At the supermarket this week, my son Ted excitedly pointed out the Christmas-themed chocolates that have begun to appear at the ends of the aisles, and all I could think was, ‘Is it that time already?!’ In producing a magazine, we’re always working a little in advance of real time, so the holiday countdown does feel as if it starts early for us — and yet I’ve found myself late to the summer-accommodation game, having not considered much beyond chilling out at home. Not that I’m mad about that, though, given most of last year’s break was consumed with my family’s move from the North to the South Island and our epic regional roadie in between.
On the road again recently to style and shoot some of the projects featured in this December/January issue, I enjoyed a taste of what summer has in store for us, and how the homeowners, architects and designers who live in the various locations like to spend the warmer months. In the past few weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to pop into Murray for a bite to eat in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland’s Piha, go on a morning hike up Mauao/Mt Maunganui and sip a sundowner in Sumner, Ōtautahi/Christchurch.
Responding to the local environment is a common thread that runs through the architecture we’ve profiled this issue, with buildings designed to shelter their occupants from the climatic extremes we face as an island nation. What I’m most interested in, though, is how we want our homes to perform as places for respite and rejuvenation. Perhaps with downtime top of mind, spatial solutions for R&R really spoke to me as we curated these projects. Take the space featured on our cover, for example — what genius to have a greenhouse-esque room protected from the prevailing wind and connected to the bush behind a beachfront bach. Getting up close and personal with the garden was a key driver of the St Marys Bay, Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland renovation we profile too, while the mezzanine at the home we shot in Sumner, Ōtautahi/Christchurch allows the living zone to bask in natural light while creating restful hideaways for adults and kids alike.
I could go on about all the intriguing details we discovered while putting these pages together, but I really just want to invite you to pore over them yourself to find the things that take your fancy. Here’s to enjoying this new issue and some good old-fashioned downtime.