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A Wanaka new-build mixes vintage furniture with industrial style

Vintage-style furniture, handcrafted wood and cosy textiles fit easily within a lean and clean industrial aesthetic

Meet and greet

Leigh Cooper, graphic designer, Nathan Primmer, joiner, and daughters Madison, 8, Harriet, 6, and Charlotte, 3.

A Wanaka new-build mixes vintage furniture with industrial style

Best lessons learned?
Leigh: As a female, don’t be afraid of your tradies; make yourself known and don’t be scared to ask questions or point out errors. Treat them with respect and the relationship should go smoothly.

What would you never do again?
There isn’t anything we’d never do again but there are lots of things we’d like to do, including doing another build sometime to incorporate other ideas.

What’s one thing you would change about your home if you could?
It would have been good to have had colonial-style doors to carry on the villa feel. Having a formal entranceway into the house would also have been welcome, including a space to hang jackets and store shoes.


What did your new-build cost?
Around $370,000 (not including the land or Nathan’s joinery).

How did your budget compare to your actual spend?
We were only over by a couple of thousand dollars. It was very important to us to stick to our budget and having a fixed price from Stonewood made it easier as we knew where we stood.

Any splurges?
Our house is a standard build but we splurged on the joinery because Nathan was able to do this, and also on Blum hardware in the kitchen, laundry and vanities. The timber windows were our biggest splurge – Nathan always wanted them and this time round we made it possible.

Do you tend to buy high-end homeware or seek out a bargain?
Both. We like well-made items and products that last but I always buy on sale, especially cushion covers, as this is a simple way of updating rooms. Furniture-wise, most of the items are either old, secondhand or made by Nathan.

Best advice when building new?
Don’t make major changes throughout the build; this will cost you more money and slow the build down. Do your research thoroughly during the planning stage.


Words by: Sharon Stephenson. Photography by: Guy Frederick.

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