worn black leather and fresh white look equally appealing, while black and white framed prints and photography add the perfect finishing touch. 

I'm always happy to see exposed bricks retained, even if it's just a glimpse! The industrial wall lamp and the glass cluster pendant light from House Doctor in the bedroom also make my heart sing!  See the full house tour here

Images via Entrance Makleri 

New Sanctuary Range from Sleepyhead | Part Two


Following on from last week's post, where I introduced you to the new luxury range of Sanctuary beds from Sleepyhead, I had the pleasure of styling one to share with you today. 

To create a luxurious yet relaxed feel, in fitting with exceptional quality and innovative design of Sanctuary, I chose beautiful linen bedding by bedouin SOCIETE from Indie Home Collective. The exquisite silk pillowcases, cushions and throw are by NZ designers Penney + Bennett who I introduced you to in this post. An iconic Grasshopper Lamp by Gubi and accessories from my favourite Danish brand Menu completed the look. 

Le Mans Queen Size Sanctuary Bed by Sleepyhead
bedouin SOCIETE Linen duvet cover in Stone, sheets and pillowslips in White and Khol Black, all from Indie Home Collective
Penney + Bennett silk cushions and pillowslips in Ceremony and White Hatch, silk Throw in Black Hatch
Gubi Grasshopper Lamp from Cult Design
Menu Afteroom Table, Elements Candles by Tom Dixon, Menu Water CarafeSmall Glass and Norm Vase Vase from Simon James Concept Store
Objecta Icelandic Spotted Sheepskin from Cult Design
Black Heart Print from Meeny Miny
Pampa Horses Print from Indie Home Collective

You can find Sleepyhead beds and the new Sanctuary range in any Beds R Us, Farmers or Smiths City store, and for more information visit Sleepyhead.

In celebration of the launch, Sleepyhead are running a competition via their Facebook Page, but get in quick as you only have a few days left to enter! The winner will win a bedroom design consultation with me, plus $1,000 to spend on a new bedroom. Pop over here to see how to enter. The competition ends 30th November 2014.

Styling and Photography by Michelle Halford for T.D.C

This is a sponsored post. For more information on sponsored posts, please take a look at my About Page.

BNZ GoodHome | Christmas Table Setting


A couple of weeks ago in this Feeling Festive post, I gave you a sneak peek of some gorgeous little trees and Scandi-inspired decorations I was using in an upcoming Christmas-themed shoot. I can now tell you it was for the latest issue of BNZ GoodHome, for which I had a lot of fun styling an outdoor table that had been built onsite by fellow GoodHome contributor and builder John Cocks. The perfect DIY solution when you're hosting the Christmas Day festivities, it costs less than $100 to make, and will seat an extra 12 people. Post-Chrissy, it would make a great outdoor work table or office desk! Find out everything you need to know here

Choosing a relaxed, Scandi-style theme for the table, a highlight was getting to use the exquisite new range of dinnerware by Father Rabbit, who also provided the gorgeous trees, decorations and Star Trays. I'm sure many of you can relate to gathering up all the chairs around home to accommodate extra guests, so I decided on an eclectic mix that included four beautiful Citta Design Oak Spindle Back Chairs. Retailing at $320 each, there is a special deal running currently where you can purchase them in store for $990 for a set of four, or $1,440 for a set of six! 

Blue skies and sunshine all around, I hope the weather turns out to be as gorgeous as this on Christmas Day! Visit BNZ GoodHome for more photos and a 'where to buy' list of all the products used, and check out my other new posts including Budget-Friendly Styling Tips, Getting Ready for Outdoor Living and Styling Your Kitchen on a Budget

New Sanctuary Range from Sleepyhead | Part One


I've talked before about my bedroom being my sanctuary, and how I love creating a calm and peaceful place to escape from the daily chaos. I never tire of featuring beautiful bedlinen here on the blog, but what about the bed? We all know how great it feels to wake up after a good night's sleep, but did you know that sleep can completely transform the way you look and feel? According to Sleepyhead, New Zealand’s number one bed manufacturer, great sleep is the best beauty treatment your body can have, and that's why they've spent more than 80 years developing and improving their beds to ensure New Zealanders can have the best sleep possible.

Their latest exciting launch is the re-design of the popular Sanctuary range, a luxurious collection of beds featuring the renowned Sensorzone core. Combining the comfort and support of a traditional mattress with NZ-developed technology, this provides an unparallelled level of luxury, comfort and pressure relief. If you're after a reduction in tossing and turning and nasty aches and pains, then these are the beds for you! Selected models feature the 3D Sensorzone core, FusionGel, Phase Change and Graphene comfort technologies which absorb and distribute excess heat from around the body and dissipate it down through the mattress. The end result is a bed so luxurious you will melt into it and feel the stresses of the day drift away.

You can find Sleepyhead beds and the new Sanctuary range in any Beds R Us, Farmers or Smiths City store, and for more information visit Sleepyhead

In celebration of the launch, Sleepyhead are running a competition on their Facebook Page. The winner will win a bedroom design consultation with me, plus $1,000 to spend on a new bedroom! Pop over here to see how to enter. The competition ends 30th November 2014.

I also had the pleasure of styling one of these beautiful new beds which I will be sharing on the blog next week!

Images courtesy of Sleepyhead

This is a sponsored post. For more information on sponsored posts, please take a look at my About Page.

A couple of things before I go:
The special reader offer from THE POSTER CLUB ends Monday, so get in quick!
Huge congrats to the winner of the SIMPLE FORM. Instagram giveaway @mamaisonblanche! 

Neutral Instinct | 2015 Planner


A recent discovery, Neutral Instinct is an Australian online store with an impressive selection of beautiful homewares. Owner Amanda Tiernan is a self-confessed lover of neutral colours who sees beauty in simple, minimalist, modern products and interiors. She says Neutral Instinct is all about choosing homewares and accessories that replicate this beauty. Of course Scandinavian design which epitomises simplicity, minimalism and functionality fits the bill perfectly, so you will find plenty of options such as Menu, by Lassen and Design House Stockholm, to name just a few. 

The Weekly Planner/Notebook by Marjolein Delhaas is a product I've been admiring for some time, especially when it surfaces more frequently around the Christmas/New Year period. Designed and made in the Netherlands, its minimalist typographic design is one that is hard to forget. I was very excited to hear that Neutral Instinct has brought the 2015 edition to our shores, and even more excited to receive one in the post! How beautiful is the gift wrapping?

Designed for use as a personal diary or notebook, the planner is perfect for those like me, who like making daily to-do lists. Also available in copper, I love how my black one looks on my desk, and its compact size means it will also fit easily into my handbag. 

Neutral Instinct have just announced that they are now shipping to NZ so pop over here to browse through their amazing range of homewares and gifts. They are also offering free shipping within Australia and NZ for any single Weekly Planner/Notebook purchase. Perfect timing to treat someone you love (or yourself) for Christmas!  

Styling and Photography by Michelle Halford for T.D.C


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