DESIGN INSPIRATION • EXPERT ADVICE • DIY PROJECTS • AND MORE
Kitchen trends for 2015
DiY bird feeder
Mega makeovers That won’t break the bank
SuStainable SolutionS How to be energy efficient
on yer mountain bike A beginner’s guide
Home & Leisure | 2
The new Soul shower by Athena available at
Offering a modern take on the traditional pivoting door shower enclosure, delivering a contemporary style that sets it apart from other designs in the market.
ecently introduced to the Athena range, Soul displays the latest in pivoting door design with a semiframeless feel which creates a look of elegant simplicity. One of the most exciting features of this stunning new shower is the ultra-modern square look shower tray, which has been designed by Athenaâ€™s NZ product development to deliver a clean, modern look. The new tray offers a low profile 65-millimetre step in to the shower and features a 25mm upstand for leak prevention. The absence of a tread pattern enhances the sleek minimalist design and provides a smooth, easy clean finish. Soul has been designed for use with both tiled and acrylic walls.
The acrylic wall lining is available in flat and moulded wall options, with a brand-new moulded wall design to complement the styling of the new shower. Offering an over height 1920mm high door set, Soul is available in white and satin finishes. Other features include chrome pivot covers and a double sided chrome handle, giving a strong architectural feel. The double sided handle provides ease of use when getting in and out of the shower and is a feature not commonly seen on showers in this category. A newly designed chrome square, Easy Clean Waste provides a contemporary finishing touch to this beautiful new shower, which is quite clearly in a league of its own. Visit www.athena.co.nz for more information and inspiration.
Get 2 free glass shelves or free moulded wall upgrade for any Soul shower ordered through Edward Gibbon in April Bathroom | Kitchen | Laundry | Outdoor Heating | Space Heating | Water Heating 293 Cranford Street (Showroom), St Albans P 366 7137 75 Kingsley St, Sydenham P 366 7199 www.edwardgibbon.co.nz
3 | Home & Leisure
Kate Preece Editor
Let me introduce you to Home & Leisure, a new publication designed to make your life easier. If you are wanting to give your home some tender loving care, this monthly magazine is going to provide you with the tips and tricks to do exactly this – without spending the earth. Practical advice from local writers and suppliers will enable you to make the right decisions when it comes to renovating and rebuilding, and inspire you to create spaces to suit your needs. We have lined up projects for both inside and outside the home, and will no doubt become your go-to guide for all things DIY. What’s more, we have great fitness tips from personal trainer Elly McGuinness and will be scoping out some new outdoor pursuits to help clear your mind and keep healthy. We will have you out and about enjoying all Christchurch has to offer, from its walking tracks, through to its gyms and sports facilities, as we deliver on the “leisure” part of our name. So, how’s the kitchen looking? Our first issue is designed to encourage an injection of new life into the heart of the home. We visit a country house in the Selwyn district and learn how a few changes here and there can have a huge impact on function and style – without having to start from scratch. If you do happen to be looking at a clean slate, why not consider the long-term effects of your appliance choices and placements? Our Sustainable solutions feature will guide you towards some greener options. Wherever you live in Christchurch and whatever the state of your home, I hope you can put into practice something from our practical publication. Until next month, happy living!
Made right here: a Christchurch showcase
Special feature – kitchens 6 7
Trends for 2015: ideas to inspire Space-saving tips: who needs a big kitchen?
Rebuild & renovate 8 Before & after: an oldie becomes a goodie 9 Sustainable solutions: energy efficiency 10 Kitchen makeover options: work with what you’ve got
Kitchen and dining designs: areas that suit your needs
DIY bird feeders: upcycle those cups and saucers
Leisure 13 Walk yourself fit: city tracks to get you going 14 Beginner’s guide to mountain biking: how to get out there
Publisher Charlotte Smulders, Star Media | Editor Kate Preece, firstname.lastname@example.org | Advertising Kerry Smith, phone 962 0743, 027 654 5367, email@example.com Design Narelle Denmead, Tracy Thompson
Home & Leisure | 4
CLEARANCE WEST COAST SAND
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5 | Home & Leisure
1. With a range of fragrances from coconut lime and caramel latte, to autumn rain, Kandle & Co are 100% soy wax candles that will add to any ambience. www.kandleco.co.nz 2. Whether you use it for fruit or as a planter, Ico Trader’s wire bowls easily blend in with a range of interior styles – from Scandinavian to vintage. Available in five great colours, from Copper and Pink (Merivale) and Raw Nova (The Tannery), RRP $129. 3. A spritz here and there and your cooking smells will be replaced by floral scents from nature. Linden Leaves room sprays are handy tools for the heart of the home. www.lindenleaves.co.nz, RRP $39.99 4. The good old days of ink and paper are echoed in the China White series by The Busy Finch (aka Tatyanna Meharry). Hand-cast from bone china, they add visual interest as well as being practical. Available from The Flock and The Gift Shop. 5. Embrace your Nordic side with a cushion from Cloud Nine Creative. Add a little comfort and a lot of style. www.cloudninecreative, RRP $39. 6. Handmade, this pendant light shade is crafted from sustainable, plantation-grown New Zealand pine, copper pins, bamboo fastening clips and recyclable polyproplene lampholders. An investment! See the full range at HAPA.
