Real Reno – Master Bedroom Remodel


A master bedroom is like the middle child, it’s a great room but the glory and attention are often taken away by the kitchen and living space.

When Mooch and I were planning our house reno it was this room that was so easy to plan.

The old bedroom was the same shade of pinky-white on the ceiling, skirts, walls, sill and architraves. At some point, someone removed the original decorative architraves and skirting boards and replaced with smaller rimu versions that had then been treated to multiple coats of paint over the houses 110 years. We were replacing everything throughout the house to restore some character and elegance and this middle child wasn’t an exception.

THE THEMEWooden shelf

We always start our renovations with a vision/theme. I’m a plant man, so I may have had a jungle in mind for our room, it sparked the theme of the room, natural tones with a big focus on green through plants and a feature wall.


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We continued the black-white from resene in this room, accented with a flat alabaster ceiling, semi-gloss skirting boards and architraves and the boldest move to paint the wall behind our bed head “Celtic green “ by resene. Georgia fell in love with the colour when the velvety blues and greens were on trend as it wasn’t too rich or muddy for the rooms natural colour palette.


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I mentioned above that we upgraded the detailing in this room, this was quite the process for first time DIYers. We opted for MDF versions of the period features from Bunnings. Our favourite feature is the James Hardie, Hardie groove wall behind the bed. It plays on the 3m high cielings and you can’t miss it when walking past the bedroom.

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Exposed Shelving

The shelving system is from mitre 10, it only came in white and we wanted to match it to the black fittings throughout the house so we sprayed it black using white knight enamel paint. We wanted wooden slats to tone down the room so decided to invest hours into stripping back the rimu architraves and skirting boards, were so pleased with how they finished up and it’s nice to have elements of the house’s history included.

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The Curtains are all custom made for this room by Russells Curtains and Blinds. We had one of their local consultants come around and provide advice on what we should choose. We could style with Nicky any day, her advice was invaluable to our bedroom reno. With Russells, we made the decision to go floor to ceiling with natural toned linen, backed with their thermal lining. If this blog had a feature where you could touch what’s in the photos Russells will have to employ more consultants because they are absolutely stunning! You’ll notice the black rail with the reverse box pleat heading style, again another recommendation from Russells to tie in with the houses aesthetic.


The carpet is Fog grey from Flooring Xtras Miro range, a solution died nylon so Frankie doesn’t damage it. The choice to go this colour was heavily lead by Sam at Watkins flooring xtra who helped us in store and even came to our home to help us decide and bring us back down to earth with what was practical when you have a boxer puppy that uses your hallway as a quarter mile time trial.


We’ve styled this room to compliment the fixtures and colour scheme. The pendant and bed head are both from katamama, our favourite store for our house as everything as a natural tone and they are locals to Christchurch so you can go into their store and physically see everything.

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Our cushions are from H&M home and Foxtrot Home. We are VERY picky with cushions and we’ve found they both have the best range of linens and naturally toned cushions.

Our duvet is from ezibuy home, we’ve been longtime fans of their homewares especially their duvets and outdoor furniture.

This has been such a cool transformation and is now the best retreat after a long days work!


Real Reno – Guest Bedroom remodel

Grey Carpet in bedroom

We love having people stay, our little villa has surprisingly large bedrooms, we’re not talking a rugby field but we are also not talking one of those rooms that could easily pass for an office. If you follow our Instagram you will know this journey, but here’s some background to the madness.

When planning our guest bedroom reno we decided to go bold. The room doesn’t get used often but the door is always open and you can see into it when walking down our hallway, so we wanted to create a sense of comfort for whoever sees it. The biggest challenge we faced was the paint colour, we were tidying up the walls and installing new skirting before the carpet was installed so needed to pick a colour that complimented the rest of the house.


Georgia led the charge with this room, we knew it was going to be a bolder room than the others so while we were painting the second guest bedroom we were deciding on the colour. The options were deep blue, olive green and grey, however, it was important that the room tied in with the other colours in the house so we ended up choosing to go a darker grey. The styling came naturally as the wooden furniture and white trims helped the colour become a statement so we leaned towards a boho/desert aesthetic.


