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Design and Desire, an evolution of passion

Article by Helen Mays (published in the Manawatu Standard)

They’ve had enough genuinely warm reactions from people they know, to appreciate they’re on the right track, (with apologies for the pun.) As a long established and well respected soft furnishing and interior design business in the Manawatu, Eddy Fischer and Caroline Van der Haas have seen a natural evolution from their successful Aokautere based Caroline’s Creative Interiors, to a newly built on-site home furnishings boutique called Design and Desire.

Design and Desire is Caroline and Eddie’s latest evolution, a natural development from creating beautiful drapes to helping create a home of harmony and visual pizzazz.

The brand new colonial style 100m2 building on their rural property was designed by Bruce Barry Architect and was built by Eric Hansen of CELK Developments. It has a generous car park beside it, where once sheep were grazing.

A deep veranda provides the subdued interior needed to best display a fabulous collection of light fittings, furnishings and furniture; everything to enhance the home at a very reasonable price.

“We’ve had so much support and encouragement from people we know to create our new store,” says Caroline. “Design and Desire is now open thanks to our loyal customers.”

Many of their faithful followers have met Caroline through her 33 years of professional curtain making. She has swagged, draped and hung her way into the hearts of thousands, always respectful and humble and consistently delivering drapes of a top professional standard. Eddy has been her right-hand man, installing, innovating and moulding custom finials to enhance quality drapes, blinds, covered pelmets and swags.

Caroline’s Creative Interiors has over 1000 people on its database, making it easy to keep friends and followers informed of progress and upcoming events via Facebook and e-mail.

Their new home dècor store is built beside the original Lankshear homestead they moved into 37 years ago. Caroline says back in the 70’s this was Avon farm’s plant nursery and a petting zoo.

They have lovingly restored and enhanced the weatherboard villa that has been home and workshop, venue and decor store as they explored their own creative potential. The old Lankshear homestead has really become a destination for Caroline and Eddy’s own particular Dutch heritage hospitality.

There have been numerous weddings held in the magnificent gardens surrounding their home, many family celebrations and some very successful events such as the Pink Ribbon campaign and raising funds for Ronald MacDonald House.

Eddy says there has been no real business plan to their new business direction, they’ve just been following their hearts.

When they first move here the house was in disrepair and the overbearing macrocarpas were dominating the light. Now there are tightly trimmed hedges, a magnificent water fountain, a summer house and mature trees with magnificent foliage.

“You can’t buy atmosphere or 100 year old trees,” adds Eddy.

With their new direction they plan to explore cooking classes, garden art classes, floral art, beauty and health; subjects that bring people together through creativity and sharing.