We visit the home of Ali McIntosh, owner of Tessuti and dear friend of P+B. Ali invites us into her warm and cosy haven in Auckland. Here we talk about home, daily life and everyday rituals.
Where are you from and where do you reside currently?
I grew up in Auckland, and currently live in an apartment in Ponsonby.
Do you have a morning / night ritual?
I like to get up early and go for a walk, usually with a good podcast to listen to. Lately, I've been listening to River Cafe Table. In the evenings, if time allows, I enjoy an early dinner followed by a slow and decadent skincare routine (I'm currently using F. Miller Cleansing Oil and LESSE Ritual Serum). Then it's into bed with a good book.
What is a normal day like for you?
Starting the day with some sort of exercise, then I go into the store or work from the home-office. Some days there might be a photoshoot, or a business meeting. My days can be pretty varied, actually, which is part of the reason I love what I do!
Tell us about your space, do you have a favourite area(s) within it?
My space is a heritage apartment so comes with its set of charms. My favourite space at home is the front room, which overlooks Western Park, it supplies a wave of natural light that is constantly changing throughout the day, and the seasons. At the moment the trees are turning yellow and red and falling, just stunning.
What are some of your favourite objects?
My Astier de Villatte collection (which is growing all the time - yikes!), a set of beautiful 1970s New Zealand pottery that I have inherited from my parents' personal collection, and my paintings by longtime friend and collaborator, Max Thomson.
What is your approach to styling your space?
My approach is ever changing. I find it refreshing to move things around, different spaces become useful at different times of the year - for example, my front room is used for entertaining in the summer, and in winter I tend to bring the dining table back nearer the kitchen again, so I can utilise the lower sun coming in the front room for lounging and reading. In terms of styling and accents, I tend to use a lot of warm tones and interesting textiles.
What inspires you?
Nature, friendships, books.
How do you like to spend your down time?
With family and friends, taking walks outside, antique needlework, and again, books!
Are you reading, watching or listening to anything at the moment?
A podcast called Unpaused by Judith Stewart.
How do you like to practice self-care / achieve inner stillness?
I find gentle stretches and breathing exercises helpful.
What are some words you like to live by?
Honesty, Ethical, Kindness, Empathy, Fair.
When you are feeling flat, what’s something that brings you back to yourself?
Looking over interior books, or reading inspirational biographies.
Who are some of your favourite artists?
Max Thomson, Henrietta Harris.
Do you have a favourite go-to recipe?
Chicken Marbella is always my go-to, or a Slow Roasted Lamb on the weekend is great this time of year.
What led you to start Tessuti?
For as long as I can remember I have been influenced by my physical surroundings and appreciate visual harmony. I think this slowly but surely led me to find Tessuti. My background is in hospitality, and the idea of bringing people together through a set of practices and tools is an extension of everything I do.
Visit Tessuti at 224 Jervois Road, Herne Bay, Auckland. Or online at here.