Friday, 31 October 2014

Caz Novak | Artist

I have recently discovered the work of a very talented Wellington-born artist, Caz Novak. After completing a three-year course at Wellington College of Education, majoring in art, Caz went on to teach art, and for the last 17 years has been working as a full-time artist. She is well known for her vibrant use of colour, which is obviously what drew me to her work, as well as her stunning treatment of the paint. "My work is constantly evolving through my exploration of paint" Caz says. "It is an exciting medium which presents unlimited potential for development".

Living in a beautiful part of New Zealand, Caz's Taranaki home on the beach inspired her popular Pacifica series. Her two most recent series, Opulence and Flux, are a response to broader influences and a move to abstraction. The Flux series explores the fluid movement of paint, resulting in very organic and energetic pieces. Caz allows the paint to freely interact, with the colours colliding and dispersing. This gorgeous "Flux - She Like to Party" print has only just been released. I love it's playfulness and exuberance.

"Flux - Float" is a favourite of mine. You can interpret it in any way, but to me it's definitely water, and I find it both calming, and energising. Unfortunately for me, this piece has sold, but Caz is more than happy to work with clients on creating the perfect piece for their decor.

The Opulence series is strongly influenced by landscape and botanical references. Caz almost sculpts the paint to create the most divine texture, bringing each piece to life. They have a luminous quality gained from layers of the vibrant impasto paint.  From a distance they are stunning, but up close they are sublime!

Caz's paintings are held in private collections around the world, with the latest Opulence piece heading to a lucky owner in Dubai. To keep up to date with all of Caz's work and see her latest available paintings, make sure you sign up to her 'Previews' mailing list. If you want to discuss a commission with Caz, or visit her home studio in Taranaki, she'd love to hear from you. Or you can check out her prints available to purchase. A Caz Novak artwork will most definitely add joy to your home.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

An Exotic Santa Barbara Beach Home

I've found a beautiful beach abode in Santa Barbara, Southern California, that I would happily call home. It's owner, Gina Tolleson (Miss World 1990), has filled it with gorgeous treasure that she's collected on her travels to India, Morocco, South America, Bali and Africa. She shares the home with her three sons - Carter, 16 years old, Luca, 8 years, and Tiago, 7 years.

I love the exotic, relaxed vibe this home exudes. The white walls and floors are the perfect backdrop for the layers of pattern and colour. Now that the boys are a bit older, interior designer Amanda Masters has been helping Gina make a few changes. They successfully mix Gina's global finds with modern and mid century pieces that tie in with the home's architecture.

A bird's-nest tower that's visible from the beach is Gina's special space to meditate, enjoy a glass of wine, and look at the ocean - no kids allowed! I think all parents should have a tower room like that ;)

Luca and Tiago's room is a really fun space that continues the global theme.

Gina's favourite space (and mine) is an outdoor room that open onto the courtyard. A 40th birthday trip to Rajasthan inspired her to paint the wall hot pink. Along with a bamboo lounger laden with cushions, and Balinese umbrellas, the vibrant colour creates a fabulous setting for a dinner party or cocktail evening.

I love the mix of the wooden outdoor table from India with the new wire chairs. To me this home is the perfect blend of beauty and tranquility, that's what I love!

photos by Nancy Neil

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Koza Turkish Towels

Turkish towels, also known as peshtemals, are the traditional flat-woven towels used in Turkish baths, and they're becoming increasingly popular in the western world. I have had the pleasure of trying a range of Koza towels, and I am now a huge fan. Koza is founded by two brothers, both seasoned travellers - Caner and Cihan Ekmekciler were both born and raised in Izmir, in the Aegean region of Turkey. Caner now calls New Zealand home and is enjoying our beautiful lifestyle, while Cihan lives in Turkey overseeing the business and production of the Koza collection.

Their range consists of bath and beach towels, as well as gorgeous lightweight throws. The Aegina bath towel has a special woven texture, and is designed to fade slightly over time to give a beautiful vintage effect. It's highly absorbent, fast drying, and stays soft after washing - no more stiff, scratchy towels!

Aegina is available in denim blue and fuchsia rose, and soon to be released in a lovely soft brown, which I was lucky enough to try. It's generous size means it's luxurious to wrap yourself up in after a bath or shower.

The Siesta beach towel is gorgeous with it's colourful stripes. The ruby red colour-way is inspired by the sunrise and sunset, while the royal blue and petrol green are reminiscent of the beautiful Aegean sea.

We headed off to the beach with our Siesta towel. It was such a joy to pack and travel with as it's so light and compact, despite it's large size. It dried so quickly after getting wet, and then doubled as a picnic blanket.

Of all the towels I think the Trendy beach towel is my favourite. It's really smart with it's pinstripes in bright red, royal blue, or beige, and it comes with it's own little matching carry bag.

On one side is the traditional woven Turkish towel, and on the other is a soft terry cloth texture, making it extra snuggly for the kids after a dip in the pool. This towel would be just as perfect at the beach as it would at home in the bathroom.

If you're looking for a gift, Koza's range has something for everyone. They'd make fabulous Christmas presents, or treat yourself to a new set for your bathroom. They offer free shipping in New Zealand and to Australia. Using 100% natural fibres and century old knowledge, combined with modern technology, the Koza products are durable and luxurious with traditional detailing that will stay soft over time. I've shown you a few of their products but there is much more, so be sure to check out the full range.
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