Escape the urban chaos
Denmark designers Vipp have made a ‘plug and play getaway’ that allows you to escape urban chaos in an all inclusive nature retreat.
Big ideas for small outdoor spaces
Here are some tips and tricks from the experts on how to maximise your small outdoor spaces.
Trend Alert: Crittal Doors & Windows
Move over bi-fold doors, because Crittal style doors and windows are having a revival.

We’re all about celebrating the good things in life. We write about beautiful interiors, amazing cuisine, architecture, culture, design and décor.  We’re always on the hunt for exciting new products, places and people to share with the world.  We’re also a little obsessed with fireplaces.  We think they’re the heart of the home.

Interior Design Trends for 2018

It’s a new year, which brings with it some new ideas, products and trends for the home. Whether you’re looking for a complete overhaul, or just a couple of pieces to update your home, read on. From embracing perfection and bolder colours, to incorporating texture and lush materials, we round up a few key interior […]

6 great ways to simplify your life in 2018

Guest blog by Donna Sheriff – the  With the new year looming, it’s a great time to consider taking steps to lead a simpler life with less in 2018.  If you are considering minimalism, or even just have a desire to life more intentionally and more simply, starting with by thinking about how you […]

10 Must-haves for Small Urban Homes

As New Zealand’s urban population grows, we’re seeing an increase in smaller homes, such as terrace housing and apartments. This is in-keeping with bigger overseas cities, where they have learned to do more with less.  But less space doesn’t have to equate to less style, and there are plenty of practical ways to maximise space.   […]

3 ways to improve your Home and Wellbeing

We often say that ‘home is where the heart is’ and this statement holds more truth than we know. Our home affects our mental health and the study of environmental psychology reveals what we need to do to maximise our productivity in whatever space we spend time in. We’re sharing the top three ways you can […]

Big ideas for small outdoor spaces

While we all dream about having a large backyard, the reality is most of us have a slightly smaller outdoor area than we planned. This doesn’t stop us from entertaining, relaxing or even bathing in the sun…it’s all about taking what you’ve got and making the most of it. With that in mind, here are […]

Vipp Shelter: the perfect escape from urban chaos

Tapping into the global trend for modular housing, Denmark designers Vipp have made a ‘plug and play getaway’ that allows you to escape urban chaos in a 55m2 all inclusive nature retreat. Think of it as a “battery charging station for humans,” says Kasper Egelund from Vipp. ‘Shelter,’ is a factory-made metal and glass dwelling […]

Europeans do it better: how to light a fire

Europeans are known for their passion for fireplaces, so it’s no wonder they are experts when it comes to starting a wood fire. They call it ‘The upside down method.’ Which means exactly that…you light a fire from the top down. You might be sceptical that this method works better than lighting from the top, […]

Europe Report: Denmark Trends – what’s hot

Seen by many as the international home of industrial design, beautiful furniture, and amazing bakeries, Copenhagen is a must-see while traveling Europe, especially for Escea’s lead industrial designer Alex Hodge who visited this month. When he wasn’t boating through the canals or sampling the local cuisine, he sussed out the interior design trends in Denmark: […]

Stoke wins at the TVNZ Marketing Awards 2017

Newmarket showroom Stoke Fireplace Studio has only been open for two years but it’s already making a name for itself, taking out the Best Emerging Business/New Brand award at last week’s TVNZ Marketing Awards. Stoke Fireplace Studio is the brainchild of Dunedin fireplace manufacturer Escea, who teamed up with seasoned retailer Malcolm Burton to launch […]

A Scandi dream home in Sweden

Situated near Malmö, Sweden, this harmonious home is everything you love about Scandinavian design. From the serene and muted colour palette, to the blonde wood and mid-century furniture, it is cohesively pulled together to perfection. The home owners built it from scratch, working with a good architect friend to create their “dream home” and a […]

All your wood and gas fireplace questions answered

Alex Cleveland won’t admit it, but he’s a bit of a fireplace guru. With over ten years in the industry, and the last few spent at Abbey Fireplaces in Sydney, he knows a thing or two. We hit him up with all our fire-related questions, from running costs, to how to save money on your installations. […]

