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A New Zealand Herald Commercial Publication

Thursday, February 26, 2015

build, renovate & decorate


The latest paint and wallpaper trends


Living room renovation

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YOUR SPACE, YOUR RULES TV is full of home reno shows but redecorating your living room doesn’t have to be a competition. By Leigh Bramwell

Of course you won’t be in line for a prize either, but a newly decorated space that meets your needs, reflects your style and makes you happy to come home at night is reward enough. If you’re planning a total revamp of your living area, start by choosing the ‘must stay’ items so you can work your plan around them. If you have a purple leather sofa your partner simply won’t part with, treat it as a challenge – there will be a way to make it work. Spatial designer Sara Andrews suggests working from the ground up. “The floor is likely to be a costly revamp so choose materials and colours that will suit the activities of the room and the feeling you want to create,” she says, adding that if you have kids, pets or friends who spill red wine, hard flooring and rugs might be a good choice. If there’s just you and you’re incredibly careful, perhaps you can have that cream carpet. You will frequently be advised to choose neutral colours for large areas like floors and walls to enhance the resale potential of your home, but a change of attitude is underway. Interior designer Sonya Cotter attributes it in part to the fact that we are now staying in our houses for longer, and are therefore more prepared to invest in our own taste. If you plan to have white or off-white walls and furnishings, you could make your floor the standout feature and use a dramatic colour. Laminate floorings come in a broad range of colours, and other colourful options are timber or ply, which can be stained the colour of your choice, tiles or linoleum. Wall options have opened up recently with a resurgence in the popularity of wall-

Above: A successful living room renovation results in a room you and your family want to spend time in. paper. The colours, textures and styles have expanded, and wallpaper can add immediate impact. Depending on the style you have chosen for the overall look, you can use paper that is opulent, luxurious, classical,

retro, funky …. the choices are limited only by taste and budget. Paint, of course, remains a mainstay in interior design and has the advantages of being inexpensive, fast and easily applied by a DIY enthusiast. Once the surfaces in your room have been covered, it’s time to plan the main area of interest. If your space is large enough to have

two seating areas, one should dominate while the other takes a recessive role. This might mean a sectional seating area table near the fireplace, and a couple of smaller chairs and side table elsewhere in the room. If there is no fireplace, you can emphasise the main seating area with a rug or a standout coffee table. You’ll know if you have it right if you enter the room and are immediately drawn to the focal point. “It’s a fact of life, though, that many people do plan their entire room around the television,” Sara says. “I’d suggest incorporating it in a wall unit so it becomes part of a group of furnishings rather than the star. However, it does need to be on the conversation axis. So if the fireplace is the central focus the television should be beside or above it, because if you put it on the opposite wall, the room becomes unfocused and uncoordinated.” Assuming the television isn’t the only accessory you plan for your living room, you will want to bring into the design your favourite decorative items. Depending on your taste, you might select three or four pieces and keep the look clean and simple, or use lots of items together. Either way, display pieces so they are all seen at their best, and ask the question: if you can’t see it, why is it there? The biggest mistakes, Sara says, are probably made with artworks. Her rules are never to hang a painting above eye level, to hang them in relation to what is below them and make sure the painting relates to the scale of what is there. If you have a large number of artworks, try grouping them together in one area, rather than scattering them all over the room.

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They’re cheaper, more environmentally friendly and increasingly popular. Dionne Christian gets inside some award-winning small homes Throughout New Zealand architectural designers are finding a growing number of clients want homes where the floor plan is less than 150m2. Defign, the annual publication of Architectural Designers New Zealand, features winning designs and entries from the ADNZ | Resene Architectural Design Awards which now includes a Residential Compact New Home up to 150m2 category. ADNZ CEO Astrid Andersen says smaller homes appeal to baby-boomers who, having raised families, want to downsize as well as to new homeowners who want to get a foothold in the property market. David Maurice, of LTD Architectural, designed the winning entry in the Residential Compact New Home up to 150m2 with the “Duncansby Road project” on Auckland’s North Shore. It involved designing – on a steep site – a simple but elegant coastal family home with three bedrooms, a bathroom and ensuite, a study, living and kitchen area. “If you want to reduce the costs of a build, floor area is the first place to start,” says Mr Maurice. “Make it smaller and then you can spend more on better quality fixtures and fittings, often using more expensive sustainable materials. It means, in some respects, you actually get more for your money.

