All posts filed under: Habitat

Guest Post: Kitchen Ideas for Renters

Tofu the bunny, The Koala and I have been living in our 1 bedroom flat in Mt Eden for 7 years now. Our villa is over a hundred years old with some problems. In hindsight, we should have put a little effort into it when we moved in but it can be difficult to do anything to a rental property. This is both a blessing and a curse. We’ve worked on and replaced a few minor items. We’ve added HEAPS of storage. The kitchen only had 1 drawer and as a food blogger who likes to cook, one drawer is not enough! The kitchen is often the worst room in a rental because it is expensive to renovate so many landlords just don’t. Hopefully this guide will give you some ideas on your options. Kitchen Ideas for Renters By Hannah West via Modernize.com If you’re renting a house or apartment, your renovation options are probably pretty limited. At most, you may have the option to paint the walls a different color as long as you pinky promise and …

Black and white

#NZbloggers are hosting a weekly blog post challenge. This week’s theme is Contrast and you can check out other posts on this theme here. I have to admit, I’m a sucker for a striking black and white kitchen. I love the contrast, especially how it pops with accents of gold or greenery. Living in a rental, I’m blessed with a brown, beige and taupe kitchen with a utilitarian  steel bench (oh how dreamy!). I dream of the day when I can have black and white kitchen with gold or brass tapware and bright green plants. Until then, here’s a round up of some rather lovely monochromatic things for the kitchen from New Zealand retailers and manufacturers. Click on the descriptions for direct links to purchase. Fog Linen tray striped $23 Genevieve Packer statehouse tea towel $25 Scrabble letter mugs $24.90 JENZ Studio cloud plates Onyx chalkboard canisters $17-$30 Le Sac en Papier $18 Norm bottle grinder $139 Wooden chopping board $30 Reneé Boyd white vase with black and gold $75 Zigzag cotton floor rug $229.99 Honeycomb kitchen towel …

Monday Bunday: Sleepy Rabbit by Citta Design

This morning, The Koala started his new job. He was up before dawn and handed me a sleepy rabbit to snuggle with in his place. Tofu the bunny is extra lovely in the morning, especially when he wants to do a bit more snoozing. You can rub his ears and cheeks and he will grind his teeth in delight (kind of like a cat purring). Even after I’d gotten up, showered, dressed and breakfasted, Tofu the bunny was still snuggling on the bed enjoying the residual warmth. I felt cruel when it was time to scoop him up and put him outside. On that note, I’d like to present to you this new design called “Sleepy Rabbit” by New Zealand company Citta Design. Citta Design are just around the corner from where I live, work and play and they even have an outlet store next door to BLOC. I often visit during lunch time for a bit of window shopping. Kind of like a real life Pinterest. I could walk around the store putting little pin …

Declutter the kitchen

When you live in a rental property, there’s not a whole lot you can do with a poorly laid out kitchen. There is one drawer in our kitchen. One. So we’ve learned to live with that precious drawer. We’ve introduced freestanding drawers into our kitchen and I keep boxes inside my cupboards for various knickknacks that other people might put in drawers. I mean, aren’t drawers just a stack of boxes with handles? I’ve had this set of white corner drawers since I was in high school. It was great in a corner of a teenager’s bedroom, but looked out of place in the middle of our kitchen. It stuck out too much and it didn’t hide enough.We had cookbooks, bags of potatoes and onions, stacks of shopping bags and tablecloths that needed homes. This spring, we added a whole lot of useable space to our kitchen by adding a long buffet/sideboard. I grabbed this from an online auction site and my initial intention was to paint it with blackboard paint. But when we got …

Tofu Tuesday: Tofu’s Nursery

We recently picked up a new sideboard for the kitchen which meant a bit of rearranging and we bumped a set of white drawers into Tofu’s “room”. With a few items from our bunny collection, Tofu’s room now reminds me of a baby’s nursery. Sloth painting bottom right is by my sister Joanne Ho. Tofu seems to like it. He said it is totally reminiscent of bunny Ikea.

Monday Bunday: Interior Design with Real Bunnies

When a new person comes to visit, we notice them noticing our rabbit running loose indoors. We are accustomed to seeing a rabbit around the house. Tofu isn’t a prop, he’s a legitimate member of the household. Still, I always get a kick out of seeing other rabbits in other indoor settings. Especially beautifully styled homes or hanging out on beautiful furniture. When you have a beautifully designed room or piece of furniture, you need two other things. A rabbit and a talented photographer. For your viewing pleasure, I have collected these images from around the world, relating to bunnies with beautiful interiors or architecture. I hope you enjoy these as much as I have. Cécile de Vries Lola on a blue floral armchair Reposted with permission Lola on pink floral armchair Reposted with permission Into The Land Of My Dreams (with Charlie and Lola) Reposted with permission Cécile is a photographer with two Teddy Widder rabbits named Lola and Charlie. The three of them are very beautiful, have excellent taste and a gorgeous home in The Netherlands. You can view more of …

Swoon-worthy Dinnerware

I swear drinking water or orange juice from a goblet tastes different than drinking out of tumbler. I’ve always noticed that the right bowl or plate makes a meal taste better. Even if it’s all in your mind, it’s there. When you’re eating a rustic meal in the country side of an exotic location, a banana leaf plate makes the experience authentic and delicious. When you’re eating at home, the right plate or bowl for the job makes all the difference. Since as long as I started dreaming about my own kitchen and dinner parties, I’ve wanted a slightly off centre dinner set. Something that is not too ornate or stuffy and has an earthy character. My ideal dinner set would frame a rustic and hearty feast. It would not suggest fine dining and it’s also not so busy that it competes with the food. Flatmates always leave kitchen items behind when they move out so whenever we cleaned out of a flat, we also moved the flat kitchen stuff that had been left behind …

