Long time customer of Everyday Needs, Rebecca Commissaris is an artist and architect in Freemans Bay. She practices at Cheshire Architects while maintaining her own art studio at Strange Haven on K-Road. Her upcoming book and corresponding exhibition titled Can I Borrow Your Spoon? chronicle her 3000 km walk on Te Araroa Trail where she painted the landscape daily. Rebecca recently received a scholarship to Yale’s School of Architecture, where she will begin graduate work in July. She continues to paint daily, convinced that a habitual practice automises the brain, allowing the creative and emotive mind to innovate in unexpected ways.
My partner and I eat a lot of fruit. Like 10 kilos a week. After shopping, one of my favourite things is to organise fruit by colour and form. This basket further satisfies my enthusiasm for well-organised fruit. At the moment it is loaded with limes from our trees. The chartreuse green is striking against the dark wicker.
These servers are almost too beautiful to use. But I don't believe in reserving prized possessions for special occasions only. The Kauri timber has darkened over time and residue oil from salad dressings brings out a wonderful gold fleck in the grain.
Our kitchen has only open shelves and counter-tops, nowhere to hide anything. A nice consequence is that I purchase only beautiful things; glass jars filled with nuts and grains, hand-thrown teacups and my apple basket. It’s usually sitting in the corner of the kitchen, loaded with watercolours, paintbrushes, a picnic rug and some dried flowers. The pattern and density of the weave make anything inside look beautiful.
I look through this book quite often. Every time I open a page, I am amazed by how with a single line Picasso captures a hawk or a penguin. His line-work is so effortless and confident.
This little bag goes with me everywhere. In it, I keep all my essentials: cards, pen, pencil, a miniature scale ruler, my 12-pan tin of watercolours, paintbrush and a hand-made sketchbook. Since it’s semi-waterproof, it protects my main bag from watercolour stains and ink spills.
In celebration of Mother's Day, we caught up with the wonderful Holly Houston, talented photographer, ceramicist and mum to Willow and Ira.
Courtney Petley is a good friend, and quite possibly one of the funniest people I have ever met. I love all of her work, but this spatula in particular blows our minds, my boyfriend and I are both obsessed with it. I don't know what it is about it, but it just keeps on getting better with age. I have actually bought a few of them now, as it's one of my favourite gifts to give loved ones.
I'm terrible at hair and make up, but I go pretty big on fancy natural skin care. Sans is one of my absolute favourites, I slather this oil all over my bod and it smells like heaven on earth. In the summer when we go away camping, I can get away with taking nothing but this oil and a comb and I'm set for weeks.
We live in the teeniest flat, with the teeniest kitchen, so lots of our appliances live in weird places. Our toaster is on top of the fridge, and I am constantly burning my fingers trying to blindly grasp the toast from way up above! My boyfriend is very tall so it's no problem for him, but I really need these tongs.
I try to incorporate special little rituals into my daughters life that make mundane things feel a little more magical. During the darker months I will often light candles on regular weeknight dinners. As I mentioned, our flat is tiny so we can't have a dining table, we all sit on the floor around the coffee table, with these long table candles, its a bit ridiculous, but I do love it.
I saw these recently when I was visiting in store, and had to have a wee pet of them. I'm a bit of a sook about winter, but these sweaters make me feel like it might all be okay.
Our newest Edit features Harrison Gyde, the designer behind our current window installation. We're big fans of Little Dough Co in Wellington, which was founded by Harrison before moving to Auckland to start his design studio, Some Studio.
My partner and I have just moved up from Wellington and have yet to find a spot for our ever-increasing library. Thanks to a pair of these however I am able to have at least a few titles out at a time, reminding me to actually open up some old favourites and read them again. Only problem is, I find myself getting distracted each time I walk by.
Not many know, but I used to weave at university whilst studying Textile Design, so the pure technical beauty of Eleanor’s work is a real pleasure to see up close. As the mornings get colder I am finding myself wishing for a snug blanket to wrap up in while I get up to brew coffee in the morning, and this one is perfect for the job.
As much as I love Margaret Howell and all that she does, I find it hard to look past the timeless white version of the Type 75. I have a set of Artek 60s for beside the bed and the combination of the two would make sitting in bed with a cup of tea my favourite part of the day. An elegant solution to the ill-fated pitch-black walk to bed from the light switch.
I know it might be sacrilege but I am a fan of one type of glassware in the house for all situations. I have no qualms with drinking wine from tumblers, and the stacking nature of these glasses are rather pleasing, maybe it’s because they remind me of something Ettore Sottsass might have designed. I can just see myself pouring a sneaky extra half a glass more than I really should at the end of an enjoyable dinner with friends.
