At My Place: Inside actress Amanda Billing's Mt Eden apartment

Actress Amanda Billing talks about living in her central Auckland apartment.
SOUTH PACIFIC PICTURES

Actress Amanda Billing talks about living in her central Auckland apartment.

Actress Amanda Billing shocked Shortland Street fans when she exited the show almost two years ago.

Since her departure, Billing's been treading the boards in several theatre productions, however, she's set to return to the small screen guest starring in the Brokenwood Mysteries screening on Prime, Sunday at 8.30pm.

Billing talks to us about living with her cat Gracey in her central Auckland apartment where she describes her interior style as "sentimental, cluttered and dusty". Her quickest meal idea is a tin of tuna and an unpeeled carrot.

To relax, Amanda, 40, loves nothing more than tearing down her local flying fox after hiking to the top of Mt Eden. 

Describe your house in two sentences:

My house is tiny. It faces west which is great in winter but summer is punishing.

Amanda's cat Gracey relaxes on the Simon James sofa.
AMANDA BILLING

Amanda's cat Gracey relaxes on the Simon James sofa.

Describe your style in three words:

Sentimental. Cluttered. Dusty.

Where is your home and who lives there with you:

Amanda's much-loved Scandi-style chest of drawers.
AMANDA BILLING

Amanda's much-loved Scandi-style chest of drawers.

Newton. I live by myself.

First thing you do when you get home each day:

Dump my bags, turn on the salt lamp in the lounge, and then swear at the terrible internet connection due to living in a concrete building.

The china donkey vase that Amanda's mother was given as a child.
AMANDA BILLING

The china donkey vase that Amanda's mother was given as a child.

Proudest DIY moment:

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I cleaned three years' worth of grit off the venetian blinds on Sunday. Pretty stoked with myself because that is one tedious and painstaking job.

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A rug made by Amanda's late grandmother.
AMANDA BILLING

A rug made by Amanda's late grandmother.

Favourite spot to relax:

My bed. I couldn't bring my beautiful Design Mobel rimu frame to my apartment (when I live in a bigger house one day that baby is coming home!) so I bought a new one with storage in the base: a brilliant idea in a teeny apartment. The bed is like a cloud and in summer my bedroom is dark and cool; I love napping there in the afternoon.

Best kept secret about the area you live in: 

Amanda enjoys hiking to the summit of Mt Eden.
AMANDA BILLING

Amanda enjoys hiking to the summit of Mt Eden.

The playground at the base of Mt Eden. The new flying fox isn't quite as good as the old one (which was steeper) but grown-ups can use it and it's still pretty fun. I go on it every time I climb the hill.

Best money I ever spent on the house:

Buying a Simon James Design couch that seats about five people and doubles as a daybed/bed for a visitor.

The new Mt Eden playground, equipped with a flying fox. Amanda likes to ride the flying fox after hiking to the ...
AMANDA BILLING

The new Mt Eden playground, equipped with a flying fox. Amanda likes to ride the flying fox after hiking to the mountain's summit.

Favourite way of entertaining:

Going to other people's houses. My wee place is pretty fun to begin the night in because it's like a bedroom and has a sweet deck to watch the sun go down but you can barely swing a cat, seriously. Better to go out.

Best kitchen tool:

My Vitamix. More horsepower than my dad's wood-chipper. Margaritas and smoothies don't stand a chance.

I can't live without:

My couch for lounging, reading books, cursing the internet and snoozing.

Favourite piece of furniture:

My chest of drawers. It belonged to my nana. I had it restored after she passed away. I love it because of its warm honey-coloured wood, its Skandi-style, and the fact that it's hers.

Favourite artwork or family treasure:

I have a few: the rug that my nana made with her sister, the china donkey vase that my mother was given as a child, the artwork my best friend Matu Ngaropo made for my 30th birthday.

One thing I'd like to change around my house:

Double its size.

What's your quickest dinner idea:

A tin of tuna and an unpeeled carrot eaten standing up in the kitchen.

How do you feel about unannounced guests:

I love them.

Shoes on or off in your house:

Whatever you like, but shoes off is great because then you can curl up on the couch and stay a while.

What's one domestic/housework/gardening trick you've learnt over the years:

Invite guests over because it makes you tidy up.

Favourite flowers:

Freesias. But I prefer them in the garden. I light candles or burn incense to make the place smell lovely.

Favourite colour combination:

Lots of white combined with every colour of the rainbow, plus cane.

 - Stuff

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