new zealand

smitten studio top 10 posts in 2013

2013 has been a wild ride! Here’s a round-up of Smitten Studio’s top 10 posts this year.

A Sunny Afternoon // Napkins & Serving Boards1. The launch of my line A Sunny Afternoon definitely takes the cake as one of the top moments of the year. See the original post here.

open shelving // cabin kitchen // smitten studio2. We finished work on the cabin (well, for now at least) that we slowly renovated ourselves, where the kitchen went from this, to this.

New Zealand Road Trip // Smitten Studio3. Rupert and I spent my birthday in New Zealand where we road tripped around the north island in a vintage Kombi. It was the trip of a lifetime (see part 1 & par 2).

DIY Garment Rack // Smitten Studio4. One of the top DIY projects from this year was this garment rack. (see all the DIY’s posts here)

stop-smell-the-roses-print15. My “Stop and Smell the Roses” print was featured in Glamour Magazine. I also spotted it in the home of Anika & Ken Yael Natori in Lonny Magazine, and in Julia Engel’s abode.

ikea tarva dresser DIY // smitten studio6. The other top Smitten Studio DIY of the year was this simple Ikea hack.

Style at Home // Sarah Sherman Samuel // Smitten Studio7. A big change in 2013 was with the selling of our home and the buying and moving into a fixer upper. Glitter Guide sent over a photographer for a Style at Home feature just weeks before we moved out. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to the first place Rupert and I owned together.

living room styling // smitten studio8. In the new house we started renovating by refinishing the floors, knocking down a few walls, and painting so that right now at least the living room is livable.

A Sunny Afternoon // Napkins & Serving Boards9. We sold out of the first collection of A Sunny Afternoon products much quicker then anticipated so I added new designs, stocked up on some of the favorites, and launched the winter collection with a pancake brunch with friends.

kitchen cabinets // smitten studio10. And finally, we started on the kitchen in the new house by completely gutting it and putting in new cabinets and countertops.

Happy Friday, and here’s to a happy 2014 to you all!

xo sarah

smitten travels: pagoda lodge, new zealand

pagoda lodge // smiten studioThe last place we stayed in New Zealand was one of the most unique and peaceful spots we’ve been to and was a perfect ending to our trip. Situated on a river’s edge in Keri Keri, the Pagoda Lodge’s setting is something magical. Take a peek inside the riverside safari tent that we called home… after the jump.

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smitten travels: hotel debrett, auckland

hotel debrett auckland // sarah sherman samuelhotel debrett auckland // sarah sherman samuelhotel debrett auckland // sarah sherman samuelOur first two nights in New Zealand were spent at this lovely boutique hotel in the heart of Auckland. Upon arrival to Hotel Debrett we were greeted with such friendly and helpful staff that we felt right at home. They gave us great recommendations on what to do around the city (i.e. walk up Franklin to Ponsonby street for shops and take the ferry to Waiheke island) and Michelle, the owner, even helped us plan a few stops on our campervan route.

More after the jump…

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smitten travels: Classic Campers, New Zealand Part 2

snells beach new zealand // smitten studiosnells beach // matakana // smitten studiocamper van // new zealand // smitten studiocathedral cove // hot water beach // smiten studiomanu bay // new zealand // smitten studioblack sand beach // manu bay, new zealand // smitten studioWe decided to stay up in the north island this trip so that we didn’t feel too rushed trying to fit everything into one visit (which also means we have a really good excuse to return for the south island). As it went, we still managed to stay in a different place every night and drove anywhere from 2 – 5 hours a day, which for me, made for a good on the road to out and about ratio.

A couple of my favorite days were spent at beaches like Manu Bay near Raglan (bottom two photos) and Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel Peninsula (4th photo block on the left). On both occasions we packed a picnic, took a pretty hike down to the beach and spent a full day playing in the waves,  and relaxing in the sand while the sun moved across the sky.

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

If you are interested in taking a similar trip or just want to know where all we went, I’ve laid out our route after the jump!

… and don’t miss Part 1 for all the info on the Kombi

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smitten travels: Classic Campers, New Zealand Part 1

vw campervan new zealand // smitten studioWhen planning our trip to New Zealand we knew it had to include a road trip campervan style and as soon as I came across the Classic Campers website I was completely sold on getting into one of their rental Kombis. Retro Volkswagen heaven.

stony bay new zealand // vw campervan // smitten studionew zealand // smitten studiokombi camping // new zealand // smitten studiocows coromandel new zealand // smitten studionew zealand // stony bay // vw camper // smitten studionew zealand road trip // coromandel // smitten studioI can not tell you how much we fell in love with this van (and New Zealand). It became a little part of us while we were touring around the north island’s hills. It was our transportation by day, our shelter at night, it screams happiness and total freedom, and it literally made me smile every time I climbed into the passenger seat. Don’t ask me how a van does all that but it downright stole my heart. Rupe has already started scouring the internet for ones for sale and we dream daily of buying one and driving it all around the states.

Bevan and Andrea, the owners of Classic Campers, were also a treat to work with. He is a bit of a whiz when it comes to the VW mechanics so he had the 1975 Kombi running like a champ. They have a collection of seven vintage campervans that they rent out as well as some modern vans and caravan options. Our particular Kombi came complete with a refrigerator/freezer, hot & cold pressure water, a 2 burner gas stove, and a good stereo system with a USB hookup for our Iphones. What more do you need, really?

All of the photos above are from the first few days of our trip, which covered the Coromandel Peninsula.

I’ll share our full 11 day route with the van in Part two tomorrow!

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

Get a few tips for planning a NZ road trip after the jump! READ MORE

february 2013 in review

february 2013Oh February… short but sweet. I had a few nice long working lunches, great clients and great food makes me a happy girl (top row left at Gjelina and second row right at Eat.Drink.Americano). I also had a birthday and we drove, hiked, swam, and ate our way around New Zealand.

Photos by me via instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)