Owner of Hamilton furniture and homeware boutique, Le French Quarter.
How did you become interested in interiors?
My interest in beautiful interiors has been a passion for more years than I can count. While I was at home with a young family I started doing interior and landscape consulting for a building company I own with my very talented brother, David. My love to enhance a home with fabulous furnishings and collectables grew from there. I soon had a garage full of my collections, with no room for any cars, and a husband asking what I was going to do with all these “treasures”. Le French Quarter was established in 2014 and began in an old woolshed in Gordonton. Moving to our current premises closer to town in River Rd seemed like a natural transition.
Describe your interior style.
Our home is a mixture of my eclectic tastes. I love mixing vintage and collectable pieces of sentimental value with gorgeous furniture and today’s timeless treasures. Our lounge, with its lovely cosy feel, is a moody grey. The furniture is neutral – a linen Chesterfield, warm neutral rug, wooden table, pressed-tin mirror above the fireplace, and touches of red in the cushions to bring it all together. The walls in the rest of the house are kept fairly neutral, so the furniture and homewares pop.
How does living in the Waikato inspire you?
With its wonderful scenery and rich pastures, the Waikato is always a pleasure. I so enjoy embracing the seasons and this winter the collections are moodier, with darker colour combinations – very in tune with nature – to create a sense of warmth and comfort.
What else inspires you?
I’m an avid reader. I love a great magazine or good book full of inspiration and it’s a pleasure to stock the Jeanne d’Arc magazine, books and homewares.
What’s the best thing you’ve brought back from overseas?
My husband. And a little hand-blown Venetian vase – gorgeous – both of them.
Which living designerdo you most admire?
Sarah Richardson, who now has a fabric range – Sarah Richardson for Kravet Collections – with Warwick. I’ve always admired the way she can take an ordinary room and mix fabrics, textures and vintage finds, such as industrial doors or windows, to make that very ordinary room look amazing.
Which New Zealand brand to you most admire?
I admire Trelise Cooper and Karen Walker for being passionate, successful and tasteful, with a clear vision and fabulous, unique product
Do you have any tips for arranging spaces?
Start with the furniture you love and can’t live without. If the couch has a gorgeous shape but the fabric is dated – recover it. A statement couch in a fabulous colour and style combined with chairs or cushions in a complementary shade or pattern always works well. Use a big coffee table with a shelf underneath for storing books, games and albums. Find a fabulous rug or sisal mat for underneath the coffee table – don’t be stingy on the size of the rug as it defines your room and space. You can group furniture around the coffee table to create an intimate feel – a couch and two armchairs always look good. Never overlook a good mirror – they can bring light to a dull room and reflect nature.
Le French Quarter, 548 River Rd, Hamilton