Protecting and Maintaining Your Biggest Asset How often do you wash your car? One a month, once a week or just when it needs it? It’s an interesting and common phenomenon; your car is a depreciating asset, generally used to get from A to B until it gets replaced after a few short years by a newer model – yet it gets more TLC than the family home which provides comfort and shelter for your loved ones for many years, increasing in value (most of the time) and growing your wealth. A lot of car owners look after their pride and joy with more enthusiasm than they do their own health while most, at least, look after the essentials like regular oil and tyre pressure checks, topping up the water and of course a wash and vacuum. Then there’s the obligatory Warrant of Fitness requirement as well.
So why is it that we don’t pay the same attention to the house? Of course we take pride in our family environment with superficial maintenance such as cleaning and vacuuming, but what about the true maintenance that will protect the health, well-being and value of our biggest appreciating asset? Having a maintenance plan for your home ensures it retains its current glory, is better to live in, safer, healthier and reduces the need for major repairs in the future. So often, if an item is out of sight, it’s out of mind until it either breaks of fails when a more costly repair is demanded. Take a look around your home and take note of all the things that can enjoy an increased lifecycle if given a bit of annual attention. The easy ones to spot are the windows and doors with latches and hinges that will sigh with relief at the odd squirt of lubricant. Or look into the channels and
sills of your exterior doors where drain holes are often clogged with debris, not allowing condensation or rainwater to escape. Seasonal maintenance is also an easy one to overlook. Right now we’re enjoying the dry sunny days of summer when spouting and downpipes are taking a holiday too. The problem is that when the autumnal rains come, it is only then that we become aware of all the leaves, twigs and other parasites that have been setting up a dam that could channel the rainwater into your soffits or down your internal walls. There are plenty of online resources for finding tips about home maintenance, or if you’d like some specific advice or help with a maintenance plan, call in and see us at Jennian. Your home will be better for it in the long run.
6 Moncur Place, Addington, Christchurch 8024 Phone: 03 338 5812
Home & Leisure | 6
Designer Kitchens at DiY PriCes
Kitchen style file for 2015 Home & Leisure lifts the lid on the latest trends to inspire and impress.
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Inventiveness and workability will likely feature in the kitchen design lexicon for 2015. A strong theme of inspired, budgetconscious design, incorporating recycled and customised features, is already making itself known. It is the kind of design that will tick functionality and fit-for-purpose boxes while also leaving room for individual flair. Something uniquely stylish can be achieved by shopping around for affordable products and services. The underlying idea of employing creative thinking to save money, especially through reusing old or second-hand materials, is nothing new. Yet this savvy approach to “doing the kitchen” continues to hold appeal in 2015, particularly here in Canterbury where so many rebuilds and renovations are still on the go and the ultimate “dream kitchen” is simply out of reach for most people. Reflecting further on that word “inventiveness” and where it might lead, how about this for an idea… an aquarium window in the kitchen? It sounds quirky, but featured in a Canterbury kitchen that was in the Registered Master Builders House of the Year awards last year. It was part of a gold award-winning home entered by Metzger Builders Ltd: a large aquarium was inserted behind the kitchen hob to provide a diverting view through to the living room. Interesting use of a tank! Resene is encouraging homeowners to embrace their playful streak this year by choosing touches of bold, happy colour. Think splashes of yellow (Resene Bright Lights) or a burst of orange (Resene Adrenalin), and add that element of practicality with Write-on Wall Paint, enabling you to scrawl your shopping list directly on the wall. Here in Canterbury, people are already pretty adept at using a little vibrant colour to enhance what may be an otherwise neutral décor. Coloured glass splashbacks will remain a popular addition in 2015. Options now include adding photos or graphics to get an even more personalised feel. However, some people will enjoy adding bold colour accents through appliances. Smeg, for example, offers a range of coloured refrigerators that combine high performance technology with 1950s retro style. Anyone planning a new kitchen or upgrading an old one should take the time to shop around for a good benchtop design. Products on the market, catering to all budgets, range from stylish laminates to stainless steel and stone tops, or even laminate products that evoke stone finishes. Speaking of laminates, they are a practical choice for vertical surfaces too, such as doors and drawers. There are more new products coming on stream all the time. Perhaps we are used to thinking of laminates being rather bland, but some now have quite a textured look if you are seeking to create a particular visual effect. Of course, it is always worth browsing second-hand bargains to see if there is anything suitable for your design and budget. Last year’s winning entries in the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association NZ Awards show our love
WINNER: This award-winning kitchen by Margaret Young Designs reflects its owners’ personalities and keeps the mod cons out of sight.