The colour embodies a sense of comfort and added continuity to the colour scheme we had in the living spaces. We landed on Half Baltic Sea by Resene, a warm grey that demanded a boho styled bedroom. It was a huge departure from the all white colour tone that was in this room previously so was probably the biggest risk we took with the colours. You often hear people say that painting a room dark makes it feel enclosed – not the case, this room feels so much taller and cosy now.


The addition of the tall period feature skirtings, painted in Resene Alabaster was a great move and one that was influenced by Three Birds Renovations when Bonnie recommended cutting costs with skirtings by either going thin or getting a replica. The ceiling is over 3m high and the darker colour really extends it so we needed something higher than the 50mm ones that were originally there.


We took the opportunity here also to replace the switch plates and light switch with our favourite switches by PDL Schneider this has also been a small change but everyone notices them!

The previous carpet was a looped pile polyester that felt like walking on plastic, the underlay we found out was all in cut up sections and half of it was actually just carpet underneath it so we replaced that with a solution died nylon recommended by Watkins Flooring Xtra. We decided to go with Fog Grey by their Miro range with an 11mm thermal underlay, plush is an understatement and the colour is perfect.

The Curtains were so important for us for this room, keeping in mind that we had ugly pelmets and tall ceilings we wanted to hear from the experts what they think we should do, so we booked a consultation with Russells Curtains and Blinds. A local consultant Nicky came to our place equipped with thousands (literally) of fabric samples but started by listening to our challenge and then popped out to her van and bought back a range of linens. With her, we decided to go floor to ceiling white linen with a block out thermal liner, this would give us the elegance we’ve tried to add to the house, stay with our boho style theme and the added warmth.

The curtains still blow our mind with how warm they keep the room and how having them handcrafted has meant that they are 100% tailored to our space.  You’ll also notice that we’ve gone with a black rail to keep on theme with the black features in the house, a nice suggestion from Nicky that we didn’t think we could do.


The walls really set the tone here, heaps of white, heaps of natural timber and so many textures. We started by setting a tone and it was one of soft textures, so we knew we needed natural timber (ties in with the rest of the house) linens and soft throws. We actually had items from our house before we renovated that helped bring this room together. The white linen duvet cover by Domani X Farmers, bedside tables in a natural timber from Kmart and accessories by freedom.

To capitalise on the giant walls, we went hunting for baskets to put on the walls to avoid the risk of the room feeling too cold. These were sourced all over the place, from thrift stores to the likes of H&M Home. It was a fun mission but ended up a tiresome one too – no one had baskets like these (check out our video on how to make a basket wall).


The curtains and carpet were an opportunity to add comfort, texture and warmth to this room so we weren’t hesitant to invest in a premium product to give the house more warmth in the winter.


The furniture is easily a save, the two bedside tables look like $400 ones from a premium store but were $40 each from KMART.  The dresser was $1:50 that I upcycled!

Isolation Bay – Georgias Surprise Weekend Away

Isolation bay Tekapo

With Georgia’s Birthday coming up I wanted to do something special for her. It’s been a massive year with losing her mum, her grandad, getting married and renovating our house. I thought about a weekend away with the pooch, but shes just spent 4 months straight renovating with me, there’s so much more she needs than just me: family, friends, relaxation, a change of scenery and laughter.

I was keeping tabs on a weekend close to her birthday and locked in the location of Tekapo with everyone coming as it’s only a 3-hour drive from Christchurch. I got talking to the team at isolation bay and we teamed up to give her the best birthday surprise I could have imagined – and she had no idea what was happening.

I told Georgia on Saturday afternoon to pack her bags because I’m taking her away for a few nights. All she was concerned about was where Frankie was staying! A couple of colleagues from her work helped me organise an additional day to the public holiday off so we could stay two nights.

After dropping Frankie off at her own accommodation at Eyrewell forest en route to Tekapo we stopped at Lake Tekapo Farm Tours where Nicole, Georgia’s sister met us, followed by my sister Ashlee, her partner Dylan and their son Weston, Georgias friend Brooke, Jax and her daughter Blake and my sister Hayley.

