Blenheim designer in awards final - twice
A Blenheim interior designer is the first New Zealander to have two entries make the final cut in the Dulux Colour Awards.
Alex Fulton, of Alex Fulton Design, said she entered her two entries at the last minute. They are her own home, a 1903 villa on Murphys Rd, and a reworked office space for Astrolabe Wines at Vines Village.
Her house entry is in the single residential interior category with 11 other finalists and her Astrolabe wine entry is in the commercial interior category with 19 other finalists.
Mrs Fulton said no one from New Zealand had won the top award before. "That's always the challenge. I'm hoping for a New Zealand win and I've doubled my chances by having two [entries] in the finals."
To be noticed for her work was an achievement in itself, she said. "It's good to be able get some recognition for the work you do . . . for someone who works on their own and is predominantly self-taught."
Mrs Fulton had no idea her entries would be chosen for the finals. "It was a bit of a surprise, actually, but I think both of them are really different but they are equally showcasing what I like to do, use colour in spaces.
"For me, I'm quite known for using bright, bright colours. They surround me. I find it's quite empowering. I just love it. I couldn't have a world without colour."
She and her family moved to Blenheim about 18 months ago.
She has been an interior designer for 10 years, though that wasn't always the plan, she said.
First she completed a nursing degree in Rotorua then a science degree at Otago, she said. "Really, that was not for me . . . [so] I decided one day that if someone asked me what my job was I would say 'I'm an interior designer'."
She would attend the awards with her "fingers crossed". "It all depends on what the judges are looking for . . . mine could stand out because it's a little house in the middle of Blenheim."
She could not do her work without her painters, Dave Pitman and Dave Rees, though, she said.
"I can't get paint on walls without my contractors. They have to paint walls baby pink and there is some eye-rolling but they love it in the end."
Mrs Fulton planned to hold mini-master classes on interior design this year. She planned to travel throughout New Zealand, starting in May this year, she said. "There is so much you can do in your home that doesn't have to cost a lot of money . . . anyone can do it."
She hoped to open her store at the Vines Village at the end of the month and will announce the official opening on her new website alexfultondesign.co.nz.
There are four other New Zealand finalists in the awards, which will be held in Melbourne on March 27.
The Marlborough Express