remodel your home? Interior designers share their best… – New Zealand Herald | NutSocia

Never underestimate the power of those around you to feel good about yourself and improve your life. Leanne Moore speaks to interior design experts about the alchemy of carefully considered spaces.

Janice Kumar-Ward of JKW Interior Architecture & Design, Auckland

The look: Janice Kumar-Ward is all about innovation in the design process

Signature Style: A creative powerhouse, Janice and her husband Julian Ward also produce the beautiful bespoke furniture and display collection Mr & Mrs Ward.

Design Tips: Hire a designer early on so decisions are well thought out and not rushed. You also get the desired designer – often with a waiting time.

Be careful when choosing trendy interior items such as fixtures – unlike bed linen or even paint colors, these are not easy to change.

Alex Fulton.  Photo / Aimee Thompson
Alex Fulton. Photo / Aimee Thompson

Alex Fulton Design, Christchurch

The look: Alex Fulton creates exciting spaces full of color and pattern. Their bold and unconventional – yet practical – designs attract the adventurous spirit. The AFD flavor also adds a dash of humor and joy.

Signature Style: Confident, courageous and absolutely fearless use of color.

Design Tips: Include a color story. A limited color palette provides consistency and serves as an easy reference when selecting and specifying products.

Go to the limits. If you can’t find something you want, ask, have it modified, or have it made. In the long run you will be happier that you made the effort to get exactly what you want.

Be super organized. Keep a document listing the specifications in each room to keep tradespeople, architects, painters and suppliers informed and on the same page. It will become your go-to document for quick reference and retrieval of everything that goes into your project.

Alex McLeod and Tomi Williams.  Photo / Included
Alex McLeod and Tomi Williams. Photo / Included

Alex McLeod and Tomi Williams from, Auckland

The look: Considered design, layering through color and texture, elements of surprise.

Signature Style: Alex and Tomi bring a tailored approach to each project. Their ethos is to design interiors that are creative and challenging, yet cohesive. They create spaces meant to be inhabited, not just admired.

Design Tips: The design of your home is a reflection of yourself, your family and your way of life. All of this is closely related, and so should the rooms in your home.

To create a holistic scheme, start using color to connect the outside to the inside and everywhere. Colors don’t have to be the same. You can use different colors to create individual spaces and add personality, but they should be of the same tone.

Use two or three materials or finishes throughout that are repeated in different spaces and in different ways to ensure the spaces feel connected yet individual.

Always question how you can do something differently, whether with color, shape or materiality.

Paul Izzard.  Photo / Richard Hodder
Paul Izzard. Photo / Richard Hodder

Paul Izzard of Izzard Design, Auckland

The look: Alluring and award-winning hospo interiors and sophisticated and award-winning home interiors.

Signature Style: Reduced glamour, with evidence of hospitality design expertise in the social spaces of residential projects such as B. the introduction of seating in a kitchen.

Design Tips: Go for quality materials that will stand the test of time. I like to think that our designs wear out, not wear out. Use lighting to create different moods at different times of the day.

Jessica Close.  Photo / Jane Ussher
Jessica Close. Photo / Jane Ussher

Jessica Close Interiors, Christchurch

The look: Brings an English country aesthetic to her work, having lived and worked in the UK for several years.

Signature Style: Charming, relaxed and atmospheric.

Design Tips: A room always needs a bit of antique, mid-century or junk from the thrift store. Mixing old and new is so important, it gives your home a patina that can’t be made.

Enjoy patterns! Upholstered furniture needs fewer meters than curtains. Go crazy and get the best you can afford.

If possible, avoid downlights and recessed ceiling lights. Your home is not a hospital! Lamp lighting makes everyone look good, and you can take them with you when you move.

The most interesting interiors consist of collections and layers that take time to build. I believe with all my heart that a room is never finished – there is always something to add.

Katie Lockhart.  Photo / Babiche marten
Katie Lockhart. Photo / Babiche marten

Katie Lockhart Studio, Auckland

The look: Creative force Katie Lockhart works across the globe to create interiors that are understated yet striking.

