Spring pick-me-ups

Bold homes, funky flow­ers and fresh flavour­ful recipes FOR­MER BLACK CAP SHANE BOND'S SWISH RENO


Ten years af­ter build­ing a fam­ily home and with three chil­dren head­ing into the teen zone, Tracey and Shane Bond were fac­ing a “love it or list it” dilemma. The house the Bonds built in the Styx Mill sub­di­vi­sion on the north­ern out­skirts of Christchurch was their third house in the area. The for­mer Black Cap’s life as an in­ter­na­tional cricket coach takes him round the globe but this is his home ground. “I’ve lived in Belfast since I was nine,” says Shane, who met Tracey at the lo­cal high school.

Cus­tom-built as a prac­ti­cal home for a young fam­ily, the 282sqm plas­tered block and schist house has a kitchen flanked by two liv­ing rooms on one side with a hall and four bed­rooms wrap­ping around be­hind. “It’s like a lap,” says Shane. “We used to leave the doors open and the kids would run around and around.”

Ever-prac­ti­cal, they chose a syn­thetic brown car­pet, neu­tral fur­nish­ings and laid the back­yard with ar­ti­fi­cial turf. The house had had a good in­nings, but Katie, 14, Hay­ley, 12, and Ryan, 10, were mov­ing into a dif­fer­ent stage of life and the house was tired.

“It was great when the kids were younger, but we needed to re­place the car­pet and ap­pli­ances, our fur­ni­ture was mis­matched and we were bored with beige,” says Tracey.

At the end of the day, they de­cided they were happy with the house and lo­ca­tion. “There are things about liv­ing here that would be hard to walk away from,” says Tracey. Ticks on the “love it” list in­cluded ac­cess to a res­i­dents’ gym and 25m pool, the nearby re­serve where Wally the spoo­dle could stretch his legs and the sub­di­vi­sion’s retic­u­lated gas sup­ply.

“It’s a very safe neigh­bour­hood which is good as I’m away a lot,” says Shane, who spends two months a year coach­ing in In­dia and much of the sum­mer sea­son in Aus­tralia.

“It’s a busy time of our lives,” adds Tracey, who does some relief teach­ing be­tween shut­tling the chil­dren be­tween schools and sports fields.

With the de­ci­sion made to stay put, the next was where to start with the re­vamp. “We went around some shops but had no idea when it came to mak­ing choices,” says Shane. >

“In the end I googled ‘in­te­rior de­sign’ and read a few re­views and thought Fro­bisher looked good,” says Shane. The se­lec­tion was made, and Ryan Twomey and Vashti Ham­mond were as­signed to the job.

“They had a good look around and came back and said ‘this is what we think we should do’ and we were like ‘oh… ok’,” says Shane, who hadn’t been plan­ning such a ma­jor over­haul. “In the end we thought, ‘let’s just do it’ and it was the best thing we ever did.” While his strong suit may not be in­te­rior de­sign, Shane has al­ways been in­ter­ested in houses and stud­ied prop­erty val­u­a­tion be­fore be­ing ac­cepted into the po­lice force, where he spent two years be­fore cricket kicked in. >

The Bonds’ brief was for a more in­ter­est­ing makeover that would take them through the next decade.

“They’re a sporty Cantabrian fam­ily, prac­ti­cal and un­pre­ten­tious,” says Ryan from Fro­bisher, who had his own brand of coach­ing, and coax­ing, to of­fer. “We didn’t want them walk­ing into a house that didn’t feel as though it be­longed to them, but we also wanted to push them out of what they thought was their com­fort zone and show them what could be achieved.”

A year on, and al­most ev­ery­thing in the house is new. The re­vamped kitchen, while al­ways cen­tral, is now the so­cial hub. By at­tach­ing a tongue-like ex­ten­sion to the bench, the area has been drawn into pre­vi­ously dead space to link the liv­ing ar­eas. Light loop-pile wool car­pet and French oak par­quet have re­placed the brown car­pet, and the off-white walls cov­ered in deeper shades and pat­terned pa­pers. Tex­tured fab­rics and moody colours have trans­formed the lit­tle-used for­mal lounge, while the once-drab liv­ing room is now an invit­ing sunny space.

