Last weekend we spent time in Wellington catching up with friends and family and generally mooching around the shops. I think we are so use to the great summer weather that when we do have the odd wet and cooler day we are not prepared for it. I certainly wasn’t dressed for rain so indoors we ventured and it was nice just to brows in the shops and take time out.

I have two favourite restaurants in Wellington, one I go to occasionally and the other more often. I like both of them because of the ambiance, décor, great service and excellent food. The restaurant and bar we tend to frequent most is The Southern Cross Garden Bar and Restaurant, both for dining and dancing. I love this venue!

The building is over 100 years old and was renovated to its current shape and form by Wellington’s award winning Architect John Mills. John is renowned for his very personal designs and unique work. The Cross as it is more favourably referred to is a hive of activity and caters to a wide audience from private functions, dance parties, fresco dining, more intimate dining, family gatherings, bar facilities with good old fashioned service. You can find a quiet space and work or relax, play board games or read a newspaper or simply enjoy the different nights of entertainment on offer.

John Mills has created a Retro space with some areas being strictly retro and others with a twist. Perhaps that is why I like it, because it relates to my 1970’s Retro teen years. On dining there Sunday night with family I decided I liked it because of its relaxed friendly atmosphere and the fact that the whole complex is divided into different zones depending on what your mood is for the day or evening.
There is a lounge bar where you can dine, towards the back of the building which is like stepping back in time to someone’s home. The floor is carpeted in a 1950’s floral carpet, the chairs are comfortable lounge chairs that many of us grew up with and the lighting is subdued and warm. The walls are hung with those very family paintings and ornaments that many of us grew up with or remember from our grandparent’s home. You can sit and have a quiet conversation over dinner without having to shout at each other or hear the next door diner’s conversation. A very welcoming space!
I have often sat outside with friends from Wellington Batucada and had a quiet drink after their band practice then danced to the salsa beats on the dancefloor inside. The outdoor area is divided into ‘rooms’ so you can dine undercover in the rain or in the open air or sit with friends either side long tables not unlike my grandmothers kitchen table. It is a little bit like walking into a private courtyard, decorated for comfort, with strung paper lanterns, an outdoor fire for the chillier evenings and an outdoor kitchen and bar. The courtyard is tiered so you feel that your area of dining or socializing is more private.
We tend to dine mainly in the relaxed dining area at the front of the venue. This area definitely has a retro feel with Formica tables and chairs all mismatched. Vases of flowers on the tables, quirky lights and shades hang from the partially clad stained ply ceiling. The walls are either wallpapered in retro modern patterns or patterned paint finishes and there is added bonus of the old beaded curtain dividing part of the room from the entrance. It is a very comfortable and relaxed space to dine in. The complete complex is very alive with colour, various texture finishes and patterns, but it works well. Perhaps it works because it feels a little like the home we once knew when life was at a slower pace and we took more time to share and socialize in real time, face to face.


I am available for speaking engagements for small groups or larger organisations and can be contacted below.

Terry Lobb Colour and Design Ltd – Interior Designer/Personal Stylist/Colour Consultant

If you would like to make an appointment for a consultation or have a query about product discussed you can contact me on

mobile 027 602 3298 or contact me on Facebook.

I visit so many homes, old and often new where lighting is an issue. This is mainly due to lighting being placed in the wrong place for what the lights are required for, lack of lighting and sometimes overkill on lights.

Once upon a time there was the lonely pendant light fitting positioned in the middle of the room and often one three point plug for an extra lamp or other electrical device. This was our general light which basically covered all aspects of our lighting. It was often a 200 watt bulb because there was only one light and needed to light a large room with lofty ceilings. Life was simple back then, so easy to buy a bulb.

Now we have lighting for all types of situations and so much to consider when choosing lighting from different styles, colour rendering, how much light it will give, how efficient is it, how long with it last, how to I replace the bulb, does it have a bulb, how much do replacement bulbs cost, what will the light do and how it works. These things you do need to consider when choosing lights because it isn’t just about the look.

There are generally 5 different types of artificial lighting to consider in a home.

All homes should have general lighting – these are the lights designed for you home to be safe in getting around at night or lower light levels. They are often just practical illuminating the room well.

Some rooms but not all should have task lighting – this is as it says for completing a task, stronger more direct lighting for clear visibility. This could be in the form of a lamp that is movable or fixed lighting over a bench/desk or workstation. The old standard lamp that my grandparents had was often used as a task light as grandma sat and knitted or darned in the evening.

Some rooms but not all should have accent lighting and this is also great for effect outside. This style of lighting illuminates something worth lighting. It could be in the form of a picture or light box for a sculpture, strip lighting in glass shelves so that a cabinet is illuminated when you open the door or up lighting in the garden to highlight trees and shrubs.

Decorative lighting is one of my favorite! That’s really only because more than often it becomes a statement in the room and a finishing touch. Decorative lighting can also dub as general, task and accent lighting depending on what the style is and illumination. The old standard lamp or Chandelier are forms of decorative lighting. A decorative light can be as zany or practical as you desire.

And finally Kinetic lighting – light that moves. All our homes have kinetic lights in the form of those light bright lights and wink and flash through the night if we don’t turn appliances off. But it can also be the warm ambient light of a fire during the winter.
Next week I’ll break down the lighting types throughout the home and the benefits of having the right sort of lighting. Be wary when buying light fittings that you are buying quality.

Lighting is basically about your health and well being.








Decorative lighting in the form of the Ghost Lamp which can also dub as task lighting.


I am available for speaking engagements for small groups or larger organisations and can be contacted below.

Terry Lobb Colour and Design Ltd – Interior Designer/Personal Stylist/Colour Consultant

If you would like to make an appointment for a consultation or have a query about product discussed you can contact me on 027 602 3298 or or like me on Facebook.