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Kara Rosenlund Stylist

Karen Walker’s Old House

I am in love with Karen Walker’s old House…..truth be told this house actually started my obsession with houses and the way we live. Eleven years ago I came across an out of date Belle magazine with an article on Karen Walker’s Swanson home in New Zealand shot by Derek Henderson called ‘Escape Artists’… needless to say that magazine ended up coming home with me that day.  I would flick through that magazine and read that article to no end, wishing I lived in an art deco house on top of a hill with rambling green country side and hydrangeas and white adirondack chairs everywhere. The shots above are actually from a little obsessive scrapbook I used to keep all my favourite bits in, including the Welsh Hills Road house shot for Belle in 1999 and then later in 2004’s for  Russh Magazine. It is wonderful seeing the natural progression of people’s decorating.

I’m not sure how I missed this one, though last night for what ever reason I thought to myself ‘I wonder what Karen Walker’s house is up to? I wonder if there are ant new shots of the house to spy? Can we see more this time?’ – strange I know. To my utter shock it was placed on the market and sold in 2010, I missed my chance! You can see the property here. Karen Walker and family now live in downtown Auckland, you can see their new house on The Selby (still unsure how I missed this). I’m sure they are happy and have moved on from the house in Swanson, though I’m not sure if I have…. or ever will. I love you house!

K x


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14 Comments to “Karen Walker’s Old House”

  1. I’ve seen her new place on The Selby – it is pretty amazing too but very different. How many Art Deco place in the middle of the countryside would you find??? I’m surprised to hear they sold it! Maybe it had termites?

    • It was actually moved to that spot in the the 90’s. I think this is what I love the most about the house, the juxtaposition of the house and the landscape! K x

  2. i love the gardens, i could see myself sitting on the adirondack chairs cup of tea in hand and a cosy blanket on a chilly winter morning – oh to be sitting there now instead of my desk! happy wednesday Kara. x

  3. I remember the first time I saw this house all those years ago in some magazine and still to this day it has remained my dream house. I also carried that mag around for days and probably still have it somewhere up in the shed where things go to die! I think from memory there was a photo of a beautiful egg lamp on the floor. I became obsessed with them after this article! It’s lovely to see it again, thanks Lou

    • You are absolutely right Lou! I too became obsessed with egg lamps after this article (before they became rather mainstream); and that fabulous old black leather railway bench! Ha! Great to hear from you! Kara x

  4. Um.. WOW.. Incredible.. She is super cool.. I love hearing how peeps came to obsess over things and where and who the love affair begun.. My interior obsession started when i was working as a Manager at Country Road and one of my girls went over the States and bought me a few Domino Magazines because she though they reminded her of me.. I was HOOKED line and sinker.. Then when i left they all chipped in for the Domino book.. I still read it and smile and wonder what on earth i would spend all my time on if it wasn’t perving at other peoples homes.. x

    • How sweet Katherine… looking at other people’s houses in such a privilege! It is just so fascinating how differently we all live. K x

  5. Shock. Shock. Shock. Why would anybody, in their right mind, sell that??? But I guess there must have been a good reason. Talk about unique. Which real estate agents often do. But which actually applies to that place. Art Deco on a Hill. Does it get any better????

    • Hi Glamour Drops! I really think Karen Walker had the best house in the world; I’m not sure if it does get any better than that. I mean of course it does, though you can build charm, you know what I mean, that house has such a special vibe about it. I’m sure the new owners love it just as much. K xx

  6. I first came across this house when I was a teenager in NZ House & Garden. I still love the original Welsh Hills Rd house over the Ponsonby one which I feel is a little sterile. I loved when Karen had her eclectic snow dome collection, the drawing (by an 8 year old), of her (now deceased) dog Turkey on the wall and the strange 70’s drinking glass collection – featuring nude men – next to old silver stirrup cups. I have seen an article showing new pics of her living area in the Ponsonbyn home and she has thankfully added a rug, a tea chest and some other curios to try and inject that fun back in…

    • Wasn’t that house extraordinary. Loved Turkey and all those wonderful layers. Ha – thats right – the snow globe – I had forgotten about that – good memory!

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