New Zealand shoe designer Kathryn Wilson takes us on a tour through her impressive closet and reveals the special story behind her beautiful Herne Bay home
Meet and greet
Shoe designer Kathryn Wilson lives in Herne Bay, Auckland with husband Liam and daughter Lola.
Inside the closet of celebrated New Zealand shoe designer Kathryn Wilson
I live in a beautiful building in Herne Bay that I used to run past all the time when I was 19 or 20, when I flatted in the area. I’d always leave a little lavender stick or a coin on the doorstep, and my friends would be like “You’re such a loser; it’s not your house. Someone else lives there!” but I used to say “One day I will”.
When I found out it was for sale I put my apartment on the market and it sold after one open home. I put in my best offer for this house and it was accepted. I’ve lived here for six, seven years now.
I always loved the building; it’s a really beautiful, French architecture, art deco style with arched windows. My favourite room is our bedroom upstairs. It’s super-light and bright, and it’s quite a big room with nice high ceilings. The sun pours through in the winter, and in the summer we have all the windows and shutters open so we look out at the sea. It’s quite a sanctuary of calm, in among our crazy busy lives.
I’m a colourful person in the sense of clothing or art or shoes, but surrounding myself with a calm white palette makes me feel like I can relax and regroup and have a clear head. So the bedroom is white-washed floors, white walls and everything’s calm and serene. For my home, I need it to be quite clean lines but quite playful. We’ll have pops of colour with Lola’s painting on the wall of pink and orange so I’m not afraid to have fun with colour.
My shoes are often a lot of colour because if you’re not feeling adventurous enough to wear colour next to your face, you can always have something fun happening down on your feet. And they are art, so I have them displayed in a shoe wall, which for me is the art. I had this shoe wall made. This particular cabinet holds 80 pairs, and I rotate them. Because I have a size 39 foot, a lot of my friends are the same size and we’ll swap out every season as we change it up!