Masterwood Joinery finalist for prestigious international design award

Masterwood Joinery finalist for prestigious international design award

Cromwell’s Masterwood Joinery is in the running for a prestigious, international design award for a kitchen that has already proved its world-class status. 

The Society of British and International Interior Design (SBID) International Design Awards selected Masterwood’s Queenstown kitchen as a finalist in one of 14 categories from across 48 countries.

Designed by Masterwood’s Stefan Sonntag, the kitchen already claimed five major awards at the recent National Kitchen & Bathroom Association Awards in Melbourne. 

“It’s a huge pat on the back and it feels amazing for the kitchen to be recognised after two years of hard work,” says Stefan.

“The level of detail from start to finish was huge, as we spent the first year just planning. It was a very involved project.”

The kitchen in a Lake Hayes home fuses Oriental and commercial chic to create a beautiful, cohesive space, which flawlessly interpreted the design brief of the owners.

Masterwood General Manager Jim Cleveland said he was speechless, but elated, with news of the accolade.

“To Masterwood, this is what the World Cup is to the All Blacks, putting us up there amongst the best in the world. We’ve already had multiple congratulatory emails and phone calls for making it this far,” he says.

“Masterwood is now recognised as a company of master craftsmen not only in New Zealand, but also on the world scene.”

The awards categories cover all aspects of interior design, including retail, public space, healthcare and well-being, residential, clubs and bars, office spaces and hotels, and finalists come from renowned design practices from around the world.

Finalists were chosen by a technical panel of judges which will account for 70% of marks, while the remaining 30% is via public vote, which Jim is hoping the local Otago community and the wider New Zealand design fraternity will support.

“At last our own little Cromwell is internationally known, punching well above its weight as we do here, it’s the Kiwi way,” he says.

“Please help us succeed by voting for Masterwood in the kitchen and bathroom category and showing the world just what New Zealand can produce. We need your support.”

Clean, straight lines, natural materials and earthy tones set the scene for the stunning kitchen. Heavy-duty powder coated steel box section legs support two islands, with an unapologetically commercial stainless-steel kitchen extractor suspended above the chef’s island.

At one end of the chef’s island is a cantilevered teppanyaki grill mounted in Ceasarstone, an engineered stone that is also the island’s work surface.

A favourite place in the kitchen for the lucky owners is the self-contained coffee-making area with sweeping views that include The Remarkables mountain range.

While many functional elements are hidden behind six-coat Ameron-lacquered soft close doors and panels, the owners were very definite about having as a ‘feature wall’ – in this case an impressive six door glass-fronted display cabinet.

This effectively distracts the eye from two pantry areas, one being a plumbed and fully equipped butler’s pantry. True to the Oriental theme, form and function are in perfect harmony in these pantries.

To get behind Masterwood Joinery head to www.sbidawards.com to vote before Monday September 9 at 5pm (UK time). Winners will be announced in London on October 25.

About the Awards

The SBID International Design Awards are awarded purely on the quality of the design, innovation, aesthetic and value-added to the project.

Each entry undergoes an exhaustive two-tier judging process by panels of leading industry experts for both technical content and aesthetic creativity. evaluating essential elements such as compliance with the brief, budget, health and safety and fit-for-purpose design.

The Public Vote is the final tier of scoring.

Read More

Top yoga brand Fierce Grace launching in Australasian ‘first’

Top yoga brand Fierce Grace launching in Australasian ‘first’

The UK’s fastest growing yoga brand, Fierce Grace Yoga, is about to unleash its revolutionary yoga system on New Zealand – starting with Queenstown.

Local businesswoman Sally Whitewoods will open Australasia’s first studio at Queenstown Central shopping centre in August.

Fierce Grace (FG) is an interconnected yoga class system that combines the best of Ashtanga, Classical Hatha, Iyengar, Yin and Bikram yoga.

The Queenstown studio will be the tenth Fierce Grace studio in the world, with the majority based in the company’s hometown of London as well as New York and Rome.

The classes are sequenced in ways that adhere to ancient yogic principles, married with the latest cutting-edge research on attaining optimum results in the minimum time.

UK-born franchise owner Sally fell in love with Fierce Grace Yoga after attending classes in Bournemouth and London while visiting family in 2017.

“I instantly fell in love with the classes, it’s literally the best thing I’ve ever done, and I can’t wait to bring it to Queenstown,” she says.

“It’s completely different to anything else; the system incorporates a range of yoga styles woven together beautifully, and taught in an encouraging, relaxed and empowering manner.”

FG is the only new interconnected yoga system in decades, designed by one of the world’s foremost yoga teachers Michele Pernetta, who introduced hot yoga to the UK in 1994.

“It’s not enough to be super-fit physically, busy people want more, they want emotional freedom and mental wellbeing as well. I designed this yoga method to help people achieve this,” Michele says.

“To live life with Fierce Grace means to develop your personal balance of male and female forces: strength and flexibility, effort and surrender, intensity and relaxation, and take these qualities into your life.

“Classes are designed to bring a balance between these forces and allow the practitioner to self-prescribe what they need on any given day, to balance themselves and work on their weak areas.

“This yoga method will grow you emotionally, not just physically, as each class reaches different parts of who you really are. The timid can become brave just as the inflexible can become flexible.”

