Wow, hasn't the month flown by. And I've been assembling my Picks of June.
Where is the year going, eh? June has been all about a bit of nesting and a bit of re-inventing, in a really, really good way. My twenties in Wellington has been all about exploring who I am. I am now at a point where I am very settled in life and happy about what that looks like, so I want to celebrate that in my home, life and what I choose surround myself with.
At the start of May, Matt (my boyfriend) and I moved into a cute little house together. I knew when I heard that we had got the lease on our little place that the space needed to be a home, not just a flat. So I wanted to highlight a beautiful home with beautiful pieces of homeware. More and more, I want my home to be a sanctuary away from the hustle of life. I want to feel relaxed and to be able to admire what I have around. I also want to be able to know I've been investing in people and that every object tells a story.
As you already know, I fully support buying and supporting local where I can. So let me tell you about two amazing businesses I love, one new and one old. I've also got a brand new hairdo (ooh la la) - I'll walk you through that at the end.
Marble objects are SO passé (only joking - I love my marble and rose-gold as much as the next Instagram fiend). Seriously though, I've been 100% enamoured with the glorious concrete creations from Karla, founder of Koncreto. This amazing creator of homeware makes everything out of concrete, from candle holders and coasters. Karla very kindly offered to gift me some of her collection which I am completely obsessed by. Koncreto adds a bad-ass touch to any home, in an incredibly tasteful and understated way. Karla makes a wide range of objects, but my personal favourites are the Reloj Clock (pictured at the start of this article), tray and cuenco 2.0 bowl.
Koncreto is all hand-made in Wellington and is seriously cool. What I love about Koncreto is that the objects in the range aren't just decorative. They're practical! As embarrassing as it sounds (hello middle age!), a set of coasters is really handy. I feel like I will really keep my Koncreto ware - I'm also on the look for teeny tiny plants to plant in my Craneo Skull and little diamond shaped concrete planter. SO cute!
2. Backhouse Furniture's STUNNING range of Missoni Home Stephen towels
Since I was a teenage girl, I've visited Backhouse Furniture in Kaiwharawhara. First, as a girl going along with mum (she got me a Phillippe Starck Louis Ghost chair - the see-through one - when I was only 20 that I've loved ever since), and now as a young adult, making my own home. Backhouse is a magical emporium, transporting you to another, chic world. It is filled with wonderful design furniture, each piece which is the genuine article. You'll find no knock-off's here. Guaranteed, these pieces are the ones you hand down to your grandchildren.
Michelle and Gary Backhouse, the owners, are true-blue Wellington locals with a view on the world. While they have an Auckland store, and their children live there, their roots are firmly in Wellington. Backhouse furniture was started in 1948 by Michelle's Family and continues to flourish to this day.
What I love about Backhouse is that there are truly object's that light up your home and set it apart from the rest. You don't need to buy a huge Italian leather couch to feel a little luxury in your own home. A simple object can put a smile on your face, like a lamp or a wall hook. Recently, I was thrilled when Michelle popped by to say hi and brought the perfect house warming present for Matt and I - it was a gorgeous little Missoni hand towel I had noticed - and remarked on - while following her Instagram account. Oh millennials!
Despite my ultra modern way of noticing a piece, Missoni is a Italian brand with a rich history. The company was founded by Ottavio ("Tai") and Rosita Missoni in 1953. Missoni is a brand that works so well for our home. It is fantastic quality and even though the colours are bold and the weaving is so unusual the products remain timeless. The designs of 50 years ago are still sought after and modern. I love anything Italian (I studied the language at University and continue to do classes weekly at Circolo Italian on Tory Street in Wellington). I also loved that the range I had noticed was called Stephen - my father's name! Michelle remarked, with a cheeky wink, that this was INDEED a coincidence. I absolutely love my new Missoni hand towel and can be proud when people pop over that they will experience a little bit of luxury in our bathroom!
3. Back to Blonde Hair - by Lisa at JAM hairdressing, Ghuznee Street
I have a history of being a bit of a blonde.
When I was 16 - 22, I always got my hair light and bubbly. But then when I turned 23-24, I felt like I wanted to let my hair "re-set" and let it go back to it's natural colour. I think it was a natural desire to 'mature' and fit into the somewhat square law firm I was working in at the time. Thanks to Lisa, my amazing hairdresser, MY BLONDE IS BACK and better than ever.
I was inspired to turn my hair around and go back to it's best colour. A beautiful honey blonde. And who better placed to do such a transformation than Welly hair legends JAM.
What I love most about JAM is they keep it bloody real. It's basically no pretensions, no fuss, but amazing quality hairdressing. They do everything, from dreadlocks to hair extensions. But they also do a great cut and colour job.
Wellington hair salon Jam Hair Co opened in 1988 in the cultural hub of Wellington City by Tony Barrett. I remember JAM in fact when Cuba Street was a bit more 'wild' when I was a kid in 1990's (it was where Wakefield Hotel is today). Owner Tony had previously worked at other leading salons in Wellington and was known as the ‘golden boy’ after winning every cup and award with his outstanding hairdressing talent. He always had a desire to own his own salon so that he could express his individuality, and so JAM was born.
Lisa, my own hairdresser, is equally boss. She went to High School at Wellington girls and - feeling uninspired by learning at school - worked her way into a apprenticeship at Grace hairdressing on Ghuznee Street (sadly no longer there). From there, she's worked at a range of incredible Welly salons until she found her way to JAM where she's been for 2 - 3 years. Lisa is very matter of fact in her approach but she knows what works. My favourite Welly facialist Margaret Hema complemented me on my hair and Lisa's great work.
I loved chatting with Lisa over a tea while I got my hair pampered. I had a cut, colour and also a Keratin treatment to smooth out some of the damage my hair had ended up on the receiving end of. At the end, she applied the treatment and then blow-dried my hair. I left feeling completely powerful and full of pure blonde ambition.
I love how real JAM is and how connected it is to Wellington and it's energy. JAM will always hold a special place in my beauty regime and in my heart!