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Tag: design

On trend

The fast-moving field of interior design is always awash with new ideas and inspiration to pluck from for your own homely spaces. And for all the irregularities of recent times – this fact remains unchanged, so Metropol has scoured the mood boards of the world’s most style-minded to discover what’s trending in interior design for 2021.




A collective obsession with houseplants looks set to keep skyrocketing as fans of biophilic design continue to embrace bringing the natural environment indoors. Being in nature is scientifically-proven to boost our mental health, and when combined with the visual appeal of greenery and flowers – it’s an interior win-win.

If you’ve noticed architectural and artistic vases around the place, it’s probably because these furnishings are among the most covetable furnishings of modern aesthetics. Not just perfect for holding fresh and dried (also trending) blooms, these receptacles are sculptural artworks on their own.

A hit on the home circuit last year, appeal is not waning for furniture that makes you feel as if you should be in a bungalow overlooking the Hollywood Hills. Argued by some as timeless, there is little doubt these low slung lines, natural woods and retro vibes are everywhere right now. And don’t pair too badly with a houseplant (or seven) either.


Edible landscaping

Take your landscaping a step further by giving it an edible twist. A boost for your palate as well as Mother Nature’s, this flavourful endeavour will brighten up any space. Here are Metropol’s tips to incorporate edible plants into shaping your outdoor spaces.



Herbs don’t just give any recipe an edge – they can give your garden beds one, too. Lavender looks lovely lining any garden or path, and onions, garlic and chives can be planted as edging to protect other edibles from hungry birds and animals.

Fruit trees look stunning in every landscape. Supposedly nothing tastes better than the fruits of your labour, but just make sure you monitor excess fruit to keep hungry rodents and possums at bay. We especially love the look of an immaculately groomed citrus tree – and not just for the G&Ts.

If you’re using trellis to adorn a wall or to create a pergola or space divider, add interest and function with tasty additions. Runner beans and nasturtiums both have eye-catching blooms and enjoy a climb. The leaves of beans are also more attractive to pests than the veges – win, win!

Pansies and calendulas make beautiful touches to your landscape and can be added to your cooking in the way of salads and baked goods. Plant in garden beds, pots of hanging baskets – and then pluck away to garnish your meals.


Office-al business

What was once considered a novelty has now, with recent times, transitioned into more of a necessity – the home office. Whether it is a designated room or partitioned off area, Metropol has compiled some tips for helping you create a productive home office hub.



When designing a designated home office space, we tend to focus on what’s in our peripheral and not what classmates and colleagues can see on Zoom. Interior designers expect this year will bring stylish backdrops – from walls, intricate bookshelves and well-styled frame galleries to quirky-looking lamps that double as great backlighting.

A humble house plant, or five, will always be the co-workers you never knew you needed. Experts say plants help to increase productivity and provide a leafy link to nature, which was what a lot of us were lacking when cooped up inside for so many months. Having a reimagined green screen is always a Zoom meeting ice breaker.

Gone are the days of crisp white walls for a home office, it’s time to express yourself with a bit, or a lot, of colour. Liven up your space with bright hues, natural woods, or a feature wall. Don’t stop there – bring in fun décor, bright rugs and interesting art.


Designing wellbeing

Creating homes which are sanctuaries from the uncertainties of current life is top of mind for many, and the driving force behind a movement named, “wellbeing design”. Which is, as the name suggests, curating spaces to promote wellbeing. Metropol looks at ways you can incorporate some well-designed wellbeing in your own spaces.



Home habitats should be a full sensory experience. And while attention has long focused on colour and shape (sight), delicious aromatic candles and diffusers (scent) with atmospheric music playing (sound) – incorporating touch into lived spaces is trending. Textured wall papers, plush upholstery and raw woods are being celebrated for invoking the comfort of touch.

Make the most of the healing powers of vitamin D by boosting the natural light in your home, especially ahead of winter. If you have a remodel or new build on the cards, consider installing additional windows or a skylight to maximise those health-boosting rays. Or, if such a dramatic change is not on the horizon, use a clever mirror system to reflect the natural light and make the sunlight, quite literally, go further.

