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A brand-new Christchurch family home with a mix of moody hues

Moody hues, metallic accents and thoughtful design create an intimate and elegant atmosphere in this brand-new Christchurch family home


Meet & greet

Who lives here? Alysha Andrew, mum and part-time sales consultant, Duncan Andrew, project manager, Mila-Rose, 3, Nixon, 16 months, and T-Bone and Marni the pugs.


For Christchurch couple Alysha and Duncan Andrew it was a no-brainer to engage Christchurch-based residential building company Horncastle Homes when they chose to build from scratch. The couple had recently remodelled their 1920s weatherboard villa in the heart of the city, but when they found out they were expecting their second child, they decided to sell in order to find something bigger that could cope with the needs of their growing family.

Put off by restrictions that inevitably come with renovating older houses – and with Duncan being a project manager for Horncastle Homes – the couple were quick to secure a site at Longhurst, a new residential subdivision in Halswell, in August 2014.


Even before the foundations were marked out on the ground, Alysha had picked out all her colours. She chose the rich, navy tones of Dulux ‘Piha’ for the family and dining areas. Wanting to complement, and also contrast with, the moody ‘Piha’, she then selected the softer, neutral tones of Resene ‘Half Truffle’ for the nearby entryway and formal lounge.

I love to have a real mixture in my house and don’t really like to focus too much on one style or trend

“In our previous home, I applied charcoal to the otherwise white bathroom as a way to create depth and interest,” says Alysha. “That was where I got the confidence to be bolder with dark colours, to create more impact.” Despite feeling nervous that her chosen colours could make the living spaces feel poky, she stayed true to her vision, and the result is an open-plan layout gently separated into snug, intimate spaces.


“Once I added window treatments, wallpaper, furniture and art, the whole look came together so cohesively.” She was so delighted with the moody hues that she repeated the look in Mila-Rose’s room and also in the master bedroom where the walls are the deep shade of Resene ‘Fuscous Grey’. Accents of gold, copper and brass add light and contrast here, in a finished look which is both elegant and inviting, chic yet warm.

We were the first house on our street and now we’ve got some great neighbours and it’s a really strong community

The building process

Although Horncastle Homes have a selection of houses that can be purchased off the plans, Duncan and Alysha chose to work with one of the company’s architectural designers, allowing them to have significant input into their new home’s design and layout.

“We sat down with the designer to give her our ideas, our list of ‘must-haves’, and our ideal floor plan,” explains Alysha. “After a couple of days she brought our ideas to life. We tweaked a few things to work within our budget, but overall it was all very exciting and easy.”

The build took just over four months, during which time Alysha moved back to her home town of Nelson with Mila-Rose, then 2, and 1-week-old Nixon, to live with her parents. Duncan stayed behind to work and project-manage the build, bunking in with friends until the end of the year when the family were reunited just in time to spend Christmas in their new abode.


The end

Having lived at Longhurst for over a year now, the couple have seen the development and its surrounding infrastructure grow significantly. “We were the first house on our street and now we’ve got some great neighbours and it’s a really strong community,” says Alysha. “Mila-Rose and Nixon both attend the local daycare, plus cafes, shops, schools and a new community health clinic are all under way.”

Although the earthquakes brought a lot of sadness and devastation to Christchurch, the present vibe is infectiously positive. Duncan and Alysha say it’s a great place to raise a family and they love being a part of the city’s exciting new growth.

Words by: Annick Larkin. Photography by: Emma MacDonald.

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