Home Tours

An elegant Herne Bay apartment with a subtle yet striking colour palette

Article by Simply You

With a colour palette that at first appears deceptively simple, Stephanie Nielsen’s Auckland apartment is a lesson in refined style


An elegant Herne Bay apartment with a subtle yet striking colour palette

Stephanie Nielsen’s elegant Auckland apartment features a reductive white-on-white décor that, to the untrained eye, appears deceptively simple. Look closely and you’ll discover a carefully considered interplay of rich dark tones that serve as the perfect foil to the backdrop.

“I have an eye for colour but when you work with it every day it certainly becomes a skill,” says Nielsen, who has worked in the beauty business for 28 years as a makeup artist. When she moved to the Herne Bay apartment two years ago, Nielsen sought professional help to blend the pieces from her previous home with some new additions. A friend put her in touch with interior designer Fiona Wilson, from Fibonacci.


“I had an instant rapport with her,” says Nielsen of her first meeting with Wilson. “She listened to my ideas and her attention to detail was second to none. We did not clash at all during the entire process. And by an amazing coincidence, she lives just across the road.”


The catalyst for the developer-built and architect-designed apartment’s colour scheme was a trio of plum-coloured glass pendants above the dining table. From there the pair moved on to selecting fabric for the sofa’s bespoke cushions. “The cushions are a dichotomy of colours. Some muted, some dramatic, but all with underlying tones that draw them together. There’s copper, silver, pale blue and an aubergine that’s so dark it’s almost black, but it’s just a little bit off. That’s Fiona’s flair,“ says Nielsen.


“I love the international feel the apartment has. It’s exactly what I wanted. I think what makes my apartment different is that I haven’t stuck to the rules. I have broken them totally. I’ve mixed leather with metal and different wood tones. It should not work, but it does.”

Words by: Leanne Moore/Cave. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

Create the home of your dreams with Shop Your Home and Garden