The non-negotiable working from home enforced by lockdown resulted in many employers more than happy for staff to continue working away from the office. With less distractions, many are seeing a rise in productivity and wellbeing. However, it’s important to ensure work and home zones are kept separate – if you can’t close a door to keep the home office hidden, use plants and furniture to zone it off.

We touch on biophilic design on page 49 as an interior trend to watch in 2021. This act of incorporating elements of the outdoors, in, is so popular in part because of the positive effect nature has on our wellbeing. Plants help calm and relax us, as well as reduce anxiety and increase focus – so incorporating stunning greenery into interior design is a wellbeing no-brainer.


Immaculately authentic: DJ Hewitt

A modern barn-style build with a village lifestyle was the dream for a Scotsman and his Kiwi family. By
enlisting DJ Hewitt Builders to do it once and do it right, their complete wishlist was granted.


Immaculately built to look  authentically imperfect, the board and batten exterior plays with different widths, under a sizeable single-pitch roof. Designer Darren
O’Neil’s concept of a 310sqm barn on the 726sqm Tai Tapu section perfectly soaks in views and sunlight.

The grand roof space created a full-height second story, where one lucky son is in his element in the 86sqm studio/bedroom and ensuite, which would someday make a perfect space for a home business.

Choosing open entrances, the master bedroom’s walk-through ‘robe lies behind a duck-egg blue floating wall.

Similarly, the kitchen opens to the scullery with display shelves, and adjoining laundry, which can be closed off.

Down the hallway, you are guided to the powder room by the illumination of the back-lit mirror, which leads to the bathroom and separate toilet.

Detailed inlays on draws and cupboards in the kitchen and living area adds a classic vibe to neutral tones, including the sunny window-seat nook.

The base provides extra storage, as does other clever cavity spaces throughout the house.

An ode to the bonnie isles, is the whisky lounge. A dark navy feature wall, and board and batten backdrop for the gas fire, sets the scene for a wee dram or two.

The clients were glad they engaged interior consultant Tara Hewitt for her keen eye for additional details and stylish suggestions in every room of the home.

Of note, was Daryl Hewitt’s weekly critical path explaining how the project was tracking, as was peace of mind during lockdown with extra security on the site – which was always left immaculate. Everything was made easy for what the owners say is, “our happy  place.”

Phone: (03) 384 7470


Generosity propels cathedral restoration

Another sizable donation from a Christchurch businessman and former politician has put the restoration of the city’s ChristChurch Cathedral $4 million closer to its fundraising goal.



Philip Burdon, a former National Party MP and frequent member of the National Business Review’s rich list, made the generous donation on top of $1 million already donated after the 2011 earthquakes which decimated the city central’s iconic structure.

A $154 million restoration of the cathedral was announced last year as part of the Cathedral Visitors Centre, which will include a café, landscaped garden and museum and retail stores, as well as a Cathedral Centre providing gathering spaces, offices and amenities.

When announced in October, the restoration’s leaders, the ChristChurch Cathedral Reinstatement Trust, said there was a $51.2 million funding shortfall. A fundraising campaign set to be launched in March is seeking to raise $26 million.

Post-earthquakes, Burdon led a campaign with fellow former MP, the late Jim Anderton, to save the cathedral from demolition, and recently told The Press he was confident the necessary funds could be raised.

“The fundraising events over the next few months are going to be the moment of truth for the restoration campaign to proceed on schedule,” he told the publication.

Burdon says he is passionate about the success of the project because of his, “very personal belief in the unique historical and heritage significance of the cathedral. It is an utterly irreplaceable part of our heritage.”

Work on the cathedral has already begun, with large steel frames installed on the outside of the building as part of a stabilisation phase. This phase is fully funded, will cost about $11.8 million, and take about two years.

Following this, the next phase for the restoration will be strengthening and reinstatement – for which funding will need to be in place by October this year.

Funding for the supporting buildings which will make up the visitors centre will need to be raised by mid-2022, and for the new tower by mid- 2023.

Concept designs (pictured) of the restoration project by Warren and Mahoney in association with international firm Snøhetta and heritage specialists Salmond Reed acknowledge the Anglican Cathedral’s rich history, supported by modern buildings which will play a wider role in the city – and square’s – offerings.

The renderings show use of glass and timber to complement and contrast with a reinstated stone cathedral.