Lake Tekapo Farm Tours

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We kicked it off with feeding a few Alpacas and a couple of friendly Merino Sheep, after that we had a tour of the original Mt John woolshed then got in Janes mystery machine and headed in-land to check out the views and history that Balmoral and Mt John stations had to offer. Our guide Jane talked us through the land use throughout the last century and the farms use today. The views along every stop were incredible, my camera couldn’t keep up. The milky blue water which Jane explained was created by rock flour from surrounding glaciers. The glaciers grind rock into a fine dust. This rock dust is floating in the water and causes the turquoise colour you see. I loved stopping at the glacial creek and having a glass of possibly the freshest water. The kids loved this too, Weston and Blake were right in there scooping a few glasses to drink/throw.

Isolation Bay

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The vista that this accommodation offers is like no other, I’ll have to write another post on this alone because I have a lot of photos to share! We were guided there by the lovely Bonnie. As you drive down a shingle farm road toward the isolated bay, you’re greeted by this oversized house that mirrors the surrounds with its giant glass front and wooden exterior. Walking in your breath is taken away by the grand size of the inside and the panoramic views of the lake.

The house was clearly designed to follow the sun, in the morning you enjoy a coffee, soaking up the atmosphere from the front. In the evening you head to the back where you have a BBQ and open up the largest stacking doors you’ve ever seen to create a tunneled view out the front before retiring to the luxury feel in the center of the house where you literally can’t stop looking at the lake and mountains.

The beauty of isolation bay is that it’s designed with families and large groups in mind. Sleeping up to 18 the house is large enough that a large group just seems like a small gathering. It really was the perfect retreat with our family and friends!

Silver River™ Stargazing

This one really blew us away. None of us had been stargazing before so we didn’t know what to expect. Jane, the tour guide from the earlier tour comes backed with years of experience in star gazing, there wasn’t a question she couldn’t answer and they were being fired at her from all angles once we all got behind the telescope.

The views of Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and the moon were really something else! I’ll be doing this again and I really hope with Jane because she was so helpful and enjoyed a good laugh at all the different reactions to what we were seeing. The groups favourite was, of course, the moon because of the detail but my sister Ashlee was VERY impressed by Mars. There was even a shooting star to top the night off.

We had the most amazing time and it wouldn’t have been nearly as good without the company of our friends and family. I recommend you check out the places above because they really are the perfect example of what makes Tekapo so special.




Healthy pooch – healthy home

If you’ve been following our blog for a while now, you’ll know how much we love our 11-month-old boxer puppy Frankie and our 110-year-old villa. It’s important as parents of a fur baby that we provide a safe and healthy home for her and do our best to keep bad habits and bugs away.

We’ve put together a few pointers to help dog owners and people thinking about extending their whanau to make a healthy home for everyone.

Keep those Fleas away

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We’ve used Bravecto spot-on for dogs since Frankie was 8 weeks old because it offers true peace-of-mind which is awesome for folks with busy schedules. Protecting dogs for up to 6 months against fleas and up to 4 months against ticks, it’s safe to use on breeding, pregnant and lactating dogs – plus ‘ivermectin sensitive’ Collie breeds, so ideal for our little sensitive pooch.

Fleas can have a significant impact on the health of a dog, and the whole family. Bravecto spot-on for dogs also reduces the incidence of flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) – a common skin disease caused by a hypersensitivity to the saliva of the flea resulting in intense itching.

The Bravecto spot-on for dogs twist’n’use tube application is super simple without having to remove the lid, you just read the instructions based on the size of your dog; in our case, Frankie gets 4 drops on her back. Bravecto has been available to treat fleas and ticks on dogs for over 4 years, initially as a tasty chew which provides 3 months flea and tick protection. Bravecto spot-on for dogs has the same active ingredient as the Bravecto chew however due to its formulation it lasts longer.

You can buy Bravecto spot-on for dogs from leading pet stores and your local vet, or learn more here:

What’s in their food?

From day one we discovered that Frankie had food allergies. She’s allergic to grains, beef, and egg, so she’s only ever been fed the best food for her. We choose raw feeding for her, purely because we know it works and the company we buy her rabbit from also mix all the ingredients she needs to stay fit and strong in with it. It’s very obvious when you see her coat how healthy she really is from being fed raw, her coat shines like hair does in those shampoo commercials you see on TV. I will say, however, that it is our choice to go raw, some people argue its advantage but the results are very obvious with Frankie. Always your homework for your breed before making any intense dietary changes.

