First stop on HOME Style Safari was the magnificent, yet utterly understated elegance of Matisse on The Strand in Parnell. Photos: Sarah Grace
Last year I flew to Auckland to visit the Urbis Design Day, so this year I thought I’d check out HOME’s Style Safari event for design aficionados, industry gurus, and general design lovers. Limited to only a fortunate 50 guests, I was in early to book my ticket and had been looking forward to this event for several months. I planned to go up a whole day and night in advance and tacked on a couple of days to catch up with a very old friend who’d just moved back from Europe and for a couple of meetings and taking some scouting shots of homes for interior magazines. Thankfully I did have plenty of time in advance of the event as my plane the previous morning was grounded like a flightless bird, due to a thick, weighty fog which held me hostage in Christchurch airport for eight hours. Fortunately I was armed with all the electronic devices a girl could possibly need to make productive use of a whole day airport bound. Much to my pained disappointment, on arrival to my friend’s new abode at 7:30 in the evening after a very long and draining day, I was greeted with the less-than-luxury sleeping conditions which consisted of a waffer-thin mattress on the bare floor. Bless her cotton socks I had the pathetic excuse of a mattress, as she only had two cushions from the couch on which could barely contain her curvy, Rubenesque figure. Having just moved in less than a month ago, she was still awaiting her custom made bed to arrive!
As a worshipper to the god of sleep, combined with an exhausting day trapped in the vapid vacum of Christchurch airport, the next morning I arose with the world’s most dastardly thumping headache. Coffee was in order. Now I did recall something being mentioned the night before about a wizz-bang espresso machine my friend had splurged on and brought all the way back from London – one of those George Clooney-endorsed Nescafe jobbies. As a trained barrista, it was a million miles away from my idea of a great cup of gold, however, needs must. I needn’t have worried. Although I can jump on any cafe espresso machine and whip up a meticulously made cafe-grade flat white, I don’t thick I even managed to find this machine’s on switch, let alone figure out which of the machine’s orifice I was to put the ridiculous coffee pod! Well, I digress; point being I had a shitty hangover lurking inside my head, even though no alcohol was consumed the night before, and today promised to be a big day. Thankfully, a god somewhere must’ve answered my desperate pleas for a cafe within walking distance of Matisse, the first showroom on the Style Safari agenda. The cafe is Milk. It is hidden behind the doors of the Saatchi & Saatchi building on The Strand, just a few brisk strides down from Matisse. If you are in the area, or even remotely near Parnell, Milk will knock your socks clean of your feet. Their coffee rocks, and saved my life that morning.
CLOCKWISE from TOP LEFT: Sky Tower emerges beyond the palms, an apt quote for the day ahead on the cover of my morning magazine, biscuit thin marble tables tops are right on trend says Caroline Montague, Residential Sales Manager at Matisse, Tout Va Bien cabinet in charcoal is a simply stunning piece which greets visitors to the Matisse showroom with 2011 B & B Italia’s Landscape chaise longe in a striking dandelion yellow, my design idol, Jaime Hayon’s Favn sofa (an audible intake of breath escaped my lips when I set my eyes on this in Corporate Culture), and these utterly timeless brass vessels from Giorgio Armani at Matisse.
Now the official Mint HOME Style Safari review commences! I know I hark from quake ravaged Christchurch whose residents are suffering from design deprivation, but the Matisse showroom simply took my breath away. I suppose it’s not until you are once again submerged in the culture, from which you have been cut off from for so long, do you realise just how starved you’ve been. So, needless to say, on entering the Matisse showroom I felt as if I’d died and been given a first class ticket to design heaven! Like a child let loose in Willie Wonka’s experiment lab, the grown-up was taking a back seat in the interiors of my mind, allowing my child-like exuberance to bubble to the surface. Until that moment, many of these coveted design icons I had only ever seen between the pages of international interior magazines. I was keen to meet HOME editor, Jeremy Hansen, and although I have long admired his work for HOME, I found my initial nervousness quickly evaporate in the presence of his quiet charm and during our conversations throughout the day about our shared love of design.
