Discovering some of New Zealand’s little gems and other Designer highlights!

Posted on: February 9th, 2017 by Decorate26.


Welcome to the first newsletter of 2017! This year will be another busy one for me.

One of the biggest projects I have planned is the renovation of my own home. Our homes are the one space where we can fully express ourselves and push the boundaries. Not one to shy away from a challenge, I will be doing just that!

In this issue, I’m excited to be sharing with you some of New Zealand’s best kept secrets, discovered on my travels this summer, and some great news! A  design highlight for my business, Decorate26., picking up a service award from Houzz!



Earlier this month I received my first Service Award from Houzz! For those who don’t know about Houzz, it is a website, online community and leading platform for home decoration and design.    Visited by over 40 million people worldwide, it has become a leading platform not only for designers to showcase their businesses, but also a great vehicle through which potential clients can view the work of Interior Designers such as mine, Decorate26. As a recipient of the service award, several factors were taken into consideration including the quality of client reviews. Key descriptives that came out of my reviews included
“advice, patience and calm approach”
“resolved without fuss”
“daily reminder of her wonderful work”
“magnificent job advising and sourcing”
“the result is beautiful and comfortable”
“enjoyed your vision, ideas, skill and confidence”
Needless to say, I’m thrilled to not only have received this award as recognition for the service I provide my clients, but also how great it feels to be valued by my clients in the ways described.

So, how does this help you when choosing the right Interior Designer for your project? 

There are a number of guidelines you can adopt when embarking on your own renovation and re-decoration project. Here are three guidelines that I consider to be extremely useful.
1) Make use of online platforms, such as Houzz. They are free, accessible and filled with loads of information to help you in selecting a design professional best suited to you.
2) Interior Designers often have a signature style. View the images of their work. Do you love what they have created? Would you like something that is uniquely yours but representative of their signature style?
3) As clients, we all want a great design. However, this is only part of the design journey. Equally, clients look for fantastic service. Read clients testimonials and reviews. Look for highlights as well as how designers resolve problems should they occur. You want a Design professional who is adept at problem solving too!

Choose an Interior Design professional whose design work you love, and, who provides integrity, diligence and care in their service to you.





As many of you know, my children are fanatical cricketers! Amie, at 14 years, is starting to build a reputation for herself as a cricketer for the future. As such, my family and I often travel to watch her play. Earlier this month, we journeyed to Whanganui to do just that! The cricket was fantastic! But never one to leave my ‘designer’s eye’ at home, I was astounded by the depth of architectural history around every street corner in Whanganui. From post-colonial, modernist and art deco to name a few, Whanganui has it all! I couldn’t resist the pic of a Ford Falcon in lime green. It seem’s that the locals are not only surrounded by the fabulous history of architecture that characterises Whanganui, but also know how to drive it in style!


WOW product of the month!
Always on the hunt for the beautiful, unusual and unique, I ventured upon these stunning batik stamps in one of my favourite design destinations, Flotsam and Jetsom (see an earlier newsletter for a  write up).

Batik stamps are commonly designed with flowers and leaf patterns. Although mine are made from rubber and wood, they are usually made of copper for its heat conductive properties and used to print hot wax on to cotton. They are popular for pottery, textiles and paper applications, to name a few. 

For me, these pieces are a perfect balance between male and female elements. A fine hand with intricate detail is juxtaposed against dark tones, raw materials in a  solid, ‘ripped from the earth’ form.

Drawn to their unique characteristics, I’ve chosen to display them as part of a medley of objects and not use them for their original purpose. Kauri wood blocks with modernist overtones provide the backdrop on which these stunning objects rest. Again a framework for both masculine and feminine design elements. 

January, 2017  has been a fabulous month for Decorate26. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for me. Design destinations, inspirational travel, stunning products, fabulous projects, meeting more gorgeous clients and more! And speaking of more, be sure to take a look at my blog series giving you a bird’s eye view into my own home renovation journey. The fun stuff, the frustrating stuff and the fabulous final product. All will be revealed!

Helpful hints for creating a winter wonderland at your place. An Aladdin’s Cave worth visiting and my WOW find of the month!

Posted on: February 9th, 2017 by Decorate26.

Welcome to my newsletter, showcasing my interior design business, Decorate26. In each monthly edition, you will find helpful hints to create your dream home, a spotlight on some of the interesting design destinations I have visited, and my ‘WOW’ product of the month. I hope you enjoy reading my Interior Design offering as much as I will enjoy bringing it to you!



We are well into winter now and our attention turns to creating a haven of warmth and comfort in our homes, our own bastion against the harsh and unpleasant weather that winter brings with it. 
So how do we achieve warmth and comfort in our homes? 
There are certainly some things that seem fairly straight forward, such as choosing appropriate heating, insulation and ventilation systems for the type of homes we live in. But what about interior design elements that we may not immediately think of, but will immediately add a sense of warmth and comfort?