FANCY: Smeg’s retro fridge range highlights how colour can be added with appliances.
of open-plan living remains ascendant. Budget considerations aside, it is almost a given to find a seamless connection between the kitchen and dining/living areas, as well as the outdoors. The smooth contemporary look – clean lines and no handles – still rules supreme in the new kitchen market yet perhaps there is a small swing towards something a little more classical. Take a look at the People’s Choice winning entry from Margaret Young Designs and you’ll see what I mean. I asked Margaret why she thinks her entry stood out in this category. While noting that votes came from around the Pacific Rim and not just New Zealand, Margaret suggests it was because of the design’s use of curves and the way it was tailored to reflect the personality of the client. “It also had all the mod cons including three ovens and induction cooking, which is very popular these days. Appliances were hidden behind doors to give it that old-world charm.” Margaret is generally noticing a “softening” in preferences to include a lot more timber and textured stone. Kitchen islands are continuing to grow to encompass an ever-expanding range of appliances and innovations, such as wine fridges. (For example, the Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawer™ changes from fridge to freezer “at the touch of a button”). At the Eurocucina trade fair in Milan last year, Margaret observed how new appliance lines from Miele and Bosch were favouring white. So… get ready for white being the new black in 2015!
7 | Home & Leisure
Space invaders – the counterattack
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Tying yourself up in knots in a tiny kitchen? Kate Preece suggests some ways that will help you get the most out of a small space.
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We don’t all have the luxury of walk-in pantries and butler’s kitchens. If you have the type of space that puts two cooks in the kitchen over the limit, you need to be more creative than most. Here are a few ideas for you to consider.
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Too many dishes, not enough space? If you’re entertaining beyond your kitchen means, pull out a drawer and top it with a baking tray or chopping board. It’s not a permanent fix, but it might stop you from creating a leaning tower of plates.
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Spice it up
Spice racks always sound like a good idea, but if they’re designed to sit on your benchtop, they’re as guilty of space hogging as those coffee and tea canisters. One clever idea we came across involved fixing the lids of screwtop glass jars to the bottom of floating cupboards. A row of herb and spice-filled jars can then hang in the wasted space between your bench and the Trompe l’oeil! line of cabinetry above it. It’s not a new revelation, but a mirror is your best friend in the fight to reclaim space. Hide the kitchen pews Consider mirrored splashbacks, too. Tuck back-less stools under a breakfast bar, or reconsider making that island a solid, unforgiving structure, and instead offer space underneath it. By matching seat colours to wall colours, these extra seats will disappear into the background.
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Home & Leisure | 8
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Quality without compromise Kate Preece talks to a homeowner who changed the look and feel of the family kitchen without breaking the bank. The yellow walls, cream cabinetry and green bench of Janet Shepherd’s kitchen were never going to stay, but a new fitout for $20,000 wasn’t appealing either. “There must be another way,” Janet thought. The bones of the kitchen were solid, which made resurfacing the cupboards a viable option. After a quick flick online, Janet stumbled across Canterbury company Positive Image, and John Davis’s quick response gave the Shepherds confidence in pursuing this route. The cabinet fronts and pantry doors, all sharing the same short rimu handles, were removed from the kitchen by the professionals. The rest of the structure remained unchanged, which meant the family could continue using the kitchen – “And give the cupboards a proper good clean” – during the three weeks it took for the doors to be returned refreshed in Resene Half Cougar. As part of the concurrent home makeover, Janet and Gary enlisted the help of colour consultant Naomi Hooft from interior designer company Frobisher. Under Naomi’s advice, Janet abandoned her dream of having a lime-green splashback and instead opted for a more modest Resene Half Mondo one, made by the team at Glass Force. Naomi advised Janet that by sticking to a more neutral shade that would not date, she could instead add colour through her accessories. Does Janet miss her lime green? Not at all: “As far as I’m concerned, she [Naomi] was dead right.” The addition of an island has not only
After ORIGINAL: Faced with a green benchtop, yellow walls and cream cupboards, the Shepherd family thought a new kitchen was in order.
