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A quaint New Plymouth cottage gets modernised

A small, dark cottage received the full treatment from an interior designer with a knack for creating harmony between neutrals and colour

Interior designer Thandi Tipene’s professional understanding of interior space and light meant that when she was viewing potential homes to purchase in New Plymouth, a small, dark cottage with limited sun was not a negative attribute, but merely a golden opportunity.

The home’s quaint cottage style character was forefront of mind, but with a determination to modernise the home for family life, Thandi and her husband, Bachelor embarked on a renovation which saw the interior layout and style change dramatically.

“We bought this as an original 1930s bungalow on a small site with no sun. The biggest decision for most people would be: How do we maintain the character of the home?”

Although modernised with an entirely new layout and a soft white canvas throughout, the character has been retained via the exterior weatherboard features, as well as interior heritage fixtures such as original bungalow doors.

Get the look


  1. Cole & Son ‘Palm Jungle’ wallpaper, $270 a roll, from Thandi Jazmine Design.
  2. Spiral coffee table, AU$349, from The Family Love Tree.
  3. Pom Pom baby blanket, AU$149, from Kip & Co.


Text by: Tina Stephen. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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