Q&A with Auckland interior designer Kirsten Ford 2021

Award-winning Auckland interior designer Kirsten Ford has always had an eye for stylish, modern interiors with a unique edge. She specialises in creating a clear vision for her diverse client base.

How would you describe your home and style?

I love European design– it’s often tied to a sense of the ‘classic’ but still has a definite design flair. It’s a blend of historical detailing and contemporary style. A few years ago I was lucky enough to design and build my own home. It has clean modern lines, but I’ve added layers that have a patina of age like rough-sawn timber floors, antiqued mirror splashbacks and distressed concrete-look tiles.


What inspires you about living in your region?

Definitely the ocean. I’m beyond lucky to be surrounded by beautiful beaches living on Auckland’s North Shore.

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

I’m very excited to have a Kovacs sofa in production. It’s a statement, curved piece definitely inspired by past decades but with a style that will last for many years to come. I always tell clients that sofas are an investment piece that should last for many years – my last one lasted for more than 15. Supporting New Zealand-designed and made is a big part of my business ethos.


What was one of the memorable first items you bought for your home?

Amber glassware. It started with one piece that used to be my grandmother’s and has grown over the years.

What’s your favourite room in your home?

Our living area has glazing on three walls framing views of mature pōhutukawa that fringe Orewa estuary. It feels like we’re in a private, stylish treehouse.


If you were renovating, where would you spend the bulk of your budget?

I’d never cut corners on the kitchen – it’s the heart of the house. In our open-plan homes, the kitchen needs to visually flow and connect with the living spaces. More than any other space, it needs to be functional as well as stylish.

If money was no object, what would you splurge on?

Nothing beats the texture, pattern, colour and form of natural stone. Quartzite, travertine, limestone, marble...I’d use it everywhere if I could.


You’ve got a day to make over your house. What do you do?

Well-chosen accessories can transform a space. Combining patterns and prints on luxe oversized cushions will elevate any sofa. A stunning artwork can provide a focal point. Floor or table lamps with fabulous shades offer a welcoming light and provide height and dimension.

What should every home have?

Treasures that tell the story of the people who live there. I always encourage clients to keep and display special family pieces or treasures.


If you could have a house tour of any home in the world, whose would you choose?

Absolutely and without question I’d choose to have a martini with Kelly Wearstler at her 1920s Los Angeles mansion.