At home with Kate Sullivan

Tell us about your home

Our home has been a labour of love project for Daniel and myself spanning eight years. We fell for the house when it was on the market, the appeal was instant (even in the dire state it was in) but we could envisage the potential. It’s a cast in-situ concrete house, which was originally built in the 1940s, and we completed its restoration initially followed by a carefully considered alteration and addition completed a year ago. Our needs have changed over the years with our growing family but our overall vision for the house remained unchanged.

What are some things you can’t live without

My family, my home, my garden, walks on the beach, the best quality coffee to start the day, a glass of delicious wine while preparing dinner, a creative outlet of some sort: whether it be designing a new house or weaving with Tī Kōuka leaves.

You are an architect. Where do you draw your inspiration for your designs from?

Inspiration ultimately comes from the client and their story or project brief. I’m really interested in the way people live, their rituals, and the way space well-designed can enhance this. The site also provides a great deal of inspiration. Whether this is the site’s context, micro-climate, outlook, topography, natural or built features or history: these help inform a direction for the design process and add layers of meaning to a built outcome.

Favourite fragrance?

In a perfume I’m often drawn to fig scent. When our boys were newborns their fragrance was my favourite – we often joked about how good it would be if we could bottle their scent! The ultimate scent would have to be sea salt-laden air in Sumner when the air is still – it fills me with happiness and positive energy.

Any advice for people about to embark on a renovation?

Don’t rush, get to know the subtleties of your home before making any major decisions and do your research (or engage an architect to do so!). “Don’t move, improve” is a very sustainable approach to home-making and in our practice we’re seeing more frequently the desire to retain and renovate or make alterations to existing homes.





At home with Mr and Mrs White

Things you can’t live without at home?

A comfy lounge, good music playing, fresh and healthy food, relaxing scents and coffee!

Favourite fragrance?

Growing up I would love that fresh linen smell after my Mum washed the sheets. I love how PBC have captured that fragrance in their ‘linen’ fragrance…makes the house feel fresh and clean even when it’s not!)

Favourite local places to eat, shop and play?

Our favourite place to eat is actually right next door to our house ‘Graze and Cakes’, they make the best fresh Vietnamese and also offer amazing pastries and coffee. For shopping, we love local brands such as Natalie Marie Jewellery, Featherdrum and Assembly Label. The beach is our favourite place to play. Whale Beach and Palm Beach are our favourites.

Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?

We are inspired by Japanese and Scandinavian design but also by life. Looking at our home, and the day to day and what we want/need in there. Looking at an empty space is inspiring to us because it represents the possibility of creating something and that is what we love to do- create! Lifestyle has a major influence on our designs. Our desire to live life simply and minimally has contributed to us creating furniture that fits within that lifestyle.

What’s next for Mr and Mrs White?

We are very excited about a new lounge we have designed and will be releasing early 202o.



At home with Marisa Young

Describe your style?
Floaty Bohemia and pretty florals. I have a real love for anything embroidered. Give me a cotton embroidered blouse and a high waisted denim jean any day. And an earring, I love a statement earring.

What can you not live without?
I’m a real homebody, I feel it’s the whole thing I couldn’t live without. I get homesick every time when I’m away. For not one thing in particular, just for the safe feeling of “home.” I know my life would continue if I did not have these things but geez I’d miss my, my speakers, my floor steamer and my beloved coffee machine. Actually, my coffee machine. I could not live without my coffee machine!!!

Favourite local spots?
I’d have to say Alma in Avalon for a rosé or ice cold margarita and Mexican! Nights there are always fun! Best coffee I’m going to say Rukus in Newport and the world’s most amazing Vegan curry or Smoothie bowls are at Highbrations Organics-which is this divine little hole in the wall of goodness, directly across the road from our Newport Boutique!

Favourite Scent?
White Rose and Jasmine….. it’s absolute heaven!

