Interior expert Celia Faris

With the most exquisite eye for neutral textiles, merchandise manager at James Dunlop Celia Faris shares 60's North Shore home with editor Trudi Brewer


What do you love most about your career?
I have been a visual merchandiser for over 25 years, the chameleon nature of this career keeps me motivated intrigued and satisfied.  I still get a kick of creating an installation, and gaining immediate sales from it. One major attribute is working for a company that supports and trusts your style and judgement while giving you room for experimentation and a touch of risk taking. 

How has your career influenced your style?
Working with interiors means I’m well aware of what is out there, knowing local and international manufacturers and suppliers, but with that comes the plethora of options and indecision! Too much on offer and always something new around the corner. So I have settled on being a 'luxe minimalist'. Quality and texture are important to me. I am not good at colour, so I opt for strong neutrals with gold or copper accents.

How would your friends describe your personal style?
I often hear luxurious, elegant, spirited and fearless.

How would your describe your home?
It’s a late 60’s architecturally designed home on the North Shore in Auckland, so I have kept true to that era in my styling. I love the wooden shiplap walls and ceiling, creating a real 70’s vibe with amber tones. My home has a wonderful light, and a great layout and flow, which leads to easy, carefree living. 

What is hot with colour trends right now?
There’s is so much on offer in colour and texture. Personally, I’m love ink blue; it looks amazing with black, white, gold and yellow and easily gives that nautical summer vibe. And I'm dabbling with dusky pink, from Designs of the Time (A textile house out of Belgium) it's a soft, feminine vibe emerging for 2016.

Texture combining is your skill, share your best tip?
Do what you love. Look at your surroundings, ts easy to clash colour when you have a similar tone in other items in your home such as using a painting as inspiration to combine colours with cushions and accessories.

Where do you look for inspiration when starting a home project?
Décor and architecture magazines. I still love the flicking through the pages of a magazine, and I tear out pages for reference. Pinterest is a great tool for work when designing commercial spaces, such as restaurants and bars.

What makes a great interior?
Scale, balance, texture, comfort and function. There’s are so many elements to consider from lighting to the stitching details on furniture. I love entering a space that leads you in and keeps you intrigued. Nothing beats a formal entry of a home; it sets the tone for what you're about to see.

What do you always have on your bedside table?
A little flashlight, and water, fresh flowers and hand cream.

Where would you send women for home inspiration?
 Simon James especially the concept store for little luxuries but also brilliant New Zealand designed furniture. Belle Interiors in Christchurch, and ECC you can't go past exquisite designer items for quality and inspiration. And for everyday inspiration Indie Home Collective

What would you never compromise on buying?
Fresh flowers - never fake.

What’s the best interior advice you’ve picked up?
Deciding what you won't compromise. There’s always surprise expenses decorating, building or renovating, so allocate your funds wisely and don’t renovate for the market, do it for yourself.

Photography Keryn Sweeney