This is Tamara from Nidus, a shop / showroom by designer Andrew Missen. Which is at the raggle taggle end of Newtown, at least, it used to be, until it closed last weekend.
F Stop introduced me to Nidus when I first moved to this city four years ago and we have visited it at least once a month ever since. It began as the meeting point between two divergent tastes – that is, F Stop’s lowbrow modernism (his description) and my shabby chic (ah, op shop finds and hand me downs). When we started living together Nidus was proof that our disparate approaches were not, in fact, so far apart. The gun club is the melding together of our tastes, Curvesse chair alongside crocheted blanket. And all knitted together with a lot of Nidus.
I’ve lost count of how many lamps and lights we have from Nidus. Sitting here in the hall I’ve made a visual count of 13, and that’s just on this floor. But the most special item we have from Nidus is this table,
made by Andrew from rimu planks rescued from our renovations, originally used as the sarking of the rifle range extension. When Andrew delivered the table back to us he said he had discovered bullets embedded into the underside of the wood! It’s a solid beast of an object, rough but beautiful.
Tamara was the Sunday shop girl and an artist in her own right. We made friends with her by turning up Sunday after Sunday, sitting on the chairs for sale, stroking the ceramics, settling in and pondering possible purchases. Probably getting in the way of other customers, but she was unfailingly kind and welcoming. Popping in to see Tamara and checking out new stock became an important part of our weekends, even when we had no intention of buying anything. We would take visitors to Nidus as part of our Introduction to Wellington (the South Coast, Moore Wilsons, Duke Carvells, Martha’s Pantry…). More recently the baby has joined our jaunts.
It’s hard to describe how important a shop might become to your life without sounding overly dramatic, or worse, thoroughly consumerist. We probably don’t need any more lamps, not for a good long while. And god knows we’re drowning in ceramics. But, on that last weekend, when we bought Tamara flowers and some elderflower fizz to toast the end of an era, I felt a deep sadness. I can’t imagine our weekends without “just popping in to see Tamara” or wondering “what Andrew’s got in stock at the moment”.
Thanks Andrew, thanks Nidus and thanks Tamara. We wish you all the best for the future. We’ll miss you.