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Nz House And Garden


Episode 6

Watch this episode of NZ House & Garden on TVNZ ondemand.

Magnificent Mudbrick

Where do you go if you're living in Connecticut on America's East Coast and you want something of a lifestyle change?

If you're Claude and Gabriella Lewenz, you find your way to an empty block of land on Waiheke Island in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, where they set about building a unique dream home that also serves as an art studio, writers' retreat and venue for community events.

Inspired by ancient European architecture, Claude and Gabriella's home is unique in both its design and construction, and is a perfect fit with the passionate beliefs of its owners.

For information on hiring the Lewenz's house for corporate events, film locations or just as a peaceful getaway, go to

To view some of Gabriella's stunning art, go to

A Private Peninsula

When creating a slice of kiwi paradise for international jetsetters - designing a beach was one of the unique opportunities Ray and Barbara Cook had to manage.

Their garden covers the tip of the Okareka peninsula, a breathtaking spot that very few people have seen, and even fewer have ever experienced!

This sanctuary snuggles between 2 lake shores, native bush, and the native planting scheme was a supreme champion in the 2004 LIANZ Awards.

The Beach

How do you landscape a beach?  Not so much a problem as a privilege to design, so, working closely with the Department of Conservation, landscape consultant Bill Holden and landscape creator Stu Dennis they have used local rocks, boulders and native plants to build banks and retaining walls.

The beach had to be completed before the house could be built, and the small beach strip had disappeared beneath a collection of rubbish and overgrown willow trees.  Using backhoes and plenty of man power it was unearthed and tidied.

Then huge boulders were placed and concreted around the bank, steps were cut going down to the jetty, and covered in stone slabs so they toned in as well.
The next step was planting - ferns, prostrate coprosma, and flax, karo, mamaku, pongas and fern trees.  That was only 2 years ago and now everything has grown up and over each other in a natural tangle - which also serves to soften the bottom of the house join into the landscape from out on the lake. 
They need minimal care - no watering or feeding - just a bit of dead foliage removal every now and then. 

Plants featured:
- Pratia angulata
- "Ribbonwood" (Plagianthus regius)

For information on accommodation at Okareka Lake House, go to

Marlborough Farmers Market

Farmer's markets are touted by the faithful as the best thing since sliced bread and the rest of us are cottoning on.  The grow it, bake it, or breed it, brigade are sprouting up faster than mushrooms in a bag of organic potting mix.  There are currently around 20 farmer's markets operating in New Zealand - 6 of which started last year, so chances are the next time you look there'll be one in your neck of the woods.
Farmer's markets remove the need for a middle man bridging that gap between producer and consumer - they shorten food's journey from paddock to plate.  They were born out of a need for small scale growers to have an outlet for their produce (in recent years they've been cut out by the supermarkets) and the consumer's need to know more about the origins of their food. 

Tips for Shoppers: 
- Don't go with a firm shopping list.  Plan menus once you get to the market and see what's best. 
- Make the rounds before you buy anything.  See who has what and at what price and quality.  Taste and   compare the produce from different vendors. 
- Buy something you've not tried before.  Never cooked an artichoke? At the market the grower can advise you on how to select and prepare one.
- Take your own canvas bags or baskets.  Use recyclable materials and support sustainable shopping.

The national federation website is

The Galley Gourmet

While Chris Fortune does a masterly job of chairing the Marlborough Farmer's Market his noble work here is entirely voluntary. 

To earn a living Chris has the enviable job of personal chef on one of our most luxurious super yachts, "Pacific Eagle". 

Not surprisingly this is a dream job for Chris and it's the perfect platform to showcase Marlborough's bounty straight from the Farmer's Market.

Chris's trademark is fresh local Marlborough cuisine. Meals on the boat need to be kept light - the guests are usually relaxing all day and not expending much energy so the idea is not to fill them up too much. He aims to give guests small tastes to keep them satisfied without filling them up. 

Lunch will usually be a tasting platter - dinner may be three or four courses. Guests complete a preference questionnaire before they board and dietary requirements or preferences are noted. 

For information on Pacific Eagle, got to

Classically Contemporary

Elegant rooms that look as if they've been carefully and gradually put together over the years look fantastic - and are always in fashion.

There are eras which are remembered for their elegance - Regency, Art Deco, Modernism, and contemporary design from the middle of last century 'til now.
There are, of course, some tricks of the trade which - if followed - will set you up with a room which will look timeless and have everyone complimenting your style: 

- Decide on, and limit, your colour palette early on. 
- Because this look involves furniture styles from different eras, use your colour palette to tie the furnishings and accessories together. .
- Wallpaper can be used to good effect, especially the latest textured, patterned papers which have a contemporary look, while reflecting traditional patterns. 
- Play around with your theme - use contemporary upholstery on an older chair, or vice-versa.
- Using 'modern' materials such as chrome and glass helps bring the 'contemporary' feel to the room, when mixed with the more classic wooden pieces.

For design ideas and supplies, visit  Anna at
Bauhaus Ltd,
8 Cleveland Road,
Tel: 09 302 2651 or 021 892 000

Everything in this feature can be sourced from the following suppliers:

1) Mid Century Design:  Art Deco sideboard, Chaise Longue, Coffee table, Standard table lamp, Small white wheat sheaf occasional table, Art Deco presentation table, Mercury glass lamp, White faux bamboo dining chairs, White cushions
Telephone: 09 3033549

2) Mid Century Textiles: Wallpaper - Sandberg "Pedro", Cushions on chaise - Cetec Velicrush, Fabric on contemporary armchair - Cetec Polytekna, Small Cushions - Silk Botanica
 Telephone: 09 3033545

3) Bauhaus: Glass dining table, Cream leather dining chairs, Perspex shelving unit
 Telephone: 09 3022651

4) ECC: Chandeliers - Tieffe Luce,
 Telephone: 09 3799680

5) James Dunlop Textiles: Curtain fabric
Telephone:  09 6387005

6) Curtain Concepts: Curtain making
Telephone: 09 8289950

7) Source Mondial: Rugs
Telephone: 09 3773068

8) Akali: Perspex candlesticks, Bowl on coffee table, Accessories on Perspex shelves, Picture frames on tables
Telephone: 09 3009404

9) Republic Home: Contemporary Vases (with lilies)
Telephone:  09 3611137

10) Art Associates: Paintings
Telephone: 09 3764539

11) Paradigm: French-style armchairs, Armless chair and ottoman
Telephone: 09 361 6935

12) Forma:Contemporary armchair in geometric fabric
Telephone: 09 276 4194

13) La Cigale: Zinc window frame, Concrete roosters
Telephone:  09 3669361

14) Resene: Paint - "Soapstone"
Telephone: 09 3760435