VOILA: What a transformation. Cupboards and drawers refaced and sporting new handles, an island added, new colour scheme and a wonderfully quiet rangehood.
completed the workspace triangle – from fridge, to stove, to sink – but has provided an extra breakfast-bar-esque space at which the family can gather. The new benchtop is matched by the black fauxleather seats of the new stools, from Target, which are often used by members of the family, or those congregating in the kitchen, during those prime food-prep times. Just as practical was the handle choice. The rimu handles of the original kitchen have been replaced with long metal ones, rounded on the inside for added comfort. Janet admits she hadn’t thought much about the importance of the right type of handle, but she certainly sees the difference today. In this country setting, the long handles were not only chosen for their look, but also because the larger space behind them are more suited to farmers’ hands. Logic was behind many of the decisions made in the design of this kitchen, but there is one luxury item – the $2000 rangehood. “To us it was quite important. I could have spent money on soft-close drawers, but I’d rather put money into that,” says Janet. From the Schweigen range, this model is touted as being the quietest on the market and achieves its promise by housing its motor on top of the roof. The transformation has been significant. Not only has it brought the kitchen into the 21st century, it has created a more practical and social space that appeals to the whole family. Better still, it cost the Shepherds half the price of a completely new kitchen, without them having to sacrifice on quality.
9 | Home & Leisure
Efficiency in kitchen design
When building new, careful kitchen design can drastically Combi ovens offer convection, steam and reduce energy use as this area is one of the highest combination cooking while reducing energy costs energy-sapping rooms in the home. by around 50 per cent. They may also provide other
Passive heating and cooling
Rebecca Lees looks at simple ways to maximise energy efficiency in the hub of the home.
SAVING: In the most energy-sapping area of the home, the right decisions will save you money.
Consider using natural sunlight and airflow when choosing the position of your new kitchen. East-facing rooms are best suited for kitchen areas, as they’ll have good solar gain in the morning when the heat is appreciated, and are cooler in the late afternoon, making the hot activity of dinner preparation more comfortable. North or west-facing kitchens have good solar gain throughout the year, so cooling options are often a consideration. Horizontal outdoor shading (along eaves or decking) assists in keeping rooms cool and, for homes with high thermal mass (such as concrete, tiles or brick), louvred or clerestory windows save on energy used for cooling as well as providing excellent ventilation. Windows and doors should be located in the direction of the prevailing summer wind to give natural airflow and to minimise your need for fans and air-conditioning. Choosing a light-coloured roof can also assist, reflecting light and keeping your home cool. South-facing kitchens are naturally cooler and darker. Installing triple-glazed skylights will provide extra light and warmth. Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) white paint minimises indoor air pollution and reflects natural light giving you a more vibrant south-facing room and reducing the need for electric lighting.
taP into free energy PASSIVE COOLING: Clerestory windows installed in high thermal mass homes give excellent ventilation and light.
Free energy is energy not used at all. Energy Starqualified whiteware, kitchen appliances and heating will save on energy use. The more stars, the more energy efficient the appliance, and it’s well worth it. A dishwasher with low efficiency can cost around $1.32 per load, but an efficient dishwasher may only cost 0.29c, meaning you save a dollar at every use. Visit www.energywise.govt.nz/energy-star to compare products and their annual energy use.
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Careful design can reduce the amount of water used in a home and save on energy costs. Choose appliances that are water efficient, such as those labelled under the New Zealand Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS). These products also come with an efficiency star rating, with more stars equating to better water efficiency. When choosing taps, try one that is aerated and see if it suits you. This style of tapware reduces the flow while still providing plenty of water. Waste disposal units are both water and energy thirsty. An alternative is to replace them with a covered storage area, which comprises three separate bins: food waste (for garden compost), recycling and general waste.
choose wisely When choosing materials and appliances consider their whole life cycle. How much energy has gone into producing the material, how long will it last and what will be done with it when it is no longer being used by you? Choose your professionals wisely, too. Savvy designers will be up to speed with the latest energysaving options and will be willing to help guide you through the process with your end goal and budget firmly in mind. For further guidance with decision making for Christchurch homes, go to www.buildbacksmarter. co.nz
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Four years on from the earthquakes which devastated Canterbury an exciting new city is emerging. AHS are fully accredited for Insurance and Earthquake Repair Work, passionate about the rebuild, deeply committed to providing cantabrians with a stress-free quality repair. If you have earthquake repairs to still to be paid out for or complete, AHS can assign you a trained and qualified project manager to help you through the process. AHS work with only the best builders, repairers and contractors to ensure a quality repair every time. Having rebuilt or repaired over 100 houses in Christchurch for larger corporations, AHS is now making its specialized service available to the public.
