Business North August 2022

108 | INTERIORS Wonder Group Designs that work Interior designs and fit-out company Wonder Group’s team of design specialists. Sue Russell Buster Caldwell, director of Wonder Group, a boutique interiors design and interiors fit-out company located in Auckland, says that it’s only now that supply chain issues have started to impact on projects, causing him and the team to really carefully manage the design process in order to meet budget constraints. “I think we are a lot of things at the moment given the constraints impacting on the construction sector. We’re getting more involved at the concept stage of projects and inputting our expertise into finding interiors and design solutions that work at a time when costs are continually increasing.” Wonder Group is a young and ambitious company placing itself in a good position to respond to market demands and challenges. Buster leads a small and innovative team of design delivery specialists. He says the company is becoming known for designing highly creative, cohesive, thoroughly well thought out interior spaces. “We like to think there’s always an element of daring and thinking outside the box that influences the look and feel of our projects.” The company has aligned itself especially with providing creative fit-outs for select NZ brands and as much as possible in these projects the vision is to celebrate the amazing array of interior materials and fittings developed here. Relationships have been established with allied consultants engineers, trades and artisans who add further value into the mix. “Because we work with mainly emerging brands doing their first fit-out we put a tremendous amount of time into understanding their physical work-space needs and their values. This is what we reflect in the environments we create.” Moving a project through to consenting stage as soon as possible is always the aim, enabling the finer details of what will work well for the client to be worked on over time. “It gives us all time to get to the place where we’re all on the same page in terms of floor plan, textures, colours, materials and fittings. All the beautiful things.” Everyone of the team is a project lead Buster says. No place or desire for a hierarchical work environment. “I will work quite closely through the concept phase, setting the standard. Once the concept is underway the project lead has more control and carries it right through to the finish.” Put simply Buster says what Wonder Group does is generate mini-worlds for a brand to tell their audience what they believe in and invite them to buy into that vision. A good example of this can be seen in the Forte Timber Flooring Showroom in Grey Lynn which is one of only three projects shortlisted in this year’s Auckland Interior Design Awards. The jury will make its decision and announce winners at a special event to be held at St Mathews-in-the-City on July 14. Buster says the Forte design and fit-out was a lovely project. “We had such a fun time working on it. They were the perfect client fit and trusted us and let us direct and move the project through. There’s an awesome three generations now working in the business. We wanted to show and celebrate everything that is beautiful about engineered wood so its everywhere inside the showroom.” Wood is celebrated in its natural form throughout, on the floor, in panelling and in showroom fixtures highlighting the versatility and creative potential of the material. “We worked with timber crafts people and most importantly the showroom treats wood products as works of art. It’s a really nice, still, calm environment.” And plans ahead include a move next year into new premises for Wonder Group, something Buster says will give the business a chance to stretch and grow a little in scale. “We have projects on all over the country and in Australia where we also dabble. I have a very positive feeling about what lies ahead for us but also want to keep our culture and way of working intact. We won’t be growing too big for sure.” COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL GLASS EXPERTS Servicing Auckland and surrounds. POOL FENCES & BALUSTRADES | FRAMELESS SHOWERS OFFICE PARTITIONS | FRAMELESS DOORS | SPLASH BACKS | MIRRORS | 021 036 2857 | | 09 276 6473 | | 50 YEARS SOLVING ENGINEERING PROBLEMS Precision and General Engineering Design and Manufacture Precision Machining Certified Welding Onsite Machining