Evie Kemp is a maximalist extraordinaire. Her house is so alive with colour it could levitate. Her pattern-mixing, mashing and clashing have given her Insta fame and her vibrant style is covetable cool.
What did you study and do before Insta fame?
I started out as a Mac operator at the NZ Herald, which involved laying out all the adverts for the Herald and the regional papers. While there, I illustrated my first children’s book, A Dog Like That! , by Janene Cooper, and had my own business on the side, producing and selling my own art prints. As that gradually grew, I reduced my hours at the paper before going full-time on my own business, and it just grew from there.
Did you train as a designer or are you self-taught?
I studied graphic design, majoring in illustration at university [AUT], after first trying to focus on law and art history. I’ve always been very into doing my own research and making my own studies. So, while I was at university, I also taught myself textile design through evening and online courses.
Which periods of interior design are your favourites?
This changes a lot depending on what I’m watching/reading/looking at, really, but at the moment I’m still very into the Bloomsbury group – early 20th century through to Art Deco, with a real focus on Arts and Crafts. It’s very romantic and very DIY. I’m also a huge fan of the ’70s and lots of the design that came out of that – the colours, the furniture shapes, the futurism, and the textile designs.
What do you think about New Zealanders’ love of black? Is it dying out and being replaced with Millennial Pink?
I don’t think the love of black is dying out at all. And I think Millennial Pink may have had its moment (I love pink always!). I do feel, though, that we’re more receptive to bold prints and colours, perhaps more in fashion than interiors, but it’s creeping in… slowly.
What do you think about natural colours and fibres?
Natural fibres are always superior in terms of feel and comfort, however there are definitely some cool synthetic fabrics, especially those made from recycled plastics. Plastic is here now, and if we can do something functional and beautiful with it, then that seems like the best possible solution to me.
What is your view on waterbeds?
Hate them, the feel, the sound, the smell! Have never actually slept on one, though.
Velvet or brocade?
Totally depends on the fabric, but I love a beautiful velvet in a fantastic colour – it’s timeless.
Would you rather have a drink with William Morris or Laura Ashley?
William Morris. But I’m not sure he’d be an awful lot of fun.