Thur 5 - Sun 8 September 2024
Auckland Showgrounds, Greenlane

5 Minutes with Interior Designer Kelly Gammie

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Designer Kelly Gammie of Eucalyptus Design is one of our resident ‘Ask the Experts’ presenters, and will be returning to the February Auckland Home Show.

But we thought why wait ’till then, so we sat down for 5 mins with Kelly and asked her to tell us more about her design philosophy anyway.

Your seminar topic is about creating a happy, healthy home?

There’s a Japanese philosophy called ikiɡai and I try to design my homes (as I do my life) around that theory. It’s about doing things that you’re good at and make you happy and enable you to enjoy life – and trying to transpose that into my designs. Because if we’re contented in life, we’re more likely to be happy and healthy.

So plants and indoor gardens are an important element in your design?

Yes, I’m doing some projects at the moment that are incorporating large wall-hung gardens and kitchens that have in-built herb gardens – bringing the outside in, giving us a closer connection to nature. Especially when we’re talking about the kitchen, bringing larger herb gardens built into the kitchen makes it a lot easier to be able to create delicious food.

And it adds a beautiful element to the design as well. The materials used for kitchens and bathrooms tend to be quite hard. They’re stones, or they’re metals, or they’re timbers, or some hard finish. So adding greenery into that environment softens those areas a little.

You’re a big believer in natural products?

It’s a philosophical approach, but it’s also a very functional approach, utilizing and choosing the right materials to put in our homes. I tend to sway towards incorporating as much natural product as I can. So specifying and utilizing woollen carpet, tiles as opposed to vinyls, healthy paints that have got a low VOC in them… What’s the makeup of the materials that you’re utilizing, including the furnishings? Are you using a fabric that is natural-based as opposed to synthetic-based? It’s an incorporation of all those things you put in the house, both visually and also functionally, that contribute to that home being happy and healthy.

So, is there a link between the objects that surround you and how you feel?

Yes. And that’s a really personal thing, because some people will feel happy having a lot of objects around them – things that may have stories connected to them from family or travels or experiences… Whereas other people feel healthier and happier when they strip back their homes and they’re a lot more minimalist. There’s no one set rule to be happy and healthy. It’s a very individual thing. And as a designer, that’s what you need to try and discover with your clients, is what makes the individual person happy and trying to design their home around that.

eucalyptus design


See Kelly Gammie at the Auckland Home Show 2021 as part of the ‘Ask the Experts’ seminar series.

And visit for more.