A bohemian at heart, it’s no wonder Karina Macleod’s home is filled with wonderful finds from her adventures around the world
Karina Macleod’s Mt Eden villa is brimming with eclectic treasures
It’s not uncommon for former Treehouse furniture designer Karina MacLeod to return from holiday with her suitcases stuffed to bursting with an assortment of weird and wonderful treasures. From a Paris flea market to a roadside cart in South Africa to antiques sold from a barn in Waipu, her eclectic Mt Eden home is layered with artful homewares she has collected on her travels.
“I’ve dragged home chandeliers, rugs, a stuffed owl or two,” she laughs. Luckily, her husband Iain is also an avid collector. His work as an immigration consultant has led to the couple travelling the globe, picking out new pieces for their home wherever they go.
Her latest acquisition, an island bench found in Cape Town but originating from Hungary, was too enormous for any size luggage so came by ship. This gave MacLeod time to reconfigure the kitchen.
“I had to make a snap decision right there in the shop. The island was covered in other furniture and knick-knacks but I had to have it. As soon as I got home I called the builder and we set to work moving walls and preparing the space for its arrival. I had to go with my instincts”.
And, after 23 years in her villa, several renovations and her designer’s eye for detail, those instincts have never once let her down. Listening to her intuition just seems to come naturally.
“I knew this was our home as soon as I saw it,” says MacLeod. “It was virtually decrepit when we bought it, but we did it up, bit by bit, raised our two sons Jack and Tom here, and ended up with a family home we can’t ever imagine leaving.”
A bohemian at heart, MacLeod now makes custom pieces to order and is always designing for herself, be it cushions from tapestry found in Europe or a pouffe from scraps of scuffed tan leather.
“I like to see all my favourite things around me. Every now and then I’ll have a big tidy-up but eventually all the precious things come back,” she explains. “I like things that aren’t perfect. In fact, the house just keeps getting better with age as everything becomes distressed and worn. To me, it’s all about character.”
Words by: Vanessa Marshall. Photography by: Rebekah Robinson.