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Inside the colourful home of fashion maven Jacquie Hudson

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When fashion maven Jacquie Hudson and interiors expert Daniella Norling get together, explosions of colour are not far behind

“I’ve never felt this way before about a house,” says Jacquie Hudson of the home in Herne Bay, Auckland, that she shares with her husband, a lawyer, and their two-and-a-half year old son, Archie. “I walked in and immediately felt like I could see Archie growing up here. It’s the only emotional buy we’ve ever made.”

Jacquie is no stranger to renovations. This is the tenth house she and her husband have done up. But they have no plans to flip this gem.

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The front of the house is a circa-1900 villa that they’ve beautifully restored. It contains the master bedroom, a guest bedroom and Archie’s room. Then, from the top of the stairs, it seamlessly morphs into a concrete slab with a distinct 1960s vibe in the open-plan lounge, dining area, kitchen and TV lounge.

It’s a marriage of styles that’s so successful, Godward Guthrie Architecture recently won the NZ Architecture Award 2016 for Housing Alterations and Additions for the work.

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Jacquie gave her career a similarly creative makeover when she left the world of TV producing and presenting (you may recognise her from the now-defunct Good Morning on TV One) and re-emerged as a fashion entrepreneur.

A trip to a family wedding in Europe led her to the Greek label Ioanna Kourbela (Ioanna recently won an emerging designer award at Pure London). Appreciating the designer’s chic, flowing separates, Jacquie launched her business The Room Downstairs and began importing the label to New Zealand.

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She also supplies boutiques such as Designer Clothing Gallery in Greytown, Two Boutique in Matakana, Salsa in Havelock North and Eclectic Boutique in Waiheke.

She retails Ioanna Kourbela alongside other high-end, ethically made international and local labels from her eponymous Auckland boutique, Hudson, as well as her website shophudson.co.nz. “I want to inspire women to invest in clothing like their grandmothers did and buy quality not quantity,” says Jacquie.

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It’s a sensibility she shares with her close friend and creative soul mate Daniella Norling, the design director of Trove Interior Design in Ponsonby, Auckland, who collaborated with Jacquie on the interiors in her home.

“I believe in classic longevity too,” says Daniella. “I don’t do cookie-cutter.”

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Jacquie met Daniella 10 years ago when she consulted her about having a few pieces of furniture custom-designed for a previous home. Then, when Jacquie’s parents moved to Auckland from Tokoroa, Daniella helped them to blend some of the pieces that were really important to them from their previous home into their new city pad.

“But it was more than that,” says Jacquie. “Daniella really helped them to adjust which was quite a big thing for them.”

Meanwhile, Jacquie and Daniella’s relationship has evolved into a wonderful meeting of creative minds. “We love how fashion and interiors are so close,” says Jacquie. “And we often take colour inspiration from what’s in store at Hudson and bring it into Jacquie’s home, like the mustard and ink that we’ve used on the scatter cushions in the TV lounge,” adds Daniella.

In fact, when it comes to colour Jacquie describes Daniella as “a bit of a psychologist”. And, according to Daniella, just as what we wear affects how we feel, colour is hugely important in a home. “The fabulous thing about working with Jacquie is that she adores colour,” says Daniella.

Of course, the pair had a little convincing to do where Jacquie’s husband is concerned. While Jacquie describes him as the male version of her and a lover of design and art, she admits he tends toward the more masculine hues of grey and taupe.

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“If it was up to Dani and I, this house would be a lot more wild,” says Jacquie with a chuckle. “As it is, he calls our bedroom the lolly shop.” In the corner of the bedroom, a pair of previously taupe armchairs that Jacquie found years ago at an op-shop have been reupholstered in a hue that Daniella calls “swimming pool” and piped in emerald green.

Bright yellow cushions and an equally sunny throw echo the vintage shaved over-dyed Persian rug. There’s a lipstick-pink custom headboard covered in a subtle patterned fabric from Romo and a bright pink velvet bench at the end of the bed.

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“When it comes to husbands, you just have to woo them,” says Daniella with a smile. Meanwhile, Archie’s room is an equal explosion of colour. “We like things to be bold and exuberant and exciting,” says Daniella. “He’s surprisingly well-adjusted considering…” laughs Jacquie.

Jacquie and Daniella consider the house a work in progress. “I think we’ll always still be doing it because that’s how we roll,” says Jacquie. Daniella adds: “Because we’re creatives, we do something and then probably a lot sooner than most people would want to change it, we do. I’m like that in my own home too.”

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They’re both extremely patient, however, when it comes to waiting to find the perfect piece to finish a room. A paper lantern was the placeholder in the master bedroom for months until Daniella recently found the muslin light by Danny Fang for Hive, which is designed to resemble the skirt of a dancer in mid-air.

The creative pair’s collaborating has proven so satisfying that they investigating a range of fair-trade products that they’ll make with women in Vietnam, a country Daniella has been drawn to for the past 17 years. “Jacquie and I both recognise that we’ve had a lot of opportunities,” says Daniella.

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“We want to use our skills for hand-up initiatives for women in Vietnam so they can ultimately run their own businesses.” A portion of the profit from sales will go back into areas in Vietnam where the pair feels they can be used most effectively.

“It’s our longer-term project,” says Jacquie. “But if we can affect change in even one person’s life, that will be amazing.”

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Words: Nadine Rubin Nathan
Photography: Helen Bankers

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