Wednesday, September 29, 2010


 The garden in spring.   Green, green, green...
Above left - 2 weeks ago and in another couple of weeks the trees will have changed again - above right.


It is nice to see the greens of new spring growth, however with them comes lots of clipping and weeding!!!    That is why green at 51 Balfour street will be confined to a couple of pots!

Monday, September 27, 2010

bathing spaces

Piet Boon Bathroom

It has been a couple of years since I have had complete creative licence to design a bathroom.   I am the client so let the fun begin!!!  There is a budget and a designated space which is a reasonable size.  The apartment is designed to be used as a short term rental or for short stay accommodation. 

The brief is to create an inviting bathing space with room for a shower, bath, toilet and double basins.
The ensuite which will open into the main bedroom through double sliding doors is also the only room in the apartment which has floorboards. 

Mark Tuckey bathroom

The plan is to retain the floor boards and tile the shower enclave only.   A free standing bath will sit under the window.  The joinery will be a very simple floating box.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

renovation update

The sheds, kitchens and stairs have been demolished and most of the old materials have been taken away over the last two days.   The opening has been made in the back wall of the shop.  The extension will come straight off the back of the building and will be about 11m in length.   The chimney has been retained, the fireplace on the first floor will be in the new living area.

Thursday 23 September
2 weeks ago

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

breakfast bar stools

The humble bar stool must be one of the most difficult pieces of furniture to source. I have been looking for the right breakfast bar stools for the island bench in the kitchen for about 10 years! Am I fussy or have other people found the perfect bar stool elusive too?

What's your style?

apartment therapy

sturdy industrial

modern/representational, "the leaf"





vintage industrial




hunting lodge....

or none of the above?

It's not easy trying to find the right bar stool, especially for an open planned living area.  It has to be functional, comfortable and easy to clean.

I decided to design my own bar stools and have found someone local to make them.   If they work out we will include them in the ecoco furniture collection.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Is The Shop Open Yet? Not Quite!

Finally, we can say that things are happening at 51 Balfour Street.

Our plans to develop this building date back to November 2008, we had a contract ready to sign but the vendors pulled out at the last minute. 12 months later, in November 2009 the vendors decided to sell. After meeting with our architect and the Heritage Council we had our plans ready to submit to council by early March 2010.

But of course there were still many hurdles to overcome!!! I am hoping that the worst is behind us and now it is full steam ahead. So, to answer the question that I am asked on a daily basis; Is the shop open yet? The answer is no, but we are "moving forward", and will be open for christmas!

Thank you to all of those people who have been interested and supportive, and to the patient suppliers of ecoco who have been waiting for things to happen.

No changes to the front of the building - yet........

but out the back we have gone from the photo above to below......thanks to a few hard working young men from MA constructions.

All that needs to go is almost gone, except for the concrete. And, yes the chimney is staying!
Hard to believe but this is a glorious sight to those of us who have been collecting the mail at this empty and neglected building for the past 8 months.

This is where the new kitchen/living area on the first floor will be.

The oldest part of the building, the front which dates back to the 1880s, still has the original shingles under the colourbond roofing.
Anyone need timber or second hand bricks?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sustainable Design - David Trubridge

image via more ways to waste time
New Zealand designer David Trubridge...The coral pendant above is one of many designs in his collection.

Kina below.....Inspired by the sea urchin.
Kina is Maori for sea urchin.

All designs are classic.
Plywood is the least wasteful form of conversion timber.
Oil finishes are organic, non-toxic natural oils with no harmful solvents.

origin unknown
All waste from the factory is sent to separate recycling facilities.

image via emma's design blog

The Trubridge designs come in a variety of finishes. The light ply looks amazing teamed with white, neutrals and blonde timber furniture or joinery.
The pendants cast a subtle pattern on ceilings and walls at night.
David Trubridge pendants are available through ecoco.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Spring. Bring it inside with a bunch of daffodils....

or some blossom

Will hopefully have some photos to post on the progress at 51 Balfour Street soon.
We finally have the green light!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

black and white

A perennial favourite, always classic - black and white. The photo above from one of my favourtie books, Simple Home, shows the recycled tyres being put to good use.

From the same book, a classic mix of black and white, old and new. Wouldn't a black grandelier look amazing in this room! Loz?
We have the handmade black candles shown above, available now...

and more black and white from another favourite...

this is cloth fabric, wattle in indigo with a bamboo spoon from the sustainable and award winning company bambu...

and "this" stylish and contemporary slipcast ceramics.

Friday, September 3, 2010

retail design

"Retailers I find interesting are small, local and niche, where everything else is corporate, the single voice is appealing and attractive." Tom Dixon (creative director Habitat, UK)

This is a view that I share. For me, the most interesting and memorable retailers are independent or "one off" stores. Clearly the independent retailer has to make an effort with exteriors, interiors and branding to lure in customers and gain word of mouth renown.

So many things to consider when entering the world of retail. I have had a couple of years to consider exteriors, interiors and branding. I have also put in a few thousand kilometres walking the streets of various cities and towns usually "just looking!"

My favourtie shops usually have a diverse range of products. An interesting collection that is diverse but has been brought together by a common thread, either colour or some design element.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's New?

Japanese are renowned for simple, natural and timeless designs. This set of 3 vases and base, ticks all the right design boxes. It's simple yet sophisticated - would add an elegant touch as the centre piece on the dinner table.
The "Tear Clock", in white or green, personally I like the white and that is what I ordered. White and blonde timber is always a winner. We have this one and a smaller version that sits on its side.

Natural round vase, inside the small round discs, which can be arranged however, is a glass beaker for a single stem.

The trivet... Another well designed piece for the kitchen or table.