Foraging flowers and styling

Kate Williams helps run a law firm, and in her spare time is a creative stylist, well-known in Christchurch circles. She talks to Metropol editor Lynda Papesch about her work/life balance and her upcoming book.

Kate clearly remembers gathering, foraging, creating, and painting from early childhood and the sense of satisfaction this provided throughout her years.

This passion has flowed into her everyday adult life where Kate manages to balance her busy working life with entertaining friends and family, and creating and styling, in her after-hours.

There wasn’t a day where she suddenly decided ‘I want to be a ‘stylist’, instead she applied what she loved into her everyday life. An active relaxer, she juggles her role as General Manager for a local law firm, and her everyday desire to create.

After work she can be found in her floral shed, paint studio, garden or kitchen as she turns her ideas into reality.

With husband Phil, Kate has designed and decorated many houses and gardens which they have enjoyed living in, and entertaining friends and family. “Styling a new build is addictive,” she laughs.

Their most recent property, on the outskirts of Christchurch, boasts a four acre country garden which is continually expanding into the paddock as a result of their desire to harvest more fruit, flowers and foliage for Kate’s after-hours activities.
Currently the paddock is being prepared for an ever increasing dahlia patch and summer flower production, while the hay shed is being enclosed as a flower shed.


On occasion, Kate opens her house and garden for charity garden tours, Christmas tours and floral workshops.

“Seeing the delight on the faces of visitors, I realised there was a real interest for people to gather and create something beautiful out of something so simple,” she says. Kate’s guests roam the house and garden asking questions about growing, gathering and creating. Her style is very much DIY. “It’s about ‘doing it yourself’, not in the sense of building but in creating everything from scratch, being inspired by elements in your surroundings that you can repurpose.

“Whether it is ice bowls, cake plinths, wreaths from foraging, or apples from the tree to serve a multitude of purposes, I am constantly inspired to evolve my own style, often planning or planting for the seasons ahead to bring a vision into reality.

“That’s exactly why I wanted to compile a book to share such ideas,” Kate adds.

1. Flowers, flowers and flowers. If you don’t have flowers in your garden, pick foliage. It too can be displayed just as beautifully and can bring a room to life.
If you want to grow flowers and don’t have the space, you can always use pots. I always have flowers in the house no matter the season.
2. Never under-estimate the value of textiles and colours for changing up a room.
3. My biggest tip would be that there are no rules.
I apply this theory with all of my creations, just be free to be yourself. If you don’t know what you like, then research for inspiration.

Book launch

Following a photoshoot of her house and garden for a New Zealand magazine feature in 2021, Kate teamed up with photographer Anna McLeod. The pair spent the following months, weekend after weekend, creating and photographing to document Kate’s ideas, tips, recipes and seasonal events.
Her book, due out mid-October, provides inspiration for growing, gathering, propagating and creating food and flowers through the seasons, and all of those special occasions.

To find out more visit @theafterhoursstylist.

Previous Post

From the editor: 15 September 2022

Next Post

Live action racing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *