At My Place - Emma Bass' colourful home

November 01, 2017

At My Place - Emma Bass' colourful home

A glimpse inside my home which is overflowing with vases and flowers ... 

Photographer Emma Bass lives in a light-filled 1950s home in Mt Eden with her daughter Olive, son, George, and her muse, their pet bird Kowhai.


Describe your house in two sentences?

It's a 1950s house full of light, flowers, vases, art and children. It's a home where people flow through, I love my home to have people in it filling it up with love and laughter.  

Describe your style in three words?

Sunny, colourful, eclectic.

Where is your home and who lives there with you?

I live in Mt Eden with my daughter Olive and son, George, and our pet bird Kowhai (who is my muse and regularly features in my artworks).

What is your favourite room/area in the house and why?

The living/dining area. It's open plan and a big space filled with natural light. I use it as my studio for creating my floral portraits. My works are infused with everyday life.

What is your proudest DIY moment?

Figuring out how to do Kintsugi after my son broke my favourite vase with a Nerf gun. Kintsugi is the Japanese technique of repairing a broken object with gold, making the piece more beautiful once it's been broken. I didn't do a bad job.

What is the best kept secret about the area you live in?

The Capitol Cinema which is great for an escape, and Kiss Kiss eatery for consistently good food when I'm too busy to cook.  

What is the best money you have ever spent on the house?

I haven't spent much on our house, it's shabby chic, but I have bought a lot of vases which I fill with as many flowers as possible. I do spend a bit on flowers from the markets.

What is your favourite way of entertaining?

I love casual impromptu gatherings when friends or family pop in and we decide to muck in with making food or getting a takeaway. Not a big one for formalities.  

What is your favourite piece of furniture?

I love my teal velvet couch covered with crazy floral cushions. It's like a soothing haven to sit and read books about Dutch Flower paintings.  

What is your favourite artwork or family treasure and why do you love it?

I love the Pat Hanly work I bought when my grandfather died. It's called "Bouquet to all Women" and I look at it every day. My house is filled with all sorts of artwork floral in nature.  

What is one thing you'd like to change around your house?

I would like a few more walls to hang artwork on. Being a 50s house we have a lot of windows, which means less surface area for artwork.  

What is the home habit that annoys you most? 

Children not cleaning up after themselves.

What is your favourite/least favourite household chore?

Any sort of housework, especially folding the washing. There are so many other things I'd rather be doing. 

What's one domestic/housework/gardening trick you've learnt over the years?

To surrender to the mess, as you can't get it perfect all the time when you're a busy working mum. I've learnt to embraced the philosophy of Wabi Sabi which is all about finding beauty within the imperfect and incomplete. The fluff balls in the corner are comforting.

Emma Bass' latest exhibition, Embellish, runs from 9-30 November at Smyth Galleries, Auckland, NZ   (41 Jervois Rd, St Mary's Bay).

Also in News

Love in Mindfood MAGAZINE
Love in Mindfood MAGAZINE

February 17, 2021

Read More

Woman magazine
Woman magazine

February 07, 2021

Read More


February 07, 2021

Read More


See Emma's current solo exhibition at the Boyd Dunlop Gallery in Napier !

On from 14th February - 9th March


(and sign up below for Emma's news)