At Home With Jess Britten

Jess lives in Auckland with her husband Warren and two young children, Stevie and Walter, who arrived just after our photoshoot. In 2016 they purchased an historic hall in Freeman’s Bay and, after much hard work and clever curation, have carefully restored and converted it into a captivating, stylish family home.

A long-time Ashley & Co. fan, Jess gives us some insights into some of her favourite things, her home’s charm and how she uses scent to fill its lofty spaces.

What’s your favourite space in your home and why?

One of my favourite things about the hall is that each space within it feels quite different and special in its own way, yet there are details that create a cohesive flow throughout the home. Our bedroom is a stunning space that feels tranquil and grounding, and gets beautiful natural light that dances around the room at different times in the day which is magic to watch.

The hall itself is also a highlight for me, even after all these years. It has a breath-taking 5.5 metre high ceiling stud, exposed original brick and is where we have many of our heirloom or vintage treasures out for us to enjoy - for me, it’s these personal details and objects with meaning that make a house feel like home.

Describe your home style / aesthetic in three words? Thoughtful, creative, timeless.

What often surprises people about your home when they visit?

The hall is about as far from a traditional home as you can get, so I think people are surprised by the entire thing! It is a historic building that we have worked hard to restore and convert into a home over the last 5.5 years. It is very private and doesn’t give much away from the outside, which makes it fun seeing people's reaction when they come in. Interestingly, one of the most common things people notice is the vintage Noguchi Freeform Sofa I restored, it’s an unusual shape and seems to catch peoples eye.

Do you have a fond memory that’s associated with scent?

I love the gentle persuasion scent has to usher in old memories. Recently I've been baking with my daughter, Stevie, and the smell of fresh banana cake has brought back memories of my own childhood birthdays that I didn’t know I had. It is lovely recalling them and sharing them with Stevie.

Do you pick scents based on the time of the day, occasion or in different seasons?

I’m a bit of a loyalist when it comes to scent. Once I've found something I love, I tend to enjoy it all year round. If my mood needs a pick me up or I'm preparing for a special celebration at home, I will often light a candle in the morning and something about the simple ritual makes me feel grounded.

Tell us about your favourite Ashley & Co scent?

I have been a Tui & Kahili fan since day dot. It was around a decade ago that I got my first A&C Waxed Perfume candle and I still love it!


And what product is your #1?

I like the fact I can have the same scent carried throughout our home. I love the Washup in our bathrooms, the Waxed Perfume candle on our dining table and use the Power House room mist when I want to give our whole home a heavenly scent boost.

Jess was photographed at home in November. She and her husband have since welcomed baby Walter to their spacious and stylish family home, which will be full of laughter and joy this Christmas.