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Posts by Claire McCall

DESIGN BITES – JUNE

A modernist escape for the stars, the blackest black on Earth and a modular future (or is it?) What has inspired us: They call it “the epicentre of midcentury architectural and design experiences” and that’s not just marketing hype. Modernism Week in Palm Springs is the business for modernist addicts! The annual 11-day event (I…

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Business is Blooming

Flowers for Nigella. That was part of Olivia Wakem’s memorable first day at a floristry job in London that saw her bringing beautiful blooms to fashionistas and the famous including luxury brand Alexander McQueen, the Beckhams and Kate Moss. “You get a bit blind to it when you’re in it,” says Olivia, who worked at…

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DESIGN BITES – MAY

What got us thinking: Earlier this year, the British Government hosted a design competition entitled Home 2030 to tease out ideas for affordable, efficient and healthy homes of the future. If they expected mind-blowing, original concepts in return, they were to be sadly disappointed. The themes we have been talking about for decades came through:…

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DESIGN BITES – APRIL

What’s inspired us: It’s not often you can buy an off-the-shelf product that helps fight the housing crisis and the climate crisis all in one go. But IKEA aims to do just that with its eco-responsible trailer-mounted tiny house. Box™ has always admired the ethos of the Swedish company’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, who was born…

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Six Tricks with Lighting

Lighting might not take top billing when it comes to the wishlist that will make a space your own, but it is one of the most magical aspects of design – your chance to effect a Tinker Bell moment using the fairy dust of light. When designing for light, some only focus on the practical…

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Oh, the places you’ll go: a journey in decision making

The design decisions we make when building a home aren’t always based on fashion or finance. Sometimes they hark back to our childhood. That’s what first-time builders Terri and Sam discovered when, along with the Box™ team, they started the process of conceptualising a new-build in Auckland’s Glendowie. “I grew up in red-brick houses and…

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DESIGN BITES – MARCH

What’s inspired us: You gotta love an A-frame. Alphabetically speaking, they’re at the front of the pack but we’d also give these cute, characterful buildings an A for architectural merit. And an A+ for artfulness. Although the A-frame began life as a rudimentary structure in Europe, China and the South Pacific, it really rose to…

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We bid you welcome

Entrances that entrance and entice don’t just happen by happy accident. There are some design tricks that will make the most of your home’s first opportunity to impress. Colour it confident Weatherboards and other cladding materials tend to be either dark or light, so it’s almost obligatory in our minds, that you make some noise…

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BEHIND THE BENCH…

Kelli Brett, editor of Cuisine magazine, shares her thoughts about kitchen design and why form and function are only part of the story What does your kitchen mean to you? A lot. It’s lovely although not as technically up to date as I’d like it to be. It has a beautiful view of the ocean.…

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DESIGN BITES – FEBRUARY

Take a ‘mini’ break, colourful lessons from an African hut and design champions unite What we found helpful:  Looking into the world of tiny houses is like disappearing down a rabbit hole – and finding Alice’s Wonderland. For a movement devoted to small, it’s HUGE. At Box™, we’ve always advocated building for quality rather than…

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How the interiors process works

You’ve seen the interiors in Box™ houses right? The way they look so cohesive and complete and well, just darn fantastic actually. We can’t take all the credit because, while our clients come to us for our design smarts, they generally tend to be the type that want a fair bit of say too. This…

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Steely Character

The Box™ build team never shy away from a challenge – and they were served a double helping with this project in Cockle Bay. The steep site had a gradient of 45° in places and access over a very high retaining wall. The height difference between the lower foundations and the driveway was in the…

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Humble riches

The region of SaPa in north Vietnam is eye opening to your average Westerner for several reasons. Firstly, it’s hard to comprehend the sheer volume of frenetic construction that is going on in the gateway town that was once a sleepy hill station. Difficult to understand, too, are the planning laws which would allow the…

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Outdoor deck of two storey Glendowie home

Subversive in Suburbia

There comes an age and a stage in life, usually when Empty Nest syndrome hits, that a radical reinvention is called for. Jean and Nigel Bartosh are an upstanding example of this. With their 20-something son and daughter dispersed to Europe, they took their chance. They loved the location of the old brick-and-tile family home…

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More for the mantelpiece

It’s getting a little cramped for space but we have another accolade to add to mantelpiece. Actually, make that two. In the latest NZ Wood Timber Design Awards, we received a Highly Commended for a project in Pakiri that comprised a pair of simple, timber pavilions linked by a breezeway. It featured extensive use of…

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Is Box™ the My Food Bag of Architecture?

As the front-woman and co-founder of My Food Bag, celebrity Masterchef winner Nadia Lim must find it hard to keep the smile off her well-known face. The company, launched by serial entrepreneur Cecilia Robinson, reached a turnover of $100 million in a little over two and a half years – a phenomenal success story. But…

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Win win for us – and Tim

Aww shucks, we hate to skite – but we may as well. Two Box™ projects received the Highly Commended thumbs up at the Trends International Design Awards 2016. One is a new build, the other an extension and renovation, which just goes to show how wonderfully adaptable we are! On the hills overlooking the wild…

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Summer Sipping

We gathered a few ideas from our well-versed crew to see what they’ll be imbibing on the beach. Dan Heyworth, CEO: Lots of sea-water as I flounder around in the surf. (Actually, we know he’s partial to a Garage Project Pukka IPA). Jean Bartosh, office and showhome manager: Whilst Martinborough might be famous for its…

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Shaken not stirred

When Matt Chernishov signed on to the payroll only a couple of months ago, we thought his intriguing name deserved an intriguing job title so we dubbed him Head of Stealth Projects. Matt is a builder with an MBA – yep go figure – and although he sounds like an undercover operative, his role at…

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H is for Holidays

We find our clients in all sorts of ways. Traditional means such as advertising and word of mouth work well, but we’re not averse to mining our connections. The couple who own this bach in Waipu are old family friends of Construction Manager Nat Jakich: “My dad used to coach the client when he was…

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