What inspired the creation of Splice Boutique?
Splice Fashion and Living, (half fashion and half homewares) was my after school and weekend job growing wasn’t until I was 19 that I was given the most incredible opportunity to take over the business, thanks to my two very selfless and hard working parents. With my dad running accounts, my sister Gabby became my business partner and together, with a love for all things beautiful, we began creating a store that housed many of our favourite designers. We wanted to create a store where woman could find beautiful and different pieces, that you couldn’t find over this side of the bridge, and this began the creation of Splice Boutique.

What do you look for when buying for the store?
Pieces that we each want to wear ourselves, every day. Pieces that are missing from our wardrobes and collections that we know we will have hanging in our wardrobes for seasons to come, that keep their timeless “special” even after a trend has passed.We found, of late, there was a real lack of beautifully made essentials, for women our age. We wanted billowing blouses to wear back with denim or floating dresses in basic colour ways- so we created our own collection for éss The Label ( pronounced S ( S for Splice !) which is due to launch this November!

Favourite place to travel?
If I can throw back to pre husband and pre children, traveling to the Greek Islands with three of your best friends is something I will never forget!! Fast forward to life now and I’m going to have to say beautiful Indonesia! So many life changing and life shaping events have occurred for me when i have been travelling in Indonesia. I met my husband Ben when we were 22 on holidays with mutual friends in Bali. And years later we were engaged in Lombok. In more difficult times, I was travelling in Bali when I received the news my dad had passed away, so I have always felt a closeness to him whenever we are there. I’ve travelled there with my brothers and sisters and my mum. And made memories with my little family when we were a small family of three, then four and most recently a family of five. It’s a place that holds so manly special memories for me.


At home with Amy McInerney

Tell us about your move to New Zealand. What is the one thing that surprised you most about living in New Zealand?
I was surprised about how much it put life into perspective for us and the lessons it has taught us. Initially, I was not keen to leave Australia. I’d always thought New Zealand was a stunningly beautiful place. I’d even joked about moving here a few times. But I loved my life, I loved living in Australia and I had worked hard worked towards a life plan that did not involve moving to a house up the street – let alone to another country.  Since moving to New Zealand, I’ve learnt not to be so attached to my plans because changing them can bring unexpected and wonderful things. Life is calmer and we enjoy more of the everyday stuff together. I’ve had new career opportunities. Our boys are growing up in a smaller, safer environment. They have more freedom and living here is instilling a real sense of community in our whole family and I really love that about our new life. Perhaps most of all, I was surprised about how the New Zealand community is so welcoming. The people we’ve met and the friends we’ve made are what has made our move to New Zealand one that we won’t ever regret.
You have recently bought and renovated. What advice would you give to anyone about to embark on a renovation?
If you’re renovating to make a family home, always keep in mind that it’s exactly that – your family’s home. We are flooded with renovation inspiration on social media and it can become overwhelming. There are so many ideas to fall in love with and it is so easy to get so ‘deep’ into a renovation that you lose all perspective of what you’re trying to create. I wanted my family home to be a reflection of my family and I wanted it to feel like home. My advice is to have a clear vision of what feels like home to your family – and stick to it. And keep reminding yourself that your family is what makes your house feel like home, more than anything else. So, particularly when stress levels peak, be kind to each other and take some time out to have fun together.
I’d also suggest that people spend time thinking about what they love about their house, as it is. For me, above all else, we loved the view out over the hills and to the ocean. Having that sense of space, so close to the beach, is very special to us and something we never dreamed of being able to enjoy. So, we made sure the view was the real hero of our renovation and were happy to invest in lots of large windows to make the most of it, even though it meant we had to hold off on finishing some parts of the renovation. It’s something we haven’t regretted because waking up to the sun rising over the ocean and seeing the colours change, over the seasons, has made getting out of bed during the cold New Zealand mornings a lot easier.
What’s your favourite fragrance?
My favourite is definitely the Sea Salt fragrance; it reminds me of Australia.
Describe your style?
I’ve always loved to wear things like cut off levis with floaty cotton blouses and jumpsuits but all that’s had to change since living in NZ. These days, you’d more often see me in a pair of blue jeans a cosy knit. I do, however, get very excited when the weather warms up and I can throw on a dress and brave the cold ocean water for a swim.

At home (and work) with Martina Blanchard

Tell us about Slow Store? Where did the concept come from?

