At home with Heidi Billington, owner of the Tonic Room
At home with Heidi Billington, naturopath, medicinal herbalist, and owner of Tonic Room. A holistic destination bringing together the best of green beauty in a modern and luxurious setting, transporting visitors to a place of calm. Visitors to the space can book a consultation with holistic practitioners, or enjoy a luxury bespoke treatment.
Adorned in the rose organic cotton voile long lounge robe and lounge shorts, Heidi & adorable pooch Luna invite us into their home in Titirangi.
Where are you from and where do you reside currently?
This has always been a tricky question for me! I often reply ‘an international citizen’ as it’s a long story of being born in Canada, but lived my childhood in USA, Scotland, England, Egypt, France and Switzerland. After traveling around the world for most of my adult life, I finally settled in beautiful Titirangi 10 years ago with my family.
Do you have a morning / night ritual?
I love a good ritual and change them between different seasons. The summer has been waking up early at 6am, grabbing coffee and going to the beach with my husband and dog. Fresh air, watching the sun rise and our dog Luna jumping through the waves, is such a peaceful, grounding way to start the day. The evening is taking a yoga class to wind down and having a really hydrating skin routine before bed. Slowing a skincare ritual down, enjoying and taking time has been a big revelation for me and my skin.
The winter ritual is starting the day with tea in bed and opening the curtains to watch the trees. We are blessed to live in a beautiful part of the country and love being surrounded by trees. Some of the Kauri trees in our garden are over 300 years old. The night routine is either yoga at my local studio or stretching on my yoga mat. I also take an infrared sauna in the evenings and contrast cold by jumping in the pool. It’s very revitalising but makes you sleep like a rock!
What is a normal day like for you?
There is never a normal day for me and much depends on whether I am in the clinic or working from the home office. Wherever I am, I try to work Monday to Friday leaving the weekend free for relaxation, switching off and trying not to peak in my inbox.
Tell us about your space, do you have a favourite area(s) within it?
My home is my sanctuary and nature plays a big part in my life. I love sitting out on our deck or by the pool. It’s such a tranquil place surrounded by trees and birds. Sitting in my mediation space in my bedroom is also another special area for me. Our lounge space by the fire is a favourite in the winter.
What are some of your favourite objects?
I’ve really begun to 'Marie Kondo' my house over the past few years slowly discarding or recycling items that no longer bring purpose to our space and keeping or purchasing items that bring joy. It’s a journey but we are slowly getting there. The kids have now gone flatting which has made the process easier as they created a lot of clutter! Love them to bits, but wow they are messy! I have a few large crystals I adore and also the Vitruvi diffuser is a favourite of mine. Scenting the home with essential oils can bring a lot of therapeutic benefits and also change the atmosphere within it.
What is your favourite piece(s) of furniture and is there a story behind it?
I have a beautiful old desk in my bedroom that my Grandfather gave my Grandmother as an engagement present. It has stains, scratches and water marks on it but I’m hoping one day I’ll get it refurbished back to its former glory.
What is your approach to styling your space?
I’m very inspired by nature and try to bring the outside into our house. We have large windows all over the house and I love when the sun streams through them. Plants, natural materials, wood and glass are some of my favourites. We lived for many years in Costa Rica and brought a lot of our furniture and objects with us from there. We love to mix the old furniture with the new more modern items we have purchased here. Ideally I would love the whole house white, but that’s never going to happen with kids and animals around!
What inspires you?
Kind people. My Mum is probably the kindest person in the world.
How do you like to spark creativity?
A bush walk whilst listening to my favourite podcasts or audible book. I love a bit of woo woo and there is nothing more inspiring than the possibility of something bigger than us out there in the universe.
How do you like to spend your down time?
Travelling used to be my escape but now the pandemic has made me realise that paradise really can be found in your own backyard. I also love to spend time with people who make me laugh. There is nothing better than true friendships where you can just be yourself and have a lot of fun.
Are you reading, watching or listening to anything at the moment?
I read the old classic The Alchemist over the summer and finally found out what the hype was all about. What a beautiful book.
How do you like to practice self-care / achieve inner stillness?
It truly is through yoga and being in nature.
How do you like to unwind before bed?
Slowing down with a nightly routine of double cleansing, skin soaking, Gua sha with beautiful oils and lots of moisturiser.
What are some words you like to live by?
'Never underestimate the power of a kind woman. Kindness comes from incredible strength'. Unfortunately some, especially from within the business world, view kindness as a weakness and it actually couldn’t be more further from the truth. You can still be a gentle and compassionate person and run a successful business. I very much try to encompass this belief in everything I do at Tonic Room.
When you are feeling flat, what’s something that brings you back to yourself?
This is going to sound very uncool, but watching and being with my cats. Animals are so uncomplicated and could teach us a thing or two about living a simple but content life. I guess a good Aperol Spritz also does the trick :)
Who are some of your favourite artists?
I have many but never remember their names.
Do you have a favourite go-to recipe?
I’ve been a vegetarian for 43 years so most of what I make is plant-based. My absolute favourite is a thick, lentil soup nicknamed Spiderman soup to try and trick my young kids into eating it. They are yet to receive Spiderman powers but it’s still their favourite even now in their 20s.
What lead you to start the Tonic Room?
Tonic Room is my absolute dream after years of travelling the world. I wanted to create a holistic clinic where people could come and have all their needs met in calm, safe setting with exceptional practitioners.
Another side of the business is the retail/online store which brings in collections of natural and luxurious items from around the globe and New Zealand that spark ritual, relaxation and inspiration to lead a clean and environmental friendly life. It is very fulfilling. It’s not about having a million things, it’s about having a few beautiful products that fit within your budget and makes you feel good.
Visit Tonic Room at 465 New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland. Or online at here.
Photography captured by Nicole Brannen.