Step into the captivating world of Hannah Mattson, our very own interior designer and one of the shareholders at Location Homes. Recently, Hannah graciously welcomed us into her stunning new build home in Taranaki, offering a glimpse into her remarkable abode. As a devoted mother of three and an ardent admirer of all things creative, Hannah effortlessly blends modern interpretations of Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles to create an atmosphere that exudes both opulence and warmth.
In this blog post, Hannah shares her passion for interior design, her inspirations, and her hobbies outside of work. Hannah also gives us an insight into the design challenges and compromises she faced while building her home with her husband.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a mother of three who loves all things arty - design, fashion, music, anything creative. When I am creating whether it be art, singing, sewing or coming up with concepts for interior spaces I am in my happy place.
How would you describe your style?
I appreciate lots of different design styles and era’s, and when I am designing for a client I start with pieces and styles that they are drawn to and help them build their style by encouraging them to be courageous. I love the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods with their luxurious textures, forms and colour and I would say our home is a modern take of this.
When did your passion for interior design start?
My brain likes order (although you wouldn’t believe it if you visit my house amidst the chaos of busy children!) and I am a very visual person so even as a child I appreciated a pretty and orderly environment. Working in the home building industry I observed that a lot of people lack confidence when it comes to interiors, and I realised that I had a skill of being able to visualise a concept and bring it to life, so with an eye for detail and a love of colour and texture I naturally progressed into interior design.
What inspires you and your work?
Nature, fashion, art, fabrics, film, unexpected combinations of materials or colours, both new and old architecture, interesting and well designed objects.
Outside of working as an interior designer, do you have any other hobbies?
I have been taking singing lessons for about 4 years now and I also sing with a beautiful group of inspiring women who encourage me to take risks and be brave. Singing in front of people in competitions and concerts is the most petrifying and rewarding thing I have ever done. There are super talented young people in Taranaki…. and then there’s me, an absolute beginner adult! But I have learned that you just need to get over yourself and remember why you are doing it. I sing because it puts me waaaay out of my comfort zone and I love connecting with people through music. It’s also something I love doing with my daughter which is pretty special. I am also learning to sew and I paint and draw and I love getting out and biking trails with my husband and kids.
What is your favourite piece of furniture?
Hmmm, tricky question. The children and I name our furniture and indoor plants so they are all pretty special, strange I know. Hazel and Ralph are a pair of occasional chairs that my business is named after. I am very fond of the Moroccan bowl which sits on the dining table and I adore the Kartell Kabuki lamp in the lounge, she brings me curvaceous joy.
If you were to build again, what would you do differently?
Build on a flat site! Have a cosy sunken lounge surrounded by built in bookshelves.
What is your favourite room in your house and why?
The snug, and my favourite spot is on the beanbag looking out at our beautiful awa and watching the birds in the trees with a cuppa tea and a Gingernut Biscuit in hand. I tried to create a peaceful relaxed vibe with soft colours that flow from the rest of the house while inviting the greenery of the treetops inside.
Location Homes motto is affordable luxury, what were your three luxury must haves?
Timber floors on the middle level and a custom designed balustrade in the lounge. We built the house around a beautiful 3 storey high tree so we have an atrium in the middle to bring light into the centre of the square shaped house, and to bring the feeling of sitting in the treetops. Well, that was the plan. Unfortunately the tree got damaged during the excavation stage of the build so we had to cut it down. Instead we built a retaining box under the house and we have just planted another tree which should be tall and proud in a few years.
Did either you or your husband have to compromise on design elements? Or were you both on the same page when building your home?
We basically have the same design ethos so we agreed mostly, but I am still quite dark about our lack of a sunken lounge. I did insist on the kitchen being at a higher level so we could look over the dining area and out to the view though, which he now agrees was a fabulous idea of course! We engaged the amazing and talented architect Murali Bhaskar from Boon to help. We had so many limitations when designing our house with the fact that it was built on the side of a ridiculously steep hill and we had height and daylight angle restrictions as well as site access difficulties. The house is sitting on top of over 100 massive piles drilled up to 4 metres into the ground. Then of course we had the limitation that most people are up against, a capped budget. Luckily we both viewed the limitations as fun challenges which made the design and build process exciting. Not to say there wasn’t lively debating and civil unrest along the way! I think that although design restrictions can seem like a huge obstacle at the time, if you have the right team to help they often bring out creative design solutions which makes a house unique and interesting. I’m sure the builders didn’t appreciate it at the time though with unusually angled walls, and innovative building systems, but luckily they are excellent craftsmen who trouble shoot in their sleep. As far as the interiors go, we have chipped away at it since we shifted in, as time and budget has allowed. I had a vision which we have slowly worked towards over the past 4 years, and we are nearly finished! Generally how it works is I show my husband the concepts and he makes a vague ‘mmm’… sound as he tilts his head and says ‘interesting… well if you think that will work’. I always make sure he’s vaguely on board with it, luckily he trusts me and is brave. I’m pretty sure he’s happy with the outcome, well he’s still here so…
How do you combine beauty and function?
The challenge that I enjoy the most when working with Location Homes clients is to guide them in deciding where to spend and where to save in order to have the most impact and get the look and feel that they want, but within their budget. Value engineering is a big part of my job.
How do you determine the client’s style?
I ask relentless questions like a 4 year old. The Location Homes design team have already set the groundwork while designing the floor plans and general structure so I just add to that by diving deeper into who they are, their lifestyle and their values.
Less is more …or more is more?
I so admire the idea of minimalism but I am definitely a maximalist at heart. I love layers.
What recent interior design trends do you love?
I love a modern take on timeless design, and I am always about real natural materials if budget allows. I am less concerned about designing spaces that are on trend, and more concerned about longevity and originality. I love a mixture of old and new where furniture and homewares are collected over time and hold memories. I love interiors that tell a story, acknowledging the past and also giving insight into the stories of those who occupy the space.
Who are your favourite interior designers and what do you love about their work?
I love Kelly Wearstler’s work. Obviously she works with insane budgets but I love her creativity and her finished spaces are like 3D artworks full of interest. Her creative process is inspirational. I also love Christophe Poyet and Emil Humbert’s work, it is my style on steroids!
If you're captivated by the beauty and artistry of Hannah Mattson's home, imagine what she can do for yours! Whether you're planning to build a new home from scratch or transform your current space through a renovation, Hannah is here to turn your dreams into a stunning reality.
With her keen eye for design, passion for creativity, and commitment to bringing your unique vision to life, Hannah is ready to guide you through the exciting journey of building or renovating your home. From concept development to the final touches, she'll ensure every detail is thoughtfully curated to reflect your style, needs, and aspirations.
Don't settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary. Contact us today and let Hannah and our team at Location Homes help you create the home you've always envisioned.