When I signed on to throw some Best Nest styling at a gorgeous lounge in a Golden Homes showhome, I truly floundered for a little bit. What on earth was I going to bring to a professionally styled and curated room that had been designed to make people fall in love with a house?
I had no clue.
Golden Homes have been innovators in the New Zealand building industry for over 25 years and though I was flattered to have been asked to collaborate, I was also super-nervous about doing justice to their high quality home!
After visiting both the Albany and Millwater locations and spending some time exploring both homes I realised that what I wanted to do with this project was bring a piece of ME to the showhome. I wanted to create a room that was perhaps a little bit quirky, exuded warmth, was welcoming, eclectic and representative of our family. It needed to be kid friendly and functional, comfortable and down to earth. I wanted to leave having created a room that I loved and wished I could pick-up and pop back down in my own home.
Turns out it was easier than I had initially thought.
Once I got over the initial hurdle of undoing the existing picture-perfect styling I began to have a lot of fun. My canvas was my dream room – a perfect 4.7m square lounge with plenty of wallspace and a natural flow between the two entrances. Both showhomes I visited had a separate lounge like this and it makes such a difference to the overall feeling of space and functionality of the house.
As for bringing warmth to the house? My fears of a visually sterile environment were nullified by the sundrenched north facing aspect that made my morning’s work a light-filled (hot!) dream. Warmth and personality in a house aren’t just the result of drag-and-drop accessories that provide an instant quick-fix. The finishing in this lovely room is what sets the stage for successful styling. The cut pile carpet creates such a natural warmth and the framing of the room is completed by a heavy textured wallpaper that creates interest and a point of difference without jostling for attention.
When you own an older home like ours (circa 1950) you become acutely aware of the price of home maintenance and the huge cost of inaccuracy in builds. Three years ago when we were redecorating and replacing every door in our house, it took our builder 2 hours plus to fit each internal door because nothing was square. Steel framing has now eliminated many of the problems and inaccuracies that are common with timber framing such as expansion and contraction and mould and mildew due to moisture exposure. Every Golden Home is built using New Zealand Axxis steel using ZOG® steel-frame technology and is signed off by a registered engineer. This house was warm, quiet and grounded. As soon as I began to unpack my props and vintage items from home my vision for the lounge began to take shape.
I used a mix of items I love from home, items I shopped from Freedom Furniture and items that I ‘shopped’ the showhome for. If you want to restyle a room at home look at it as an entire project rather than picking up bits and pieces here and there. Start with a blank canvas – at least figuratively speaking. I took lots of pics and video during my visits and worked from those to find exactly what I needed for each space in the lounge. This helped keep me on-budget and ensure that I covered all of the essential lounge requirements. Managing a room in this way is like a new home build, but on a much smaller scale! Minimise surprises and ensure your wishlist is fulfilled. When they quote a build, Golden Homes are accurate and inclusive of all key costs at the outset to give you the complete and honest cost of your build so you are able to stick to your budget – that means more $$ to shop for homewares!!
The feeling I wanted to recreate here was what I loosely named “South-West Eclectic”. The couches, buffet, landscape painting and mirror were already in place and totally worked. The tall corner shelf and vintage coffee table I brought from home, plus, I shopped Freedom Furniture for on-trend, statement pieces that cemented the theme such as the Spectrum Rug $299, the Sakia Pouffe $299 and those Stag Prints $299 ea!!! Eclectic perfection.
I am so proud of this gorgeous space! My new-build snobbery (I’ll admit I had some, as I’m seemingly drawn to anything old and rundown that requires much $$$$ to fix it up :::sigh:::) has all but vanished and I now dream of a gorgeous, perfectly finished home to unleash Nixon on.
Joking, that would be a crime against humanity (Golden Homes, my toddler will never set foot in one of your showhomes I promise!).
Obviously my loud, bright and colourful style won’t be to everybody’s taste, but it goes to show just how personal you can make a room, and transform a house into a home, in a very short amount of time.
Thank you so much for having me Golden Homes, love your work xx
If you would like to find out more about Golden Homes get in touch here or check out my Pinterest board for more inspiration and shopping details.