Designer Lorraine Allen’s style stems from growing up in Gisborne where farming, wine country, hills and surfing converge. In the early 1990s, she travelled to Mexico where she found a quality of craftsmanship in handmade products that stood out. Taking the colonial influences of Mexico and the beauty of handmade products, Lorraine translated this into a style that has been absorbed into the New Zealand lifestyle.

Handmade and original interior items have an organic style that doesn’t date, each product with its own story of craftsmanship. And it is, perhaps, these stories that create some of the most visually stunning interior products, each emanating a certain beauty that sets them clearly apart from their mass-produced contemporaries.

“Every interior design concept needs an earth element for balance,” Lorraine says.  This is a central premise of Feng Shui, the Chinese theory that promotes living in a balanced way, with each of the elements – earth, air, fire and water – working together to create a balanced flow of energy.

“Earth elements ground a concept and connect the indoors with the outdoors,” she says. And it is in the earth element that her pieces fit. “Handmade, natural and organic pieces have a soft energy that is easy to live with.”

For Lorraine, who has been in the business of interiors for more than two decades, she’s seen a change in what clients are looking for. “People want more personalised designs and that’s where the handmade pieces work well. Each piece has its own unique story and people love that.” There’s a tactility in the originality and differing forms of handmade pieces that draws people to interact with them, to touch them.

L A Imports has close relationships with its Mexican suppliers and designs many of the pieces in each range to suit the New Zealand lifestyle, before they are handcrafted in Mexico. “We also create bespoke pieces for clients, and can work from architectural plans to design handcrafted furniture, fittings and accessories,” Lorraine says.

L A Imports specialises in handmade furniture, doors, lighting, fireplaces, mirrors and accessories, of which are either solid wood or are made of natural products.

Get in touch with L A Imports on ArchiPro here or visit their Auckland showroom for some interiors inspiration.