“It then comes down to thinking about the way you live and drawing up a hierarchy of priorities so homeowners can determine what’s really important to them to have in their home. Another thing to consider is making a home more open plan. Once you put up walls to create separate rooms, you’re basically creating boxes.” A builder turned home designer, Mr Maurice says the need to fit a greater number of homes into existing urban space, particularly in Auckland, means more marginal land is often being built on. The costs involved with the groundwork needed to make a site suitable, coupled with reduced section size, means smaller homes make even more sense of those types of ground. The steepness of the Duncansby Road site was challenging in terms of creating a suitable living platform and it was necessary to minimise piling because of difficult ground conditions. He wanted the subfloor structure to be as elegant as possible given it would be very visible. Steel portals and cable cross bracing was used to form a rigid frame which was then in-filled with structural timber framing. Views out to the Hauraki Gulf are framed between a projecting deck and canopy which also serve to create a truly viable outdoor living space.

“Site orientation is very important to make a more compact home work,” he says. “This building sits lightly on the sloping site, suspended above the contour allowing sun and rain to reach beneath the building platform. In time, vegetation will grow below and around the structure, res-stabilising the site and allowing good permeability. The living platform will be suspended above lush, green coastal vegetation with expansive views to the Gulf.” Fellow ADNZ member Sheryle Williams, of SAW Design, faced similar challenges with site suitability and size when she re-designed a Wellington home all but destroyed in a fire. The charred remains of the original working man’s cottage were moved offsite so a new home could be built on the section, nestled at the base of the hills of Wellington and just 6.91 metre wide. There were strict town-planning, health and safety, and heritage regulations while the client’s brief included easy access to water and an accessible means of escape from the upstairs bedroom. Having survived the terrifying experience, the owner wanted to “move on” by building on the same site a new home which was light, airy and modern. It became known as the Phoenix house and, says Ms Williams, proved

RENOVATIONS Timber decks, Cladding and Repairs

Above: The winning entry in the ADNZ/ Resene Design Awards Residential Compact New Home category is the Duncansby Road project. Pics courtesy Defign.

to be an exciting and unique project to work on. While the building’s footprint, and the envelop of the building, had to be “like for like”, she could rearrange and update the interior assisted by the owner who had a flair for design and used splashes of colour, artwork and more funky fittings to add character. Ms Williams stuck to white walls and light-coloured floor coverings, saying the quickest way to make a small space look cramped and dingy is to use dark colours with little light. An alcove, sky-

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Above: The dining and kitchen area of the Duncansby Road project on Auckland’s North Shore. Right: The Phoenix House in Wellington was built on a section just 6.91 metres wide. Below: The bathroom of The Phoenix House.

light, French doors and windows were used in the living area to make it more voluminous while the kitchen area, altered to be more streamlined and practical, included a bi-fold window opening out to a cute courtyard peppered with bright coloured potted plants. Resource consent was successfully obtained to add a dormer window to the upstairs bedroom while the stairwell, originally in the centre of the home, was moved closer to the front door. Ms Williams even created enough

space to install an upstairs ensuite. A floor plan of 150m2 is palatial compared to the size of the tiny homes being designed by those keen to move into the property market in incremental steps. Permaculturalist and keen environmentalist Bryce Langston and filmmaker/photographer Melissa Nickerson are building a 15m2 home which will be on a purpose-designed trailer meaning they can move it from site to site. They also produce the webseries

Living Big in a Tiny House which features other New Zealanders maximising their lifestyles by reducing the size of their homes – and, along with that, their mortgages. Mr Langston says the couple have done extensive research into the best materials for New Zealand conditions and are now in the process of sourcing these and building their dream home. It will still have a bathroom, kitchen, living room, space for entertaining and a bedroom as well as fixtures and

“Make it smaller and then you can spend more on better quality fixtures”

fittings – water collection facilities, tanks, fireplace, composting toilet, solar panels and water heater, wetback, charge controller and batteries – so it can be completely off-grid. “I think we have to remember it was only in recent years that people wanted bigger houses and expectations grew so homes included more and more. Before, we all got along quite nicely in smaller spaces and it’s important to bear in mind, if you have a smaller mortgage then you can have a bigger life.”

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Filling blank walls brings a room to life and is the perfect way to express your personality. Pic courtesy Resene

HELLO WALLS Danielle Wright asks the experts about interior wall trends for 2015, so you’re not left staring at a blank space

Annabel Taylor of Auckland wallpaper specialist Paper Room returned full of ideas from the recent London Design Festival and Home Show. Her and business partner Sarah Sheild have been selling local and international designer wallpaper since 2009. Her tips for the year include textured photographic wallpaper, such as digitally printed images of parquet, baroque paneling, distressed corrugated iron, concrete and scrap woods in a repeat pattern.

“Just arrived in-store are photo real wallpapers by Koziel featuring images of everything from white book cases to old brick walls,” says Taylor. “Deborah Bowness also just launched a range featuring Moscow graffiti or breeze blocks. In 2015, it’s all about bringing the outside in.” Taylor admits that retro is still popular with Miss Print and Mini Moderns continuing their mid-century inspired ranges featuring retro colourways and motifs.

