It’s beginning to look like Christmas…

This is our 378th ‘traditional’ Christmas, if the history books are correct.  So what has changed?  In 1642, Abel Tasman and his crew were  believed to be the first to celebrate Christmas in New Zealand, and they did so by feasting on pork and extra rations of wine! Captain James Cook is the next notable to celebrate in the land of the long white cloud, and he did things slightly differently when, in 1769, he and his crew celebrated with a meal of ‘goose pye’ – made with gannet – for Christmas dinner! So what has changed since 1642?

Perhaps the two most iconic elements of a New Zealand Christmas today are the irresistible Pavlova, made with kiwi fruit, strawberries and cream  plus the striking, and much-loved, Pohutukawa or NZ Christmas tree. Common to both are the vibrant and festive reds of the Pohutukawa and strawberries as well as the lush greens of the tree’s foliage and our very own Kiwi fruit!  Both play a significant role in Kiwi Christmas celebrations throughout the land.

When decorating your home for the festivities, this colour scheme could, perhaps, form the basis of the rest of your colour scheme.  In addition to the traditional Christmas tree, consider introducing fresh foliage or potted plants to living areas, bedrooms and bathrooms.  Placing a few bushy potted plants in guest rooms and bathrooms – complete with minimal festive decorations, can ensure the celebratory spirit is felt throughout the home, for guests as well as family members.

Smell is just as much a part of our sensory perception as vision – candles, fresh flowers, ripe fruit and oven-baked cakes and tarts all contribute that magical aroma associated with celebration and festive good will.

While Christmas trees, turkey, prawns, pavlova, and Christmas crackers are the quintessential festive ingredients of a Kiwi Christmas, there is a relative newcomer to the scene.  Our concern for our planet has cast a spotlight on sustainability – and retailers and consumers are both seeking out more sustainable decorations and Christmas crackers, opting for paper, timber or recycled materials instead of plastics.

 

 

 

In Full Bloom! 17th Century Dutch Masters for the bathroom!

Kohler has released its latest collection of Artist Editions basins with four models inspired by the Dutch Masters of the 17th century and aptly called the Dutchmaster Collection. This is truly art in the bathroom in the most lush, dramatic way!

Dutchmaster Midnight Floral

Two separate designs, Blush Floral and Midnight Floral, are available in either a round or rectangular vessel basin.

Blush Floral is a vivid mass of large scale peonies, dahlias, ranunculus and hydrangeas in lush colours of blush pink, ivory and darkest rose on an onyx background. And for delicate relief? A beautiful, Painted Lady butterfly poised on a single stem.

Midnight Floral is deeper, moodier and brimming with intense colour – purples, dusky pinks and violet blues – dramatically lit in the style of a chiaroscuro painting. Capturing the movement and lush beauty of heady blooms, the design is further enhanced with the perfect depiction of a blue swallowtail butterfly.

 

Kohler’s Dutchmaster collection was created in collaboration with florography artist Ashley Woodson Bailey who is renowned for her hauntingly beautiful floral photography.

 Ashley Woodson Bailey

Ashley Woodson Bailey

The vessel basins have been designed to sit proud of the vanity and feature a subtle, defining lift at the edge of the bowl. They can be paired with wall mount or bench mount mixer taps – and due to their rich colouring will suit many of Kohler’s metal finishes, from polished and rose gold to vibrant brushed bronze, titanium and brushed nickel.

These beautiful, full bloom works of art are featured on two styles of basin – the Carillon rectangle Wading Pool and the Carillon Round Wading Pool.

Dutchmasters Rectangular Blush Floral

Dutchmasters Rectangular Blush Floral

 

Wellness design for the bathroom

Biophilic bathroom design – it’s a term we will hear a lot more about!  It is the art of improving our health and well-being by introducing a closer connection between people and nature in the bathing space.  It can be as simple as using natural materials and surface finishes such as stone, marble and timber or as complex as constructing large skylights that open to the sky or full length glass bringing the greenery of the outside in.

Biophilic design also encompasses light, smell, touch and sound – the natural light acquired by windows and skylights; the smell of flowers from a candle or an open window; the sight of a living green wall in a shower enclosure; and the touch of a rainshower on the skin after a long and tiring day.

According to Kohler, a global leader in bathroom design and innovation – the choice of bathroom fittings plays a major role in achieving the closeness to nature that can produce an increased sense of relaxation, rejuvenation and positivity in our state of mind.

