Q&A with interior designer Vanessa Webb owner of Dress my Nest 2020

Vanessa Webb loves being part of the building process for clients’ homes, as well as adding the finishing touches. Vanessa is the owner of Dress My Nest, an interior design firm operating across the Wellington region. She describes herself as a client advocate, bridging the gap between homeowner and tradespeople and ensuring a client’s vision becomes a reality. Her new studio on the Kāpiti Coast gives the public access to her homeware, furniture and soft furnishings.

Vanessa Webb, owner of Dress My Nest, in the lounge of her Kāpiti Coast home with family pet Bonnie.

How would you describe your home and style?

We live 200 steps from the beach which I absolutely love, however I do feel I’m a city girl at heart so I definitely have a more contemporary take on a coastal vibe. I love a well thought-out interior erring on the side of minimal, but with two parents working from home, two daughters who love ‘things,’ a cat and a dog, clutter is a constant battle.

What inspires you about living in your region?

In the past I craved travel and found inspiration that way. This year has changed that and now I’m looking around me for inspiration. Whether it’s a walk along the beach, or a drive around the Pāuatahanui Inlet, I’m taking more notice of the colours and textures and finding myself drawn to colour schemes inspired by nature.

On the carefully curated deck off the master bedroom.

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

My new design studio means that after five years of working at home I’m finally going to have a designated workspace. I’ve been decorating that and filling it with my favourite things. I’m passionate about working with New Zealand designers and manufacturers and two of my favourite purchases are made by Kovacs Design Furniture in Christchurch. I bought a swivel chair for the studio and one for home.

What’s your favourite room in your house?

Our bedroom. The scale and the views are something I could never give up. It’s also separate from the rest of the house with its own outdoor area, so climbing the stairs is an escape when life is busy. I had the bed base upholstered and settled on Peonia fabric from Mokum for the headboard. The lights were a limited edition colour which were hand blown on the Gold Coast. I love the pink and green - it’s a colour scheme I find very restful.

Vanessa’s upstairs bedroom with the headboard she covered in Peonia fabric from Mokum. 

What’s the trend you wish would make a comeback?

Less fast fashion. If we make purposeful decisions when selecting furniture and furnishings, items are more meaningful and we won’t tire of them.

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

We live in a 30s stucco bach that has been added on to. We’ve toyed with the idea of moving and building, but we love our location so made the decision to work with what we’ve got. We’re desperate for double glazing and better insulation.

Where would you spend most of a renovation budget?

I love helping clients ensure the permanent features are perfect so their homes will always have good bones. They can always update the furnishings.

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

Paint. During lockdown we painted our black lounge a soft sage green.

The lounge was painted a soothing sage green during lockdown. 

What should every home have?

A sense of joy. In 2020 people are spending more time in their homes. It’s important it’s somewhere you love to be. My daily mantra is ‘choose joy’, and I use it when making decisions for myself and my clients.