Back To The Wall

Today I wanted to share with you the most amazing design company, Back To The Wall. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, they produce custom designed wallpaper murals for your home, office or commercial space.

With over 30 years experience in the print industry, owners and designers, Relda Frogley (below left) and Joanne Gray (below right) are passionate about all of their work. They design and print their murals on site, allowing them full control every step of the way.

The beauty of Back To The Wall is that you can tell Joanne and Relda the size of your wall and they will print your mural to fit exactly, so you're not paying for any excess. Printing their paper at 100cm widths (as opposed to standard wallpaper widths of 50-60cm) means you don't have as many joins, and they specialise in beautiful oversized images rather than repeat patterns.

There's a huge range of pre-designed murals and art prints to choose from. Email Joanne and Relda with your design choice and size requirements and they will provide you with a quote. The murals are easy to install yourself, or you can hire a professional wallpaper hanger to do the job.

If you want to customise a mural, that's not a problem. Jo is incredibly clever working with Photoshop, and she can tweak their existing designs, and alter colours to suit. Or perhaps you have a completely different vision in mind, discuss your ideas with the girls and they can help you with your own unique design.

There's something for everyone including a gorgeous range of kids' murals...

And beautiful work by contributing artists, Helen Bankers and Diana Watson.

Lastly, just in case you're not already totally inspired (I know I am!), your wallpaper doesn't need to be confined to the wall. Relda and Jo can create smaller pieces of art for the back of shelves, the front of your stairs, cabinet doors... let your imagination run wild!

Billie Culy

We are so lucky in Hawke's Bay to have some incredible creative talent residing. I recently sat down to chat with young artist, Bille Culy, about coming home, her beautiful range of botanical prints, and her plans for the future.

Billie has recently moved back to Hawke's Bay after living in Auckland for three years. She and her partner Matt Beamish, (the pair both attended Elam School of Fine Arts) left the big city to come and enjoy the quieter Hawke's Bay lifestyle. They've spent the last six months working with Beagle's Bees learning the art of beekeeping. She and Matt would love to have their own hives, "Napier Hill is perfect with lots of flowers year round", says Billie.

Coming home has been good for Billie. "I always feel more inspired at home," she says. Her parent's, Leanne and Brian Culy, are both incredible artists and are a huge inspiration for Billie, they are both her biggest fans and critics. "I know I can always get an honest critique from Mum", she laughs. "Which is great, I missed that".

At school, photography was Billie's favourite subject, and her dad, Brian, was her main inspiration - "he's so clever, and really helpful and supportive". Billie's current range of botanical photographic prints are exquisite. She's always loved to arrange flowers, and she loves still life. Each print captures the essence of the place where the flowers came from. Everything is thought out very carefully, from the arrangement to the background, right down to the vessel. Some of the vessels Billie makes herself, including the concrete planter and beeswax bowl. She would love to make more of her own vessels and is thinking of taking pottery lessons in the future.


Haumoana Flowers

Flowers in Wax

As well as photography and maybe pottery, Billie is interested in a wide range of creative avenues, including painting and print making. She finds inspiration in many places, and is a big fan of painters, Saskia Leek and Helen Frankenthaler. Wolfgang Tillmans is her most favourite photographer - his still life works are amazing; and she's recently discovered the work of Camillie Henrot who turns flower arrangements into sculptural works.

Camillie Henrot

Saskia Leek

Helen Frankenthaler

With Billie's talent and enthusiasm the future is wide open for her. She plans to branch out with some of her still life ideas, playing with different objects. Painting is something she is really keen to get back to, and perhaps travel. "I'd love to travel overseas and take floral photographs that represent each area", Billie says. "Or maybe go and rough it on Great Barrier island for a while". Whatever she does I know she'll do well. If you love her prints as much as I do, you can purchase them from Homebase Collections, and if you think they look good on screen, wait til you see them in real life!

Botanical Garden


Roadside Flowers


Thrill, Fill & Spill

When I'm styling a vignette I like to work with layers of height, texture, shape and colour. Something tall at the back, maybe a piece of art on the wall, a vase or lampshade, and layering smaller pieces in front.


I have to admit to not being much of a gardener, my husband is in charge of ours at home. Although I don't know much about soil types, and what to plant where, I do know what I like the look of, and I've found that the same principals I use in interiors also apply in the garden. Layers of texture, shape and colour make for a very visually appealing garden.


People used to tell me that when I got my first home I'd become interested in gardening, but that didn't happen. Funnily enough it's creating a small garden for my first office that has sparked my interest in the botanical world. Dael & I are in the process of moving our business out of my living room and into a little office/showroom in Ahuriri. Our friend Anna, from My Veggie Patch, has helped us pick the right plants to withstand the hot conditions down there, and to provide some colourful impact. We're now waiting for our hibiscus and portulaca to burst into bloom. We plan to add a large pot by the front door, and it's Anna who taught me about "thrill, fill and spill".

A pot created by Anna of 'My Veggie Patch' outside FG Smith cafe

I love that phrase, and it's really quite self explanatory... it describes how to plant a container garden. Your 'thrill' is an eye-catching plant with some height at the back of the pot. 'Fill' is a selection of lower plants that fill the rest of the pot. And the last component, 'spill' refers to the plants that fall over the edge of the pot. Here are a couple more examples to show you how fab this looks...

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Although this example (below) is slightly different, in as much as the plants are in individual pots, it has a similar effect - tall foliage at the back, with smaller plants in front. The different textures are gorgeous, don't you think?!


I really feel inspired to have a go at gardening at our place now. But maybe I'll start with a pot before I let loose in the garden itself :)