The Exhale Slide Shower epitomises the reproduction of nature’s therapeutic powers in the bathroom.  Designed to produce a rainshower experience the Exhale has a choice of four spray functions – full coverage, drenching rain, intense massage and silk. Even the spray face of the showerhead replicates the delicate nature of the petals of the dahlia flower.

Exhale Showerhead

The Exhale’s Katalyst technology has been developed by Kohler to replicate the large, full water droplets of a dense rainshower while still conserving water.  It introduces 2.2 litres of air into every 9.4 litres of water and carries a 3 star WELS rating, using only 9 litres of water a minute.

A deep, long soak in a bath that will support and soothe the body is also integral to the biophilic bathing experience, especially if accompanied by soothing nature soundscapes, soft mood lighting and scented bush flower oils.

Kohler’s latest addition to its freestanding bath collection is the Veil bath, a deeply luxurious bath sculpted from Lithocast cast resin with an opulent 40cm soaking depth.  It features supportive contours to cradle the body together with a sloped lumbar support.

Kohler Veil bath

The Veil is a visual statement like no other – the bath’s profile is one of flowing lines and perfectly balanced curves, sculpted simplicity in perfect lockstep with the most discerning contemporary style.  It measures 1661mm x 933mm x 648mm.

Veil Bath

Kohler’s Lithocast cast resin material is soft on the skin, lightweight and extremely easy to clean with its beautiful high-gloss finish.

And when looking for the visual talking point of any biophilic design bathroom, nothing says NATURE quite like the newly arrived Dutchmaster Collection of basins!

Big, bold, lush florals, dramatically enhanced by a deeply dark, moody background, adorn the entire surface of the basin’s interiors.

Blush Floral is a vivid mass of large scale peonies, dahlias, ranunculus and hydrangeas in lush colours of blush pink, ivory and darkest rose on an onyx background.  And for delicate relief?  A beautiful, Painted Lady butterfly poised on a single stem.

Kohler Dutchmasters basin

The vessel basins have been designed to sit proud of the vanity and feature a subtle, defining lift at the edge of the bowl.  They can be paired with wall mount or bench mount mixer taps – and due to the basin’s rich colouring will suit many of Kohler’s metal finishes, from polished and rose gold to vibrant brushed bronze, titanium and brushed nickel.

These beautiful, full bloom works of art are featured on two styles of basin – the Carillon rectangle Wading Pool and the Carillon Round Wading Pool.

The clear message, says Kohler, when creating a bathing haven, is to look to Mother Nature for inspiration and Kohler for implementation!

Kohler is available from all major plumbing merchants nationwide.

Carbon, fibre and dust – key elements for bathroom finishes

According to one of the world’s leading trends forecasters, there is a move towards a deeper, bolder colour palette in bathroom design – the result of a significant cultural shift.

Li Edelkoort, renowned for her long-term global trends forecasts, delivered some shape-shifting insights into colour and texture in a highly anticipated workshop with Caesarstone quartz surfaces earlier this year (2018).

Illustrating the increasingly dramatic colours being used in bathrooms, Edelkoort explained that interior design is no longer a culture that tries to imitate nature but rather take inspiration from it.

Bathrooms, for example, will take their cue from carbon fibre, those materials that come naturally from fire and dust. “It’s a new way of looking at beauty,” said Ms Edelkoort. And dark, dramatic colours will be used in bathrooms to create a more sophisticated, hedonistic ambience. “Many bathrooms will include black, sometimes in combination with brass, to create a sense of luxury,” she said.

Caesarstone

Caesarstone Black Noir

Kohler’s PVD tapware, including the modernist Purist and the vintage Artifacts collections, are the perfect fit for this look. Each is available in a range of ‘precious metals’ including brushed bronze, polished gold and rose gold. Purist, while inspired by vintage hand pumps, is the essence of simplicity and authenticity – a timeless design in either a single lever mixer or three piece basin set.

Purist PVD

Artifacts is the antithesis of this – a collection of tapware that references the form and ornamentation of the Edwardian period, available in the deep, rich textures of oil-rubbed and vibrant brushed bronze. Each collection has matching accessories.

Dramatic stone or quartz surfaces in deepest black, bold charcoal or midnight grey will feature on benchtops, splashbacks, walls and floors, some in solid colour and others with sweeping, bold pattern and veining or smaller, homogeneous chips. Each will create a sense of visual daring and bold statement.
In keeping with this bold design are Kohler’s Petaline and Mica jet black basins – each a statement piece to provide perfect balance with the dramatic dark tones of the Caesarstone finishes.