“Mini Moderns’ new range also features geometric shapes – another trend for this year,” says Taylor. “The range was inspired by the D-Day landings during World War II. Australia’s Ferm Living is also producing great geometric wallpapers at the moment.” If you’re looking for a more personal touch, you can create customised wallpaper through Paper Room. Vintage family black and white photos or an image of your favourite holiday spot blown up on your bed-

room wall to wake up to each morning are some of the options. If you don’t want to commit to wallpaper, there are ways to express your home design style through paint. Resene colour controller Dianne Connell says a key trend this year is to colour block by punctuating a neutralcoloured wall with a bold colour accent. “All you need is some masking tape, your favourite Resene colours and your imagination,” says Connell. “And remember that

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Right and below: Colours like Resene Triple Rakaia (right) bring a slightly cooled edge to a colour scheme.


Resene Triple Rakaia

Resene Pohutukawa

Above: Geometric wallpaper is trending in 2015. Pic courtesy Paper Room.

Above: Paper Room stock the Deborah Bowness designed Moscow graffiti wallpaper.

today’s neutral is now a kind of ‘greige’ – a grey version of beige, such as Resene Triple Rakaia, which brings a slightly cooled edge to the colour scheme.” Classics such as duck egg blue or weathered greens are holding their popularity, or try a contrast, such as Resene Pohutukawa red, tipped as another favourite for New Zealanders. “For exteriors, deepest black, such as Resene All Black and Resene Pitch Black, as well as cool grey whites, are being used in a myriad of combinations and are increasingly replacing the buttery creams and biscuit beiges of a decade ago,” says Connell. She adds that black has always been sought after for exteriors but the limits of building materials meant for many homes black couldn’t be used. Now with new building materials and heat reflective paint, homeowners can indulge colour combinations that wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago.

Continuing the wall colour up to the ceiling is another trend that has a cocooning effect and helps you nestle into the comfort of a room. For the brave, the ceiling is not an uncluttered space, suggests Connell, but somewhere to be bold by adding stripes, colour blocks or a feature colour. In terms of artwork on walls, Victoria Bibby of interior designers Bibby + Brady says it should evoke an emotion in you – whether that’s a sense of calm, high energy or just a smile. “Filling blank walls will immediately bring a room to life, make it feel more homely, and is the perfect way to express your personality,” says Bibby. “If you’re using a single piece of art my advice for 2015 is the bigger the better, If your art is too small it can get lost on your wall, but large scale art pieces will create a real ‘wow’ factor.” She says picture walls are still very popular and a great way to display a collection of favourite pieces. Mixing it up by including

pieces such as photographs, prints, a child’s artwork, a treasured postcard or a mirror – all in varying sizes – will keep the eye moving. “It’s also a good idea to have one large piece that acts as an anchor. Keeping your frames similar helps to make the display look collated rather than chaotic, but don’t be afraid to vary it slightly – I love white, light wood, and gold frames together. Work with different shapes and textures,” advises Bibby, adding that a round artwork, sculptural piece or plate can help to break up and soften all the straight lines. Living walls, or vertical gardens, have become very popular and add drama, colour and life to any space. Bibby says that although they are one of the hottest design trends, they actually date back to the 1930s. “They’re especially beautiful in, but not limited to, small apartments that don’t have gardens,” says Bibby. “You can create a vertical herb garden in your kitchen, which is both stunning and practical, and they’re also

beneficial to your health – win, win!” Lighting projected onto walls or incorporated into walls to make artwork is another trend, as is the use of concrete walls in living rooms. “Lighting is a brilliant way to create a mood in your home and there is a huge range of amazing wall lights available now,” says Bibby. “Once again, use them to reflect your style. Loop a long pendant light cord over a wall hook for a delightfully casual look, or add a brass wall mounted light for a more sophisticated feel.” Texture is still very popular in 2015 – metallics like brass, copper and gold, concrete and wood, and matt textures are all very strong this year. Bibby suggests mounting a wall light above an artwork to both highlight it and anchor the art to the wall. “The key for any year is to create a home that inspires you and makes you happy,” says Bibby. “Display pieces you love and that give your home personality. Then sit back and enjoy the energy you have created.”




