Q&A with Waikato interior designer Amanda Gow

How did you end up in interiors?

My own experience of renovating the numerous homes we’ve lived in over the years gave me the taste for it. In the 1990s I owned a fabric importing business, which further whet my appetite and led me to do interior design diplomas here and in the UK.

What do you say to those who think they don’t need someone to help them decorate?

Most people have a sense of what they do or don’t like; if they’re confident enough to develop a space they love, that’s fantastic. A word of caution for those of little experience: mistakes can be very costly and not easily rectified.

Amanda Gow often builds a design around a treasured possession

What do you wish your clients knew about interior design?

That it takes time and experience to research and develop a well crafted design scheme based on a thorough brief. Also, that sharing your budget is important as it ultimately will dictate what can be achieved

What’s your interiors style?

I don’t have a specific style per se as I work to reflect each client’s unique personality and story. I tend not to be too trend-driven, instead concentrating on enduring and timeless design that feels comfortable and inviting. Relaxed living with a touch of elegance and balance

Can you share one of your style secrets?

If I share it won’t be a secret! I often build a design scheme around something a client may love or treasure – whether it’s a favourite photo, a piece of furniture or even a cushion.

If money was no object, what would you include in every job?

A beautiful piece of art, a statement light fitting, or a bespoke piece of furniture designed and created specifically for the client.

What’s the next big thing interiors-wise?

There has been a long love affair with the Scandi look.  Clean, white and serene, but I think we will start to see a change in our interiors as a reaction to the crazy state of the world at the moment. Our homes will become our personal sanctuary and a place of comfort; somewhere we can retreat, relax and enjoy.  Interiors will feel a bit more luxurious and texture is the main ingredient.  We are becoming braver with the use of patterns and stronger colours on our walls, furniture and fabrics.  Green is everywhere, but also think navy, teal and jewel colours.  Greenery is the Pantone colour for 2017 and velvet is the must-have luxe textile.

Anything you can save on?

Not everything needs to be new — refurbish existing pieces and source items from TradeMe, trash ’n’ treasure markets or auction houses. It’s amazing the gems you can discover.

Easiest way to transform a home?

De-clutter, a fresh coat of paint and a new light fitting or two.

Your dream house?

A home that is built with integrity and sits comfortably in its environment.  One that reflects its owner’s personality, has used interesting or locally sourced materials and has a sense of belonging.

Scandi is an enduring style but Amanda believes luxury and texture will become increasingly important as homes become sanctuaries


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