Petaline, inspired by a single petal, is a feat of engineering mastery in cast iron with black enamel finish. The 615mm long basin is counter-balanced to create a vision of elegance and seemingly impossible poise.

 

Mica, available in either square or round format, is a beautifully sophisticated and refined honed black countertop vessel with super slim walls – just 6mm – to give the appearance of extreme delicacy and understated style.

Mica Black Basin

Edelkoort used some of Caesarstone’s quartz surfaces to demonstrate the look – such as Vanilla Noir, Piatra Grey and Night Sky – along with metal elements, such as brass, to further enhance the sense of luxury and indulgence that can be achieved.

www.caesarstone.co.nz
www.kohler.co.nz

Building on a Lifetime of Passion

Building on a Lifetime of Passion

One of New Zealand’s North Shore residential developers has used a lifetime of experience and architectural passion to create his own family home in the lush rural countryside of the North Island’s Dairy Flat.

Calling on the expertise of architect Alistair Dodds and interior designer Shannon Pepper, the owner’s brief was to create a two-storey family home for the couple and their two children.  Key to his ‘dream home’ was a master bedroom with accompanying theatre room and a large, open-plan living area to take full advantage of a proposed water feature.

The owner’s favourite colour palette of black and white is in evidence throughout the home, as is his love of modernist, highly functional design.  The living space has six metre ceilings and full-length glass walls, while the swimming pool has been placed under the roof, to enable year round use.

There are four bathrooms in the home, each showcasing a black and white colour palette together with Kohler’s sleek award-winning* Avid tapware in a beautiful PVD Titanium finish.  A different look is achieved in each bathing space with the clever use of texture and pattern in tiles and finishes.

The Master Bathroom

The luxurious master bathroom exudes sybaritic indulgence – from the deeply relaxing hydrotherapy spa bath to the statuesque 1500mm Terrace vanity with double vitreous china basins and unique ‘FreeDrain’ waste system plus spacious natural oak integrated storage drawers.  The all black bathroom achieves plenty of light reflection with the clever mix of Crystal Glass Loft Black subway tiles in a combination of high gloss and textured finishes while the large scale black Mek Dark wall tiles are finished with white grout.

Products Featured

The Avid tapware is complemented with matching Avid bathroom accessories.

A second bathroom achieves a virtual reverse of the chosen colour palette with striking 1200mm x 600mm honed Calacatta marble wall and floor tiles featuring deep grey veining.  Again, the wall hung Veil Intelligent toilet offers a sculptural take on a traditionally utilitarian fixture.

The Veil, with its French curve heated seat, is richly featured with advanced bidet functions controlled by a one-touch remote control and a self-cleaning bidet wand.

Other features include the Bluetooth enabled Moxie showerhead together with the Exhale multifunction shower and the sleek, low profile ModernLife basin.

All pieces in the bathroom have been selected for their understated crisp, modern lines that together create a sense of privacy and tranquillity bathed in soft light.

*International Red Dot Design Award

Lifting the Veil on smart toilets

The release of Kohler’s Veil, in a wall faced design, is the ultimate pairing of pure, ergonomic design and customised personal cleansing, operated via a touchscreen LCD remote control.

Veil Intelligent Toilet Wall Faced

Every aspect of the Veil toilet experience is hands free – including an auto, touch-less flush – with a focus on absolute comfort. The cover and ergonomically designed seat are motion-activated while the temperature of the heated seat can be adjusted for optimal comfort. And for total peace of mind, the bowl can be LED lit for night time visits.

Combining both a toilet and a modern-day bidet, the Veil Intelligent Toilet‘s advanced personal cleansing functions can be customised for water temperature; spray style, position and pressure; plus pulsate and oscillate functions.Veil Intelligent Toilet Wall Faced

The precision air dryer can also be adjusted to personal preferences for temperature. On sitting down, a fan is activated which draws air from the toilet bowl through a carbon filter to remove odours and help keep the bathroom fresh.

In line with the hands-free design of the Veil – which sports an uber-hygienic rimless bowl – the wand is self-cleaning, using UV light and electrolysed water systems to sanitise its surfaces.

The Veil wall faced intelligent toilet, by Kohler, is a compact, one-piece toilet with elongated bowl for added room and comfort. It features an in-wall fully concealed cistern with a 3/4.5L flush. The Veil is also available in a wall hung configuration.