As a graphic designer, it was only natural Jo Gray would choose the shape of an H as the footprint for her home and use her walls for bold designs
Bold walls and symmetry take centre stage in this Greenhithe home
It seemed only natural for graphic designer Jo Gray to choose the shape of an H as the footprint for her Greenhithe home. When she was playing around with ideas for the layout, she kept coming back to the concept of two pavilions linked together. “As a designer, I’m drawn to symmetry so that was a big factor when it came to planning our new home.”
As well as being a simple yet elegant design solution, it met another criteria on Gray’s wish list. She wanted a layout that could easily be split into two distinct areas: a living zone in one pavilion, and the bedrooms and bathrooms in another.
The layout is relatively straightforward but Gray has added personality with some design flourishes. A pool with a water feature is positioned between the pavilions and eye-catching
Wallpaper gives a room instant character
wallpaper choices throughout also contribute to the wow factor. “The style is minimalist but I also like prints and patterns,” she says. “Wallpaper gives a room instant character.”
As co-founder of Auckland company Back to the Wall, she is no stranger to bold designs. Gray works with beautiful custom-designed murals and wallpaper every day.
She was drawn to a dramatic chandelier wallpaper for the main bedroom and foliage and flowers in the bedrooms of her daughters.
Sixteen-year-old twins Georgia and Holly each have their own space at one end of the bedroom pavilion and Gray and her husband Baden are at the other. The main bedroom overlooks the pool, giving it a resort-style vibe. “I love being able to see the water from my bedroom. It looks amazing at night,” she says.
This is the second home Gray and Baden have built. “Our previous home was modern Georgian-style and I wanted something completely different to that. What we have now is more simple and contemporary,” she says.
The family spends a lot of time in the open-plan kitchen, dining and lounge area but there is a second living room between the pavilions, which is a “cosy room that’s perfect for watching movies at night”.
The deceptively simple H design offers multiple outdoor living options. The kitchen opens to a private courtyard that captures the morning sun and, at the other end of this pavilion, a generous-sized paved outdoor area with comfy sofas, chairs and a coffee table provides the ideal outdoor entertaining zone.
“I’m really happy with how the house turned out,” says Gray. “We have our individual space, as well as plenty of room to hang out together as a family.”
Words by: Leanne Moore/Cave. Photography by: Helen Bankers/Cave.