They became household names during the 2014 season of The Block NZ. Now, Alex and Corban Walls have three stores showcasing their winning brand of home styling, as well as a two-year-old child, and a new home project on the Shore.
Channel editor Heather Barker Vermeer dropped into their Birkenhead store to chat to the pair about life and their shared love of all things for the home.
Can you briefly sum up what you’ve been spending most time on since The Block NZ?
The Block really introduced us to a whole new world. We discovered that there were a lot of Kiwis like us who wished to express themselves through renovation or decoration, but lacked the confidence and product selection to do so. We started A&C Homestore to bring the best of the world’s homewares to our shores and help people express themselves through design. There’s also been a baby thrown into the mix (Austen, now 2) and our new home build in Beach Haven – which is an ongoing project!
What made you choose Birkenhead for A&C Homestore?
I grew up in the area and saw great potential here for a design destination like A&C Homestore. There are some stunning homes in our little neighbourhood and we’re so enjoying being a spot where locals can stop in anytime to pick up a gift, test out some furniture or just have a chat. We also have a store in BLOC Mt Eden and one in Orakei Bay Village.
What sets you apart from other home stores?
From the beginning, we’ve viewed our store as an extension of our own home and love inviting people to ‘come on in’. We also appreciate that when a customer works with us to update their space it’s also like them inviting us into their home – I feel that kind of personal experience isn’t always on offer at larger chain stores. We’re also slowly adding to our own collection of products designed and created by us, including our popular bed linen. This is a way we can be sure we’re offering something really unique to A&C and sets our own style. Often this is picking up fashion colour trends but translating them in a way that’s not going to become outdated in a year.
Which colours are you loving the most this spring?
We’re attracted to natural forms and environments, so our palette is always grounded by earthy colours like olive green and terracotta. That said, this season our range feels really fresh with a good injection of punchy pinks, bright ochres, mustards and plenty of white and neutral tones to style with.
What is your current favourite piece in the store?
For us, spring and summer are all about entertaining – making the most of the warm weather by bringing people together to enjoy a good meal and a few drinks. For this reason, I do love our Vaasa Oak Dining Table. It has a lovely rustic look and is a great price point. Perfect for Christmas lunch!
What’s the number one mistake you feel people make when styling their homes?
I think most people pay a lot of attention to the main areas of the home and those big ticket items like sofas, but then they overlook the little corners and entranceways that can make a big difference to the feel of a space. My advice is to consider the unexpected – a piece of art in a bathroom, or a beautiful bench seat by the front door. Small additions can make a big difference.
A&C Homestore, 7 Enterprise Street, Birkenhead 09 282 2176 www.achomestore.co.nz