AT HOME WITH LIV
Three years ago, Liv and Dave Patience left the hospital with their first child – and a new home. “I’d just given birth to our son Archie and had surgery due to post-labour complications, and hours later Dave shot off to an auction with my dad to buy our first home!” recalls Liv. “He was obviously pretty keen on it.”
The large weatherboard house on a full site in the leafy suburb of Titirangi was in its original condition, with good bones and huge potential. The family lived in it for a year while they worked out exactly what they wanted, then began an overhaul. Once again, circumstances were less than ideal.
“We began renovating when I was pregnant with baby number two, and I was so sick with hyperemesis gravidarum [severe morning sickness] that I don’t even remember the design process,” says Liv. “We completed the renovation when Sylvie was eight weeks old.”
Both Liv and Dave are experienced renovators. Dave, a builder and owner of DP Construction, has built and renovated homes for more than a decade and says their insider knowledge helped them to create a dwelling they truly love.
“We spent a lot of time planning it out together and looking at layout options. The challenge for us was trying to fit a lot into a small footprint. We had to negotiate how to use each space, and let each other have a few wins so we both got our way.” •
“I’d collected samples of everything I liked and was able to pull them out whenever I needed to make a decision or adapt to a change that had to be made,” says Liv. A lover of soft, calming shades, she devised the colour palette around their olive green sofa from Simon James and the kitchen’s existing mint green benchtop.
The kitchen island is a standout feature and a gamble that paid off. “I was designing a café at the time and had been researching rammed-earth techniques,” says Liv. “I thought it could be a nice idea for our kitchen island – plus it would give me a chance to do a practice run at home before doing it in the café. I convinced Dave we should do it, and he suggested using concrete, so he packed it out, poured in the concrete in layers and added oxide to create different colours. We love the end result and it’s as solid as a rock, so it doesn’t matter if the kids ram their bikes or toys into it.”
For all the couple’s talent on the DIY front, there’s something to be said for letting the experts do their job. “Tradies have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in their fields, and I have a renewed respect and admiration for builders,” says Liv. “It’s one thing to design a home, but to build it is quite another. Surface work like skimming, painting, restoring furniture, installing shelves and landscaping is relatively easy to do yourself. But it’s quicker and in the long run cheaper to hire a registered builder, plumber and electrician to do what they do best.”
As with any renovation, there were a few slip-ups along the way. But as Liv says, “It’s these mistakes that have grown on me and created some unexpected character in the house.” •
TOP LEFT Liv, Sylvie, Archie and Dave on the Outline sofa by Simon James Design that informed their home’s colour palette. ABOVE New sliding doors open the dining area to the deck and offer a fantastic view of the city in the distance. An Ikea pendant...
ABOVE Liv says she adores her and Dave’s bedroom, which is painted in Dulux Madigan. “It’s so calming and peaceful – you feel it the moment you walk in. It has the luxurious feel of a hotel room and is my ultimate hideaway.” RIGHT & OPPOSITE Sylvie’s...