Sometimes playful, sometimes dark, but always beautiful with an edge” is how Claire Hammon and Greg Fromont describe the jewellery collections they design and manufacture together. Much the same can be said for their home, a turn-of-the-century villa in Auckland’s Grey Lynn that clearly pays homage to their eye for the eccentric and the unexpected.
Fromont moved in first to what was then a “boy’s flat”, site unseen, and Hammon followed a year later. Over the past four years their home has evolved to accommodate not only flatmates that have come and gone, and most recently Gigi, their three-month-old daughter, but also Meadowlark, the jewellery business of this design-savvy duo.
“Most of the rooms have been used for multiple purposes, as living areas, bedrooms or office space,” says Hammon. With a background in graphic design, she works alongside Fromont as co-designer, as well as being responsible for the business end of things. “Meadowlark is an extension of our personalities, as are the things we surround ourselves with, so really they both come from the same place, although one is our collection and the other our creation.”
Renovation and redecoration has haphazardly happened along the way. They describe their combined style as “mostly simplistic and modern, with the odd punch of interesting colour.” Paying attention to details and the ever-changing journey of life contributes to the design process both at home and work. The dining room is the only area that has remained truly original, with rustic and heavy wooden walls that stand in sharp juxtaposition to Hammon’s growing collection of white and finely detailed ceramics that almost fill a wall alongside. “The ceramics we have collected are partly a reaction to living in what was once such a dark house, a counter to what could have been quite depressing,” says Hammon.
“Often the pieces we design are a reaction to the events that are going on in our lives too; we can actually see where we were in our lives by looking back at our collections. The buckles and belt pieces we designed while we were getting married, and are a symbol of being bound to each other. The ceramics we have collected have also inspired us to make our own ceramic collection for Meadowlark, so one reaction constantly feeds into the other.”
When it comes to choosing a favourite space for Hammon, the master bedroom is the winner. “It’s the most simplistic room. We have had to make it really functional because it is tiny, but it gets bathed in sun so it’s always warm and cosy.” Fromont has his own clear favourite: “Claire’s office, because it’s filled with her own aesthetic – from the way the things on the walls are composed to the desk and wall shelves made from the same piece of plywood. It’s also the room I’m in least, so I find it refreshing to be in there.”