Q & A with Auckland's Me & My Trend Homewares director Karina McGregor

People want their furniture and homewares to have a story.

There’s a surge in demand, and this was confirmed at the recent Milan Furniture Fair, for the use of sustainable materials. We want to know where our products are made, who made them and for there to be transparency from manufacture to purpose.

Nature and artisanally-inspired products are coming to the forefront.

These celebrate traditional techniques and untreated surfaces. Soft sheens and materials celebrating natural grains, colours and tactile surfaces all deliver warmth. With this in mind, a more muted colour palette is really happening. Expect lots of rattan, heavy veined stone, natural fibres, hand-drawn patterns, distressed metals, lava-like charred and burned finishing and hand-blown glass. Composite materials reinforce the sustainable movement , and wood will be a key material in delivering this warm approach through interiors.

 

Don’t take decorating rules too seriously. 

We live in a world of such pressure to have an Insta-friendly interior. This can distract from the main purpose of interiors shopping, which is to buy furniture you truly love and to decorate to create a sense of personality in the home.

 

Invest in a good sofa.

If you buy well, it will be with you the longest. Ask your furniture retailer where their sofas are made. If you’re wanting to invest in a good sofa, avoid composite wood frames, always look for solid hardwood frames and don’t skimp on your upholstery fabrics. Look for commercial-grade fabrics in strong, man-made fibres that will wear well and not fade in our strong sun.  Knowing where your furniture is made, preferably who made it, and what’s inside it, is critical to longevity in your sofa.

Karina says investing wisely in a quality sofa such as the blush pink Baxter design (below)
or the family friendly Slumber model (above), will guarantee years of stylish wear

Save on big art pieces which can be wildly expensive and hard to find.

I buy canvas by the metre at any art shop, get it stretched by my framer, then get my three kids painting up a colourful artwork that matches my interior space. 

 

Every home should have killer lighting. 

It’s the foundation for a warm and inviting space. The power of well thought-out lighting design will pay off. When we lived in our first home, the existing ceiling lighting was so poor I relied heavily on standard and table lamps to create the mood and it’s an aesthetic I’ve relied on since. In our newly built home the lighting set-up and room-size is large-scale so the use of mood lighting is an important way to create a cosy and inviting space, particularly now the evenings are dark so early.

 

When buying furniture always consider your lifestyle and environment. 

A coastal home lends itself towards a casual and fresh aesthetic with a natural focus. Space is always a consideration, so ask yourself: “What is the most effective way to use the space for my lifestyle?” For a family or media room, I encourage clients to use a corner or modular sofa design. I find
they create a sense of inclusion. For a formal living space, I like to use two contrasting chairs to create a sense of separation. Never underestimate the power of an ottoman, which has a multitude of uses and is easy to move from space to space.

 

Everything has a time and a place.

I’m a lover of trends, they reflect a period that predicts a movement or change that runs like an undercurrent in society. If there’s a colour trend on the horizon I tend to gravitate towards it, which generally gets reflected in my personal style, That said, I’ll say a willing goodbye to the black and white Scandi trend – one I’ve not personally found easy to work with.

 

I can never have enough plants and flowers in a home.

Enough said.

 

A coat of paint is the easiest way to transform a room. 

A lick of paint in a new colour is immediately  tansformative. I say “go out of your comfort zone and choose a colour that will create maximum change.”