Evie Kemp and Sam Holford’s home in Auckland, New Zealand is an immersive experience, where patterns drip from every surface, bold colors pull you in, and there’s always something magical to discover around a corner or nestled into a gallery wall. It is truly a feast for the eyes. Evie is a freelance artist, textile designer, and stylist (can you tell?) and her husband is an OBGYN and heavily involved with the New Zealand Doctor’s Union. Together they’ve created a home that we feel safe to say we could easily walk around in — slack-jawed — for hours, taking in all of the incredible art, treasures, patterns, and various collections. We’d likely have to do a few laps to make sure we didn’t miss any special details.
Evie admits that their home is never “done,” that she’s often swapping things out, trying new colors, and adding in her latest thrift shop find. There’s also a sense from the observer that it’s somehow always been this way. With so many details and layers, it’s hard to imagine the home not looking just like this; it both has a feeling of being so intentional that it would take infinite time to get to this point, and it’s also so natural and welcoming that we can imagine Evie creating this look effortlessly.
With Evie working from home, it makes sense that the space is a reflection of her work, with styling props integrated into the decor and collections, her original art displayed proudly, things changing as her inspirations does, all the while being mindful of budget and resources. So much of their home is made up from thrifted finds, and repurposed or recovered vintage pieces.
While the house itself may initially look like it’s mid-century design with the sunken living room, shoji screens, and ceilings, it was actually built in 1984 by a builder/designer for himself. The original homeowner sold the house to them and was only moving to be closer to family for his health.
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The couple hadn’t initially been looking at South Auckland, but this house fully enchanted them and once they moved in, their neighborhood had an equal effect. “Auckland is a widespread and multi-cultural city, but for many, sadly, South Auckland still has a bad rap,” Evie shares. “Moving here, we’ve completely fallen in love with it; to me it’s the most vibrant and welcoming part of Auckland and I’m really proud to be a part of it. I’ve met so many great people here and it really feels like a community that looks after each other.” Someday Evie would love to be a part of a local eatery or cafe to help extend Auckland’s “foodie scene” out south — can’t you imagine eating somewhere that has that Evie touch? Sign us up! —Rebekah
Bowie artwork, leopard print cushions, lampshades and artwork on sideboard- Evie
All the furniture- vintage
The round “Stockholm” mirror- IKEA
Mini vagina rugs on fireplace- Evie
“Large Fancy Room Filled With Crap” framed tea towel- David Shrigley from Third Drawer Down
All furniture- vintage
Neon light- vintage
Ball chair- reupholstered in IKEA fabric
Floral Curtain and lampshade fabric- “Baroness” by Lisa Bengtsson
Brass lamp from New Zealand Kmart
Black and white rug- The Warehouse NZ
Abstract painting by dining table- Bronwyn Mason
Pink Shark- Taus Ceramic
Still Life 3 limited edition print in A0 size- Evie
Bunny lampshade- Evie Kemp fabric, lampshades recovered by Evie
Living Room (connected to kitchen with large round ottoman)
Wall Color- “Piha” by Dulux
Furniture all thrifted- sofa recovered in James Dunlop fabrics “Stampede”
Rectangular rug- Citta
Cushions by Citta and Shut The Front Door
Everything else- thrifted including artwork except fireplace bug prints by Evie
Master Bedroom and Sunroom
Wallpaper- Rasch (discontinued)
All furniture- vintage
Beige & Black rug- Citta
Yellow rug under bed- Patricia Urquiola
Blue duvet by Kip & Co
Bedroom artworks- Evie
Bedside lamps- vintage
Green rug- vintage
Cushions- made and found in thrift shops
Wall Color- “Punga Cove” by Dulux
Yellow pillow cases and linen duvet from Farmers
Bedside tables and flower cushions from Bed, Bath & Beyond NZ
Art- vintage, the flamingo prints are by Vernon Ward
Lights and headboard- thrifted.