HOME Style Safari guests lap up the vast mix of design styles, ideas, and objects of pure beauty at Studio Italia (top left) and ECC (top right & bottom). Photos: Sarah Grace
Residential Sales Manager at Matisse, Caroline Montague kicked off the day’s talks on the latest international furniture fair in Milan. Throughout the day, each head of the respective showrooms would all say one thing which resonated through all; Milan Salone Mobile is gargantuan in every way imaginable – it’s size, breadth, and costs involved in curating spectacular installations of designers young and old, emerging and established. It seems to me that the only way of ever grasping its true magnitude is to simply go. And so, I have made a pact with myself. I will go, and soon. Caroline’s unbridled enthusiasm for design was a pure joy to get wrapped up in, as she rattled off the new and terribly exciting designs to ignite her interest in Milan. From the new and surprisingly affordable ErgoErgo stools we perched on as we sat listened attentively, to the latest trends, and stand-out designs from top international design gods, Caroline breathlessly gave us a whirlwind condensed account of the Milan Furniture Fair. Afterwards we had a few more minutes to peruse the collections upstairs and repeatedly fall deeply in love with numerous coveted design products. My one piece at Matisse I would zip zap if price was no barrier, and I had an suitable home to house it? Very, very difficult decision; probably after careful consideration I would say…the Tout Va Bien cabinet (above). It’s fun, playful, and a real joy to behold. And a smaller, slightly more affordable, yet still indulgent little something to take home? Definitely the miniature plywood Eames elephant at the tidy sum of $300. Well, my 35th birthday is just around the corner…
Corporate Culture was next on the list, and came a close second to Matisse with the wow factor, offering up international design heros like Jamie Hayon and his long-desired Favn sofa (above). Presenting young danish company Hay, which is also another personal favourite of mine. New Zealand designers are represented in abundance at Corporate Culture too, with Tim Webber, Nathan Goldsworthy, and Timothy John. Corporate Culture founder and Managing Director, Richard Munao, flew in especially to speak with us about his experience at Milan. He gave a brief overview of the designers and companies they represent, which are partial to the Scandinavian design aesthetic, which naturally captivated my fervent interest. Richard spoke about the definite trend of designers revisiting old designs and reinventing them. He estimated that 50/50 of the designs he saw were reinterpretations of designers own past designs. He also flags the Brera design district, outside the fair grounds, which is devoted to celebrating innovation in design, and delivers up total visual overload in every direction.
An obvious die-hard Scandi design fan, Richard spoke of one Danish brand, Mater, who give a percentage of their profits back to the Indian communities who make their exquisite timber furniture, which includes stools, lamps, coat stands, and serving trays. Their Lathe Lamp is at the top of my list at present for floor lamp options and would perfectly accompaniment to my two Scandi style Don chairs I’m in the process of having upholstered. Another scandi brand I am enamored with is Hay. No doubt you’ll already be au fait with their striking pretty pastel colour-blocked styled sets which beautifully illustrate the fun-loving approach this young company has towards design. There is something for all budgets too, so even if the prices of furniture is just out of reach, they have a wonderful bed linen and stationery collection to brighten the corners of your boudoir and home office!
I enjoyed meeting the fabulously friendly crew at ECC. The fourth generation, family owned company is headed by Director Mike Thorburn, who represents some of the wackiest and thoroughly inspiring designers from around the globe, including Tom Dixon and the stark-raving mad Marcel Wanders – of whom I’m a huge fan. Mike took ten of his team to Milan where they spent an intensive 6 days meeting suppliers, designers, and even the odd celebrity encounter with George Clooney’s double! Mike describes the Milan Fair as a seemingling endless visual extravaganza which ushers over 250,00 people through over the course of one week. The highlight which remains etched on my mind weeks later is Moooi’s installation which is probably one of the best representations of what the Milan Fair encapsulates; striking design showcased in the most grandiose fashion. Experience Moooi’s world class 360 degree presentation here.
Moooi’s lavish installation features high-gloss coloured mannequins posing against the backdrop of 4.5m images from renowned photographer, Erwin Olaf‘s own personal collection.
Studio Italia was last of the five showrooms visited, and I have to admit I had well and truly reached design overload! However, the wonderfully flamboyant Italian Director, Valeria Carbonaro-Laws, was in fine form and preceded to give us a full update on her experience of the Milan Fair, introducing us to Studio Italia’s exclusively Italian products. The best thing about Studio Italia besides their high luxury furniture and lighting collections is their amazingly friendly and knowledgable design team who design kitchens and wardrobe systems using world recognised Italian brand Poliform. Based on conversation just last week with assistant spacial designer, Nicki Brady, for the July issue of Home Living (of which I am now the editor), she is extremely well versed in matters relating to designing bespoke storage solutions.
