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?