In­te­rior De­sign to Make You Feel At Home /

A beau­ti­ful in­te­rior is one thing, but how do you en­sure that it re­flects your life­style?

Latitude Magazine - - CONTENTS - WORDS Michelle Berridge



Flick­ing through the pages of a de­sign mag­a­zine, it’s easy to fall in love with an in­te­rior cap­tured on glossy paper. It’s harder to imag­ine trans­lat­ing that look to your own life, where chil­dren, pets, bud­get or lo­ca­tion con­strain the pos­si­bil­i­ties. To de­sign an in­te­rior that truly re­flects your per­son­al­ity and your life­style – in the most beau­ti­ful way pos­si­ble – takes a very tal­ented in­te­rior de­signer.

An­gelique Arm­strong, owner of Christchur­ch-based in­te­rior de­sign firm Arm­strong In­te­ri­ors, is an award­win­ning de­signer with a rep­u­ta­tion that has pro­pelled her busi­ness to the high­est lev­els of suc­cess, help­ing clien­tele around New Zealand. ‘Do you feel good with your in­te­ri­ors?’ she asks. ‘Do they make you feel happy to be home?’

These ques­tions are the start­ing point for dis­cov­er­ing what de­lights you: ‘Do you love your din­ing ta­ble and chairs? Do they make you want to use them and en­ter­tain? They should make din­ners a time to en­joy and slow life down.’ At its most sim­ple, it’s about in­te­rior spa­ces that make you feel good. If there are as­pects that arouse neg­a­tiv­ity, then per­haps it’s time to re­view the de­sign – im­prov­ing the mood of your home is im­por­tant and an ex­pert in­te­rior de­signer can pin­point ex­actly what needs to change. Says An­gelique, en­sur­ing that your liv­ing spa­ces are the right fit be­gins with the de­signer tak­ing the time to get to know you, ‘be­ing able to lis­ten and to read you’, but also in­tro­duc­ing you to el­e­ments you ‘may never have con­sid­ered’.

The Arm­strong In­te­ri­ors showroom pro­vides a per­fect set­ting for ex­plor­ing the op­tions. Orig­i­nat­ing in An­gelique’s mas­ter bed­room back in 2013, grad­u­at­ing to the lounge and then a stu­dio be­side the garage, the busi­ness re­lo­cated to a showroom on Pa­panui Road in Jan­uary 2019. Mak­ing it easy for clients to pop in and visit, the showroom al­lows peo­ple to ‘im­merse them­selves in the won­der­ful world of in­te­ri­ors’. That means ex­plor­ing

fab­rics from all over the world and an ever-chang­ing tableau of fur­ni­ture and home­ware. A meet­ing room in­cludes a large screen for view­ing im­agery of pre­vi­ous projects and what could be achieved in the client’s own home.

‘We can show them the way we work and the jour­ney to ex­pect from start to fin­ish.’ In 2020 Arm­strong In­te­ri­ors will be open­ing a sec­ond showroom, in Auck­land, to give Auck­land-based cus­tomers the same ex­pe­ri­ence.

With in-house CAD De­sign ca­pa­bil­i­ties, Arm­strong In­te­ri­ors goes a step be­yond other in­te­rior de­sign com­pa­nies. Not only do they de­sign schemes and soft fur­nish­ings, they are able to pro­vide full work­ing draw­ings for all trades. Ac­cus­tomed to work­ing closely with ar­chi­tects and builders, their in­put helps to en­sure de­signs are ac­cu­rately trans­lated to the real world – sav­ing time and re­duc­ing stress for clients. In ad­di­tion, An­gelique has es­tab­lished close re­la­tion­ships with a hand-se­lected range of sup­pli­ers and fab­ri­ca­tors for the es­sen­tial ‘build­ing blocks’ of de­sign – fab­rics, wall­pa­per, stone, tiles and tim­ber – and for the fi­nal touches of fur­ni­ture, light­ing, art­work and ac­ces­sories. Work­ing with proven ex­perts en­sures a qual­ity job with no er­rors and min­i­mal wastage, and it is this at­ten­tion to de­tail from start to fin­ish of the process that sets Arm­strong In­te­ri­ors apart.

In fact, an eye for the de­tails is key in the de­sign style that An­gelique is renowned for. As she de­scribes it: ‘I like a de­sign that is not so pre­dictable, en­cour­ag­ing my brain to won­der how and why a par­tic­u­lar look is so fab­u­lous. Lay­er­ing is in­ter­est­ing, see­ing neg­a­tive de­tail com­ing through in de­sign, but also shadow and dead space.’ It is all about honour­ing the small de­tails to cre­ate a visual sym­phony that is end­lessly in­trigu­ing – that, and an ef­fort­less flow from room to room, util­is­ing a colour pal­ette, style of fur­ni­ture, or an el­e­ment that pulls the look to­gether through­out the home.

And, if the ‘look’ that you like in the mag­a­zines re­ally doesn’t match the way that you live, don’t lose heart. Ac­cord­ing to An­gelique, this is ac­tu­ally quite com­mon. ‘Life gets in the way, chil­dren, not enough money, not enough room in our homes.’ The so­lu­tion is to break down the look that you love into its in­di­vid­ual el­e­ments. Says An­gelique, ‘We are very good at jug­gling’, with ideas to help bridge the gap be­tween the look you love and the life you lead!

It is all about honour­ing the small de­tails to cre­ate a visual sym­phony

that is end­lessly in­trigu­ing.

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