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Sayonara, stress!

While the physical health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic might be lesser felt here in New Zealand – the psychological impacts on stress and wellbeing have certainly been real. So just as the cooler months roll in, it can be an opportune time to consciously chill out. Here are Metropol’s tips for some science-backed stress busters.



BANISH THE LANGUISH: You’ve heard of burnout, but have you heard of “languishing”? Described by the New York Times as “the neglected middle child of mental health,” languishing is a somewhat joyless and aimless emotional state. Sitting in the middle of the mental health spectrum, this feeling of “meh” can make us more susceptible to mental health issues, as well as sufferers finding it harder to concentrate and wanting to withdraw. Keep the languish at bay by finding your “flow”. This is what psychology professor Adam Grant (and author of above article) describes as those activities which catapult you into routine and bring meaning to your day, for example your morning coffee and sudoku or a Youtube yoga class.

HEALTHY HABITS: What we choose to fuel our bodies with not only impacts our physical health, but also our mood. Sugary foods may give a temporary high, but as blood sugar regulates, mood swings can creep in. Which means there is some bad news about caffeine, too. If you’re already stressed, caffeine can supercharge those stress side effects like anxiousness, difficulty sleeping and energy crashes. Instead, snack on nourishing wholefoods like fruit and nuts, and drink a cup of green tea instead of that cuppa Joe.

THE STRESS EFFECT: High levels of stress over an extended period have been scientifically proven to affect basically every physical function of our bodies. From high blood pressure and heart health to altering the brain, mucking with your hormones, messing with your sleep and lowering your immune system: stress is not helpful for health. Understanding how stress affects you, and knowing what to look out for can be a great way to self-regulate and keep on top of your health.

MINDFUL MOVES: Making a conscious effort to move your body in ways which you enjoy is another science-backed way to beat stress. Research new ways to exercise, from gentle stretching to walking and more intensive work outs, and one mindful must-do is getting the right amount of sleep: Go to bed earlier, banish electronics and consider accessories like a sunrise lamp or herbal sleep remedies. If your mood is consistently low, talk to your GP or free call or text 1737.


Between the sheets

Turn your bed into a place of warmth and refuge this winter with some on-trend bedding. Layers, textures and warm, earthy tones are all on the menu for cosy sheets, luxe duvets and sumptuous comforters. Get creative with patterns and pillow sizes to create the ultimate at-home have. Here are some of Metropol’s top picks.


Pillow Talk


Seneca Classic Ticking Duvet in Stripe


Aura Home Maya in Caramel


Citta Pasture Cushion Cover


The Good Sheet Washed Cotton Percale Bed Set in Sage


Kip and Co Speckle Caramel Cotton Duvet


Aura Home Halo Organic Cotton Sheets in Tobacco


Aura Home Organic Quiltcover in Rosewater



From the Editor: 29 April 2021

For 23 years, Metropol has been telling Canterbury’s stories; tales of success, resilience, grit and community. Taking on the role of editor was certainly a daunting task. One I can wholeheartedly say I have poured myself into, alongside a dedicated team of writers, designers, photographers, office staff and sales superstars.



It is no easy feat creating a circa-100 page magazine every fortnight, but one thing is certain: There is never a shortage of inspiring locals and local businesses to profile on those pages.

When I took up this role, I never planned for a new opportunity to knock down my door just 10 months later. Yet, after sending 18 issues to print, it’s my time to say goodbye.

I am beyond grateful for the chance to tell Canterbury’s stories under this much-loved masthead, and to work with the incredible group of people who put so much effort in behind the scenes to bring your fortnightly reading to life.

Feedback from readers has been a highlight of my time here, and for my final issue I have tried to embody all the things Metropol has long strived for. So, I am proud to present this magazine bursting from cover to cover with so many of the people, places and businesses who make Canterbury the rich and vibrant place it is.

The magazine is now in the extremely capable and experienced hands of Lynda Papesch, who I know will continue to bring you the captivating content synonymous with the Metropol name.


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.


OZ Design Furniture


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.


Stone age

Stone in the home is a design trend that just won’t quit. Inside and out, the natural material projects character, opulence and moodiness which is starting to go beyond benchtops and bathroom tiling.


Brabbu Design Forces


Interior experts are predicting stone – and stone-look – to be big in home design this year, as the appeal of biophilic design (things which imitate nature) and textured materials continues to take hold.

