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Fabulous Finishing

Understanding colour, having good taste, and knowing how to select individual elements to create a beautiful and inviting whole is not something that can be taught. It comes from the heart, it is innate and, combined with attention to detail plus a natural empathy with clients, it leads to an interior design house of the calibre of Christchurch’s own Kit and Caboodle.



At the studio, Alex Marie and Andrea Tudehope have created a temple of gorgeous fabric, furniture and finishing touches that are just a tempting hint of the luscious comfort that they can create for your home.

Inspired by the great designers, Alex and Andrea follow the William Morris ethic – that you should not have anything in your home that you do not believe to be beautiful or useful.

European designers such as David Hicks, Robert Couturier, Colefax and Fowler, and more latterly the Americans such as Albert Hadley and Daniel Romualdez have shaped their approach.

Distilling the giants of interior design and adding their own flair has created an ethos of comfort and soul at Kit and Caboodle, which means they are well on their way to becoming one of the ‘greats’ themselves.

While never trend-driven, “it does follow that fashion in clothing design filters down to influence things that are happening in interior design,” Andrea says.

For them it’s about layering to get a beautiful room to come together.

“A beautiful room must be personal; it must never look like a ‘stage set’ and we would never fit out entirely in one brand,” Alex says.

“Not everyone gets everything new,” Andrea says. “We often work from at least one existing item that is staying in the room, such as a work of art or a sofa.”

If they are working with a blank canvas, they start with floor, walls, and curtains.

“We begin with the most expensive items and then it is about layering to create the intimate and comfortable style of life, with accents or surprises to stimulate the senses,” Alex explains.

Freshening up antique or classical style furniture with contemporary fabrics or with bright colours is a passion, and this is a delicious task to undertake with clients given the huge range of fabrics available.

New Zealand agents for the stunning range from Melbourne, Nine Muses Textiles, the gorgeous fabrics are suitable for all furnishings including upholstery, curtains, lampshades and cushions.

Printed onto Libeco Belgian Linens using digital technology, artist and director of Nine Muses Tigger Hall has hand-painted every design, bringing the imperfections and colour variations, while keeping the aesthetic and beautiful feel of traditional textile processes.

“There is something for everyone, modern and contemporary colour juxtapositions through to traditional colour palettes,” Alex says.

“The range feels fresh and clean, and we’ve done some lovely projects with it over the years,” Andrea adds.


Kit and Caboodle

Interiors of the Heart: Kit and Caboodle

Yearningly desirable yet rare in New Zealand homes, familiar in essence but elusive to imitate, the aesthetic at Kit and Caboodle speaks to the heart with its cosy warmth accented with elegance, and its appealing cohesion of beautiful colour elements highlighted with sophisticated and surprising pieces.


Kit and Caboodle


It is the sublime skill of Alex Marie and Andrea Tudehope at Kit and Caboodle which led Melbourne-based designer, Tigger Hall, to select them as the exclusive New Zealand agents for her stunning fabric range, Nine Muses Textiles. Launched this month, Alex and Andrea are showing the beautiful and innovative range nationally to interior designers.

The gorgeous fabrics are suitable for all furnishings including upholstery, curtains, lampshades and cushions. Printed onto Libeco Belgian Linens using digital technology, Tigger Hall has hand painted every design, bringing the imperfections and colour variations, and keeping the aesthetic and beautiful feel of traditional textile processes.


Kit and Caboodle

Nine Muses Textiles is a truly broad range. “There is something for everyone; modern and contemporary colour juxtapositions through to traditional colour palettes,” Alex says.
“The range feels fresh and clean, and designs are inspired by Tigger Hall’s varied travels,” Andrea adds.

There are four collections within the range and each is inspired by nature rather than trend driven, “so they will have great longevity over time,” Andrea says.
Alex and Andrea say their favourite designs change daily, but they would happily have all of them in their own homes. “Each design comes in a broad variety of colourways, so it’s very versatile,” Andrea says. “We stock a lot of the samples in our showroom, so clients should come in for a browse.”


Kit and Caboodle

“Colour is now really popular in homes,” Alex says. “It is having a renaissance – people are no longer afraid of introducing colour.”  They always begin with the premise that it’s essential that people create a home with things they love. “Home is a reflection of personality; you don’t want it being anonymous,” Alex says.

Leaning to European and American in style, softer lines, fabrics, colour, and pattern are Kit and Caboodle trademarks. “Interiors have to be fun but have longevity and age gracefully, have some elegant pieces. We favour mood lighting not just task lighting, mirrors are great for reflecting light and space but also elegance, and we are big on rugs; they add a layered effect, creating rooms within a space,” Alex says.


Kit and Caboodle

Andrea and Alex run the gamut of interior design service. “We have many strings to our bow,” Alex says. They do one-off upholstery, interior design from paint schemes to project management and procurement of entire homes, the finishing touches, repainting of furniture, gilding of mirrors.


Visit their new website at


Kit and Caboodle

Exceptional Sydenham Space: Kit and Caboodle

It would be hard not to feel uplifted and inspired when you walk into the store at 7 Elgin Street in Sydenham.


Kit and Caboodle


The sights, scents and overall vibe of this central city space are warm and inviting, but then that’s not surprising of the destination store which has, at its heart, a philosophy to “create timeless, evolving interiors that give enduring pleasure”.

Kit and Caboodle is filled with an exceptional range of old and new furniture, accessories, lighting, soft furnishings and beautiful wallpapers. There are antiques sourced from throughout New Zealand, set against beautiful new pieces imported from around the world.
But this exceptional Sydenham space is just the beginning of the Kit and Caboodle journey, because this store is so much more than just a store.

Predominantly an interior design consultancy, Owner and Interior Design Consultant, Alex Marie and Interior Design Consultant Andrea Tudehope can provide advice, alongside the beautiful range of furnishings.

The design duo can take care of as little or as much as you would like, from decorating plans through to procurement and from whole-room or house concepts, through to just adding some finishing touches to pull your look together.

Accessorising for example, can make the difference between a house and a home, Alex says. “We can help people stage their bookcases and objects to make them stand out for people. It’s not necessarily about new things, but how things are grouped and styled that can make all the difference.”


Kit and Caboodle


Together they carry out a lot of hand-painting and finishing, which enables them to be able to tailor items to customers’ needs. “This enables you to get a one-off piece and ensures your decorating isn’t a paint by numbers affair,” she explains. “We can individualise items and make them completely unique to you. We really enjoy that side of what we do.”

This season there are plenty of rich colours, from emerald greens through to mustards and golds, There’s beautiful gold framed furniture in the Hollywood regency style and monochromatic themes are fading away as we increasingly crave colour and pattern in the home. Meanwhile, natural fibres are ever-popular and wallpapers are an inexpensive way of making big impact in small spaces, bringing life and colour to your home.

Although trends are new and fun to play with, what is more important than jumping on the trend bandwagon is that you love something. “Things date and that can make furnishing expensive,” she says. “If you invest wisely in things you love, you’re less likely to be disappointed and you will find you love your home much more longer term.”


Find Kit and Caboodle at 7 Elgin Street, Sydenham,
visit the new website at
or phone 03-379 6575.