Take a peek in­side Angela Wick­stead’s Herne Bay home.

Sim­ply You takes a look in­side three unique homes and talks to their creative own­ers.

Simply You - - Contents -


Elaine Fer­gu­son’s love of dark, moody colours is ev­i­dent through­out her Auck­land home – from the state­ment all-black kitchen to the black wall of her lounge, where she has cu­rated her ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of art­work.

“In the evening the kitchen is in­vis­i­ble which lets all my art and ob­jects take cen­tre stage,” says Fer­gu­son, a sales­per­son for Ray White Pon­sonby who bought the in­ner-city one-bed­room home she shares with her schnau­zer Spencer and cat Enky four years ago af­ter mov­ing from Christchurch.

She has since trans­formed it from a “damp, dated mess” to a haven for her large col­lec­tion of paint­ings, sculp­tures and ob­jets. “I love ev­ery­thing about my home. It’s like be­ing in a mu­seum or shop with all my favourite things,” she says. Her most beloved art­works are a dou­ble por­trait by Auck­land artist Viky Gar­den, which takes pride of place in the lounge, and a male statue by Christchurch artist Sam Har­ri­son. “I used the in­sur­ance money af­ter the Christchurch earth­quake to buy him; I could never have af­forded him oth­er­wise. He re­minds me ev­ery day how lucky I am.”

Fer­gu­son has no set rules when it comes to buy­ing art. “I just buy what I like. All the faces and heads are a bit creepy to some, but they are com­pany for me, I am never alone.”


As a free­lance stylist and fash­ion edi­tor for NEXT magazine, So­nia Greenslade has a pro­fes­sional eye for de­tail which has trans­lated into a beau­ti­fully light and airy home with a few unique twists. She lives in the two-bed­room prop­erty in Auck­land’s Eden Ter­race with her cat, Lola, and four pet fish and has spent the past 13 years slowly do­ing it up.

She bought the house as a project in 2003 with her now ex-hus­band, an ar­chi­tect. “When we bought the prop­erty it was fall­ing down and to­gether we dis­cussed and planned what to do with it,” says Greenslade. “It’s very nar­row so sim­ple, clean lines were the only way to go.”

When the cou­ple parted ways in 2010, Greenslade took the prop­erty on as an un­fin­ished project and has achieved a lot in the past six years, in­clud­ing the de­sign and in­stal­la­tion of the kitchen, plas­ter­ing and re­paint­ing the walls, and in­stalling join­ery.

“What you see is all mainly my own aes­thetic now, in­side and out,” she says, de­scrib­ing her in­te­ri­ors style as a com­bi­na­tion of in­dus­trial, mod­ern and old.

Split over two lev­els, the lower floor con­tains two bed­rooms, one of which Greenslade uses as her work­room, and the main bath­room fea­tur­ing a ce­ment floor and a large, rec­tan­gu­lar ce­ment bath, which was cast in situ. “I’m a bath queen; it’s my go-to place to wind down af­ter a long day.”

Up­stairs is an open-plan liv­ing, din­ing and kitchen area, a pantry, laun­dry and an al­cove of­fice space. Lead­ing out from the kitchen is a pri­vate court­yard, where Greenslade spends as much time as she can when the weather is good, read­ing a book, shar­ing a glass of wine with friends, and en­joy­ing break­fast and bar­be­cues at the week­end.

Greenslade loves to cook and en­joys throw­ing din­ner par­ties. “I also love gar­den­ing, not that I have much of one, but I make the most of what I have by plant­ing sea­sonal ed­i­ble de­lights in pots,” she says.

De­spite all she has achieved over the years, the ren­o­va­tion is not yet com­plete and Greenslade has plans to ex­tend the front of the house to ac­com­mo­date an­other bed­room and bath­room. “The ex­ten­sion was al­ways part of the plan years ago and it’s only now that I have a builder boyfriend that I feel I can fi­nally put it to bed,” she says. “There’s al­ways light at the end of the tun­nel.”


It doesn’t re­ally mat­ter where in the world Angela Wick­stead lives: the places change but her sur­round­ings stay the same. The liv­ing rooms of her homes in Italy and New Zealand are pop­u­lated with white slip-cov­ered Philippe Starck so­fas, the beds fea­ture crisp white li­nen and metic­u­lously ar­ranged pil­lows, and the kitchen cup­boards are full of Alessi prod­ucts and Her­mès din­ner­ware.

“With­out sound­ing too pre­ten­tious or el­e­vat­ing de­sign ex­ces­sively, I be­lieve good sur­round­ings can make a dif­fer­ence to one’s well­be­ing. Beauty es­sen­tially ex­ists, not in the abun­dance of things, but rather in del­i­cacy, rar­ity and pas­sion,” says the de­signer who has re­turned home to New Zealand af­ter 20 years abroad.

Wick­stead will split her time be­tween Auck­land and Italy, where her just-launched home col­lec­tion and knitwear la­bel are pro­duced. Her Herne Bay apart­ment, which also acts has her show­room, fea­tures bed li­nen, cash­mere throws and ta­pered can­dles from her own col­lec­tion.

If there is a clas­sic Euro­pean el­e­gance to the decor of Wick­stead’s home, it’s prob­a­bly down to her DNA. Her mother is Ital­ian, and while Wick­stead was born and raised in Auck­land, she’s spent most of the past two decades in Italy. Prior to re­turn­ing to New Zealand, she spent 18 months in Lon­don, work­ing along­side her daugh­ter, fash­ion de­signer Emilia Wick­stead.

Re­turn­ing to the work­room was a flash­back to the days when she had her own la­bel. “I had been out of the in­dus­try for over five years and at first it felt like I was do­ing it for the first time, but even­tu­ally ev­ery­thing came back to me. Help­ing Emilia build her com­pany from just a dream and a lot of hard work to what it is to­day has been a won­der­ful jour­ney.”

While Wick­stead has her own la­bel again, this time around she has lim­ited it to a knitwear line for both men and women. “Two cloth­ing de­sign­ers in the fam­ily is not such a good idea,” she says. “When I left Emilia Wick­stead I wanted to do some­thing for my­self. I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in and in­volved with knitwear de­sign and pro­duc­tion, both when I had my own la­bel and while work­ing with Emilia. I am ex­posed to some of the best work­rooms and finest yarns in Italy and wanted to in­tro­duce these beau­ti­ful qual­ity pieces to other mar­kets at an af­ford­able price point.”

Wick­stead, who has a coun­try house in Italy, be­lieves good de­sign is to be en­joyed, not just ad­mired. “Use your beau­ti­ful things ev­ery day. I set my ta­ble with beau­ti­ful li­nen ev­ery night, even if it’s just me at home for din­ner.”

Above: Greenslade in her kitchen, where she loves to cook for friends. Right: wooden David Trubridge lights draw the eye in the bright, sunny liv­ing area.

Above: the small ter­race and bal­cony are treated as an ex­ten­sion of the in­door liv­ing area. Left: Fer­gu­son re­laxes in her lounge, which has ex­pan­sive views of Ran­gi­toto and Westhaven Ma­rina.

Above: Wick­stead in her Auck­land home. She is seated on a sofa by Philippe Starck for Dri­ade. A paint­ing by Auck­land artist Han­nah Jensen hangs above the fire­place. Right: the hall ta­ble dis­plays vases of white roses, the de­signer’s favourite...

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