Häfele’s showroom is the perfect mix of rustic and sleek with the latest kitchen hardware discreetly tucked into stylish custom kitchens set against brick-lined walls. Add in Esther Diamond, the Hawke’s Bay-based design homeware company, and you have an installation with a whole lot of personality.
Walking into the showroom we were offered gin and tonics. Driving the Mini around, we skipped the gin, and while usually tonic on its own makes me pucker, this new New Zealand tonic water, spritzed with lemon, was just the refreshment we needed.
Further into the showroom, and the entire space had been taken over with hung teatowels and baskets of pillows. The teatowels and cushions had been specially commissioned just for Designday®. Artists included Dick Frizzell and Sharon Paris (from Paris House) making this installation not just about the arrangement of the pieces, but everything about the designs as well.
In glowing picks and neo orange, the artworks on fabrics brightened the whole showroom, picking up the rust colours in the brick, and provided a homely element to the slick kitchens. The kitchens all of a sudden looked not just like great showpieces but working, functional, livable elements. The terrific canvases by Frizzell and others that were positioned on the walls gave another warm component to the space. The atmosphere was what made you want to stay here – it was calm and friendly. Perhaps a bit of the Hawke’s Bay tranquility has been brought up as well as the artwork.