Stylist’s Paradise: Sharing design love with my new design gal pal, Sue (right) at Everyday Needs. Photo on right: Sarah Grace Photo on left: Everyday Needs
A long-time fan of Katie Lockhart’s interiors and style aesthetic, I was no stranger to her store Everyday Needs which she runs on-line and out of her interior design workspace on Fridays. I’d been looking forward to visiting Katie again and had a rather small collection of bits and bobs I had bought on-line months ago (see in older post here) and was fully expectant to go away with a couple of extras on the day! Katie presented – among others – her two most recent interior projects for Oyster Inn and The French Kitchen, which have both received wide media attention. Just in case you’ve been in hibernation and missed what all the deserved fuss has been about, I’ve included some beautiful images from these two projects.
Carefully chosen elements like a handmade pottery vase filled with rustic country blooms and this unique sideboard specially crafted for The French Kitchen, are all part and parcel of Katie Lockhart’s attention to detail and handcrafted approach, which is reflected in her exquisite choice of products for Everyday Needs. Photos: Darryl Ward
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Cafe Origo by Lama Architectura, Bucharest. Photo by Radu Malasincu
I adore great coffee and I am equally interested in the design of cafes and coffee houses. A cup of gold is something to be savoured and enjoyed in a beautiful ambience. Although hanging coffee cups is not a new concept in hospitality interiors, it always fascinates me people’s various takes on this theme. Here, Romanian architecture firm, Lama Architectura, uses solid cafe standard coffee cups en masse to create a bold statement. Hung by bungy cords from a steel grid adds to the industrial feel, yet is beautifully tempered with the warmth of nature’s blonde wood in the table tops and chairs. The grid is lowered after dark when the cafe transforms into an urban cocktail bar. Chic. Lighting is strategically positioned to cast striking shadows of the mass of hanging coffee cups. It’s these subtleties which bring a delightfully light, whimsical element to this industrial setting. Hats off to the folks at Lama Architectura too for their bespoke tables with wrought iron
Contrasts appear between black painted walls and use of blonde wood. Photos by Radu Malasincu
A white porcelain cloud of coffee cups superimposed against a reflection of Bucharest’s historic buildings. Photo by Radu Malasincu
Cafe Origo’s industrial coffee bar transforms into a cocktail bar after dark. Photos by Radu Malasincu
Industrial wrought iron is softened by the natural wooden table tops; designed by Lama Architectura.
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In my newly appointed position as editor of Home Living magazine, I am excited to announce that my first issue hits news stands today! It’s very exciting to see my product spreads which I’ve been curating for Mint over the past several months in print! In conjunction with the product spread Mint curated for Home Living’s bedroom issue this month, we have curated another here on the blog, which has a more of a soft touch for the Up-Town Girl.
For those of you who aren’t local, you can view the Home Living June issue on-line (Covetable Design for the Boudoir is on Page 6). Planning is already underway for the July issue which will focus on furniture. I look forward to sharing all the very latest designer furniture from the international furniture fairs, tips on refurbishing furniture, and spotting the difference between real and replica design classics.
1 Menu’s 1L Thermal Kettle is made from silicone which miraculously prevents any drips. Perfect accompaniment to keep your tea hot for longer, for those luxuriously decadent long weekend breakfasts in bed // Corso de Fiori
2 The ‘C317’ armchair is a beautifully updated take on the classic 70s cane chair. Designed by Yuzuru Yamakawa for Feelgood Designs, its angular wrought iron legs lend a decidedly contemporary look // Backhouse
3 Artwork can set the tone for a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom, like this nature inspired screenprint with subtle embossing, from local Canterbury artist, Rebecca Smallridge. All enquiries contact Rebecca here.
