Home Tours

This Auckland home wasn’t afraid to go bold with pattern and colour

Discover how this home on Auckland’s North Shore has used colour and pattern to define spaces and create a bold statement 

Loading the player...

Meet and greet

Sarah Sheild, co-owner of Paper Room, Chris Sheild, IT project manager, Izzy, 16, and Fletcher, 14, plus Missy the moggy.

This Auckland home wasn’t afraid to go bold with pattern and colour

In early 2013, Sarah and Chris Sheild decided it was time to move on from their beloved 1960s family home and find somewhere new with more space for their growing children.

After selling their home of seven years, the couple rented during a disheartening nine-month search. Their non-negotiable criteria complicated things further – they needed to remain in the Westlake school zones, and they required a short settlement as their rental term was up.

At the close of that year, Sarah spontaneously went to the auction of a house they’d viewed five months earlier and won the auction.

“We weren’t in love with it but we were slightly desperate and conscious of the rate at which the housing market was going up,” explains Sarah. “The house ticked a few boxes – it was in the right school zone, it was newly renovated and felt like a new home, and there was nothing offensive about it.” Plus, all the walls were painted white, so it was a pristine backdrop on which Sarah could unleash her imagination and flair for design.


Q&A with Sarah

Sarah, what wouldn’t you do again?
Install textured wallpaper while we have Missy the cat. She’s an indoor cat (she’s afraid of the neighbours’ cat) and has treated Izzy’s wallpaper like a tree in a couple of places. Mind you, this is the only wallpaper in the house that she’s attacked.

Best lesson learned?
I was a bit put off buying this house initially as it was fully renovated, and as a designer I really wanted a home that I could put my own stamp on. However, I’ve now learned that even if a home is a bit ‘cookie cutter’, or if you haven’t had anything to do with the design or choice of fittings, you can still make it your own and inject personality into the home. We have achieved this by using wallpaper; for example we’ve now got ‘wooden’ walls and ‘concrete’ walls that you need to touch to see if they’re real or not!

Where have you saved money on your home’s decoration?
On the wallpaper.

What have you splurged on?
The Tolix B2 locker (from Madder & Rouge) in the kitchen – we didn’t have enough cabinets and desperately needed more storage. The Comback rocker chair by Patricia Urquiola for Kartell – I love chairs and I conned Chris into buying this for my birthday a couple of years ago. The folding leather butterfly chair from Paper Room – another one for my chair addiction, and I adore this iconic design.


Words by: Annick Larkin. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

Home experts are just a click away