LAST WORD ON DESIGN
Developer of townhouses taps into female pool of talent for finishing touches, writes Catherine Smith
When Pauline Preen set out to develop 11 boutique townhouses in Budock Rd, Hillsborough, she tapped her daughter Hannah Kelly to help with design and marketing.
“She has a bachelor of design and is based in London, so has been contributing remotely,” says Pauline. “Her approach has incorporated aspects and experiences from her travels and study in art.”
Pauline was also motivated to create an affordable enclave in the neighbourhood by her grown kids, who, as first home buyers, wanted to buy in the area where they’d grown up.
Pauline says she loved the Hillsborough area, and Budock Rd had a special family atmosphere. The no-exit street off Hillsborough Rd backs on to Pah Homestead and Monte Cecilia Park, is in walking distance of Three Kings primary, Royal Oak intermediate and Onehunga high schools and near bus routes.
It’s easy walking to shopping areas like Greenwoods Corner, Three Kings and Royal Oak. “Residents on this street have been here forever — they all say it’s a little secret, it’s so close to everything,” she says.
While the initial design of the five three-bedroom and six two-bedroom houses was by architect Richard Tam, of Ozark Architects, Pauline took on board Hannah’s advice and tapped Liv Patience, of Material Creative, for the interiors and finished designs.
“She’s got such a knack, it’s really heartfelt work, she’s very thoughtful. Because she’s worked with small spaces, she made sure that there’s storage and it’s very liveable. Her thinking is a bit different, I loved that.”
Both Pauline and Liv had a clear idea of the likely buyers, arranging the floor plan for the two-bed houses so that it could work for a couple with small children (there are gated courtyards front and back).
In the three-bed houses, there is a self-contained bedroom suite on the ground floor that could be used for extended family, or a flatmate.
Liv, whose portfolio for the Nuami Hotel — near Auckland airport — won her company several awards, laid out the kitchens and living rooms.
She added built-in storage, including banquette seating that swallows board games or over-sized platters.
“We labelled every drawer so that everything has its place,” says Liv. She specified cool, large-scale mosaic, interesting door handles, a palette of black and brass.
“We didn’t want to feel standard and white. Slightly more chic mosaic, lovely tapware, great handles ... that makes for a beautiful aesthetic.”
The exterior finishes, different coloured bricks, steel trim on the boxed-out windows and fences, also carry the European-inspired aesthetic.
Says Pauline: “Our mission is to create beautiful, life-proof homes We want to bridge that gap between quality housing and affordable housing.”