After Christopher purchased his first home - a brand-new 136m2 3 bedroom Fletcher Living Home in Awatea Green Development in Christchurch, he needed a whole lot of help. He didn’t own any furniture or décor. He knew he had a blank canvas – but he had no idea how to paint!
In renovating there is no way to avoid decision making and even though we have done six renovations so far, deciding how I will transform a project takes a significant amount of my time. Renovation is about finding the potential within a space, it requires clever and creative design, so when it comes to interior design within a renovation - I call it DIY, design it yourself.
A common question that we get asked by friends who follow our renovation journey is: WHY? As in why would you consider regularly renovating and give up a significant amount of your spare time? Answering that completely would be a whole blog in itself – but simply because we love it. One of the things I love is the decisiveness required to renovate, there is a skill to making decisions in renovating and experience provides opportunity to develop that. While this is a small-scale renovation, there are still a whole lot of interior design decisions that that took us from Our Plan to Our Presentation.
Recently I heard someone making banter about lounge spaces – claiming they had no idea why it was called a ‘living room’. Sure if you have a formal lounge, a family lounge, a kids playroom and entertainment room – the options for living are vast but if you live in our home (or most older homes in NZ) you have one option – the lounge. Our lounge truly is the living room in our house - it caters for our children’s play, our family dance parties, quality TV viewing, hang out with friends and wrestle time with Dad (I’m referring to playtime with Alek in case there is any confusion). For our lounge I focused less on creating a magazine cover look that everyone would be wowed by, rather keeping it simple and flexible, functional for our needs and keeping unity in style with the rest of our open plan dining and kitchen.
Style isn’t something some people have and others do not, the reality is while you flick through a home magazine or walk through an open home, you will either like the room or don’t – that originates from your style preference. When some people claim they have no style – their problem lies in the vast space from I know what I like to I can create that in my own home. To style well, every piece of furniture and décor needs to work together to create one complete look – this is where a lot of people getting frustrated, waste money or give up before they even give it a go. There is an art form to interior design and styling. It is creative and driven by emotion but at the same time there is structure and calculated decision making.
At the beginning of this year I had the honour of working with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust through the Kāinga Tuatahi project, a 30-house village located on ancestral land at Bastion Point. The project has a strong emphasis on providing affordable housing for their tribe, while achieving stunning contemporary design and community. My role was to stage their first completed whare for their own portfolio.
To be honest, when I found out we were having a girl the reality was overwhelming! Though it was a dream come true, I had gotten pretty comfortable with my little man style and the frills and sparkles all seemed a bit too much. With a girl, it felt like there were so many options, I didn't know where to start. Then I fell in love with the one piece of furniture I didn't need...
Putting together a child’s room brings out your inner child – though for Caleb and I we have never struggled with that! We love playing with our soon to be 2 year old and designing him a new room gave us an opportunity to get creative and create him (and us) a fun environment.