Edi­tor’s let­ter

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

Not so long ago, I sat in on a ses­sion in which the inim­itable Caro­line Mon­tague of Matisse ad­vised a group of de­sign afi­ciona­dos to for­get about trends when buy­ing new fur­ni­ture and think more about things you love: heirlooms, col­lec­tions... and one ‘wrong’ thing that sets off every­thing else. It made me feel a lot bet­ter about my own de­cid­edly ‘eclec­tic’ house. We have too many books and an odd-ball col­lec­tion of vin­tage pieces – a ta­ble by Parker Fur­ni­ture picked up on Trade Me, a set of Ligna bent­wood chairs found on the side of the road and re­stored – along with ce­ram­ics and glass­ware, in­her­ited and col­lected. We have a mi­nor ad­dic­tion to arm­chairs, in­clud­ing a ‘Sa­fari’ chair by Kaare Klint for Carl Hansen, which was a wed­ding present from my mum. And our ‘wrong’ thing? A USM side­board in a vivid shade of ‘USM Green’ that was also a wed­ding present from my wife Han­nah’s par­ents, which sits nicely be­low a haunt­ing land­scape of post-quake Christchurch by David Straight. It also got me think­ing about the cover home for this is­sue: a thought­ful de­sign by An­drew Meir­ing in stone and black-stained shin­gles that’s been added to a white wooden house in Devon­port, Auck­land. Faced with a her­itage villa, the ar­chi­tect has knit­ted the needs of a mod­ern house­hold around the bones of an old house. It’s con­tem­po­rary, but it’s not aus­tere: it lets the own­ers in­habit it as they want to. See, most res­i­den­tial ar­chi­tec­ture is be­spoke but not all of it is as per­sonal as the homes in this is­sue. They are won­der­ful ex­pres­sions of their own­ers’ needs: oc­ca­sion­ally off­beat, and some­times even odd. They are not houses where you have to throw every­thing out be­fore you move in. In short, they all have at least one ‘wrong’ thing. And that’s what makes them work.

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