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For this Oamaru family life is happier when it includes colour

Bold, bright and utterly individual, this Oamaru home reflects its owner’s philosophy that life is happier when it includes colour. Story by Debbie Harrison

Who lives here?

Annabel Berry (creative director of Design Federation and founding member of Grow North Otago and North Otago Creatives), Simon Berry (CEO of Whitestone Cheese), Mia, Jackson, and Boe, plus Pepper the springer spaniel, Itsy the ginger puss and three nameless chickens!


When Annabel met her future husband, Simon Berry, he was already the proud owner of a section of land in Ardgowan on the western side of Oamaru. Once they’d got together and Annabel had made the move from Christchurch to North Otago, the couple turned their attention to that vacant plot and started to plan the dream home they would build there. It helped that Annabel had a passion for interiors and a Pinterest account brimming with ideas just waiting to be put into action.

Style secrets

  • Start with a moodboard of images collected from magazines, or online on Pinterest, to define your style. The images don’t necessarily need to relate to houses; it might be colours you like, places you want to visit – anything that evokes a feeling and shows you what you like and dislike.
  • Think about how the people in your house live. What are their likes and dislikes? How do you like to use your space, both indoors and out? The most important part of building a home is functionality, so it’s vital to spend time to ensure the space meets your needs.
  • Get inspired by colour by visiting your local Resene ColorShop. They have so many resources, including paint charts, drawdowns (A4 colour swatches) and test pots. Paint your colours onto large card and hold them up in your space, in direct sunlight and in shade.
  • Review your collectables – think about how you would like to display your favourite pieces. What furniture would you like to keep, what can be recycled, and what new pieces would you like to see in the space?
  • Try not to worry about what other people think. This is your home, not a showhome, and it needs to reflect who you are and make you smile every day.
  • If all else fails, ask an expert!

Words by: Debbie Harrison. Photography by: Kate Claridge.

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