Ed­i­tor’s let­ter

HOME Magazine NZ - - Editor's Letter - —Si­mon Far­rell-Green

By the time you read this, our house will be in tat­ters: we’ve just moved out so the builders can move in, adding much-needed space to our tiny 62-squareme­tre home, with a thought­ful re­design by ar­chi­tect Megan Edwards. We never meant to stay this long. I bought the place when I was sin­gle, partly be­cause it had a stu­dio flat out the front that I could rent out. Then Han­nah moved in, we got a dog, and now we have two kids un­der two... One day, we joke, we’ll re­build the stu­dio and send the teenagers out there. In short: it’s a house that, de­spite its ob­vi­ous lim­i­ta­tions, is grow­ing with us as a fam­ily. The thing is, we live very dif­fer­ently these days. Young peo­ple can’t af­ford to leave home like they used to, or they move back in – of­ten with their own chil­dren. Baby boomers seem to have lit­tle in­ten­tion of re­tir­ing com­pletely. A boom­ing prop­erty mar­ket and earth­quakes in Christchurch, mean­while, have made pre­vi­ously dif­fi­cult sites seem like good places to build. And ev­ery­one would like a lit­tle rental in­come, right? All the houses in this is­sue re­spond to those chang­ing re­al­i­ties. In Auck­land, Dave Stra­chan’s own house ex­pands and con­tracts to ac­com­mo­date his ex­tended fam­ily, while a house by Aaron Pater­son over­comes a south-fac­ing slope for a young and grow­ing fam­ily. In nearby Mt Al­bert, Marc Lith­gow has cre­ated a fam­ily ‘com­pound’ around a house he de­signed for clients more than a decade ago. In Wellington, David Melling de­signs a new house – and a rentable flat – on a steep site that had sat empty since the 1980s. And in Christchurch, Jeremy Smith and Pat­ter­son As­so­ciates de­sign con­tem­po­rary new houses to re­place beloved fam­ily homes dam­aged in the earth­quakes. As you’ll see, the houses sprout­ing up in our sub­urbs are dif­fer­ent: they re­spond to new fam­ily struc­tures, new ways of liv­ing and new eco­nomic re­al­i­ties. They’re hard work­ing and yet beau­ti­ful. I’m deeply ex­cited by that, and I hope you are too.

We were de­lighted to win Best Mag­a­zine De­sign at the Canon Me­dia Awards last month. It’s tes­ta­ment to the in­cred­i­ble work of Arch MacDon­nell and Sarah Glad­well at In­house De­sign, along with Cather­ine Wilkin­son, Imo­gen Temm and Sam Smith here at Bauer Me­dia – and, of course, to our won­der­ful pho­tog­ra­phers who shoot beau­ti­ful images each month. “HOME de­liv­ers some­thing spe­cial,” the judges said. “There is a quiet con­fi­dence that runs through­out its pre­sen­ta­tion; an un­der­stated pre­ci­sion... HOME is a place you re­ally want to be.” We couldn’t agree more.

Top left A kitchen in Hawke’s Bay by Leanne Lark­ing – part of our kitchen and bath­room spe­cial (p.132). Above left A fam­ily ‘com­pound’ in Mt Al­bert, Auck­land, de­signed by Marc Lith­gow (p.60). Top right Mary Gaudin’s beau­ti­ful shoot of Mi­lan De­sign Week (p.46). Above right Pat­ter­son As­so­ciates de­sign a gallery-like home in Fen­dal­ton, Christchurch. (p.118).

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