Amy’s grow­ing mostly herbs and suc­cu­lents in the re­tain­ing beds – “Any­thing hardy enough to with­stand the coastal ele­ments”

Your Home and Garden - - Front Page -

“Fol­low­ing the reno, Stu and I thought it was a good time to com­bine forces and fam­i­lies and start the jour­ney of liv­ing to­gether as a blended fam­ily. We have never looked back,” she says.

To re­flect their sea­side en­vi­ron­ment, Amy used plenty of nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als in the build – such as ply­wood and wooden floors – as well as con­crete, which she soft­ened by adding tex­tured ac­ces­sories in muted, earthy colours: yel­low, burnt orange, emer­ald. Cane and wicker are par­tic­u­lar favourites and fea­ture in light­shades, stools, chairs, planters and out­door fur­ni­ture.

Amy says there’s no easy way to de­scribe her decor style. “It’s a lit­tle unique. Maybe old-meets-new, a bit of boho, ur­ban jun­gle and lots of warmth. I’m not a fan of cold colours and spa­ces. I love nice linen, my bits of taxi­dermy, and our quirky col­lec­tion of cush­ions.”

New di­rec­tion

When you visit their amaz­ing home, it’s easy to see why the cou­ple love liv­ing in Gis­borne. They’re mak­ing the most of all the city of­fers, with the kids swim­ming and surf­ing all sum­mer long while Amy and Stu watch from the deck of their lowslung house which sits right on Wainui Beach.

“One thing that was a must when we re­built was a toi­let in our garage for sandy, wet chil­dren to use,” Amy laughs.

The cou­ple rel­ish be­ing in their own space and hav­ing a home that makes en­ter­tain­ing easy. “We have a pretty much open-door pol­icy and live in a com­mu­nity where it’s still okay for kids to ride their bikes around and play cricket on the beach un­til dark,” she says.

Un­like The Block, where value is added to a home for a quick sale, there are no plans to sell this beach­side beauty. “We’ll be stay­ing for ever,” Amy says em­phat­i­cally. But there is change in the wind: their TV suc­cess has en­cour­aged Amy to look at new ways to en­rich her work life. After 20 years as a beauty ther­a­pist, she’s hung up her wax strips and started an in­te­rior de­sign and styling busi­ness in Gis­borne, rent­ing of­fice space in her friend’s home­ware shop, kō.

“I feel like I have so much more to give,”

Amy says. “I’m ex­cited to be able to turn my

Block ex­pe­ri­ence and pas­sion for de­sign into a busi­ness and can’t wait to help oth­ers with their in­te­rior projects.” •

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