4 This reversable tray (white on one side and black on the reverse), is a stylish essential for late night snacks or breakfast in bed // Simon James Concept Store
5 This is the next best thing to snuggling up to Man’s Best Friend – Bob Duvet Cover and pillow set – and you’ll find it much cheaper than any vet bills! // Design Online
6 New Zealand artist, textile and interior designer, Leanne Curly has produced these wonderfully simple ply and pegboard sideboard made locally in Hawkes Bay at a pleasingly affordable price // Homebase Collections
7 Looking for a simple, unobtrusive mirror for the hallway or boudoir? Simple and affordable //BoConcept
8 With the newly opened Freedom store in Christchurch, we finally have a great range of on-trend furniture and homewares at surprisingly affordable prices. New Zealand’s answer to Ikea // Freedom
9 Add a touch of feminine grace with these beautifully proportioned ceramic cups, perfect for hot or cold drinks. Designed by David Chipperfield // Simon James Concept Store
10 Tying in your homewares with your artwork gives a sense of cohesiveness, like this watercolour feather cushion // Freedom
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Using his graphic design skills from his former 20 year career as Creative Director for a lengthy list of international ad agencies, design houses and publishing companies, Phil Wilcock has created these fun wine maps featuring New Zealand’s most famous wine trails. Based on Harry Beck’s iconic 1931 topological London underground map, these fun, colourful maps make a great gift for wine lovers and aficionados, and a perfect gift for sending overseas to kiwi ex-pats. Phil has three designs currently available of Hawke’s Bay, Waiheke Island, and Auckland, with an additional three; Malborough, Waipara, and Gisborne, coming very soon.
A wine lover himself, Phil now spends his time working with his brother Chris, in their own winery, Ash Ridge Wines in the Hawke’s Bay. Working in the Ash Ridge Cellar Door and Cafe during the cooler months, Phil runs On Yer Bike Winery Tours during the summertime.
Visit NZ Wine Underground to purchase your very own NZ Underground Wine Map.
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I’d been searching for a stylish, high quality ipad case for several months before I spied an exquisite handmade leather case in a Frankie magazine. I swiftly whipped out my ipad to visit the company’s website to discover more about their product. The Béta Version, is the brainchild of two young Hungarian women, recent textile design graduate Zsófi Rainer and brand manager, Cili Varga. Since establishing their brand in 2010 the duo have created four collections of stunning leather bags and accessories using quality materials delivering a beautiful balance between tradition and modernism.
Their latest range, Kasita (above) includes cases for ipads, iphones, and laptops, and the traditional satchel. The dot matrix patterns are created by punching out each hole by hand, which form subtle geometrical patterns seen in their previous collection, Pixelfolk (below) with more traditional folk inspired patterns. After a few months of deliberation over which case from their beautiful collections I liked best, I finally came to a decision and received it in the post last week, just in time for a meeting with a potential client. I chose the tan leather ipad case from the Kasita collection, which I am thrilled with. As I anticipated, it received a lot of attention at my meeting – and I got the job!
If you’re a retailer in Australasia interested in stocking their range, they are keen for new stockists down under. Visit The Béta Version for more details. If you are after something a little different, visit their online shop here.
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Necklace, 1987, Dowse Art Museum collections and Jewellery Set in 18ct gold, 2009, both by Kobi Bosshard. Photos: Studio la Gonda, courtesy of Objectspace.
Last Tuesday, marked the opening of a new and exciting exhibtion showcasing the works of the legendary contemporary jeweller, Kobi Bosshard. Widely regarded as ‘the grandfather’ of New Zealand contemporary jewellery, last week’s opening night gave Christchurch jewellery collectors and admirers of fine craftsmanship the opportunity to view Kobi Bosshard’s latest works alongside the drawings of his grandfather, also a jeweller. Now in his 60s, the young Bosshard emigrated from Switzerland in 1961 bringing with him a wonderfully rich European heritage of traditional goldsmithing. Drawn to our country, like many foreigners, for its picture postcard scenery and mountaineering opportunies, Bosshard first established himself in the Mount Cook village where he took guided tours alongside creating and selling his jewellery.
As a regular to The National’s opening exhibitions, I was warmed to see the gallery bursting at the seams with avid admirers of Bosshard’s work. Speaking to the crowd gathered that evening, filled with a mix of old friends and colleagues, and a new generation of jewellers and collectors, Kobi recounted his memories of his early days in Christchurch carving out a niche for himself in the jewellery scene. Peter McKay, who began is own jewellery career under Kobi’s tutelage. McKay, and now one of New Zealand’s respected contemporary jewellers, spoke about his early days working alongside Kobi in the early 70s in Christchurch.
