sneak peek: kate alexander and matt kardos


I can honestly say that until running this sneak peek, I didn’t know what a typical home in Auckland, New Zealand, looked like. This 1950s bungalow belongs to Kate Alexander and Matt Kardos. Kate is the managing director of Studio Alexander and the international print store Endemic World. She is lucky to split her time between work and home — with kids Molly (2) and Harry (5) — as each provides her with creative fulfillment. A trained designer, these days she’s more of a curator and creative director. When it comes to their home, Kate loves color, geometric pattern and black and white, as well as finding random objects and combining them in creative ways. I can’t promise that all New Zealand homes are this stylish, but it’s sure fun to see! Thanks, Kate, and thanks to Kristian Frires for the lovely photos. — Anne

Image above: This chair used to belong to Matt’s parents, and actually we are chair sitting it right now while his brother is in India . . . We are hoping he won’t want it back!

Image above: The “Mau” print used to be in our reception area at work until we decided it may offend some people. We appreciate its graphic qualities.

See more inside Kate and Matt’s Auckland, New Zealand, home after the jump . . .

Image above: This print is by one of my favorite New Zealand artists, Pat Hanly. Ngataringa Bay is where I grew up, and the poster is a comment on the dredging the Navy did in the bay. The red “slice form kiwi” is made by Nuzilla; they don’t make them anymore, but they do make other cool stuff.

Image above: This photo has lots of my favorite things. The print is by Dick Frizell. It was a wedding anniversary present from my parents. The mobile I like for its simple and bold geometric forms. The couch belonged to Matt’s granny, and we saved it from being sold to a furniture removal company that was going to dump it! I’m slowly growing my collection of bottles, now that I have a home for them.

Image above: The frames are items I have collected. The shelving unit was the one furniture item we splurged on. It was made bespoke for our space by New Zealand furniture company IMO.

Image above: The kitchen is my favorite space because it is the central point in the house. It’s light, bright and connects our living and lounge room. The back wall is the one area where we were able to save the cool 1950s wallpaper. We painted it black so it becomes even more of a feature. It’s the perfect place for our “tools” artwork (we bought the spanners [wrenches] from an exhibition and made the frame to match).

Image above: We are really lucky that we have a big master bedroom. Rather than have the bed against a wall, we have it in the middle of the room with drawers behind. The light fitting is by David Trubridge, and I adore our velvet bed throw from Wallace Cotton.

Image above: This is my boy Harry’s bedroom; he is nearly 5. The light is from another talented New Zealand designer, Catherine David.

Image above: My studio. I had as much fun creating this space as I do spending time in it. I just couldn’t pass up the desk, chair and plan drawers when I saw them at my local vintage shop. The wooden containers are from there, too. We made the notice frame.

Image above: You can see my “mood boards,” which I created for each room before we moved in. I finally put all my home magazines to good use! Harry’s room is the closest to how I imagined it.

Image above: Matt and his dad built this desk and shelves in our bedroom. The chairs are another Op Shop find, and the rubbish bin I’ve had since I was a teenager.

Image above: Our house is a 1950s bungalow, fairly typical of Auckland and New Zealand. Most houses here are built from weatherboard. We haven’t done anything outside yet; that’s our project for this summer. The best part about this house is that we have a separate garage and laundry, as well as a workshop under the house. So there are lots of places for Matt and I to work on our projects . . . or store spare furniture we can’t fit inside!

  1. Marla Eizik says:

    I love this home!! And looking at the photos prompted me to check out Kate’s work, which is also phenomenal. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Courtney says:

    I love that chair and would be very reluctant to return it to the owner! I love the international sneak peaks, and this one is no exception. It’s so fun to see a New Zealand home!

  3. Lovely! Oh to have a studio space like this one….what a dream.

  4. SpecialK says:

    Wow, beautiful house… I love the outside it seems to have a lot of space for playing around. :)

  5. Lisa Z says:


  6. kim says:

    beautiful home.
    it’s MAO. not MAU.

  7. Melanie says:

    That notice frame is such a great DIY idea! Especially if you want to interchange your art

  8. Shelley Rawcliffe says:

    Hi Kate, love your gorgeous home. where did you buy that lovely tiki from on your side table (next to the vase & kiwi)?

  9. Krista says:

    The “Mau” is a play on words using the Maori (New Zealand’s native and second official) language.

  10. Heleen Webb says:

    I love this home; you’ve done a great job decorating it, Kate and Matt! xx

  11. Melissa says:

    Gorgeous. Coveting that velvet quilt in the master bedroom.

  12. Kate says:

    Hi krista. The black tiki clock is by a designer caled josh king, but I don’t think he makes them any more ; (

  13. Cettina says:

    So stylish! I love it!

  14. ro dutchie says:

    lovely styled and finally an interior that is personal an has many private collectibles and items, it really tells a story about the inhabitants! good work!

  15. Lucille says:

    Stunning Kate and Matt! Love it all! I remember granny’s couch from our visit when I was about 9!

  16. Great house which so reflects the occupants personalities! Loved the colors, mix of furnishings and artwork. Will be sure to check out their website and local art.

  17. Jo Baby says:

    Love this sneak peek. My husband is a Kiwi and I love looking at the homes over there. So different to Sydney and we’re only a few hours away! I think some of the lovely wooden boxes are actually drawers from a Singer sewing machine…..

  18. Timothy John says:

    Hi Kate. What an awesome space! Was nice to meet you guys at your stand. Make sure you get in touch with us if you come down this way!

  19. Jane and Jackie - Harcourts Devonport says:

    Wow, we sold you the house!! Didn’t realise you had such an amazing talent! Well done, your home looks very much loved.

  20. sabine says:

    hi, a wonderful home! I was wondering were you bought the awesome graphic pilowcase ( on the chair under the “Mau” Print?

  21. Shruti says:

    Love, love, love this home! I’m a DS addict and I usually like a few pictures from every space that is featured. I loved each and every room and the aesthetic just sings to me. :D

  22. Rebecca says:

    Hi, looks amazing! Where can I get a copy of Keep Ngataringa Bay Natural poster?


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