Q & A with Southern interior designers Sarah and Todd Sisson

How would you describe your style at home?

Very similar to our shop style  in Clyde – a relaxed eclectic collection of items we love. I’ve always liked to combine clean modern design with vintage/antiquities. I particularly love the natural textures in wood, wool, linen and stone. I have a love of indoor plants too – but only real ones. They breathe life into spaces, especially during winter in Central when there is very little green outside.

What inspires you about living in your region?

So much. Central Otago has an amazing landscape – big skies and wide open countryside with hills that seem to change constantly depending upon the light. We really experience four seasons down here, which means our landscape is never the same for long. We also have fantastic access to outdoor spaces and activities right on our doorstep.

What’s the last thing you bought for your home?

A 1920s rolled-arm couch with beautiful tobacco-coloured velvet. It’s so well made and comfortable but the fabric is torn in several places so I’m now on the hunt for a similar velvet fabric to recover it with. I’ve become slightly obsessed with crystal geodes as well. They make such an interesting feature piece for decorating.

Favourite room in the house?

The front lounge is my current favourite, as it’s a great space to sit in the late afternoon. We’ve recently removed several large trees on our section, which has opened up views of the Old
Man Range.

Adding greenery to you home is a real mood changer, reckon Sarah and Todd.

Trend you wish would make a comeback?

To be honest we have never been trend followers. We prefer to buy and decorate our house based on items that function well, create comfortable spaces or make us feel good. 

Money no object, what would you get for your home?

A domestic robot – have they been invented yet?

Where would you spend the bulk of a  renovation budget?

After 10 years living in a home designed in the 1970s we’re about to embark on a major renovation to our family living spaces, which will open up the kitchen/living and orientate it more towards the sun. So the bulk of our budget is going into a new kitchen and structural engineering to allow us to remove walls and columns. We’re really looking forward to the results but not the bill.

What would you go budget on?

After years of going budget (out of necessity) and seeing the waste when constantly having to replace things, we have changed our philosophy to buying once and buying right – for our needs. We would rather wait and buy as budget allows than fill the house with things that look good briefly but don’t last.

You’ve got a day to refresh your house – what do you do?

That would be a very long list at the moment, but hopefully much less after the renovation. A big declutter, new cushions and lots of vases of fresh flowers.

What should every home have?

On a practical note, excellent insulation and heating. That has been a major driver behind our renovation and so essential if you live in this part of the country. On a more homely note, at least one sanctuary space that you feel truly relaxed and comfortable in.

Articles

Marlborough Sounds project up for architectural glory - 24 Aug 2016

A Blenheim builder who pulled off an impressive Marlborough Sounds project will compete on the national stage for the crown of New Zealand's best build.

more

Manawatu Design Trends Q & A with Claire Ongley

The owner of Izzy and Jean Co. in Manawatu

more