styling tips with The Design Chaser - Auckland Home Show

Join us as we take an in depth look at our kitchen, laundry and home office displays at the Auckland Home Show, and chat styling tips with Michelle Halford founder of global design blog, The Design Chaser.

Did you catch us at the Auckland Home Show earlier this month? No worries if not, as we’re joined by Michelle Halford - founder of The Design Chaser – who lent us her styling expertise to dress up our set!

Read on, as Michelle lets us in on her top styling tips and we go behind the scenes of her styling process for our display.

Why is styling so important in a kitchen space?

"Styling greatly impacts the overall design, look and feel of a home. The kitchen is a hard-working space where we spend a lot of time preparing meals, gathering as a family and entertaining. While functionality is key, styling provides the all-important finishing touches that bring the space to life and ensure it is warm and welcoming."

What are your top three kitchen styling tips for a beginner?

1.       "Allow the kitchen palette, material finishes and design elements such as open shelving guide you when selecting finishing touches. For example, if the kitchen is white and bright with timber accents, you could introduce some muted colour and further texture for contrast. Some of my go-to kitchen styling pieces include textural and sculptural ceramics such as a vase and bowls, chopping boards in varying sizes, books, and a natural linen tea towel.

2.       Don't feel like you have to rush out and buy all new pieces. Look at using what you have, move objects around rediscover old favourites. When or if you do add to these, only buy things that resonate with your own personal style, things that you love.

3.       Bring nature indoors. Fresh flowers or sculptural branches will brighten up the space and inject an inviting, sensory element."

Our hero kitchen display utilised one of our new kitchen trends - embrace - that features the soothing shades of edamame and dark woodgrain walnut doors and panels. This trend is all about embracing a slower pace of life and creating your own personal sanctuary at home.

Michelle embraced the Zen-inspired feel of the embrace kitchen trend in her styling.

“For this kitchen I introduced a Japanese-inspired feel with organic shapes in the form of sculptural ceramics and bowls. I chose natural tones to soften the hard surfaces, and black accents to bring a sense of cohesion throughout. Tall branches added another sculptural element”, says Michelle.

Open shelving and benchtop space was plentiful, which gave Michelle lots of opportunity to add her stylistic flair.

Michelle explains, “I arranged wooden boards and spoons to tie in with the walnut doors and panels and earthy colours to inject further tactility and warmth. I continued the black accents through to the adjacent bar area and displayed a selection of stoneware, sculptural ceramics, glassware, cocktail shakers and accessories on the open shelves in varying heights to create interest and harmony.”

What are your favourite aspects of the embrace kitchen trend and its colours edamame and walnut?

"Walnut brings so much warmth and tactility to the kitchen. It provides a beautiful backdrop for layering earthy ceramics and black accents. The edamame draws from nature and adds a striking contrast."

For the not-so-bold, we also showcased a warm and neutral kitchen featuring hazelnut v and feta whip v doors and panels, complimented by a bianccocino benchtop and matte black hardware.

Michelle took inspiration from the textured woodgrain cabinetry and veining in the marble-look benchtops to create a complimentary and cohesive space.

“The bright white surfaces of this kitchen have been injected with warmth and texture thanks to the marble veining and wood grains. My goal was to enhance these elements, without competing with them. I chose a mix of white, soft tones and pale wood accessories. For the open shelving and benchtops, I displayed a mix of ceramics and books, a coffee machine, functional wooden pieces, some foliage and a natural linen tea towel.”


The great thing about kaboodle is you can use our cabinetry solutions across your whole home. In our laundry display, we carried through the same door and panel colours and benchtop as the kitchen above for a naturally cohesive flow. This will make your interior feel purposeful, considered and custom.

“In keeping with the kitchen palette for cohesion, here I included soft and fluffy white towels, natural linen bedding, a beautiful ceramic jug and spray bottles”, says Michelle.

Open shelving can be both stylish and practical in all spaces of your home, including your laundry and study.

Michelle explains, “similar to kitchens, laundries are hard-working spaces, and speaking from experience, a functional and beautiful laundry space can really enhance the monotony of daily chores. In addition to having utilities at easy reach, the open shelves provide space to store freshly folded linen and ceramics.”


"Clean and functional, this study has lots of storage space, helping to keep the desk area clutter-free, and the open shelving provides a place for day-to-day objects, books and display pieces. To begin with, I added key elements including a comfortable chair, desk lamp, notebooks and pen holder. In keeping with the neutral palette, I then focused on injecting some decorative pieces to enhance the space. These included ceramics to provide interest and texture, a plant which is both visually pleasing and helps to increase productivity, an abstract artwork to create a striking focal point, and books to give the space a lived-in feel."

Did you know that kaboodle could be used across the whole home?

"Prior to working with kaboodle I had seen it used mostly for kitchens and the occasional laundry. Benchtops, cabinetry and handles are not limited to the kitchen however, so it makes perfect sense that the products can be used throughout the home, offering many options when building or renovating different spaces. I enjoyed seeing this for myself at the home show!"

Imagery: Michelle Halford @thedesignchaser

We hope you’ve come away with a little extra confidence in styling your home! For more inspiration and ideas, visit our design blog or follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest.