At my place with restaurateur Mimi Gilmour-Buckley


Gilmour-Buckley liked homes with personality, "I love it when a home truly reflects the people who live in it ...their art collections, photos, generational trinkets, travel treasures and books," she said.

CHRIS MCKEEN / HOMED

Gilmour-Buckley liked homes with personality, “I love it when a home truly reflects the people who live in it …their art collections, photos, generational trinkets, travel treasures and books,” she said.

Auckland hospitality mover and shaker Mimi Gilmour-Buckley is joint CEO and co-founder of upmarket food joints Burger Burger.

She lives in a stylish Ponsonby villa, where she loves to entertain and garden. 

This month is particularly busy for the mum and entrepreneur – she’ll launch two new Burger Burger restaurants in Mt Maunganui and Christchurch, and welcome another baby girl into her family. 

Describe your house:

A true reflection of our chaotic lifestyle whilst celebrating all that we love: food and great hospitality, adventure and our life with our family and friends. 

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Hospitality entrepreneur Mimi Gilmour-Buckley with her daughter Olympia. "Our daughter Olympia has special needs so we actually share our home with her entourage. We also have another little girl on the way in a few weeks so it's going to get cosy." she said.

CHRIS MCKEEN / HOMED

Hospitality entrepreneur Mimi Gilmour-Buckley with her daughter Olympia. “Our daughter Olympia has special needs so we actually share our home with her entourage. We also have another little girl on the way in a few weeks so it’s going to get cosy.” she said.

Describe your style in three words:

Eclectic, personal and timeless.

Where is your home and who lives there with you?

I live with my husband Stephen and daughter Olympia in a beautiful villa in Ponsonby. Our daughter Olympia has special needs so we actually share our home with her entourage. We also have another little girl on the way in a few weeks so it’s going to get cosy.

Being in the restaurant business, it's no surprise Gilmour-Buckley has a passion for cooking.

CHRIS MCKEEN / HOMED

Being in the restaurant business, it’s no surprise Gilmour-Buckley has a passion for cooking.

Your favourite room/area in the house and why?

I love to cook and adore sharing that with friends and family so our living/dining/kitchen room is probably my favourite for that reason. I also love that our bedroom looks out over our private green garden oasis. We live busy lives and it gives me balance.

Finish this sentence with an anecdote. “Once someone came to my door and…”

…delivered Olympia some feijoas. It was her beautiful friend from down the road, Ruia.

The open-plan living room in Gilmour-Buckley's Ponsonby villa. She describes her style as "eclectic, personal and timeless".

CHRIS MCKEEN / HOMED

The open-plan living room in Gilmour-Buckley’s Ponsonby villa. She describes her style as “eclectic, personal and timeless”.

Your proudest DIY moment?

I attempted to become a full-blown gardener this summer. My husband lamented that I was all talk and that I would eventually get sick of it. I wouldn’t say that I am a natural but I did my absolutely best and my herb garden was next level.

If my partner would let me, I would get rid of…

He would say I’ve already gotten rid of it all and to be fair I don’t actually think there is anything left that I don’t love living with so he’s either right or we have very similar taste.

The steel and brass dining table is Gilmour-Buckley's favourite piece of furniture. "It honestly weighs about 100kgs because my husband reinforced it with so much steel...you can dance on it," she said.

CHRIS MCKEEN / HOMED

The steel and brass dining table is Gilmour-Buckley’s favourite piece of furniture. “It honestly weighs about 100kgs because my husband reinforced it with so much steel…you can dance on it,” she said.

Which decor trend would you like to see come back?

Maximalism. I love it when a home truly reflects the people who live in it which I appreciate through their art collections, photos, generational trinkets, travel treasures and books. Sometimes I think this can get lost when a space is too ‘modern’… but that’s just me.

What’s the worst home decor decision you’ve ever made?

I’m going to say it’s my worst and best – we have natural cream linen sofas. Before babies I adored them, now they are a constant struggle to keep clean!  You can however Napisan them… although it is a day-long activity and I’m not sure I have it in me anymore.

Gilmour-Buckley attempted to become a full blown gardener this summer. "My herb garden was next level," she said.

CHRIS MCKEEN / HOMED

Gilmour-Buckley attempted to become a full blown gardener this summer. “My herb garden was next level,” she said.

Title of a book, film or television show that best describes the mood in your home… 

House of Cards – You never know what you’re going to get on any given day. Organised chaos.

Best money you have ever spent on the house?

Our dining table – one of our closest friends, the very talented Nat Cheshire, designed it for us. My favourite thing about it is that it comfortably sits up to 14 people. It’s a steel and brass frame with a solid timber top.  My husband’s favourite thing is how solid it is – it honestly weighs about 100kgs because my husband reinforced it with so much steel but what that does mean is that you can dance on it. 

Gilmour Buckley's home maintenance mantra is "clean and tidy as you go."

CHRIS MCKEEN / HOMED

Gilmour Buckley’s home maintenance mantra is “clean and tidy as you go.”

Worst thing that’s ever gone wrong while entertaining?

Hmmmmm I have been overly ambitious in how much I wanted to make and dinner has run well behind schedule. I blame Ottolenghi.

One item I wish I had kept or not got rid of is… 

Gilmour-Buckley has a love hate relationship with her cream sofas. "Before babies I adored them, now they are a constant struggle to keep clean.  You can however napisan them," she said.

CHRIS MCKEEN / HOMED

Gilmour-Buckley has a love hate relationship with her cream sofas. “Before babies I adored them, now they are a constant struggle to keep clean. You can however napisan them,” she said.

Again this is where my husband would say NOTHING because he thinks I am a hoarder.  If I’m honest we do have many boxes under our house filled with ‘things I’m saving for when we get a bigger house one day, maybe’.   

Favourite piece of furniture?

My sofas, also designed by Nat Cheshire, are so big and delicious they are basically day beds and not only do they accommodate lots of guests but have been slept on, on many an occasion!

If I had $50k, what I would change about my house is…

I would build my dream kitchen… Although I would have to magically find some more room because my dream kitchen has a walk-in butler’s pantry and there definitely isn’t enough room for one of those currently.

Which home habit annoys you the most?

My husband is very handy around the house when given subtle encouragement however he also somehow manages to make the biggest messes too.  He just doesn’t have the ‘clean as you go’ mentality that my mama drilled into us.

What’s one domestic/housework/gardening trick you’ve learnt over the years?

Clean and tidy as you go – you will truly feel more at peace when you live amongst some form of order. Oh and fresh flowers and plants in your home make a huge difference.



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