Nannestad & Sons
If beautifully crafted homewares with a twist are your thing, you might want to consider befriending Paul & Wendy Nannestad (or at the very least; having a peep at their creations over at Nannestad & Sons!) Both Paul and Wendy are passionate about making things; and from their workshop at home in Auckland, they’ve discovered a way to do just that.
The pair both come from creative backgrounds – Wendy as a freelance designer, and Paul as a cabinet maker and project manager for interior fit outs. However, as the years went by, Wendy’s role saw her spending more time behind the computer and less time physically making things – and she missed “the accidental beauty that occurs when playing with random materials and forms”.
Crafting with her hands was something she had always done as a child, and when she began to experiment in her spare time, Nannestad & Sons developed as a way to give her crafting some purpose and validity. It also gave her and Paul the opportunity to collaborate on products that were actually their own, and the results speak to their personal backgrounds as much as it does to their skillsets.
Wendy is Dutch, and immigrated to New Zealand when she was seven. Paul was born and raised a Kiwi, but his paternal grandparents, who fell in love on the boat bound for NZ, were Norwegian and Danish. As might be expected, this unique mix of Kiwi and European heritage has definitely played a part in Paul and Wendy’s creations; and while their style certainly reflects a traditional Scandi look, their feet are still firmly planted in a New Zealand can-do culture.
For Wendy, her experiences as an industrial designer have also made her very aware of consumer behaviour. When it comes to Nannestad & Sons, both she and Paul are set on creating products that are finely crafted, beautiful and enduring – not subscribing to any particular trends; but instead just “being what they are”. Wendy describes finding inspiration “in everyday life and everyday things; buildings, objects, nature, forms, materials, techniques – each can spur a new idea, or new way of looking at something”. Sometimes it’s the leftover bits that become the basis for new ideas or products – like scrap timber from furniture or chopping boards transformed into Christmas angels, mini candle holders and necklaces.
With three boys at home and full time work elsewhere, Nannestad & Sons remains a passion project for both Paul and Wendy; although it is one they will undoubtedly keep coming back to. “We haven’t put the ‘sons’ to work just yet” Wendy jokes…although working at home means they’re often around. “Sometimes when we’re busy working, our boys will sit and create in the workshop too. Other times they are flipping off the roof onto the trampoline, or splashing in the spa that sits beside it. When the sun is shining and everybody is together and happy, those are the best days”.
Words by Chessie Henry & Images by Supplied