Interiorssneak peeks

sneak peek: kate alexander and matt kardos

by anne


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!

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