Best of CMID - Scandinavian Style

There’s a good reason why the CMID blog has been dormant of late.  We have been busy focusing our efforts on developing a newly crafted blog, with a re-launch planned for the end of February.

Remaining true to your essential style while constantly keeping your work fresh are key elements that work in tandem to deliver effective and successful interior design.  The new CMID blog aims to reflect this thinking.

In the interim, and to possibly to keep your whistle whet, here's a retrospective of the CMID blog’s most popular postings.  If you are a regular reader, it might not escape your attention that Charlotte admires Scandinavian style and this is reflected in the popularity of related posts.  She is drawn to its modernity, natural functionality, and often-unobstructed simplicity of interiors and exteriors. 

Click the link provided below the images to see more of each posting.  And, look out for the CMID blog version 2.0 in February. 

Michel, Helsinki (2015)

Words by Craig Greaves. 
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Martinborough Mini Trip

And a happy New Year to everyone! We hope that a joyful festive season was had by all.

We recently visited the Wairarapa region to attend the wedding of our friends, Hamish and Alice.  Roughly an hour from central Wellington, the region is well equipped for a relaxing weekend sojourn.  Beautiful rolling hills frame a landscape which shares vineyards, olive groves, farmland, and a number of hamlets and towns.  The region invites good weather during the summer period, and on this count it did not let us down during our brief stay.

Bucolic beauty among the hills close to the town of Martinborough.

The wedding reception was held at the Brackenridge Country Retreat, which is but a short drive from Martinborough.  It hosts a function centre, a spa retreat, and a number cottages and studios within its expansive grounds.  This view is sweeping south to some cottages and the hills beyond

We stayed in one in one of these nicely appointed and restful studios.

Bridal transport posing in front of the function centre.

The function centre, which housed the reception, opened to a lush and inviting lawn.  Forgive me, but as Charlotte comes from an architectural family I feel duty bound to borrow oft-used industry lexicon that this design allowed for 'good indoor-outdoor flow.' 

We have always wanted to call into the award-winning Clareville Bakery, just outside of Carterton township.  And we did just that the morning after the wedding.  The Bakery resides in one of the oldest buildings in the region, as the above photo reveals.  Great interior details includes rolling pin-shaped door handles and AGEE jar pendant lights.

En route home we purchased some roadside summer fruit. An almost ritual practice on such journeys.

Words by Craig Greaves and photographs by Charlotte Minty.
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The Brooklyn Deli showcases its Gingerbread

Stirred by the cleverly constructed gingerbread car in a window display for the US store Anthropologie, we want to retain our gingerbread-esque focus while shifting our gaze locally. Very local in fact. The popular Brooklyn Deli in Wellington is but a short walk from our house.  With its welcoming rustic interior coupled with a wonderfully diverse menu and friendly staff, the eatery is a fixed feature of our weekly routine.  Of added attraction is the eye-catching and mouth-watering display of gingerbread available for sale.  Created by the skilled hands of Brooklyn Deli owners and Austrian expatriates Herwig and Theresa Maingast, their gingerbread range has become a wholesale product under the Hansel and Gretel name.

Inspiration behind the gingerbread can be traced back to the ancestral home of Theresa  - Lake Mondsee ("Moon Lake") not far from the famous Austrian city of Salzburg.  On entry to the Brooklyn Deli, patrons are greeted by a large photo (see above) of the picturesque lake, its surrounds famous for hosting a number of scenes in the movie " The Sound of Music."  Baking prowess runs strong in Theresa's family.  Her grandmother was well known within the Lake Mondsee community as a baker of considerable repute and Theresa today remains faithful to her grandmother's original gingerbread recipe.  Indeed, the Brooklyn Deli menu includes a number of culinary treats from the owners home country.

One of the design challenges for the interior was covering a rather large and bland wall.  With her design background, Theresa rose to the challenge and the result is a striking sliced timber feature wall.

Photographs by Charlotte Minty and words by Craig Greaves.
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Stunning Anthropologie Window Dressing: the Old and the New

In keeping with the seasonal sentiment of remembering things past, let's return to one of our more popular posts.  Four years ago, we explored a variety of incredible summer window dressing at Anthropologie stores in the US.  The above image is taken from the original post, which can be found here.

Some readers might not be familiar with Anthropologie, a popular American company which features women's fashion, design, art, lifestyle products, and home furnishings.  I have visited a few of its US stores and can happily be identified as a fan not only of its products but also of its store designs. [Note: since my visits to Anthropologie in the US, they now ship to New Zealand. Check it out on this link here.]