I love these things. No matter how hard I try I always end up with small collections of things scattered across my desk, be it inspiration material or ideas to hold onto for a later date. It’s nice to have a receptacle for the mess I manage to make, and somehow makes me feel like I am a grown-up when everything has it’s place.
In celebration of International Women's Day we caught up with one of our favourite ethical entrepreneurs Louise Garland. Louise is the Naturopath and Medical Herbalist behind local brand Wild Love. We receive regular deliveries of her wonderful Kawakawa healing balm and natural teas which are always quick to sell out due to her dedicated following.
Being a herbalist, of course, I adore these socks. Dandelion is one of my favourite medicinal herbs so when I saw these it was love at first sight.
I've been an incense fan since forever. I remember going to Victoria Park Market in the '90s to buy it. My dad hated me burning it in the house, I think it gave him flashbacks to the '60s. I still light it whenever I get the chance and this holder by local maker Petley makes my obsession look so beautiful.
I love that through these glass cups you can see the beautiful tones of herbal teas.
One of my favourite places to spend time is the beach, and this incredible pencil drawing by local artist Mallory Allen takes me there every time.
Right now I'm looking for a new place to call home. Most importantly I want to find somewhere with space to grow some herbs at the very least, and if there's enough room for some veggies too that would be a dream. I'm already visualising wearing this hat while pottering in my garden for hours on end. Fingers crossed!
Photo credit Mark Barber
In celebration of Valentine's Day we caught up with one of our favourite Auckland based couples (and everyday needs regulars) Sam & George.
Sam studies Architecture at the University of Auckland while working part time for Katie Lockhart. George is the Sales Manager at local fashion label Maggie Marilyn. They live down the road in an apartment at Freeman’s Park, which is filled with a beautiful selection of our products that they have collected over the years.
Sam: Jochen Holz is a German glass artist in London whose playful work we have admired for some time. We love the colour and leave it on the table when its empty. It makes a nice vase too.
George: We’ve got a couple of these. They’re great for overnight trips or for taking to the beach. We love all of the different colours they come in.
Sam: This book by Giles Reid documents five 1970s projects of the late Auckland architect Claude Megson. Megson’s work is fun and experimental, with warm interiors rich in colour and texture. The book is well designed and filled with incredible drawings.
George: We’ve just seen these beautiful woven mats. I’ve got my eyes on the teal check for our living room.
Sam: I burn one of these every morning. It stops me from starting the day in a rush.
Mallory Allen is a local artist and a treasured part of the Everyday Needs family. You may have seen her in our Ponsonby store keeping the shelves looking fresh. Mallory has a multidisciplinary art practice which includes her wonderful pencil drawings. These are her favourite Everyday Needs pieces.
At the moment I'm trying to figure out how many of these bags is too many. Aside from the beautiful, bright colour-ways which are lovely to look at, these bags are also really useful. I use them for beach trips, holidays, grocery shopping and storage. I've never been excited to store my linen and excess clothes somewhere before but here we are; I've found a way to make my hoarding look pretty.
Maryse uses locally sourced natural, sustainable and organic ingredients to create her beautiful skincare. While I use and love each and every thing she makes, I think the Intensive Omega Treatment is my favourite. I say with all sincerity that this product is like a hug for your face. When I'm feeling tired or low or just need a little treat I use this treatment and it gives me the biggest pick me up and undoes years of bad decisions.
Each of these rose tumblers catches the light in such a special way, I love the shadows they cast on a surface and the way the light bounces off them, making them sparkle. Hand blown in Auckland by Monmouth, each glass is entirely unique and they stack in such a lovely, uneven way. And that luminescent pink! Sublime.
One of the perks of working in the store is getting to meet our lovely local makers like Louise, the wonderful woman behind Wild Love Kawakawa Healing Balm. Lou is a certified naturopath and uses lots of lovely medicinal grade herbs in her balms and teas. I swear by the Kawakawa healing balm and need it near me at all times. I use it as a moisturiser, lip balm, on sunburn, scratches and itchy bites. I force it on my friends and partner because I know it will help any ailment and they all adore it.
Another local maker, Courtney of Petley creates handmade serving utensils from reclaimed New Zealand timber. The love, time and care put into each unique piece is so apparent, each piece feels special and has a history of its own. I feel like when I finally own some of these I'm really going to have to up my salad game.
Kiwi, maker and friend Phil Cuttance shares with us his favourite items from Everyday Needs. Phil creates wonderful geometric forms from his London based studio, popping home every now and then to run workshops in Auckland. The EDN team were lucky enough to attend a workshop when Phil was last here, we learnt about the technique he uses to create the sharp lines and complex shapes in his work often assumed to have been created by a computer. His work is in fact made entirely by hand from Jesmonite, an eco-friendly water based fine cement-like material, shaped using hand cut moulds.
Love Mallory's drawings! I really appreciate her subtle approach to representing nature. Her drawings are technically stunning and, despite the rumours, she's an A+ human.
