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Though they bought it while liv­ing a world away, for the own­ers of this villa, the con­nec­tion runs deep.

Homestyle New Zealand - - CONTENTS - WO RDS Claire McCall PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Si­mon Wil­son

Though they bought it while liv­ing a world away, for the own­ers of this villa, the con­nec­tion runs deep.

The but­ter-yel­low front door left ajar sends an in­vi­ta­tion to Scout, the neigh­bour­hood bea­gle, who ar­rives in Jess and Cam Hodgson’s Auck­land liv­ing room unan­nounced. Although theirs is the type of home and bi­jou gar­den that would suit a small res­i­dent hound, the cou­ple has quite enough on their plate at the mo­ment, thanks. Their daugh­ter, Mag­gie, is just 11 weeks old and there are sev­eral tasks and touch-ups still to do be­fore their villa ren­o­va­tion is com­plete, so Jess gives Scout a scratch on the tummy and sends him on his so­cia­ble way.

Jess and Cam, who met at a party in Lon­don, bought their Pon­sonby villa by pri­vate sale at the end of 2014, when they were liv­ing in the UK. “The own­ers were friends of my sis­ter, Amy,” says Jess. “We were shown some pho­tos and hap­pened to be com­ing home for a wed­ding, so we went to view it.”

They liked what they saw. Even a crum­bling brick wall, flak­ing green paint, a wob­bly back deck and a roof that needed re­plac­ing weren’t enough to de­ter their en­thu­si­asm. “It was so close to my sis­ter’s house, it al­most seemed too good to be true,” says Jess, who couldn’t wait to leave their flat­ting sit­u­a­tion in East Lon­don to be­gin a new life in their first home. “I was so ex­cited,” she re­calls, “I im­me­di­ately started look­ing for things to fur­nish it with.”

Since mov­ing in at the end of 2015, the cou­ple has put a mod­ern stamp on this •

colo­nial cutie. The pre­vi­ous own­ers had al­ready ex­tended the rear room over­look­ing the gar­den, so no struc­tural al­ter­ations were re­quired, but the bath­rooms called out for a con­tem­po­rary facelift and the kitchen was a bit ho-hum. “It was greige with pur­ple/grey bench­tops,” says Jess, who had fallen in love with Re­sene’s Quar­ter Robin Egg Blue from the Karen Walker range and knew ex­actly what she wanted.

The cou­ple’s friend Hannah Chia­roniClarke, an ar­chi­tec­tural project man­ager, came to the party, draw­ing up the plans. Mean­while, Jess had ad­mired builder

Nye O’Shan­nessy’s home on the cover of home­style’s is­sue 71, so she called him and for­tu­itously found he had some space in his sched­ule.

As well as mov­ing the laun­dry to a bi­fold cup­board in the hall­way, Nye helped trans­form the heart of the home from ‘will do’ to ‘wow’. That longed-for blue fea­tures on the kitchen cabi­netry, which also has a tongue-and-groove fin­ish that brings a sense of yes­ter­day to the clean-lined space. The be­spoke tim­ber han­dles are a sim­i­larly lovely ad­di­tion – an up­date with a back-to-the-fu­ture sen­si­bil­ity.

The same can be said of the bath­rooms. The ex­ist­ing lay­outs didn’t change, but Jess and Cam up­graded all the fix­tures. “We sold the ones that came with the house on Trade Me with a $50 re­serve. They’ve ended up in •

a bach some­where, which is nice to know.” New en­caus­tic tiles on the floor of the main bath­room hark back to Vic­to­rian times, while in the en­suite, matte black hexagons are a pleas­ing con­trast to the white wall tiles laid in a her­ring­bone pat­tern. The new brass fit­tings in both have al­ready de­vel­oped a beau­ti­ful patina.

Although the build­ing work was rel­a­tively min­i­mal, the cou­ple was still kept busy. They painted the walls through­out in Re­sene Black White, sanded and white­washed the tim­ber floors, and had a home-ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem in­stalled. What has made the big­gest dif­fer­ence, how­ever, is the new deck out the back. The pre­vi­ous one was so rick­ety, “it felt like it was about to swal­low some­one up”, so with the help of an­other friend, builder Ben Hur­d­ley, they ex­tended the foot­print and added a wide stair­case to re­place the nar­row steps that led down to the lawn.

