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Al fresco Christmas


Our fashion-forward friends in the Northern Hemisphere have long shown us a holiday season dusted in snow and fireside festivities. But downunder, we know a summer Christmas is a time to embrace the outdoors with our loved ones. So here’s our tips for al fresco entertaining this holiday season.

 

 

FAIRYTALE CHRISTMAS
While Christmas light displays around the country have been scaled back or dimmed altogether this pandemic year, there is no reason you can’t create some lit up magic at your place. String up some fairy lights, lanterns (and the odd citronella candle) to create some fairytale Christmas atmosphere. Whether that means decorating your tent poles, pergola, or shade sail – soft lighting creates ambience as you entertain into the night.

PEACEFUL PICNIC
Shirk the traditional Christmas day meal altogether by packing up a picnic and hitting your favourite beach, river, lake or park. Set up blankets, cushions and some makeshift low tables (crates, trays and chilly bins should do the trick) and settle in for the day. Or, go all out with tables, chairs and awnings. Opt for portable feasting options like a leg of ham, made-at-home salads and platters. Capitalise on public barbecue facilities, or BYO.

INSIDE OUTSIDE
There’s no reason why you can’t recreate your interior holiday aesthetic, outdoors, like this inspired set-up by Freedom, pictured. Increasingly indoor-styled outdoor areas have been centre stage in 2020, as attention turned to renovations and remodels in the places we spent so much of our time. Louvre systems create easy access to the sunshine, and protection from the elements while exterior furnishing emulates those indoors, from dining and lounging suites to outdoor art, rugs and décor. So, if the weather allows, just set up your festive indoors, out.


 

Hat tricks


Protecting your precious skin from those harmful rays is an important, but not exclusive, benefit of a summer hat. There are serious sartorial gains to be had when adding headwear to your summertime style.

 

Seafolly Relaxo Hat *

 

While classic straw hats will always have a place in our hearts – and on our heads – this year, the popularity of bucket-inspired styles endures, and we’re enjoying the more mature interpretations like Seafolly’s Relaxo Hat (pictured). Here’s Metropol’s pick of summer hats which deserve a moment in the sun.

Marle Nonna Hat in Black Ivory

 

Avenue the Label Azzurra Black Sunhat

 

Seed Heritage Cutwork Visor

 

Lack of Color The Cove Hat

 

Karen Walker Wide Brim Sunhat

 

Marle Oma Hat in Tan Ivory

 

Image: Seafolly Australia
Model: Elyse Knowles Photographer: Nicole Bentley
Producer: Artboxblack
Hair: Sophie Roberts
Makeup: Peter Beard
Stylist: Emma Kalfus


 

An exotic aesthetic


You may not be able to indulge in any globetrotting right now, but even more reason to bring the exotic aesthetic into your home.

 

Art, lighting, rugs, cushions and beaded decorative accessories are some of the key tools in your decorating arsenal when it comes to achieving a luxurious exotic look.

 

MOKUM LA PALMA CUSHION IN MIDNIGHT FROM TRENZSEATER

Think vibrant colours, mother of pearl inlay, ornately carved wood, richly hued upholstery, and intricate mosaic or terra cotta tile details.

 

ADAIRS RED EARTH POUF

Perhaps it’s time to pull out your own travel photos and ornaments? Here’s some Metropol inspiration for how to exotify your space.

 

OZ DESIGN CELESTE DRINKS TROLLEY

 

THE MONTUAK LIGHTING CO. DICKINSON MEDIUM PENDANT IN SOFT BRASS WITH CLEAR GLASS AND CREAM PEARLS BY KATE SPADE NEW YORK

 

Trend to know: Japandi


We’re not going to lie, 2020, we won’t miss you. In fact, we’re already looking ahead to your replacement. But it’s not all bad news; we are going to use you for inspiration for a bit of lounging around in 2021.

 

 

That’s right, if you would rather put 2020 behind you, we’re with you! But this rather average year is shaping up to play a pivotal role in our living spaces.

We’ve checked out the ways 2020 is influencing our 2021 living rooms – and would like to introduce trend to know, Japandi.

JAMES LANE LANTERN

We’ve long honoured and admired the Scandinavian aesthetic in the home; a design movement characterised by simplicity, minimalism and functionality.

Now we’re taking that to the next level with Japandi – an amalgamation of Scandinavian and Japanese design aesthetics.

IN THE SAC AVENUE THROW IN TOBACCO

Each has a focus on simplicity, natural elements and comfort. Combined, the look is minimal, functional, warm and calming, with touches of wabi-sabi enthused imperfection.

Etch Soapstone Vessel from Citta

So, it’s no surprise we’re craving Japandi and all it represents in a Covid-19 world.

