Interior decorator Steve Green has worn many hats in his working life, but the one he likes best is the one that involves interior design and working with people.
“I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people and getting good outcomes in terms of their window treatments,” he says.
“People need to be relaxed when they make decisions that they are going to have to live with for many years. I’m patient and I don’t mind meeting clients on weekends, if that means they can make informed choices.”
Born in Liverpool, Steve left school when he was 15 and went to work at the Garston Bottle Works, which recycled beer bottles.
“Inevitably, through the process, bottles were broken and it was my job to pick the broken glass off the conveyor belts. It was awful!”
When his uncle, Les Coffman, immigrated to NZ and became this country’s first FIFA referee, the rest of the family decided to follow.
“When we arrived in NZ, my Dad and my uncle took me to Barrys Point Road in Takapuna and said, ‘Walk down that street and get a job!’ The first place I went in to was Smith & Smith and they took me on in paint sales. That was just how it was in NZ in those days.”
The job led to a painting and decorating apprenticeship, a career that Steve has pursued not just in NZ but worldwide. In London, he worked on The Lord Mayor of London’s penthouse and The Royal Library in Buckingham Palace Road, and in Ireland, he worked at Sir Earnest Shackelton’s manor house in Clonsilla, Dublin.
“I discovered I had a bit of a flair for tones and colour coordination. Being able to visualise what colours will look like inside rooms isn’t something that everyone can do.”
Moving to Matakana has been a dream come true for Steve and his partner Annie Conza, who was the world’s first Xero consultant.
“Annie’s sister, Helen Farrell, has had a home up here for many years and we’ve always visited and loved the place. It’s great that we are now both setting up our own businesses here.”