In­side, Jess had lots of fun find­ing fur­nish­ings and ac­ces­sories that fit with an aes­thetic she calls “Scan­di­na­vian boho”. She’s com­bined finds from Ikea (the cabi­net in the hall­way; the floor lamp in the liv­ing room) with cus­tom-made pieces (a blond chest of drawers with brass han­dles by Ben Glass in the mas­ter bed­room; a be­spoke cof­fee ta­ble de­signed by Tau­ranga hus­band-and-wife team NDC), added rat­tan light shades, re­placed the globes on the orig­i­nal light fix­tures, and gone mod­ern with a Dou­glas and Bec chan­de­lier in the din­ing area. •

Fam­ily trea­sures bring an ex­tra layer of in­ter­est to the in­te­rior scheme, like the din­ing ta­ble made from a piece of swamp kauri found on Cam’s un­cle’s farm in the Coro­man­del. “Cam de­signed the ta­ble, and had the tim­ber milled and legs made,” says Jess. “The wood is thou­sands of years old.”

Get­ting mar­ried early last year was a bonus in more ways than one (the elegant mir­ror in the mas­ter bed­room was a wed­ding present), as was hav­ing a baby. Apart from the in­evitable hurry-up a preg­nancy gives a ren­o­va­tion, Cam made the most of his pa­ter­nity leave, us­ing some his time off work to build the shelves in Mag­gie’s bed­room, and add the fi­nal coats of paint to the deck and the planter boxes he made the sum­mer be­fore.

Be­fore Mag­gie came along, Jess had been hand-paint­ing plant pots with the idea of set­ting up a busi­ness. That project is now on hold, but she’s got an­other one: hunt­ing for dé­cor finds. She con­sid­ers her best dis­cov­ery, how­ever, to be the house it­self. It’s so close to her sis­ter’s home they can see the roof. “We can smell when they’re mak­ing hot-smoked salmon out in the gar­den and hear their kids play­ing.”

When Mag­gie is fi­nally tucked up in bed for the night and the sun is set­ting over the Waitak­eres, the cou­ple can sit on the el­e­vated deck, take in the view of the palm trees at the nearby ten­nis club, and know they’ve come a long way.

ABOVE Bougainvil­lea reaches for the sky out­side the front door painted in Du­lux Koromiko. Be­side it, a Mon­stera de­li­ciosa grows in one of Jess's pots, called Happy Leaves, from her cre­ative project now on hia­tus. RIGHT An­chored by a Sun­day bench from Sun­day Home Store, this vi­gnette in the hall­way in­cludes a Mai bas­ket from Free­dom, an il­lus­tra­tion by The Birth Poster that cel­e­brated Mag­gie's ar­rival, and an­other of Jess's pots. FAR RIGHT & OP­PO­SITE The Ynez print by Tessa Neustadt in the din­ing room pro­vides a pretty link with the blue cabi­netry in the ad­ja­cent kitchen. The Line 04 2.0 pen­dant light is by Dou­glas and Bec, the Sèti bar stools are by NDC and the Dan­de­lion rug is by Ar­madillo & Co from The Ivy House.

ABOVE The pair love their open-plan kitchen and reg­u­larly en­ter­tain. Jess of­ten hosts morn­ing teas, and Cam en­joys pre­par­ing his sig­na­ture slow-cooked meals for din­ner par­ties with friends. LEFT Jess says she has a soft spot for blond wood – and it shows. At the end of the ta­ble crafted from swamp kauri found on Cam’s un­cle’s farm is an­other Sun­day stool; the white din­ing chairs are by Cin­tesi. OP­PO­SITE There’s a bit of a ce­ram­ics col­lec­tion on the go on the shelves by cab­i­net­mak­ers Ar­ti­san Kitchens; the cou­ple’s favourite mak­ers in­clude Clay­bird, JS Ce­ram­ics, Paige Jar­man and Wundaire. The Kubus 4 can­dle­holder by Lassen was an­other wed­ding gift.

ABOVE A pho­to­graphic print

( Wai­heke Is­land Seascape 2) by Duncan Innes hangs above the fire­place near a mir­ror from Mil­dred & Co. The side­board from Homage is a tonal part­ner for the cof­fee ta­ble by NDC. RIGHT

St Cle­ments was a happy dis­cov­ery dur­ing Jess's ini­tial dé­cor re­search. The brand's time­less Joe so­fas and Holt arm­chairs that now form the cen­tre­piece of the liv­ing room were an in­spired choice – “and the cov­ers on the so­fas can be re­moved for clean­ing”.

ABOVE & LEFT In Mag­gie’s room, Awak­en­ing from Sun­day Home Store hangs above a Car­a­van crib by Kalon. The Rab­bit night­light from Na­ture Baby is su­per cute on the Arnold Cir­cus stool by Martino Gam­per, and the chair is from Cop­per & Pink. On the floor is an At­las rug by Ar­madillo & Co from The Ivy House.

FAR LEFT The shelf Cam made holds wooden toys by Os­theimer from Na­ture Baby and trea­sured sto­ry­books. OP­PO­SITE The fur­nish­ings in the guest bed­room are light and re­laxed, and in­clude a wall hang­ing from Cor­co­v­ado, Tonk stool by St Cle­ments and Line lamp by Dou­glas and Bec.

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