"Home to me is a sanctuary, a place that we retreat to & rest & relax in together as a family."
Director of Rowson Kitchens; Annika Rowson, runs a successful in-house company where her and her husband Brad, personally design, manufacture and install kitchens and joinery projects. Annika is drawn to layers and textures, where she balances minimalism with integrating special objects or antiques that add character and personality.
Grounded Rugs recently commissioned a stunning, round custom wool design to style Annika's enviable home on the outskirts of New Plymouth, New Zealand. In Annika's account for A Grounded Life, she shares how she's overcome the many challenges life has dealt her and what she has learnt about herself throughout these experiences. Her love of nature helps her feel at peace and is often where her best ideas stem from.
Please enjoy this honest and inspiring account of a Grounded Life, lived by Annika Rowson.
Where do you call home?
Home is a 1940s gem on the dress circle in New Plymouth, New Zealand. It is an elevated location overlooking the city with beautiful sea views that also treats us to the most incredible sunsets. I am a shadow hunter so it is a perfect fit! We are also fortunate to have a large park-like section that runs down the gully, with ample native birdlife that we adore on a daily basis
What does ‘home’ mean to you?
Home to me is a sanctuary, a place that we retreat to & rest & relax in together as a family
What are the elements that help you transform a house into your home?
Layers & textures are important to me which is a fine balance as I am quite minimal also. I love introducing special pieces being objects or antiques that not only tell a story but add both character & personality.
What creative projects find you most excited and energised?
I have always loved the challenge of a renovation – the transformation is so rewarding but I also enjoy a new build equally as there is often less restriction & more creative direction which is so exciting too.
Which life and/or work projects are you most proud of?
I am so proud of my beautiful boys & my very clever husband Brad who is a qualified joiner – we started our business in 2009 when Deacon was 3 & Lukie was a wee babe & I am so proud that we did that amidst renovating a bungalow & just believing in ourselves that the time was right & we could see a gap in the market for what we wanted to achieve. So many people thought we were crazy as it was right on the recession & were told we would not succeed yet I still remembering lying in bed at night so nervous but so very excited – I believe a bit of fear is a good thing we need it to push forward & as the saying goes if it was easy everyone would be doing it too. I knew we had something special to bring to the market & was determined to do so. Failure was never an option.
Could you share with us some personal insights into a challenging time in your life?
I slipped a disc in my lower back in April this year & it literally stopped in me in my tracks – it was incredibly painful & made me appreciate movement as the simplest gift. As I was rehabilitating through this our eldest son Deacon developed Osteomyelitis which is a bone infection from slipping over in our local park walking our dog & was hospitalised here in New Plymouth then flown to Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland as his condition worsened & it was the most terrifying time for us as family – there is nothing worse than feeling so helpless watching your child suffer & I spent 5 sleepless nights on the floor beside his bed which was hard for Brad as he stayed home running the business & caring for Lukie. Our flight back was the biggest relief even though Deacon had another week in hospital he had beat the bug & that was all that mattered – our focus was on getting him strong enough to come home.
What did you learn about yourself throughout this challenge?
Resilience. I am stronger than I realised, & also that I don’t have to be at work every day anymore. So much can be achieved from a phone call or email/zoom/facetime meeting. It has been liberating – my home is an extension of my showroom & I have learnt that I can use both spaces to be creative & have more time at home with my boys during a time that is so important. Also not feeling guilty for saying no & understanding your worth – does this this project speak to me & does it resonate with my brand for example have been valuable lessons
What type of activities or rituals do you instil to help you remain Grounded?
I always feel completely at peace in nature it is incredibly calming & is where my best ideas come from too. I also try to have a salt bath most nights they help me sleep as I find my mind whirls in so many directions at times. Walking & biking is also so great – we all enjoy biking as a family & love finding new trails to explore together. I am such a homebody also – I love baking & cooking for my family, you can always count on me in the kitchen making a delicious mess with at least one sidekick!
What is the best life advice you have been given?
Trust your intuition ALWAYS – it will never let you down
Favourite travel destination for Grounding yourself:
Well prior to Covid Italy! Currently we are hoping to go up North over Summer but it is impossible to plan … wherever it will be will no doubt have a beach & some trails to wander/ride!
One city must-do travel tip:
Milan – we got amongst the underground after seeing the beautiful vertical forests & were determined to find them after they caught our eye entering the city – utterly breathtaking! Go off the beaten track & adventure wherever you may be xx