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ne of New Zealand’s most popular ‘paint and sip’ experiences combines creativity with good vibes – and it’s the ultimate excuse for a fun night out with friends, family and colleagues.

After Pinot & Picasso opened its doors in 2019, it quickly grew from one studio to five in just over 12 months. And with that growing popularity, so came the need for regular upkeep.

So if you’re a lover of residential or commercial glow ups, this Christchurch studio refresh is sure to grab your attention. Read more to discover:

  • The people behind the studio refresh

  • The problem vs. the vision

  • Expert advice on doing a refresh

  • The gorgeous end results.

With growing popularity came the need for regular studio upkeep | Photo: Pinot & Picasso

At the Forefront

Heading up this studio refresh is Pinot & Picasso’s studio innovator, Phia.

Phia joined Pinot & Picasso as an artist in Melbourne, then moved into management, and is now responsible for site procurement, lease negotiations, designing the layout of studios and project managing the fit-outs — all while still helping out with local sessions now and then.

“Pinot & Picasso is a great way to spend quality time with others, doing something both creative and interactive, while also getting in touch with our mindfulness,” Phia says.

She managed her first fit out in Victoria, Australia, and has since done a whopping 20 more across both Australia and New Zealand.

The studio refresh was needed to keep it on-brand | Photos: Alana Shinn (left) Pinot & Picasso (right)

The Problem vs Vision

As seasonal interest takes off, Phia and the team in Christchurch wanted to appeal to locals by elevating the space and making the studio pop from the outside looking in.

“Our Christchurch studio has been open for just under a year and was already covered in paint on the floors and walls,” Phia says.

“We didn’t want it to look like an old, run down art class, plus, we like to keep all of our studios on-brand, so that people feel the same experience when they visit others.

Renovations needed to be completed in time for the busy season | Photo: Alana Shinn

A Good Match For BC

With roughly 80 studios in Australia, Phia is familiar with BC’s Australian counterpart, hipages.

So, after doing a quick search online for ‘hipages NZ’, she was happily surprised when she came across BC.

Company budget in mind, she posted her jobs to BC and assessed the tradespeople who immediately expressed interest.

“I looked closely at tradespeople who were good at responding, had given the best quotes, had done similar jobs, and who had great craftsmanship,” Phia says.

“Like Google reviews, the person with the most or best reviews were the ones I looked at more closely.”

The Christchurch studio is one of over 80 across NZ and Australia | Photo: Alana Shinn

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Finding The Right People For The Job

Phia sourced four different BC tradespeople for the studio refresh, including:

  • A blind installer
    Job: To install large window blinds.
  • A floor maintenance specialist
    Job: To remove paint from concrete flooring and polish.

Woodhouse Electrical (left) and Jason Ward Painter & Decorator (right) | Photo: Alana Shinn

Taking On A Challenge with Remote Project Management

A key part of Phia’s role was liaising with both the tradespeople and local staff at the Christchurch studio — but working remotely from Australia had its difficulties.

“I had to organise the best times with the manager, making sure there were no sessions on and enough time for the jobs to be carried out,” Phia says.

“The timeframes we had to work with were short, and we needed a quick turnaround.

“But it was so easy to use BC compared to searching for different tradespeople online!”

Managing this project remotely had its challenges for Phia | Photo: Alana Shinn

Preparing for Neon Nights

Pinot & Picasso’s latest country-wide experience is ‘Neon Nights’, which uses neon glow-in-the-dark paint – say no more!

“So that’s why we needed to install the blinds and UV lights,” Phia says.

On the day of the electrical fit-out, two UV bars were missing from the order, and that delay threw a spanner in the works for everyone.

Dave from Woodhouse Electrical made a second visit to complete the job. “But, he was really understanding and good about it,” Phia says.

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The Logistics: Painting

“The first challenge for me was getting rid of the paint splats on the wall individually, which took some time,” Jason says.

“With time constraints and some plastering not being up to scratch I had to use a heat gun to dry things faster.

“Lastly, there was text on the wall so I spent some time fine tuning the paint colour to ensure the match was as close as possible.”

The painting job:

  • Step 1: Paint removal/scraping

  • Step 2: Plastering

  • Step 3: Priming with on step primer

  • Step 4: Repainting (2 coats) with Dulux Wash and Wear

  • Timeframe: 1 day

  • Cost: Approx. $750

The studio is looking fresher than ever| Photo: Alana Shinn

The Logistics: Light Installations

“There were concerns that the missing UV lights had been stolen, but it turned out they were still in the warehouse and weren’t delivered along with the rest,” Dave says

“So for us, the planning stage is crucial.

“Commercial customers tend to hand over the logistics to the professionals to get the best outcome,” Dave says.

The UV installation job:

  • Step 1: Planning & discussion

  • Step 2: Laser marking

  • Step 3: Drilling holes

  • Step 4: Assembling lights

  • Step 5: Screwing lights into ceiling

  • Step 6: Wiring & fitting sockets

  • Timeframe: 1 day (+ 2 additional visits)

  • Cost: Approx. $980

The newly installed UV lights ready for the latest Neon Nights experience| Photos: Pinot & Picasso (left), Alana Shinn (right)

Expert Refresh Advice: Domestic & Commercial

Dave and Jason share their expert advice for those looking to refresh their store, studio, office, or home.

  • Communication: Let each party know their time slots and make sure logistics are handled for any potential crossovers.

  • Consultation: If you have a vague idea of what you want, explain it to your tradesperson and they can give you guidance on making a decision.

  • Cost: You can still make a huge difference even on a budget, but be prepared to be flexible.

  • Personalisation: If selling, it may be better to leave any changes for the next person as people can then enjoy the benefits of their choices. If staying put, opt for higher quality options that will last.

“We give all of our customers the advice we’d want to give our mum: only spend the money where it’s appropriate,” Dave says.

Dave Woodhouse from Woodhouse Electrical | Photo: Alana Shinn

The Results: Fresh, Bright & Exciting

By sourcing tradespeople from BC, Phia says she saved a lot of valuable time and resources which she was able to put into other projects, like assisting with the studio fit out in Wellington.

“We felt good once everything was underway and it turned out really well,” Phia says.

“For me, it’s a bit harder to enjoy the end results being in Australia. But everything looks fresh and new.

“The feedback is that it feels much more bright and exciting now.”

Goods vibes and creativity come together at Pinot & Picasso| Photo: Alana Shinn

Key Takeaways: Expect The Unexpected

Phia’s top four things she wish she knew before starting the studio refresh remotely:

  • Double check the materials: If you’re sourcing materials yourself, make sure you have the right quantity for the job to prevent any delays.

  • Have a point of contact: Ensure each tradesperson has a local point of contact in case something goes wrong.

  • Prioritise communication: Keep everyone in the loop, including all staff members.

  • Plan ahead: When working with timelines, factor in a buffer to allow for hiccups, and expect the unexpected!

The final results have elevated this studio | Photo: Alana Shinn

Thank You

A big thank you to Dave Woodhouse, Jason Ward and our other awesome tradespeople for their part in the Pinot & Picasso studio refresh. And, a big thanks to studio innovator, Phia, for sharing her remote renovation experience!

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