Taking a more relaxed, humorous approach to yoga is at the foundation of the Fierce Grace philosophy she says.

“For some reason yoga can get so very serious when really it’s about embracing who you are right now, being honest, vivacious, free to experiment, fall over and be humorous.”

FG classes are for anyone and everyone. No matter age, flexibility, fitness level or injury status, every FG teacher has been trained to modify the poses up for the athletic, or down for the injured or stiff.

The Queenstown classes will be offered in a state-of-the-art studio which sits between 35 – 38 degrees, with a few non-heated classes woven into the timetable.

Fierce Grace Queenstown classes will be held in a bright, spacious, modern studio that can host up to 70 people.

The studio is set to open with four teachers, hosting five classes per day which will increase with demand.

For a taste tester, Fierce Grace has a pre-opening offer of 30 days unlimited yoga for just $39. Class details and bookings are at www.fiercegracequeenstown.com

Read More

VisitorPoint commits to the Living Wage

VisitorPoint commits to the Living Wage

New Zealand brochure distribution company VisitorPoint commits to the Living Wage.

As of July 1 all VisitorPoint staff are now entitled to an hourly rate minimum of $21.15, considerably more than the minimum wage of $17.70.

General manager Jenni Powell says the welcome change is part of the company’s pledge to Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s (TIA) sustainability commitment goals which includes employment.

“We have an extremely loyal and committed workforce which we appreciate immensely,” she says.

“As a company we genuinely believe our staff deserve this commitment from us as they are our most important asset, and we’re excited to be able to support them in this way.

All future employees will also be entitled to the new wage.

VisitorPoint has decided to forge ahead in driving social change for its 28-strong staff.

“As tourism businesses continue to grow throughout the country, we do too. From a financial and moral standpoint this is the right choice for us to make.”

VisitorPoint is New Zealand’s only national distributor of tourism information, having distributed brochures throughout New Zealand for more than 30 years.

It operates three warehouses in Christchurch, Auckland and Queenstown equipped with full teams of warehouse staff working in tandem with 19 merchandisers, as well as sales and marketing and senior management teams.

VisitorPoint’s move to a Living Wage for staff aligns with its commitment to TIA’s sustainable tourism promise.

One of TIA’s goals is for businesses to pay a fair wage to all staff, which aligns with VisitorPoint’s existing efforts in offsetting carbon emissions from all flights, the introduction of live online reporting for its clients and supporting print companies which share its sustainable print visions.

“We’re trying hard to make changes which improve our business while taking sustainability into consideration; it’s all part of a journey for us,” says Jenni.

VisitorPoint currently distributes over 3,500 brochure titles from New Zealand tourism operators the length and breadth of the country. It has over 2000 physical display outlets nationally and operates 38 distribution circuits.

Read More

Progressive Dinner Tours launch in Queenstown

Progressive Dinner Tours launch in Queenstown

The region’s first ever Progressive Dinner Tour is about to hit Queenstown, hosted by renowned operators Alpine Wine Tours.

As of mid-July, guests can explore the very best of Queenstown’s renowned wineries, micro-breweries and restaurants in just one evening, on the ultimate Progressive Dinner Tour.

Owner-operator Emma Chisholm says she saw a gap in the market for night-time activities and jumped at the opportunity to launch something a little different.

“Evening activity options are few and far between in Queenstown, but the Progressive Dinner Tour fills that void and gives people a chance to go on an incredible night-time journey where they can relax, meet new friends and experience the very best food, wine and craft beer the region has to offer,” she says.

“Especially if they are short on time, people can fill their days with activities and then spend a stress-free evening wining and dining. All they need to do is book and turn up, we take care of the rest.”

The Tours visit three iconic locations, including the picturesque Shotover River, the Valley of Vines – Gibbston Valley – and historic Arrowtown. Tours start and end in vibrant central Queenstown, meaning guests can start their evening in town early before pick up, or extend into the night following drop off.

Guests travel comfortably in a luxurious Mercedes Sprinter driven by a knowledgeable local host.

Alpine Wine Tours is family-owned and operated by Emma and director Lee Saunders. With family connections to Queenstown and the wider Otago region dating back nearly 60 years, the pair’s combined local knowledge and family heritage means they offer guests a genuinely authentic kiwi hospitality experience in ‘their own’ backyard.

Emma says dinner tours are hugely popular around the world, where they are sometimes known as Safari Suppers.

“They were the thing to do in the UK during the 1950s and 60s, then made a bit of a comeback when dinner parties became all the vogue again and thanks to the rise of TV show ‘Come Dine With Me’,” says Emma.

On the Queenstown Progressive Dinner Tours, courses are expertly matched with multiple glasses of renowned Central Otago wine, locally brewed craft beer and a cheeky after-dinner nightcap.

All Alpine Wine Tours group experiences are adults only, and the Progressive Dinner Tour is no exception.

The tours leave the centre of Queenstown at 6.45pm daily and guests are dropped back into town at 10.15pm, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the resort’s night life.

Prices are $249 per person all-inclusive and pre-bookings are required.

For further information or to book go to www.alpinewinetours.co.nz

Read More

TESTIMONIALS