Following his marriage in 1963 Kobi moved from Mount Cook to Christchurch with his wife, Patricia. From a room in their house Kobi set up his workshop while working for a jewellery manufacturer alongside his contemporary, Guenter Taemmler. Soon both jewellers left to branch out on their own. Together with his wife, Kobi took samples of his work to shops, galleries, and jewellers, but soon realised that it wasn’t enough to make a living with the few pieces shops agreed to sell. Finally they received their big break when it was suggested they visit John Patrick, manager of Watsons Jewellers. Liking what they showed him, Patrick set about stripping the shop windows the following week to make way for a display showcasing Kobi’s jewellery. Combined with an ad in the local paper and a call to a reporter at The Press, that fortuitous meeting with Patrick was to mark the beginning of Kobi’s long and fruitful career. “From that day on we made a living for our family,” Kobi recalls. “It was just like that. It was just unbelievable.” Due to this overwhelming support and encouragement Kobi received from Watsons Jewellers, who accepted and sold whatever Kobi chose to make sight unseen, Kobi expressed his sincere gratitude towards our city where his career was launched.
The current exhibition comprises two new pieces and other designs, in conjunction with the drawings made by his grandfather, also a jeweller. The highly decorative illustrations of his grandfather which sit side by side Kobi’s minimal modern designs, serve to show the stark contrast between the different eras’ concept of beauty.
The Kobi Bosshard exhibition is showing until 4 June at The National. This exhibition coincides with Kobi Bosshard’s touring retrospective show, which is currently showing at the Millennium Art Gallery in Blenheim and runs until 16 June. The touring retrospective show, which is part of the Objectspace Masters of Craft exhibition series, will finish up at The Dowse Museum in Wellington where it will be on show from 15 June – 13 October.
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Hospitality Finalist: Milse, decadent dessert restaurant in Auckland’s Britomart, by Cheshire Architects
2012 marked the inaugural Interior Awards, hosted by Interior magazine, AGM Publishing’s newest addition to their portfolio which includes design and architecture titles Urbis, Architecture NZ, and Houses. The finalists for 2013 were just announced yesterday which covers several areas of commercial interior design; Retail, Hospitality, Workplace, Civic Installation, and two new categories which have been established for the second awards this year, for Craftsmanship and an Emerging Design Professional. As with last year, those on the awards panel comprise a stellar cast of those in the profession. Beginning with Interior Editor, Michael Bennett, former editor of ProDesign and winner of the MBA Award 2010 in the Trade/Professional category, is joined by practicing architect Tim Dorrington of Dorrington Architects & Associates, Auckland based sole practioner, José Gutierrez, who won a Gold Pin in the Office and Workspace category at the 2010 Best Awards, American born, Wellington based architect, Shauna Herminghouse of Studio Pacific Architecture, and the youngest talent of the bunch, Jessica Barter, architect and co-founder of Bureaux, who won last year’s Interior Award for Exhibition and Installation design.
Trained in Visual Merchandising and working within the retail and hospitality sectors, I am a avid fan of commercial interior design particularly in these areas, and was thrilled to see some fantastic designs here. For the full list of finalists, pop on over to Architecture Now. The award ceremony will be held on 20 June when each winner from all seven categories will be announced. The overall Supreme Award is worth $6000 and the Emerging Design Professional will receive $1000. All winners and their projects will be published in the winter issue of Interiors due out on 1 July. Here are just a few of my favourite finalists at a glance.
Retail and Craftsmanship Finalist: Eightthirty Mini Coffee Roastery in Ponsonby by Glamuzina Paterson Architects
Craftsmanship Finalist: Kākano for Ngā Purapura by Tennent + Brown Architects
Workplace Finalist: Christchurch Civic Building by Athfield Architects
To order your quarterly subscription, visit isubscribe where you can have a sneaky peek between the pages – inspiring imagery, engagingly written, and beautifully designed – all in all, a stunning publication.
