Colour without colour

Ange Dye, owner of interiors store Macy Home loves colour, but just two of them – black and white.

Ange Dye grew up in East Auckland at a time when lots of great things were happening around her, design-wise – think the Nanette Cameron School of Interior Design and the Fisher Art Gallery. There she spent most of her time scrapbooking her ideas, long before Pinterest was a twinkle in the internet’s eye. “Most of my money would go on key pieces that I knew would stand the test of time – looking back, there was always a strong chance that I was going to end up involved in design in some way.” Involved indeed. After studying fine arts at Whitecliffe and “stumbling into and then through some pretty amazing jobs in floristry”, Ange poured all of this widely accumulated know-how into her Auckland design store Macy Home. And into a home of her own in Ponsonby. Alice Lines sat down with Ange to get her home creation story…

I’ve always had a very clear idea about what I liked, design-wise. This house has been another opportunity to put that into practice. It’s actually my first home – I bought it 20 years ago from my landlord. I’d flatted here with friends and when the offer came to buy, I pounced on it.
I tore up the forest-green carpet and polished the floorboards as soon as I bought it. Then I renovated the kitchen and bathroom and redesigned the courtyard in the front. Storage was added as it was non-existent.
Then we had shelving, drawers and cupboards built into the living room and wardrobes built into each of the bedrooms. I’ve always felt at home here, but after it was renovated it really felt like mine. I think the process of choosing the surfaces, paint shades and fittings and installing them made that difference.

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All the key pieces are monochromatic to make it easy to add new décor. I also just find black and white to be a restful combination. With black-and-white photography, for example, I like the way that the subject matter is left to speak for itself through texture and tone, light and dark. For me, it’s the same way with interiors. I think simplicity is key – and keeping the fundamental parts of a home that make it what it is. With this house being a villa, that meant keeping the fireplaces, mouldings, original doors, ceilings and floorboards. The interior is painted white which gives it modern feel and makes for a great canvas. I have chosen simple, modern light fittings as well as modern classic furniture.
When it comes to styling a room, I always have an idea of how I want it to look. For example, in my bedroom I chose white, grey and light wood knowing I’d add in Perspex, white and copper accents. I also find it helpful to choose key items early on in the process – such as bedding, furniture, fittings and art – then build around those things.

Then you can add in your favourite pieces. For me these are my Alvar Aalto Savoy vases – they are a Finnish classic and I love them because they look great with or without flowers in them – and my Fornasetti plates that I started collecting in my early 20s.
The key pieces in my home were chosen to stand the test of time in aesthetic and quality, so I guess you’d call them investment pieces. I’ve found thatsometimes you have to make a purchase that’s not sensible at the time if you really love it. My Barcelona chair, for example, was purchased with money that my grandfather gave me towards a car. This was really naughty, but I’m so pleased that I did because it’s a design classic and looks as great as it did the day I bought it.
I also chose these pieces because they are a good fit for my home. In regard to homeware and décor choices I will generally choose good-quality items that are pleasing to the eye. That doesn’t mean that these pieces have to be expensive, just a good fit. If it doesn’t fit it doesn’t work.”

Words Alice Lines
Photography Duncan Innes

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