One Fine Stay

Have you seen the movie "The Holiday" where Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslett swap homes - one luxurious pad in California, and one quaint little cottage in Surrey, England? The two women not only swap homes, they swap lifestyles and leave their own behind for a few weeks. Well, I stumbled across this great website, One Fine Stay, where you can have a similar experience (although I can't guarantee that Jude Law will knock on your door!).

It's not a house swap, but you do get the opportunity to stay in someone else's place while they're out of town. Rather than visit the same landmarks and attraction as every other tourist, you get to experience the 'real' city, with recommendations of shops, restaurants and more from the home owners themselves. I love that! When we were on holiday last we asked some locals where to eat out, and we had the most fantastic meals in places we would never have found otherwise.

The website is based in London but it features homes in London, Los Angeles, New York, and Paris. All incredible cities, who wouldn't want to get off the beaten track and experience them in this way?!

The photos I've featured in this post are from a young family's home in Cobble Hill, New York. I picked it because it's the only city out of the four that I haven't been to, and would dearly love to. And when I do I would be more than happy to stay here with it's beautiful parquet floorboards and backyard oasis.

Isn't it a wonderful concept?! To find out more about One Fine Stay visit their website, and check out all the fabulous homes on offer. All are quite different so there's sure to be one that you'll fall in love with.

Canopy Camping Escapes

As a kid I did a lot of tramping with my family - and I'm talking five or six day tramps! My parents loved the outdoors, the nature, the exercise. I remember as a teenager complaining about how my friends were going on skiing trips, as I was packing my red and black bush shirt and my freeze dried food. But, in actual fact, we had some great times on those tramps. Beautiful scenery, playing yuca in the cabins at night, that cute boy, whose path we crossed, that took me eeling.

I still love the beauty and the adventure of being in the outdoors, but these days I prefer a few comforts - a soft bed and a glass of wine at the end of the day, rather than a skinny bedroll on the ground and some scroggin. And so do Liz Henderson and Sonia Minnaar, the founders of Canopy Camping Escapes. After a few too many of their own camping mishaps, the pair decided 'glamping' was the way forward.

Glamping, or glamorous camping, has become extremely popular worldwide. And why wouldn't it!?... all the upsides of camping, but with a luxury tent, comfy beds, hot water, and decent loos. And no extra equipment to purchase and lug around.

Liz and Sonia have created the most brilliant business and website. They have partnered with landowners all over New Zealand to bring you a selection of luxury campsites in the most beautiful locations. Each will offer you something different and unique. So whether you're a family, a group of mates, or a couple looking for a romantic escape, explore the different campsites available to find the one just right for you.

Don't let the cooler weather of Autumn and Winter put you off. Many of the sites are open year round and offer lovely wood burning stoves in your tent to keep you snug and warm. Enjoy the view in a hot bath in the evening and toast marshmallows over the fire. This is definitely stuff that memories are made of.

If you have a beautiful piece of private land that you think might make the perfect Canopy Campsite, get in touch with Liz and Sonia. People, both local and visitors from abroad, are looking to escape their busy lives, if just for a moment. They want that meaningful experience, but being time-poor they want something that's easy and convenient. Canopy Camping have developed their own NZ made luxury tent, with an optional wood burning stove. These are available to purchase, and they can recommend campsite products to suit a range of properties and budgets. Read more about it here.

Treasure your Memories

The rooms and interiors that I am most drawn to are those that tell a story. Layers of memories that have been collected over time to create a space unique to you.


If you are fortunate enough to travel, especially to countries with different cultures, be sure to bring home treasures that will remind you of your adventures. But if trips abroad are not on your agenda right now, we are lucky enough to have some incredible online shops that specialise in such pieces. Fenton & Fenton in Melbourne is the result of Lucy Fenton's desire to combine her love of travel with her passion for unusual homeware.

Sibella Court is well known for her travels to terrains less trodden, many that are documented in her series of beautiful books. Her shop The Society Inc. is home to an abundance of curiosities and treasures found overseas.

Anna Spiro is a super talented interior designer whom I admire greatly. Her shop Black & Spiro has a collection of gorgeous wares from all over the world.

Anna Spiro photos via

These are three of my most favourite shops, all based in Australia, but all available to us by way of their websites. If you want unique pieces from New Zealand shops try Republic Home for a gorgeous, eclectic collection; So Vintage who specialise in vintage and industrial pieces from France and Europe; and of course, at Cush & Nooks we have a range of stunning kantha quilts and kantha mini poufs. Find pieces you love and build your own memories around them.