Combining experience and professional training Karen has created the interiors of countless homes throughout Canterbury.

Originally qualifying at Christchurch Polytechnic in 1990, she has continued to place importance on professional development and constant learning. Her initial work in the industry was designing kitchens, which instilled the need to understand functionality and give practical solutions.

She then studied ergonomics, to further help with the design process. This knowledge of recommended distances and measurements is advantageous when working with plans and measurements, and for Karen understanding how things will flow and function is now second nature.

She has been fortunate to work alongside some of Christchurch’s most talented architects, and been inspired to deliver refined and contemporary designs, so the home and its interior not only works well functionally, but overall will carry on into the future and be enduring.

Her love of fabrics, furniture and wallpapers has given Karen a way to work the ‘bigger picture’. She sees being able to work from the initial concepts to dressing the home at the end as a huge honour.
Karen sees this ability to carry out the whole project and to make decisions that work down to every last detail as an important part of Casabella’s service. Many people are busy and need that one person who understands them and their project. They want someone who can represent them in discussions with builders, suppliers and tradespeople and issue instructions, reducing downtime while work is being carried out.

Karen has a strong desire for perfection, to delivering the very best ideas and implementing them with success. She works with many like-minded, hand-selected expert craftspeople, manufacturers, suppliers and installers.
Along with her team, Karen is excited to offer thoughts and ideas that will bring happiness to the way people live.

Henge Showroom, Milan, Italy

Italian Inspiration

Italy is the home of sophisticated design, with stunning architecture and furniture, and inspiring traditional and contemporary interiors.

While touring Italy Karen took the opportunity to fully immerse herself in the beauty of the European aesthetic. For an interior designer the trip presented the opportunity to absorb the county’s grandeur and she came back excited by the many beautiful sights she had seen.

In Milan she visited interior showrooms and design stores to see the very best in furniture, lighting, fabrics, wallpapers and kitchens. Not only were these visits inspirational, they also provided the opportunity to make connections with Italian designers, craftspeople and manufacturers, and to widen the availability of bespoke items for her New Zealand clients.

A visit to the Henge showroom in Milan was a highlight. With exquisite design displayed in every unique piece, items such as furniture, lighting, and rugs become sculptural art.

Exclusive materials and creative combinations of metals, timber, stone and leather create stunning effects. In every piece the hand-crafted and meticulous attention to detail of skilled Italian artisans can be seen.

Her visit also took in stunning architecture, the Duomo and a tour of Milan, the ancient city of Brescia in Lombardy, the charming medieval village of Torri del Benaco in Verona, with its 14th century castle overlooking Lake Garda, the Renaissance architecture of the Villa La Rotonda in Bellagio, Como villa Balbianello, villa Melzi, and isola bella at Lake Maggiore.

Italy provided the opportunity to explore a country where beauty and inspiration wow you at every turn.

Returning to New Zealand Karen brought with her a wealth of ideas to share with her clients to create harmonious spaces that are beautiful to live in, aesthetically appealing as well as functional.