At home with Kristy Von Minden

Tell us about your business Mind Bright. How did it begin? 

We work with individuals and organisations to reduce stress and enhance health and happiness, using science-based mindfulness strategies. I retrained as a Mindfulness Teacher and launched Mind Bright two years ago after a 15-year-career in the media and PR industry which saw me eventually burn out mentally and physically. I started learning about the brain and realised how little we actually get taught about it, at school and in life, yet it impacts absolutely everything about the human experience from our mood, to the quality of our cognition and creativity, right down to our physical health.  So I now spend my days running events and workshops, getting people to know their brains a little better, which for me,  is the most rewarding and exciting way to earn a living!

You live in Muriwai on Auckland’s west coast. What do you love about living there?

We moved there from the North Shore to be closer to nature and also to try and find more of a community to bring our family up in as we don’t have any family in Auckland. We have not been disappointed. We spend our weekends in the ocean, at the beach, bushwalking or at the park and we had made lifelong friends within the first few weeks of moving. Everyone says hi and has a conversation when you are out and about and helps each other out whenever they can. It feels like stepping back in time.  I also love how down to earth everyone is. People care about things that really matter. People, animals, the community and environment. Not stuff. We are living in a tiny 70 square metre bach for the next few years while we slowly design and carry out our renovation, and aside from the fact that we don’t have much space (my husband and I are sharing a teeny tiny wardrobe!) we are so happy out here we could easily live in this small house forever. It’s helped us realise we don’t need that much to be happy.

Three things you cannot live without at home?

Without doubt, our outdoor bath, up in the bush overlooking the ocean. My husband built it for us when we first moved in, which makes it even more special. I fill it with Epsom salts and lavender from the garden and either watch the sunset or star gaze in the dark. Utter relaxation after a long day. I also love our Coast bean bags and swinging chair on the deck, perfect for relaxing with a wine and watching the ever-changing ocean and sunsets.

 

Favourite fragrance?

My go-to perfume is Narcisco Rodriguez, I adore the combination of musky, woody and floral notes.  I also love the scent of fresh roses on the table or walking past a vine of jasmine, so the Palm Beach White Rose and Jasmine scented candle is a favourite of mine too.  

 

Must do’s for visitors to Auckland? 

Auckland is such a large city that’s the perfect mix of nature and urban. As for nature, I’d recommend coming out to Muriwai, just 35 minutes from the city, to  walk the beautiful Goldie’s Bush Walk (bring your togs for a swim in the river!), a picnic at sunset on Muriwai beach, a surf at Maori Bay or a visit to the world famous gannet colony. Pop into The Hunting Lodge Winery on your way back to the city for a beautiful glass of local wine and woodfired pizza in the garden. For your city fix, try  Britomart, which houses designer boutiques, eateries, bars, and health & beauty offerings in some of Auckland’s oldest, recently refurbished heritage buildings. 

The Calile Hotel

The Calile Hotel, designed by local Brisbane architects Richards and Spence, offers a unique urban oasis in the heart of the James Street precinct in Fortitude Valley. The 175 room hotel is drenched in style with its marble surfaces, custom made oak furniture and brass accents. The hotel’s restaurant Hellenika, which is open for lunch and dinner daily, serves authentic Greek fare in a sophisticated poolside setting. The pool terrace, overlooking the 30m pool surrounded by lush palms and chic cabanas, is the heart and soul of the hotel. The Lobby Bar is the ideal location for an espresso in the morning, an espresso martini at night and everything in-between. There is also a carefully curated selection of boutiques on the ground floor so you really don’t need to leave the premises at all. Unless of course if you want to explore the surrounding neighbourhood, which is on the rise. Go Brisbane go.

www.thecalilehotel.com

 

Barrenjoey House

Barrenjoey House is a heritage listed restaurant, bar and guest house with a history spanning almost 100 years. Located in Palm Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Barrenjoey House joined The Boathouse Group in July 2018. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, offering a relaxed, coastal inspired experience that the local icon is known for. Accommodation will soon be offered, with seven small guest house style rooms located above the restaurant… which means living like a local and enjoying an early morning dip at nearby Snappermans Beach or Sandy Point.

 

Hope and May

What inspired the story of Hope & May?
Melinda (our Mum) was the inspiration and driving force behind Hope & May in the early stages whilst living abroad in Asia.
What do you look for when choosing pieces for the store?
When buying and designing for the stores, we are drawn to neutral tones, natural fibres and timeless pieces for yourself and the home.
Favourite scent?
We love Coconut & Lime.
Favourite place to visit?
We are clearly fans of tropical destinations, so far our favourite place we have visited is the Maldives.
What is next for Hope & May?
We are looking at expanding our in house brand, Poppy & Co and also continuing to develop our range of exclusive Hope & May pieces.

