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place for everything
'Transform my tired, old kitchen into a sleek, streamlined space' - it's a brief many designers get on a regular basis. However, throw into the mix a client who's an avid collector, loves bright colours and - despite admiring the style - finds it 'impossible to be minimalist', and things start to get interesting. The original galley kitchen was relatively small... more
on the original
It took just a few thumbnails posted on an internet property site to convince Jason Hague-Smith he'd found a house ripe for renovation. They commissioned John Mills of Mills Architects to create the striking transformation they had in mind. As well as a multi-cultural feel, the Hague-Smiths wanted a four-bedroom home that was contemporary, colourful and child-friendly... more
guide - In the wash
Once sidelined as a simple necessity, laundries, with their many other functions, are now purpose-designed, aesthetically pleasing spaces. From the small to the spacious, careful planning will ensure you get maximum impact out of this room... more
guide - Spot the difference
Is your lounge suite arranged for aesthetics and flow, or is the sofa placed just so to hide an ugly stain on the carpet? With the correct response to a spill or accident, unsightly blemishes on your floors, walls and upholstery can generally be removed... more
guide to four fireplaces, four looks
View four different fireplaces in four distinct settings to get an idea of what might suit your home and lifestyle... more
and using an electrician
Electricity can be scary stuff, especially in the wrong hands. It is therefore very important to choose the right person to do your wiring. A good place to start is with the Electrical Contractors' Association of New Zealand (ECANZ)... more
people - Beth Harman
Beth is the CEO of Ronald McDonald House, which provides free shelter and support for families of sick children whose local regional hospital is not funded to provide the medical care they require. 'Starship and National Women's specialist paediatric services have greatly improved the outcomes for children suffering life-threatening or life-compromising illnesses'... more
A magnetic photoboard project to keep little hands busy... more
it - Xanthe White
Award-winning garden designer, Xanthe White's parents must have had an inkling they had produced a child who would steal headlines. They mulled for six months over choosing a name for their baby girl 30 years ago. Xanthe studied landscape design at Auckland's UNITEC before establishing her own company and winning awards for her designs... more
The retired couple have always been keen gardeners. They lived in Wanganui for more than 30 years, where they developed a large garden, which was opened to the public on several occasions. While their garden at Waikanae Beach is very different, the Pethericks have established an exceptional seaside showpiece here... more
Habitat answers reader questions about decorating... more
Long before summer is over, it's wise to start thinking how to cosy up your house for the cold, rainy days ahead. However, before you start to switch on the heating, it pays to make sure your home is well insulated and isn't damp. A dry, fully insulated home consumes about half the heat of one without insulation... more
it Kiwi in Sydney
Working in exclusive Point Piper, on Sydney-based New Zealand architect Chris Howe's own home, the painters weren't familiar with the products and were therefore reluctant to provide a complete warranty. Howe insisted on his specification and now those painters are converts and intend keeping it Kiwi in the future... more
are red, offices are blue
Science has long recognised that colour affects our behaviour and the way we feel. After all, it's the first thing we register and that we use to help assess the things around us, such as whether certain foods - ie blue ones - might be poisonous for example. While the scientific study of colour is as old as time, the study of colour's effects on our psyche is only about a century young... more
in wood - Terry Burling
An unsuccessful search for his grandchild's fifth birthday present has sparked a new hobby-business for Terry Burling. 'My grandson's fifth birthday was coming up and the shops didn't have anything I wanted to buy him, so I decided I'd have to make him something.' That something turned out to be a Thomas the Tank Engine toy box and it became the first of many woodworking projects... more
She may have fallen for the sweet, rustic charm and beautiful craftsmanship of her 1920s arts and crafts-style bungalow some years ago, but owner Fiona McKenzie wasn't blind to its imperfections. An impractical layout saw the original bathroom tucked down the far end of the house. 'There was an ancient copper toilet with a big chain - it would use about 20 litres of water each flush and, in doing so, shake the whole house'... more
Innovative products new to market... more
renovating - Cool, man!
Ever thought your house would look great repainted a sleek, dark colour - then had to shelve your plans for feat of the heat damaging the timber or substrate underneath? Or maybe you've discussed the idea with friends, who've gloomily pointed out that 'homes painted in dark colours get unbearably hot in summer'. Well forget all that. Resene's CoolColour™ technology makes painting exterior surfaces in dark colours both easier and safer... more
- Put another log on the file
Learn how to cut firewood in five easy steps... more
to painting a picture
Learn how to paint your own artwork in seven easy steps... more
Find out what new products have recently been launched into the decorating market... more
and trick - DIY tips
A selection of tips and tricks from DIYers sent into us over the years that might just make your next decorating project a little easier... more
People love to be surrounded by the warmth and texture of fabrics: Draped on their windows, upholstering their chairs and couches, and massed together in their cushions and throws. Picking the right fabric comes down to appeal and suitability... more
a little respect
A walk down a typical street of Ponsonby villas reveals that there is a fine line between trendy and timeless. In recent times, one developer or renovator too many has itched to reshape the well-balanced verandahs, timber lace and bay windows of 100-year-old homes in a minimal modern - or post-modern - mould. Which makes discovering this renovation by Jonathan Walker of JWA Architects all the more a pleasurable surprise... more
Habitat is printed on environmentally responsible paper using environmentally responsible ink.
From issue 8 onwards, copies flow wrapped and sent to Resene Cardholders are flow wrapped in environmentally responsible material from epi-global. This product when discarded in soil in the presence of microorganisms, moisture and oxygen will biodegrade decomposing into simple materials found in nature, as described in ASTM D6954-04.