Bay of Plenty Design Trends Q & A with Emma Walash

The owner of Flux Boutique, MOUNT MAUNGANUI.

How did you become interested in interiors?

I knew from an early age I was going to do design. I wanted to study interior design straight from school but I was coerced into studying architecture as it seemed to be a good foundation for a career in design. I did a Bachelor of Architectural studies but my heart wasn’t completely in it so instead of completing my masters I transferred to a diploma in Interior Design. During that time I started doing a little bit of design and styling and selling a range of handcrafted and curated vintage homewares online. This business grew fairly quickly when I finished studying. I decided to take the leap and follow my dream of opening a store to compliment the online offering and styling. It worked really well – there’s nothing like seeing things, being able to touch them and get a sense of scale rather than just a photo on a screen. Running the store has well and truly consumed my life the last couple of years, but this year I’m taking a back seat on day-to-day running to focus more on product sourcing and taking on more design and styling work.

A range of vessels and ornaments from Flux Boutique.

Do you use your home as a testing ground for ideas?

Most definitely – much to my husbands’ frustration. I’m forever moving furniture around and introducing new pieces from the shop. I only ever buy products for the shop that I truly love and would want in my own home – it takes a lot of self-restraint to not bring new things home with me every day! I wrestle with the desire for a minimalist, serene home and my desire to be surrounded by beautiful things. I find that a restrained colour palette and creating changing vignettes in different corners of the house satisfies my need for variety and change.

Describe your interior style at home.

I have a very clear idea of what I like and don’t like. My design aesthetic has changed very little in the past 10 years. I found a few old scrapbooks and mood boards from when I was at uni and they are still very relevant to my style now. I find a light, airy space really soothing. I would much rather spend more on better quality pieces that stand the test of time than filling the house with cheaper, trendier items that come and go in a season. I love to mix vintage and contemporary pieces but with a simple white canvas to work with.

Interiors by Pella Hedeby.

What’s your favourite recent design?

If I had to pick one project by Fearon Hay Architects, it would be the Harbour Edge House – an early 20th-century villa on the Waitemata Harbour. They’ve undertaken the most breathtakingly beautiful, casual, yet sophisticated renovation perfectly complimenting the original features of the home. The restrained palette and opulent material choices really make my heart sing.

Which New Zealand designer to you admire?

I would happily have a wardrobe consisting primarily of Juliette Hogan pieces. Such classic shapes, simple clean lines and gorgeous fabrics.

Trench Coat and Tunic by Juliette Hogan.

What do you like about Mount Maunganui?

I’ve lived in Auckland most of my life so when we moved to the Mount four years ago it felt like being permanently on holiday. There are amazing restaurants, no rush hour traffic and you can cycle anywhere. Everyone is relaxed and friendly and there’s a great community of like-minded, inspiring people to chat to and bounce ideas off.

Shop Details:

www.fluxboutique.co.nz

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