Q & A with Mount Maunganui interior designer Jacqui Mitchell

Comfort’s important to me, along with an uncluttered spacious feel.

My interiors style revolves around products I love that have a natural element to them. An ideal home needs to be multi-functional, able to provide a place to rest and recoup, with the ability to be functional for slightly larger groups when friends and family are around in a summer setting, but also somewhere to hunker down and cosy up during the winter months. 

Wabi-sabi is one of the biggest interior design trends for 2018.

It’s the ancient Japanese philosophy of finding beauty in imperfection and is all about simplicity, decluttering and authenticity. It can be best understood by a quote from American artist Leonard Koren: “Pare down the essence, but don’t remove the poetry”. This calls for us to be selective with our décor choices, and encourages buying fewer but better quality items. It’s also about pulling different textures together, instead of large blocks of colour. 


Coloured aluminium window joinery is a trend I’ll be pleased to see the back of.

The joinery colour plays a big part when selecting an interior colour scheme, so having a good neutral to work with, leaves you with more tonal options for the interior.  


Decluttering your home is the easiest way to freshen a space.

Hold onto the pieces you absolutely love. To transform your home you could also start a colour board/Pinterest board to collect images of what makes your feel good. Spending some time at the planning stage is invaluable. One Pinterest tip: don’t get fixated with the images, they are purely to inspire you. Floor rugs are a wonderful way to introduce texture or colour (whichever is needed); soft cuddly throws and plump feather-filled scatter cushions are a great style definer – but don’t go too crazy on the quantity. Bringing lush green indoor plants into the home introduces some life to the space. Functional and stylish window furnishings are a great way to open or cosy up a space, and can add value in the cooler months by keeping your interior warm and dry. 


Always honour the style/era/proportion of the space you are working with.

That’s my golden rule of decorating. It’s almost impossible to choose one element on its own. If you’re changing a few elements (flooring, paint colours, drapes) always view the actual samples and colours in the space they’ll be used in, as lighting plays a huge role on colour and texture. 


Every home should have a good dining table.

As well as a comfy sofa, a functional ensuite, a wine fridge and a good coffee machine. 

Spend the most money in an area you enjoy the most.

For me, a functional and stylish bathroom and kitchen is important, along with a dining area suitable for lots of family and friends to gather comfortably in. Somewhere to retreat to is essential also. 


Think of an interior designer as a design library.

Don’t waste your life on Google. You won’t pay more for products and we’ll find you the best product for your budget and faster than you could. We know the entire design process from start to finish and understand how materials relate to others. 


If money were no object I’d include exceptional feature lighting in every job.

A stylish functional kitchen is a must. Plus clean and fresh bathrooms, beautiful timber flooring and wool carpets and all finished off with stunning window furnishings with motorised function for easy, ordered and stylish living. 


BIT on the side

Sideboards, buffets and consoles may well be part of the furniture but if you choose one you love it’ll never blend into the background. Plus, you get to stash stuff away and display your objects – win win.