Thursday, September 22, 2011

Winter Newsletter...

Hi Everyone,

Gosh - it's hard to believe the shortest day has come and gone. Even though, for most of us winter has hardly begun, it already feels good to think about spring and the freshness it brings to our lives.

I can't help feeling that the past few years especially have brought a 'freshness' in terms of our values and approach to our lives and lifestyles - even if by default!

It seems simplicity and integrity have played a much larger part as we have become more creative and frugal - even if under duress!

For us - being able to share our clients' love of architecture and design when it is expressed through the integrity of design and use of building materials - we get very excited.

Being true to natural form and function as far as possible is very fulfilling in the design and build process.

In this newsletter I have found a few bits I hope you will find interesting in terms of how the sympathy and softness of natural materials in good design enriches our environment so positively.

We really love your feedback and thoughts - please send us an email.

Our very best wishes to you in great design and gracious living.

Chris and Robyn MacPherson

Architecture, Interior and Landscape Design

'...the only place where architecture is produced from the inside out'


This beautiful home is designed by Spanish architect Fernand Marques. I love this not only for the design and flow but also the fact that it's built in sandstone veneer and polished black masonry. Stunning living without the constraints of having to fence the pool!

The design is simple and unassuming with a sense of great 'liveability' - very important in the design brief!! Read more...


We love the textures and tones in the limestone wall, the rug and the leather all in very restful natural tones working so well together.

Even if you're not a blue person - this is so restful in taupe and sky blue - one of my favourite interior combinations.


From the Ficus living wall to the curvi- linear laminated timber rafters - this chef's kitchen lounge also by Fernanda Marques - exudes natural form amd botanical elements with the bar cascading down to form a detail in the floor.

Soft, dynamic lines create a very sophisticated and relaxing dining area. See more


You know, a pink chair works really well as a stand-alone for any cool scheme or whether you are daring and passionate enough to create an entire pink room.

Pink and brown are a perfect combo. From Unique Fabrics beautiful range of 'Colours to Impress'...


Yes! ...the dress! Knowing Arte, the dress could be wallpaper too. Beautiful, stunning walls can really only be achieved with amazing wallpaper.

We love the tones, the texture, the uniqueness and sophistication of these papers from Unique Fabrics' Arte range Collection 'Antelope'.


In January this year, we stayed with our former clients now, very special friends - in their breathtaking mud block Hunting Lodge set on 4,000 acres of farm and bush in the Returuke Valley.

Chris designed this Lodge a few years ago as a much needed retreat for our friends as well as a lodge for their overseas visitors. The blocks were hand made in Motueka and delivered to site. It took 18 months to build.

We just love going back to the farm and have shared many special moments with our very special friends here.

This retreat is unbelievably quiet and authentic - it is stunningly peaceful and rejuvenating - not to mention the company...


Natural, harmonious and soft interiors effortlessly created by the grandeur and height of the timber ceilings and mud block interiors.

The blocks form 400mm thick reveals, each block weighing 55kgs being a 2-man lift into place. Timber ceilings and heart Rimu floor add richness to the light, restful tones in the interiors designed by our beautiful and clever friend and owner, Jen and husband Warren.

Even the alabaster sconce light fittings are perfect for the block design and tones - you can barely see them! See more photos...


This is a work of art I couldn't resist while we are talking about natural materials and how effectively we can use them.

This speaks for itself and needs an artisan to create it let alone dream about it!

Beauty and charm is always best created by the use of natural fabrics, fibres and material and sometimes just a touch of fun and folly...


Whether it's the pearls of melted snow, dew or spring rain that make these Crocus sp. so enthralling - I'm not sure.

But aren't these just beautiful in white and so delicate in form and size - now is the right time to be planting your bulbs for Spring...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This is a recently completed project for a classic Mediterranean home situated on a 20 acre horse training facility. The house enjoys 180 degree views across rolling Matamata countryside framed by the Kaimai Ranges. Twin chimneys in the style of bell towers punctuate the long angled footprint of this home. We have loved being involved in this project and our clients tell us they love living in their beautiful new home.

