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Victoria, BC V8W 1V7

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At Home with Erin Simpson

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I don't usually open up my home to the public, but when Stuff Homed told me they wanted to visit, I couldn't resist! 

See below for all the juicy details:


At My Place: TV Presenter Erin Simpson 

TV presenter Erin Simpson lives with five friends in a seven bedroom new house in Waterview, Auckland that she bought a year ago.

The Waikato-born creative rose to fame as the host of the popular children's TV series, The Erin Simpson Show, and has since gone on to stretch her artistic muscles with her popular homewares collection that incorporates Maori motifs into its modern design. 

Simpson celebrated her first anniversary of living in her latest home last Saturday. The past year hasn't all been smooth sailing - she is still in the process of cleaning up from an electrical fire.

Pieces from Erin Simpson's homeware collection.

She described her home's style as "not what's expected" and said the best money she ever spent on the home was the house itself: "Seven bedroom, new build in Auckland and still in our 30s? You do the math."

How would you describe your style?
Not what's expected. I have the concentration, ambition and drive of a 5-year-old so it's pretty minimalistic in order to stay focused.

The dining area is Simpson's favourite part of her home.

Where is your home and who lives there with you?
We live in Waterview where we bought new last July. It's a seven bedroom house (two of which make up a self contained unit) all up it's me and 5 others.

I can confidently speak for all of us when I say the dining area. When we were going through the purchasing process I searched for weeks for the best table in town as I knew it wasn't going to be just a dinner table it would be also serving up a lot of love and laughter.

"When we were going through the purchasing process I searched for weeks for the best table in town as I knew it wasn't ...

"When we were going through the purchasing process I searched for weeks for the best table in town as I knew it wasn't going to be just a dinner table it would be also serving up a lot of love and laughter," Simpson said.

What is your proudest DIY moment?
For this house? Installing our own roller blinds saved around $3500 and putting in a sump outside which cost about $400 compared to a tradie doing it for $3000. 

The current project I have on the go (that no believes I can pull off) is attempting to transform the black light switch frames into white - they have to be so perfect as we want them to look like plastic but I'm only using spray paint so it's a slow process. 

Simpson's home is always flooded with light, even on a grey day.

What is the best kept secret about the area you live in?
Did you hear we have a tunnel? We also have a hundred odd tuis flying around. Every day we get to hear the exquisite sound of so many tuis and they make me smile every time.

Erin Simpson in her spacious kitchen in Waterview, Auckland.

What is the best money you have ever spent on the house?
Am I allowed to say the house itself? Seven bedroom, new build in Auckland and still in our  30s? You do the math.

What is your favourite way of entertaining?
Boys cooking, me serving, everyone laughing and carrying on for hours. Within a year we have built a wonderful family environment and now we love inviting people to over to share in that. Dinner, drinks, chat, it's all centred around our table unless someone gets up to show us their dance moves.

The red splashback in Simpson's kitchen provides a pop of colour in the sleek, white room.

What is your favourite piece of furniture?

We have lots of animals. Our rabbit 'Tupance' has been a favourite from the beginning.

What is your favourite artwork or family treasure and why do you love it?
I sell my own art and people always ask why it's not up in the house but that's because I relate that to having your own picture of your face in the lounge so it's just not going to happen.

Monochrome bedding makes a chic statement in Simpson's bedroom.


As we speak my business partner Dick Frizzell is painting a commissioned piece which will go where the TV currently sits. For now it would have to be my birthday present from my niece and nephew. They say it's the best work they've ever done.

What is one thing you'd like to change around your house?
The garden. Basically we don't have one yet. The chefs in the house want an Argentinian BBQ, a pizza oven and a wall of creeping vines. I'd be happy if all the neighbourhood cats didn't visit and the lawn was mowed.

A print from Simpson's collection sits on her bedside table.


What is the home habit that annoys you most?
 
Breaking wine glasses. It's sad, they are expensive and hard to replace but when you have a solid concrete table and no carpet, what can you do?

"We have lots of animals. Our rabbit 'Tupance' has been a favourite from the beginning," Simpson said.

What is your favourite/least favourite household chore?
Cooking. It's time consuming and I have no talent in the department.

What's one domestic/housework/gardening trick you've learnt over the years?
Dishwashing liquid is the best thing for cleaning paint brushes.

All images: CHRIS MCKEEN/HOMED