Southern Design Directions - Talia O'Connor

In person with Dunedin interior designer and owner of MintSix

Talia O'Connor

“I’m married to a Brit and we have two little girls who are five and eight-years-old. We’ve lived in many different cities over the last 15 years, the most recent being Melbourne. We decided to move back to my hometown of Dunedin a couple of years ago and I knew if I was ever going to fulfil my dream of opening a homewares and interior styling business, this was the time to do it.”

Otago-rasied, Talia is enjoying living back home.


Describe your interior style at home.

“I’m a bit of a collector so we have furniture and decor objects from all over the world, both old and new. My interior style is constantly changing and evolving. I have a great appreciation for colour but my own home has a white or grey base with predominantly soft colours, apart from in the girls’ rooms where a few primary colours sneak in. The aim is to be more minimalist at home but I have too many ‘things’ that always manage to sneak into one of the many vignettes I have all over the house.”


Which New Zealand designer do you admire?

A vignette from Talia's Dunedin store Mintsix.

”Shoe designer Kathryn Wilson. I heard her speak at the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Conference last year and she was very inspiring.”


Were you creative as a child?

“Yes. My mum was a talented seamstress and quilter and made all of our clothes as well as curtains and duvets. I would always sit with her and attempt to join in at any given opportunity! I was also a keen dancer for many years and specifically interested in choreography, which was a great creative outlet for me as a teenager.”


Tell us about Dunedin and how it has inspired you.

I had forgotten how breathtakingly beautiful Dunedin is! My husband had only been to Dunedin once before we moved here. Due to his dual passion for the natural environment and real estate we’ve done plenty of exploring in Dunedin and its environs.”


Do you have any tips for arranging spaces?

  • Don’t try and cram too much into one space. Let each piece have some breathing room.
  • Try and incorporate different layers of lighting into a room so there is both task and ambient lighting.
  • Ensure you add some of your own personality to the space and, where possible, add something unexpected to create some wow factor.



The dining table is a family heirloom.

What’s your favourite time of day?

”Dinnertime. It’s the only meal we eat together as a family and get to hang out without the pressures of having to be somewhere.” 


Where do you get your inspiration?

“Reading magazines has become a luxury due to lack of time but whenever I can grab an hour I will devour as many as I can. I am also a huge Pinterest fan. Being able to view interiors and fashion trends from all over the world is a constant source of inspiration. I must get my daily fix!”


What is the best thing you’ve brought back from an overseas trip?

“An oak dining table that belonged to my husband’s great grandmother. It has pride of place in our dining room and we use it every day.”



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