We are very excited to have been commissioned to help create our clients’ long-time dream of a Georgian Manor House, Georgian Stables incorporating a high end retail outlet for garden and culinary consumables as well as a classic Norman/Gothic Chapel. All of this is to be nestled in a classic English garden on a 25 acre estate situated between Hamilton and Cambridge, Waikato. Construction is scheduled for mid 2010. You can view progress on this project at

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This is an amazing idea by French designer Patrick Nadeau. Manufactured by Italian Bathroom and kitchen designer, Boffi - the hanging moss or 'air plant' Tillandsias Usneoides, is draped over the lighting fixtures. On discovering this, Chris remembered he has one of these plants growing amongst the trees in our garden - we have taken an image of it for you. It just grows on nothing...or so it would seem.

'The Big Lebowski' features this amazing home designed by architect John Lautner. He also designed the interiors, windows, lighting, rugs and furniture. I love the tangerine leather.

I love this design by Louis Kahn Architects. The vaulted ceiling, symmetry and simplistic design is stunning. We also love the curved gardens and seating at the sides.

We have water hawthorn growing in our ponds - it is the most fragrant and delicate of water plants - reminiscent of vanilla. In South Africa, they like to make relish with these flowers and even Hawthorn Stew!

Chris loves to grow Gunneras. This Spring they have reached the top of the windows of the house and we have a mother Thrush who decided it is a perfect spot to keep the rain off her nest and an eye on any passers-by!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is a gorgeous renovation Chris was commissioned to design. Our clients loved retaining the integrity of the architecture and style of the house and it has recently featured in Waikato's House and Lifestyle magazine.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This is amazing - what an inspiration!

Nymphaea Lotus

Nymphaea lotus. One of Chris' favourite hobbies is to grow beautiful waterlilies. They are the most exciting of water plants. We hope you will love this too. And of course the Victorian lily in the background.

Art Deco House

We just love this little Art Deco House. The design and detail is so simple.

Stainless Steel Mosaic Tile Detail

This bathroom was designed by Chris to feature stunning stainless steel mosaic tile layouts using listello tiles to define the mosaics. We love the black and silver which suited our clients' taste brilliantly.

Entry Gallery Mosaic Tile Detailing

The entry gallery of this luxury home features mosaic tile detailing in the floor tiles. Using travertine and glass mosaics, it makes a fantastic statement. Chris designed the layout to create a subtle yet striking effect.

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Georgian Architecture

One of Chris' commissions was to design a symmetrical Georgian home with masonry detailing and emphasis on detailing and integrity of materials. It was a great end result. Fabulous NZ location looking over Lake Karapiro.

Arbor Landscape Architecture

This is the most amazing place in Taupo, NZ. Chris designed and developed the gardens more than 15 years ago into an arboretum with over 22,500 trees! This image shows the arbor covered in wisteria and climbing hydrangeas. Amazing to walk under in the Spring. We went back there recently to get these photos - it was a wonderful walk back in time for us.

Italian Villa

Stunning architectural detailing. Beautiful Italian Villa reminiscient of the Spanish Mission Style.

Terraced Gardens

We visited our very special friend at Lake Okareka last month. Chris designed the terraced gardens a few years ago now and the spring tulips are looking absolutely beautiful this year. We love the geometry, symmetry and balance of this amazing garden not to mention the beautiful woman (and her special friend) who lives there.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A painting of Poppies

We recently commissioned a local Cambridge, NZ artist Lori Jones to paint in oils and acrylic, a beautiful composition of poppies in all the wonderful warm colours - golds, yellows and tangerine. Our client loves the painting and at 2.1 metres long 500mm wide framed in dark oak, it creates a stunning presence in the room. It is a very special piece radiating warmth and joy and is almost as special as our client!

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Crescent House

What an amazing idea! The geometry of this is spectacular - based on mathematical arcs. There are over 1000 ornamental trees planted around this gorgeous home.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Water Lilies and Irises

We just love this beautiful composition of waterlilies and irises. Ponds are the perfect answer for water management and stunning aesthetic enhancement. Fantastic for birdlife and marginal aquatics, we will start to see more ponds and lakes being used. Higo Irises are a fantastic massed marginal aquatic plant for sediment and nutrient control and for bringing wildlife into the garden.