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Introducing Kathrine McDonald | Interior Designer

Kathrine McDonald is a Mount Maunganui based Interior Designer who works across a spectrum of projects incorporating everything from residential renovations to new builds, and commercial projects. Her timeless style and bright personality make her a pleasure to work with for both clients and suppliers.

We sat down at Kathrine’s new studio to learn a little more about her design style, the trends and objects she’s loving and her top tips to help you on your journey.

Asked to describe your design style what would you say?

I tend to be inspired by the aesthetic of a pared back look, and find that the use of high quality, raw, natural materials – and light - create an unequalled interior.

I find my modernist, minimal, leanings lend themselves perfectly to every type of space from tiny Bach, to spacious family home and commercial projects. Functionality is vital, as are the aesthetics.

What’s the latest trend or style you are enjoying?

I’m loving the depth and texture that Rendering walls provides. It’s a decorative surface design for interiors and exteriors.  I have used this finish in my latest wellness project and will be applying this finish to my next new build. 

Rendering creates a seamless system for walls and floors, achieving a range of finishes from polished plasters to concrete finishes.  There are a range of applications in both residential and commercial settings, from bathrooms to splashbacks. It gives your walls depth and texture. 

What are your top tips when creating a design scheme?

Start from the flooring. Use this as your all-important base and build your interior layer by layer. Your flooring dictates how other finishes are layered in the space.  This is always my starting point.

Finishes including your kitchen, custom joinery, stone, raw materials, interior paint scheme, design features, window treatments, furniture, home décor items and artwork all add complexity to the base layer so it’s important to work through each element carefully. 

Keep functionality in mind, how the space will work and who it needs to work for.  Think about the look you are trying to achieve and think about the mood you want to create. Make design choices intentional and also think about the end game. 

Favourite design item you are coveting

Lighting - Luxcambra Hanging lamp Champignon

I love the sculptural design elements about this pendant and that they can be installed individually or in a series combined or next to one another.  It’s inspired by the growth of a mushroom.

What are your top flooring picks at the moment?

Timber: Godfrey Hirst Oak Elegance Wide Plank range.  

I love the softness and balance that timber flooring creates in a home.  It’s worth investing in a quality product, as it’s one of the hardest and most costly items to replace in your home …. It’s not easy to change later. 

It’s a natural product, with a range of budget options.  The manufacture process makes them sustainable and a more affordable option than solid timber flooring. 


I am obsessed with the range of Cavalier Bremworth wool carpet.  They are smashing it at the moment – my current favourite is Galet Quartz and Dolomite.  This is a gorgeous chunky loop pile made from 100% felted NZ wool. 

I love the random loop pile that creates texture without trying too hard.  Not too linear in approach – it feels amazing, so soft underfoot. Galet has a gorgeous colour palette and great for clients with allergies.

Flatlay inspiration:

Created for a coastal project with a beautiful native bush backdrop overlooking the ocean, this flatlay inspires a relaxed, coastal cool vibe with a little hint of edgy. Featuring carpet and hard flooring from Gerrand Floorings.

Hard flooring : Vidaspace Pureplant “Alsace”

Carpet : Cavalier Bremworth Untouched “Restful”

What social accounts do you turn to for inspiration ?

View Kathrines portfolio or get in touch...

Kathrine’s portfolio is diverse from family homes and apartments, to health and wellbeing, retail to hospitality.

To view Kathrine’s full portfolio or make contact visit Kathrine's website here

Follow Kathrine’s social media accounts here:

Note: All photos featured are from Kathrine's portfolio of projects with the exception of Luxcambra Hanging lamp Champignon image.


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