Wellington: Rebecca Asquith and Tim Wigmore

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Tim Wigmore and Rebecca Asquith in their Miramar, Wellington, living room.

Tim Wigmore and Rebecca Asquith in their Miramar, Wellington, living room. Image: Jeff Brass

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The couple constructing lamps for the Frankie range.

The couple constructing lamps for the Frankie range. Image: Jeff Brass

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Asquith's workshop is situated upstairs in the attic.

Asquith’s workshop is situated upstairs in the attic. Image: Jeff Brass

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Asquith's Nectar pendant lights in mustard, orange and grey.

Asquith’s Nectar pendant lights in mustard, orange and grey. Image: Jeff Brass

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Frames for light fittings from the Frankie range which was launched in New York last year.

Frames for light fittings from the Frankie range which was launched in New York last year. Image: Jeff Brass

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Wigmore at work in the couple's garage.

Wigmore at work in the couple’s garage. Image: Jeff Brass

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Every room in Rebecca Asquith and Tim Wigmore’s Miramar home has been relinquished to their craft. In the garage sits all the heavy machinery; in the spare room, packing and postage is organised; the living room makes for the perfect showroom; and the attic (via steep stairs) is where Asquith, known for her Nectar pendant lights, works.

“We’ve always shared a workshop space and office,” says Asquith, 33, who moved to Wellington from Taranaki when she finished school. “About three years ago, we realised that we could be sharing the business side of things too – it just made sense.”

So the pair created Designtree, from which they create furniture and homewares. Some of their work is for clients (they contributed to Kiwibank’s refurbishment of its branches and recently made 10 desks for Productspec, a Wellington company) but they’ve also lately been at work on their Frankie range (an expandable lamp system, a table, a floor lamp and a coat rack), which they launched in New York last year and should be available in New Zealand stores soon.

The couple met at Weta Workshop’s model department in 1999. “Now, we’re creating something that has more value than a temporary prop or model,” says Wigmore, 36. “We can control our materials; it’s more eco-friendly for us,” adds Asquith.

The pair has seen their suburb change, thanks to its proximity to Weta, since they bought their home in 2001.

“We are surrounded by some really interesting and diverse people,” says Wigmore, who just finished a series of his Pil lights for the refurbished MTG Hawke’s Bay. “Wellington’s got cooler. It seems like there’s some really cool things happening down here and there’s a core crew of makers.”


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