Real life Carp are the worst. Not a fan. I see anglers pulling them out of the canals in London. These lovely windsocks are a clever marketing ploy by Carp to represent themselves as less gross - and it works. I recently helped my sister hang one in her yard, on a very tall piece of bamboo, and it looks brilliant.
I've loved Martino's work for a long time and was fortunate enough to work with him several years ago, here in London. In a former life I was a cabinetmaker and had convinced myself I was pretty handy, but after starting with Martino I realised I didn't know s***. He's an absolute demon on a table saw, and the delicious angles of the Spitz reminds of his workshop acrobatics.
Gidon's graphic signature style has appealed to me since I first saw his work years ago. These are too nice to send to people. Buy one, frame it, and hang it in your own place.
My girlfriend has a lot of books. Too many to be honest. We have no bookends. Books can give you a hell of a fright when they fall over on the shelf. Bookends prevent this from happening. I've tried to design bookends a few times but always over thought it: these are a simple and a great shape.
Gina Williams grew up on her family farm, which is located on the lower foothills of Maungatautari in the Waikato. The area is known for having an abundance of rich pasture and Maungatautari Ecological Island, which has the longest pest-proof fence in the world.
Gina's family have worked the land for almost a century. Today, it's a medium-sized, certified organic dairy farm, as well as a small apiary and garden that use organic principles. They combine intelligent solutions such as state-of-the-art robotics with responsible, regenerative practice. Over the past few years, they have retired over 10 ha of marginal land and have planted over 30,000 native trees and shrubs.
Gina and her partner Richard introduced bees to the farm two years ago and just released honey from their first harvest, which is now available at Everyday Needs.
One lunchtime in 2014, my pal Zofia and I trundled up to Everyday Needs and bought three stools in khaki, sage and white. Since then, they’ve been a firm fixture at the shed, nestled into the office desk that my Dad made. They’re sturdy, adaptable and we like that they’re made from recyclable plastic and are easy to clean.
We’ve created a forest garden with quite a few New Zealand heritage orchard trees. Over the last few years Mum and I have found it’s essential to have a good knife you can rely on for pruning and collecting fruit. Our Opinel has become a go-to at the shed.
Recently, Richard and I have been playing around with cheese and butter, with the milk from our organic cows. We’re enjoying tinkering with ratios and methods and flavours. Come lunchtime at the shed, the butter dish looks good next to Richard’s sourdough loaf.
Over the last two years we’ve been growing New Zealand heritage garlic, called takahue and kakanui. When you’ve grown something from seed, you can’t help but treat it with a little extra love. We find the grater to be a classic and strong edition to the kitchen’s second drawer down.
Our first harvest of honey from the farm is a small batch of 200 jars. The bees collect nectar from our diverse pasture and wetlands. So, this means they can drawn on a range of sources and every jar looks and tastes slightly different. It was important for us to go with a glass jar that could be reused by its owner.
Raukura is an Architect at Monk Mackenzie and has a visual practise as a multi-disciplinary artist. Her oil pastel works have been exhibited around the country and she will represent Aotearoa next year at the Tokyo International Art Fair. Raukura is the artist behind our most recent wrapping paper, as well as a series of oil pastel works available online.
Moko is an artist and revivalist of the traditional Maori and Pacific tattoo practice and culture. They live down the road from us in the much loved Freemans Bay housing blocks once coined the ‘Art Ghetto’, where true to its history they often work from home. We are happy to share their wish list with you.
This face oil is so delicious I can’t help covering my face in it every time I’m in the store. I have recently been introduced to face oil as a replacement for night cream and it is such an indulgence for dry skin.
Our dining table has been absorbed into the corner of our lounge now claimed by my painting ‘studio’. Dinners and almost everything else we do in our apartment happens around our coffee table, a height which is awkwardly low for the couch and awkward high for sitting on the floor. Often we debate the perfect seat for our coffee table and it inevitably comes back to a small stool. The simplicity of the Hinoki stool fools us into thinking we could make these ourselves... we still haven’t.
Our everyday lives have little time given to a sacred moment. Often we start our day with the ringing of a cellphone which we are then plugged into until we set our alarm to sleep.
This past year I have developed the very indulgent ritual of sleeping in, counter to Moko who has started practicing a morning tea ritual as a meditation. While I love the idea of getting up and joining him in this ritual, the haunt of my alarm reeks of work and resistance. This small sculptural bell is such an indulgent object we would never think to buy ourselves but it could just be the perfect chime to start the day.
Moko recently purchased a small metal box and inlayed it with foam to carry his uhi (traditional Māori tattooing tools) when travelling. He now has his eye on this beautifully crafted wooden box as the resting place for his tools at the studio.
