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