Trend Alert: Crittal doors and windows

Move over bi-fold doors, because Crittal doors are having a revival. First invented in the 1880s, these graphic, latticed-style, metal-framed windows were popular in the art deco era.  Today we’re seeing them pop up in homes, both new and old, for an edgy feel that adds a touch of industrial style and glamour. They work […]

EUROPE FEATURE: How to get Modern with French Country

It’s easy to see why the French Country, (or French Provincial) is popular around the world. Its warm, rustic vibe and attainable style exudes charm. It also probably doesn’t hurt that anything ‘French’ is synonymous with good taste. The decorating style is a reflection of the homes in the South of France in the 17th […]

Must-see films at New Zealand’s German Film Festival 2017

Attention movie buffs: For the 9th time, the Goethe-Institut NZ presents the German Film Festival. Admission is free and the festival includes the best new film releases from Austria, Switzerland and Germany. There’s everything on the menu from documentaries, drama, comedy, road movies and family films. There are ten movies screening and we’ve picked four […]

EUROPE FEATURE: How to nail the British Interior Style

Just like all the best Brits, the British interior style is a charming mix of tradition, eccentricity and humour. And while more minimalist interiors are in favour on this side of the world, we could learn a lot from this characterful and maximalist style. But where do we start in trying to describe it? It’s a […]

Guide to modernising a villa or bungalow

New Zealanders have a bit of a love affair with villas and bungalows. Sure they have their downfalls, like being cold and drafty with questionable layout and flow. But we forgive them for these sins because they’re relatively easy things to fix and we’re suckers for a renovation. At the end of the day villas and bungalows […]

Q+A with trend forecaster Phil Pond

Scarlet Opus is a trend forecasting agency in the United Kingdom that works with retailers, designers, media and manufacturers informing of them of consumer insights and colour and design trends. We caught up with Phil Pond from Scarlet Opus to find out more about the biggest macro trends happening right now, and what differentiates them from passing fads.

Stoke Fireplace Studio at Urbis Designday ’17

  Stoke Fireplace Studio is excited to be a Strategic Partner and host at this year’s Urbis Designday. Join us for a curated experience of art, greenery, fireplaces and conversation.  Styled by the talented Kate Alexander from Places and Graces. Sample macarons and Harpoon Cold Brew  (the most refreshing hit of coffee ever) or enjoy some […]

Choosing an outdoor fireplace

Which Outdoor Fireplace is best for you? Nothing beats al fresco dining and evening entertaining by the fire. But how do you know what type of outdoor fire is best for you? We help you decide by considering the options. Outdoor gas fireplace Okay so it’s not the type of outdoor fire that you can […]

Ask stylist Kate Alexander for interior advice

Design dilemma getting you down? Looking for some interior styling advice? Interior stylist Kate Alexander is here to help! Enter your question below, add photos if you have them, and Kate will give you her advice – only the first TEN questions received will be answered directly, so get in quick! All entries go in […]

Interior design trends: more than meets the eye

Whether you love them, hate them or barely even notice them, trends are an ever-changing and omnipresent part of life. In fashion they come in seasonal cycles and move fast. The interior world tends to be influenced by “macro trends” that move more slowly (thankfully).  But where do trends come from and who decides that […]

Styling Tips from Kate Alexander

Kate Alexander is a busy woman. As well as running her own interior styling company, Places and Graces, she was part of the team in TV3’s new renovation show, Creative Living, and recently self-published a book – Finishing Touches. We love her for her tasteful, eclectic, retro-loving style that is truly her own, and her generosity for […]

6 Most Wanted Fireplace Designs for 2017

It might be summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about a new fireplace design for 2017. You want it to be ready in time for winter after all.  And even in summer when the fireplace is out of action, living spaces with fires still ooze charm and cosiness. The fireplace has long […]

Q+A with Sandra Batley from Flourish Gardens

Tell us about your background and how you got into landscaping: I fell in love with landscaping after I bought my first home in Kingsland. Back then I was in the print design industry and knew little about plants or garden design, but  I loved working outside in the garden and renovating my home both […]

Q+A with interior designer Vic Bibby

We’re big fans of Napier design duo Bibby + Brady.  As well as running swoon-worthy social media pages, the designers offer both face-to-face consulting and e-services for clients near and far. They also offer product sourcing services so you too can benefit from their impeccable taste and savvy shopping. We recently caught up with Vic for a quick Q+A […]

