Looking out to a splendid view in the heart of Queenstown, this compact home takes a spirited approach to cosy living.
A compact Queenstown home with a spirited approach to cosy winter living
As legend has it, Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu was made by a mischievous taniwha named Matau, who created a valley, which was then filled with mystic rain. Despite Matau being pronounced long dead, the giant’s heartbeat can still be noted in the steady rise and fall of the lake, his beautiful resting place. From season to season, tourists make their pilgrimage to the scenic South Island town on the shores of the crystal-clear blue lake. The seasons are as marked as the tides here, with fresh pink cherry blossoms in spring, dry, hot summers and violent orange trees through autumn, which eventually become covered in a blanket of snow in the winter.
A duplex, owned by an international business couple on the northwest side of the lake, captures nature’s best all year round and is available to rent through luxury tourism operator Touch of Spice. The three-bedroom and three-bathroom home over three levels has been designed to reflect the natural resources of the region, while showcasing views of the spiritual lake and The Remarkables mountain range to its visitors.
“Lakes District houses reflect the landscape,” says the home’s interior designer, Jewell Cassells of Cassells Green. “We have to cope with cold winters and long summer days so the houses are designed to deal with this. Most people are here for the outdoors so that’s reflected in the architecture and interiors.”
In the open-plan kitchen and living areas glossy concrete tile floors from Stresscrete set the tone of the home with terracotta and grey notes. In the lounge, a large log fireplace has been custom-built with hand-picked river stones in the same colour scheme but with a rough, organic texture.
Locally sourced and milled beech wood is used throughout the home, especially in Cassells’ favourite spaces, the bedrooms. These are made warm and inviting through the addition of T&G beech wood walls finished with Design Denmark Panel White, combined with plush carpet.
Timber is a strong finishing material and the furniture had to be able to stand up against this with its own robust aesthetic. A large Flexform sofa, thick wooden Artek dining chairs and bar stools and a glass chandelier from Sharondelier achieve this while helping to create an alpine retreat feel.
The positioning of the furniture is also important to ensure the view does not compete with the decor. “The view affects the layout, definitely, but it does not necessarily dominate,” explains Cassells. “With views, you tend to have a viewing area.”
The furnishings were chosen in earthy, neutral tones to help the interiors recede into the sweeping, natural view. The arrangement of key furniture pieces is open enough to encourage the view but close enough together to still be snug.
One of the most striking rooms in the home is the large black marble bathroom overlooking the town and lake below. While the floor-to-ceiling stone seems like a bold move, it was, in fact, strategic to ensure the space remained restful and private.
“A white bathroom would be like a lighthouse when lit up in front of the window. Also, with the size of that bathroom, it was more intimate in black,” says the interior designer.
When it comes to more compact homes, such as townhouses or apartments, Cassells suggests simplicity above all else. Streamlined layouts will keep a space looking classic as time slips by, like it does in this home welcoming travellers with the tide.
The view affects the layout, definitely, but it does not necessarily dominate.
A Flexform sofa and Artek dining chairs and bar stools were chosen in earthy, neutral tones while a statement chandelier from Sharondelier adds a dash of opulence to the organic interior.
Floor-to-ceiling black marble and picture-frame windows create a sleek sanctuary in the master bathroom.
Locally sourced beech wood and gravel concrete slabs are a reflection of the natural beauty of the Otago region.