In pics: NZ's best home design
An Auckland designer has just scooped the supreme honour in New Zealand's first Interior of the Year awards, with judges describing her style as "extraordinary".
Hilary Skinner from Skinner Design offered up the winning space for the 'Living Room' category, but she also took the overall NZ House & Garden Interior of the Year Supreme Award home.
Skinner said the Devonport villa's interior design was a result of mutual trust between herself and the owner, who is both a client and friend.
"She likes to take a quantum step and take on any challenge. It was a wonderful collaboration with the architects and the owners," the interior specialist explained of the Auckland homeowner.
The judges commented that the living room was "special and well thought out - but not so special that you don't feel like curling up on the sofa with a book" - a sentiment Skinner agrees with wholeheartedly.
"I believe you should walk into a house and feel the whole home, not just one space or one beautiful thing, and be comfortable. It's the whole experience."
The judges whittled down 350 entries to just 20 finalists at last night's awards; they then sat down in a dark room to analyse images of each finalist illuminated on the screen before them.
NZ House & Garden editor Sally Duggan is happy to now have this forum for celebrating great design.
"It was fantastic. It's something we've been thinking about for a number of years. There's a whole brand of talent out there that goes unnoticed, and we wanted to recognise that."
"It felt like a huge privilege. It also, I have to say, made us feel very proud of the world-class creativity that lurks in Kiwi homes," Duggan said of the judging process.
THE OTHER WINNERS
Best Kitchen: Jo and Tim Cameron (homeowner) in Waikari, North Canterbury
Best Bathroom or Laundry: Natalie DuBois (designer) in Remuera, Auckland
Best Bedroom: Amber and John Hamilton (homeowners) in Opawa, Christchurch
Best Indoor/Outdoor Space: Philip and Clare Beer (homeowners) in Christchurch
Most Creative Space: Tania Clarke (homeowner) in Lower Hutt
- All photographs Jane Ussher