MM Friend: Alice Lines
In these times of Instagram-aesthetic perfection, Alice Lines - mother to Ted, editor of homestyle, interior stylist, pottery maestro - looks to spaces with feeling for inspiration; spaces that spark joy in the reflection of their creative dwellers.
The seaside Auckland home she shares with partner Nick and son Ted is filled with local art, furniture and design pieces that are purchased with meaning and intention and colourful MILOU MILOU linen that offers an injection of summer's optimistic and joyous spirit. We spoke with Alice about the magic of print media, local creativity and the healing power of saltwater.
How do you begin and end your days?
I used to set an alarm every night, but now my days unfailingly begin with my son Ted 'encouraging' me out of bed for breakfast at around 6am. After that, the pre-work hustle is on as we cajole each other out the door to work and daycare.
The evenings are similar, but in reverse! The nightly ritual of snuggling up next to Ted in bed to read ‘four books for a four year old’ is one of my favourite times of day. In winter, my partner Nick and I get into bingeing TV series once Ted’s in bed, but now that summer's upon us, we’re really enjoying spending our evenings outside on the deck.
Tell us a little about yourself and your work – there must be a wonderful synergy between your work as editor of homestyle and as an interior stylist?
Yes, the two go hand in hand. I primarily work as editor of homestyle, but as a small independent publisher, we have a few other strings to our bow — namely interior styling for both residential projects and local brands that we do studio shoots for, which we fit in on a project basis around our production schedule for the magazine.
I came to my role with a degree in visual communication and a background in art direction, so the blend of both curating and creating is what keeps me inspired. After all these years, there’s still something magical about making each issue of a magazine. From discovering the homes all sorts of clever people are creating, to seeking out artists and designers to champion, the wealth of creativity going on all over Aotearoa continues to excite me.
How would you describe your family home?
Nick, Ted and I live in a cottage by the sea in Tāmaki Makaurau. It’s a humble little spot with wonky floors, but the light is lovely and there’s plenty of space to spread out in.
How have you infused your personal style into each space?
I’m a bit of a collector and have a thing for objects that are beautiful and useful. Nick and I have slowly been collecting pieces by local artists for our walls and updating our furniture as and when we decide on the right fit for a space. We’re all about holding out for what we’re really keen on, rather than buying ‘gap fillers’.
You’ve been privy to many interiors and spaces, what are the things that stand out to you most in a home?
For me, the most joyful thing is when a home's owners have let their spaces reflect who they are and how they like to live. With the proliferation of Insta-famous interiors, things have become ultra-focused on aesthetics and not so much on feeling, so I love it when people go all in on indulging their own unique wants and needs. My current obsession is built-in furniture; storage, window seats, sunken lounges — I’m loving moments that express volume and form in different ways.
What does colour mean to you and how does it impact your life?
In the ’80s, getting your colours done was a thing. I was an ‘autumn’ and funnily enough have resonated with similar hues ever since! If we’re talking interiors, I love colour and the act of putting together a palette for a room. The way certain hues work together can really change the mood of a space. Case in point when we updated our bedroom with a new set from MILOU MILOU — with so many great options for various pairings, I agonised over which colours to choose from the selection online for quite a while, and adding this soft lilac with a hit of yellow and turquoise has been a fun way to inject a bit of summer colour into the mix after sleeping in white linen all winter.
Pillowcases - OTTO, ZAC Flat Sheet - DAVID Duvet Cover - OTTO/MARK
We read that you're passionate about pottery. What is it about this practice that you love?
It started with a dinner set I made for us to use at home, and now I’ve been heading along to the Ceramic College in Bayswater for a weekly session for over five years. Working with clay is such a great leveller — the process really allows me to disconnect from work and parenting, while immersing myself in the making.
Auckland has been in lockdown for quite some time this year, what were some of your biggest challenges and greatest lessons?
Oh gosh, it’s the first week ‘out’, so I still have lockdown PTSD!
What are you most looking forward to as we head into summer?
Summer feels like it’s well and truly here in Tāmaki Makaurau! The days are humid, the pōhutukawa are flowering and we’re keeping an eye on the tides to make the most of our local beach for daily dips. There’s so much to enjoy right on our doorstep.
Talk us through some of your favourite things…
People - My two boys — Nick and Ted.
Artists - I love the wealth of artistic talent we have here in Aotearoa, so it’s hard to keep this brief! Our most recent purchases for home include — Raukura Turei, Ophelia Mikkelson Jones, Kirsten Carlin, Ed Bats and Alan Ibell.
Go-to dinner – Our current family favourite is soba noodle bowls. So good with miso glazed salmon and garden greens.
Snack - I’m not much of a snacker, but do have a thing for going all out on a platter when the occasion calls for it!
Exercise – Spin classes! The high intensity (and low light) is a great endorphin rush regardless of the state of flux of my fitness! I’m hoping for more hiking in 2022.
Drink - Tea, coffee, water, tea, wine, tea — in that order. Partial to a negroni for summer celebrations too.
Perfume - I switch it up between two brands by local women I admire — Abel Odor and Curio Noir. Currently enjoying Nurture by Abel created by mothers for mothers, and I always have one of the Curio Noir pocket parfums in my bag for a dab on the go too. Really enjoying their new scent Ngutu Pā which is an intoxicating earthy floral.
Stress relief - Ocean swims! As they say… Salt water fixes everything.
What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
Recently I’ve taken to parking up on our bed an hour or so before bed with the aim of dipping into one of the many books stacked up on my bedside table — or drafting a few emails for the next day, as the case may be! Then on the journey from the bathroom to bed, I always sneak into Ted’s room to make sure he’s tucked in, and for one last peck on the cheek.