Name: Rebecca Anderson
Occupation: Chaos & Harmony Shoes founder and managing director
Suburb: Omanu

WHEN Rebecca Anderson's parents married, a glass slipper adorned the wedding cake.
Interestingly, Beks grew up to be a shoe designer.

There are shoes galore in Beks' 1950s bungalow in Omanu. But not as many as you'd think, she says.

About 40 pairs of shoes are lined up around the floor in her favourite space, the bedroom. The shoes are the only "extras" around as Beks prefers the minimalist, uncluttered look.


"They are like pieces of art essentially, each pair is one of a kind and each collection that we do has a theme, so they all have a little bit of a story behind them."

Her favourite piece of "art" is a pair of shoes inspired by the late architect Zaha Hadid.

They were named after her and "reflect the design style she had and the presence she created as a leading female architect".

Another favourite thing on display is the glass slipper which was on her parents' wedding cake.

Beks loves her black and white decor bedroom because of its simplicity. She keeps it pristine.

"I have no art, just the bed, side-tables, shoes. I keep it just black and white. It's a place I can escape to rest my creative mind. I can look out the window and see the world."

Beks and her husband Greg took a chance 10 years ago and sold everything to learn design in Rome.

They returned to Mount Maunganui, built their business and have been in their cosy cottage for three years. The house wasn't going to be their forever home, but they fell in love with its cosiness and its sturdy 1950 workmanship and character. It has wooden floors and ceiling roses.

"It was a small house so we are just constantly getting rid of things, we are really learning to live with less. We are in a place in our lives that we are really grateful for what we have and we don't wish for more.

"You learn to be content. If you are always wanting more then you won't be.

"As glamorous as our lives sound, we live a very simple life and we look for things that grow us as people to help keep us healthy - emotionally, spiritually, financially."

Two months after they moved in, a tornado struck. It was a quick, drastic and scary experience for Beks as she was pregnant at the time. The tornado damaged their bedroom, front deck, carport and car. The neighbours' roof came off, hit their house and carport.

"The fact that they built such solid houses in the 1950s makes me even more appreciative of it. It definitely could have been a lot worse had the house not been as solid as it was."