Q&A with Southern interior designers Melanie Craig & Gaynor Rodgers

You are in business with your mother, fellow designer Gaynor Rodgers. How do you work together?

There are obvious differences between us: cool collected old person; and weird, overly energetic younger person. But we’re equal collaborators and it feels like the natural order of things in our work life.

How would you describe what it is you do?

We look at the fundamentals of our clients’ homes and lifestyles to create function for busy family lives, as well as helping create a retreat at the end of the day. Flexibility is one of our building blocks when creating homes. We want spaces where colour and texture bring contentment, kitchens bring togetherness and our furniture makes for conversation and comfort.

"On arrival, it all looks pretty normal, then you open the entrance door and there’s this great element of surprise.” — Gaynor Rodgers

What do you hear often?

“We wish we met you prior to our project.” For us, this is the most disheartening statement from people who visit our studio when they’ve finished a build or renovation project that is without personality and with which they feel flat with the end result.

What do you wish your clients knew about interior design?

Be yourself, we can help you make it work.

Favourite room in your house?

The sunroom. During the day, sun falls inside the space and allows the outside environment in. By night, the glass panels overhead, the soft, freestanding lamp in the corner and a New Zealand wool rug on the floor work to create a cherished place to have wine with friends and observe the night sky.

What’s the next big thing interiors-wise?

The local trend in New Zealand is towards sustainable homes with a smaller footprint. Smaller homes mean rethinking how we dress the inside to give the illusion of space. This means sleek furniture without losing the comfort, less bulky window treatments and careful colour and texture placement. There is also a heightened trend to supporting local design. People are looking for the story and connection behind a product.

Your dream house?

I don’t want to sound flaky – but if the aesthetics of where I live are nondescript, something inside is flat. For me, my dream house provides security. It sits in a garden of trees; the interior is light filled, with crisp colour elements, gorgeous textures and an interesting mix of quality furniture and lighting. It has a certain simplicity, but it oozes interest.

“Our view of the world starts in our home.” –  Gaynor Rodgers

“When you pop on your favourite piece of clothing you don’t know what it is, but you love it. Like our interiors, the more you look the more you see.” – Melanie Craig


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