At home with a costume worker, her collectables and that grass green carpet

Costume worker Rachel Strong lives in Grey Lynn with her children, Jasper and Violet Elliott, aged 17 and 14. Her home ...

PATRICK REYNOLDS/SUNDAY

Costume worker Rachel Strong lives in Grey Lynn with her children, Jasper and Violet Elliott, aged 17 and 14. Her home is filled with collectables.

Costume worker Rachel Strong lives in Grey Lynn with her children, Jasper and Violet Elliott, aged 17 and 14.

We’ve lived here  for 17 years. The house was originally in Lammermoor Drive in St Heliers, and we transported it to Grey Lynn and redesigned it to fit on the section, so it is half Mid-century in style, and half modern.

It’s not the sort of house you usually see in this area, because its got a big garage for cars and a workshop and garage. It’s got the things we needed.

Costume worker Rachel Strong lives in Grey Lynn with her children, Jasper and Violet Elliott, aged 17 and 14. Her home ...

PATRICK REYNOLDS/SUNDAY

Costume worker Rachel Strong lives in Grey Lynn with her children, Jasper and Violet Elliott, aged 17 and 14. Her home is filled with collectables.

One nice thing about the house is that it came with grass green carpet. It lasted all that time, and just last year we found the exact colour match and replaced it. 

Our furnishings had to be worked around the grass green carpet. We had so much stuff, so to simplify and not create a cacophony we painted it all white.        

Chris, my ex partner,  and I share a love of collecting. I love Scandinavian ceramics from the mid 50s to the mid 60s.  It’s not collecting snobbishly, it’s more around the aesthetics of whether something is beautiful or not.

A dining room display of collectables. Rachel scours antique shops, Trade Me and EBay for her finds.

PATRICK REYNOLDS/SUNDAY

A dining room display of collectables. Rachel scours antique shops, Trade Me and EBay for her finds. “I’m not buying for the sake of buying. It’s looking for what will make the collection more round.”

But beautiful usually does mean collectable, and expensive. I don’t buy so much any more, but you always have to have your eyes open, you might miss something.

I found the Saarinen tulip table and chairs in a storeroom out the back of a second-hand shop in Petone 20 years ago. It’s our dining table and washing-folding table. Sometimes it gets used for drawing, or homework or study for exams.  I always like sitting down for dinner, but lately I have been getting home a bit late.

Violet plays and plays the digital piano. She’ll walk past it, and just play it. If we have people around she’ll sometimes play for people. She likes to be out there.

The collection of white ceramics includes Wedgewood pieces by NZ-born designer Keith Murray.

PATRICK REYNOLDS/SUNDAY

The collection of white ceramics includes Wedgewood pieces by NZ-born designer Keith Murray.

This is a nice room, with a soft even light. I like that there is a separate kitchen: its another environment, and I don’t need to be the commander out here the time.

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 It is an interesting house, bur we don’t use all the rooms now. It just feels a bit big for us now. We don’t use all the rooms.  

Stainless steel homewares, mainly by designer Arne Jacobsen, and a framed piece of Rachel's embroidery. The embroidered ...

PATRICK REYNOLDS/SUNDAY

Stainless steel homewares, mainly by designer Arne Jacobsen, and a framed piece of Rachel’s embroidery. The embroidered image is of a Flib: a mythical creature that Violet loved to draw as a child.

Treasures are displayed in a old lockable medicine cabinet.

PATRICK REYNOLDS/SUNDAY

Treasures are displayed in a old lockable medicine cabinet.

Artist Billy Apple is a good friend of Rachel's and a number of his works are on display in her home. This is a memento ...

PATRICK REYNOLDS/SUNDAY

Artist Billy Apple is a good friend of Rachel’s and a number of his works are on display in her home. This is a memento from an event held to honour 50 years of his work.

 – Homed

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