At my place: Fashion designer Beth Ellery

If fashion designer Beth Ellery could change one thing about her house, she would turn up the heat.
DAVID WHITE/FAIRFAX NZ

If fashion designer Beth Ellery could change one thing about her house, she would turn up the heat.

Kiwi fashion designer Beth Ellery lives and works from what she describes as a sunny rock in Auckland's leafy suburb of Mount Albert.

Being both the Ellery workroom and her family home, the house can sometimes be "chaotic".

On the day we visited however, we glimpsed a sleek brick-on-brick arrangement reminiscent of a New York loft, and the satisfying calm between cleaning and children that Ellery so enjoys.

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Describe your house in two sentences:
We live in a small brick and glass home on a sunny rock.

Describe your style in three words:
Eclectic and chaotic.

Inside the Mt Albert home of fashion designer Beth Ellery.
DAVID WHITE/FAIRFAX NZ

Inside the Mt Albert home of fashion designer Beth Ellery.

Where is your home and who lives there with you?
I live in Mount Albert with my husband Sam and our two children.

First thing you do when you get home each day:
I work from home, so I am always at home, and also always at work. I suppose I should go for a walk when I stop work, so that I can both 'leave' work, and 'arrive' home.

Best new buy:
Two Tim Laing bench seats. I met Tim when he dated my sister and had an office job. They don't see each other anymore, and now Tim is a fantastic furniture designer.

He designs very quiet dignified pieces in beautiful materials that I think are timeless.

Due to single glazing, Ellery does her best to keep the home cosy.
DAVID WHITE/FAIRFAX NZ

Due to single glazing, Ellery does her best to keep the home cosy.

Proudest DIY moment:
I once sanded back a table and stained it. As that's my only DIY moment  it 's also my proudest by default.

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Favourite spot to relax (and what do you do there):
I like to sit and look at the cherry tree that takes up most of the garden. Sam put a platform in the bough of the branches which the kids sometimes hang out on.

Before we moved here I had lived in apartments for a long time so watching the leaves turn and blossoms bloom is a real treat for me.

Owning a Saskia Leeks artwork makes Ellery feel like a grown up.
DAVID WHITE/FAIRFAX NZ

Owning a Saskia Leeks artwork makes Ellery feel like a grown up.

Best kept secret about the area you live in: 
The Saturday morning markets at Sprout are good. It's probably not a secret though. And on Friday evenings there are food trucks under the same awning.

Best money I ever spent on the house:
I never spend money on the house.

Favourite way of entertaining:
My workroom is at  home, and so are my kids, so my favourite thing is meeting people out for dinner. No cooking, no dishes and the chance to spend time in a different space.

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Garden Of Enid I
Garden Of Enid I
$49

But that isn't practical very often, and I still enjoy having friends at the house, or going to theirs.

Best kitchen tool and why:
We moved out of town briefly, and we weren't near any place to buy coffee so we bought a Rancilio machine. It's the kitchen tool that I use the most. 

I can't live without:
There's nothing I can't live without.

Favourite piece of furniture:
Our Tim Laing bench seats are my real favourites, but there is another piece that we use everyday and has sentimental value.

The dining table that could tell a thousand tales.
DAVID WHITE/FAIRFAX NZ

The dining table that could tell a thousand tales.

I once had a flat that was partially furnished, when the landlord sold it we bought the chattels from him for $400, which included a wooden table. 

That was in 2002, and it has been my dinner table ever since.

I wouldn't choose it in a shop, but it's been with me so long I guess it will always be our dinner table now.

This bench seat by Tim Laing is one of Ellery's favourite furniture pieces.
DAVID WHITE/FAIRFAX NZ

This bench seat by Tim Laing is one of Ellery's favourite furniture pieces.

It has been at every dinner party I've ever thrown, it has heard some things!

Favourite artwork or family treasure and why you love it:
We just got a Saskia Leek painting from Ivan Antony Gallery.  I loved her paintings all through my 20s and 30s, and it makes me feel like a real grown up to have one on my own wall.

Favourite household appliance:
Who has a favourite household appliance?

One thing I'd like to change around my house:
Our home has a lot of single glazing and no underfloor heating. In a perfect world I would double glaze and insulate, and I would like to own it rather than rent it.

One of Ellery's children looks angelically poised to make some mess in their very clean house.
DAVID WHITE/FAIRFAX NZ

One of Ellery's children looks angelically poised to make some mess in their very clean house.

What's your signature dish?
Hah, I certainly don't have one. Sam is a very good cook so for the most part I cook for the kids, and he cooks for the adults.

But if Sam is out of town I make roast chicken from a recipe in 'The Family Meal'.

The recipes have pictures which is helpful for someone like me who is not a great cook.

Shop for your home
Coromandel chair
Coromandel chair
$449

What's your quickest dinner idea?
Boiled pasta with carrots and broccoli, this is what my kids eat every night.

How do you feel about unannounced guests:
Fine.

Shoes on or off in your house?
On, the floors are cold.

Favourite/least favourite household chore:
I don't really enjoy any household chores, but I do like the brief moment between the house being clean, and the children messing it up again.

What's one domestic/housework/gardening trick you've learnt over the years?:
Don't dry clothes inside.

Favourite flowers:
Freesias, they smell sweet and they don't look flashy. Our garden is full of freesia bulbs, which was a nice surprise the first year we lived here.

In a work-live scenario it's not surprise that Ellery's favourite kitchen tool is her coffee machine.
DAVID WHITE/FAIRFAX NZ

In a work-live scenario it's not surprise that Ellery's favourite kitchen tool is her coffee machine.

Have you got a fantastic or interesting house you'd like to show others? Let us know about it. Send your story, photos or video homed@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

Shop for your home
Stoneware teacup
Stoneware teacup
$15

 - Homed

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