This new-build makes a bold statement on the outside, but inside it’s warm, welcoming and designed to create the ultimate Kiwi childhood. Here’s what these homeowners would do differently next time
Meet + greet
Celene Busher-Nepia, 34 (interior designer and stylist at Celene Interiors), Darnell Nepia, 36 (account manager), Kaelan, 6, Aria, 4, and Goldie, 20 months.
Top styling tips
Celene: Always anchor your bed with a headboard, a large piece of artwork above the bed or a feature wall. Then add cushions – I use two euros at the back, two standard pillows, and one or two small cushions at the front. When styling a living area, find your focal point, whether it’s a fireplace, a large piece of artwork or an oversized mirror. Style your room around this. I love using occasional chairs in living rooms because they enable the flow of conversation as well as allowing easy movement through the space.
Make sure colourful soft furnishings relate to something else in the room, such as the drapery, wallpaper or an artwork. If you want to keep your furnishings neutral, add interest through texture, patterns and different fabrics. Indoor plants are one of the best accessories you can use in your home. They are great for filling an awkward space. My personal favourite is Zamioculcas zamiifolia.
Best memories in your home? Having my dad’s 80th here with all his dearest friends. Our first Christmas here was special, too. Was building a smooth process or a painful one for you? Our build was smooth sailing, but it was still stressful project-managing and commuting back and forth with a toddler and baby. The only part of the process that wasn’t smooth was the earthworks: our house pad was cut much lower than it was meant to be and the land wasn’t reshaped the way we wanted, so that is something I’d like to fix in the future.
Any regrets? I wish we had flat ceilings in the bedrooms to make them easier to heat and cool. We also didn’t think we had enough funds for a fourth bedroom but it turns out we saved more than expected doing work ourselves. I wish we had a spare room so our family could stay more regularly.
What advice do you have for others about to start a build? Do your research, get multiple quotes and use good-quality products in areas which add value to a home.
Best purchase? Darnell says it’s the ride-on lawnmower! I would say our outdoor louvres by The Outdoor Room Company – they’ve really changed the way we use the space and have essentially given us another room.
Favourite thing in the house? Besides our family, our sound system would be one. Good music always has a positive impact in our house – the kids and I love to turn up the sounds and have a good dance. We have some great electrical features in the home thanks to my husband.
What are you most proud of? The whole house. We’re very happy and grateful that we were able to create this home for our family.
$420,000 approx (inc architect and council fees, earthworks, drainlaying, 100m driveway, deck and retaining wall).
See more of the Algies Bay home below