Bath­rooms have been mod­ernised and bed­rooms tai­lored to taste, par­tic­u­larly pleas­ing the girls who had fallen out of love with their child­hood quar­ters.

A small room, for­merly a dump­ing ground for junk, is now a quirky man-cave full of crick­et­ing mem­o­ra­bilia. “We were very con­scious of not over-em­bel­lish­ing the house with Shane’s crick­et­ing achieve­ments while at the same time we wanted to show­case them some­where,” says Ryan. “This way we have lim­ited it to a pri­vate room he can open up to peo­ple if he wants to.”

Shane and Tracey soon came to trust the de­sign team’s sug­ges­tions. “When they first showed us three dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als they were go­ing to use on a chair, I thought ‘that sounds hideous’ but once it was made, it was like ‘wow, that’s so cool’,” says Shane. By the time Ryan sug­gested they hang rus­tic Ra­jasthani gates on their nice new wall, the Bonds’ re­sponse was ‘Why not?’

“They ab­so­lutely nailed us,” says Tracey. “It’s a much friend­lier house that has re­ju­ve­nated us and the way we live.”

‘In the end we thought, “let’s just do it” and it was the best thing we ever did’

TH­ESE PAGES (clock­wise from top left) Up­hol­stery fab­ric was used for the liv­ing room cur­tains to give a rich­ness that is en­hanced by the tex­tured cush­ions on the leather and linen-look sofa; metal ta­bles fea­ture through­out the house: “We didn’t want any­thing too pre­cious and they are easy to move around,” says Tracey. An inset car­pet de­fines a din­ing zone along­side the kitchen; six posters the chil­dren chose in Dis­ney­land have been grouped to brighten the wall of the fam­ily-friendly room. Shane and Wally un­der framed post­cards from the Olympic Mu­seum in Lau­sanne, Switzer­land. Tracey re­laxes at the No­bilia Ger­man lam­i­nate bench ex­ten­sion, fash­ioned to re­sem­ble weath­ered Corten steel; the Palazzo kitchen fea­tures Co­rian bench­tops and a mir­rored splash­back; rus­tic gates from Obelisk can be seen hang­ing on the hall wall beyond; the French oak her­ring­bone floor is by Metro Floor.

THIS PAGE (clock­wise from top left) Katie chose a char­coal and white striped De­sign­ers Guild wall­pa­per and flo­ral cur­tain fab­ric for her Paris-themed bed­room. Hay­ley sprawls in her clas­sic leather but­ter­fly chair. Ryan’s sports medals adorn a vin­tage in­dus­trial locker. His father’s first Black Cap and a signed shirt from his team’s 2002 tour of the West Indies hang on a dark Re­sene ‘Noc­tur­nal’ wall above Mind The Gap wall­pa­per by Lin­wood.OP­PO­SITE In the liv­ing room, shut­ters were added for a clas­sic look and to give pri­vacy from the street; the walls are painted in Re­sene ‘Bi­son Hide’ and the leather ot­toman is from Fro­bisher; Tracey picked up the vases on the man­tel­piece from The Ware­house: “Ac­ces­sories don’t have to be ex­pen­sive,” she says.

THIS PAGE (clock­wise from top) In the mas­ter bed­room, Tracey and Shane’s wed­ding photo hangs along­side a fea­ture wall of grass-cloth by An­thol­ogy; the Bianca Lorenne bed­ding is lay­ered with blue euro pil­lows from Wil­liam Ye­oward and cush­ions in liquorice and gold vel­vet. The for­merly brown-tiled bath­room has been mod­ernised with 600cm­square Ital­ian con­crete-look tiles on both the floor and walls. The cricket room sports Howzat! wall­pa­per by Lin­wood, framed caps from Shane’s col­lec­tion and a large tin ta­ble that makes an ex­cel­lent hid­ing place for Ryan and his friends.OP­PO­SITE Topi­aried pep­per trees line a paved path lead­ing to the front door.

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