Neighbourhood Eats Cookbook

Introducing this beautiful cookbook filled with treasured family recipes from the Napier Central School neighbourhood…

Dael and I are thrilled to have played a small part in this beautiful cookbook, “Neighbourhood Eats”, which features mouth-watering, tried and trusted recipes from the Napier Central School community. The book is a school fundraiser to raise money to help save their school pool, which needs major refurbishments.

I know when you envisage a school cookbook you might think photocopied pages and spiral binding, but not this cookbook! Neighbourhood Eats is the most beautiful hardback book filled with 275 recipes and more than 300 incredible original photographs shot by our favourite photographer, Florence Charvin.

Every family has at least one or two favourite recipes. You know the ones handed down from your grandmother; the ones that have a story that goes with them, and a history; the ones that have been experimented with and adjusted until they’re just right. Put together in one stunning book, the recipes and the stories in Neighbourhood Eats will make their way into your kitchen and your heart.

The recipes in this book are a perfect reflection of the cultural diversity found at Napier Central School. As well as Kiwi kids, they have pupils whose backgrounds include Thai, Swedish, Scottish, Malaysian, Japanese, Indian, Australian, Irish, Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian, and German, to name a few. Also scattered through the book are recipes from some well known New Zealanders - Jacinda Ardern, Peter Gordon, and Jospeh Parker have all donated their favourite recipe.

Behind the scenes there has been the most incredible group of people working tirelessly to make this book a reality. A group of volunteer cooks made up of mums, dads, grandmothers and teachers, cooked all of the recipes. Members of the Napier Central PTA organised and oversaw the photoshoots, liaised with the graphic designer, recruited sponsors, organised printing, donating their time all in an effort to help their childrens’ school.

The name Neighbourhood Eats came about because of the huge effort put in from the whole community - parents, teachers, pupils and local businesses. Sponsorship support from a large number of local businesses covered all of the production costs, which means that 100% of the profits can go directly into the Napier Central School “save the pool” fund. Between us Dael and I have five daughters, all of whom are past pupils of this wonderful school, so we were very happy to be able to help with this project, sponsoring the ‘soups and breads’ chapter.

The Neighbourhood Eats cookbook costs $45 and can be ordered from their great looking website (built by Kathryn McGarvey). What a brilliant gift it would make, so why not grab a few copies for your mum and your sister too, knowing that you’ll be giving a fantastic gift as well as contributing to a worthy cause. I’m sure these are going to fly out the door, so don’t miss out, order your copy today.

Jen Sievers | Greenhouse Interiors

Before interior design became my life, what seems like a lifetime ago, I was a graphic designer. I was lucky enough to work with a variety of clever and talented people, and one of those people was the beautiful Jen Sievers. We were both working as graphic designers in a small marketing firm, but, as often happens, after the birth of our children we both changed direction slightly - me to interiors and she to fine art.

photo: Sarah Starkey

Jen has been going from strength to strength since she started painting again three years ago, and I have really enjoyed seeing her become so successful doing something she loves. Her latest achievement is so exciting, as she and I have both been huge fans of the two women Jen has recently collaborated with - Julia Green and Armelle Habib.

Julia Green is an incredibly talented stylist and writer and the founder of Greenhouse Interiors, an online destination for boutiques textiles, homewares, and fine art. Julia contacted Jen earlier this year interested in selling her work. Of course this was a no-brainer for Jen, who, like me, was a big fan of Julia's work. "So I painted a collection for her. It's been a whirlwind of work and excitement", Jen explains. "Being a part of her (Julia's) gang has been an impossible dream since the start. Life is full of incredible surprises!"

Julia worked her magic with Jen's new collection, styling each piece in a room setting which compliments and highlights the artwork. The settings were then photographed by another of our idols, Armelle Habib, who captures them so beautifully.

You can view all of Jen's latest collection here on the Greenhouse Interiors website. I'm sure you'll agree with me, the collaboration between Jen, Julia and Armelle is a winner!

Style a console with Rae West art

One of our favourite artists, Rae West, just happens to live right on our doorstep - Hawke's Bay is full of so many talented people! When she recently offered us one of her spectacular original tondo's for our showroom, we jumped at the chance. Her work is super beautiful, she uses resin and ink, and this particular piece also has gold leaf for an extra layer of subtle shine. It's quite hard to capture the beauty on camera, believe me when I say this art is even better in 'real life'.

We decided to combine Rae's piece with a little styling demo, and show you how we styled the console in our showroom in six simple steps. Styling flat surface like consoles, coffee tables and bookshelves is one of our favourite things to do. In my home I'm constantly changing things around to suit a new piece I've found, or just to keep things fresh and interesting.

It can be hard to know how to get the right balance, and how to make it look pretty but also have functionality. To help you get started (if you're new at this), we'll run you through our steps and explain why we've used certain pieces:

Step 1: We like to start with a large piece of art, or a mirror can look great too. Hang it just above your console - too high and it can look disconnected from what's going on below it.

Step 2: A lamp is a great starting point. It adds height as well as light for functionality. We've chosen a lamp with a fabric shade we had custom made. The shade will soften the light rather than having directional light like a desk lamp.

Step 3: Add something sculptural or quirky, purely for fun. We liked the curves of the swans next to the round artwork and the curve of the lamp. The brass links to the subtle gold found in Rae's artwork (although it's hard to capture this on camera).

Step 4: Books are a great tool for grounding objects, they act like a little platform for smaller pieces like bowls or vases. They also add a bit of weight and squareness to balance the curves. If you're anything like me (book crazy!) you'll love the chance to have some of your favourite coffee table books on display.

Step 5: To balance the right side we added a large floral arrangement. It's always great to add fresh flowers or greenery. They bring life and add another sculptural and textural element. We were lucky enough to have this stunning arrangement by Laura Jeffares, but if you don't have access to Laura, a pot plant in a beautiful planter will do the job, or grab your secateurs and snip some greenery from your garden.

Step 6: We could've left it at that last step, but that little space to the right of the vase felt like it needed something. A little dish, bowl or tray is handy for throwing your keys, sunglasses etc in as you walk in the door. It's a functional piece and also another low, horizontal element to balance the height of the vertical pieces - it's all about the balance.

So there you go, six simple steps to create a pretty good looking console. We've kept our colour palette consistent with greens and blues to compliment the artwork, and pinks, gold, and the light wood of the console to balance those cool tones.

This beautiful artwork is for sale, so if anyone is interested in purchasing a stand out piece for their home, please get in touch with us. You're welcome to come and see the art in our showroom so you can truly appreciate it's beauty. Make an appointment to make sure we're not in a meeting or out and about, as we'd love to give you our full attention.