Nestled against the picturesque Waitakere Ranges is a jewel box of inspiring interior design finds. Make your way through myriad sleek, stylish galleries or discover charming antique stores crammed full of curios and collectibles.
1. The Fabulist
547 West Coast Rd, Oratia, ph 021 0238 7760
Wind back the clock and rediscover pieces of New Zealand history at this fabulous recent addition to Oratia. Owners Jay Hall and Kristen Seth scour the country uncovering treasures such as a 1960s Electricity in Safe Hands sign from Taranaki (which took Hall 10 years to pry from the hands of the original owner) and perfectly preserved 1910 posters.
Corban Estate Art Centre Shop; Just Plane Interesting.
Pictures / Anna Lee.
2. Corban Estate Art Centre Shop
2 Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson. ceac.org.nz
Within the Corban Estate Art Centre - a space for 20 artists, including painters, sculptors, and ceramic artists plus exhibition spaces and studios - you'll find the Gallery Shop, with most works made on site - intricately woven flax bags and raw cloth teatowels, perfectly imperfect vases and handcrafted platters. After you've finished shopping, browse the pop-up exhibitions and shops such as Richard Orjis' ceramic and pottery exhibition, Home, open until March 1.
3. Just Plane Interesting
99 Parrs Cross Rd, Oratia. justplaneinteresting.co.nz
At this "antiques and collectibles store that thinks it is a museum", you'll find it's anything but plain. It's been established for 17 years, thanks to owner Ray's passion for pieces of history and his eye for the eccentric and unusual. As you dig through rooms teeming with treasures, you'll discover everything from immaculately preserved 1970s wardrobes brimming with vintage mink coats and crocodile skin purses to delicate fine china tea sets and bizarre movie-set props.
Upstairs Art Gallery Shop; Titirangi Village Market.
Pictures / Anna Lee.
4. Upstairs Art Gallery Shop
418 Titirangi Rd, Titirangi. upstairs.org.nz
"Just up the stairs" you'll discover the jewel in the crown of historic Lopdell House, aptly named the Upstairs Art Gallery. The not-for-profit community shop and exhibition space run by a team of local volunteers is home to ceramics, sculptural displays from a variety of West Auckland's top emerging talents plus an ever-evolving gallery space with up to 12 local exhibitions a year. After you've finished shopping for art, grab a deckchair (gold coin donation) and head further up the stairs where visitors are encouraged to relax on the rooftop and soak up the awe-inspiring view of the Manakau Harbour.
5. Titirangi Village Market
Titirangi War Memorial Hall, 500 South Titirangi Rd. titirangi.steiner.school.nz/TVM
On the last Sunday of each month, for 21 years, more than 140 clever creatives and painters, sewers and bakers set up shop in the War Memorial Hall for Titirangi Village Market. Spend your Sunday in the sunshine, sipping organic coffee, nibbling freshly baked goods and listening to local folk musicians while you weave your way through the plethora of products and produce - all for a good cause. The market acts as a fundraiser for the local Steiner School.
Picture / Anna Lee.
6. Studio Ceramics
7 Waikaukau Rd, Glen Eden. studioceramics.co.nz
Home of the largest handmade ceramics factory in the country, Studio Ceramics is a ceramic aficionado's paradise. Specialising in table and giftware themed on New Zealand's flora, fauna and oceans, each piece is handcrafted by an artisan using white china clay mined in Kerikeri. For $5, you can see the craftsmen at work on a guided tour of the factory or wait for a rainy day and paint your own pieces to take home for something a little more personal.