Home Tours

Extending this tiny cottage has achieved the ultimate indoor outdoor flow

Extending this tiny Waiheke Island cottage over the past 15 years has resulted in enviable indoor-outdoor flow for this botanical stylist and her family

Loading the player...

Meet and greet 

Gemma Yeoman, botanical stylist at Flora n Fauna, Greg Yeoman, director and designer at Stormwater360, and Ivy, 5, plus Cha Cha the cat.

Gemma’s Christmas styling tips 

  • Use what is around you and in season in your garden.
  • Be creative with your Christmas tree and come up with new ways to display it each year. A two-dimensional tree will free up more space in your home.
  • Think of simple ways to wrap presents, such as using upcycled paper and ribbons or accenting with dried foliage.

Gemma and Gerg’s reno advice

  • Do your research.
  • Use quality materials.
  • Don’t take shortcuts.
  • If you use the sun and have good insulation and glazing, you’ll hardly need any heating.
  • Keep things simple.

Honesty box

Best lesson learned?
Gemma: Keep on top of the building progress.

Most memorable experience in the house?
Greg: A lot of good parties! Probably our house-warming, that was pretty good.

Favourite thing about the house?
Greg: I like the big volume and the materials, how they’re warm and glow when you get home, and in summer they stay cool. Concrete’s incredible.


What did you spend on your renovation?
Approximately $500,000.

In what areas did you save and splurge?
Gemma: We didn’t save anything! But we splurged on really good things, like upgrading our joinery, the electrics and plywood.
Greg: I’m glad we extended the budget for those important things that we have a lot of contact with. At one point we were considering ditching the concrete wall for timber to save costs. Luckily we didn’t – it’s kind of made the house.

How did you keep track of costs?
Greg: Keeping an eye on the spreadsheet and getting lots of quotes.
Gemma: We kept close track of it for about 90 percent of the time!

Did you stick to your budget?
Greg: It was five years after we got the consent by the time we did the building, so everything had gone up a lot by then, but we kept it pretty tight.

Words by: Fiona Ralph. Photography by: Vanessa and Michael Lewis.

Home experts are just a click away