2 minutes with… The Ali Ward

Ali Ward is an incredible interior designer who has established a reputation for creating commercial spaces throughout New Zealand. She is also the founder of Corner Room Design, where she creates and sources original art pieces that are affordable and accessible. We asked her some questions about art and interior design, and she was kind enough to share some of her top tips for choosing the right artwork for your space. Here’s what she has to say..

Having spent most of my younger life traveling and working around the globe I learnt to adapt quickly to any situation and communicate even when language was a barrier. I was exposed to culture and different view points and from this place of discovery, my passion for interiors and art grew. 

I love my work. Being able to create visual impact in a business can be a huge asset and work as a springboard to growth.  I’m blessed to have the opportunity to empower my clients through impactful interior design and am constantly working on ways to serve my clients better. 

What excites me most right now is the opportunity for growth. Some of the worlds biggest companies and most inventive ideas were born from times of hardship and recession. I’m excited to find new ways to move forward and to share and serve and help as many people as I can. 

Tips for creating an interior around artwork

Art is my favourite tool for anchoring an interior space while injecting culture. Carefully selected pieces give a glimpse of who we are as individuals or families. Budget, style and space are no hurdle for the task of curating a collection that shows a little piece of your uniqueness.

If you feel a little out of your depth then you’re not alone, so here’s my top tips for choosing art for your space. 

1. Keep it interesting

Art is a place for expression and, while the rest of your home may obey certain rules, I encourage clients to let loose on their walls.  Choosing eclectic or bold pieces makes a room exciting and interesting.

Try switching it up when it comes to your personal style, as contrast in a space creates excitement and keeps it interesting.

2. Bigger can be better!

A very common mistake I see is when people begin with a smaller piece of artwork because they think they don’t have the space for something more sizeable.  A small space filled with tiny items, tends to create a feeling of everything being itty bitty.

A design trick is to incorporate one larger element for example a large rug or sofa,  to make the room appear bigger.  Oversized artwork creates that effect without cutting into any living space.

3. Love the art

You are limited only by your imagination when it comes to collecting and curating for your home, but ultimately make decisions from the heart because, first and foremost, you want to love the art. Get curious and reach out to artists you follow on social media for a personalised commissioned piece. Visit galleries and art shows. Even second hand shops can turn up amazing pieces. 

Remember to have fun.  Buying art is like a treat for grown ups when chocolate just doesn’t cut it! Enjoy personalising your space and creating the vibe that is uniquely you!

4. Favourite Quote

‘If you want to take the island, you have to burn the boat’

Ali in front of ‘Pink Tui’ artwork

5. Favourite show right now

Outside of  Yellowstone I don’t watch a lot of TV, but my daughter and I had a recent obsession with Korean reality show, “The physical 100”.

Thanks so much to Ali for sharing her time and tips with us! You can follow Ali on Facebook or Instagram, and can get in touch with her via her website here.


Jessica Binnendyk

All stories by: Jessica Binnendyk