Stone is popularly used in kitchens and bathrooms, for counter tops and floor and wall tiling. Marble and granite are especially prevalent, as the dense and hardwearing materials resist stains, withstand heat and refuse to lose lustre over time.

However, the material is also starting to be used in flooring in living areas – and especially to seamlessly integrate indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Stone splashbacks, basins and sinks are also having a moment, as are stone homewares like serving and ornamental plates, vases, ornaments and candleholders.

Outside, stone is of course universally applied as paving, or when broken up, as garden fill. Some designers are even creating modern takes on mosaic designs by breaking up slabs and laying the pieces in haphazard patterns.

Not only does stone look fantastic, but according to the psychology of interior design (which looks at how our subconscious reacts to our surroundings), experts say stone represents stability. And after recent times, it’s not hard to see the appeal of that.


From the Editor: 01 April

There is no denying our homes have taken on new meaning in the last 13 months. While always places of sanctuary and shelter, we had no choice but to reassess our relationships with these habitats while being contained inside them during alert level 4 lockdown.



In the months that followed, we may have been less restricted in our movements outside the home, but we were hyper aware that that could – and did – change at any moment, seeing many people choose not to stray too far from their local territory.

This close proximity to home has influenced a surge in renovations around New Zealand; from large scale remodels and extensions to lower-level licks of paint, appliance upgrades and furnishing replacements.

The upcoming Christchurch Home Show pays homage to this phenomenon, with the annual show featuring more exhibitors and seminars than ever before when it takes place on April 16 to 18 at Christchurch Arena.

It really is a great opportunity to pick the brains of local experts – and those from further afield – and see how you can make those much-anticipated changes at your place.

In this issue, we offer a sneak peek into the show from page 47, right next to our regular programming of Home trends and the latest and greatest architecture projects in our Build section.

Also in this issue, we catch up with hometown sporting hero, mountain biking champion Anton Cooper, and learn about Canterbury cook Sarah Burtscher’s noble quest to reduce Kiwi’s food waste via delicious, fridge cleaning recipes.

Not to mention our fashion, health, beauty and cuisine coverage, too. Wherever you happen to be reading this from – perhaps at home – I hope you enjoy your latest issue of Metropol.


The pros of probiotic skincare

Gut-loving probiotics are a science-backed hit with the health conscious. And now it seems our fermented friends are making their way into skincare, too. Because, the same way our insides need good bacteria, so does our skin.



The sound of skin bacteria may not spark the most luxurious of thoughts, but experts assure these microscopic members of our body’s ecosystem are good news for achieving a much-coveted plump, dewy and healthy look.

Probiotic skincare is said to help keep a diverse collection of bacteria living and metabolising on your skin, which in turn helps your skin protect itself from bacteria which can cause inflammation, dryness, itching, irritation and premature ageing.

It appears there is a popular threesome of probiotics to note when it comes to skincare: lactic acid and the less-easy-to-say, Bifidabacterium and Vitreoscilla. Each has its own benefits, and the more diversity of strains on your skin – the better.

Brands around the globe have embraced the organisms into their offerings, from face masks to mists, moisturisers, serums and oils. Of note is New Zealand’s Tailor skincare, and others include Paula’s Choice, Clinique and Estee Lauder.


Excessive vanity

Few spaces in the home can induce as strong sense of sanctuary as a well put together bathroom. A space to unwind, wash off the day that’s been or prepare for the one ahead; bathrooms are often where we compose ourselves. So, it’s no wonder then, that what our bathrooms are composed of is so important.


SLABS by Design Hula concrete basin


And when it comes to bathroom ingredients, one especially can be picked out: the vanity.


IdyllHome Pendle Brass Pendant light

Not just a countertop, vanities anchor the look and performance of a considered bathroom.

Encompassing both functional storage and acting as an artistic centrepiece, you can let your vanity run away when choosing, redecorating, or styling your bathroom vanity.

Porcelain Superstore Creek Multi Pebble Mosaic Tiles

Floating vanities give off a pared back minimalistic feel, and heavier wooden styles play into French-country aesthetics.

PullCast Skyline Door Pull

The use of natural stone like marble and granite amp up tranquillity and spa-vibes, subtle tones of pastel pinks, blues and greens adds refreshing, fun art deco elements and all-white aesthetics show us why Scandi-chic was a thing.

