Suc­cess in The Bank

Stratford Press - - News - By ALICE COWDREY

An Eltham cou­ple’s pas­sion for in­te­rior de­sign, fash­ion and art is ev­i­dent as soon as you en­ter their Eltham shop The Bank.

Packed with eclec­tic vin­tage furniture, bric-a-brac, cloth­ing, cos­tume jew­ellery, an­tiques, home­ware as well as art, the store has been a pop­u­lar desti­na­tion over the last 10 years.

“You would be amazed who comes in here — we have cus­tomers from all over — Welling­ton, Wan­ganui, New Ply­mouth and peo­ple who are pass­ing through . . . it’s a great place for peo­ple who are look­ing for one-off pieces,” says Bar­bara Val­in­tine, who owns the busi­ness with Mark Bell­ringer.

More than 100 years ago the build­ing housed the BNZ bank, and af­ter a se­ries of own­ers the beau­ti­ful build­ing was pur­chased by the cou­ple who turned it into a shop and home.

The cou­ple were liv­ing in New Ply­mouth when they spot­ted the 1916 two storey build­ing for sale and fell in love with the prop­erty which fea­tures five bed­rooms. They spent their time paint­ing and ren­o­vat­ing the space, in­clud­ing the de­vel­op­ment of a cham­pagne bar which is ac­cessed via a spi­ral stair­case. Out the back is a French-style gar­den which Bar­bara has de­vel­oped over the years and en­joys spend­ing time in and Mark also runs his travel and photography busi­nesses from the prop­erty.

Bar­bara says the build­ing is a con­stant work in progress, but they get a lot of en­joy­ment invit­ing peo­ple over.

“We re­ally like the lit­tle vil­lage vibe of Eltham, it re­ally is a great place to live”

Bar­bara Val­in­tine in­side The Bank which she owns with part­ner Mark Bell­ringer. Left: In­side The Bank.

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