Marlborough/Nelson/West Coast Design Trends Q & A Joanne Richards

Joanne Richards Design in Nelson.

How did you become interested in interiors?

I remember as a small child watching my grandfather, an architectural draftsman, at his drawing board. It fascinated me but it wasn’t until my late twenties that I did my interior design degree in London. My mother has a strong eye for design and for pushing the boundaries in detailing. My brother is a landscape designer and my sister designs and makes her own range of children’s clothing. So I guess design is in the genes. My design studio is an architectural and interior design practice based in Nelson. We are involved in all sorts of projects from alterations, bathroom and kitchen design, to supplying hard and soft furnishings for residential, commercial, retail and hospitality clients. I’ve been in business for 18 years and in the later years I’ve also been working nationwide and in the United Kingdom.

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

A feeling of personal growth and experiences. Attending the interior design trade show, Maison & Objet, in Paris and being asked to give a short presentation on New Zealand design in front of designers from around Europe was a fairly powerful experience to bring back with me!

St Arnaud and Lake Rotiti, Nelson National Park.

What inspires you about living in Nelson?

I’m from an old Nelson family and feel proud of my family heritage. My design work has taken me into many Nelson homes, only to discover that some were designed by my grandfather, or even built by my great grandfather!  That’s very inspiring. With the overseas travel I do, it’s not until I return that I realise what a wonderful place Nelson is.  It offers a great lifestyle – from outdoor activities, to the arts and great family life.  The weather is pretty amazing, the daylight so clear, commuting a breeze – and we do great coffee!

What’s your favourite recent design by another designer? 

I absolutely adore Kit Kemp’s hotel interiors. She’s an English designer and has hotels in the UK and New York. She is brave and bold in her designs, her interiors are extremely well constructed, interesting, elegant and timeless. They bring a smile to my face as there’s always something a bit quirky hidden among the depth of the design.

Which living designer do you most admire and why?

Kit Kemp, but I also admire all designers who live on the edge – they expose their souls through their artistic abilities and that is to be admired.

Which New Zealand brand to you most admire? 

There are lots of goods brands in New Zealand. I obviously have my favourites but keeping an open mind to new brands is what this industry is all about, and you then introduce these brands to your clients.

Vortex chandelier by Porta Romana.

Which international brand to you most admire?

One of my favourites is Porta Romana, a UK-based company that produces furnishings destined for the world’s most beautiful interiors. I’m particularly fond of a recent design, the Vortex Chandelier.

Do you have any tips for arranging spaces? 

Less is more. Only have objects that you love. Don’t be precise and too perfect – throw in something tatty and loved.

Kitchen Design by Joanne Richards.

What’s your favourite time of day? 

The start of a new day and new possibilities.

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