Q Tania, tell us a bit about yourself …..
A My name’s Tania Lovering and I’m the owner of Haven in the Hills in Nairne.
Q How long have you lived in Adelaide?
A I’ve been in Adelaide for seven years. We moved from the Perth hills but I’m originally from Brisbane (Rockhampton and Kingaroy before that!). I married an Adelaide boy and we have moved back and settled in Harrogate.
Q What do you enjoy most about living in Adelaide?
A I feel so lucky to have world class cellar doors and distilleries, and amazing chefs and producers so close to where I live, work and play!
Q Why did you start your Adelaide business?
A It has been a dream of mine since I was ten. I was always aware of how I felt and how others reacted in different settings, different homes and styles and decor. I always wanted to be an interior designer, but I also had an urge to create art, and source and sell interesting homewares. This has really become a full circle experience of opening Haven in the Hills, selling vintage and quirky decor items, as well as my artwork and other local artist’s panting. My husband and I were having breakfast at Pallet Cafe in Nairne in November 2019, which was across the road from this vacant shop that had been empty for a year. He was looking for an office for his landscape architecture business Clover Green Space, and we just looked at each other and knew instantly it was a ‘change of life’ moment. At the time, I was managing all the senior recruitment at the University of Adelaide – completely different! We picked up the keys to the shop the day of the fires. Our house and sheep in Harrogate were saved. Life became different – it shone a very bright light on what was important and I knew I was doing what was right for my heart and soul. I opened the shop 1st February, closed in April for ISO, and re-opened in July. It has been quite a journey and I couldn’t be happier. I had no idea I would make such amazing and deep friendships with fellow small business owners and customers.
Q How would you describe what’s special about your Adelaide business?
A I love fossicking through an antique store never knowing what you’re going to find. I wanted that feeling but I also wanted to create a visually exciting space and one where you could walk in and see furniture, decor and art set up as it could look like at home. There are layers to the displays at Haven, it’s not crammed but you don’t see everything at once. It was also important to me that I have some Australian made, small batch produced items in store. You will find candles that look amazing on an antique side table, organic teas alongside vintage tea pots and trios, and handmade soaps that can be gifted with a crystal cut glass dish. A bit of everything, which is why I loved the name Haven in the Hills because you can come and get lost in there for a while just looking and experiencing all the different nooks.
Q What are your favourite Adelaide places to eat?
A The Topiary Cafe in Tea Tree Gully, Hahn + Hamlin in Hahndorf, Singapore House in Frewville, and Honey Bang Bang in Littlehampton.
Q What are your favourite Adelaide places to drink and what is your favourite South Australian drink?
A HMBL in Mt Barker (amazing cocktails like their Negroni), and I can’t go past Applewood’s Okar Amaro with tonic (like a Campari but with native botanicals).
Q What are your favourite Adelaide shops for furniture and homewares?
A I love Tinker, and lucky for me Rosie has moved her Tinker shop to Nairne! Peregrine Store in Gumeracha is a must as well.
Q What books are you currently reading?
A I’ve just finished The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein, and downloaded Trust by Chris Hammer. Audible is so handy because I can listen while I’m rearranging the shop, which happens every few days.
Q What’s on your current playlist?
A Good Feeling 70s playlist on Spotify, and The National.
Q What are your favourite things to do in Adelaide and South Australia?
A Dinner, drinks, art exhibitions and gigs! I would love to get back to Kangaroo Island soon and I’ve never been to the Flinders Ranges so that is our next stop.
Q Anything else you’d like to share with the OLIO community of Interior Design lovers?
A I love the mix of old and new. You don’t have to commit to dark wooden furniture to be a vintage lover. You can paint certain statement pieces to compliment other beautiful wood within the room – it’s not sacrilege as it used to be. Haven stocks Autentico chalk paints and there are so many amazing colours to choose from. My favourites are all the soft Australian bush colours especially Vert Olive, White Pepper and Bath Stone. I wouldn’t paint anything too precious, but have a go at chalk painting – it’s fun and rewarding.
Haven in the Hills is one of the fabulous destinations we visit on some of our OLIO Tours.