Vintage industrial chic


W hen Wendy and Stan Lemmon set about creating a vintage industrial look to their new home in Okete, they found it very difficult to source household items to suit the design.

“It’s taken a long time to get it for our own home and I thought that’s crazy,” says Wendy, who had to traipse all around the countryside in search of one-off, reconfigured pieces of furniture and decor. “I thought other people must have the same problem.”

So the Lemmons decided to open Rivet, a gallery space of machine-aged designs, in the old dairy factory in Wallis St, Raglan.

Vintage industrial takes inspiration from beautifully engineered furniture and machinery originally created for office spaces, factories and workshops. It includes a lot of metal and wood.

“Simple, straightforward classic utilitarian objects are reconfigured for a modern use,” says Wendy, who started young with her creative bent.

“My first memory is my grandfather’s big old shed where he encouraged me to make all sorts of things, so I was always being creative. That’s the part I like, refurbishing. The creating and bringing back to life.”

Stan, a builder by trade, also has a similar passion, fuelled by growing up on a museum site in Puketitiri where everyday life had involved restoring unique items.

Stan’s son, Joshua, is also a part of Rivet, adding his own artistic flair.

The Lemmons make numerous items out of old wine barrels, including large platters and dog beds; they turn old English trunks into sofas; and will style tables and cabinets to order.

Work by other known New Zealand artists is sold, too, and Rivet also stocks items sourced from Europe, such as old bar tables and stools from Munich beer festivals, medical cabinets straight from Polish hospitals and old ship clocks.

Smaller-ticket items – soaps, fresh flowers, wooden chopping boards and gift cards – are also for sale, so there is something for everyone.

Wendy says they are excited about opening Rivet, just after Christmas. “It will definitely be a different feel for Raglan.”