Indeed, Anthropologie is highly regarded for the design strength of its visual merchandising, with  window dressing being a hallmark quality.  I believe it is a reputation well deserved.

Interior design and retail visual merchandising have much in common.  Both disciplines create focal points to draw the attention of anyone in a certain space and, importantly, to help people move through that space be it a store or a room in a house.  I once worked in visual merchandising for Country Road and my previous interior design experience certainly informed my VM work.

In this general spirit, it seems timely to revisit the Anthropologie windows across the US and see what they're offering during the current Christmas season.  Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of the post.

A (faux?) gingerbread car provides the window highlight at the Anthropologie store in South Windsor, Connecticut.   Note that the window dressing incorporates store product in a way that compliments the scene. 

Moving south, the store in Raleigh, North Carolina delivers on detail and tradition. 

The Princeton, New Jersey store window is cleverly constructed in a way that highlights both the apparel and the setting.

Moving to the West Coast, this beautiful Anthropologie window can be found in Portland, Oregon.  I am particularly drawn to the artful and carefully considered backdrops on display in this and many other store windows.  

This Chicago store front is wonderfully balanced, which I find very satisfying as an interior design.

Below is a short video that unwraps the work that goes into Anthropologie's festive window dressing. 

Words by Craig Greaves.
Photographs via Anthropologie.

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Where We Work - Studio Marcus Hay

Karl Lagerfield once said "there's something boring about people who have to go to an office for a living".  Equating office work with boring people is, of course, Mr Lagerfield's choice to make.  But in many respects, the office can reflect the person and there's always something interesting about that.

Taken further, the work spaces of creative people are often as interesting as the people that occupy them.  In our view, such work spaces can inform and inspire the occupant and their work.  Indeed, the work space/worker relationship is important in all forms of labour but particular so in the creative world.  It is a relationship that we aim to explore further in the blog as a recurring feature.  Think of it as an ongoing rebuttal to Mr Lagerfield's argument.

The New York studio of Marcus Hay is an active endorsment of our rebuttal.  We have previously profiled the Australian-born style creative director, interior design and writer before.  Here are some visuals of his studio located in the vibrant Chelsea neighbourhood in Manhattan.  Let's visit and take a look around.

What is most notable is that colour dominates the studio.  Varied in hues and blushes, the colours lift the space and gives it an irresistible life.

Who doesn't appreciate the look of a beautifully designed bottle of alcohol and a well-stacked yet properly portioned bookshelf?  Both can add tremendously to the look of a room.  A case in point is Marcus' precisely placed bookcase and the elegant drinks tray above. 

[Note: the terrific Wellington bistro Capitol has a great display of interesting bottles behind the bar. It certainly adds to what is a quality eatery.  Great food and service too. Five stars.]

In New York, the dimension of one's office can greatly dictate the look.  We like the embedded desk here.  It is undeniable stylish, and speaks of a smart and economic use of space.

As an observation, there is a lot going on in Marcus' studio.  Nevertheless, it is beautifully configured and visually alluring.  The artefacts that populate the desks, shelves and walls are many as they are varied.  You get the sense that they all have a backstory that is important to Marcus, his team, and their work.  They are clearly things that matter and provide a semblance of insight into the occupants.  And in the absence of an explanation behind each artefact, it is far from boring to wonder about their respective origin and particular significance. What we can be certain of is that they look great.

Words by Craig Greaves.
Photographs by Jonny Valiant via Studio Marcus Hay.
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Christmas formally arrives at 292

This festive set piece heralds the official arrival of the 2015 Christmas season at 292.  
I have long collected small ornamental houses.  The real estate on display were purchased at Citta Design and Bo Concept, with others received as gifts from friends.  In recognition of my Swedish heritage, I have chosen a Dala Horse of Sweden - this one was from Kikki K.  The glass star decorations and Seed LED lights are from Vanessa Cohen's superb Magnolia Trading Co in Wellington.  The tray is Country Road.  The classic AGEE Jar and white stones are from the collection of Judy Minty (mother) who kindly raided her extensive garden for the branch. 

This is the final resting spot for the festive arrangement, on top of our new sideboard. 

God Jul! (Merry Christmas in Swedish)

Styling and photographs by Charlotte Minty.
Words by Craig Greaves.
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