Interview: LeeAnn Yare

LeeAnn Yare is a women of many, many talents - an international pilot for Air New Zealand, a TV stylist, interiors designer and writer known for her love of vibrant wallpapers and punchy colours - and a mum to two boys.

She shares her design ethos and inspiration, her secrets to juggling an unusual work-life balance and her upcoming work with Urbis Designday 2012 and BLOC.

How did you get involved in interior design and styling? 

When I left school it was a toss up for mebetween learning to fly, and tackling an architecture degree. I took a trial flight and that made my mind up pretty quickly, however I knew my creative side would get the better of me one day. After tackling several renovations of our own with my husband Glen, I started to style and write for a couple of New Zealand interiors magazines about eight years ago, and then things literally took off from there. I am now styling and writing for some of the top interiors magazines in the world, styling advertising campaigns for some great clients, and have even taken part as a designer on a crazy TV show.

Where does your design inspiration come from? 

Everywhere. Travelling is a passion of mine and it doesn’t matter where I go, I always find something that inspires me to do or create something.

What makes a design work for you? 

Personally I am a ‘no rules’ type of girl, and I hope that more and more people can adopt my attitude towards interiors and design. For me it’s not about playing itsafe, keeping up with trends or spending piles of money, but more about doing what you love, and I’m a firm believer than anyone can have great style. I mix I don’t match. I love clashing colour and patterns. Vintage and second hand are my friends, and I’m not afraid to buy cleverly sort out chain store bargains. But I also know when to exercise restraint.

As well as designing interiors, you also work as an international pilot for Air New Zealand. Howdo you deal with this unusual work-life balance? 

It’s always a challenge, but an enjoyable one. Ifly for Air New Zealand to destinations around Australia and Pacific, every second month. Then I juggle interiors work, styling, and writing around that. It’s busy but always inspirational and that’s what keeps it all interesting and ensures I really love both careers. I have recently taken on a part time assistant stylist, which means I have more time to spend with Glen and our two wee boys.

We heard you're involved in Urbis Designday 2012, can you tell us a bit about who you're workingwith and what you're doing? 

This is the first time I have had the opportunity to be involved in Urbis Design Day and I am really excited about it. I have been asked to collaborate with Bo Concept, Huffer, and Tim Webber Design and we are going to make a great team.

What can Designday visitors expect on the day? Are there any surprises? 

The guys from Huffer, Tim and I are all taking over different sections of the Bo Concept showroom and will be creating some drama with colour, but most of all creating loads of fun. Visitors to the Bo Concept showroom can expect an entire experience. And yes, there just might be a surprise or two.

Where did the ideas/inspiration for your Urbis Designday installation come from? 

I am a huge fan of wallpaper, particularly Florence Broadhurst designs. I’ll be using Florence to create some wow. I amsure our showroom will be the talk of the town.

We heard you're opening a new store within BLOC shortly. Can you tell us a bit about it? 

Just afew days before Urbis Design Day I am opening a concept store at BLOC, called Collected by LeeAnnYare. My store will be sitting alongside some great brands such as Bo Concept and Citta Design. It will be an ever evolving collection of everything interiors, from cheap and chic through to designer pieces, there will be something for everyone, and nothing that I wouldn’t buy myself.

How do you approach new projects? 

I listen. Then ideas usually come flooding. I particularly love thestyling side of my job because that’s when I can really let loose. There are not so many constraints.

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