WIN­TER WARMER

Look­ing out to a splen­did view in the heart of Queen­stown, this com­pact home takes a spir­ited ap­proach to cosy liv­ing.

Simply You - - News - WORDS JES­SICA-BELLE GREER PHO­TOG­RA­PHY HE­LEN BANKERS

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.

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