AHS have the expertise to take the stress out repairing your home or business. Exacting standards and an uncompromising work ethic ensures a high standard of workmanship. They offer a comprehensive service from friendly professional advice through to the completion of the repair, facilitating throughout with transparent, concise and regularly updated communication with the client. With AHS, not only will they provide you with an independent assessment report and identify MORE earthquake damage that may have been missed on previous assessments, but they also have a strong network of contractors to ensure whatever repairs you need done are completed to a high standard. Cosmetic or structural Absolute Home Services CAN HELP. AHS have been working closely with EQC for the past three years. They completely understand the process and their quotes are completely compatible with EQC to ensure a FAST process of your claim to get the ball rolling STRAIGHT AWAY.
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Home & Leisure | 10
A makeover in the kitchen Mark Rayner looks at ways to rejuvenate the kitchen without starting from scratch. Is the kitchen lino looking a little tired and are the cupboard doors showing signs of wear and tear? Sounds like it’s time for a spruce up in the kitchen, but where to begin? Does the current layout work? Those au fait with home-makeover TV shows will know the basic layout of any successful kitchen design revolves around the often documented “triangle” walked between fridge, cooker and sink. It’s a principle long used by kitchen designers and at its most elementary, no side of the triangle should be less than 1.2m or greater than 2.7m and the sum of all three sides should be between 4m and 7.9m. It’s not always quite as simple as that, of course, but pace out your current layout and if it falls between these guidelines, you can be fairly confident it’s an efficient use of space. refacing options With the overall internal cabinet structure sound, it might just be a case of replacing worktop surfaces and cupboard doors and drawer fronts. Many modern kitchen units are of a modular design which makes refacing a fairly straightforward option. Typically, by simply replacing doors,
drawers and panels, 75% of the kitchen materials are saved. When it comes to materials and finishes, the options are plenty and, again, may come down to available budget. Top-end stone benchtops, which come in a range of materials including granite and quartz, not only provide a luxurious finish, they also ensure a hardwearing (and long-lasting) work surface. The natural stone effect can also be achieved with solid acrylic benchtops which emulate a variety of stone finishes and some are similar to the traditional terrazzo look. Stainless steel is another much-admired, long-lasting finish, but for a more economical option, consider laminate, which comes in a huge variety of colours and patterns, many of which emulate the more expensive finishes. reflooring There’s a huge number of options available these days when it comes to kitchen flooring, from traditional vinyl and linoleum through to ceramic tiles, polished concrete and laminate plank flooring (available in a myriad of faux wood-grain finishes). Aside from the aesthetics there are a number of major practical considerations – budget (always), suitability for purpose (is it hard wearing enough?), the feel underfoot (is it
OPTIONS: There’s a wide variety of kitchen doors and drawers on offer (photo: Kitchen Express).
cold or uncomfortable to stand on for long periods of time?) and whether the existing floor structure is suitable to accommodate the chosen material (tiling may require considerable prep and an additional substrate). For the DIY enthusiast, tiles and laminate flooring are both very popular options for kitchen floors and both have their pros and cons. Generally, ceramic tiles are harder wearing than laminate flooring (especially in areas of very high foot traffic or where there are excitable canines in residence) and are a little easier to keep clean – though laminate flooring is simpler to install, being interlocking (so no need for messy adhesives and grout) and requiring only a PE membrane and thin foam underlay rather than the well-prepared substrate usually required for tiles. Underfoot, laminate is softer and warmer to the feel – and a more forgiving surface if there are young infants in the house. Other flooring options may include vinyl and linoleum, self-adhesive flooring tiles (very economical and surprisingly durable,
but generally bereft of any wow factor) and painted or varnished surfaces. For a quickfix, a coat of flooring paint over an existing floor may suffice, but it’s unlikely to be a long-lasting solution. up the walls Finally, take time to think about wall surfaces and their contribution to the overall look of the kitchen. Be creative with colour – it’s far cheaper to change a wall colour a few years down the line than it is more permanent fixtures and fittings. Paint manufacturers such as Resene produce wall paints especially designed for kitchens and bathrooms – these contain anti-fungal properties which are easier to keep clean. They also produce a range of coloured blackboard paints and ‘write-on’ wall paint – a great alternative to the traditional shopping list. Another option is tiling kitchen walls or splashbacks to the bench tops and stove – tiles are very easy to wipe clean and are extremely hardwearing, but do ensure you use an appropriate grout sealer to prevent grout from staining.
