A former west Auckland icon has been given a new lease of life as a homeware store
The Art Bunker was a local art gallery and somewhat of an institution in Titirangi, west Auckland, for many years. When the property, including a home at the back, came on the market in mid 2014 – owners Kylie Tietjens and Jase Robinson jumped at the opportunity to restore both the home and the “bunker” to their original glory.
The first thing we did was paint
“It was the talk of the town for several days as the Art Bunker went from a bright bluey purple to white (primer) and then to an unnamed black building. The kids at the school across the road would chant ‘go little lady, go little lady’ as they walked passed and locals would stop and admire the new look,” remembers Kylie.
The doors opened to the curious public for the first time in December that year as a pop-up, re-opening for good in February 2015.
While the shop has an online home, Kylie finds most sales take place in-store, which is perhaps a reflection on her clientele. “I think a lot of my customers want to see, smell or feel the products in person. We are living in a very online world, but I’ve found there’s still a huge group of buyers that enjoy the whole experience of going into a shop, admiring the space and interacting with a person,” says Kylie.
Her personal obsession with indoor plants extends from her home into the shop with lots of living artwork for sale, as well as prints, stationery, tableware, books, furniture, gifts and bath and body products. “I buy things for the shop that I love and that I know my friends will love. The hardest part is not filling my own home with the things I find for the shop! I think that’s important though, I am passionate about all the pieces I sell.”
That Little Shop
108 Atkinson Road,
Words by: Kristina Rapley. Photography by: Mike Rooke.