Q&A with East Coast / Manawatu / Whanganui interior designer Wendy Giltrap

How did you end up in interiors?

Originally working for my mother in her fashion shop I’d style outfits for clients. I found I had a passion for colour and design and an innate sense of style. At some point I realised that I wanted more. I knew that I helped women feel beautiful and confident and I wanted to use that ability to further enhance people’s lives and help them create beautiful living environments.

What do you say to those who think they don’t need someone to tell them how to decorate?

Many people think they don’t need help to decorate and, to be fair, a few don’t. However, after clients have met with me and I have listened and then given them my input they soon realise that an interior designer is a worthwhile investment because of the knowledge I have and the potential for their interior that they could be missing. Do it once, and do it right! Beautiful interiors do not just happen, they are created.


Wendy Giltrap favours timeless elegance, tailored to suit a client’s lifestyle, to create an inviting environment.

What’s your interiors style?

I am not trend focused. I am project focused, but if I had to determine a style I would say that my style is elegant.

Can you share one of your style secrets?

Lighting, lighting, lighting. This is where people fall down when they go it alone. The importance of lighting is easily overlooked and if it is not done properly then it can destroy your whole interior platform.

If money was no object, what would you include in every job?

Lighting and art.

Anything you can save on?

Use the best products. I do work within people’s budgets and try to give them the best without a budget blowout.

What’s the next big thing?

Wood, wood, wood. Open arms. Wooden legs. Ocean blues and pond greens mixed with smudgy pinks. Natural fibres. A subtropical feeling.

Easiest way to transform a home?

Paint is vital. Take time to choose the right colour. De-clutter. Stop buying and work with what you have.

Lighting is key to enhancing an interior and its impact, says Wendy, is often overlooked

Wendy Giltrap favours timeless elegance, tailored to suit a client’s lifestyle, to create an inviting environment


Open for business

A home office should never be the kitchen table. Confusing work and living is not a way to encourage output. For efficiency’s sake set up your office in a room away from the communal living space. Make it a place you want to go to, complete with personal touches



Anyone will tell you, you can never have too much storage. Build a house with many cupboards. Then invest in shelves, drawers, hooks and baskets and you’ll be sorted.