Eclectic, happy, light, colourful, energised and definitely not too serious are words that Helen Lennie uses to describe the Woollahra home in Sydney's eastern suburbs she shares with her husband David.

The Lennies are the creative force behind Signature Prints, and have spent the past decade resurrecting the flamboyant designs of the Australian icon Florence Broadhurst, so it's not surprising their home is filled with her designs.

Expat Lennie says the first thing they did in their very traditional two-storey workers' cottage, built in the late 1800s, was put up wallpaper. The colour palette is Lennie's favourite yellow, charcoal and off-white, although she admits her favourites are subject to change. "We are about to move into the kitchen with some gorgeous shades of green, and then upstairs will be a kind of goldy-taupe mixed with mulberry."

Broadhurst designs appear on cushions, lampshades, windows, refurbished furniture, even on Lennie's clothing. Her all-time-favourite is Monsterio, in orange. "I have a gorgeous custom-made winter jacket; I am lucky to have a lot of fashion designer friends. I cut a metre off a roll the other night, overlocked it, and wore it as a scarf."

When she met her husband, Lennie's wardrobe was black and her aesthetic about minimalism and clean surfaces, reflecting her fashion background. These days it is anything but. "I used to accuse David of being such a hoarder, but I have learned to love and appreciate colour and having things around you that have meaning." When it comes to their own home the couple don't always see eye to eye, so rather than restraining each other's creativity, they

have agreed not to compromise. They each have their own loves and rotate what they display.

"It's all about layers," Lennie says. When it comes to wallpaper she insists "do the entire room. I know people have constraints but do it if you can, and then add art. Layer it up. It doesn't have to be scary, it's just a luxurious extension of paint, so just layer away."

Of the 500-plus designs in the complete Florence Broadhurst library, only about 50 have been reprinted so far, "so when people say they have seen everything about Florence, they haven't. Designsource in Auckland and our Italian agents are the only two we have trusted with the complete Florence archives.

"Kiwis get the idea of customisation, they like to put their own stamp on things. In this part of the world we have the most amazing light levels so we encourage people to use colour in a confident way."

Of Broadhurst, Lennie says "not only was she incredibly ahead of her time with her designs but, knowing first-hand the difficulties of being a woman in manufacturing and working in the print studio, it's amazing what she achieved.

"She started when she was 60, when most people are thinking about retirement. Florence was out there printing wallpaper, crushing mother of pearl to make metallics, and she was marketing the entire time."

Having just launched with Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, and with a new studio in New York, there are plenty of projects on Lennie's horizon.

"It has been difficult, as we were on the verge of some amazing projects and then the global financial crisis happened, but I can say there are some really exciting things back in the pipeline."

She says metallics are the next big thing for interiors, very closely following fashion.

"There used to be such a big gap between the two but now it's only a matter of months. We are currently working with a German company on colour-changing inks. When you walk around the room instead of being three colours it could end up being a nine-coloured print."

Lennie is bringing a pop-up store across the Tasman next month.

"Pop-ups are not about businesses in trouble or a quick way to move stock. There is so much work that goes into them, and we don't take it lightly. It's become quite competitive in Australia, states are asking us to come, and we have met so many amazing people and had such great experiences. We are really excited about how New Zealanders are going to react."

For the first time the entire collection of wallpaper, fabric, luxury bags, limited edition art and hand-knotted rugs will be on display in New Zealand.

For Lennie it's also a personal journey, about a being a Kiwi and coming home. "It's taken me a long time to really appreciate New Zealand, I left when I was young and naive. I have worked really hard to be successful in business, but it doesn't take much travelling to realise we have to be a bit nicer to the world, and appreciate what we have here. I really love that there is a strong sense of individual style here, more so than Australia, especially from a design perspective, it's a great thing."

* The Florence Broadhurst Pop-Up Store, Suite 1.4, The Axis Building, 91 Lower St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell, will be open from December 5-13.