On a recent trip home to Te Anau, I visited my parent’s house and I couldn’t wait to see their finished new home build. They are well known by friends and family as keen renovators taking on numerous whole house renovations that most people would walk away from in the first week, so of course, the challenge was all too tempting for them.
Settled just 5 minutes from Fiordlands town of Te Anau down a shingle drive sits the 333 sqm two-story new build including a gottage (garage cottage) on 8.5 acres with their two dogs and three cats. If you’re in the vegetable garden behind the house you’ll enjoy the views of the Takitimu Mountains, and as you sit in the lounge you can admire the Murchison Mountains from all angles through their windows, being home is more like an alpine retreat than staying at your parents.
My parents home had interesting beginnings, they purchased it as a shell, no landscaping with the 10-year-old cottage already attached and being lived in while the previous owner hadn’t made many movements in the previous 4 years. The exterior of the house was completed and the inside framing had been completed. The house is framed with 6×2 Jframe and lined with woollen/polyester insulation and the foundations were all thermal breaked. The windows are commercial alloy, think European quality and that’s what they have.
The piping is Geo Thermal and works via a solar PV system which has been designed for the sub-zero conditions that they frequently get in Te Anau. This winter has been the test for them as they have been in the house almost a year now. The Metro Eco wood burner they use to heat the house heats every corner, with the double glazed windows doing their job to insulate so all their efforts to insulate have paid off, the house is piping hot with no curtains shut at night.
Moving into the Gottage in October 2016 with the plan to complete the house over the next year it was an extreme downsize for them going from 242 Sqm to an all in 1 cottage. Rounding up contractors proved challenging when renovating in a town that is rapidly growing with baches and housing. When they got going there was no stopping them apart from a few minor setbacks with finding available tradies.
“I didn’t have a vision beforehand. We knew we wanted rustic mixed with modern so went to Guthrie Bowron and spent a while looking through wallpaper books and when we found the right paper, we styled around it”.
With 3 spacious bedrooms, the first guest bedroom has been styled with a wallpaper feature wall that looks like the old boards on our farm stable, this created the base look and feel for the room. The headboard fireplace is actually the original fireplace surround from one of the bedrooms in the 1926 Bungalow on our farm, this room was used as our nephew’s bedroom over the last year when he and my sister lived with them. So my step mum has big visions to complete the rustic feel in the future.
The second guest bedroom was styled around a duvet. They both liked the colours and patterns, so set the tone from there. The wallpaper is a geometric 3D effect that absorbs the colours from the room to give a fresh feeling. To warm up the space and continue the rustic feeling in this room they’ve used wooden side tables and a dresser. The view from these rooms makes art and prints redundant with the framed view of the Takitimu mountains.
While the other bedrooms have double wardrobes, the master has a walk-in and a large ensuite. The wall behind the bed has a 3d effect floral print feature wall and has been styled a little darker than the other rooms with all the light coming through the large doors that frame the Murchison Mountains and step out onto a private deck.
The Kitchen has a separate scullery for all my step mums preserving jars and appliances. Wanda’s had x2 brand new kitchens now cooking for 5 adult kids, their partners and a grandchild when we are all home so had a list of things a new kitchen needed to have.
- Shaker Style cupboards
- Large Island
- Oven to entertain
- White cabinetry
- Modern rustic feel
The feeling when walking into this kitchen is exactly what Wanda set out to do. Everything works so well together and the hanging swingle tree light feature is the statement and ties the rimu wood in with the rest of the house.
The living room connecting to the kitchen bordered with windows and a sliding door has panoramic mountain views. The wallpaper, a pressed tin effect gives the space a grand feeling and ties in with the ceramic pressed tin style tiles in the kitchen.
From the living room, you walk upstairs to a rumpus room that scales the length of the house. The intention here was to create a comfortable den-like space where you can retreat for a cosy, warm relaxed atmosphere. My step mum loves books and the atmosphere of a library (hence the wallpaper). We’ve spent many hours up there playing pool and having drinks and laughs. There’s the most amazing sitting spot that has a low window where you can read a book, have a cup of tea and look at the mountains. This space also doubles as my dad’s office so has a masculine feel to the furniture up here.
My parents home is exactly what they envisioned for them. A space that pays homage to the rural background of our families and the historic homes my parents have lived in. This house proves that a new home doesn’t have to be state of the art, glossy and minimalist. It’s refreshing to see my parents living in a home that is truly them.
Wallpaper and paint – Guthrie Bowron
Lighting – Lighting direct
Kitchen – Mitre10
Tiles – Tile Centre
Carpet – All Lay
Windows – Aluminium Services