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In this series we will be giving you a glimpse into the places our designers and team call home. Take a tour and gain a personal insight into some of the treasured interiors of our team. We hope it fills you with inspiration!

This week’s blog features the home of Kelly Anderson, Interior Design Consultant for McKenzie & Willis Wanaka. Modern yet warm, Kelly’s new build was a real collaboration with her partner Tom (Archi Build Ltd.) It takes in the great Central Otago landscape and has us all wishing we were staying there during the level 4 lockdown!

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How would you describe the Interior Design style of your home?

I would start by saying it’s very ‘us’. It’s a combination of our likes, loves and compromises all rolled into one. It is a modern yet warm interior with a monochromatic base, contrasted by timber elements.

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Give us a bit of background on the build?

I am an interior designer and Tom owns a building company Archi Build Ltd. We have worked on and been in and around many homes. Both of us have strong ideas of what appeals to us and this was a real collaboration. We designed it for ourselves and our lifestyle.

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Where did you find inspiration for your home?

Modernist glass houses have been an inspiration for us, but we always wanted to make sure we were in keeping with the central Otago landscape. We are also aware of the temperature extremes in Central Otago and we wanted to make sure we catered for this.

We have done a lot of day dreaming on holidays. Sitting somewhere coming up with ideas, sketching, researching and dreaming! We work best as a team.

I find visual references very helpful. They can help get the ball rolling. I keep a collection of images and I draw from them for inspiration. I think it’s very important to note that you can’t often replicate a photograph from a magazine in detail, and it’s best to be honest with yourself why you are drawn to that image and take that element forward with your interior ideas. I spent a lot of time researching products, ordering samples and checking they fitted in with the overall feel of the home as best I could.

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Tell us about your outdoor spaces?

Our section has such iconic views of Wanaka, and we wanted to maximise capturing the views as much as budget would allow! Bringing the outside in and the ability to live outside as much as we can was really important.

We put a lot of time and consideration into the outdoor spaces. We have a dining and cooking zone (Built in BBQ still to be designed and built), and on the other side of the living we have an outdoor lounge with fire. We have incorporated Luxaflex Evo screens in both these spaces to help protect us from the wind and fitted outdoor heaters on the ceiling. We wanted to be able to drop the blinds in winter, turn on the heating and enjoying entertaining outside with friends and family.

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Do you have a favourite space in your home and why?

I enjoy waking up in our bedroom and looking out to the mountains and lake, and then walking into the ensuite with the huge windows that always look out to the scenery. They bring so much light into the space and it’s always so inviting… and hard to leave.

We also love our kitchen. Many people opt for a scullery but instead we went for a full open working space. The idea of being shut off from people isn’t us! Open plan works so much better for Tom and I. People gravitate to the island when we’re entertaining. From here it opens up to our main living and outdoor living spaces. In the summer months it’s such a great place to host guests.

And….. we LOVE our pool! It’s a real luxury and our family and friends have spent so much time in it. In order to have our pool we had to commit to it at the start of the build as it wasn’t an option to add it later. So we bit the bullet and did it! It had Tom sweating a few times as the engineering wasn’t straight forward but if you ask him if it was worth it, he’ll say a resounding “Yes!”

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Tell us about some of your most loved pieces in your home?

There are so many! One of the main architectural features are the floor to ceiling windows and doors. It was a request of mine right from the start. I love the light and feeling of space they create.

I do love my Bisazza tiles in my Master Ensuite. I like the glitz and glam they give the space.

Our marble features, including the kitchen island, main bathroom feature tiles and master bedroom wall lights. I have always been drawn to marble, and I am so glad we chose to use it as a feature in our own home.

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Interior Design is always evolving. What are your future plans for your interior?

I still have a dream list of how I was to improve/work on spaces in the home.

And we’ll tick away at it over time. I think it’s ok to not do everything at once. It’s nice to live in a space and get a feel for a space. It’s also nice to have wee projects at home to work on! We need to design our joinery for our media room and hang the wallpaper.

Our master bedroom is not complete either. I’m working on the perfect bedside tables and finding bedlinen that works in the space.

Alpha House Master Bedroom Mood Board KELLY

How did you find designing the interior for yourself compared to a client?

At times it’s great! I can use products that I have wanted to for years and try things that I possibly wouldn’t in a client’s home. For example we used three different types of carpet! (We did a textured carpet insert, super plush carpet in our media and master bedroom and lesser grade in our guest wing).

At times it’s terrible! As a designer we get exposed to so many products, so many trends and so many opinions! When this happens its best to stop and walk away for a bit and not get swayed by something trending and new. I always try to trust my intuition and instinct.

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