Design your ‘Dream Outdoor Space’ to WIN $500

Create a ‘Dream Outdoor Space’ Pinterest board and you could win $500 to go towards creating it! 1. Complete your ‘Dream Outdoor Space’ Pinterest board and include an Escea outdoor fire on the board 2. Follow @heartofyourhome on Pinterest 3. Complete entry form Our judges Vic Bibby and Dael Brady from Bibby + Brady Interior Design will […]

Take a tour around this award-winning Australian home

Plane Tree House is the epitome of understated elegance. Architects Ink’s design for Plane Tree House, winner of the Institute of Architecture South Australia’s residential architecture award, uses the raw beauty of concrete, timber and glass to complement its natural environment, showing us that rather than dominating the landscape, understated elegance can be achieved through […]

Finding the elusive Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant

It’s the stylish plant that elevates your home to Pinterest-worthy status…but where the heck do you get it in NZ? At the moment the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant (Ficus Lyrata) is everywhere. Sitting smugly in seagrass baskets on your Pinterest feed.  Propped beside perfectly ‘unmade’ beds with charcoal grey stonewashed linen sheets. Instagrammed in front […]

This home near Auckland is a real show stopper

Twenty five minutes from Auckland, on 2.66ha of rural land in Coatesville, sits a European-styled masonry home brimming with opulence and wow factor. The home was recently made famous by the reality TV show Real Housewives of Auckland, starring the home owner Michelle Blanchard. Together with husband David, Michelle purchased the 80s home and embarked […]

6 tips for a feng shui friendly home

If you’ve ever walked into a home and thought “this place has a good feeling about it,” then there’s a good chance you’ve experienced feng shui. Feng shui is the ancient Chinese study of the relationship between the environment and human life. Put simply, it’s about taking control of the objects in your home to […]

Four inspiring outdoor spaces with fires

After months of hibernation, there’s nothing more uplifting than the thought of long summer evenings dining al fresco with friends and family. With this in mind, spring brings the perfect opportunity to dust off the outdoor furniture and start preparing your outdoor space. As well as being incredibly useful and practical, outdoor fires are ideal […]

How to rock the concrete trend in your home

It used to be that concrete was thought of as a humble building material, suited to industrial spaces like warehouses. But as Bob Dylan says, times are a changin’.  Concrete has quickly become one of the hottest materials used in modern homes around the world, with New Zealand designers and architects taking to the trend […]

10 Reasons to love Spartherm Wood Fireplaces

1. They have been crafted to perfection for over 30 years in Melle, Germany. 2. Their three sided corner fire is adorably unconventional and unexpected. 3. Large fireboxes hold a lot of wood and kick out a lot of heat, perfect for open plan spaces. 4. Big glass windows makes for a maximum flame viewing pleasure. […]

Colour tips from Alex Fulton

When we decided to write a post on colour we knew exactly who to call in for help… Interior designer and ‘rebel with a colour wheel’, Alex Fulton, answers our quick-fire questions about how to use colour in interiors and “design like no-one is watching.” You’re known for your love of vibrant colour, have you always been […]

Seven online resources every renovator should know about

Let’s not sugar-coat things, renovations can be gruelling.  With all the planning, co-ordination, budgeting, trouble-shooting and liaising needed for renovation projects, home owners need all the help they can get. The good news is there are an abundance of online tools designed to help streamline and organise your project. By taking advantage of these you […]

Taking inspiration from the 2016 retail awards

If you’re looking for renovation inspiration for your home here’s a good place to start. Architecture Now has released the 2016 interior awards finalists and there’s a lot to like. They might be commercial spaces, but there are definitely some fabulous ideas that you steal and bring into your own home. Here are our top […]

Do gas fires actually heat?

We asked Richard Miller, Escea’s Architecture Advisor the question on a lot of consumer’s minds…do gas fires actually heat? Here’s what he said: It’s funny because this is probably the question we most often get asked! Which is fair enough, considering a lot of people’s experience of a gas fire is of the open fronted […]

Crossing over to the dark side

White walls have dominated interiors for a long time now, but the tide is well and truly turning. Say hello to rich, dark, moody hues. Risky though it may feel adding dark paint to the walls, the result is undeniably sophisticated, cocooning and dramatic. Paint the walls, fire surround, ceilings and even floor, in the same […]