The spirit of spring

It’s spring! And homestyle is celebrating the season by sharing the simple pleasures of life at home. So whether that means getting stuck in to some spring-cleaning, filling your house with plants, or cooking up a storm with the best seasonal produce you can find, we have you covered this issue.

For me spring cleaning naturally starts in the bathroom – and not just in your own. There are three countries whose inhabitants know how to make a good clean something special: the Turkish with their hamams, the Japanese with their onsen and the Finnish with their saunas. I’ve learnt the hard way, literally, about the benefits of being scrubbed top-to-toe at a hamam in Istanbul. I’ve channeled my inner zen to endure the scolding hot waters of a misty onsen in rural Kyoto. And heading to Helsinki for a sauna is on my holiday wishlist.

Without a real culture of bathing rituals here, all too often the New Zealand bathroom can be relegated to a utility space.

We love the idea and benefits of relaxing in a long bath, but many of us don’t make the time to do it. So we enlisted Gem Adams to style two bathroom moods to help make your space a place you want to spend time in. Turn to page 54 to take your pick from a dark and dramatic luxe look; or see her fresh take on serene with a hint of green.

If I were to single out one indelible moment in the making of this issue, it would be my trip to the Canterbury high country village of Castle Hill, to photograph Tim and Jane Andrews’ kitchen. I haven’t stayed there since I was young, but it was a welcome return trip where I was able to mix work with the pleasure of renting a cabin with friends; sharing plans for the future over a pot luck dinner and adventuring in the surrounding rocky landscape. There’s something to be said for being able to leave work from any main centre in New Zealand and be in the splendor of the mountains in a matter of hours – it’s a great way to clear the head and mentally bathe, so to speak.

While the word ‘cleanse’ gets bandied about fairly frequently at this time of year, creating this issue has inspired me to jump on the bandwagon at home – and by employing the simple healing power of nature more often. Perhaps with this in mind, I’ll make it an all-year ’round custom – I hope you can too.

Alice, Editor @lineslikes

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