Thursday, 2 July 2015

Billie Culy

We are so lucky in Hawke's Bay to have some incredible creative talent residing. I recently sat down to chat with young artist, Bille Culy, about coming home, her beautiful range of botanical prints, and her plans for the future.

Billie has recently moved back to Hawke's Bay after living in Auckland for three years. She and her partner Matt Beamish, (the pair both attended Elam School of Fine Arts) left the big city to come and enjoy the quieter Hawke's Bay lifestyle. They've spent the last six months working with Beagle's Bees learning the art of beekeeping. She and Matt would love to have their own hives, "Napier Hill is perfect with lots of flowers year round", says Billie.

Coming home has been good for Billie. "I always feel more inspired at home," she says. Her parent's, Leanne and Brian Culy, are both incredible artists and are a huge inspiration for Billie, they are both her biggest fans and critics. "I know I can always get an honest critique from Mum", she laughs. "Which is great, I missed that".

At school, photography was Billie's favourite subject, and her dad, Brian, was her main inspiration - "he's so clever, and really helpful and supportive". Billie's current range of botanical photographic prints are exquisite. She's always loved to arrange flowers, and she loves still life. Each print captures the essence of the place where the flowers came from. Everything is thought out very carefully, from the arrangement to the background, right down to the vessel. Some of the vessels Billie makes herself, including the concrete planter and beeswax bowl. She would love to make more of her own vessels and is thinking of taking pottery lessons in the future.


Haumoana Flowers

Flowers in Wax

As well as photography and maybe pottery, Billie is interested in a wide range of creative avenues, including painting and print making. She finds inspiration in many places, and is a big fan of painters, Saskia Leek and Helen Frankenthaler. Wolfgang Tillmans is her most favourite photographer - his still life works are amazing; and she's recently discovered the work of Camillie Henrot who turns flower arrangements into sculptural works.

Camillie Henrot

Saskia Leek

Helen Frankenthaler

With Billie's talent and enthusiasm the future is wide open for her. She plans to branch out with some of her still life ideas, playing with different objects. Painting is something she is really keen to get back to, and perhaps travel. "I'd love to travel overseas and take floral photographs that represent each area", Billie says. "Or maybe go and rough it on Great Barrier island for a while". Whatever she does I know she'll do well. If you love her prints as much as I do, you can purchase them from Homebase Collections, and if you think they look good on screen, wait til you see them in real life!

Botanical Garden


Roadside Flowers


Monday, 29 June 2015

Add the Unexpected

I eat, drink and breathe interior design! It's my job, but it's also my passion, and in my down time, if I'm not spending it with family and friends, you'll usually find me with my nose in an interior book or magazine, or checking out my favourite interior websites.

For me, there is nothing that inspires me more than a home that has shied away from "the norm" and created their own look and style. Absolutely you should take inspiration from others, but don't just copy someone else's look... take pieces you love and put your own spin on them. Think creatively and add the unexpected - things that will make you, and your visitors, smile.

A royal blue painted ceiling is unexpected,
and doesn't it make a beautiful backdrop to those stunning lights?!

Don't limit yourself, think outside the box - get your stainless steel towel rack
(or handles, or toilet roll holder...) powder coated in your favourite colour.

Invite friends over to help you paint an old canvas then use it as a wall hanging or alternative headboard.
You will've created art and memories! Balls of bright coloured wool can be as beautiful as a vase of flowers.

Use a beautiful birdcage to house a plant instead of birds.
The rug helps to anchor the cage and creates a statement, sculptural piece.

Take everyday items and place them in an unconventional way or place to create a whimsical look.

Displaying the things you love in your home says a lot about who you are and creates a home with personality. Why not have your favourite cameras (or shoes, or vintage toys...) on your console table?!

Bathrooms are often thought of as functional rooms, so you may not expect to see a down-lit shelf in a bathroom, with it's sole purpose to display a lovely vase. But if you have the room, why not!

Often the simplest and most effective way to express who you are is a simple grouping
of pieces that have meaning to you. Don't think that by displaying knick knacks you are just
creating clutter. These are the things that make the house your home.

It's your home, stamp your mark on it, be brave and bold with your choices. That element of surprise you create shows you're not afraid to step outside the box. Start small and play with different displays of your favourite things. As your confidence in your style grows you may want to make bigger statements. I'm not suggesting you turn your home into a totally eccentric space, but I am urging you to be original.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

My Valuer Office Design

One of our recent and most favourite Bibby + Brady projects was the new office design of My Valuer. The valuation business, owned by husband and wife, Andrew and Jody White, has grown from strength to strength, and with two added valuers they quickly outgrew their old premises. The new office was huge in comparison, but it needed a lot of work!

The first thing to address was the floor plan. A couple of interior walls needed to come down to open up the staff breakout area at the back of the building. The smaller rooms were allocated to a kitchen, bathroom, boardroom, storage, and one large room was to be rented out as an office. The rest of the office space was to remain open plan.

We had to keep in mind that in the next few years more valuers are likely to join the team, and electrics needed to be put in place early on for future desks.

We broke the space up into four main areas - the entrance/waiting area; the main office workspace; the staff breakout area/informal meeting space; and the board room. The most important thing with large open plan spaces is to create zones. We used paint colour on the wall to help differentiate all the areas, working with the My Valuer logo colours of black, blue and white.

Smoky blue walls and a large Armadillo rug mark the waiting area, while the main office walls are a fresh white.

We chose to bring the outdoor wood cladding inside onto the boardroom exterior wall. The doors are colour coded with all the My Valuer doors being painted in a vibrant blue, and behind the green door is the office which is rented out.

A dark charcoal wall inside the boardroom highlights the work of a local photographer. The boardroom table is surrounded by chairs in the company colours. There's room for more desks on the far side of the office, and one wall is waiting for the perfect piece of art.

At first Andrew and Jody weren't sure about painting the entire back of the office in dark charcoal, but they were so fantastic and put their trust in Dael and I. We love the result, it helps to zone the breakout area where the staff come together to discuss work and to relax. Andrew designed the leaner table himself. The sofas also provide a spot for informal client meetings.

We, at Bibby + Brady, love working on commercial interior projects. Your surroundings can have a profound impact in you, sometimes more than you realise. When people love the space in which they work, they'll want to be there, and they'll be inspired in their work. If you'd like our help with your work place, we'd love to hear from you.
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