The Parker, Palm Springs

The Parker Hotel is like no other. The San Jacinto Mountains enclose this boutique hotel that was first opened in 1959 as California’s very first Holiday Inn. In 2002 the property was sold to hotelier Jack Parker who enlisted designer Jonathan Adler to lead a $27-million-dollar renovation of the property, and in 2004 the hotel reopened as the Parker we see today.
On arrival you are lead up an impressive driveway, bursting with brightly coloured flowers, and arrive at a white wall of concrete lattice work, the famous main entrance centred around those fabulous tangerine coloured double doors. Stepping through those doors you are enriched with midcentury modernist design through the hotel’s art, lighting, decor and flamboyant carpets throughout. An outdoor fire-pit, three inviting pools, an incredibly chic day spa, tennis, pétanque, croquet, chess, bicycles, restaurant, cafe, bar… this place is the stuff of dreams.
There really is no need to ever leave this desert oasis, only when it comes time to check out. Good luck with that.

 

 

The Borrowed Nursery

What’s your favourite thing about the change of season? What do you most love to see coming into the store now that we are in spring?
It’s great to see some of our favourite plants come back in stock. As plants go dormant in Winter, its hard to get a hold of a lot of our favourites and the stock we get is often a little less developed. We’re always happy to start of the growing seasons spring and summer.  This spring we’ve seen one of our all time favourites ‘the chain of hearts’ back and with some really good length which is great!

What advice would you give for people wanting to introduce more greenery into their home?
Take note of the natural lighting in the space of your home that your wanting to add a green touch. It’s also good to make sure you’re aware of the watering requirements of each plant. It’s all about finding balance between meeting the aesthetic requirements you want to achieve but also the practicality for the ongoing care. For those either new to the plant game or for those that haven’t had much luck in the past, start with a zanzibar gem, these will thrive on neglect tolerant to low light and only requiring water once a month.

Favourite fragrance?
It’s hard to go past the smell of coconut, its the right balance of sweet and fresh and reminds me of a tropical holiday.

How did the store begin? What inspired your journey?
The business began as an idea after helping out some friends with the decoration of their wedding. We were decorating tables with plants and cactus in assorted tins and pots we were collecting at markets and garage sales. It got me thinking about how there was a bit of a gap in the plant hire market and there was an opportunity to offer a bespoke service in this industry. From there the plant hire service of the business started and expanded to retail as well. Moving on from our first space to our current location in Mermaid Beach we had the additional space to offer venue hire to our offering, with our space being hire for photoshoots, workshops, weddings and more.

Things you can’t live without at home?
I try to bring home a fresh bunch of flowers home once a week. It brings some colour and fragrance to the house.

 

Joshua Tree

Tell us about your connection to the Joshua Tree National Park
We discovered the National Park during a trip we took for my birthday 6 years ago. We immediately fell in love with the serene landscape and stillness and knew that we wanted to have a desert escape from our busy lives in Los Angeles. We ended up finding the dome through an ad on a popular classifieds website and jumped on the opportunity to purchase it.

Describe your style…
I think our style has evolved a lot of the past 6 years. When we decorated our dome we were trying to use a lot of vintage and found objects so I would describe its style as “eclectic desert bohemian”. However, we’ve recently been leaning towards a more neutral colour palette with subtle modern bohemian accents.

Where do you find inspiration?
We get a lot of our inspiration from traveling, blogs/websites, and architectural home tours.

What does home mean to you?
Home is where we find our solace. It’s a place for inspiration and a place to be inspired. Home is a never-ending, evolving project. Home is our happy place.

A must do for any traveller visiting California?
We might be biased but definitely don’t skip visiting the desert especially if you are from a country or area that doesn’t have a desert. Also, the northern coast of California is stunning- blue lagoon style water on one side of The Pacific Coast Highway and lush forest filled with redwoods on the other.

The Surfrider Malibu

Surfers travel from all over the world to catch a wave at the legendary point break of Surfrider Beach… and there is no better place to catch the action than at the newly refurbished Surfrider Hotel. Built in 1953, the iconic motel has been reimagined as a chic surf lodge with 20 airy, light-filled rooms, every one of which has a balcony with a view of the sea. “We wanted to capture the essence of Malibu and California beach culture,” says co-owner Matthew Goodwin, who grew up surfing this stretch of coastline. That means outdoor showers and storage for surfboards and SUPs and a vintage Land Rover to drive guests to other iconic surf spots. Evenings can be spent on the rooftop around the fire pit dining on locally sourced food, or in the library planning the next stop on your California road trip.

At home with Georgie Watts

Tell us the story about your house
For as long as I’ve known him, Mez has wanted to convert a warehouse…this one was an online furniture warehouse and a lolly factory in previous incarnations. It was a hideous aqua both inside and out! Awful! I like the minimal, masculine vibe. And the use of recycled timber adds to that. I love that we can open it up, and blur the lines between the outdoor and indoor areas… and though small, I love our veggie patch. We’ve grown beans for the first time this year, and the kids are really revelling in watching the growth process, from flower to baby veg, to the final edible object!

Describe your style
I’m pretty low key…my uniform is jeans and stripe tees! I’m always on the hunt for the next pair of perfect jeans. And I love the simplicity of a sharp white man style shirt.

Favourite fragrance
I love spicy, masculine scents…Clove & Sandalwood, Nag Champa, my signature perfume is Tom Ford Plum Japonais…a mens fragrance, but I love it.