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Above: The team at Shore Homes have a combined 104 years’ experience in the building industry. counting, of experience in the building industry you can be assured of absolute competency in all respects of your project. Your home is built by our team of professional craftsmen from the start to the end of your project, our builders are specialists in architecturally designed homes, mastering difficult renovation projects, and delivering master pieces, giving you a home to be proud of. Being a company offering design and build services, no two homes have ever been the same, our service offers you the opportunity to put pen to paper and turn your house

vision into a reality. When you walk into our Show Home, the quality of finish, appliances, bathroom fittings, floor coverings, light fittings are the same standard as what you can expect in your new home. We don’t have an upsize you approach to selling a dream, what you see is what is in our package, and if you would like more or less we can always adopt to that, without diverting from what we deem as “must haves” in a Shore Homes home. What you can expect in your home when you build with Shore Homes that we won’t divert from is insulation to all exterior and interior walls and your mid floor should

you be building two stories. Your framing is constructed using a laminated pine, your building is wrapped with a structural rigid barrier system not building paper, pre wiring for solar panels, home automation security system, ample data, power points and LED lighting throughout, quality bathroom fittings, underfloor heating in your bathrooms and an architectural aluminium joinery package. To speak with one of our team today call us on 0800 636 737, visit our website www. or view our show home at 10 Remuremu Street, Long Bay.




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The recently opened showroom on Constellation Drive, Mairangi Bay is the largest of Luana and James Christie’s two Urban + Beach Lifestyle inspired furniture stores. Both shops are packed full of their urban, modern and eclectic styles. From large, oversized, duckdown cushioned couches, retroinspired sideboards and coffee tables, through to industrial style bookshelves adorned with colourful and quirky cushions, vases and trinkets, it’s all here. “There are really no hard and fast rules when it comes to styling your home – gone are the days where everyone buys one style or colour, particularly in wood,” says Luana. “Today everyone is experimenting with ideas and aren’t afraid to mix their furniture styles

– and we aim to cater for all these types of looks.” While they have inside the home truly covered, they also cater for the outside. They are stockists for Artwood Outdoor Furniture.

“Today everyone is experimenting with ideas and aren’t afraid to mix their furniture styles – and we aim to cater for all these types of looks.” Urban + Beach Lifestyle Furniture boast an amazing array of quality, hand-crafted pieces that reflect the evolving, modern Kiwi lifestyle. Let Luana and James help make your house a home to enjoy. On the web:

Right: Urban + Beach Lifestyle Furniture stock an amazing array of quality pieces that reflect the modern kiwi lifestyle.

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form of energy and this is the first time in New Zealand that there has been a simple way to go solar with no upfront costs. solarZero is a $0-down plan designed to let families generate cheaper power without having to choose between helping the environment and saving money. Andrew Booth, founder and chief executive of solarcity says, “We believe in a better, more affordable way to power homes at a lower cost while contributing to a cleaner planet. We have some of the worlds highest sunshine hours and now we have removed the upfront costs all you need is a good roof” To find out how you can so solar with solar-Zero call 0800 11 66 55 or visit



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With an ever increasing Auckland population, and rising house prices, the pressures of housing availability and affordability continue to rise. What are your options? Well, take a look at what’s happening in Takanini right now, and the solution may be closer than you think. Respected award-winning builder Finesse Residential is offering to the market a range of affordable house and land packages in Addison Estate and Sunline Estate that can be bought off the plans with only 10% deposit. Finesse has been building quality new homes in Auckland for more than 25 years. Its Cosy Place show home in Auckland won Gold in the 2012 Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards, and the companies stunning show home in Karaka won Gold in 2013. The same standard of design and construction and the same attention to de-

tail goes into the homes at Takanini. The Finesse Residential’s building directors Murray Kee and Geoff Philson have formed a strong, ethical partnership – together with an able team of quality licensed builders. Finesse have delivered over 100 house and land packages to happy clients over the past two years. One client, Frits Van Gulden says – “We bought this house off the plan in Oct 2013 and will be moving in next week. All up it has been a great experience. We have had engagement from Phill from day one and he has gone out of his way to accommodate us in our requests and changes made. The build and quality is exactly as it was sold to us, same standards and finishes as the show

home. I am looking at buying another property through Finesse as I am very pleased with this one and the overall process, quality and value for money”. Buyers have a choice of 3, 4 or 5 bedroom floor plan options. A feature of the designs is the superb utilisation of space and the high standard of appointments. Granite bench tops and stainless steel appliances are all standard, plus purchasers also benefit from a comprehensive 10 year Master Builders Guarantee with their investment. Studies show houses in neighbourhoods based on master planning like Addison, enjoy premiums over their more conventional counterparts. Home owners in both Addison and Sunline

Above: Finesse Residential is offering a range of affordable house and land packages in Addison Estate and Sunline Estate, Takanini. Pic supplied.



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Estate are seeing an increase in their average house price and higher values over houses in surrounding area. For those wanting to find out more, sales consultant Phill Sharp at Finesse Residential has put together a fact sheet of available properties for prospective purchasers. Open Homes are also held every Saturday and Sunday from 2pm till 3pm so buyers can walk through and see the build quality of what’s on offer. If you are looking to capitalise on the current low interest rates and want to purchase your new home off the plans, Finesse Residential have the track record and stock availability to be able to provide you with the house and land package that you’ve been looking for.