Design Advice

The designer must be a good listener and not impose their own taste, but bring ideas to people that really spark them. It’s important to be honest enough to say when a client has gone off track and wants something that will let the design down. Experience and expertise matter and you must feel comfortable with your designer.

The designer also needs to be able to cover as many areas as possible – such as exterior claddings, designing and managing, manufacturing bespoke items, joinery etc., down to being at on site meetings with tradespeople to make sure the client gets everything they want.

I like to work from a set of plans if you are building, and come to visit if you are renovating or doing earthquake repairs. We then share ideas.

I also like to work with architects to make sure the design works as a whole and interior spaces work for placements and flow.

Once we have confirmed the concepts I perfect the finer details and produce specifications. From there I project manage the entire process.

I love that you can create for people with no two people/projects the same. Bringing all the ideas and elements into cohesion. Working through the bigger picture of possibilities and solutions to help people create their ideal environment is really fantastic.

Definitely! It’s discovering people’s true personalities and preferences such as colours, materials, patterns, texture and styles and then creating a balance for all the elements. There is a process that takes place to know how people live and what is right for them.

I love it all and it’s fine to mix it up, but very carefully. One of the biggest mistakes I see is too many styles working against each other. It’s also important to have the right interior to suit the style and age of the home as well as the people who live there.

Always choose something that is a statement or feature because you absolutely love it, not because it is the latest trend. That way it is timeless to you, giving you happiness, while trends come and go.

We are now seeing a lot more playful interiors that are sometimes quirky, where accessories and furniture pieces are more sculptural rather than purely functional, and where pieces in themselves become art forms. They are beautifully designed and made, not mass market.

The moment you walk into a room you get a vibe. Often a bad layout is not only dysfunctional but it feels awkward to the point where you can’t relax. Placement is a big part of good design. It is often better to have bespoke items made to the right size. Every room in a house should have a purpose.

Normally you dress a house to the level of its end value, however there is often an emotional value. I feel it is part of my role to show people options and leave it to them to decide what they want to spend. It’s about getting the best you can. We all have different areas that are important so normally people invest in what means the most to them.

Definitely! Well-made good quality items that you love are timeless and you change them less (if at all), so you have them for a longer without them dating or deteriorating.

I love good quality European fabrics. One of my favourite ranges is by Swiss designer Christian Fischbacher. He seems to cover lots of exciting styles, all quite timeless in a small range, which very clever. Fabrics are one of my passions so other ranges I like are Black Edition, Zinc, Soleil Blu, Elitis…Oh, then there are wallpapers!

Art is the final layer and connects together and adds colour, sparkle, and personality to any interior. These things are probably defines who you are more than anything.

For more advice, see Inspiration.