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In a park-like setting sits Ray & Kathy’s modern new build – a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of a city slowly rebuilding itself after the Christchurch earthquakes. After their previous home was deemed irreparable, Ray and Kathy set out to create their dream home on the same precious spot they had lived on for the last 15 years prior to the demolition. Noordanus Architects were entrusted with the project and worked with Anna (Interior Designer at McKenzie & Willis) to create this very special interior.

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The first thing you notice when you walk into Ray & Kathy’s house is the grand sense of space. The second thing you notice are the curtains. At 4.5 metres tall, these curtains are the tallest Anna has ever worked on. Anna tells us that the height of the ceiling was one of the more challenging aspects of the interior, “It took three of us and some serious ladders to measure for the curtains, not to mention scaffolding to install them.” Not only do these curtains serve an inherent functional purpose but they also have an immense effect on the overall aesthetic by adding a soft and simple layer to the space.

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From the get-go, Ray & Kathy wanted a fully automated home that would see them well into the future. Ray and Kathy opted for motorised curtains and Luxaflex blinds which required forward planning. Fortunately, Anna was brought on early which meant she could liaise with the technicians, builders and electricians in the planning stages. Anna explains, “Being involved so early on in the process was a huge advantage and meant that we could suggest ideas for the interior that otherwise could have been overlooked.” The motorised curtains and Luxaflex blinds are connected to Ray’s iPad and can be scheduled to open and shut or can even be operated while away from the property.

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Wallpaper features in each bedroom and gives each room a unique personality. Anna explains there was a simple reason for choosing wallpaper for these spaces, “In these smaller quieter places, the wallpaper adds a sense of intimacy.” Anna tells us that choosing the wallpaper was a group effort and was a lovely fusion of everyone’s ideas. “One afternoon Noordanus Architects, Kathy and I sat down and pored over wallpaper samples till we found the perfect one for each space. It was a very collaborative process.” says Anna.

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In fact, there is clear evidence of this collaboration throughout the interior. Noordanus Architects worked closely with Ray, Kathy and McKenzie & Willis to select the interior furnishings, which successfully matched with Ray & Kathy’s personal style and also worked with the materials used in the architecture of the house. “On the whole, the project was successful due to a great team that worked together well – the Contractor, Architect, Interior Consultants from McKenzie & Willis, and especially the Clients.” says Noordanus Architects.

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In terms of furniture, there is a mix of old and new throughout the home. An array of NZ made furniture from David Shaw complements the home beautifully. Classic, modern pieces were chosen and then covered in contemporary fabrics. “It was a good opportunity to introduce colour and pattern.” says Anna.

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As for the carpet, Anna drew on the expertise of her colleagues in the McKenzie & Willis flooring department. Ray & Kathy loved the look of plush cut-pile carpet but with two dogs it was important that the carpet was easy care and stain resistant. In the end they decided on the SmartStrand Gentle Essence carpet. With its easy care construction, superior stain resistance and luxuriously long pile it offers the best of both worlds.

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Outside, copper meets stone, plaster and architectural forms. Having lived on the site for many years, Ray & Kathy developed an understanding of the site, the views and the daylight. “For their new home they wanted a single level residence that took full advantage of the site, had a strong visual connection with the river, could harvest the sun throughout the course of the day and provided a strong sense of entry. The external materials were carefully selected, monolithic plaster surfaces combined with aluminium panelling, copper and stone.” says Noordanus Architects.

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A space outside reserved for intimate gatherings features special pieces from renowned outdoor furniture brand Tribu. The Tribu Tosca outdoor sofa and armchairs were ordered in especially after Ray spotted them in a catalogue online. The soft and elegant aspects of the Tosca do a wonderful job of softening the architectural forms of the building.

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Ray tells us the choice to use McKenzie & Willis was easy, explaining he that he has worked with McKenzie & Willis ever since he built his first home in 1961. When asked what advice he would give to others on their own building journey… Ray quipped back “Shop at McKenzie & Willis!” A fitting credit to Anna and the interior design team here at McKenzie & Willis.

Need help to create your interior design dreams? At McKenzie & Willis we offer in home consultations with our highly experienced interior design team. We aim to make the process fun, rewarding and most importantly easy. We’ll come to your home, do a free measure & quote and work with you to develop the perfect furnishing scheme. If you’re in the early stages of building we can even work off plans.

For everything interiors visit our consultants in store or book an in-home consultation online here.

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Photo credit: Kate Claridge Photography.

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