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Never-ending holiday at your place: Lagoon Pools

What is the recipe for a constant holiday in your backyard? Just add water! Julie Hastings, Director of Lagoon Pools, is finding Cantabrians are following the method with great enthusiasm.



“We are very busy with forward bookings so if people are wanting a swimming pool ready for enjoying this summer, then they need to be talking to us now,” she says.

Lagoon Pools are the local Leisure Pools dealer and are proud to offer a superior fibreglass pool with both structural and osmosis lifetime warranties. The pools come in lengths from m to 12m, as well as the 2.9m plunge pool.

“We can fit a pool in any space, and we love to help create that special area and work in well with all involved,” says Julie. “We have installed many pools for people who are desperately missing their Mediterranean holidays.”

There is a range of accessories to choose from, with the hidden rollers which slide the pool cover under the deck particularly popular.

“Fountains and swim jets are also popular; with the touch of a button, you get a turbine effect you can swim against – so you can have a workout on your holiday in your backyard!”

Find your backyard holiday at the website.


Relaxation Stations

Outdoor living spaces that extend entertaining outdoors have surpassed trend and entered necessity territory in home design. And in 2021, landscape designers are predicting this will go one step further with a rise in relaxation areas – garden escapes which create a feeling of holiday without leaving your property.


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Outdoor living spaces that extend entertaining outdoors have surpassed trend and entered necessity territory in home design. And in 2021, landscape designers are predicting this will go one step further with a rise in relaxation areas – garden escapes which create a feeling of holiday without leaving your property.

If you do feel inspired to create your own outdoor nook, it doesn’t need to be large, expensive or extravagant; it could involve a seat in a secluded area, a small pergola or making space for a brazier away from your current outdoor entertaining space.

Some relaxation zones, though, go all out. In-ground fire pits, architectural shade and rain covers protecting seating areas on paved courtyards. Or, what about an outdoor bath or hot pool, strings of fairy lights or in-ground fire torches?

Perhaps add some decking, some paving stones or a water feature,
or plant your relaxation space with your favourite flowers, or more low maintenance greenery if gardening is not your bag.


Buried treasure! Terra Viva

Bury these beauties now and look forward to beautiful colour in spring! Yes, spring bulbs are now in stock and right now is planting time, Terra Viva’s Peter Worsp tells Metropol.




What to plant?
Spring bulbs herald the start of the new season and you can extend the season easily by choosing the right bulbs – daffodils, tulips, scented hyacinths and freesias, anemones and ranunculas, grape hyacinths, and snowdrops.

Where to plant?
Just about anywhere, from full sun to under deciduous trees where they’ll still get plenty of sun before the trees come back into leaf when the bulb season winds down. Avoiding midday sun helps the flowers last longer. While they don’t like drying out, good drainage keeps the bulbs firm and healthy. Note: scented hyacinths can even be grown indoors in bulb glasses over water – a great way to introduce children to easy gardening.

How to plant?
Generally, plant two to three times their own depth and two bulb widths apart, as soon as possible after purchase while the bulbs are still firm. Plant in drifts which gives the appearance of naturalisation. Which way is up? If in any doubt the guideline is to plant with the flattest side of the bulb down, and if you’re still not sure, plant them on their sides and they’ll sort themselves out. When planting in flower beds, use the purpose-designed bulb baskets to avoid digging them up all the time.

What about pots?
Bulbs love pots and with careful selection and large pots you can get successive flowerings all through spring. Or plant violas and pansies on top with bulbs underneath and let them pop up through the annuals. Plant in bulb mix and ensure good drainage with a few stones over the drainage holes. Check out our colour packs with four varieties in mix ‘n’ match colours to give co-ordinated colour flowering in succession – daffodils, freesias, hyacinths, and tulips.

What to feed and when?
Feed at any time the bulbs are showing growth above ground, right from when they emerge to just after flowering, using specifically formulated bulb food and bone meal. Later feeding builds up the reserves for the dormant season.

When to cut the foliage back?
Definitely not until it’s turned brown and dying off because the foliage builds up bulb reserves for next year.

If you need to phone the bulb helpline, phone bulb expert Tracey at Terra Viva on (03) 358 5565.


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


Telling tool tales

When it comes to putting your dreams into action for your yard, you need the right tools for the job. Here are Metropol’s tips for the tools to lead you down the right garden path.



Gloves, boots, action! Whether it is to protect yourself from contaminated soil, prickly plants, sharp objects or heavy items, pull on those boots and put on those gloves before you get started. Your future self’s unscathed hands and feet will thank you for it!

Dig it: A trusty shovel is a landscaper’s bestie. From trench to planting, a shovel is a landscaping non-negotiable. The tricky part can be choosing the right one; there is handle length, weight, shape and sharpness and size to consider.

Shear the love: Easy to use and intensely satisfying, pruning shears give you the ability to practise your hairdressing skills and keep your garden tidy and healthy at the same time. Multitasking at its finest.

Rake it off: Leave no debris behind with a rake that can help you tidy up those never-ending autumn leaves, as well as load other clippings and cuttings into your trailer or wheelbarrow. A general garden rake can help with weightier waste, or a leaf rake with more delicate debris.


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.


