A boutique owner brings her assured sense of style to home and work – a trait, she says, that runs in the family
If you’ve been into Auckland’s upmarket fashion boutique Maman, you’ll already have a fair idea of what co-founder Emma Main’s home looks like. The Remuera bungalow she shares with her husband, William, and their two children, Henry, 6, and Scarlett, 4, is an eclectic mix of timeless French and Scandi styles set against a neutral backdrop – just like her flagship store, which is located in the same suburb.
Opening Maman’s doors in August last year was a bittersweet moment for Emma and her co-founder and sister, Kate Boyden. Although it saw a lifelong dream fulfilled for them both, this should have been a venture shared with their mother, Debra Dixon, who sadly passed away two years ago.
“She was our best friend and soulmate. We did so much together – especially shopping – and we shared a huge love of fashion and style. She was strikingly stylish and etched in us the art of dressing well,” explains Kate. Most of the labels you’ll find at Maman are French, or have that effortlessly chic quality the French are famous for. The name of course, which is French for ‘mum’, is a fitting tribute. Emma and Kate’s families are extremely close, with their eldest children – Henry and George – being the same age and, much
like their mums, kindred spirits.
In 2009, having lived in Sydney for nine years, Emma and “Willy” decided to return to Auckland. At the time, Emma was eight months pregnant with Henry and finding the task of house-hunting pretty exhausting. However, it turned out that their home-owning destiny had already been sealed – and, in fact, written in stone.
When Emma, by her own admission a rather superstitious and spiritual person, saw the names of the then owner’s children – Henry and George – inscribed in the pavement outside, she took it as a sign that this house was indeed ‘the one’.
Emma’s effortless Scandi-esque aesthetic flows freely between work and home, so it’s unsurprising to find all the timber floors in her living spaces painted white. “Bungalows can be typically dark and ours was no exception,” says Emma. “Once we painted the floors the difference was amazing!”
The vast living area is classically decorated in Emma’s signature French/Scandi style with reindeer hides, floor rugs, leather poufs and timber accents bringing texture and warmth to the open-plan space. “I like to mix old with new, contemporary with classic, and play with texture to create layers and warmth,” she says.
In Henry’s room, subtle yellow accents bring a fun, youthful vibe whereas Scarlett’s room, with its antique furniture and hanging paper pom poms, is sweet and feminine. The master bedroom favours soft and restful tones. Here, an antique ladder is used to display Emma’s collection of cashmere scarves, giving a nod to her love of fashion.
Both at home and at work, Emma seamlessly merges fashion with design, homewares with heirlooms. It’s a shame Debra isn’t here to enjoy her daughters’ success and creativity, but it’s clear that her love of fashion and striking style live on in Emma and Kate – and in Maman, too.
Text by: Annick Larkin. Photography by: Helen Bankers.