ASK THE BUILDER:
Paul Hawthorn of Building Elements
Thankfully, Rebecca and I have very similar taste. We learned from our last renovation that bouncing ideas off each other challenges us to come up with better solutions; the outcome is always more complete than the result we would have achieved alone. Rebecca has a degree in interior design and is exposed to lots of design ideas in her job in fashion, and I deal with spatial solutions all day as a builder. Together that’s a really complementary skill set.
Take the time to find the right team. It’s really important that you have a great relationship with your architect and builder. You need to trust them completely, because their advice will guide you through one of the most significant spends you’ll ever make.
The other great thing we did, which I’d highly recommend, is establish our hedges and gardens while we prepared other aspects of the project. Once we had the footprint of the building worked out, we got planting advice from a landscape designer, so while we completed the finer details of the project and worked through budgets and consents, we were able to make the relatively low-cost investment of buying plants and spend our weekends in the garden. This meant the hedges were reasonably well-established when it came time to enjoy our outdoor spaces. Our architect used to laugh when he came on site because it seemed as if we were working from the outside of the property in, instead of the more typical method of building first and landscaping last.
CLOCKWISE WISE FROM TOP LEFT HandwovenHandwo linen cushion cover, $65, cittadesign.com. Capella pendant light, $2439, lightplan.co.nz. Drop pendant light by Graypants, $535, ecc.co.nz. Citadel towels, from $7 each, cittadesign.com. Olio teapot by Barber Osgerby x Royal Doulton, $129, everyday-needs.com. Bistro chair, $399, cittadesign.com. Peace lily plant, $36, plantandpot.nz. Mai basket, $28, freedomfurniture.co.nz. Tonk stool, $400, stclements.co.nz. Segment coffee table, $890, cittadesign.com.