The base of Auckland homewares label; LornaLove was so light and bright that combined with the intense NZ sunshine – I faced a bit of a technical challenge to take any photos at all!
Beautiful and pint sized designer, Lorna Anderson, greeted me with fairytale-esque cupcakes and my very own LornaLove goodies in a customised bag. It was immediately obvious to me that attention to detail comes naturally to Lorna and can be credited for the rapid rise in popularity of LornaLove over the last 9 months. We chatted about our shared love of the snow and Lake Wanaka before Little Raphael emerged groggy from his afternoon sleep and tucked into his own cupcake while eyeing me a little suspiciously.
It was the birth of her son that kick started this former high school Art & Design Teacher to begin exploring her own creativity. Motherhood bought on a serious bout of “nesting” which began with baking and progressed to making and crafting. Her inner teacher felt compelled to share her work so she set up online and created free downloadable tutorials and patterns for her cardboard skulls, cushions, mobiles and more. It was her husband that then urged her to develop the project further and begin earning some money by selling her LornaLove range online which is now wholesaled as well.
This has all morphed and grown through working in her “baby free” time in the evenings and riding the passion she has for her work. With a new range on the way (exciting!) and a growing list of stockists, I think LornaLove looks set to be NZ’s next successful brand grown out of a spare room and supportive family.
All photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
WHO: This is the home of the Anderson whanau: me Lorna, my hubby Harley and my rascal son Raphael. I am designer, artist, creator and blogger who works from home.
WHERE: Our home is in Forrest Hill on the North Shore of Auckland. We love this location because of the many fabulous beaches along the east coast bays area that are just a walk or short drive away. Castor Bay beach is our favourite, or a 20 minute walk down to Milford. You can often find us having a picnic dinner at Castor Bay beach on Friday nights. When we first got married we lived in Freemans Bay in the city centre. It was fabulous for our social lives then, but now we have our son the east coast bays suits our family life perfectly.
WHAT: The three bedroom house was built in 1992 and has a cedar exterior. We have only lived at this house for three months and have many things we want to do to it [you should see our big list!]. It is a piece of artwork that I am continuously working on and changing. My husband laughs at how often I change things around and repaint bits and pieces! I guess it is partly because I work from home and are staring at the same spaces all the time. The house has great angles in the ceilings and big rooms. The living area flows out onto a super sunny deck and grass area for Raphael to play in [now mostly taken up by a massive trampoline santa bought him!]. The kitchen is not my style or colours. It is that ‘mushroom’ color that was quite popular in homes from the past ten or so years. Sorry to offend you ‘Mr mushroom brown color’, but shades of grey are more my type, tee hee. The best part is we have a secret park with swings and see-saw right next door *sshhhh : don’t tell anyone*. The only access to it is from down our long driveway, and with no signs out front, the public and even residents on the street aren’t aware of it!
DESCRIPTION:When I am working on LornaLove at home, I am creating, making, crafting, painting, drawing and generally making a big mess on my kitchen table. Or, I am on my iMac designing, blogging, searching for inspiration and writing up tutorials. A big part of the LornaLove website is tutorials for my readers on how to make creative things, mostly for your home. After teaching art and design for seven years I realized that people like to know the little details about how to do and make something. I also share low cost ways to make your home a special and interesting place. You don’t have to buy expensive furniture and art to have a vibrant, modern, unique and gorgeous home. Although my home is modest, I think it exudes personality and an upbeat, quirky energy that makes you grin when you walk in the door. By the way readers, I am available for interior styling should you wish me to have a look around your home and give advice. Even if your budget is super low, I will have some simple and easy ideas to share with you.
I like to support my fellow local designers by buying their work and prints. I’m a bit cheeky and often ask if they want to do a swap of one of my products for one of theirs! Probably my favourite print in the house is my Jessica Singh, ‘Curious Girl‘. Jessica is a down under girl from Australia. One other favorite piece in my home is ‘Leroy’ the lion. He is a ceramic lion that I found in a second hand store in Christchurch, for a bargain. It was painted quite ugly and looked faded and worn out. My husband thought I was mad buying it and then having Leroy sit on my lap for the plane ride back to Auckland! But I spray painted him all white and now the hubby thinks it is one of the best things in the house too!
WHAT I LEARNT FROM LORNA:
Lorna could not be a better example of turning a passion into a business. While this is a romantic notion for many out there, she is living proof that our “calling” might be simply waiting for us in our own hobbies and interests.