Home Tours

This rundown Dunedin house became a family reno project

The whole family pitched in with this Dunedin do-up to help a young couple onto the property ladder

In a nutshell

Who lives here?
Damon McLeod (owner of D Tiling, Dunedin), Makenzi Taylor (barista/retail assistant at Moi Design) and Poco-Yo the bunny.

Favourite item in your home?
Damon: We love the big piece of art on the kitchen wall. Mak’s father was gifted it by the artist and had no space for it. Sadly we are only ‘art-sitting’ but it is perfect for the space.

Favourite room to decorate and why?
Damon: It would have to be the back end of the house because it felt like a new-build.

Where do you find your inspiration?
Makenzi: We are both heavily inspired by Instagram – the series of artworks down the hallway is by a Mexican artist living in California whom Damon came across one night while exploring on Instagram. Searching through secondhand stores also inspires us, and we love to go to open homes of older homes to bounce ideas off one another about how we could recreate our house.

Why does this home work so perfectly for you both?
Makenzi: We love living by the sea and being able to walk to our local cafes and the beach. The open-plan living and indoor-outdoor flow are great; we love it when the house is full of friends and family gathering around the kitchen island or out on the deck.

What was the most special part of this project?
Makenzi: We would like Damon’s parents, Heather and Craig, to know just how much we appreciate all their help and how special the project was because we got to do it all together as a team.

Style secrets

  • Choose the right white. If, like Damon and Makenzi, you’re after a crisp, modern look with a minimum of clutter, lean towards bright, cool whites and opt for furnishings and other elements with simple lines and smooth surfaces.
  • Bring on the texture. Use fur (it doesn’t have to be real), woodgrain, mirrors, wallpaper and tiles to add depth and dimension.
  • Artwork is a great way of introducing interest to a space, but people do have a tendency to hang art too high – remember that the centre of the image should be at eye level.

Top tip

  • In living rooms, people are usually sitting, so artwork should be hung lower.

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

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