Dietlind Wolf’s work is swoon-worthy

I’m no food stylist but when you take photos for a blog, you can’t help but look at your food differently. Composition, light, props, colour, texture, shape and white space are some of things I consider when shooting my food. I cringe at the photos I took when this blog started in 2010. But they’ll stay up because they’re a reminder of how far I’ve come. Looking at beautifully styled food is inspirational rather than depressing and my favourite food stylist in the world is Dietlind Wolf who is based in Hamburg, Germany. Her work is truly swoon-worthy. I adore her use of organic shapes, groupings and interesting props from all sorts of places for editorial spreads. Please check out more of her gorgeous displays on her blog dietlindwolf.blogspot.com. Bonus: Check out tomorrow’s post on beautiful, organic and nature inspired dinnerware.

Urbis Designday 2012 Designs

Urbis Designday is an accessible, entertaining design event for Auckland city. I guess it’s easy to forget that everyday items were designed at some stage. Look at the closest table to you. The closest chair, lampshade, set of drawers. Someone or a team designed that to be the way it is. Designday gets these designed items into the radar of both public and professionals. Admire the things in the showrooms, the creative collaborations between designers in different industries and interact with anything they let you touch. This year’s Designday featured lots of painted and interactive elements. Here are some of the designery sights from the day: The Kohler showroom with Resene and Art Associates had interactive elements such as a painting wall using your choice of Resene testpots, throwing games (bathtubes, paintbuckets and balls) as well as painted artworks on live models. The “Identify Your Design” flowchart painted on a huge wall at Essenze in Parnell was an interesting way to figure out your style. The Photo Booth Fun with dress up boxes at Mini …

Monday Bunday: Corker Bunny

I’m sure many of you as children at adult dinner parties made fun creatures out of the cork and wire from a bottle of bubbles. Well, here is a step up from that. Introducing Corker Bunny! So sweet. An original addition to the wine bottle you bring to dinner. Bring your dinner party and your bottle corks to life with these cute, collectable animal parts. Each pack includes the body parts required for one Corker. Available in 6 designs: Monkey, Deer, Buffalo, Bear, Bunny & Crow.  Cork not included Available at Animica USA for just $7.99US with free shipping worldwide!

Monday Bunday: Alessi bunnies

I started Monday Bunday over a year ago to collect and curate a selection of contemporary rabbit designs from around the world. Over the year there’s been Monday Bunday posts on graphic design, illustration and typography, fashion, art, decor and homeware, furniture, office and more. Who knew there was so much bunny stuff out there? Bunny themed designer kitchen pieces always make me squeal with glee. This week’s Monday Bunday post is a kitchen one. I present to you: Magic Bunny Toothpick Holder and Bunny & Carrot Kitchen Roll Holder designed by Stefano Giovannoni for Alessi.

Chalkboard Kitchens

The idea of running my bare hands over a dusty chalkboard gives me an uneasy feeling. Almost as bad as fingernails dragged across its surface. Even so, the idea of chalkboard as decoration, art or furniture and it’s ever changing surface is really appealing. We had a chalkboard as a prop at our wedding reception with guests writing messages that got continuously more risqué as the night progressed. A chalkboard kitchen I’m not entirely sure how you would get past all the chalkdust this would inevitably invite into your kitchen, but it does look pretty cool. I’ve always had a thing for black kitchens. Even if you didn’t mind eating a little chalk dust for these designs, it just seeing chalkdust around the kitchen would probably annoy the crap out of you. Here are some of my favourite chalkboard kitchens from around the web.  11 Magnolia Lane’s chalkboard pantry doors. I love how she used chalkboard contact paper instead of paint so that it could be removed fairly easily. I’ve never thought about using contact …

A Bargain To Eat Upon

As much as I love eating outside, we’ve never really owned an outdoor table. We either sit on the edge of the deck with plates perched on laps, or if we’re feeling really fancy, we drag the dining table out. We don’t often bother as it doesn’t really fit through the door and takes a bit of shoe-horning and coaxing to get it in and out. Then, I found this sturdy table on Trademe for $20. It looked a bit rough, but had potential. Brought it home, sanded it and gave it a few coats of paint. We already had sandpaper, a bucket of paint and a sponge paintbrush leftover from other projects, so this really cost $20. Perfect for alfresco dining over summer. I’m dreaming of BBQs and cocktails in the backyard. Now all we need are outdoor chairs or benches. But for now, our dining chairs will do just fine.

Japanese Lifestyle Goods

One of my favourite local places to shop is Japanese Lifestyle Goods. It’s open 7 days a week until 7pm and is only 10 minutes walk from my house. They have heaps of cute kitchen stuff as well as other stuff for your house. They have a small but well curated food section too for those essential Japanese ingredients you need but your supermarket doesn’t stock yet. I’ve never owned a lemon juicer. Weird huh? At $3.50 I couldn’t resist this cute yellow one. I also bought some shaped cutters.  Not for cookies, I don’t make cookies but I’m going to use these to shape puff pastry. Fingers crossed these do the job. Japanese Lifestyle Goods 75 Dominion Road Mt Eden Auckland Phone 09 638 8038

Hello good morning

I prefer to sleep with the curtains closed, but you can’t close them when you get to wake up to a view like this. We had stunning weather 3 days out of 4 in Christchurch last week. The last day was a welcome relief from the summer sun. We experienced an aftershock early on Sunday morning. I know, the novelty has worn off for the residents. I didn’t realise what was happening right away…I thought someone was outside the window shaking it. We had a fantastic time with lots of activities and lots of chilling out too.