Q&A with Kylie Keene co-owner of homeware and design store The Design Depot 2020

The Design Depot was founded in 2011 by my mother Raylene who had a vision for an ‘edgy and inspirational design store’. After her passing in 2016, my sister, Larisa, and I stepped in to carry on the family business and build on her dream, while bringing our own style and ideas to the stores. We have an outlet in Hamilton and another in Mount Maunganui. We specialise in design consultations, product sourcing and bringing inspiration to homes. We have an incredible team dedicated to helping our customers find pieces that are functional, practical and fit their lifestyles.

Sisters Kylie Keene (left) and Larisa Cochrane.

How would you describe your home and style?

I love the old character homes in the Waikato and feel so lucky to have our own 1910s villa in Hamilton East. I love to mix the old with the new, especially in a character villa, and our home is no exception. My husband and I have an eclectic mix of contemporary furniture, different woods, aged pieces from Indonesia, prints and photos collected from our travels and items handed down to me from my mum. They somehow form a cohesive look. We don’t follow a particular trend or style – it’s a reflection of our personalities combined. 

What inspires you about living in your region?

The beautiful scenery of Hamilton and the Waikato. I think many New Zealanders underestimate the beauty and energy of this region. There is nothing quite like the autumn colours of the landscape and the sun shining down on our mighty river in summer. This is where a lot of our colour inspiration comes from. The Waikato is home to such a thriving business scene, both established and new. The people of our region are its best asset, there’s no doubt about that.

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

Not the last thing but the best was a locally made sofa from one of our suppliers, Profile Furniture. We are proud supporters of New Zealand-made products and it’s more important than ever to support local business.

Claire three-seater sofa, Crusoe slab coffee table from The Design Depot. 

What’s your favourite room in your house?

Our lounge, given it is the focal point of our relatively small house and where we relax. It’s full of eclectic pieces including the sofa, a coffee table, custom-made cushions, my husband’s records, lots of greenery and homewares we’ve picked up.

What trend do you wish would make a comeback?

Colour! For so long we (including me) have loved the natural and linen looks, but I’d like to see more colour. Be daring! We have a rust-coloured velvet sofa in our store. I can’t wait to see it in a home.

If money was no object, what would you buy?

The Sputnik dining table and Stewart dining chairs from our store. These pieces from Eastern Europe are crafted with love and use the finest materials including reclaimed oak and buffalo leather.

Sputnik table, Stewart dining chairs, Brazilian cowhide. All pieces from The Design Depot. 

Where would you spend the bulk of a renovation budget?

The bathroom and kitchen, so you boost the style and value of your home. But always leave money for furniture and homewares. You’ve got to love the pieces you live with.

What would you go budget on?

Tasks you can get stuck into yourself. It’s so satisfying putting work into a renovation and saving money in the process.

What should every home have?

Something that’s made in New Zealand. 

Bianca Lorenne Capezzalle bedside table, Bianca Lorenne Curvare headboard, Amara coverlet and cushions from The Design Depot. 




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