Who better to give you the lowdown than local Olivia Macfarlane from Undercurrent, a sought after Interior Architect who recently took out the NZ Grand Prix Winner at the 35th Dulux Colour Awards for her fitout of the Central Hotel in Queenstown. She’s curated a comprehensive guide of her go-to’s, including where to score one-of-a-kind pieces and local art to fill your whare (home).
If you don’t quite know where to begin then head on over to the Architecture and Design (AD) Library, a fantastic local resource for designers, architects and anyone really. The team is friendly and has every product you could ever imagine – all under one roof! It’s a designer’s haven and worth checking out for inipiration. Experience the pop-up showroom and exhibition space for an ever changing mix of art, homewares and new products being launched in the New Zealand marketplace.
When looking for finishing touches to style your home, you can’t go past The Workroom. Anna Begg the owner has a mindful eye for detail and has a wide range of linen, quirky statement cushions plus a great selection of Sibella Court’s range of hand forged hardware.
Boh and Ivy are a go-to for European linen. You’ll find all your luxury bedding needs: linen sheets, duvets and pillowcases in gorgeous punchy prints and eclectic colours. Brown and Co offer large Indonesian and Asian style furniture pieces, along with rattan lampshades, and earth-toned linen couch covers. They have plenty of cost effective options to change the atmosphere of any space.
Local Hāwea ceramicist Hilary Rose Smith took out the ceramics award at the Wānaka Arts Exhibition this year, with her hand-built, textural, organic-shaped ceramics. And is known for statement vases and one-off commission pieces. For stone and ceramic tiles of the more practical nature head to Casa Mia.
There is no such thing as too many mugs. You can find the perfectly-imperfect ceramics by Shannon Courtney’s sets stocked in 56Rocket. Through a meticulous process she takes incomplete dinnerware sets found in secondhand stores and gives them new life through slip casting of the original piece and then creating ceramic versions.
Wānaka isn’t short of talented artists and just one among many is local artist Sierra Roberts. With her bold, statement portraits that celebrate all forms of feminine beauty, that are heavily influenced by her travels. Hannah from Cold Snap Club fills each canvas with quirky and quaint hand-painted skiers. These pieces absolutely scream fun! Lisa from Love Thy Land is an illustrator who produces Kiwi-centric prints at an affordable price. Purchase a one-off piece or create a set of 3 from the choice of your favourite Wānaka attractions to really make a statement in any room.
Local award winning photographers Jodie James and Nat Symonds are a good go to for landscapes of Wānaka and beyond – you can order prints online. If you’re in Wānaka then Gallery Thirty Three is a must. They have a great permanent collection from leading New Zealand and Australian artists and an ever-revolving exhibition calendar. Don’t miss a stop at 45th Degree, Alice Herald or the Wanaka Fine Art Gallery.
Revology is designed for your everyday sustainable essentials from aprons to mugs, lampshades and one-of-a-kind chairs made from sustainable fibres. It’s impossible to exit the store empty handed!
If you’re into upcycling and trawling for second hand treasures – do as the locals do and check out the Wanaka Trading Post, Salvation Army, Wastebusters and the Hospice.
Wānaka has some next-level craftsmen such as Ken Wills and Jem from Emerge Woodwork, who are humbly and quietly producing the best bar stools in town! Another one to look out for is Jonty McCool from Leisure Workshop for bespoke designs, wooden topographic maps and light fittings that thanks to his ethos for creating everlasting will stand the test of time.
We’ve only just scratched the surface! Be sure to take some time to trawl through the list below. Find yourself some lifetime pieces designed or sourced by our talented locals.