Where: Auckland, New Zealand.
Residents: Evie Kemp, Sam Holford, Biggie the greyhound, Pebbles the Pomchi (Chihuahua Pomeranian), and Eddie the cat.
Do you know the kind of people with this amazing colorful style that you keep asking yourself ‘how did they come up with the idea to match a purple sweater with leopard pants and manage to pull it off?’
We all know at least one person that was gifted by the connoisseur color fairy (I occasionally hug them, hoping to absorb some fairy dust).
Well, I found one of those colorful people and was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of her house.
Her name is Evie Kemp – an Auckland-based designer and illustrator, and she’s everything but neutral (so you can either like it or bounce away).
When I discovered Evie’s account on Instagram, I was amazed. I felt like I had just entered an interior design candy store.
I love colors so much and I love people who are not afraid to use them, but it wasn’t just that. Evie’s fierce personality is what caught me the most.
By reading her IG posts, I felt like she is true to herself no matter what, even if it’s not easy at times, and she will talk about those times without filtering a thing (plus she has the funniest sense of humor so help me God).
As someone who dropped her career in Law to pursue her entrepreneurial dream, I immediately felt like her number one fan and started to develop a serious obsession with her colorful style and personality.
So, I contacted her and wasn’t surprised to receive a warm hello, and a ‘yes’ to my request of writing an article about her and her candy store.
“Supporting women to do, say and be who they want – whatever form that takes, is becoming so central to everything I do. Often it’s just in how I communicate (or try to), and how I try to express myself without judgment on others, and (as often as I can) without fear of judgment.”
Supporting women to do, say and be who they want – whatever form that takes, is becoming so central to everything I do.
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So many colors and layers and pattern. I keep thinking about how hard it is to mix-and-match and make it look so effortless, but then I realize that for Evie, it might be easier than the average person. Being a textile designer and a stylist come in handy.
However, Evie describes her working process as something that demands a lot of energy, “I put so much heart and soul into my projects whatever they are, and I kind of don’t notice it until I reach the finish line and then I crash”.
The house was built in 1984 and was sold to Evie and her husband Sam Holford (also her high school sweetheart).
Evie is constantly bringing in new things, throwing stuff away (where to???), and shifting things around.
For her, the interior design process is never finished, there’s always room for modification and alterations (look how her bedroom already looks different by now).
We can definitely relate.
Perceiving your interiors as a living thing with an evolving character keeps your home fresh and on the ball (and of course, you keep having fun on a daily basis).
A significant amount of Evie’s items are the vintage pieces found all around the house.
For example, the one-of-a-kind leopard chair located in the sunroom used to belong to her mother and was upholstered by her grandma.
Evie paved the chair’s way to her house and it’s been there ever since, functioning as Biggie’s favorite sun spot.
We already heard about the emotional relations you can have with your vintage pieces. For Evie, this is what makes a house your home.
When choosing art for your home, you should take Evie’s advice on it which she gave when talking about art.
Get whatever it is that you love without fear of judgment. Because, who cares? You’re the person that is going to live there so you better make it your own.
Collecting and displaying art is such an expressive and rewarding thing that doesn’t need to cost the earth.
On a practical note from Evie on how to know when your space is right, she says that when in doubt, she takes a picture of it and looks at it the get the answer.
It’s like ‘zooming out’ from a situation to observe everything more objectively.
Let’s talk failures though. We all have some. And of course we’re not proud of any of them but they are, by all means, part of the process.
For Evie, working as a freelancer and entrepreneur obligates her to laugh about failures and acknowledge her relationship with them:
“I love to remind people that failure is part of the process, that they make way for better things, that they’re never a true “fail” because, at the very least, you learn something about yourself.
I believe these things, sincerely, as they apply to others. But owning my own failures? No thanks, I just hope everyone has been zapped with a memory eraser and no one has any recollection at all of anything I’ve ever failed at.
The truth is I have (like most people I think) tonnnns of fails, zillions of the things. Some are big, complete failed businesses – in fact, I write this by the warmth of a fire lit with one of 100s of branded wooden boxes from a failed venture we’ve been using as kindling for the last few winters”.
I love to remind people that failure is part of the process, that they make way for better things, that they’re never a true “fail” because at the very least you learn something about yourself.
Writing this article on Evie- the person is essential for you to understand the creative notion and mindset of designing such a house.
You have to be bold, courageous and true to yourself, always try new things, laugh and learn from your failures and never let yourself get bored.
YOLO, my friends. YOLO.
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