I was looking for a creative outlet combined with a more conscious and slower way of life. Originally, I was seeking to open an interior store that resonated with my passion for Danish design and minimal interior styling. Sunny on the other hand has a vast experience in the apparel industry and is driven by ethical & sustainable garment production. We have combined our ideals & experiences with the slow ethos and started to work on how to translate this into a conscious business model. It actually all stemmed from the change that we have started at ourselves, changing our own state of mind about life then made us think about growing it into a brand that can encompass SLOW…to share our passion and establish a brand that echoes the luxury of simplicity, quality, permanency and health across the fashion, design and beauty fields.

Things you cannot live without at home?

My sharing size teapot and my favorite tea cups by Taika – I love whimsical designs on cups (I also have a pantry full of loose leaf tea options, always trying new blends etc… it’s a very comforting ritual, especially during Southland winter time! The local tea makers STIR teas have beautiful blends and you can pick them up at the local Remarkable market) Plants – I have lots of them at home  –  green living interior is so good for your health and mind .

Favorite fragrance?

For the body:

Cacti by Regime des Fleurs Aromatic Aquatic fragrance  (amber, mate, heliotrope, black tea, shiso, aloe vera, jasmine sambac, cucumber, watery notes and bergamot) yum…(Here comes my plant obsession again!)

For the home: 

All time favourite Clove & Sandalwood by Palm Beach Collection

Must do’s in Queenstown for visitors?

This would be hard to narrow down, as there is so much to do! Personally I love hiking, skiing and biking – plenty of opportunities for these activities down here, beautiful trails/ mountains you would be spoiled for choice. Additionally, I love an alfresco dining so the Akarua Kitchen by Artesian and or Amisfield Winery are my favourite, neighbouring Wet Jacket wines and White Stone Cheese Co. would be nice choices for food/wine experience also. Oh and  the all time parents’ favourite the Lake house on the beach in central Queenstown, we spend some nice afternoons there with my family as the playground/restaurant/beach combo proves to be very convenient for all involved!

Describe your style?

I like warm minimal styling, no clutter yet have enough personable items in my home so it resonates with who we are as a family –  many of my furnishing/home ware choices are informed by the brands that we carry at SLOW as I have been buying Danish brands since our first house build many years ago –  functional, simple and timeless in their essence.


Of beauty rich and rare

Aboriginal Mother and child. 1950. Photo by Threelions/Getty Images.

Cate Blanchett and Chris Hemsworth photographed in 2017 for Vogue Australia by Will Davidson.

Feather, in her mid 70’s, was photographed by Natalie Grono in Byron Bay’s Little Wategos Beach where she swims daily.

Nicole Kidman, photographed by Annie Leibovitz in 2003.

David Gulpilil arrives at the 4th Aacta Awards ceremony at The Star Casino. He won BeSt Lead Actor for his role in Charlie’s Country.

Artist John Olsen at home in his studio in 2016.

Cathy Freeman aged 21, photographed by Bill McAuley in 1994.

Musicians Angus and Julia Stone photographed by Jarno Kraayvanger.

Bondi sunrise. Aquabumps.

Fashion designers, Nicky and Simone Zimmermann.

Director Baz Luhrmann, photographed by Aldo Rossi in 2013.

The Australian Ballet.

Surfer Stephanie Gilmore.

Dawn Fraser, photographed in 1963 by David Moore.

Pop Star, Kylie Minogue.

A young Steve Irwin in a picture from a book by Irwin’s best man and mate, Tony Frisby.

Jeffrey Rush.

Indigenous Festival Photography by Wayne Quilliam.








A Mother’s love

Lauren Bacall, 1954

Elle Macpherson, 2010

Princess Diana, 1986

Romy Schneider, 1969

Kendal Lee Schuler

Rachel Hunter, 1994

Cindy Crawford, 1999

Donatella Versace, 1990

Jerry Hall, 1985

Linda Mcartney, 1970

Angelina Jolie, 2014

Cindy Crawford, 1990

Jackie Kennedy

Kate Moss

Goldie Hawn (and Kate Hudson)