Eucalyptus Design

Here’s the first of what we hope will become a regular feature. Given that we’re stuck in a factory most of the time, we wanted to explore the world of New Zealand interiors with those on the front line. Recently we sat down with Kelly Gammie of Eucalyptus Design to find out what’s on her mind.

What do you love about your job?

While it’s a bit of a cliché, creativity is definitely the aspect I love most. I enjoy challenging myself to make new combinations of colours, textures and patterns that work for a client or a space. I like the rush of those moments when I scare myself thinking, “Oh God I hope it’s all going to work”, and then it does.

How would you describe your design methodology?

Take the project seriously but not yourself. Understand what the client truly needs and don’t bulldoze them with your own taste. Instead guide them to reach a level of design that they would never reach on their own.

Designers and artists with integrity inspire me. Those who strive to be original and honest without paying heed to trends. Nature also inspires me as it’s an endless reference for colour and texture combinations as well as being just plain energising

Tell us about a recent project you’re proud of.

I recently had the opportunity to work on a new build project on the beach at Mt Manganui. I’ve worked with these clients before so our relationship is one of trust and expectation. They expect me to push them out of their comfort zone while knowing what they will love.

All aspects of the design had to complement the beauty of this beach location. Spatial use, materials and colours all needed to reflect the subtle and dramatic aspects of the sand dunes, the sea and the sky. Being a beach house also meant it would be a multi generational home with grandchildren and friends visiting frequently.

The most fun I had on this project was introducing my clients to Kovacs’ QBE sofa, with a bright contrasting colour palette.

This sleek modular sofa was perfect for the space as it could be configured for my clients to curl up just the two of them to watch a film and fall asleep or pulled apart for separate seating for guests or even configured into a hut shape for the grandkids.

What are the three most important things when designing a space?

Its use; who will be using the space and how?
The relationship of the space to the surroundings; does it need to complement or contrast, dominate or blend with the space that surrounds it?
What will make that space sing: will it be the use of a specific colour, texture or layout that will make users love it?

What’s your favourite Kovacs piece?

Currently it’s the QBE Sofa. It’s the simplicity yet complexity that I find so appealing. Being able to re-arrange the individual pieces into various formations to suit an individual space or mood or function is a lot of fun. The ability to infuse separate blocks of colour as I did with my Mt Manganui project to add extra individuality is a great feature for a designer.

What’s the last piece of design you saw that really impressed you?

The new range of Kirkby Fabrics and wallpapers; a collaboration with Japanese Designer Eley Kishimoto. I see them as a bold tactile combination of eastern and western patterns. I want cover every surface with those strong geometrical statements.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

A long hot shower