The great news is that there is so much you can do to add warmth and comfort to your home! Furthermore, much of whats available can be implemented within the shortest amount of time and within a budget that will suit you.

One of the most impactful ways to create warmth and comfort is through the application of colour. What colours we choose to paint our walls, include in our fabric choices, soft furnishings, accessories and floor finishes, for example, become very important in creating spaces that are warm and comfortable. 

One option is to embrace winter’s colour palette with all it’s moods and complexities. Rich, deep and lustrous they envelop a space and cocoon you into it. Perfect for a cold winter’s night!

A second option is to create a neutral palette that includes warm whites and greys in conjunction with earthy pinks, soft yellows,  warm blues and greens. Brought indoors, the dappled light of winter, creates soft hues that are just as inviting, welcoming and warm as a moody winter’s night.


A winter colour palette needn’t be dreary nor uninspiring. With some thought and consideration you can have your own winter wonderland at home.




Winter time in Auckland brings out the treasure trawler in me and I like nothing better than whiling away a morning in search of hidden treasures (albeit with a coffee in tow!).

Auckland has it’s own collection of Aladdin’s Caves and I visited two of them recently, Junk and Disorderly, and, Flotsam and Jetsom. Filled with the curious and curiouser, one off pieces to give any interior it’s point of difference, as well as a delightful trip down memory lane, there is something for everyone. Definitely worth a visit!


WOW product of the month!
This month’s WOW product is the Seated Valet Bench from Stellar Works, part of an exciting range of furniture coming to New Zealand shores later in the year!

The brain child of award winning architect and designer, David Rockwell whose creations range from restaurants, airports, museum exhibitions and Broadway sets to name a few, the seated valet is made of walnut with a quilted leather cushion and brass hardware, and, if that’s not enough to tempt you, a leather sling pocket for storing magazines or accessories!

Sometimes we come across one of a kind pieces that combine quality craftsmanship, functionality, good looks, and that wow factor! This piece definitely fits this category!

I’ve had so much fun bringing you this month’s edition! I’m truly inspired by what I read and what I see in my interior design journey. Don’t forget to sign up to my monthly newsletters so you can share this journey with me!
Lastly, if you have been thinking about turning your home into your own slice of winter’s wonderland, I would love to help you achieve this. Helping you to turn your dream into a reality is what my interior design business is all about! 

See you next month x


Home is Where the Heart Is!

Posted on: May 17th, 2016 by Decorate26.


Welcome to my very first newsletter, showcasing my interior design business, Decorate26. In each monthly edition, you will find helpful hints to create your dream home, a spotlight on some of the interesting design destinations I have visited, and my ‘WOW’ product of the month. I hope you enjoy reading my Interior Design offering as much as I will enjoy bringing it to you!


I am currently working on a project in it’s later stages, where the focus has turned to accessories. Not only does this involve the selection of pieces, both new and old, inherited and of sentimental value, but also the arrangement of them within a scheme that is complementary to the room in which they will reside.

There are different ways in which to approach this creative process. It may start with an object that has great sentimental value. The style, colour, form and proportion of this particular object may naturally lead you to select pieces that are complementary in some aspect, such as colour. This creates what I call a natural grouping.

In some cases, a collection of objects and the display of them can take years to feel complete! It is often in our travels over the years, for example, that the selection of items to group together starts to come together.

The decision on what items to display is often based on the meaning they hold, not just their aesthetic qualities, or their suitability to a particular room or interior space.

The value of a display then, is not only in what the eye observes, but in the meaning of that observation.

The inclusion of both aesthetic and symbolic elements  give a display it’s timeless appeal. It’s relevance remains with you even as the latest design trends come and go!

Lastly, in creating your own display, my advice is to have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the placement of seemingly unrelated objects, and remember to make it meaningful regardless of how long this takes you!



In Auckland we are fortunate to have access to many exciting design destinations. This week I visited Le Forge, a homewares company providing an extensive supply of gorgeous products for the trade and wholesale market. From furniture, jewellery, soft furnishings, accessories, lighting and christmas decorations, there is something for everyone!

WOW product of the month!

This month’s WOW product is Anita. A stunning and captivating sculpture from Australian husband and wife contemporary artists, Gillie and Marc.

Gillie and Marc’s iconic characters, Rabbitgirl and Dogman, tell their own spectacular love story while celebrating the powerful spiritual relationship that can exist between man and animal

Anita, the Rabbitgirl, now resides in my formal living room at home. Perhaps Bento, the Dogman will join her!