A blooming collection of favourites

By Zoe Walker

Ben and Tam DeHaan take time out from organising Matakana's Bloom festival to tell Viva a little about what keeps them ticking.

Bloom Festival directors Tam and Ben DeHaan. Photo / Babiche Martens
Bloom Festival directors Tam and Ben DeHaan. Photo / Babiche Martens

Ben and Tam DeHaan are the directors of three-day family festival Bloom, being held in Matakana this weekend. The first-time festival will feature an array of local musicians including Ladi6 and Greg Johnson, creative workshops - from writing and illustration with leading children's writers to drumming to comedy - and a farmers' market. The pair work together on various ventures, selling children's furniture, accessories and toys through their websites Bentam and Unique Boutique, and collecting art on the side. They tell us more about some of their favourite things, from life-sized cows to chesterfields.

9 FAVOURITE THINGS

1. Butterfly Cow by Britto

We love the crazy madness of Britto's work and after contacting over 40 galleries we managed to track down one of his life-size cows from the New York City Cow Parade (2000) in a gallery in Paris and flew it into NZ the next week.

2. Halo Leather Chesterfield

We've always wanted a chesterfield but never found one that was quite right until we headed into Dawsons Furniture. It fits the style of our new house perfectly.

3. Handmade goods

Venture into the wonderful world of handmade goods - the best way to balance out high street purchases. Tam's love of unique and interesting kids products led her to setting up Unique Boutique.

4. Shane Hansen

New Zealand has an amazing depth of artistic talent but our current favourite has to be Shane Hansen and, of the handful of his pieces we have, the Tui Aotearoa stands out.

5. Nespresso machine

Takes all the hassles out of making fresh coffee - no need for fussing over the grinder and so easy even Tam can use it!

6. Date night

We have four kids, 5 years and under, so it's vital to our sanity that we take time out for ourselves. We have Date Night at least once a week - either heading to the movies or eating out. Current favourites are Clooney, Jervois Steak House and District Dining.

7. New Zealand

We're boomerang Poms - we moved here in 2005, moved back to the UK in 2007 and then finally settled here in 2009 and haven't looked back since. New Zealand is the most amazing place on earth and we've been welcomed with open arms. Can't wait to swear allegiance to the flag and pick up our New Zealand passports.

8. Topshop at The Department Store

Need we say more?

9. Nuna Leaf

Re-inventing the baby bouncer - little baby Avery loves kicking back and watching the world go by - only wish it had been around for the first three. It swings kinetically for two minutes, which is just enough time to make a Nespresso coffee ...

* Bloom Family Festival, Matakana Country Park, January 20-22. Tickets from here, or Conch Records, ph (09) 360 1999, and Real Groovy Queen St, ph (09) 302 3940.

- NZ Herald

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