NZ House & Garden - - CONTENT - From the edi­tor

When i was a kid, the cor­ner dairy sold flat-topped loaves of white bread called Syd­ney flats. My grand­mother would send me to buy half a Syd­ney flat, which came wrapped with a strip of tis­sue pa­per so you didn’t touch the crust. This was fu­tile be­cause the kiss­ing crust – the ex­posed end of the half-loaf – was flaky and soft and im­pos­si­bly tempt­ing, and I’d get my fin­gers into it as soon as I was out of the shop, stuff­ing shreds of fresh yeasty bread into my mouth as I walked home.

Some of my friends who grew up in New Zealand in the 60s and 70s tell sim­i­lar sto­ries. We share the mem­ory be­cause we al­most all ate the same bread. Back then there wasn’t much else.

How far we have come. These days bread is a whole food group: from flat breads, to soft dusty baps, to heavy tex­tured loaves laced with grains like spelt or chia. Our small­est su­per­mar­kets stock ci­a­batta, sour­dough, rye and Turk­ish pide; even burg­ers come with a choice of buns. We are spoilt for choice.

And as it hap­pens, “Spoilt for choice” is our main cov­er­line and a bit of a theme for this is­sue. Be­cause the bur­geon­ing of bread choices over past decades is, of course, just one ex­am­ple of a much big­ger ex­pan­sion across all our home con­sum­ables. Go to buy any­thing in these days of global con­nect­ed­ness – bread, a sofa, a set of place mats – and you’ll be faced with a be­wil­der­ment of choice.

And our houses are the same. Back when I was scoff­ing Syd­ney flats, most peo­ple lived in a sub­ur­ban house on a sec­tion. Not any more, as this is­sue of NZ House & Gar­den so won­der­fully proves. We’ve got six bril­liant homes, from a Parisian-in­spired apart­ment in Auck­land’s CBD (cover, page 20) to a rus­tic home on Ste­wart Is­land with a whale’s jaw­bone on the wall (page 66).

There are aes­thet­ics from Mex­i­can to modern; colour schemes from mono­chrome to mul­ti­coloured. There’s a Pe­tone villa that took decades to ren­o­vate, a tiny New­mar­ket home squeezed be­tween com­mer­cial buildings. And inside these homes, fur­ni­ture and art from all over the globe – or from glob­ally-in­spired Kiwi artists.

It’s a colour­ful, di­verse line-up – one that re­minds us that these days, the world re­ally is our oys­ter when it comes to de­sign­ing our home spa­ces. Oh, and on page 134, we’ve got bread recipes, too. Any­one keen to bake a loaf of three­seed pumper­nickel?

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