Signature Style: Curate, edit and cut through the clutter.

Design Tips: I think the inclusion of color, whether through the base palette (walls, floors, etc.) or the furnishings, brings spirit and warmth. I love low light in the evening, less ceilings but more lamps.

Nikki Burnet and Katie Peck.  Photo / Included
Nikki Burnet and Katie Peck. Photo / Included

Nikki Burnet and Katie Peck of Kurio Design, Wellington

The look: A dynamic design duo creating harmonious interiors that celebrate the art of layering.

Signature Style: A sense of detail that adds character and makes the spaces feel like they’ve been there a while.

Design Tips: Scale when it comes to carpets, lighting and artwork. So often people buy these items way too small. Your home can be instantly elevated if these pieces are the right size, if not oversized.

Think about which pieces of furniture and surfaces will get a lot of use (think family room sofas, kitchen countertops) and invest your money in them. Think of them as an investment and balance them out with smaller, less expensive pieces.

Avoid the temptation of “fast housewares”. There is no excuse for a “throw away” attitude when it comes to interiors these days. It’s good for nobody, especially for the planet.

Take the time to look for unique pieces that really speak to you. It’s still possible to snag incredible pieces at vintage and antique shops and auction houses. When these older pieces are mixed with newer items, the result is personality and a totally unique style that you will love and enjoy for years to come.

Liv Patience and Toni Brandso.  Photo / Included
Liv Patience and Toni Brandso. Photo / Included

Liv Patience and Toni Brandso of Material Creative, Auckland

The look: Interiors with a wow factor that look good and feel wonderful.

Signature Style: Champions for decorative freedom and redesigned spaces that lift their customers’ spirits.

Design Tips: Think of colors and textures that you like. It shows in the way you dress, the things you have around the house and even the way you wrap a birthday present.

When you walk into a space you love, think about what you really love about that space. It could be the wooden floor or the marble countertop. Becoming aware of the colors and materials that help you feel calm or happy is a good start.

Hire an expert. In this way you get a harmonious interior that has the perfect balance and visual weight of materiality, colour, pattern and texture. Our job is like editing a book. We take our client’s ideas and add or subtract to create balance and structure and the best possible composition of those ideas.

Sarah Lods.  Photo / Included
Sarah Lods. Photo / Included

Sarah Lods, Auckland

The look: Attractive and clever spaces that bring all sorts of pieces together, regardless of their origin or monetary value, to create a visual commonality.

Signature Style: Spaces that inspire amazement and thought-provoking.

Design Tips: Never be a slave to a design trend. Mix the old and the tried and tested with the contemporary. art, art, art; there is no such thing as too much art. Make comfort a priority and carefully consider the flow between spaces.

Jodi Newnham.  Photo / Helen Banker
Jodi Newnham. Photo / Helen Banker

Jodi Newnham of Swag Design, Auckland

The look: Jodi Newnham, artist, furniture dealer (mid-century swag) and interior designer, has her own contemporary take on mid-century modernism that creates magical interior moments.

Signature Style: Californian Arts & Crafts aesthetic with a touch of rustic brutalism and a modern glamor influence.

Design Tips: There are generally five design principles that help create a successful space: proportion, balance, rhythm, harmony, and emphasis. I especially like rhythm. It is based on the idea that the eye can travel through space, creating interest and reducing monotony.

You can achieve this through the use of repetition, whether it be repeating shapes, colors, or patterns. This helps the eye move from one object to another. You can also create a sense of rhythm by using objects of different heights and sizes, which can be arranged in either ascending or descending order.

Harmony is the principle of creating a sense of relation within objects or ideas. For example, if you are exhibiting a group of artworks or objects, consider whether they have anything similar like color, size, shape, or texture.

Alongside these principles, create a focal point – always have an eye-catcher. Be it a beautiful fireplace, a unique sideboard or an amazing pendant light.

Lighting is important, layer it up. Floor lamps, table lamps, uplights or wall lights as well as ceiling and workplace lighting. Lighting plays a crucial role in changing the ambiance of a room.

Unlock this article and all of our Viva Premium content by subscribing


Leave a Comment