Cre­ative in­te­ri­ors and all you need to know about sus­tain­able homes

NZ House & Garden - - NOTED -


By Robyn Lea, Thames & Hud­son, $70,

288 pages, hard­back

Don’t ex­pect the usual house porn from this one. Aus­tralian pho­tog­ra­pher/writer Robyn Lea re­jects any no­tion of “pres­tige pur­chases” or “how-to”. Th­ese in­tensely per­sonal in­te­ri­ors are ex­pres­sions of their own­ers’ in­ner lives, she says, and would be im­pos­si­ble to repli­cate. In­stead she en­cour­ages read­ers to ditch the rules, be­come non-con­form­ists and “trust ev­ery quirky idea you have ever had”. The 20 fea­tured homes, owned by artists and col­lec­tors in the US, Europe and Aus­tralia (among them art and de­sign lu­mi­nar­ies Francesco Cle­mente and Barn­aba For­nasetti) range from folksy and funky to down­right cere­bral. They were de­signed “to nour­ish and in­spire” their cre­ative own­ers. They may well do the same for you. Jan Chilwell is an Auck­land writer


By Melinda Williams, Pen­guin, $45,

240 pages, pa­per­back

The way our homes are built and land­scaped has a dra­matic im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment, says Williams, so the de­ci­sions you make when build­ing or ren­o­vat­ing are far­reach­ing. Her book is writ­ten for the Kiwi mar­ket and is a com­pre­hen­sive re­source for any­one want­ing to build or ren­o­vate sus­tain­ably. She thor­oughly cov­ers ev­ery­thing from the ba­sic prin­ci­ples of eco­home de­sign to the best ma­te­ri­als (the pros and cons of con­crete and dif­fer­ent bench­top ma­te­ri­als for ex­am­ple) and the most ef­fi­cient light­ing and heat­ing. It’s an im­pres­sively re­searched book with lots of de­tail. I par­tic­u­larly liked the hard-nosed hints on work­ing out whether en­vi­ron­men­tal claims are cred­i­ble or “green­wash­ing”.

Rose­mary Bar­r­a­clough is NZ House & Gar­den’s as­so­ciate ed­i­tor

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