Q&A with Taranaki interior designer Anna Major of Haus of Design 2021

Raised in Taranaki, Anna has been working in the building industry since 2014, lending her design flair and eye for quality materials to projects covering hospitality, offices and homes.

How would you describe your home and style?

Sustainable natural materials, relaxed furniture and a good mix of old and new. I really like simple, honest materials and a place I can retreat home to.

What inspires you about your region?

The variety in nature here is so inspiring. Also, we’re still reasonably ‘small town’ so we get to build great relationships with our many passionate and talented tradespeople.


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

A Maker&Son armchair – and I finally feel like an adult! Seriously, though, it’s the comfiest sofa in the world.

What was one of the memorable first items you ever bought for your home?

A Balinese hand-knotted throw. The quality is incredible and it has such substantial weight. It was a treat and something that’s now sentimental.


What’s your favourite room in your house?

My kitchen. I designed it three years before we even started renovations and my ideas didn’t change in that time. It’s a perfect family kitchen, made to last.

If renovating, where would you spend most of your renovation budget and why?

The material palette, for example, stone finishes, natural timber and custom joinery. The base palette is important because it becomes the canvas for the interior scheme. If the budget’s tight, use what you have or just be thrifty until you can invest in the perfect furniture or fittings. Slow homes should be encouraged. You’ll genuinely love it for longer because you got it right.


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

Lucite joinery and furniture. Considering our advances with LED lighting and CNC cutting, I feel like only good things can come from this.

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

Some designer lighting, some Togo sofas, and a few amazing pieces of art.


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

Change out linens, cushions, throws. Consider new artwork, floral arrangements and plants. Embrace colour! You’ll surprise yourself with how it makes you feel. People play it safe with neutrals, thinking they’ll last longer, but you’ll quickly tire of the look when it lacks personality.

What should every home have?

Good heating, mixed-level lighting and the ability to control it, and comfortable beds. Basically anything that affects your senses should be considered a priority.


If you could have a ‘house tour’ of any home in the world, whose would you choose?

Probably Nile Niami’s mega mansion in Los Angeles. I’m curious as to what 9200sqm of house would feel like!