Well-regarded in the world of New Zealand kitchen design, Annika Rowson is known for her luxe minimalist style. However it was one of her most recent projects, a home renovation in New Plymouth that really caught our eye. Annika had taken on a project that started as a simple kitchen remodel but soon transformed into a full interior rebuild.

We got in touch with Annika to learn more about her career, her signature refined style and her latest project, Wildermoth.

Rowson Profile.jpg
Rowson Profile.jpg

About Annika

With a background in photography, Annika has always had a love for interiors.  Annika and her husband Brad (a joiner) renovated their second home together.  It was during this reno that Annika decided she wanted to design the kitchen herself. Brad taught Annika the skills to hand draw and it just grew from there.

In 2009 they took the leap, joining forces and established Rowson Kitchen & Joinery.  Annika would design kitchens and Brad would build them. At the time Annika says “there seemed to be a gap in the New Plymouth market for affordable, quality design, so we hit the ground running.  It’s safe to say we have never looked back!”


Design Philosophy

Annika describes her own design philosophy as ‘quality over quantity’ and a ‘less is more’ approach. It’s a philosophy which is clearly demonstrated in one of her most recent projects, Wildermoth.

 “I believe it’s important to do things once and do it well, within reason. It’s also important to be mindful of where a product is being sourced, how it impacts the space and its longevity.”

When it comes to kitchens, bathrooms and larger interior renovations, Annika acknowledges that they can be quite a substantial investment. Because of this she feels they need to be executed in a considered and thoughtful manner.

“I strive to deliver spaces that will go the distance – that’s really important to me and my design ethos.”


Her philosophy is clearly helping to make her mark in the New Zealand interior design industry. With several awards under her belt and a steady stream of publications featuring her projects, Annika and her husband are onto a winning formula and show no sign of slowing down, or sticking to just kitchens.

Wildermoth Renovation

One of her most recent projects, Wildermoth, is a fine example of her design ethos and philosophy at play.

The dated home in New Zealand’s North Island desperately needed a kitchen makeover, but what Annika and her clients didn’t envision was a full interior rebuild.

“Once we started with the kitchen, our clients agreed that the connecting living spaces, bathrooms and bedrooms also required renovating. While all of the trades were on site it made sense to utilise them, so our clients packed the house up, stored their belongings and moved out for three months!”

wildermoth collage
wildermoth collage

The finished result combines both functionality for busy family life; and a touch of refined elegance that Annika brings to the space. Quality pieces of furniture were sourced throughout the home, bold black kitchen cabinets and pendant lights were used to add drama, while sheer linen curtains soften the space and bring a sense of luxe.

wildermoth collage 2
wildermoth collage 2

As the kitchen, lounge and dining rooms are quite large open areas, it was important to add warmth, texture and visually connect the rooms without cluttering the space. The clients chose the Escea DS1400 double sided gas fireplace for these rooms which Annika says “has definitely aided in creating this connection – it’s created an elegant dining space and added much-needed warmth to the living room, along with the touch of luxe that only a double sided fire can!”

The hearth is made from Dekton in Trillium while the upper section features the same textured surface used in the kitchen to further enhance the connection between these spaces.


We asked Annika to share her best advice for someone about to start a new home build or renovation. Here’s what she said:

  • Do your research!
  • Seek out professionals whose aesthetic suits your own, and that you feel comfortable with. As you will be investing in your own property, there needs to be transparency and trust for this to occur.
  • Be open with budgets. As a rule, us Kiwis can be quite guarded with this, but in all honesty, an open conversation regarding budget in the early days can save a lot of miscommunication in the long run.
  • Lastly, plan well. Get all of the big decisions locked in so you don’t have to make last-minute decisions (although the odd 11th-hour change can be life-changing). Enjoy the transformation – renovations are so much fun and with a great team on board, you can’t go wrong.

Learn more about the Escea DS Series Gas Fireplace here.

Images: Studio Weir