Maison Valentina Diamond Vessel Sink

When matched with chic tapware, stylish basins, and terrific tiling, your bathroom vanity quickly becomes an idyllic part of your daily routine


PullCast Nouveau Drawer Handle


A spectacle of receptacles

One particular interior furnishing is having a moment of late; the vase. These vessels are not only holding floral arrangements, they’re holding their own as sculptural adornments for tables and shelves in any – and every – room.



Classic clear and crystal styles will always have their place in the home, but a new breed of vase is well and truly on the scene: and it is structural, artistic and in-demand.

Sweetpea & Willow Bloomingville Mejia Vase

As dried blooms continue their reign on interior aesthetics, we have more need for vases which remain on display.

Marimekko Urna Vase

And, oh boy, have designers delivered. And hell, forget the florals altogether if you must.

Pillow Talk Circa Olive Planter

A chic vase needs not some occupants to bring intrigue and artistry to your home.

Beysis Fawn Flower Femme Vase

We love vases in neutral toned terracottas and wabisabi ceramics, glossy porcelain, tinted glass or shaped into minimalist designs, some which celebrate the female form or faces, and feature whimsical patterns.

Audenza Female Face White Vase


Move it mama

Fitting workouts around four young children is no easy feat, but Lisa Fong has not only nailed the task – she’s turned it into a successful global business. She tells Metropol how she built an international online workout community from her Christchurch home.



The challenges of motherhood can be far reaching, and for Lisa Fong, exercise was her antidote.

Now, she shares the medicine of movement with more than 4500 people around the world who subscribe to her inspiring online fitness platform.

“Move it Mama was born because I was struggling,” says the mother of four. “I’d lost myself in the depths of motherhood, and exercise saved me. I feel extremely passionate about helping those just like me.”

Originally a Wellingtonian, Lisa moved to Christchurch with husband, Dan, seven years ago. The couple have four sons Rico, 10, Louis, 8, Carlos, 6, and Tei, 4. Originally a school teacher, Lisa had given up her job to be a stay-at-home mum.

At the time, a gym membership was out of her price range – let alone finding time and childcare to attend. So, she would do quick, 20-minute home bodyweight workouts. A concept which impressed the other school, mums – so in 2017 they started joining in, too.

“They couldn’t figure out how or where I found the time,” she says.

“One day it rained, so instead of getting them over – we had to do it on the driveway because my house was too small for all of us – I streamed the workout to a private group of two via Facebook Live.

“This group grew to over 5000 people in about six months.”

Then, in February 2018 Move it Mama was born. Subscribers pay just $10 per month for 10 live workouts per week.

“When I first started sharing my workouts we were a one income family… and I knew exactly what it felt like to have no spare money. When it came to launching the business, I wanted to break down as many barriers as possible.

“There were times when I couldn’t afford a coffee so I wanted the weekly amount to be cheaper than a latte!”

Lisa’s twin sisters have also come on board to help. Jess, a personal trainer, has joined as operations manager and also teaches three work outs a week. Char also teaches workouts and weighs in on other areas of the business. Joanne Cameron is marketing strategist, and other friends helped with the website and branding.

While Move it Mama began to give busy mothers their workout fix, don’t let the name fool you – the format is popular with a much wider demographic of fitness lovers, too.

“We naturally appeal to busy, stay-at-home or working mothers. But we also have a large portion of our membership who are not quite so knee-deep in nappies. We get a thrill at the cross-section of our members… we love it when non-mothers, partners, husbands, kids and grandmothers thrive off our workouts, too!”

With no prior business experience, Move it Mama is an ongoing learning experience for this teacher.

“I’ve learnt as I go and am still learning every single day. It’s funny because when people came to me to say I had to turn this into a business, I had no idea what to do. Zero.

“I managed somehow; by lots of talking and connecting with people that could help. I asked a lot of questions.”

But the biggest lesson has been about finding her purpose.

“I found my passion and that was helping people feel good, to regain a sense of control we can so often lose, and to reclaim our sparkle that can get lost along the way.

“The whole business thing still feels a bit like a dream. I feel so lucky to be in this position and to now be doing it alongside my beautiful sisters.

“It feels like I’ve found my place in the world.”