Allergens in your home

Now, this is a tricky one, if you’ve read our blog post on (plants toxic to dogs) you’ll see one of them is a plant called Wandering Jew. We didn’t even think about this one when looking around our yard, because it was inside our house and we had 3 of them! Plants can be so harmful to animals, so do your homework and have a good scan of your property.

Washing your pet blankets and their toys etc. in with your standard wash also needs to be carefully considered. Frankie itches so much she grazes her skin if we don’t wash in a sensitive wash. It’s much like a person with skin allergies, you’d change their washing powder so you need to do the same with your dog’s laundry items.

Give them a Den

Boxer puppy

The age-old debate about crate training is real, especially if you have an inside dog like Frankie. She has access to our whole backyard and a laundry throughout the day and sleeps in a large crate in our spare room at night. Giving them spaces that are their own allows them to have a “den” or territory that is theirs to feel safe in and also protect. This is obvious as Frankie will lie on the back deck when we are home and enjoy the backyard and will walk over to her crate when she’s ready for bed.

This also gives you your space, and trust me, it’s a godsend when visitors come and you have a 20KG boxer with enough energy to power the grid to be able to send them to their space where they can feel comfortable and won’t play up.

This is a collaboration with Bravecto – all words are our own : )

Welcome to EntX

16 months is all it took for Calder Stewart to deliver Christchurch’s EntX, offering a new form of entertainment and dining to the central city.

The three-level, $50 million development is impressive and an overload on the senses. If you’re a foodie or looking for a place to catch up with friends, I can see this being the place to do so. The 13 food outlets with an open space will bring people together and bring a new vibrancy that the city has been so thirsty for.

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Georgia and I attended along with hundreds of others for a sneak peek on Thursday night to experience the calm before the storm. As you walk in you are greeted by an impressive feature of what looks to be reclaimed wood with a huge HOYTS LED display, umbrellaed by stunning lighting. You have the option straight away to grab a quick drop at Arties bar or Joes Garage or continue through to the eateries which will have foodies and Instagrammers flocking

The escalators that look like a stairway to heaven are exactly that, walking through “Treat City” to get to the theatre lounge. Hoyts offers more than 900 spacious leather recliner seats and seven screens. Two are “xtremescreens” which are a treat on the eye. We couldn’t just blog about the chairs and atmosphere without sneaking in and trying them out!!! They are as good as we say, so much room, so much space to put treats and drinks and more treats and tonnes of leg room.

On the top floor, two theatres are “Lux” theatres – We are talking the full shebang here, USB and wireless chargers, a call button for service at every seat, and beer and easy-to-eat food designed by celebrity chef Manu Feildel delivered mid-movie – arghhhh what a dream!

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I can see a lot of money being spent at “Treat City” and many photos taken for the gram, given the ticketing is autonomous they still had helpful staff everywhere. The lux really has my attention as it’s R18 and the options are right up our alley. If you’re looking for a good night out, this is where you will be going

Its so good to see new developments popping up in the City. The parking building, bike parking and bus exchange make it more accessible than most cities to get to entertainment like this.

Russells Curtains & Blinds – The Consultation

Our villa has undergone a full renovation this year with a mix of DIY and professional services. We decided from the start that it was important to wait until we had the cash flow for window treatments, so we’ve stuck it out with pelmets that don’t match the style of the house and curtains that let more light in than they block out and no thermal lining.

We’ve used a local curtain company for our front window in the lounge and are very impressed with their thermal qualities and we’ve even noticed they absorb some sound, so it was a no-brainer to go with Russells again for the rest of our house. What makes Russells Curtains and Blinds unique and so attractive to us is that they have style consultants in every region of New Zealand that come to tour home with their skill, area knowledge and thousands of fabrics to match to your aesthetic, function and style.