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11 | Home & Leisure
Practical living and dining Interior designer Leeanne Kerr offers sound advice for the creating ideal spaces for cooking, eating and entertaining. kitchen Let us take a quick tour of the kitchen. Chances are you’ll find a refrigerator or fridge/freezer, sink, various types of cooking devices, a pantry for food storage, some other storage, and some work surfaces. Some people, and I’m one of them, consider a dishwasher essential, so we’ll add one of those, too. The trick to successfully renovating or building a new kitchen is how you place each of these in relation to the others, and getting the right type to suit your purposes. For example, we bought a house with a pantry right next to the fridge. Why is this bad? Because fridges radiate a lot of heat and in summer, ladies, it melts your chocolate stash, as well as being bad for food generally. One of the first things you need to consider for placement is the space you
have to work with – is it small and confined, long and narrow, or a large open space? Maybe you want to change the existing shape. Will you need to take out a wall? Is it load bearing? Will you need a permit? Is your budget now a large number? To fit the budget maybe there’s some things you can keep rather than replace, or you can revisit what you need, want, or both. Consider leaving a space for that dishwasher and adding it later. If you’re renovating, some things are harder to move than others, anything with plumbing for instance, and even a stove can be hard, if it’s a brick house and the rangehood vents through the wall.
Allow for bench space next to the fridge where you can put stuff while moving things around in it. A work space next to where you cook, and a space to put dirty dishes next to the sink are ideal inclusions Benchtop colours are trending lighter, with marble effects available even if you’re getting an acrylic surface. There are a wide variety of surfaces on offer, including granite, which is making a bit of a comeback. You may be old enough to remember the “pot cupboard”. Well, now pots live in drawers and cupboards contain communes of plastic food containers, stubbornly refusing to be organised, or even stay together with the right sort of lid. Actually, there is now a great range
of multifunctional storage solutions to help tame your cupboards. Get started by separating the lids from the containers and pilling both in order of size. Traditional handles, or for that streamlined look, handle-free cupboard doors and drawers are options. One thing that doesn’t get enough consideration when choosing handles is how easy they’ll be to clean. If you’re contemplating softclose drawers and your kitchen is smaller, for instance if you can have either the cutlery drawer or the dishwasher open, but not both at the same time, consider whether you want that drawer to close slowly or quickly. For the frail, these drawers might be easier to close, but they’re harder to open. Appliances can be coloured or if you’re wanting grey metallic elements then stainless steel is still the go-to finish. Stainless steel used to be it for sinks, but ceramic and granite are now options as well. If you’re feeling adventurous then try coloured taps and mixers, just make sure what you choose will work with your water pressure. You may also want to consider using a glass splashback rather than tiles, it’s a cleaner look and can be colour-matched to the rest of your kitchen. (Trending currently are soft earth tones.) Last but not least, you will need to consider where you want your lights, and electric outlets. Long term, poorly placed hot points equal deranged cooks. If you don’t know where to start, contact an interior designer as this can save your sanity and budget.
Dining rooM I think dining areas are one of the most underappreciated spaces in the home and, if you’re new to DIY, the dining area is a good place to start – there’s little in the way of electrics and little complexity in the basic requirements. At its most simplistic, it’s a space to put a table where you eat. However, it can also be an entertainment space, intimate romantic area, occasional storage space, internet café, craft station for kids, a workspace and, if you’re open plan, it can be a place in
A very basic mood board I’ve put together in a modern style using the sort of colours currently trending. Walls – Resene Intrigue with a bright off-white ceiling in Resene Double MErino. Floors – Stain with Resene Oregon or wood planking in Rock Salt. The table is Resene Dark Ebony, the primary colour of upholstery on the chairs can be the same as the walls – this could be a patterned fabric to add additional colour and balance.
which to park the family so you can talk to them while you prepare a meal – and that’s just using the table! The space itself can be a gallery, simply add sideboards and display cabinets. We have an open plan and I have a lifetime of cookbooks so a lovely tall wooden bookcase is utilised as a partial room divider. It also lends itself to a wide variety of styles, from cottage to modern, to eclectic. You’re only limited by the size and shape of your space, and the need to maintain flow and cohesion with adjoining areas. Start with a mood board. The purpose of this is to work through your thoughts, likes and dreams, and make sure it’s all going to fit together and end up looking like and functioning how you want. Essentially it’s a big board where you can attach photos, fabric and paint samples and anything else you’re intending to use. It will help you finalise your colour scheme, flooring, fabric, and furniture. It may also help save you money through not having to make alterations after the project is started.
