Q&A with interior designer Annabel Berry owner of homewares store Design Federation

Award-winning interior designer Annabel Berry works on residential and commercial projects in North Otago. In her shop you'll find a range of New Zealand-designed homeware, gifts and clothing. She also has an online store.

Annabel Berry, owner and creative director of Design Federation in her Ōamaru store.

How would you describe your home style?

My aesthetic is coastal: fresh whites, blues and a mix of vintage and new furniture and furnishings. I’m just as comfortable in a high-end design store as a second-hand one. I lean towards soft, dusty colours for a calm, considered palette.

What inspires you about living in your region?

The beautiful Waitaki district and its people provide so much inspiration for our projects. We have such a beautiful client base who come to us because of our knowledge and skills, but also because of our attitude towards design. We are unpretentious and fun.

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

A beautiful new round oak dining table after my children destroyed our last one with permanent markers and glue during lockdown. We plan to incorporate a bench seat around the new table that will be for dining only (no more homework).

What’s your favourite room in the house?

Our bedroom because I made this space a sanctuary for us. The walls are a deep navy blue with the main focal point a headboard in painterly Bluebellgray linen fabric. Our drapes are double tracked sheers. It’s a dream to sleep there every night.

The interior designer's bedroom with navy walls and headboard covered in painterly Bluebellgray linen fabric. 

What trend do you wish would make a comeback?

A statement sofa in a lounge makes such an impact and would be a good trend to bring back – think burnt orange, ochre, velvets or patterned upholstery. If your sofa has good bones, consider getting it covered in new fabric.

If money was no object, what would you buy for your home?

I’d extend our house by adding an upstairs and put our bedroom up there. The view is incredible.

Where would you spend the bulk of a renovation budget?

Great joinery makes such a difference to a home, ensuring you get bespoke cabinetry, shelving, built-ins, wardrobes and of course your kitchen and bathroom. The benefits of professional painting should never be underestimated.

Annabel designed this coast-inspired kitchen for a Kakanui beachhouse. 

What would you go budget on?

You’re better to invest in quality rather than buy something cheap and have to replace it sooner. If you can’t do everything at once, do it in stages.

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

Put everything away that can go away and start with a clean slate. Then consider the look and feel you want New cushions, throws, rugs and accessories will bring an entirely new look to your space. Consider moving artworks around. This will make it feel fresh and new.

What should everyone invest in?

Every home should have upholstered headboards on beds – once you have slept with one you won't go back. They look good and centre your bedroom.

www.designfederation.co.nz