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You’ll all know that we are keen stylists and take a lot of pride in the products we use, they need to serve a purpose while maintaining a constant flow throughout the house with look and feel and texture. Nicky from Russells came over and started by greeting Frankie (our boxer pup) which instantly put her on our Christmas card list being a dog lover, she then walked in and loved what we had done to the place and pointed out things like our black lights and the wall colours that she loved. We had a chat about the reno and then we started in the Master bedroom talking about the style and tones in the room and continued through to the rest of the rooms. She then went to her van and come back with 4-5 fabric swatches in all different shades. What Nicky brought back to the Master bedroom was exactly what we had in mind but couldn’t explain it. She suggested linen with a thermal lining and of course take them floor to ceiling to achieve the same look as our Hardie Groove walls with the long straight lines, there are a few more details here that really make a statement of these curtains, but I’m going to keep these for our next blog post!

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Every room was a different challenge, a different colour, and a different purpose. In our opinion, there’s no way a shelf holding readymades can understand and communicate the need for different fabrics, linings, gather and quality with you. We asked Nicky where the price in custom curtains is, she explained the process that the fabric houses they use such as James Dunlop, Charles Parsons and Maurice Kain have in place is like quality control for the finest lines of clothing. It doesn’t stop there, every metre, every stitch, and every pleat is carefully crafted and examined by Russells here in New Zealand for New Zealand homes. Then, their installers install so it’s end to end but the process really starts well before you’ve made the call to get Russells In for a free consultation.

We are beyond excited to see how these curtains answer the function of our home and complete the look we’ve been working so hard to achieve. Keep an eye on our Instagram and blog for updates for our #moochXRussells curtains and blind journey, this is a collaboration with Russells, you all know we love them so of course, all words are our own. Feel free to leave a comment if there’s anything you want us to cover.

Get to know the Ryobi 190cc Self-Propelled 4 Stroke Lawn Mower

Ryobi Lawn Mower

Mowing your lawns can be quite the workout, it becomes a weekend chore that you don’t always want to do between emptying the catcher, pushing the mower row after row, you get more of a workout than a CrossFit champ.

Having the right mower means you can get the lawns mowed faster and easier. The Ryobi 190cc Self-Propelled 4 Stroke Lawn Mower will help you do just that.

With our latest garden project on the go, we were more than happy to team up with our friends at Ryobi to share our thoughts on this model with you guys.

What’s under the hood?

  • Powerful 190cc 4-stroke OHV Yamaha engine
  • Self-propelled drive
  • Mulching and side-discharge options
  • 460mm cutting path with adjustable cutting height, meaningless passes to get the job done
  • 4 swing back blades for increased cut and safety
  • Deck cleaning ability for a standard garden hose

I know some of you are already fizzing!

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This mower also comes with a 2 year replacement warranty, and she’s a real head turner!

Our review on the Ryobi 190cc Self-Propelled 4 Stroke Lawn Mower

Our section size is roughly 600 sqm so not a grand estate by any means. The mower we had before this one was around the same price but I noticed they cut very different. Where the old mower would scuff this one would glide nicely and adjust itself to suit – magic! The self-propelled engine is brilliant for getting the mower through areas that are usually really difficult and would be soooo good for large sections and steep sections, maybe a little bit of an overkill for our small yard.

The catcher is super easy to use as it just hooks on so has not potential to break like the old ones did, its also 55 litres so makes for less visits to the compost heap or green bin.

I’ve done a lot of research on mowers and I think Ryobi have nailed this! Especially with the Yamaha engine and all the easy to use features. Supplying the kit all in one is also so handy for different styles of mowing to achieve a bit of #lawnpawn.

You can find the 190cc self-propelled lawn mower, along with the rest of the RYOBI range, at your local Bunnings Warehouse.


A few tips for preparing for carpet

We’ve recently completed a whole house renovation which was kicked off by the desperate need for a cosy home with warm, plush carpet.

We are fortunate and very proud owners of a 1909 Villa, one of the square ones with the porch out front. We fell in love with it as soon as we walked through the front entrance to the open home. Walking inside, I remember thinking how amazing the house was, it was so spacious and we loved the flooring. After living in the house for a month we soon realised that what we thought we liked was actually a botched flooring install.

The house had cheap blonde oak laminate from the kitchen, through a disjointed hallway and in the entrance/living area. In the bedrooms, there was plastic feeling loop pile carpet, the type that could take a good party and you’d never know.

