Natalie Parke, of design consultancy Dessein Parke, says the key to eclectic style is all about balance. We step inside her Westmere home to see her theory in action
The owner of this Westmere home is an expert on eclectic style
“It’s a bit of a weird house, as we don’t have open-plan 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 a 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.”
My style is eclectic ...It’s all about balance
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 anymore 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 be worth looking out for.
Words by: Naomi Larkin. Photography by: Rebekah Robinson.