I have been focusing on my painting practise over the past few years, reawakening a love of drawings and painting from when I was very young. My work come from a place of deep healing and sharing the vulnerability of the human spirit. These original works made for Everyday needs draw on the playful vibrancy of one of our Māori goddess’ Hine-Ruhi whose dancing emulates the flickering light of dawn.
Meet Kareen and Will Durbin, friends and collaborators of Everyday Needs and the duo behind our new Lawn Lounge Hat. The Durbin's are life and business partners, working (primarily) with migrants and former refugees now living in New Zealand.
We have had one of these unassumingly perching at ours for a while. An equal marrying of form & function, it’s simplicity and elegance never ceases to please.
We have such a penchant for odds & ends like this — acquiring them seems like a promise to ourselves of future escapes & explorations!
SO festive, with a nostalgia inducing fragrance; a reminder of the much loved craft tent from childhood camps. These rainbow delights spruce up well intentioned but not quite perfected baking attempts.
We have a design practice involving cross cultural collaborations with migrants & former refugees now living here in NZ. The Lawn Lounge Hat in canvas, made just for Everyday Needs, is an example of some of our simpler pieces. Wide brimmed for optimal sun protection.
Infinitely practical and lives up to it's name in terms of long-life span.
Sophie Wallace is the curator behind the success of Parlour Projects. Having opened in the Hawkes Bay in 2016, Parlour Projects has an impressive exhibition programme and provides the region with a fresh art presence of an international standard. We are delighted to share Sophie's favourite objects from Everyday Needs.
I bought my dad the bedside carafe for Christmas last year, and funnily enough, by complete chance, my brother had also bought one for me. It always sits on my desk at home, where I work from when I’m not in the gallery. I find such joy in re-filling my glass from the carafe, rather than the tap; it makes the simple act of drinking water so enjoyable, almost ritualistic. I like the thinness of the glass, the way the cup perfectly sits on the carafe to create a lid when it’s not in use, and the gentle tinkering noise the two objects make when they meet. I’ve since gone on to buy it as an engagement gift for two friends.
My leather notebook accompanies me wherever I go. It holds my notes, lists, ideas and thoughts, and is the one exception to my otherwise paper-free existence. Over time, the cover has softened and worn in nicely, which I love. I always think this notebook looks as though it’s capable of telling a story or two.
This sits on my desk, collecting pens, keys and miscellany from my pockets. It helps my work space to feel tidy and organised. I love the intricate detailing of the hexagonal corners and the tray’s long slender shape, contrasted with the sand-casted textured brass surface.
The soft speckled blue is what drew me to this planter. It sits on some dark wooden bookshelves alongside other ceramics, books and small artworks. Admittedly, I’m yet to pot a plant in it, as it looks like a significant object on its own accord. It has a tactility to it; I always want to pick it up and hold it in my hands
A Swedish classic. I’ve taken my Fjallraven backpack to music festivals, on ski trips up the mountain, and to the library as well. It really has been well used and well loved. I imagine it’ll be a life-long item of mine.
Torbjørn Anderssen is one half of Norwegian design duo Anderssen & Voll. Pictured above alongside design partner Espen Voll, the pair work from their studio in Oslo within various fields of design, with a focus on domestic objects. Their Ildhane cast iron candleholder is still one of our best selling items, and we are so happy to have it back in stock. Anderssen & Voll also have an ongoing relationship with fellow Norwegian brand, Røros Tweed, creating a beautiful range of blankets we love. Torbjørn has kindly shared some insight into his favourite objects from our range.
I really like the oversized texture in relation to the format - and I also like the random expression, which at the same time is very set by the design itself.
I wasn’t familiar with the work of Ruth Castle - but now I am - and I think it is beautiful. A woven basket is such a sympathetic object - it is mainly air. I think this ancient technology is demonstrating how we could address a lot of production issues in the future: creating beauty and usefulness with a small amount of material.
This reminds me of the bathroom we had in our old apartment. A small space doubled by a mirrored wall and a red cedar wood grate on the floor, which gave off a clean scent when damp. I can imagine these blocks could do the same, but without me having to tailor a floor grate. I just don’t have the time anymore.
I obviously need this to keep my Hinoki aroma block company.
Ildhane is very important to our studio, as it sparked the establishment of our in-house brand: Nedre Foss. An interesting point to this development is that it would never have happened if we didn’t have a 3D-printer in our studio. We were able to refine the shape after printing over and over again - to be absolutely sure on what this object would represent before investing in moulds and production tools. A pivoting point technology for a small business unit like we are. Ildhane is a mysterious object. The core of Nedre Foss is the notion of the Century Product + what we refer to as 'sculptural utility'. By this we mean objects that will serve you for at least 100 years, and where the sculptural qualities on one side, and the utility aspect on the other, are equal parts of the function.