Auckland Interior designer Rachyl Abraham of Tesori Design is the supreme winner of NZ House & Garden's 2018 Interior of the Year awards, with a kitchen the judges described as "a beautiful place to be in".
"Rachyl is truly the star of the show," said NZ House & Garden editor Sally Duggan, announcing the award. "We've never before had a supreme winner who was a finalist in two other categories. The judges were full of praise for her sophisticated and assured decorating style."
The winning kitchen combines French oak cabinetry and a dark granite bench with green mosaic tiles, which Abraham said she chose to bring the green of the outdoors in.
Kate Rogan and Eva Nash of Auckland firm Rogan Nash Architects were highly commended for a kitchen they designed for a couple of keen entertainers. The judges admired the clean sleek lines of the kitchen and the walnut cabinetry. The kitchen also has a scullery with an extra dishwasher and coffee machine – perfect for parties. Rogan and Nash were also finalists in two other categories.
In the bedroom category, a children's room that features a three-tiered bunk was the winner – a novel solution to a tricky problem – how to fit three young children into a small room. The winners, Jen and Joel Marsh, of Christchurch, have bought a house with another couple and Joel, an engineer, built the bunks, which give each child a private "pod".
In the bathroom section, another couple of DIYers came out on top. Heidi and Shane Chandler, of Wairarapa, did almost all of the work themselves, covering the walls in a black, rubber-based vinyl designed as flooring. They also poured and polished the concrete bath which they modelled on a rural trough. "We did look at buying a black bath, but it was too expensive," said Heidi Chandler.
In the indoor/outdoor category architect Jon Smith won with a design the judges described as "a true indoor-outdoor space. Everything opens right up and connects seamlessly, to create a private oasis in a tight urban suburb." The new addition to Smith's Ponsonby villa includes a pool and a fireplace.
A renovated Titirangi studio entered by Jenny Perillo was chosen as the winner of the out of the ordinary category. Once an artist's studio, it still has the clay fingerprints of the sculptor who worked there, and rustic boards remain on the walls. The owners now use it as a space to relax and entertain, with the doors flung open to the bush in summer, or with a fire lit and chandelier glowing in winter.
The winning living room was all about colour, from a poster of David Bowie, to a hand-painted mural and the use of bright fabric – all dreamed up by Evie Kemp. The judges said: "As a designer, Evie is true to herself. Everything she does is brave and creative. We loved this crazy, energetic space."
See all the finalists in NZ House & Garden's Interior of the Year special issue.
Source: Stuff By: ROSEMARY BARRACLOUGH/ NZ HOUSE & GARDEN