A fashionable life: inside the Belgravia home of Atea Oceanie designer Laura Myers 

The drawing room features intricate plaster mouldings and a framed piece of tapa cloth
The drawing room of Laura Meyers' London home features intricate plaster mouldings  Credit: Ingrid Rasmussen

Laura Myers’ handsome London townhouse is a short stroll from Buckingham Palace but it has a light, bright vibe more in keeping with antipodean style than overstuffed English interiors. A New Zealand native, Laura grew up in Auckland and has  brought the laid-back spirit of the south Pacific with her to buttoned-up Belgravia. 

‘Whenever I come home I always feel so calm,’ says Laura. ‘The bones of the house are classically British but the feeling isn’t fussy or strict. A relaxed attitude is definitely part of the Kiwi approach to life. I wanted it to feel very serene and have an easy flow from room to room.’ 

Laura Myers in the dining room of her London home Credit: Ingrid Rasmussen

‘Easy’ is a word that Laura uses a lot, both to describe her home and Atea Oceanie, the fashion label she launched four years ago. The collection is also infused with a laid-back sensibility, offering clothes that are stylish rather than fashionable with a capital ‘F’. 

‘The initial idea was around a really tightly edited capsule wardrobe,’ she explains. ‘I was travelling a lot at the time and wanted easy pieces that could all work well  together, like an oversized boyfriend shirt, classic  wide-leg pants and a sharp double-breasted blazer. The collection is for quietly confident women who don’t want clothes that shout.’ 

A mirrored wall creates the feeling of space in the dining room, while the lights above the dining table are from Rose Uniake and the brass planter is by Monica Förster for Skultuna   Credit: Ingrid Rasmussen

Laura’s low-key, effortless designs have won a legion of high-profile celebrity fans: Kate Moss, Alexa Chung, Kendall Jenner, Dakota Johnson and Kristen Stewart have all been spotted in Atea Oceanie pieces. 

Surprisingly, Laura didn’t study fashion; after she graduated from the Ivy League university Brown with a degree in sociology, she worked for the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi in Manhattan. Two years later she decided to pursue a career in fashion and moved back to New Zealand to take up an internship with the designer Trelise Cooper.

Alexa Chung in Atea Oceanie Credit:  REX/Shutterstock

 ‘I started off sewing on buttons as a very lowly assistant, then had a couple of different positions in production and the wholesale side of the company,’ Laura explains. ‘It gave me a sense that I knew all sides  of the business.’

These insights proved valuable when Laura set up Atea Oceanie in London, which she is growing ‘step by step’. ‘It evolves gradually rather than changing dramatically each season,’ she says. ‘It’s minimal but I want it to feel soft and have a bit of sensuality.’ 

Curtains made from vintage Greek tablecloths add an elegant touch in the master bedroom Credit: Ingrid Rasmussen

This is also the perfect description of Laura’s home. She bought the three-storey Georgian property four years ago and gave it a ‘largely cosmetic’ overhaul by painting everything white, installing new flooring and replacing hardware such as light switches and door  handles. The biggest change was in the kitchen,  which has been reconfigured and freshened up with new cabinets. 

The refreshed kitchen Credit: Ingrid Rasmussen

This neutral backdrop has been layered with an artfully composed collection of objects: there are carved Maori walking sticks in the hall; coconut fibre fans  from the Cook Islands in the living room; photographic art by the New Zealand photographer Derek Henderson in the kitchen; and Samoan tapa cloth wall hangings in the guest bedroom. All manner of beautiful sea shells are dotted throughout the house.

‘I wanted to surround myself with things that felt like home and I collected quite a lot of pieces from around the south Pacific,’ she says. ‘I really like that island sort of feeling.’ 

A shell framed mirror is one of the many South Sea Island touches in the house Credit: Ingrid Rasmussen

Laura’s mother, the Auckland-based interior designer Stephanie Overton, helped her to decorate, and Rose Uniacke (Victoria Beckham’s decorator of choice), who has a shop on the nearby Pimlico Road, sourced unusual lights, including a pair of spectacular scones in the ground-floor dining room.

The guest room  Credit: Ingrid Rasmussen 

The first floor is suffused with light thanks to a run of large windows on both sides. A huge sea shell-framed mirror sits on the mantelpiece in a more formal dining area with a 1960s table and lucite chairs. Next door, a high-ceilinged drawing room with intricate plaster mouldings has the look of a grand ballroom in miniature. The pale palette allows the architecture to sing and individual details come to the fore, such as a lustrous inlaid mother-of-pearl tabletop.  The table was a gift from her mother, a former model, who has clearly been a big style inspiration.

‘I’ve always loved interiors thanks to my mother,’ Laura says. ‘One  of our favourite things to do when we are together  is moving furniture around and rearranging the rooms. It keeps the house alive.’ 

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