Recently, we got the honour of aiding The Haka Experience and their Maori Performing Arts group in Auckland. They wanted their rehearsal room to be redesigned to embrace their culture and make better use of their space.

Tapeta from The Haka Experience/Te Wehi Haka runs a premier maori cultural performing arts group that do haka performances globally and cultural awareness workshops.

They called up proclaiming they wanted a interior designer urgently after getting the their time wasted from 4 various designer companies and they started to get anxious. The work was without a doubt running behind the time frame and they needed the design complete as soon as possible to allow the tradesmen to come in. This particular job would have to be wrapped up promptly, the other day if possible to get the work started.

We had a whole lot on that week however with some inventive maneuvering and pulling in a favour and passing a lead onto a friend of ours, we was able to fit Tapeta and make them our most important priority. We all got families and basic humans needs so it’s easy to relate to the disaster taking place and pulling in all the stops to assist someone out. Furthermore those laid back designers that squandered his time mired the good reputation of trades-men across New Zealand, so it wasn’t simply a personal mission, it was actually a mission to revive our shared reputation.

Getting To Work

Having cleared up our timetable we saw that we were able to drop in and produce our legendary interior design services sooner than expected. First thing the following day actually, little miracle actually – much to Tapeta’s pleasure. In some cases its the small things which makes being an interior designer well worth it. Witnessing the smiles on their faces made dropping some work and pulling favours easier to swallow.

When I was showed me the place where we will be redesigning I stopped and felt like running. Just call it a day there and then and declare “yeah sorry, can’t be done!” The area was already so beautiful with intricate Maori carvings carved into the exposed wooden beams and plenty of fine murals painted in bold colours. It felt disrespectful to alter anything in the room at all.

I let my client know this had a talk about what he wanted to get out of the redesign. He stated that while the existing look was really good, he’d love to give it a fresher look and feel. I went home and got to work thinking about how to improve the room with what knowledge I had. I had to dig deep.

Work Goes Better Than Expected


Skip ahead a couple of hours and I got a great start on the initial concept work.

I scoured the internet and took in all the indigenous designs and rooms that I could to see what kind of ideas were sparked from it. That eventually lead to a brain flash with painting a feature wall in a dark red that would set off well with the paintings and new light fixtures to cast light on them, similar to an art gallery.

I also found a beautiful oak wood stain that could be applied to the existing floors that were fading. This would truly create a striking stage on which to perform a haka.

The more details I added to the virtual plans the more excited I got and after 1am I had it all complete!

The next day I sat down with Tapeta and showed him the design briefs. He was thrilled and got to work booking the various trades that would turn my design into reality.

All things considered it turned out to be a great project and I cannot wait to see the completed room. The wood stain was put down yesterday and what a difference it has made already!