Chelsea Wrightson of ECC on The Architecture of Happiness and her furniture buying philosophy

As the Marketing Coordinator for ECC, Chelsea Wrightson represents the world’s leading lighting and furniture brands exclusively in New Zealand. As a Highly Sensitive Person (yes, it’s a real condition), she is deeply moved by what she experiences. Here, she shares the design pieces she has her eyes on, and the philosophies she follows — both in life and in interior design.

My personal style can be defined by: Black and white with a touch of the right green.

The last thing I bought and loved was: Apple AirPods. Soon to be my greatest enemy when the impending misplacement of my first pod occurs. 

An unforgettable place I visited was: Mexico City. Complete organised chaos subdued by a wealth of colour, cuisine, history, humble people and great doors.

The next place I’d like to go to: Cartagena, Colombia.

Cartagena, Colombia.

An object I would never part with is: A Morsø cast iron stove top dish my dad gave me when I left home. I’ll never use, nor will I need to buy, another ugly non-stick frying pan ever again.

On my wish list is: A Peter Lorimer chefs knife.

When I was younger, I wanted to be: An architect.

I am inspired by: Anthony Bourdain. I coincidentally finished reading Kitchen Confidential on the eve of his death, and spent the entire day crying after. What a guy.

I recently discovered: The psychological term ‘HSP’ short for Highly Sensitive Person. A swift self-diagnosis was made when I identified with every single symptom. A nice relief not to feel like a freak.

My secret talent is: Keeping my whites white.

My favourite cultural/style icon is: Simon Porte Jacquemus. He is sunshine in a human being and I’m forever in awe of how he so creatively articulates his internal world. 

Simon Porte Jacquemus.

My favourite app is: Apple photos. It’s become my visual gratitude journal.

I can’t miss an episode of: Country Calendar.

The podcasts I listen to are: Anything where Zach Bush is featured as a guest. His career story and research into microbiome are fascinating. I believe he’s worthy of a Nobel prize. On top of that, his disposition is so calm and collated. I often fall asleep listening to him.

The latest music I’m loving is: Ohio Players.

The best book I’ve read in the last year is: The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. I re-read it every year and take away something new each time. 

The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton.

In my fridge you’ll always find: Cheese. Lots of it. Pecorino, goats chèvre — reliable jazz-ups to any meal.

The last meal out I had that truly impressed me was: Akarua Kitchen by Lake Hayes.

The best gift I ever received was: My friends.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is: Everyone you meet knows something you don’t. (A nice reminder to treat everyone with the same curiosity and open-mindedness). 

My favourite three pieces in our showroom right now are: The Freeman sofa by Minotti, Klink side table by Piet Boon, and Last Order table lamps by Flos.

The Freeman sofa by Minotti.
Last Order table lamps by Flos.

I’m obsessed with the work of: The photographer Salva Lopez.

If price were not an issue, the one artist whose work I would collect is: Peter Schlesinger. I naively enquired about a piece when I was 18, only to be told it was USD$56,000. I had to settle for his book.

When spending money on furniture, I recommend: Treating everything you buy as a significant investment. Big price tag or not, if you have to stare at it every day, sit in or eat from it, it’s an investment into your aesthetic and practical world.  Honour your senses, life’s too short to fill your home with pieces that offer you nothing. 

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