Pool party! Lagoon Pools

As Kiwis are rediscovering their own backyards are the coolest place for fun and entertainment, the quest for pools has never been higher, and Julie Hastings of Lagoon Pools says if people have decided they want a pool, they really need to be proactive.



“I would recommend getting things in the system without delay. Lagoon Pools install throughout the year, so anytime is a great time to start the process.”

A big trend coming through is for 5-metre pools. A smaller garden or backyard takes on a whole new aesthetic with a pool that sparkles, reflects light and enhances the outdoor living space in so many ways.

Added features, such as spa jets and fountains, bring that extra touch of poolside panache. The range of sizes, up to 12-metre pools, really does offer something for everyone.

Lagoon Pools will undertake an entire project, from pool installation to landscaping, paving, fencing and surrounds, but also readily work in with architects and designers.

A visit, by appointment only, to the showroom is ideal for inspiration, and customers can take home an information pack.

Alternatively, Julie suggests emailing a photo of where the pool’s envisioned to be, or an onsite consultation to discuss the area and details. Phone 0800 927 282.


Landscape magic: Trellis Warehouse

The warm weather is here, so if you’re looking to improve your outdoor features – trellis is a multi-purpose style hero which can transform your al fresco areas. Here are Metropol’s ideas for using Trellis Warehouse’s premium grade treated pine at your place this summer.


A trellis fence, screen or panel adds a sense of privacy and seclusion while creating a beautiful backdrop for outdoor living. Zoning-off your space is not only practical for separating gardens and perimeters, but it can create a sense of intimacy and atmosphere for entertaining.

Create an elegant entrance way with an archway or pergola. The charm of a gazebo flanked with creeping flora is a celebrated garden feature and is perfect for marking the entrance to a special spot. Talk to the experts at Trellis Warehouse about different styles.

For 30 years, Trellis Warehouse has been supplying Cantabrians with quality trellis products custom-made onsite at the Addington factory. The team produces everything from trellis panels, picket panels and gates, to archways, summer seats, picnic tables and gazebos.

Contact Trellis Warehouse for a free measure, quote and consultation. Laminated posts and hardware; delivery, painting, staining and installation is available for retail, trade and wholesale customers.

Mondays to Fridays 8am to 4:30pm and Saturdays from 8:30am to 11:30am.


Framed to last: Red Lion Workshop

The constructions exude strength, and built from classic pegged timber framing they are made to last. From his converted shearing shed workshop on a picturesque farm in North Canterbury, Nigel Wilson creates large-scale, elegant and beautiful wooden structures that would elevate any outdoor environment.



“I learned the craft while living in Canada,” says Nigel.

“Traditional joinery of this type using carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs is well known in North America.”

Nigel can build everything from cabins and outdoor furniture to decorative trusses and feature gates. He particularly enjoys making structures that frame outdoor living.

“Pergolas, gazebos and porticos are my speciality now. They require engineering expertise and building experience both of which I gained from my previous work.

“After talking with clients about what they need I come up with a concept and then build the structure. I cut all the pieces required here in my workshop and assemble them on site. It is remarkable how quickly they can be erected.”

All the timber Nigel uses is grown and milled in North Canterbury – redwood, Japanese larch, macrocarpa and Douglas fir – apart from the wooden pegs which are shaped from imported oak.

“I am very fortunate that there are three excellent mills nearby.” Contact Nigel on 021 249 9729 or at


A forever home: DJ Hewitt Builders LTD

The Robinson family wanted a forever home that had it all – functionality, space and loads of storage with its own special signature.



After a two-year house hunt and realising building was the answer, Emma and Logan researched wisely and chose Daryl from DJ Hewitt Builders, who also helped choose the best section. The 926sqm site of an old villa in St Albans was perfect.

Now the high-pitched roofline and random-width cedar and plaster exterior, blends with the street’s historic homes. 

“We have two young children so we needed a place to grow with us,” Emma says of the four-bedroom, 296sqm O’Neil Architecture-designed home.

Looking through to the lounge and garden from the front door exudes eternal space.

A cavity slider meets at the media room and kitchen/dining corner, sitting flush with the ground-level kwila deck.

The kids run from lounge to lawn and play cricket or pick homegrown veges and the open pantry leads out to the herb garden.

“Daryl helped us find cost-effective options where we needed them and had solutions for everything. Tara, his wife, was so helpful as our Interior Consultant, with lots of little pearls of wisdom. I always wanted a blue front door, and she suggested changing the aluminium joinery colour to suit, rather than going for our choice for the rest of the house – she was absolutely right.”

For family functionality, a cloakroom resides beside the entrance with an adjacent storage wall.

Other space luxuries are a large laundry, linen cupboard and under-stair storage.

The suntrap alcove with a large inbuilt window seat and library shelving is an inviting and much-admired spot.

“A key reason to build was to have a warm, dry house so we included underfloor and centrally-ducted heating.”

The upstairs bedrooms have separate temperature controls, with sensor lights for the bathroom and stairwell.

The master bedroom has an ensuite at the entrance, then a large walk-in robe incorporates a recessed stepladder leading to useful attic storage.

“The people who worked onsite and in DJ Hewitt’s office were outstanding; always really helpful and professional, nothing was ever a problem. The after sale service has been superb, with clear communication every step of the way and they’ve kept following up with everything.”

“We are so happy with the result – we will never move from here!”