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Father Rabbit at Home with Grace Chapman-Smith

Come with us to take a peek inside the beautiful home of the lovely Grace Chapman-Smith of  Fuman Design. Long time friend of Father Rabbit, Grace kindly let us into her space to chat through her design career and her home philosophy while we took a nosey around. If you're anything like us and love to see and hear about people's spaces, keep on reading!
Tell us a bit about yourself, your home, and who you live with?

I’m an intuitive, Eurasian Gemini, and a Mum of 3, married to Jon Chapman-Smith. I’m a connection maker and a big picture seeer. I love seeing the potential and get energy from finding ways to enhance and improve things.

We live in Titirangi in an original 70’s pad, surrounded by trees. I live with Jon - my life and business co-collaborator and our 3 darling, vivacious kids - Layla 11, Amber 7 and Jake 2. My personal home philosophy/mantra is ’tidy it up or it’s in the bin’.
Do you have a personal home or style philosophy?We seem to naturally start collections and it’s a trait our kids are adopting - so 'a one in one out' philosophy is something we’re practicing so we keep on top of the clutter and aim for more curated vibes - with considered collections...What are some of your favourite items in your house, sentimental or otherwise?

We are lucky to have artworks by very talented friends of ours (Karley Feaver, Natalie Tozer and Reuben Patterson) and on top of that some beautiful pieces given to us by my husband’s Nonna, Meme Churton from her art collection from the 50’s – my fav of her’s are two 1950’s japanese abstract woodcut prints that hang over our bed. All the art on our walls has good vibes and a personal meaning to us both.

I also love our outdoor Piha Wire chairs from Icotraders and I love my Zoe + Morgan jewellery pieces - such beautiful timeless pieces that make me happy.Do you have a favourite space/room in your home?

Lying anywhere there is sun and watching the native birds. Our lounge is a good place for this as we have big floor to ceiling windows with trees all around - so there’s a bit of a grown up tree house feel, with a pretty view of beautiful trees that change with the seasons.

I’ve been getting into bird feeders over this lockdown and that has become a nice calming daily ritual that we’re enjoying together as a family.
Tell us about your career - what have been some of the biggest milestones and any difficult moments?

My background of 20+ years stretches across events, marketing and experiential design. Jon and I have been running Fuman Design together for the past 9 years - a branding and design studio in Auckland City. We work with a super talented team helping big brands and start-ups to strategically define their brand, then translate that visually in a way that feels distinctive and true to that brand.

Running your own business comes with its freedoms, but the challenge is balancing that with the constant anxiety of always having things to do and improve. We can both battle with knowing when to switch off.  Fuman began with an entrepreneurial approach - learning to be clever on tight budgets, working out how to get best bang for buck - so we never want to loose that start-up attitude in how we work, as it’s a source of energy for us too.

Not comparing your journey to others is another challenge. There is so much inspiration all around – it can sometimes be overwhelming. I find its been important to keep reminding ourselves to use others success as a source of inspiration and keep focussed on our own path and what we can do in our unique way and just try our best to enjoy the journey along the way.

Where do you draw inspiration from and how do you avoid creative burnout?

I often draw inspiration from road trips. Jon and I often have our best chats on road trips and long walks is when we talk about big picture stuff which always gives some fresh perspective… Getting away regularly to the coast is always the best reset for us and the family.

I also like mood-boarding, shopping and finding new treasures, then rearranging areas around the house. Burnout is kept at bay thanks to Ashtanga yoga and bush-walks with good friends.

What are some ways you keep the balance between your home and work life?

Hmm still working on this… but try to have set times for work life and family life and have goals for each.

What's on your playlist at home?

My kids have taken over my spotify… so probably something very ‘pop'… Dua Lipa has been on high rotation! In the studio, I’m enjoying listening to people’s Desert Island Disc’s playlists on Spotify and love listening to podcasts on the way into work.

Quick Fire Favourites:

Book: Loved reading Where the Crawdad sings by Delia Owens. Had book grief when I finished.
Food: any nice meal shared with friends. Vietnamese and Japanese flavours are big fav’s for us.
Beauty Products: Sans Ceuticals Activator Oil – smells and feels amazing
City: Istanbul or Mexico city – love the history, rich culture and plethora of things to discover
Podcasts: Desert Island Discs and Supercreative

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