Design: Oh, how Fancy

Monday’s a buzz with a weekly design fix writes Ben Crawford.

Photo / Ben Crawford
Photo / Ben Crawford

I love Mondays. Huh? What on earth do Mondays offer, you ask? Well, firstly: potential. The week ahead is exciting, full of fresh opportunities, brain-aching challenges and loads of awesome new people to meet. And secondly, every Monday morning begins with unwrapping a lovely little gift from the depths of my inbox.

The present is the man-I-wish-I-owned-everything-in-this-newsletter from the team at Fancy New Zealand design blog. A sugary wee treat enjoyed with my morning coffee, jam-packed with design inspiration from New Zealand and around the world.

Actually the newsletter comes through on a Sunday night and most other days, too, but I look forward to Monday's reveal the most.

I know it's waiting for me, ready to spill its contents onto my screen and over my desk.

It's a little like just before Christmas, and Santa has already swung by with your presents and is tempting you to open them before Christmas, but you'd ruin the surprise if you did.

The Fancy New Zealand design blog, also known simply as Fancy, was started by Alana Broadhead in 2009 and will celebrate its fifth birthday later this year.

Embracing the online nature of this story, I had a Q&A with Alana during the week to learn more about her blog and design predictions.

How would you describe Fancy in five words?

New Zealand's best design daily (almost!).

If Fancy was a Hollywood actor, who would it be?

Definitely not a Gwyenth Paltrow. Fancy is more like [singer] Pharrell. Leading edge and a bit of a tastemaker. A mutidisciplined designer, collaborator and curator. Knows what he likes, but also doesn't take himself too seriously. Happiness is the truth.

How do you constantly seek, source and serve up such awesomeness?

It really does take ages. Sometimes I can get lost for hours following a link off a link off a link and I might only post one out of every 200 things that I come across. With New Zealand design, I always have my radar on, scan-scan-scanning for new stuff and I get send a lot of suggestions from designers and lovers of design too, which is awesome.

I also create my own content, like the A Day In The Life series where I spend a whole day with a New Zealand designer and shoot their creative and personal life documentary-style. Plus I've opened up the content to include a lot more interior design, including cool eateries and great fit-outs.

How much of your content is New Zealand-focused?

For every seven posts I do, five would be New Zealand-based.

Where do your readers come from?

Around 70 per cent of readers are from New Zealand. Australians and Americans make up the bulk of my international readers, but they come from around the world. To my nine readers in Iceland, heeey!

What's the most satisfying aspect to running a blog like Fancy?

The biggest buzz I get is when, through Fancy, a New Zealand designer or brand gets international exposure or the success they deserve. I've had designers featured in some of the world's best magazines after being seen on Fancy, independent creatives getting stocked in leading stores, and recently someone was offered a book deal after a publisher saw their work on Fancy. I was so thrilled; I was moonwalking all over the show.

As cliched as it sounds, what's on-trend right now?

Brass Is Back (along with Copper and Gold)
As with everything, keep it restrained. Along with small decor items, light fittings and bathroom and kitchen hardware are the perfect materials to update to your favourite new metallic.

New Minimalism
Not the stark, personality-and-colour devoid American Psycho minimalism. But rather the focus is on buying once and buying well. Decluttering and simplifying. It's about that William Morris maxim, "Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

Coming to a home near you as an interior design accent, from shelving to seating and everywhere in between.

It's the new black and white. Scandinavian chic, and perfectly moody for our colder months, teamed with blonde wood for warmth.

The clean lines of wire will be a focus in all manner of furniture and home accessories.

The 80s Post-modern Aesthetic
Think candy pastels, geometrics and grid patterns.

But the biggest trend is no trend at all. Just do what makes you happy.

Find it: Fancy New Zealand design blog

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- Herald on Sunday

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