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From designer dunnies to outstanding shop fit-outs, Wellington's got an array of design pieces worthy of viewing, even for the most design conscious.
Books, art and taxidermy
Brown & Co's ever-changing range of selected art, architecture and design books proudly sit among vintage furniture, taxidermy and science equipment. And Vogue Living called it, "a suave mix of contemporary and mid-century art, design and antiques put together with impeccable style. The edit here offers something for all design lovers", so there you go!
The treasure trove
Iko Iko is a treasure trove of trinkets. From pretty things for your house, to cool books on design, you could spend a good chunk of your day browsing things you may not need, but just have to have.
Inspiring New Zealand design
For creative cats and budding designers, Made It is worth a browse. Made It is Wellington's home of handmade. They stock a huge range of clothing and jewellery, plus heaps of gift-worthy items all sourced from small businesses across New Zealand. If you're looking for some creative inspiration, you're likely to find it here.
Custom design chocolate wrappers
The bean to bar chocolate makers at Wellington Chocolate Factory create the most delicious ethically traded, organic chocolate, and source incredible artwork to wrap the goodness in. Legendary New Zealand artists add their dash of inspiration with original designs for the chocolate wrappers, and each bar has its own story.
Loretta's interior design
Loretta on Cuba Street is inspired by simple, honest and substantial design - just like their food philosophy. With the help of Parsonson Architects, the historical building was completely stripped to its original shell to allow for textured, imperfect concrete walls to be layered with contemporary light-coloured timber furniture by Thornet. Loretta won the Hospitality and Retail Award in the Wellington Architecture Awards - and we're betting the accolades won't stop there.
The tree house
Good As Gold owner Ruben Bryant and his Architect father Ken put their heads together to come up with a unique fit-out for the three level Victoria Street store. That's where the 'tree house' comes in. Made from rough-sawn Macrocarpa wood, a tree fort towers over the store, looking down on a row of outhouse themed changing rooms. Ruben was inspired by his childhood spent building tree forts out the back of his parents house. With experience like that, it's easy to see why it looks so good!
Confidence and intimacy
Lonely's flagship store on Victoria Street, designed by Lonely's Steve Ferguson and architectural designer Rufus Knight, has been described to Home Magazine as "a dialogue between hard and soft surfaces". A luxurious deep purple sofa sits on a stunning handwoven Nodi rug in the centre of the store, and the walls and floor are crafted from marble and concrete. Their gorgeous aged brass racks complement the stunning fabrics of Lonely's clothing and lingerie. Pop in for a look and enjoy sparkling water on tap!
Not afraid to incorporate design into absolutely every aspect of the city, Wellington is home to the Kumutoto toilets (located by Cuckoo on the waterfront), fondly dubbed the ‘lobster loos’ by locals. Voted the third best toilets in the world by Design Curial, the call of nature has never been so fashion forward.
Famously said to have been designed by British architect, Sir Basil Spence, on a napkin, the conspicuous landmark, home to the New Zealand government is well worth a visit. Tours run daily on the hour and even take you to the basement to see the state-of-the-art shock absorbers which make it one of the safest buildings in the country.
City to Sea bridge
Connecting the civic centre of Wellington to it’s stunning waterfront, this piece of pedestrian architecture is adorned with contemporary Maori sculptures. Up your culture game by scoping out the City Gallery on one side of the bridge and the Writer’s Walk sculptures scattered around the structure. Head toward the waterfront from Civic Square to find this neat spot.
The Dowse Art Museum
Not your run of the mill museum, The Dowse has a reputation for bold and contemporary collections which challenge and stimulate. An outing at The Dowse includes some of New Zealand’s finest contemporary painters, while additional exhibitions can range from intricate art deco buttons to a pyramid made purely from set squares.
Pick up a unique piece of contemporary New Zealand art at AVID Gallery. The ever changing exhibitions can see bold pieces of pottery to jewellery to objects whose only category can be called art.