Home Tours

Inside a waterfront home that nails calm, coastal interior styling

Timber floors layered with soft taupes and greys, spice-toned fabrics and natural textures create a welcoming, coastal interior vibe in this waterfront home

Meet + Greet

Kevin Thorne, 66 (retired), and Helen Thorne, 65 (retired), plus Meg, the griffon-poodle cross.

Honesty box

One thing you would change about your home if you could?

Helen: I’d include a scullery off the kitchen to minimise the noise of appliances such as the kettle in our open-plan living area. Most memorable experience in your home so far? The best times are when we have our family together for celebration meals such as birthdays and Christmas. We enjoy our home every day and always think how lucky we are.


What areas of your home did you save or splurge on? We saved on some of the fencing, landscaping and planting. We splurged on the kitchen and the American oak flooring.

Do you tend to buy high-end homeware or seek out a bargain? We sought advice from our interior designer, Annwen. She knows how to find designer pieces without the price tag.

Best advice for spending money on a home? Do your research and get advice from the professionals.

How did you keep track of costs during the build? We had a trusting relationship with our builder – our son Bryce!

Top tips

  • Choose a good architect, builders and quality contractors.
  • Use quality fittings where budget allows.
  • Budget a realistic sum for unforeseen issues.
  • Trust your gut – time can be wasted going around in circles on decisions. Use an interior designer if you can afford to.
  • Budget for new furniture and accessories to complete your look.

See more of the Whangārei  home below 

This article was first published in Your Home and Garden. Follow YHG on Instagram, Facebook and sign up to the fortnightly email for inspiration between the issues.

Photography by: Helen Bankers.

Home experts are just a click away