Time for recess

Carve out some practical and aesthetically pleasing space with a wall recess. Maximising wall cavities, a well-thought-out recess adds depth and interest to bathrooms, bedrooms and indoor and outdoor living.




In the bathroom, recessed shelving in the shower can sophisticatedly store otherwise cluttered-looking products without employing a caddy.

In the bedroom, a wall recess can replace a bedhead and side tables by providing an interesting feature without scrimping on practicality.

In living areas, a wall recess can mimic a mantle piece, shelving or even seating. Outdoors, a recessed seat built into a wall or fence is functional design at its finest, providing a striking addition to al fresco dining and lounging.

Installing lighting on the roof of the recess adds extra mood to a space, helping to achieve ambiance subtly, without the need for fixed roof lighting or lamps.

And don’t be boxed in either, explore curved and asymmetrical recesses for added artistic touches.

An obvious consideration with a wall recess is its execution, which would require a very handy DIYer or, more likely, a builder and plasterer.

However, if a new build or room remodel are in your sights – consider employing a recess to add long-term function, style and interest.


Putting pen to paper: Art by J Steel

An artist’s impression and portrait of the home is how Jonathan Steel of Art by J Steel would describe his style of client work.



Having a passion for line and wash drawings – a combination of pen, ink, and watercolour – “gives the art a certain character”, he believes.

For the two-to-three-week process Jonathan will source a photograph of the property, draw, and then paint the home. He can also give art that finishing touch by framing it.

Whether it is an old family home or a new forever one – he captures its essence on paper.

Contact Jonathan for a commission on 021 038 7706 or email Or visit his website for limited prints of Christchurch landmarks.


On deck

Spending time dining, reclining or socialising on the decking of your home or bach is synonymous with summer. An almost non-negotiable when it comes to al fresco living (and entertaining), a dreamy deck set up – when done right – can not only transcend daytime and night, but season, too.



Summer is undoubtedly the season most associated with deck living; as homebodies embrace the outdoors in the warmer temperatures and longer days.

Even as day turns to night, the deck is often a place spent talking and laughing the night away.

As design and technology advances across building materials, furniture and appliances, outdoor areas have evolved from seasonal retreats into year-round habitats which add another living space to the home.

Retractable louvre systems provide an optional roof for protection from the elements; gas heating and fire pits create practical ambience, and outdoor kitchens go beyond a simple BBQ to include fridges, pizza ovens and benchtops.

Outdoor furniture constructed in durable materials and fabrics creates lounge-worthy spaces, which can even be finished with outdoor rugs and outdoor televisions.

Tips for taking your deck to the next level

The comforts of lounge and dining areas are no longer confined indoors. Many brands create stylish furniture and appliances especially for outdoor living; built to withstand the elements, without compromising your aesthetic.

Electronics are also being designed to keep up to speed with outdoor living. Especially designed outdoor televisions and sounds systems ensure you can listen to music or watch that unmissable sports match unhindered by the elements.

Full-spec outdoor kitchens are growing in popularity, as consumers want to take both the dinner party and the prep outdoors. Multi-functional barbecues capable of creating a full size feast come in contemporary designs, as do pizza ovens and outdoor fridges.


Bedside manner

The ultimate organiser ensuring everything you need is at arm’s reach, bedside tables combine both form and function.




Whether you like to let it all hang out with an open design or tuck it all away with a drawer, there’s an option for everyone and choosing the right design can play an important role when it comes to your comfort and wellbeing.

First things first, bedside tables have traditionally been purchased in pairs. But that’s no longer the case. Choosing two different designs or simply just having one bedside table is a great way to express your creativity and mix things up.

As with all your furniture, it’s important for your bedside tables to vibe with your overall theme, whether it’s ultra-modern, rustic or somewhere in between.

The laws of feng shui dictates a preference for soft or rounded corners and these curved options are becoming increasingly popular, creating a softer vibe in this space.

Timber tables, with their natural vibes, are a strong antidote to our tech-heavy lifestyles, creating a calming effect that we’re craving right now, while whites and greens offer another option to satisfy the senses.

Meanwhile, designers are expecting bedside tables devoid of legs and bases to have a serious moment in 2021, attached instead directly to the wall to create a floating effect.