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Young danish design talent, Kristina Kjaer, is a graduate of the TEKO Design and Business School in Herning. Working as an intern for the Danish design studio Holmbäck Nordentoft, whose products you are sure to be familiar with, and for the innovative Icelandic architecture studio Krads, Kristina has a few projects of her own on the go. Last June Kristina participated in the exclusive two day Blickfang Design Workshop in Copenhagen with leading designers Jaime Hayon (sigh…! My design idol! ed.), Marcus Fairs, Stefan Diez, and Saskia Diez as the workshop’s leading speakers. Here, she brought her seriously cool ‘Birdstick’ storage unit, which I first picked up on and featured on MINT here.
Winning second place in the prestigious Bolia Award in the same year for her workstation ‘Vilifred’, Kristina’s design career is starting to take flight. The judging panel singled out Kristina’s design saying it is well-proportioned, humorous, and multi-functional. Kristina is currently working together with the design company to bring her design to life. It is well worth visiting their site to view the short video at Bolia.com, which gives a run down of the six finalists and winners, giving the panel’s feedback which explains their reasons behind their decisions; which elements make each one a successful, marketable product.
Showing at the past two design fairs in Stockholm, Kristina has been hard at work promoting her most recent designs; the Strik Chair and Fungus Light. They both use beautiful natural materials of solid ash and wool. The Strik Chair has unique upholstery which acts as a covering for the chair and as a blanket. It is both reversible and removable. Kristina likens the frame to one’s body, and the upholstery as “a knitted sweater”. This is a harmonious ode to Nordic design, that one can easily imagine snuggling up in with a good book in front of a roaring fire.
Kristina’s Fungus Lamp is inspired by the shapes and textures inherent in mushrooms. Searching for a suitable lamp to light the interior of her wardrobe, this was her solution to her dilemma. Made from felted wool gives a soft, muted glow and it’s pleasing shape and contrasting textures, make it a sculpture in its own right. Hook it up from the ceiling, tie over a hanging rail, or simply lay it on its side, this lamp makes a stylist addition to any modern or classic interior scape.
Next month Kristina travels to Austria to participate in an exhibition “Selected – It’s just design!” which is part of the Designmonat Graz (Design Month in Graz). Be sure to keep an eye out for future products from this super talented Dane, Kristina Kjaer.
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If the eyes are the window to the soul, does that make the windows of New York the portal to the city’s soul? If so, 26 year old Mexican graphic designer, José Guízar, has embarked on a mission to discover what makes his new home tick. Turning his obsession for illustrating interesting windows of the Big Apple into a weekly graphic design challenge, Guízar is no doubt keeping his creative spark alight with this personal project, when he’s not creating mobile apps from 9-5. Choosing a simple, pared back approach to his illustrations he says references “the very basics of graphic design,” and uses colourful palettes which resonate with the vibrant colours of old buildings from his native Mexico. Beginning as what Guízar describes as a project which is “part an ode to architecture and part a self-challenge to never stop looking up”, he hopes one day to see his graphic illustrations in print. Right now he is working towards creating 100 window illustrations, with one each week, which can be seen at his website, Windows of New York.
If this was published as a book, would you buy it? It would certainly make a fantastic gift for New Yorkers and look awesome on coffee tables around the world. It also has great potential for a follow-up book featuring doors of New York. Keep it up José, you’re onto a winner!
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Former interior designer, Araya Jensen specialised in kitchen and bathroom design until she was made redundant during the housing crisis. In less than twelve months Araya has been creating a homeware range of wooden accessories from her Minneapolis home, under the name, Wind and Willow Home. Natural wooden bowls, candle holders, egg cups, lidded pots for loose tea or jewellery, spoons, and planters. Traditional elements like solid beech and walnut, are juxtaposed with a contemporary look when dipped in synthetic rubber in a tantalising array of colours, ranging from day glow pinks and yellows to sugary sorbets, two toned colour combos, and marble effects. Each colour is custom made by Araya’s own hand, ensuring each and every piece is utterly unique. Bowls come in three different sizes, making them versatile for a variety of different uses; salad and fruit, or simply decoration for the large ones, snacks and sides for the medium ones, and condiments or even jewellery for the little ones. The soft rubber underside of each piece makes them non-slip too.
Visit Araya’s shop, Wind and Willow Home, which does international shipping – perfect timing for Mother’s Day coming up on 13 May – just four weeks away!