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Inside the Hill Park home of statement maker Evie Kemp

Designer and illustrator Evie Kemp fearlessly blends pattern, colour and texture in her work, so it comes as no surprise that her South Auckland home is full of her bold personality

Meet and greet

Sam Holford, doctor, and Evie Kemp, designer and illustrator, plus dogs Pebbles and Biggie and Eddie the cat.

A modern heritage

Designed and built in the early 1980s by architectural designer Dave Sharples and his wife, Judy, this home was the perfect canvas for Evie’s intrinsic ability to add colour, pattern and a healthy dose of wow factor. Dave and Judy’s original intention was to occupy the home themselves, but an offer was made before the building was completed and they moved on.

In a twist of fate, the couple re-purchased the home decades later, renovating the interior to fit their original design within a contemporary context. Dave’s distinctive style can be seen around the tree-lined neighbourhood where he has built a number of homes over the years.

Honesty box

Best lessons learned?
Evie: Get outside your comfort zone! It turned out that our ties to the North Shore were nothing more than it being a place that we already knew. There are so many beautiful places to live all over the country and, so long as you can get to work, anywhere is an option. We’re loving discovering all the great things South Auckland has to offer and often think about how close we came to not even checking it out.

What would you never do again?
Move house ourselves. Sam insisted that we could hire a truck and do it ourselves but I really don’t think it was worth the money we saved!

Any DIY disasters?
Touch wood, none so far but we haven’t really done much yet.

Is there one thing you would change about your home if you could?
I’d love a pool! More realistically, it would be replacing the old ranch sliders with full sliding doors to open up the house even more.

Most memorable experience you have had in your home?
We had a big Christmas fondue dinner party shortly after we moved in; it was super retro and felt like such an appropriate house warming. And on Guy Fawke’s Night we went out on the flat roof with blankets and hot chocolate to watch fireworks all around South Auckland – so fun.

Words by: Tina Stephen. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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