Word of mouth is one of the greatest assets an interior designer can have. And when it comes to Di Henshall’s clients, they tend to rave.
“These clients came to us through a referral from a previous client,” says Di. The brief was clear: “Make this house come alive – give it vibrancy and make sure it is the best house in New Zealand.” No small task. Although when you have an audacious design team working with an equally daring client, the results are bound to be spectacular.
“Luckily our clients were not afraid of colour. They have bright, sparkly personalities,” Di says. “I wanted the interiors to reflect their style in the furnishings, fittings, and lighting.”
Almost all the furniture is bespoke, either made in Di Henshall Interior Design’s own factory or produced by one of their dedicated craftsmen, such as the sofas and the 4.2m-long oak-top dining table, which features a porcelain insert running down the middle to act as an in-built trivet.
The most challenging part of the job was, in true NZ-style, the home’s steep, sloped site – for spectacular blocks like these do not come without their hurdles! “Installation was enormously difficult,” explains Di of the lengthy process. “The road is steeply sloped, and we had ice on the ground the day that several tonnes of furniture arrived. It all had to be craned in as there was no way it could be transported up the glass stairwells. At one point the delivery trucks were stranded at the bottom of the hill and we ‘skated’ down the hill, with several lovely labourers in tow, to help us carry everything up to the house!”
Thoughtful and bespoke design features continue to surprise in the lower levels of the house. “I absolutely love the cellar that we designed,” says designer, Di Henshall when asked about her favourite feature of the project. “Our clients are wine connoisseurs and their vast collection needed to take pride of place in the entertaining space, so I am delighted with how beautifully it turned out.”