Before Photos

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Our little Villa never had a feeling of cohesion or home. Every room was separated and the light didn’t travel through the rooms. The laminate flooring.. where do I start!? The laminate panels were all chipped between joins, were puckered from the front door to the dining room which caused it to make a squish sound when you walked across it. The Carpet was so stiff we would prefer to wear shoes inside, especially with the chips in the laminate.

Autumn comes and we decided that we would get new carpet in winter. With the cold laminate and no underlay, our feet would be frozen touching the floor while in the living room and we didn’t want another winter with frozen feet. We had A LOT to do before then because the house needed some work before the carpet and new laminate went down. Sam and the team at Flooring Xtra were so helpful and did a great job at providing options that for our functionality and aesthetic requirements

Some things to consider before getting new carpet or laminate

Walls – If you are looking to replace any gib or rip any walls out, do this before the carpet goes down. The floor gets covered in dust and gib glue. If you need to touch up any walls, do this beforehand also so you can repaint.

Architraves – If you’re like us and want to replace your architraves for aesthetic reasons, do this beforehand because you will most likely have to alter your skirtings to suit.

Skirting Boards – Check all your skirting boards are the same and to a high standard, you may need to replace some or touch up the ones you have. Skirtings will need to stay off if you’re getting laminate but will need to be installed if the carpet is going down. If you have to replace skirtings you may damage your walls so give yourself some time.

Caulking – Look around the joins in architraves, skirtings, and window surrounds for gaps, use no more gaps to caulk the caps and touch up the paint. This is a LIFESAVER for uneven boards etc.

What’s under the old carpet – Turns out, our flooring was extremely uneven and the laminate was nailed down which goes against the concept of floating floor. We also had a huge rotten flooring panel so had to have that replaced too. Your flooring company will need to check the floor before the new flooring goes down.

What’s the purpose of your carpet – We had a strict must have… Thermal! We selected the best thermal underlays and they also double as sound absorbers, so think about style and function working together.

What are you doing with your furniture – Your furniture and “things” need to go somewhere while you get carpet, we were lucky to have a garage a front porch and a sunny day!

Our carpet is from Flooring Xtra here in Christchurch. Our consultant Sam took us through options in our price range and we landed on Fog Grey from the Miro range carpet paired with an 11mm 130KG Sleepyhead underlay

Carpet reveal

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Capturing Water With The Marley Twist®

Water diverter The Marley Twist®

Environmental concerns on our waterways and newly chlorinated town supply water in Christchurch have us thinking of ways to create our own sustainable hub that keep us healthy as well as provide efficiencies. Growing up on a Farm there were many common practices that have been tried and tested over the generations that urban growth has forgotten about.

When innovation combines with a process that isn’t all that new, it’s bound to not just improve but impress. I saw that Master Plumbers had released their product of the year at the NZ plumbing awards and it was the Twist®, I was already conjuring up ways to use this in our backyard. While yes, this is a sponsored post, I’ll tell you now that we were all set to buy one prior to the collaboration but our renovations got away on us.

Marley Twist

Get to know The Marley Twist®

A compact rainwater diverter that turns your downpipe into a free source of water. Quick connect any standard garden hose, “twist” to the on position and enjoy the benefits. Rather than letting rainwater flow away into the stormwater system, Twist can be used to divert rainwater to a storage tank for all the jobs around the house. We’ve been using ours for the below:

  • Fill Frankie’s water
  • Wash Frankie after her muddy runs at the park
  • Wash the lawn mower
  • Clean hands after gardening
  • Water for our goldfish

Marley Twist

The Marley Twist® is designed with aesthetic and function in mind. Designed to capture free rainwater and has been specifically designed and manufactured in New Zealand for New Zealand conditions. Water is our most precious natural resource, and a regular clean supply, whether in urban or rural areas, can no longer be taken for granted. Easily installed, you can put the Twist® onto existing downpipe/s to really maximise clean water capture. And when integrated as part of a Marley spouting and downpipe system they carry the same Marley 15 year guarantee.

Easy Install

We’ve put together a “how-to” video guide to installing The Marley Twist®, watch below:

Shop for your colour here:

NB: This is a collaboration with Marley, all words are our own.