Open home

The sense of space in this house made it a must for its own­ers – all it needed was a few tweaks.

Homestyle New Zealand - - CONTENTS - WO RDS Claire McCall PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Gina Fabish

It’s been a decade-long de­bate in the New­bold house­hold: whether to paint the dis­tinc­tive red brick that makes up the bulk of their home’s struc­ture white – or not? The so­lid­ity of the brick was just one rea­son the New Ply­mouth cou­ple was at­tracted to this prop­erty Paul New­bold de­scribes as “a 60s/70s mash-up”.

Long and rec­tan­gu­lar, both ends of the orig­i­nal house had al­ready been added on to when, nine years ago, the pair first nav­i­gated the long drive­way to the un­re­mark­able rear en­trance. Fleur Yian­nett-New­bold re­mem­bers the day well. “This house was such a surprise: it opens up as soon as you walk in. The liv­ing area and kitchen in the cen­tre of the lay­out have big pitched ceil­ings, which give it a lovely sense of space.”

The sub­urb of Stran­don is close to two city beaches and a seven-minute drive to the CBD, but the clincher was the ten­nis club right next door. “There’s no fence be­tween our garage and the court – it feels kind of like it’s ours,” says Paul. With two grow­ing sons, the spa­cious four-bed­room home with one wing for chil­dren and an­other for adults was an im­me­di­ate ‘yes!’

The cou­ple made some changes al­most at once, with a can or two of Re­sene Quar­ter Villa White at the cen­tre of the trans­for­ma­tion. The ‘white-out’ in­cluded paint­ing over the peach-toned kitchen and din­ing area, the deep-green liv­ing room and the dark-stained beams on the ceil­ing. Then they turned their at­ten­tion to the ex­te­rior weath­er­boards. Lit­tle won­der the red brick is now also in the fir­ing line.

New cur­tains and blinds were next on the list, and car­pet for the liv­ing room. Since the din­ing zone was al­ready car­peted, they needed a match, so they be­came su­per sleuths, and af­ter some re­search man­aged to track down the sup­plier, who had just enough of that style left in his ware­house for the job.

With the ba­sics of redec­o­rat­ing com­plete, the New­bolds could fo­cus on the fur­nish­ings. “Over the years we de­fined our style and we cer­tainly had an end pic­ture in mind,” says Paul. Many pieces fit the mid-cen­tury mood of the ar­chi­tec­ture, while other de­sign touches have 70s prove­nance, such as the •

rice-pa­per orb pen­dant in the liv­ing room and the kauri din­ing ta­ble bought on Trade Me.

Cof­fee buyer and roaster Paul makes reg­u­lar trips to plan­ta­tions in Cen­tral and South Amer­ica, which Fleur, who loves colour­ful, artis­tic tex­tiles, sees as prime op­por­tu­ni­ties to put her or­ders in. Some im­ports in­clude vi­brant ta­ble run­ners, ceramic cof­fee cups and a statue nick­named ‘Guade­loupe Mary’ which in­hab­its an al­cove in a side­board made by a joiner friend.

In the liv­ing area is a mag­nif­i­cent pho­to­graph of a par­rot, found lo­cally. “I’m mad on birds,” ad­mits Fleur. “Paul has tried to tame that ob­ses­sion.” Nev­er­the­less, an Eames House Bird and some wood­work ver­sions from the 70s can be found perch­ing on a shelf in the new kitchen nook.

Af­ter eight years of liv­ing with an 80s kitchen, the cou­ple de­cided the time was right and asked lo­cal de­signer An­nika Row­son to help to cre­ate a space that would re­flect the era of the house. With tim­ber and white cab­i­netry and green tiled splash­backs, it does this beau­ti­fully, and last year won the Cre­ative Small Space award in the Na­tional Kitchen & Bath­room As­so­ci­a­tion’s Ex­cel­lence in De­sign Awards. The ma­jor ren­o­va­tion changed the lay­out of the space from U-shaped to gal­ley. Builder Gareth Shear­man of The Mak­ers care­fully matched the new floor­boards to the orig­i­nal tawa and re­moved a bay win­dow to re­place it with lou­vres and a pic­ture win­dow that frames a view of the deck and the trees be­yond.

It’s the open­ness of the house that en­sures the cou­ple – de­spite their boys hav­ing now flown the coop – is more than happy to stay put. “I like to look out to the gar­dens and see the birdlife, flow­ers and plants – I never feel like I’m closed in,” says Fleur.

Paul, who lives by the motto ‘good de­sign is good for you’, loves how co­he­sive the dé­cor feels – “it all works to­gether”. And their con­sis­tent ap­proach has rubbed off on the younger fam­ily mem­bers: Theo has just or­dered his first piece of fur­ni­ture for his flat – a Kartell Com­poni­bili stor­age unit in dark olive green. Says Paul, “It’s nice to know that what we’ve been do­ing around the house for years has had some in­flu­ence.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.