Three things I love: Suzannah Tonascia

MAJKA KAISER
Last updated 07:44 17/05/2017
JOSEPH JOHNSON/FAIRFAXNZ

Suzannah Tonascia would much rather 'have a great couch than a great car'.

JOSEPH JOHNSON/FAIRFAXNZ
Tonascia says this artwork makes her smile every time she sees it.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/FAIRFAXNZ
This Frida Kahlo chair was made by American artist Sheryl Schoenfeld.

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With a passion for people and great design, Suzannah Tonascia finds something particularly compelling about functional objects that are both well designed and have beauty - especially for the home.

"I really would much prefer to have a great couch than a great car," says the interior designer extraordinaire and textile emporium owner.

Prizing quality of design above society's disposable culture, Tonascia gravitates towards pieces for her home that are well made and last the test of time, in terms of design, materials and style.

Unconcerned with what others think, she values design integrity more than keeping abreast with the latest fast-fad trends, and is drawn by pieces that pull on her heart strings.

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Here are the three design items that Tonascia holds near and dear.

1. PIPE TERRA LAMP BY HERZOG AND DE NEURON FOR ARTEMIDE



Bought for her first home in Zurich, Tonascia says the lamp has plenty of sentimental value. PHOTO: Joseph Johnson

"I confess that due to my lighting fetish it was difficult to choose just one lamp from many, but this industrial-inspired floor lamp trumps all others owing to its functionality, aesthetic and strong emotional connection. 

"Bought for our first home in Zurich, where our three children were born, coupled with the fact that is was one of the few special items that came through the earthquakes unscathed, it holds precious sentimental value for me."

2. PORTRAIT BY PORT LEVY ARTIST JACQUI CHAMBERLAIN-GIBBS

"This portrait of my mother, Wendel who died when I was 24, has a particular resonance and emotional connection for me on many levels.

"Painted by my super talented cousin as a house warming gift to me when we moved back into our post-quake rebuild, this piece gives me more pleasure than Jacqui could ever imagine.

"It hangs in our stairwell and is the first thing I see when I come out of my room every morning and always makes me smile."

3. CHAIR DECOUPAGED IN FRIDA KAHLO FABRIC

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"When I opened Bolt of Cloth in 2009, this Frida Kahlo print was one of the fabrics we had in stock right from day one. Although I had initially thought no-one else would like it and I would own this fabric forever, it has quickly become a best-seller even eight years on.

"The chair was made for me by the late American artist Sheryl Schoenfeld, who I first met when she was in store shopping for fabric and has since become a friend. Sheryl, who filled a room with her energy, was a hugely talented decoupage artist whose work we sold in store.

"I love how this amazing lady has taken a basic op-shop chair and created something special through her own creativity, which also demonstrates her meticulous attention to detail - if you look closely, the piecing of the pattern is perfect. This chair also evokes memories of our early days at Bolt of Cloth and is a reminder to keep taking risks and be true to myself."

Shop for your home
Frida's Garden in Black Cushion
Frida's Garden in Black Cushion
$79

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