STYLE FILES –
Simply You takes a look inside three unique homes and talks to their creative owners.
three creative women share their stylish homes
STYLE FILE 1 | DINAH MALYON
If you’ve recently admired the chic homestaging in a house that’s up for sale, then chances are it’s been styled by Dinah Malyon or one of her team. The powerhouse behind Auckland-based dmi Homestagers has been creating glamorous interiors to suit a broad range of clients for more than 18 years – long before homestaging became de rigueur. Naturally then, Malyon’s own sense of style is well-honed and her Newmarket house, which she shares with partner Stewart Watson, is the perfect mix of elegance and comfort. However, it is not without personality. “Using components that work together to create a story is the key to successful interiors,” she says.
Her business, which also includes interior design and project management, is hugely successful, due in part to Malyon’s ability to understand what her clients need and customise the offering accordingly, and to her fabulous collection of furniture, furnishings and accessories amassed over more than 20 years and stored in her large Parnell warehouse.
With a home on Waiheke Island, Malyon needed an urban base and she liked the location, character and view of this three-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse. “I renovated the whole house – lighting, bathrooms, kitchen, flooring and the outdoors,” she says. Getting the lighting right in any space is tricky and her choices, which vary in style and size from room to room, are carefully curated and add a contemporary edge. Pendants are a favourite and she has hung them at different heights and, as with the three in one of the bathrooms, in groups for added interest.
By sticking to a neutral base and adding pops of colour through artworks, fabrics and furniture, along with a mix of textures including marble and sisal, she has created a bolthole that “makes us happy to come home to”.
STYLE FILE 2 | SARAH KAVALI
Sarah Kavali is inspired on a daily basis by her work as a creative director, which means her home is in a constant state of style evolution. “I’m always shifting furniture around and moving objects – much to my husband Daniel’s delight!” she laughs. “I’m always recomposing rooms and spaces in my quest for visual harmony.”
Home for the couple is the iconic Mayfair building in Parnell, Auckland. Completed in 1929, it acts as a platform for Kavali to flex her creative ideas. “It has such character and flair,” she says of the two-bedroom apartment. “The high stud, curved ceilings, sash windows and timber architraves give it atmosphere. I love being able to mix heritage and history with modern decor.
“I’m attracted to items with a strong sense of personality and I like pairing these pieces in a way that’s a little bit offbeat. At the same time, I’m drawn to subtle symmetries and strong grounding pieces of furniture that provide the perfect playground for the little pieces that add the pops of ‘wow’.”
Kavali dares to be different by using spirited hues for eye-popping impact. “I’m not afraid to try something new for a few days, then rearrange it if it’s not working. Sometimes I really enjoy seeing a bit of a clash of colour and texture; something a little bit unexpected, but equally interesting and engaging.”
Creating a look that reflects her style both personally and professionally is important to her, as the apartment does double duty as her workspace and home. “I love working from here. I shift from the studio to the lounge, whether it’s the couch or the dining table, or perhaps pore over work laid out on the floor. I’m lucky enough to be in my dream job, where work doesn’t feel like work. It’s a lifestyle.”
STYLE FILE 3 | NATALIE PARKE
It’s a bit of a weird house, as we don’t have openplan living. We wanted a whole bunch of little spaces that we could use for different things, so we deliberately made them smaller to have more of them,” says Natalie Parke of the Auckland home she and her husband Gerry built. “I’m not a fan of open-plan living.” Designed by architect Dominic Glamuzina and built two years ago, the nine-roomed Westmere house is also home for their five-year-old daughter Cassie, two-year-old son Oren, cat Basil and dog Benny. The interiors are testament to Parke’s personal style, which is behind the success of her design consultancy Dessein Parke, set up last year.
“My style is eclectic. It doesn’t all have to come from the same place. It’s all about balance,” she explains. “I believe in buying one or two investment pieces that you then design everything else around. It’s also about not being afraid to throw in random things that might clash.”
Heirloom pieces, items bought on Trade Me and then revamped and lots of artworks add to the individuality Parke is seeking. She encourages people to display china and knick-knacks rather than keeping them hidden in cupboards. The glass-fronted cabinet in the kitchen/dining area, bought from Vitrine in Auckland, provides the perfect showcase for her collections, many inherited from her grandmother. “My grandparents were avid collectors and I’ve inherited that. People don’t display things any more which is a shame.”
Under the Dessein Parke brand, she is currently working on an apartment complex near her home and a beach house. She is also designing a line of furniture,+++ including mirrors, chairs, stools and tables made from recycled plastic panels, steel and lucite. “I’m obsessed with innovative, new material,” she says. Due out next year, the range will definitely
With doors opening from the kitchen and living areas to the outside, Malyon’s Newmarket townhouse is well-suited to entertaining. She bought the outdoor furniture from a company that has since closed. Right: The velvet armchairs are from Italy, the cushions are Andrew Martin and the zebra rug is from South Africa.
Above left: Creating a look that reflects her style both personally and professionally is important to Kavali, as the apartment’s second bedroom is her studio. The desk, her own design, features custom-made trestle legs topped with glass. The lamps are from Bunnings. ‘Reality Bank in the Form of a Pig’, by Harry Allen for Areaware, adds a flash of metallic to the room.
Above right: The entrance lobby is one of Kavali’s favourite rooms. “It’s very small but I love the colour combinations: black and white floor tiles, blue and white walls, cream floor-toceiling cupboards and a wooden and glass-paneled door leading to the living area.” Left: A solid foundation is key, says Kavali, because all the other facets change. “New pieces are always taking front and centre.”
Above: The patterned wallpaper in the master bedroom is by Thibaut from Icon Textiles. “It works really well on just one wall as there is art on the other walls. It’s all about creating a balance,” Parke says. The lights are from Mr. Ralph and the linen bed linen from Alex & Corban. She had builders make the library ladder which leads to a mezzanine space above the bed. Above right: The portrait of actor and friend Karl Burnett was done by Parke’s husband Gerry and the other painting is by Jae Hoon Lee. The sideboard was her grandmother’s and she bought the chair off Trade Me.