Zoe and Morgan in New Zealand first began from Zoë’s home in Grey Lynn, where she had one staff member. The business was growing, so seven years ago they moved into one of the first spaces in City Works Depot. As the growth continued, so did the need for more space! They moved into a retail space within City Works Depot, and have just finished renovating this space to double in size.
Zoë worked alongside her husband Teia, a cabinetmaker by trade, who built new elements into the store and oversaw the entire building process.
Clare van den Berg, who Zoë met through visiting Odettes Eatery around the corner, led the interior design choices with her eye for beautiful, minimalist design.
CONVERSATION WITH ZOE
Coming out of lock down and being able to share our space has been such a treat. The store opening is an opportunity to bring our core values into a physical space. The design process was formed over cups of tea and chats. And our brief was to create a space of ease. For the furniture and fit out to be functional, and create a sense of organised calm for our team, to have a full kitchen and beautiful table to share meals and stories, a place to meet bespoke clients with a feeling of home. To re-use as much of the materials from our original shop as possible, to minimise on waste. To think about how our customers feel and to be responsible in our selection of materials is core to what we do and we wanted this to shine through in the design.
Every detail was thought about - from the recycled lights, to the hand made chairs which use leather from a stylish sofa that had already enjoyed 10 years of life. We also got our door pulls and hardware from our local Grey Lynn friends at Katalog.
What was fun about our latest business expansion, was collaborating with both Teia and Clare. Teia and I usually plan out our decor together, but as the business has grown so much, Clare was a joy to work with.
Clare and I vibe over fashion, good food, and beautiful interiors, so from a casual mention of "we need to expand our shop" her eyes lit up and she immediately suggested knocking out walls, and dividing spaces to create different energies within the large area. I also really liked that she saw what we could re-use from the current shop and transform into a new life for the new shop. Needless to say communication on the project was easy and fun.
The floor plan was created, and Clare gave me little nudges all along the way to keep the project rolling smoothly. Clare has a real talent for colour and mixing materials to add depth to the design.
Teia designed and made all of our working desks, jewellery display cabinets and kitchen! The heart of our home away from home.
CONVERSATION WITH CLARE
Zoë: Tell us how you started your business in interiors, as I understand you created and sold a few iconic Auckland restaurants prior to this?
Clare: Interior design has come naturally to me after we sold our two restaurants- Odettes Eatery and Hugo’s Bistro last November. It is something that comes to me instinctively and I have always dreamt of heading in this direction at some point. Coming from a film background and always having a creative outlet, this was important for me with going into hospitality. To create calm and visually interesting spaces that we like to be in and believe are missing in local communities. When we sold, I was lucky enough to have a few amazing opportunities, including Zoe and Morgan. Going forward, it is my dream to continue in this direction, and of course there will be more hospitality projects coming up with my husband Joost...
Zoë: We always want to create an open, welcoming experience for anyone who steps into our stores. How did this influence design decisions? Were there any main inspirations you wanted to focus on?
Clare: Zoe is a beautifully kind, calm soul and this needed to come through her space. It didn’t come hard as her product and an experience with her or one of her team exudes this feel directly.
For a space like Z&M, this I believe comes through colour and texture. Being such a lovely open space as it is with high ceilings, the possibilities are endless. Lush linen curtains dividing the space was fundamental as a store and a workroom, alongside a palette that makes you feel at rest. Inspiration came from lovely long tea chats with Zoe and a beginning focal point Zoe briefed me with- a beautiful photo of lantern lights over a large space and a calm shade of green. Throughout, we referred back to this photo. Tonal shades of the colour throughout the space, soft fabrics, light furnishings and wood. To use the current space & what we already had was also key to both of us by re-using elements and giving them a new lease on life. We wanted a striking couch so I found some gorgeous cord. The whole space is tonal and I think very ethereal with the Corcovado pendants hanging over the counter. The showcase at the front of the store needed to be focal and the lighting here to frame that.
Zoë: I know you have just had a beautiful baby girl, and I understand the balance of being a mama and business owner. Do you have any future projects you can share with us?
Yes, Marni Rae was born during lock down early April. She is now 8 weeks old and is a darling. Being a Mum, I want to spend as much time as I can with her. However, good projects won’t be turned down and I am hungry for more, I just love the process so much and it really was such a pleasure working with Zoe on this one. I feel very lucky.
In the pipeline is a small boutique gym, a commercial space and a residential house.
I am a person who always needs to keep busy and is always buzzing with new ideas, filling scrapbooks with mood references and up-coming projects. I will never sit still.
CONVERSATION WITH TEIA
Zoë: Circularity with our materials is important to Zoe and Morgan and how we operate, we try to reuse or recycle where possible. How did you reuse elements of the existing store for the renovation?
I reused some of the ply from that wall in the main areas (existing wear and tear) as it seemed like the right thing to do, was in keeping and had the right tone/colour. An existing stand up desk was re-appropriated and fitted in new American oak. As mentioned the kitchen top has marble from Zoe and Morgan's antique showcase cabinets which we reused...a sensible choice and cost effective all round doing it that way. You can look around for a long time to find the right piece of bench-top when we had it all along.
Zoë: You created such beautiful furniture for us, thank you! It’s actually romantic, being able to say to customers that you made everything in here for us to enjoy everyday! What were the challenges you faced with this job, as the ceilings are so high, the cherry picker was in hot demand between the different jobs.
Well you can tell yourself to be challenged, or I can do better than yesterday. At least that’s what I do most mornings on the way to work. The amount of work and organising can be helped by effective communication on a busy site and lots of to-do lists. Personally I like design and looking at solutions, it was great to have Zoe and Clare always asking and talking throughout the process.
Zoë: Do you have a favorite piece of furniture you made for this project? We love the kitchen! And the marble top, which was created from our original jewellery displays!
I like that everything is reuseable, spacious and it tells me the design worked, from storage to kitchen to U shaped jewellery cabinet. So I like that aspect, then coming in after lockdown to see it again I’m really happy with how it turned out for the team, and that they enjoy working there.
We will get in touch with you soon.