Interior designer of Auckland's Fibonacci.
How did you become interested in interiors?
Sometimes we discover our passions later in life. I have my dream job now but my journey into interiors took several detours. I studied music and mathematics before completing a diploma of Interior Design and Decorating. I founded Fibonacci Interior Design in 2005 and continued to operate in Sydney when we moved there for a few years. On returning to Auckland in 2009 I accepted a wonderful opportunity to be founding manager of Kartell’s only New Zealand flagship store. Six years later, with the brand successfully established in the local interior design landscape, the time was right to return to my first love, Fibonacci.
Which living designer do you most admire?
Patricia Urquiola. Her furniture designs are beautiful, strong, feminine, colourful and textural. These are personal qualities that can be attributed to the designer herself. Having met her in Milan, I’ll also add ‘warm and engaging’ to that list.
Describe your style at home.
The interior is anchored by timeless contemporary pieces such as B&B Italia sofas and USM modular metal storage units that have an industrial feel. They sit happily beside a rustic French antique dining table paired with a mixture of mid-century dining chairs. Bold, modern artworks are the linchpin that help pull everything together as they influence the colour schemes and help create a mood in each room. Finally, there are liberal doses of green plants, flowers and Diptyque candles. I’m ashamed to say that although my home has a relaxed and casual feel, it has all been carefully edited and styled. An occupational hazard!
What inspires you?
The annual Milan Furniture Fair provided me with the greatest injection of design inspiration. Seeing so much creativity and cleverness from the world’s best designers in one place over five days was mind-boggling. The most inspiring moment was attending a private dinner party hosted by Kartell’s Italian owners in the garden of their historic casa. To be brushing shoulders with the likes of Philippe Starck, Patricia Urquiola and Rosita Missoni was a huge buzz. It was very cool to see Philippe sitting on one of his iconic Ghost chairs eating dinner!
What’s a favourite recent design piece?
I’ve always been a big fan of Moooi, the Dutch brand founded by designer Marcel Wanders. Many people find it weird and wacky but I admire the playfulness and unique point-of-difference. We recently welcomed a rather large Moooi Nest armchair from ECC into the family – very squishy, colourful and fun.
Which New Zealand designer do you admire?
Tim Webber Design. I’m amazed at how quickly he has developed his dream into a successful furniture design company. I admire entrepreneurial young New Zealanders who are prepared to work hard to achieve their goals.
Do you have any tips for arranging spaces?
Most houses or apartments have open-plan living spaces that need to accommodate a variety of functions, so there has to be an underlying cohesion before you can start arranging the individual zones. Having a uniform flooring material or single wall colour will help lay the foundation. Next, ensure large-format furniture has a common element (colour, material or shape) that visually links them. Each zone can now be given its own personality with the addition of decorative pieces such as cushions, throws, ornaments and vases. Rugs are a good way to define a space, as well as adding texture and colour. I often use art as a focal point for a space and from which to derive a palette of accent colours. Finally, try to include a ‘look-at-me’ item in the space – something unexpected that creates a talking point. It stops things looking too picture perfect and predictable.