KETZ-KE X CLAYBIRD MUG AND CAKE PLATE

 

Tile tales


Move over white subway tiles, we’re introducing a whole raft of new kids on the decorating block; there’s hexagon, finger tiles, mosaic and stone and they’re rocking a kaleidoscope of colours and textures. We check out some of the latest looks snaking their way across walls and floors.

 

Mixed geometrics: Geometric shapes made their mark in 2019, but they’re not going anywhere in a hurry. In fact, they’re actually getting more clever and creative than ever before with trapezoid, rhombus and diamond-shaped tiles hitting the homewares sphere.

Pencils and pennies: Pencil tiles or finger tiles – narrow rectangular tiles – are proving popular as accents on walls, while penny tiles – small coin-shaped tiles laid in sheets – are being used for borders, niches, accent strips or whole walls to add sparkle, depth and interest.

Industrial chic: Concrete and stone look tiles are a sleek, low maintenance, easily-installed alternative to actual concrete and stone, pairing beautifully with matte black fittings.

Moroccan magic: Morocco is famed for its vibrant colours and intricate designs, so Moroccan tiles add an exotic touch to the room, either as a wall or floor covering.

Darks arts: Just like the little black dress, a black bathroom is ultra chic. The dark tones work surprisingly well in small spaces and textured tiles add a sense of drama.


 

Cottoning on to sustainable fashion


Being fashion conscious is increasingly weighted towards the conscious part of the term. From ecological impacts on the environment to social justice issues in supply chains and modelling campaigns: designers and consumers alike have sustainability in mind.

A. LEVIS WELLTHREAD RECYCLED DENIM

Smaller collections, less often: Prada’s “refreshingly practical” (as one writer put it) Spring 2021 runway show last month was a pared back collection of well-made, working from home-friendly staples. Such collections may well become the new norm as the industry takes a Covid-enforced rethink of the necessity and eco footprint of large, frequently-released collections.

B. DEADLY PONIES MINI LEOPARD VEGAN

Cottonised hemp: Made from a hemp yarn that’s been processed to have the look and feel of cotton, cottonised hemp requires less water, chemicals and land to grow than cotton – making it a more sustainable choice. Jean geniuses Levi’s have just released its latest range made of this fabric into New Zealand.

C. LEVIS WELLTHREAD RECYCLED DENIM

Is pre-order the new order? Instead of releasing fully produced collections, some designers (like Kiwi labels Harris Tapper and Ellis) are opting for pre-order. The antithesis to oft-problematic fast fashion, pre-order might mean a longer wait for shoppers – but could spell the end of left-over, unwanted stock going to landfill.

Tactical textiles: Oranges, pineapples, potatoes, banana and coffee; excellent for eating, drinking and also, apparently, for wearing. New fabrics made from food waste are emerging the world over, with cult New Zealand handbag brand Deadly Ponies recently joining the fray with a trio of vegan handbags constructed from organic cactus leather.


 

Taking the cake


Traditional wedding cakes will always have their place, but if you’re looking for something which reflects the unique tastes and style of the newlyweds – why not forgo the fruitcake and white fondant for something a little different?

 

There are many ways to pay homage to the custom of a cake without being tied to traditional flavours or looks which may not align with what you had in mind for your big day.

Here are our picks for ways to mix up your nuptial confection choices so you can put a sweet end to your special day, your way.


CAKE BUFFET
Why settle on one or two cake flavours for your big day, when you could have them all? Create an indulgent sweet feast sure to satisfy the spectrum of palates on your invite list with a cake buffet. The serve-yourself table can be a fun and aesthetically pleasing way to add flavour variety, while simultaneously catering to any dietary requirements.


SAY CHEESE
For the savoury-leaning foodies, a cheese cake saves the day. By cheese cake, we mean wheels of cheese arranged atop each other like the tiers of a traditional wedding cake. Decorate your cheese cake with traditional wedding cake toppers like flowers, or opt for those which pair perfectly with fromage, like figs and grapes.


NO CAKE AT ALL
Cookie-cutter weddings may be undesirable for some, but cookies instead of cakes could well be the order of the day. Iced with personal messages or the newly weds’ initials, wedding cookies can even be cute keepsakes for guests to take home when wrapped. Or, instead of cookies, you could indulge in wedding macarons, wedding meringues or wedding cake pops.


LET YOUR TASTE BUDS DO THE TALKING
Of all the organising, decision-making and double (quadruple?) checking that goes into your big day, choosing which sweet treat you’ll serve has potential to be one of the most enjoyable. So why not let your taste buds do the research for you? Sample your favourite sweet treats and dessert dishes – and simply pick the one you just like the best.


