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Boutique designer at home with varied styles

Tom O'Leary Nov 11
Boutique designer at home with varied styles
D for Design: “Accessorising is what makes a house a home and gives it its mood and ambience.”

Sandra Aiken of boutique interior design and styling company D for Design has a thorough understanding of very different design styles, backed up by her upbringing in Europe, worldly travels, a bachelor’s degree in design, and an extensive network of exclusive materials and product suppliers.

Her work has been appreciated by clients with interior projects throughout New Zealand and has this year won her a Best of Houzz 2019 service award.

Sandra has worked in the industry for more than 15 years and started D for Design after having a wonderful time as a visual merchandiser for exclusive Wellington homeware store Corso De’ Fiori, where she helped to inspire customers through beautiful displays with the wonderful products she had on hand.

She successfully developed a specialist interior design consultation service during her time at Corso De’ Fiori and as the store’s in-house stylist and interior designer, she styled many clients’ homes and completed several large projects.

“To be able to do these large projects, I started building up relationships with other suppliers,” she says.“By the time I started D for Design, I already had a lot of contacts and two new fantastic projects.”

The projects have got larger and larger ever since, and while D for Design has completed some commercial jobs, Sandy has a definite love for residential homes.“I love working on all types of different styles,” she says.

“Whatever my client’s style, it’s my job to stay within that. It is about understanding what style the client wants to achieve, their budget, and then creating a cohesive unique look throughout the house.”

Recent styles Sandra has brought to her clients’ homes include a luxurious lodge style for a large home in the Wairarapa, and a rustic coastal style for a property on the Kapiti Coast, a resort lodge style for a villa in Auckland, and a Hollywood glam style for a farmhouse in the Wairarapa, and an urban modern style for an apartment in Wellington.

One of the projects she is currently working on is a slightly industrial Wellington apartment which she is transforming into a luxury Ralph Lauren style penthouse featuring blues, blacks, and whites. “The style of a house doesn’t have to determine the style within,” she says.

Sandra says there is often a pref erred colour scheme that comes through with the use of accessories and artworks. “Accessorising is what makes a house a home and gives it its mood and ambience.”

She will work around existing pieces of furniture or art, but also knows you will never achieve a Hampton style interior around a 1970s sofa.

Sandra is starting to use more and more New Zealand art works in her projects, and even her husband is a talented artist who sometimes provides pieces for her clients’ homes. She likes the use of plants to bring the outdoors in and says they provide the same visual interest as a sculpture would.

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