Q & A with Taranaki interior designer Michael Mansvelt

How would you describe your home? 

I love all styles from classic to contemporary and everything in between. Comfort and natural materials are my measuring stick. I tend to avoid anything bang on trend.

What inspires you about living in your region?

In New Plymouth everyone lives within 500 metres of a park or public space, so we have constant access to nature. The climate here is quite mild so we can grow pretty much anything from tropicals to deciduous trees.

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

A 1970s macrame wall hanging.

Favourite room in the house?

We have a large two-storey dining room space that has big windows and is filled with plants. It’s very relaxing and calming to be in.

Trend you wish would make a comeback?

I’d like to see more mosaic murals around; I love the permanence and style of tile and would love to see people take more risks with pattern in general. I’m a fan of the mosaic work on the Bacardi Building in Miami.

The Bacardi Building was designed by Cuban architect Enrique Gutierrez in 1963. (Photography CREDIT: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com)

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

An Aga stove. I cooked with one when I lived in the UK, and it was heaven.

The Aga cooker was invented in 1922 by the Nobel Prize-winning Swedish physicist Gustaf Dalen.

Where would you spend the bulk of your renovation budget?

Kitchen, bathrooms and landscaping. I generally spend 10 per cent of my budget on each area for projects. It’s a formula that has never let me down.

What would you go budget on?

I tend to go budget on fabrics and soft upholstery for my own home. With four kids and dogs, things don’t tend to last anyway, so cheap means I can replace or re-upholster as needed.

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

Edit, remove and rearrange.

What should every home have?

Feather pillows. I can’t live without them.

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