My property story: Kylie’s commercial studio renovation

A boutique event agency based in the Manawatu, Mustard Folk offers event management and styling services for individuals seeking to create a bespoke experience for their guests. Established in 2015, following a successful corporate event management career, founder Kylie Grimmer crafts beautiful spaces, with a modern approach to a classic provincial/industrial aesthetic.

With their collection of furniture and goods growing ever by the day, Kylie’s burgeoning business needed a separate space, outside her 1900’s villa home, to operate from. 

Exterior before and after

Around the same time, as luck would have it, Kylie stumbled across an empty building for lease. Built in the late 1880’s, it was in desperate need of some TLC. Previous owners had undertaken some quirky renovations in the 1970’s, but Kylie wanted a complete overhaul.

Knowing exactly what she wanted to achieve to maximise the layout, Kylie took a hands on approach to the renovations, alongside her husband Paul. Having experience with their own home, they tackled the project together with help from family and friends. 

Once the lease was secured it was all go. In a space of four short weeks, they went from gutting the existing interiors and overhauling the building’s exterior façade to officially opening the doors of their new studio.


Taking up residence within the studio, was local florist Amelia Addis of Botanica. It was the perfect pairing for the creative duo, who often collaborate together on events and weddings.

The resulting transformation has left the building unrecognisable. Creating a light, bright and modern space, Kylie can showcase her range and styling work. We spoke with Kylie about her renovation transformation and what she loves about the space.


What inspired you to establish a Mustard Folk studio headquarters?

Initially it was a simple need for space. We’d operated the business from home for the past 3 years and were desperate for storage for our expanding hire collection. We were also pretty keen to regain some work / life balance by physically relocating the business.

From a creative point of view, I wanted a space to host clients that felt balanced and relaxed, that enabled me to showcase our goods and services with ease.

Interior before and after

How long did the process take from start to finish?

It was crazy fast The time it took from when we signed the lease until we opened the doors was only four weeks. The fitout, including all the interior and exterior painting, was done by Paul and I, our good friend Nick Hay and my Dad (Kevin).

What is your favourite part of the space?

I have more than one favourite… the brick wall of the original 1881 building, the quirky 1970’s addition, the amazing natural light, the concrete floors, I could go on and on.


Dulux Colours:

Exterior Paint: Building: Maraetai; Awning / Window Trim and Signage: Mt Albert

Interior Paint: Walls / Ceilings and floor in showroom: Mt Aspiring; Bar: Mt Aspiring; Shelves behind bar: Mt Albert

Images courtesy of: Toni Larsen Photography

Kelly Evans is a blogger, writer and stylist. Kelly shares stories on clever people and great design on her website, thehomescene.nzClick here to read more from Kelly.

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