Your perfect day
Some form of exercise to start, a swim in the sea…cooking and eating with Mez, glass of wine in hand…it’s all about simple pleasures really!

Tell us a little about your travel blog ‘The Window Seat‘? How did it start?
A couple of years ago we drove from Sydney to WA across the Nullarbor, and I was disappointed by the lack of resources for families travelling cross country. I thought I could document the trip to show friends and family, and perhaps help out other families along the way. We do lots of domestic travel, lots of road trips, and I love the thrill of discovering new places. I think it’s so important to see as much of our own country as we can; it’s so vast and varied, and a country with so much natural beauty.

Your favourite place to visit and where to next?
We love the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, it’s definitely our fave Australian destination. The beaches are incredible, and child friendly, there are excellent restaurants, cafes, and wineries, and you’re a short drive to the Adelaide CBD.
Next on our itinerary is a road trip up the East Coast, from Sydney to Noosa. I’ve never been to Noosa before, and I’m super excited to explore the National Parks.

Bali Dreaming

Motel Mexicola

Nestled amongst the palm trees on Seminyak’s Jalan Kayujati, this colourful tropical oasis is a must. Feed your senses with the vibrant decor and scrumptious food. Be sure to order a frozen margarita and dance the night away.

www.motelmexicolabali.com

Kim Soo Home and cafe

Shop til you drop at Kim Soo Home (the most inspiring space drenched full of island luxe interiors) then sit down and relax under an umbrella at Kim Soo Cafe. With great coffee, a selection of freshly baked cakes on top of a yummy menu it’s the perfect post shopping pit stop to refuel and recharge.

www.kimsoohome.com

Mrs Sippy

LA meets Bali with the island’s newest pool club, Mrs Sippy in Seminyak. It’s open daily 8am-midnight and from 12pm it’s adults only. Inviting oversized daybeds surround the large turquoise pool amongst lush greenery. After a cocktail or two you may even give the 5m diving board a go!

www.mrssippybali.com

The Lawn

If Seminyak is a little too busy for you then head 20 mins north and you’ll find yourself in the more relaxed Canggu, a chilled beachside community full of creative ex-pats and hip boutiques and cafes. The Lawn has a pool which runs parallel to the famous surf break Batu Balong… so you can either sip your bintang in the thatched roof ‘swim up’ bar or nab a daybed or spot on the lawn and watch the afternoon turn to night with those famous bali sunsets. This place is not to be missed.

www.thelawncanggu.com

The Slow

Eat, drink and sleep at The Slow. Just up the road from The Lawn, this Canggu gem offers luxury boutique accommodation and celebrates art, local culture and interactive retail.
The restaurant at The Slow connects to room 13, which is the gallery space featuring a rotating art collection and a barista station.

www.theslow.id

The Colony Hotel

This adults only hotel, located in the heart of Seminyak and right next door to Kim Soo Home and Cafe is the perfect boutique stay that is walking distance to all that’s on offer yet provides sophisticated seclusion in complete style.

www.thecolonyhotelbali.com

Fella Villas

Whether you’re going glam with the fam or wanting a romantic retreat, Fella Villas (located in Canggu), inspired by travel, art and architecture is a villa with serious style. Created by the founders of iconic Australian swimwear brand FELLA, this lush abode is the perfect place for those wanting to live like a local.

www.fellavillas.com

The Jungalow Bali

Another Canggu gem, the Jungalow is a luxurious and spacious two bedroom boutique villa that focuses on simple modern design and interiors and offers a lush pool next to a live green wall, this tropical paradise is one for those who love the outdoors.

www.thejungalowbali.com

Enjoy xxx

Little Black Shack

We have just come back from a weekend away with friends at The Little Black Shack, a beautiful and lovingly restored cottage on Mackerel Beach overlooking Pittwater… a quick ferry ride across from Sydney’s Palm Beach. The house was divine- sandstone fireplace and wood fire oven (we made the most amazing seafood pizzas and roast beef the following night) breathtaking views and direct access to turquoise waters below. The cottage has two bedrooms and both beds have linen sheets (so incredibly lush!) We feel completely recharged and inspired after spending some time in this magical home and cannot wait to go back in the summer! For more check out:

http://www.stayz.com.au/accommodation/nsw/sydney/great-mackerel-beach/169760

The Atlantic

Located right in the heart of beautiful, vibrant Byron Bay is The Atlantic. As far as a home away from home goes, it doesn’t get much better than this; a collection of boutique guest rooms in original coastal cottages surrounded by lush, tropical gardens and palm trees. The interiors are a unique mix of ocean and surf charm and eclectic textiles and furnishings. Byron’s array of cafes, bars, boutique stores and markets are a stones throw away from your room, yet once inside this inspirational oasis, you cannot help but feel a million miles away. The lobby stocks a carefully curated mix of locally sourced homewares and gifts (including our candle range) to take away with you as a reminder of how special this place is. The Atlantic celebrates all that is magical about the Australian coast and with some of the world’s best beaches an easy stroll away, this place seriously needs to be on your bucket list.

www.atlanticbyronbay.com.au