With a homeware boutique, linen range and even a caravan bar for hire, interior designer Anna Begg is a woman of many talents
Anna Begg has been on a truly global journey so far. From a farm in Balclutha, via boarding school and tertiary studies in Dunedin, to working in graphic design in Italy and Byron Bay, she’s now settled in Wānaka, running an interior design business and homeware store.
Brimming with interesting textiles and other treasures, The Workroom is stocked with pieces gathered on her travels, and also her own line of linen, Le Lin (all available online, too). Working alongside her staff, she also offers a property-styling service, window treatments and floristry, and has a caravan bar for hire for weddings or events, which she converted with her father.
How did you get into your line of work?
I had always been interested in interior design, fabrics and moving furniture about, from a really young age. I studied interior design in Dunedin, then worked in graphic design and art direction both in Italy and Byron Bay.
When did you launch The Workroom?
I was working for an interior designer in Wānaka, and when her business came up for sale I purchased and rebranded it. The Workroom began trading in 2016.
Do you have many people on your team?
Six, all specialising in different areas from interiors to floristry and home staging. We also have many contractors under The Workroom umbrella.
What is your process when you work with clients?
We normally meet on-site to go over the scope of the project and I’ll get a feel for what they want, then I create a concept. We will then meet in-store to go over the concept and I’ll introduce the client to any fabrics or finishings that I have suggested and we’ll work together to get the finished concept. Once the design is locked in, we will work as a team to execute the design. Everyone plays a different role in this, from processing and ordering to installation.
I sell a lot of French and Indian vintage homeware. I love how it tells a story
How do you source all the items in your boutique?
I love to travel, attend trade shows and generally just poke about, always thinking about what I can sell.
You have a mix of old and new. What do you love about vintage?
I sell a lot of French and Indian vintage homeware. I love how it tells a story. I love the character they can bring to your home.
What does an average day look like for you?
I head to the shop at about 7am to catch up on overnight emails. Then I open the shop and plan any consultations, and what all the girls will be doing for the day. This involves receiving shop stock and client deliveries, client installs, florals, property styling and quoting/processing of jobs.
I’ll normally head out on my first consultation at 10am and sometimes I can be out all day in back-to-back design meetings. I’m often popping in and out of the shop to get things for different clients throughout the day. Every day is completely different, depending on the stage each project is at. I always try to get back to the shop for closing at 5pm and wrap the day up with the team.
I travel, attend trade shows and generally just poke about, always thinking about what I can sell
Tell us about your home.
I live with my partner, Adam, dog Bella and cat Leo right in the centre of Wānaka – it’s about a three-minute drive to work. I’m always changing things in the house, although not by adding lots of new stuff. I love building my home with interesting, timeless pieces, so if I come across these, I’ll get them. We are currently renovating the kitchen, so I’m pretty excited about that.
What’s on the cards this year?
I will be trying to travel more to source unique products, and will also be working on a new linen collection for Le Lin. The year is already filling up with lots of exciting renovation projects and new-builds, too.
Words by: Fiona Ralph Photography by: Emma Coombe.