Friday, 6 March 2015

Bibby + Brady Office/Studio

It's been a month since Dael & I moved into our new Bibby + Brady office/studio. When the office became available in Ossian Street, next to the famous art deco Rothmans Building, we jumped at the opportunity. Although the space is tiny, it's in a fabulous location in the ever-growing area of Ahuriri. We had some fun with colour on the outside of the black building, which was formally the Rothmans' guardhouse.

We are not a retail shop, but as much as possible we have filled it with pieces that can be bought from us on the spot, or ordered. Some of the items can be found in our online shop eg: artwork, lamp shades, poufs, marble boards...; and the larger furniture items can be ordered through us.

We had to get creative when it came to turning the space into our studio. The palm roman blind is an example of ones we can have made for clients. They can see how well it's made and how easy it is to pull up and down, but it also hides a not-so-attractive window that looks out onto a wall.

The black & white fabric curtain is hung by an invisible ceiling track and acts as a screen to hide our kitchen and packing table. We plan to swap this out with a new fabric every season. The velvet sofa is a 'Bibby + Brady special'. We have used it in several client's homes and work places in different fabric (ours is the first velvet sofa). It comes in various sizes and is extremely comfortable.

We love our Armadillo Marigold rug and plan to stock our shelves with more Bibby + Brady homeware and accessories in the near future. We will also be adding a range of custom made cushions with feather inners very soon.

Dael & I made our desks in the same style as our hairpin console tables, and they tuck nicely into our window alcove.

My dog, Sam, is a regular visitor, and is only too happy to see you if you call in. We work in the office til 4pm Monday to Thursday, and finish at 3pm on Fridays. There are times when we are out on the job, visiting clients, but if we're in and you're passing, feel free to drop in and say 'hi'.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

New Arrivals in the Bibby + Brady Shop

I'm excited!... it's March which means Autumn is here, my favourite month, and we've got some amazing new products in our Bibby + Brady online shop. We've been working with Kate from Bold Lampshades for some time now, and we have collaborated to come up with three lampshades that are exclusive to Bibby + Brady - ikat, kilim, and palms. We absolutely love all of these designs, and it's a great way to bring a hit of colour and pattern into your home.

They are available as a 43cm x 29cm shade, which is a great size for a ceiling pendant, and for a standard floor lamp. It's also perfect with our beautiful mango wood table lamp base (these bases can be order through us via email).

If you want your lampshade in a different size we can arrange that too, it's no problem. Or we can have a shade made up in your choice of fabric.

Marble is still as hot as ever, and we love our new marble cheeseboards. The large round marble and wood boards measures a generous 49.5cm x 40.5cm, perfect for a large platter. The rectangular marble board is only slightly smaller at 45.5cm x 20.5cm.

As we always heed William Morris' advice to "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful", these boards are both, and will look amazing just propped up on your kitchen bench when not in use.

Back by popular demand, we have re-stocked these three beautiful tassel necklaces. They sold out very quickly last time, so my advice is to get in quick if you love these styles.

If you love our tassel necklaces, I'm sure you'll be excited to see these new tassel bracelets. There's a choice of a chunky wooden and resin bracelet, or a finer glass bead bracelet. Both have small tassels that look great and won't be a hindrance.

For a quick overview of all our new arrivals, check them out here.

Monday, 2 March 2015

My Kitchen | Part 2 - Bench tops

Things are progressing in our kitchen demo. My husband Mark is one of those good Kiwi DIY blokes, and quite a handyman, so he is doing as much of the labour as possible. This includes removing the old kitchen cabinets, gib, skirts etc. He has to do this in the weekends as he's a bank manager during the week, but we're trying to keep the bare basics as long as possible - the oven (although I'm looking forward to saying goodbye to this old girl), the sink, the pantry, and one set of cupboards. Soon our builder will come in to insulate and put up nice new gib. We're really happy with the new kitchen plans, but we are still trying to decide on the bench tops, these are our options...

I've always had Laminate bench tops, but not this time. The advantage of Laminate is that it's the most cost effective option, but in our case it would be a bit like wearing jandals with an evening gown! Another reasonably priced bench top is stainless steel. This can look great, especially if you like the industrial look, but it's not quite what I'm after. 

Natural stone (below) - marble or granite - is gorgeous, but is likely to be on the more expensive side. It's also quite unforgiving with knocks ending in breakages for your plates and glasses - not great when our kids are doing the dishes.


Engineered stone (below) is what I'm leaning towards. Caesarstone, Silestone, Prime Stone, Quantum Quartz etc are made up of approximately 90% crushed Quartz stone bound together by a polymer resin. They're known to be more resilient than marble or granite, and their non-porous qualities means that they're very hygienic. It comes in a wide range of colours, and I've found one that has a 'marble-like' look.

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The other option I have been considering is an acrylic bench top - Corian, Kalon, Hi-Macs... These are made of acrylic resin and can be coloured and shaped as you like. They're generally formed in one piece, so are seamless, even if you continue it into the sink and as a splash back. It's easy to repair if you damage a small area, rather than having to replace, so lots of advantages. The only thing that's holding me back is that it can look quite "plasticy' and shiny, and can scratch more easily than stone.


Concrete is a cool industrial option. It can also be expensive, and can stain if not resealed regularly. I've seen some amazing examples of concrete benches, but it's not on the shortlist for our kitchen.


Last, but not least, I really like the look of wood bench tops. They're a nice way to introduce warmth and texture, and you can also choose a plywood, which is very cost effective. Because we have wooden floorboards, and some smaller wood touches in the kitchen, I'm wanting a lighter coloured bench, so we won't be going with wood either.


I will let you know when we make our decision, but would also love to hear your thoughts and recommendations. Do you have a bench that you love? If so, tell me all about it.
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