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Annah Stretton Media

At home with fashion designer Annah Stretton

20 Apr 2020
At home with fashion designer Annah Stretton

Fashion designer Annah Stretton lives in Tamahere, Hamilton with her daughter Sami, 31.

ANNAH: After my first marriage broke up, I just needed a space that would work. The house I'm in now was a much more considered choice. 

I loved its strong spatial footprint and that it was on an established section. It's had 20 years of huge trees build a fabulous entrance for the bendy driveway, that's something that only comes with time. 

I'm also a fan of the Hinuera Stone it's made of, given that's a local product. 

When I took over four years ago, the decor wasn't to my taste. It was relatively classic. I know what I've done with it now would be less to a lot of peoples' taste, given it's quite extreme. 

I don't look at it and think, "Oh God, am I ever going to be able to sell this?" It's not something that even crosses my mind.

I was looking for a space to showcase art with drama and colour, but also to try stuff. I could create wallpapers that would be really well represented on the high stud. 

The black and white is great to mount art against but also makes a statement on its own. I've used the white version of it in other places.

The one weakness is that it's a huge house on a big piece of land, that's only got two bedrooms. I've got two grown children and I'm thinking grandchildren are incredibly close, so more bedrooms would be nice.

I'm not changing that immediately, but we could bring a pod or tiny home on to the section for when they visit.

The dining room paintings are by Vaughan Clements, a Kiwi artist based in Devonport. I actually met his niece recently when she came to do charity work with me in the women's prison. 

You go through a heady love phase when you meet someone and those paintings were bought when I met Tony, who is now my husband. Vaughan was a guy who fell in and out of love easily, so he depicted a mood that resonated really well with the both of us. 

Sami and I have been putting the summer collection together on the dining table. Normally, we would've been in China but coronavirus halted the trip.

For me, everything in the house – as in life – is always a work in progress. Nothing is ever finished and I'll always continue to try stuff. 

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