How Warehouse interiors designer Jade Turner manages conflicting home styles with his husband

The Warehouse homewares designer Jade Turner knows what your house will look like the summer after this one, and says it’s sure to follow the Kiwi vibe – coastal, slightly tropical and connected to nature.

Turner, 42, lives in Hillsborough, Auckland, with his husband Campbell Orr, and their rescue dog, Pepper.

JADE TURNER:

I live in Hillsborough, but it’s more like Royal Oak – on the other side of the motorway, closer to the city.

I live with my husband, Campbell Orr, and our dog, Pepper. I’ve been living here for 16 years but it used to be Campbell’s family home, so he’s been here forever. He’s lived overseas, travelled the world, done everything and then he just came back to home.

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We’ve modernised a bit – It’s been a process. We have quite different styles. I consider myself modern vintage: ‘Let’s add everything together, put it in a gold gilded frame, add chandeliers and bright wallpaper. Let’s go crazy.’

Campbell’s more modern coastal, ‘I want it to look like the Hamptons.’ Also, because he works in real estate, he wants everything to be clean, open and to flow. And I say, but what about the personality?

For five years, we had my style and then it was time to renovate, and he said: ‘Great. It’s my turn.’

It’s turned out pretty well because it makes it a blank canvas for when I bring stuff home from work. I get to put it against the wall. Does it need more colour, less colour? I can check scale of the prints I design, how the texture works.

Turner’s husband bought the ‘Let them eat cake’ sign as a present. “I personally just love that saying. It’s the worst saying in the world,” Turner says, “but I find it quite comical.”

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Turner’s husband bought the ‘Let them eat cake’ sign as a present. “I personally just love that saying. It’s the worst saying in the world,” Turner says, “but I find it quite comical.”

Campbell and I’ve been together 15 years and married for five. To be fair we’re hopeless romantics. We got engaged on our first anniversary, married on our 10th.

We said we wouldn’t get married until it’s the same for everyone. And then the law changed and we thought now’s the time, let’s get married on our anniversary: We’re cheesy like that.

Turner says his home office, from which he works three or four days a week, is a “testing ground for good and bad ideas”.

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Turner says his home office, from which he works three or four days a week, is a “testing ground for good and bad ideas”.

My title [at The Warehouse] is creative director. I design all of the home collection, packaging, and do a little bit of social content.

I work a year ahead because we’re predicting trends, colours, so I’ve just finished summer next year, even though we’re in summer now.

I’m originally from South Africa, and I’ve been here since 2000. My dad’s a Kiwi. I was 19 and my whole family had moved before me. I finished high school and university and thought maybe it’s time to be with the family.

Turner says he used to work at the dining table beside the kitchen, but eventually decided to turn a spare room into an office.

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Turner says he used to work at the dining table beside the kitchen, but eventually decided to turn a spare room into an office.

The first year was an adjustment. Back in the day, South Africa had a lot of crime: so you lived with burglar bars, really tall fences and gates. Here, I can walk on the street and see people’s homes. Everything’s so tangible.

When I came here I ended up going to drama school, then thought, actually I would rather be behind the camera, so I went to fiilm school. then I thought, you know what, I’m not going to be a filmmaker, this is ridiculous. So I did a Bachelor of design at Massey, in graphic design and advertising.

Turner says Pepper, a rescue puppy they adopted in the first lockdown, is “the sweetest dog ever”.

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Turner says Pepper, a rescue puppy they adopted in the first lockdown, is “the sweetest dog ever”.

I worked for a few ad agencies. I realised you get to promote other people’s product, but I want to make the product. When The Warehouse started to bring design in-house seven years ago, they headhunted me.

I’m inspired by travel: trade fairs and shows in Europe, America, I go Germany at least twice a year, London, Paris, New York. It sounds glamorous because the cities are beautiful, but the work is very busy and full-on. And I go to China, meet suppliers, see show rooms, go to the factories and see how the stuff is made from scratch.

I’m also inspired by New Zealand. Our new summer collection is 100% inspired by nature, and this one by optimism too. That idea that after the world opened up, I get to see my family again.

Turner says having a bold piece of art, such as this Flox piece, is a great way to “tie a room together through colour”.

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Turner says having a bold piece of art, such as this Flox piece, is a great way to “tie a room together through colour”.

Kiwis are such indoor outdoor people. No matter where you are – snowy bits of Queenstown or up on the northern beaches – we still want to bring the outdoors in.

British trends I find to be quite country garden: Kitschy, small ditsy florals, romantic. American trends are a bit more brash, the colour tones more brown and earthy, that kind of ‘outdoorsy woodsman’ vibe.

Ours is quite coastal but slightly tropical because we’re an island. We’re global collectors as well. My job is to make it affordable. Style doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to be expressive.

I love my job. No two days are ever the same. And I love that people love it. My favourite thing is to go to friends’ houses, like a BBQ, and they pull out stuff that I designed.

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

Lissy and Rudi Robinson-Cole at their home in Ōtāhuhu, Auckland. Together they create dayglo Whakairo and pou from polystyrene and crochet. Rudi describes their work as “igniting joy globally”. (Video first published March 17, 2021.)

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