Once you’ve decided on the room layout you can decide where to put your lighting and any electrical outlets you may need. When implementing your plan, electrics must come before painting! When it comes to lighting there is definitely something out there for everyone – from an elegant French look to a commercial air-vent fan, minimalist to complex. If you’re really into DIY, try making your own lightshade, such as a pendant made from an old colander… just Google “homemade light shade”, but be warned you may be horrified by some. Last but not least, it is time to accessorise your room. My preferred style is eclectic and along with the vintage china cabinets I’ve got some old kitchenware – old cake tins, milkshake makers and jugs – on display. This is really where you can stamp your personality on the space. You can further enhance the space by, depending on the occasion, changing the table setting; candles for that romantic night in, white tablecloth and Christmas decorations on Christmas day... the options are endless.
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Home & Leisure | 12
DIY teacup bird feeders
HOW TO MAKE STEP 1. Select the combination of teacup and saucer that you want to glue together. Squirt a small amount of glue around the bottom rim of the teacup before setting it in position on the saucer. Allow a good 24 hours for the glue to set before putting the teacup under pressure.
Grant Stephens and Rebecca Hammond from H&S Landscape Design show us how to upcycle teacups, saucers and balustrades in the first of our exterior projects.
STEP 2. Using the handsaw, or power tools if you prefer, sharpen the ends of the balustrade uprights to form a point. This makes them a stake, which is much easier to push into the garden or lawn at a later date. STEP 3. Paint your balustrade stakes the colour of your choice. It’s important to use exterior paint as this will help to protect the non-treated wood of the balustrade upright. STEP 4. Push the stake into the ground to set it in a vertical position. It is best to do this in an easily accessible location. STEP 5. Squirt glue on top of the stake. Then position the saucer and teacup in place. Leave to set as per the glue’s instructions. STEP 6. On the stovetop, bring half a pot of water to the boil. Place a heatproof container that is easy to pour from into the pot and put a portion of the lard into it. This will slowly melt the lard and allow for safe handling once the lard is hot. STEP 7. Fill the teacup with birdseed. STEP 8. Carefully remove the melted lard from the pot of hot water. Take it outside to your teacup. Fill the teacup until it covers the birdseed. STEP 9. Using a wooden skewer, carefully mix the birdseed and lard to make sure it is all combined. Leave to set. STEP 10. Place the teacups in their final location and sit back and watch the birds enjoy.
YOu wIll need Tools: Paintbrush, caulking gun, handsaw, pot and skewer Materials: Teacups and saucers, a tube of exterior adhesive, balustrade uprights, lard, birdseed and exterior paint
Be really careful when handling hot lard as it can cause severe burns if it gets onto your skin. Fill the saucer with water to provide a drink for the birds as well. Rather than birdseed you may want to place a piece of apple or other fruit inside.
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13 | Home & Leisure
Walk your way through autumn Personal trainer elly McGuinness highlights walking tracks that will recharge your body and mind. Autumn is a great time to enjoy our fitness and well-being endeavours in the stunning outdoor spaces that Christchurch has to offer. Bright sunny days less the stifling hot temperatures are in abundance, and nature presents a vast array of beautiful colours for us to enjoy. We are spoilt for choice in terms of walking options in and around our gem of a city. In this article, I share some of my favourite spots to get outdoors and walk (or jog) in amongst nature, whilst only being a hop, skip and jump from the city centre. (Note, walking times are approximate and are based on my own experience of walking with small groups of people.)
FLAT WALKS SUITABLE FOR ALL FITNESS LEVELS
1. Travis wetlands
Join the pukekos and the odd sneaky cat around this gorgeous reserve on the east side of the city. Park at the Beach Road carpark and walk a loop in 40-60 minutes.
2. Styx Mill Reserve
The northwest side of the city presents a similar option that passes a small lake and winds in and around native plants. A loop can be made in 40-60 minutes, starting at the carpark on Styx Mill Road.
Fashion with a difference TRAIL WALKS REQUIRING MODERATE-TO-GOOD LEVEL OF FITNESS
1. Harry ell – latters Spur loop
With only minor undulations, this is one of the easiest tracks to walk in the Port Hills. Start from the main carpark in Victoria Park and take the Harry Ell track to the Sign of the Kiwi and back, or turn it into a loop by linking on to the Latters Spur track. The full loop takes about an hour.
2. Godley Heads walkway to Boulder Bay or beyond
Enjoy stunning views of the coastline along this undulating track – highly enjoyable with a moderate-to-good level of fitness. A return trip from Taylors Mistake carpark to Boulder Bay takes approximately 90 minutes, or, for a longer walk, you can continue all the way to Godley Heads carpark. Walk the route in reverse if preferred.
