Julia Atkinson-Dunn

Hi! – I’m Julia

After beginning life as NZ’s very first design blog in 2008, for its first 9 years, this site tracked a path exclusively focused on connecting you with the work of talented NZ/AUS creative brands/people/products and projects.
The intimate, casual reporting and interviewing style used by many early bloggers has slowly been adopted by the media at large to profile makers and artists in their own environments, free of overtly staged imagery and revealing the humans behind the work. We LOVE this right? And it’s TERRIFIC news for our local design industry!
But for me (mostly operating as a one-man-band) …I no longer felt the drive to compete or try to better the output of those sites. What’s more, its become common place for brands and retailers themselves to produce really interesting content in their own promotion, interviewing of their muses and connecting with like minded audiences through social media.

I just felt like the concept of Studio Home had become tired and was no longer even offering me the type of unique, rich content that I craved.

In late 2017 I redirected Studio Home to a place I could continue my passion for creativity but produce useful information based on my personal views, ideas and ponderings around HOME, gardening and art. 

With a background in interior design, 12 years of creative based blogging business behind me, a solid art addiction and an undying passion for making a space my own – I always aim to create and share content that feels relateable, personal and local. 
You will find juicy, link heavy, curated edits, a blow by blow account of the beginnings of a gardening obsession and guided discovery of finding your own nesting and decorating style – ultimately a common theme of posts exploring everything HOME. 

Art and the people that make it were unconsciously central to my interests from the very beginnings of this design blog in 2008.
Over the following 11 years my most satisfying posts were providing introductions to artists and I valued my connections with them hugely!

I was lucky to enjoy a wildly creative childhood and despite dropping out of art in 5th form – a career in interior design, my writing and photography has allowed me to stay satisfying ensconced in the industry. In more recent years I wrote and toured a social media workshop specifically aimed at creative small businesses, however, naturally, as I headed down the road of a one-on-one strategy consulting I found myself losing touch with the community I had set out to serve.

In 2019, this is something I have now set out to recapture. 

Studio Home ART

In late 2018 I was given the opportunity to work with one of my absolute favourites; Fleur Wickes by hosting a pop up art sale at my home in Christchurch.
This proved pivotal. 
The first “STUDIO HOME ART” pop up exhibition revealed itself as a dream project. Inviting people into my home to browse art AND meet the artist herself felt like my years of writing leaping into “real life”. I might be hopeless at remembering loved ones birthdays but my ability to absorb and share the stories of artists, their point of view and process seems to have unrivaled space in sit in my brain! 
Presenting everyday people the chance to learn about, appreciate and buy art in a friendly domestic environment is at the bottom of it all. The exhibitions are both an art sale with a side of home and garden tour, hopefully inspiring others to fill their walls with visual goodness to ping the heart strings!

Connecting artists work to others is what spurred me on to continue and expand this side of my business online as well as forming a neighbourhood picture framing service with my husband; T. 

Office of Studio Home - Christchurch, New Zealand

Studio Home Gardening


Both my mother and I still feel a bit shocked that I caught the gardening bug SO badly! 
In 2017 I moved into a lovely villa in Linwood, Christchurch and was immediately confronted with the wonderful banked vegetable garden that I would need to plant up to “look good”. Armed with my Yates Garden Guide and plenty of family that I could drag back there, I discovered a new realm of creativity that has transformed my everydays. 
Hungry for knowledge targeted at the absolute NZ beginner but only offered vegetable gardening information enmasse, I have set about sharing all my own learnings with others that are in the same position. 
This led to the creation of separate social channels for @studiohomegardening, a new blog series plus an exciting film series; “The Magic of Gardening” revealing inspiring and fascinating stories of New Zealanders and their gardens.  

I’m also VERY proud to be the Beginner Gardener Ambassador for the new GROW O Tautahi – Christchurch Garden Festival launching in March 2020.


Media Coverage

If you are keen to learn a little more about ME you might be interested in:

Writing for Others

I have been very lucky to work with brands and publications that share my point of view and like my conversational style of writing.

Collaboration + Partnering Opportunities

Currently Studio Home is proud to work closely with NoodIco TradersWilson and DorsetGovino NZ/AU , Latitude magazine, Feel Good With Flowers and Garden Marlborough
In 2019 I was a
 proud ambassador for HP New Zealand 
In 2020 I am the Beginner Gardener Ambassador for new event;  
GROW O Tautahi – Christchurch Garden Festival. 

Over the years I have also created one off promotional projects for iRobot NZ/AURussell Hobbs NZ/AUJucyJetstar, Dulux NZ and  Fujifilm amongst others.

In 2015 I launched my own collaboration project named TEAM.WORK, which saw the production of joint products with Trestle UnionMushama and MeRadical Yes!ALAS and New Lands.
This great project came to a natural end in 2017. 

I am always keen to discuss new ideas, writing opportunities, joint ventures and partnerships so please don’t hesitate to contact me here. 

You are also welcome to enjoy the following discounts with our awesome partners: 

ICO TRADERS: use studiohome for 10% off all furniture
{discludes lighting, pressed tin and sheepskin products}

Behind the Keyboard

T Dunn and Julia Atkinson-Dunn. Christchurch backyard wedding shot by Charlotte Sowman Photography Our backyard wedding ceremony in Christchurch, Feb 2018. Beautiful shot by Charlotte Sowman.


I’m Julia Atkinson-Dunn. 
I live in Christchurch, New Zealand with my husband; T in an old blue villa with great bones. The brilliant work done by the owners before us means we have enjoyed plodding through the fun bit of repainting, decorating and making changes when we can afford it, to make the place our own. What’s more, the beautifully set up vegie and garden beds guilt tripped me into making use of them and I find myself in the midst of a full blown (VERY unexpected!) gardening obsession!

My own style of living is imperfect, casual, layered and homely. I’m all about texture, odd treasures mixed in with meaningful ones and natural elements – I gain a ridiculous amount of satisfaction from viewing corners of my home at their best times of day and year. My attention to detail is pretty loose, so a manicured magazine set you will not find here!
The pink in our bedroom first thing in the morning, the view down the hall to the back garden on bright sunny days, the magic light that slinks into the living room around 5. Maybe that’s a tad over romantic but I’m into it …

Family and friends time at bachs, lakes and ski fields are the tops! Boats, rivers, wines in late afternoon light, South Island high country, old buildings and homes, new buildings and homes, peoples homes in general ….. are all things that spin my wheels.
I love Art MORE than I love a healthy bank account (and yes this has proven to be a problem!) and have even started playing around with my own. I love to write and take photographs, over the last few years the focus of both those loves has been around my pursuit and sharing of gardening knowledge!
Gardening has been the biggest revelation to me in adult life and I am totally consumed in the positive effect it has on my day to day brain, body, creativity and patience. MUCH more on this to come.

Moving on from a great career as a consultant, getting stuck into the careers of my clients as a Social and Strategy Sidekick – in 2019 I have refocused these skills with the launch of Studio Home ART and Studio Home Framing – a neighbourhood picture framing service based at home with T. 
Small creative business and “one man bands” are my favourites and who I can contribute to best.
My background swings through the snow industry (ski instructing and marketing/sales) and back through the design industry (furniture sales and independent interior design consultant). Aside from just one salaried job, I have always worked for myself and as a result learned some business lessons the hard way!

Ju xo

Latest Stories

Search stories by typing keyword and hit enter to begin searching.