5 ways to embrace the Kiwiana style

Five ways to incorporate Kiwiana into your life – and how to elevate the timeless look

Kiwiana style is all about embracing simple moments with friends and family. It’s kitsch with a heart of gold and elicits a strong sense of nostalgia for mid-century iconography. If your house or bach is in need of a lift, consider adding a little Kiwiana flair for a boost of personality.

1 Cosy it up

A crochet patchwork blanket has long been a staple for Kiwiana fans with good reason. The colourful knit is perfect to keep you warm in winter, yet is light and summery enough to add texture to a room, even in the heat of January. Cover up shabby sofas or add to the end of a bed for a cute, cosy vibe. Adding texture in general always helps to make a house a home. Make it a crafts afternoon by creating DIY bunting for a children’s bedroom or sew a curtain for your kitchen cabinet if you’re feeling particularly creative.

2 Stick to ’70s silhouettes

Kiwiana Danish-style armchairs, with their mid-century charm, are a staple here. You can mix and match time periods, of course, that’s the beauty of Kiwiana, but sticking to one decade will help elevate your overall look. Chairs with mustard yellow and faded green upholstery are always a big thumbs up, make sure to look around your local thrift shop for these must-have gems.

3 Opt for old vintage prints

Whether it’s a Warholesque homage to the iconic Four Square man, or a classic retro tiki, there’s a world of Kiwi iconography to explore on your walls. If you don’t feel like splurging on
a print, you can always make your own using your every-day pantry staples. Frame a cover of an Edmonds Cookery Book or get your little ones to DIY a collage from Marmite and L&P labels for that same sense of summer fun.

4 Say yes to bunk beds

If your kids are always on your back about getting bunk beds, it might be time to finally give in. Bunk beds are a great way to add retro flair to a space, as well opening up your house to any summer visitors who may be passing through. The more the merrier, as they say – as long as they bring a good board game and a few punnets of fruit.

5 Get the paint tins out

Move over whites, creamy yellows help add a sunshine-tinted haze to any space that’s looking a touch clinical. If you’re after a more 2023 approach to Kiwiana, consider mixing things up with a minty green or a pastel pink on your living room walls for a colourful, cosy space. When in doubt, just use up any old paint tins you have lying around the garage; waste not, want not is a Kiwi motto.

How to elevate Kiwiana style

  • Crown Lynn vases are a blast from the past, but in all the best ways. Invest in a swan or two for a table centrepiece that’s all about timeless elegance.
  • Make nature your backdrop with outdoor chairs and furniture designed for lounging and a great summer book. Kiwiana is very much a relaxed style, so channel that attitude through long summer days in a rattan lounger.
  • Pair those vintage blankets and retro pillows with strong, solid silhouettes. Wooden tables and high-back chairs will help add a sense of formality to those laidback Kiwi sensibilities.

Get the beaut bach look

Kiwiana alphabet, from $25, from Nest Wraps.

Dick Frizzell Red Haring cushion cover, $48, from 100% NZ.

Casey king single/king single bunk bed frame, $799, from Target.

Rainbows throw, $349, from Gorman.

Sloan velvet armchair, $1599, from Early Settler.

Prize catch art print, from $49, from Glenn Jones Art.


Create the home of your dreams with Shop Your Home and Garden