The re­vamp of this home was a bal­anc­ing act, with the re­sults a so­phis­ti­cated mix of his and hers.

Homestyle New Zealand - - CONTENTS - WORDS PHOTOGR APHY Philippa Pren­tice Dun­can Innes


find­ing bal­ance, Kiri­ana and Will Tip­ping have it down. With mother/stu­dent Kiri­ana favour­ing the flam­boy­ant and lawyer Will a more tra­di­tional type, the ren­o­va­tion of their villa in Auck­land’s Free­mans Bay was a care­ful alchemy that trans­formed the home over the course of a year into a spec­tac­u­lar blend of ex­cit­ing vis­ual state­ments and pared-back so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

Not for the first time in the his­tory of ro­mance, it’s this cou­ple’s dif­fer­ences as much as their com­mon ground that make them the per­fect pair. “I can be quite out there and Will’s su­per-re­laxed and easy; I’m more of a so­cial per­son and he’s more of a home­body,” says Kiri­ana. “We just seem to work re­ally well. I kind of push him and he holds me back a bit – and I need that. Be­cause Will’s a lawyer, he’s de­tail-driven, whereas I don’t al­ways think of the con­se­quences. I’m just like, ‘That sounds amaz­ing, let’s do that!’ and he’s the com­plete op­po­site.”

Never was their dy­namic more ev­i­dent than dur­ing the ac­qui­si­tion and ren­o­va­tion of the home they stum­bled on one day when out for a walk. True to form, “Will fell in love with it straight away, and I hated it,” says Kiri­ana. “It had not been taken care of and needed ev­ery­thing done to it. But Will could see past all that, and once the clean­ers had been brought in, we both saw what it could be.”

Built in 1904, the three-storey home had been ren­o­vated in the 80s, re­sult­ing in a struc­turally sound shell with a great lay­out and flow to which the cou­ple ap­plied their •

ideas with the help of builder Mike Mac­don­ald of Mac Build and in­te­rior de­signer Jan­ice Ku­mar-Ward. Step one in­volved turn­ing the slop­ing drive­way and tiered gar­den into off-street parking and a flat lawn and pool area, a smart move that meant when the work started in­side over sum­mer, the cou­ple had some­where to re­treat to with their three kids.

For the in­te­rior, it was es­sen­tially a re­fresh, which in­cluded re­mov­ing part of the kitchen wall and ex­tend­ing the main bath­room a bit. Be­yond the equi­lib­rium Kiri­ana and Will found be­tween their in­di­vid­ual per­spec­tives is the bal­ance they achieved be­tween old and new, their goal be­ing to hon­our the char­ac­ter of the house but bring it into the now. The fin­ished prod­uct is a fan­tas­tic mix of “quiet and loud” spa­ces that cater to ev­ery oc­ca­sion, with the master suite up­stairs; the ma­jor­ity of the liv­ing ar­eas on the mid­dle level; and a games room, sec­ond guest room, third bath­room and laun­dry be­low. Lit­tle sur­prises in each space make it unique to the fam­ily, yet com­bine nat­u­rally with the her­itage fea­tures. Pale Re­sene Alabaster on the walls through­out uni­fies the dé­cor and al­lows these stand­out pieces to shine with­out seem­ing overkill.

“We man­aged to bring both of our styles into the house,” says Kiri­ana. “Will’s aes­thetic is clas­sic and homely, and mine would be… eclec­tic? I don’t even know how to de­scribe my style, apart from ev­ery­thing I love be­ing su­per ex­pen­sive! I think the house would be way more in-your-face if it was up to me. I had all these ideas in my head, but then Jan­ice would send me pic­tures and I’d be like, ‘Yeah, that makes •

sense.’ It was great hav­ing her tick­ing off the things each of us liked, say­ing, ‘This will work; that won’t work; have you thought about this?’ She was able to trans­late what we both wanted.

“Jan­ice’s big thing was cre­at­ing mem­o­ries in each room for the chil­dren. For ex­am­ple, when the Ro­man blind in the girls’ room is down, it’s like a beau­ti­ful paint­ing – you can get lost in it. Ly­ing in bed star­ing at their feather pen­dant – it’s soft and serene but gets your mind go­ing.”

Light­ing, mean­while, be­came Kiri­ana’s pet project. “I didn’t re­alise how much I was into it un­til I started this,” she says. “I re­ally feel like it makes a space.” Ergo, amaz­ing pen­dants dot the house, and sen­sor lights lead along the hall­way and up the stairs to the master suite. The cou­ple didn’t want a pen­dant in their room, so Jan­ice sug­gested re­cessed light­ing that washes up the walls, and they went for a sim­i­lar ef­fect in the en­suite.

Kiri­ana might still think the cir­cu­lar white pen­dants in the en­try­way – which Will chose for their el­e­gant sim­plic­ity – are too bor­ing, but she says some of her more ex­tro­verted touches have grown on her other half. “He thanked me for push­ing him, which is re­ally nice,” she says, then laughs. “I was like, ‘I told you I’m right!’”

Seriously, though, for all the back and forth, they re­ally have achieved an ideal mix. “I love how our house is so co­he­sive, yet ev­ery room is different,” says Kiri­ana. “It’s quirky but not in-your-face, simple but still de­tail-driven, lux­u­ri­ous with­out be­ing over the top. And it has both Will and I in it. It feels like ‘us’, not one over the other. This is just me and him – you couldn’t re­ally sep­a­rate us two.”

ABOVE The ma­te­rial pal­ette here in­cludes Fi­jian kauri f loor­ing, Prime Pan­els en­gi­neered oak on the island, Sile­stone bench­tops, stain­less steel, a splash­back in Arabescato Bianco mar­ble from Ital­ian Stone and lac­quered cab­i­netry with an arg yle...

ABOVE LEFT The villa’s front en­trance re­tains its clas­sic ap­peal. ABOVE RIGHT Ca­sual din­ing on the mid­dle-storey deck. OP­PO­SITE The team em­braced the ex­ist­ing cab­i­netry in the liv­ing area, sim­ply perk­ing it up with a lick of paint. A Light Ring pen­dant...

ABOVE LEFT Tongue-and­groove pan­elling was added to the main bath­room’s walls for era-ap­pro­pri­ate tex­ture and in­ter­est. The wall­pa­per is from Cole & Son’s For­nasetti col­lec­tion from Icon Tex­tiles. ABOVE RIGHT Kiri­ana found the f loor tiles in the...

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