19 May 2014

Alex Fulton Design Mini Masterclass

One of my favourite television shows started last week. House Rules, for the uninitiated, is a reality show pitting Australian couples against each other to renovate each others homes with the winning couple having their mortgage paid off in full. I love these kinds of programmes, and the part I look forward to most is, of course, the final room reveal.

I have no interior design qualification, but my interest in it goes right back to when I was a little girl making floor plans of my dream house (which was the floor plan of our family home since that was all I knew), what colours I would use in each room and where the furniture would go. I grew up in the country and whenever we travelled into town, we would drive past an old homestead that was well and truly beyond repair. I would tell my mum with absolute conviction that I was going to do it up one day and she would just laugh.

Fast forward a few decades and that lonely house standing in a paddock has probably long been demolished, but I have renovated two other houses with my husband and I absolutely loved the experience. Now we live in a new house that he designed. It is still a bit of a work in progress but that is how it is when our focus has been on expanding and raising our family.

So where am I going with this? Well, as luck would have it, I won a ticket to attend Alex Fulton's Interior Design Mini Masterclass last week. I felt like Charlie with the last golden ticket and thought I would show you a few images from the night.
Alex is a successful interior designer and magazine columnist, who is renowned for her use of bold colour in her own home and in her clients' interiors. She is such an inspirational woman, having launched her career without any formal qualification but largely followed her instinct and her passion. Her unique and identifiable brand, like most success stories, is the result of years of her hard graft and dedication.As you can probably tell from the photo of her below, Alex is no shrinking violet. She is as vivacious and engaging as the clothes she wears and she loves to share her knowledge about interior design with others.I did have to hide a smile when wallpaper feature walls were briefly mentioned by an attendee - I have had a wallpaper feature wall in my house for a few years and (gasp) I still like it. And so do my girls. It's a reminder of my husband's first ever wallpapering effort after I spied a roll with hot pink, purple, grey and white squares in a remnant bin, bought it on the spot and stored it away for when my babies outgrew their nursery decor. Don't judge me. And there's the lesson. A home reflects the people who live within its walls and their tastes, and is not based on a trend or to meet someone else's approval.The class was held at Tea Pea, which was a great setting for the occasion. Owner Meg understands the importance of good customer service and her eye for design is obvious. Tea Pea has grown from being a market stall to an online business which is now complemented with a bricks and mortar store in Khandallah, Wellington. The shop is so bright and cheerful and stocked with gorgeous homewares and gifts for adults and children alike. It is definitely worth a visit for lovers of bright, whimsical and quirky products.It was such a great night. I was in the company of complete strangers who had one thing in common - a shared love of design and colour. Although I am, and likely will always be someone who loves white interiors with pops of colour, I left the class feeling so inspired and itching to explore with colour, pattern and texture. Look out grey lounge, your days may be numbered.Disclaimer: I won the Interior Design Mini Masterclass ticket through a competition run by Tea Pea, but all opinions expressed are my own. I am not being compensated in any other manner.


  1. This looks like great fun and lucky you! What's not to love about colour ;) Though yes, I'm with you - a home is about it's inhabitants, and should reflect that :)

  2. oh I LOVE Alex I would so love to go to a design masterclass thing-a-me by her. I'm sure you were plenty inspired! x

  3. It looks like a great evening Leanne! That shop is amazing, the pom pom garland is so pretty. Glad that you had such a good time. Just noticed that your have changed your picture on your blog too, I don't know if you had done it before, so sorry if it changed ages ago! You look lovely though - as you did before! xx

  4. Great pics.Thanks for sharing!!

  5. I was that little girl too, although I never imagined the family that came with it! ;) What a great chance to be inspired to step out of your comfort zone.....I need a bit of a shove too!
    Also loving the show aswell as we've been there done that and I can totally appreciate the hard graft it must be to renovate in 8 days!

  6. I knew that black and white pic as soon as I saw it, I used to pound that pavement regularly as a little girl. And designed crazy house plans too. I'm off to google Alex Fulton now!