Divine Details

After 15 years in business, Box™ is well-known as an architectural designer that stands out from the crowd. Getting the big-picture design working well – the orientation, the spatial qualities, the context – while making homes that look the business, is integral to what we do. But we also love figuring out the finer details of interior design, because that’s where the personality and personalisation of our homes really gets to shine. Below we’ve collated a few of our favourite moments. Who knows, you may be inspired to do something similar in your own new Box™?

Round & round the garden

When these Waiheke-based homeowners moved to the island from the city, they wanted a house that wrapped around them and their lifestyle, building only two bedrooms in the main body of the house in favour of more space for the open-plan living zones and a separate little self-contained office cum studio. But the busy professional couple weren’t averse to a touch of whimsy, so they asked us to create an inner garden, glazed on four sides, which brings the greenery into the centre of the concept whether you’re cooking up a feast, or ambling down the hall to bed. Planted with bromeliads and foliage plants that love the heat, it’s a flourishing focal point, open to the sky, that brings sunlight – as if they needed more? – into the heart of the dwelling. Panes of textured glass are another experimental idea the owners were keen to trial.

Yin/yang thang

Black and white all over, this kitchen is as contemporary as it comes and beautifully balanced. An entertainer’s dream, it features a huge regular fridge and a temperature-controlled wine fridge so food and beverage storage will never be a problem. The cook can showcase their creativity on the culinary stage, as the kitchen is at the centre of the action, but what we really enjoy about this design was…you guessed it…that staircase. The way it floats into view behind the splashback (oh wait, there isn’t one – but the owners weren’t worried), is unique and eye-catching and a great way of getting ziggy with it, architecturally speaking. We love the way the dark steel structure of the staircase contrasts the crisp white cabinetry. And the open access makes calling family members down to dinner a lot easier too. 

Divide & define

Room dividers can be boring – but they can also be banging. Our very favourite in the last few years is this one in a Wellington home for a young family, which our cabinetmaker crafted as a one-of bespoke piece. As a built-in timber feature, it serves to soften the material palette of concrete and glass, bringing some warmth to the space. Plus it stretches way, way up to the ceiling which emphasises the vertical and gives visual volume within the open-plan room. It’s also a fun element, which keys in with the owners’ playful outlook (just check out that amazing pixelated, colourful rug). Last but not least, it’s practical. It defines the living from the dining zone and the shelving is flexible enough to hold books, or records, or plants, or pottery. We just hope the young uns don’t decide to use it as a climbing frame.

Sleep easy 

The concept of bunk beds is believed to date back to Medieval times. Tiered beds made sense as a space-saving mechanism when families were crammed into tiny spaces. Really, their usefulness in this respect has never changed but what has is the way they look. These beds, that architectural designers at Box™ had custom designed and made for a client, are far more luxurious than the ones many of us grew up with. Wider? Yes – hell you could squeeze two in each one easily. More useful? Of course, they have underbed storage and built-in shelving for books, a glass of water, and torches for when you creep out for a midnight snack. Stacking them end to end and above each other along an entire wall of this bedroom has made the most effective use of the space, and safety rails ensure parents, too, have a good night’s kip. Plus, the good-looking meranti plywood ties in with the customised vanity units in the bathrooms. 

Two in one

In this holiday home in Waipu, the family enjoys catching up on the day’s adventures, eating together, often inside, but ever connected to the sea and the sky by the full-height joinery that is a Box™ trademark. What’s not such a staple of our aesthetic kitset is the dining table, which is crafted to read as part of the kitchen bench. The owners absolutely love the warmth and grain of timber, so plywood, which features on the ceilings, was a perfect fit for the cabinetry too. Not only is it used on the back wall (stained dark) but clads the front of the island. This lighter-toned product extends at right angles to the island to become a dining table – a clever, space-saving, money-saving idea. The surface can also be used for food preparation when friends are keen to help. The same cedar board that lines some external and internal walls, was chosen as a splashback, and why not, if you love it? The owners covered it in glass for easy wipe downs.  

By Box

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