DANCE FLOOR FRIENDLY
Many couples choose to cut and serve the cake about the same time as the celebrations move to the dance floor. Consider making this timing a feature and serve cake (or cake alternatives) which complement the post-dinner dancing. Think cupcakes, donuts or the popular French wedding dessert, croquembouche.


A NOD TO NOSTALGIA
Weddings are known as celebrations of the happy couple’s pasts, while toasting to a new future. So why not take this one step further by serving favoured culinary confections from your childhood. Some couples have served stacks of pancakes, cookie towers or even soft serve cones from foodtrucks.


 

Statement Sofas


Whether you call it a couch, a sofa, or a settee, nice and neutral has long been the name of the style game when it comes to picking a stylish seat.

 

 

We get it – it is one of the largest pieces of furniture in the main room of the house, so it’s natural to approach this purchase with some trepidation. And neutral, by its very nature, goes with everything right? But then nobody remembers the wallflower…


Bold and bejewelled: We’ve been crushing on jewel tones for the past couple of seasons and sorry to all the commitment-phobes around; it seems this infatuation is here for the long haul. These richly saturated hues named after the corresponding gems, such as sapphire blue, ruby red, amethyst purple, citrine yellow and emerald green, are not going anywhere.


Size counts: In a large living room, a large sofa is a great option, but when your room is on the smaller end of the sizing scale, smaller may just be better. When you’re going for loud and proud, size becomes an even more important consideration. You want a couch that makes a statement for all the right reasons.


Crushing on textures: Velvet may have been a hallmark of the eighties, but the luxurious fabric is experiencing a renaissance and is well and truly at home in the modern day. We’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for its sumptuous style. But there are plenty of other textures that can make a statement, such as a hard-wearing waffle fabric, or a timeless worn leather.


Cutting shapes: Ok, so we’re talking the living room, rather than the D-floor here, but let’s be honest, it’s just as critical to look cool when those shapes are that of your new couch. There’s lots of interesting shapes on trend right now, from modern square shapes to curvier edging. Start with the vibe you’re wanting to create and go from there.


Natural instinct: Natural colours in various shades are coming through strong in 2020. But don’t go thinking you can’t make a statement in natural shades! Pastel blue, sage and coral pinks are all popular natural couch colours that still make a stylish statement. The best part? They’re all so easy to decorate around.


 

In the trenches


A new decade may call for reimagining the classics, but some things need little updating.

BRAVE + TRUE SAFARI TRENCH.

When it comes to the trench, we’ll never say no to the classic cut, but reimagined iterations have been trickling in for the last few seasons, as the darlings of the design world work hard to ensure it maintains a modern edge.

This year trench coats are coming through in unique materials – including silk, organza and leather. It’s not just the materials that are getting a revamp, with the trusty trench also being paired in unique ways, such as the popular dress and trench combo.

Structured check trench coats make the perfect addition to your transeasonal wardrobe, so you can turn heads come rain or shine.

MORRISON EMMANUELLE TRENCH

It pairs well with a white tee and wide-leg blue jeans, or buttoned and wrapped up with a pair of straight-leg trousers and heels.

If we’re seeing trench coats made of organza and covered in checks, it’ll come as no surprise that we’re also getting clever with colour.

There’s nothing quite like colour to brighten up a chilly day and now we’re giving our trench coats the same treatment.

JAG HOLLY RELAXED TRENCH ALMOND

Meanwhile the classic double-breasted military trench makes its welcome return, with its timeless and universally flattering silhouette.

In 2020 however, it might be time to swap out the soft military trench for a crisp cotton iteration featuring a strong lapel, wide belt and sharp, interesting details.


 

Cementing a new trend


The historically exterior concrete is creeping indoors and cementing itself as one of 2020’s top interior architecture trends.

 

 

THE NEW WHITE
As design thinking moves towards more natural aesthetics, the seemingly eternal trend of stark white kitchens may be coming to an end, and hand trowelled- effect concrete may well be taking its place. Described by Italian architect Andrea Maffei as “the material that best defines modern architecture”, concrete is rich in hue and texture bringing a sleek and contemporary feel to the home when paired with wood grains and solid monochromatic palettes.

BEYOND THE BENCHTOP
Concrete benchtops are far from new, but how about concrete cabinetry and rendered feature walls? Enter Lookcrete, an authentic concrete-look melamine product available in New Zealand and used for everything from kitchen doors and bathroom cabinetry, to feature islands, wall panelling, bookcases, and desks…and it can be done with paint!
When using concrete or adhesive alternatives are out of the picture (or price range), a realistic concrete effect can be mimicked with paint. Porter’s Paints has a range of paints which can achieve the coveted concrete finish, like its lime-based Interno Lime Wash when applied by block brush in random left-to-right strokes.