3. Bridle path to gondola… or even on to lyttelton
Starting next to the base of the gondola, the steepest track in Christchurch offers rewarding views over the peninsula once you reach the top. From here you can continue climbing on a gentler slope to reach the gondola café for a well-deserved meal or snack. Allow 45-60 minutes to get there, depending on fitness and weather conditions. Return the same way, or super keen walkers can head down to Lyttelton and back up and over! Be PRePARed: Download a map and other walking information from the city council website (ccc. govt.nz) and take water, snacks and other people with you. Dress for the conditions and then get out there and enjoy the rewards your efforts will provide – stunning scenery, an endorphin high, and a healthy set of heart and lungs as well.
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Home & Leisure | 14
Set the wheels in motion Experienced mountain-biker Col Pearson highlights where to take your bike and what you need to hit the hills. With terrain ranging from the flat and sinuous trails of McLeans Island and Bottle Lake Forest, to the gut-busting climbs and adrenaline-rush descents of the Port Hills, there is something to suit anyone with a desire to ride a mountain bike. For those wishing to start out on something gentle, Environment Canterbury (ECan) and Christchurch City Council tracks network along the south bank of the Waimakariri River, with leisurely paths running east from Roto Kohatu to the Groynes, to the Brooklands Lagoon. Further upstream, on the same bank of the river, ECan’s McLeans Island track comprises one dedicated mountain bike loop of about 11km, and subsidiary loops, some of which are shared use, where you may encounter walkers. Bottle Lake Forest, North New Brighton, also has a network of dedicated single track running through the pine plantation, providing great fun for all the family. For a longer ride, the Little River Rail Trail runs from Hornby to Little River with much of the section from Motukarara to Little River routed along the former railway embankment close to Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere. Cafés at Little River offer sustenance for the return trip, or organise a car swap with another group riding in the opposite direction. The Port Hills provide a different set of challenges, most of which involve a struggle with gravity, either pushing against it uphill, or
keeping it in control on the way down! Good brakes are essential. From Victoria Park, at the top of Cashmere Hill, there are many tracks dropping down to Bowenvale Valley. Some descent steeply and have drops in them, requiring a high level of skill and experience to ride. The Christchurch City Council, which owns and administers much of the Port Hills, has a sign system which gives information at the start of many of the tracks outlining their degree of difficulty, but take care to ride to your ability and stay safe. There are also numerous informal routes that may not have any signage. Along the Port Hills, from the top of Worsleys Spur, immediately west of Dyers Pass, to Godley Head, at the seaward end of Lyttelton Harbour, is a more or less continuous bike track. On much of this trail mountain bikes have right of way, though some sections are shared-use, with walkers having precedence. For those wishing to test their fitness, there are any number of routes up the Port Hills. The easiest is to ride one of the sealed roads: Cashmere’s Dyers Pass or Hackthorne roads; up Mt Pleasant; or Sumner’s Evans Pass. Once your legs and lungs are working well, the gravelsurfaced Rapaki Track, which starts in St Martins,
takes you steadily uphill to the Summit Rd. It is a popular route also used by walkers and runners. Respect other outdoor users and don’t ride the tracks when they are wet as it cuts them up.
What you need: 1. Bike, obviously.
Any bike in good working order will do initially. Good functional brakes are essential, especially for riding on the hills where gears help hugely for climbing. Front forks with suspension lessen the stress to your hands and wrists. It is possible to hire bikes if you have nothing available and there are also shops specialising in second-hand bikes. There is no limit to how much you can spend on a bike with all the latest equipment, but if you’re starting out, keep it simple; cheap and light-weight to see if mountain biking is the sport that “spins your wheels”.
2. Helmet. A well-fitting helmet is also essential. Inspect it before
you put it on – does it have any cracks in the polystyrene-type foam lining? Is the outer plastic skin in good order? Are the straps in good condition and able to be done up properly?
3. Gloves. A lot of vibration comes up through the handlebars and padded gloves help reduce that. They also protect your hands when you come off your bike. Fingerless gloves are good on all but the coldest days. 4. Comfortable seat. Mountain-bike seats are often built for
dedicated “go-fast” racers and, as a result, are pretty uncomfortable for the rest of us. A comfortable seat, whether it’s wider, more padded, or better shaped, can make a huge difference to your riding enjoyment.
5. Glasses. Good to have, but not essential, as they keep the dust and dirt out of your eyes. Ensure they are safe for cycling.
15 | Home & Leisure
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Published on Nov 30, 2015