Leanne Culy is the most incredibly talented artist and designer, and also one of the nicest, most down-to-earth people you're ever likely to meet. Recently I was lucky enough to visit Leanne in her beautiful Napier Hill home, Balquhidder House, which (by the way) is listed as a category II property by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, and where she and her husband Brian also run their business Homebase Collections.
Homebase Collection is such an appropriate name for their New Zealand homeware range. Not only do the Culy's work from home, but their collection is an extension of their home – beautiful products they love to be surrounded by. Their affinity with nature and New Zealand is evident throughout their home and their work. Gorgeous soft colours teamed with earthy naturals; amazing textures found in sheepskin throws, wooden sculptural pieces, and pottery. Walking around the Culy house was an extremely visual and tactile experience, and left me so inspired.
The range of Homebase fabrics was created by Leanne with the aim to have as little impact on the environment as possible. They are all made from either 100% linen, or a mix of hemp and organic cotton. The Woodgrain design is a collaboration with artist Dick Frizzell, and part of the new Woodland range along with Tangle of Antlers. Leanne's earlier designs, that make up the Holiday range, are inspired by the things she loves about New Zealand. And her two latest designs are amazing, they're Triangulated Roses and Triangulated Kakariki Parrot. What I love about the entire collection is that it's beautiful without being overly feminine, the designs are intricate without feeling fussy. And the best thing is that they all work fantastically together, so you can mix and match and layer to your heart's content.
With a fabulous new-look website and online shop, the Homebase Collection is now easily available to everyone. All the photos on the website are taken by Brian, who is a highly talented photographer. Leanne and Brian have handpicked a selection of stunning items to compliment their own fabrics, cushions, lampshades, and art. My favourites are the sculptural birds by Peter Edmonds; Leanne's handmade terracotta roses; and the Peggy Square rug.
The most exciting part for all of us locals, and visitor's to Hawke's Bay, is that Leanne and Brian are creating a showroom/gallery at their home that will be open to the public. There will be a pre-Christmas Launch, and then it will be open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10am – 4pm, or by appointment. Make sure you keep checking the Homebase Collection Facebook page for all updates.
It won't be your conventional showroom, Leanne wants it to reflect her and the things she loves. With a bit of a Bohemian feel, each visit may offer something different... perhaps you'll find some home baking on offer when you stop by, or there might be a collection of native plants, flowers hand picked from the garden, or even jars of preserves for sale. What I am sure of, is that after your visit you will leave feeling inspired, and hopefully with some treasures tucked under your arm.