What better way to finish off the week than by sharing another of our 'Favourite Space' blog posts. Let me introduce you to Hawke's Bay's newest florist, the beautiful and multi-talented Laura Jeffares. Owner of Laura Jeffares Hair & Floral Artisan, she works magic on flowers and foliage to create the most stunning arrangements for weddings, birthdays, or any special occasion. She also puts her creativity and scissors to good use at Korr Hair Salon in Tennyson Street, Napier, where she freelances.
Laura has always loved flowers. Foraging is her favourite thing to do, she likes to incorporate flowers and foliage that she has found into her arrangements. It helps to create the wildness and freeness that has become her signature style. Laura tells me that her 'recipe to floral success' is to use a minimum of five different textures. Much like interior design, you want to add different heights, form, and texture to create interest.
When choosing her favourite space, Laura was torn between her open plan living/dining/kitchen, and her garden, so, of course, we've included them all. She shares her home with her husband, Jason Williams - an insurance manager at ASB; their daughters, Lily - age 11 and Lola - age 7; their son, Sailor - age 3; and Coco - the most adorable puppy (plus a couple of very content cats).
When Laura and Jason bought the house, they planned on renovating then moving on, but with the close location to town and schools being so handy, they've well and truely put down roots here. Renovations included opening up the hallway, knocking down a wall to create more living space and flow, adding another bedroom, and relocating the bathroom to the back of the house in the original toilet and laundry. They also built a deck at the back of the house and a series of large vege gardens.
When you walk into this home you get an immediate sense of Laura and Jason. It speaks volumes about who they are - fun, welcoming, collected, cool, and full of personality. There are pieces that have been foraged from second hand shops, handed down from family, some that have been gifted, and all are cherished.
They have an amazing collection of art, a lot by local Hawke's Bay artists, which add to the eclectic vibe. Laura painted the wall behind the dining table in Resene eco colour, Sea Nymph. It's important to both Laura and Jason that they use environmentally friendly products wherever possible - "we like to minimise what goes into the landfill, and tread lightly on this earth". I love how she painted the door and trims as well. It makes them disappear leaving the amazing floral picture wall as the main focus.
I asked Laura a few questions so we could get to know her a bit better...
How long have you lived in the house?
Seven years. Initially we moved in to do it up and resell, but have loved being so close to town, the beach and schools.
What do you love about these spaces - your living room and backyard?
Our living room is a hive of activity, I love how we always meet up here as a family. This is the hub for hearty meals, conversations and fun times. This is also the epicentre to my floral creations.
I love the accessibility to just pop out and pick fresh produce daily, most of our meals contain fresh herbs and greens. Also the sharp edges and clean lines of the design are pleasing to my eye especially considering the madness within them.
Did you have any help with your deck and vege boxes?
My incredible husband did most of the labour to get the space ready, and we also called in the specialised demolition skills of my brother-in-law Aaron. Excessive preparation was essential to the project.
Nick Skyrme from Green Man Wood was our chosen landscape artist. He worked meticulously to design a system of boxes that would work symbiotically with our families needs. We formed a great relationship with Nick which has led to bigger and better projects being thrown his way, and more planned for the future.
Where have you sourced all of your floral picture wall prints?
Charity shops and garage sales. Some of my beautiful friends have gifted them to me over the years. I always get excited when I find a new one!
What’s your favourite time of the day?
6am and 6pm.
Who or what inspires you?
My best friend and gorgeous husband Jason. My yoga instructor. The girls at Korr. Florence the photographer. Instagram. The beach. Caffeine.
What are your reading/listening to?
There are two books currently being neglected on my night stand - Shantaram and Heavenly Hirani's School of Laughing Yoga.
Jason's strong point is definitely surfing Spotify for new and old sounds to inspire - Chet Faker, Nick Cave, Ryan Adams, D'Angelo, The Lumineers.
Sweet or savoury?
Favourite item you own?
I adore the texture and colour of this teapot, it was an incredibly on-point gift from my beautiful mum. The teapot is my most cherished thing and is practically perfect in every way. The Madonna salt spoon and bowl were a birthday gift from my dear husband. I love how it's hand made and was from a gallery in Gisborne that we visited one holiday. Lastly, the religious candle was also a gift, this time from my mother-in-law. My kids often joke about lighting it, but it will never be lit! I'm keeping it forever!
Top of your wish list for your home?
The trick is not getting what you want, it's wanting what you have.
Aaargh, Laura, I love that last one... 'want what you have' - so true. If you want to get in touch and/or see more of Laura, make sure you follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks Laura for allowing us to peak inside your world. And as always, thanks to the amazing Florence Charvin for her time and her superb photographic skills. You can also follow Florence on Facebook and Instagram. Until next time x