Sourcing the best from a world of beauty - Outdoor and Landscaping NZ
Sourcing the best from a world of beauty

Sourcing the best from a world of beauty

Natural materials such as stone, timber and leather continue to resonate with designers and homeowners alike for their ability to impart timeless beauty, warmth and appeal to many a design scheme.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

For 30 years, Designsource has been the supreme resource for architects and interior designers looking for the best natural stone and hard cladding and flooring products available from around the world. That commitment to finding the best suppliers in the world and bringing their products to New Zealand continues today.

“We look for timeless products,” says Designsource Director, Sue Holmes. “Like our French Limestone, which is gorgeous, lasts forever and is so perfect for either modern or classic house designs. And then there’s our recycled timber for features or flooring. Our French Oak parquet floors are just stunning and look like they’ve been there for hundreds of years, which in a way, they have,” she laughs.

“We get a lot of emails from architects telling us their concept and then asking us to source product to realise it. It’s a mission we just love to undertake.

“The stone we find is a lovely canvas for what happens around it. Sometimes we look for things that will inspire people—and we always look for unusual textures.

“This is one of the wonderful things about stone, that look like it’s just come out of the ground—it’s so raw and natural—it really speaks to a part of our psyche that remembers the safety and comfort it provides,” says Sue.

Being highly durable, Kavala polygonal slate paving is an ideal choice in harsh climatic conditions, especially freeze-thaw cycles. Available in a range of sizes and thicknesses, it is an extremely versatile paving product.

Stone, timber and hide: the finest natural materials in the world

Designsource supplies claddings, flooring, handmade wallcoverings, and some selected furniture pieces, in a stunning range of materials—stone, marble and travertine (as found on the Getty Museum in L.A.); beautiful timbers including recycled parquet flooring; and beautiful leather hides for bespoke furnishings and fittings.

“We have schist stone, perfect for crazy paving, which is making a huge comeback with the design swing back to the mid-century look.

“Another big trend in design internationally is the recycling of otherwise beautiful materials no longer needed,” says Sue. “You have the patina of age and use that cannot be found in new products and now that consumers are becoming more educated around the source of their selected products and their environmental impact, these products are ideally placed to really resonate with homeowners here in New Zealand.”

Designsource’s latest products include the same travertine cladding used by Richard Meier Architect for the Getty Museum, Moroccan clay bricks and beautiful reclaimed terracotta or Chinese clay bricks, remade from tiles crushed and reformed, which can be used in subway, vertical or herringbone patterns.

“These bricks have a lovely soft, matt finish that speaks to age and traditional natural building materials used in generations past. They create such an ambience of natural, serene comfort that’s so difficult to match with modern tiles and that ambience is as much created by the acoustics as by the texture,” says Sue.

“We have an amazing natural stone—Leppo de Gris—that looks like terrazzo but is actually cut out of the ground and our Argentinian folding chairs, handmade from wood and saddle leather, were such a find we had to bring them to our customers here.”

Designsource provides other unique furniture pieces—bronze-type side tables, New Zealand-designed wood and leather armchairs, for instance—and can source other special pieces or have bespoke units made when required.

Comprising more than 137,000 pavers, the new Te Komititanga Square in Auckland, features a wharariki (welcome mat) design in the centre.

Designsource: the largest commercial stone supplier in New Zealand

There are two sides to the business: the residential focuses on the cladding, floor coverings and furniture as covered above, but Designsource is also the biggest supplier of natural stone for commercial applications in the country. Recent examples include new Auckland Central City urban renewal projects around High St, Lorne St, the new Quay St waterfront park—Te Wānanga—and the new plaza in front of the old Central Post Office, now Britomart Train Terminal—Te Komititanga. Designsource stone is used right through Lower Queen St, Fort St, the Devonport waterfront and more. The stone tiles and cobblestones used are all 80mm thick and will last forever.

Stone from Designsource is also about to be used extensively around the Queenstown lakefront streetscape and extensively through the Christchurch rebuild, including the new Avon River Precinct. “Our stone is used in these urban transformation projects because it’s a supremely durable product, looks amazing and has no environmental impact.”

“We’ve just returned to our original premises in the Axis building in Parnell,” says Sue. “It’s a bit like coming home—and that’s what we love about what we do—creating homes people want to come back to—all with a focus on absolute quality.”

Learn more about the extensive range of products available from Designsource.

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