Steal This Look: A Moody Mid-Century-Japanese Mashup

A few weeks ago, Alexa wrote about a recent project from one of our favorite designers, New Zealand Katie Lockhart. What we especially admire about Katie is her skillful touch when it comes to mixing different styles and eras so that the overall look isn’t too difficult or contrived.

Below, we dissect the elements that make this living room, in an Auckland villa, one of the coolest we’ve seen.

Photograph by David Straight, courtesy of Katie Lockhart Studio.

Katie Lockhart Franklin Road Project Above: Trowel-polished plaster by Resene Rockcote, a plaster coating specialist in New Zealand, makes up the walls throughout the house.
Katie Lockhart Franklin Road Project Above: Katie often works with her friend, carpenter Grant Bailey, to design custom furniture for her clients. For this room, they collaborated on the armchair. Much of the rest of the furniture was found after a supply trip to Japan. Katie had the sofa, ottoman, and armchair covered in the same olive green upholstery.
Katie Lockhart Franklin Road Project Above: Custom built-in walnut cabinetry run the length of one wall, covering the living room and kitchen.
Katie Lockhart Franklin Road Project Above: Katie worked with Jack McKinney Architects on the project. Their clients were inspired by a recent trip to Sri Lanka, where they encountered the work of architect Geoffrey Bawa.
Katie Lockhart Franklin Road Project Above: Right, an interior garden, designed by Katie and executed by her brother, landscape designer Jared Lockhart.

Here’s what you’ll need to replicate the look:


CS sofa by Truck Furniture Above: Katie chose the CS sofa and ottoman from Truck in Japan for the living room; ¥ 594,000 and ¥ 145,500.
Rushed Woven Bench by Mel Smilow at 1st Dibs Above: The rush bench in space comes from Japan. For a similar look, try this Woven Rush bench made in the USA by Mel Smilow; $ 3,060 at 1stdibs.
Sawkille high stool in bleached walnut Above: Instead of a side table, consider this sleek and rustic high stool from Sawkille; from $ 1000.


Aalto floor lamp Above: Artek’s A810 Floor Lamp by Alvar Aalto is $ 2,119 at Finnish Design Shop.
Hotaru double bubble light Above: The Hotaru Double Bubble Light starts at £ 270 at twenty-two.
FLOS Jasper Morrison GLO Ball Mini T table lamp Above: Jasper Morrison’s GLO Ball Basic Zero Table Lamp retails for $ 293 at Lumens. (See 10 Easy Pieces: Diffused Glow Bedside Lamps.)


Vintage Berber pillow from Berberology Above: This vintage Berber pillow retails for $ 102 at Berberology.

Floor and wall coverings

Traditional Cotto Fornace Brioni Above: The tiles throughout the room are Italian terracotta tiles by Fornace Brioni.
Tuareg carpet from Kulchi Above: Katie bought the Tuareg carpet from Kulchi. From the website: “Produced by the nomadic Tuareg tribes of Mauritania – Tuareg rugs are handmade with reed and decorated with leather.”
Aalto Pause painting Above: The color on the walls is Pause, from Aalto Paint, a New Zealand paint company.

For the full tour of the house, see Collective Composition: A Historic Villa Renovation in Auckland by Katie Lockhart and Jack McKinney Architects.

For more of the designer’s projects, see:

  • A monastic and soulful house in New Zealand including Japanese shaker style
  • Mission Bay Lodge: A Modern and Colorful Addition to Auckland City Beach

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