Making a House a Home in New Zealand

To me, making a house a home is one of life's greatest pleasures.
Our time living in New Zealand was very special to me.
Not only did I meet wonderful people, I had the chance
to create a home and memories that I will always treasure.

I have been thinking about New Zealand a lot lately. My daughter, 
my friends, the sights, the sounds, my garden and our home. 
We still own the house and have been lucky enough to have
a young family living in it who are enjoying it as much as we did.
One day we will sell it...we can't hold on forever but for now,
it is nice to look back and think what used to be. 

We were fortunate to have NZ House and Garden look at the house
in the same light. The following was featured in the magazine while we lived 
in the house. It was a fun project from beginning to end.

Upon entering the front door....

I always refer to our decor as 'early miscellaneous' or 'eclectic chaos'. Some of you may 
recall that Mr. H is a keen traveller and collector of the unusual. There was a time 
when all his belongings were allocated to one room. Over the years, they started to sneak 
out and make their way around the house and then a funny thing happened. 
I started to like them too.  Following in Mr. H's footsteps to Africa and Papua New Guinea 
did the trick for me. I have since given in and embraced it all. 
With the help of a wonderful local decorator and friend, Kaye Coleman. 
We made it all come together.

The room above changed many times during our stay. 
It was always in a state of movement. I blamed that on my mother!
She used to do the same thing when I was growing up. 

You don't have to look far to find a bit of 'Americana' in our home. 
I love having things around to remind me of New England.

The kitchen table and chairs below were made and purchased in Australia. 
The sculpture on the wall above the table is made of rivers stones and native 
greenstone by a local artist, Jacqueline Kampen, in Auckland, New Zealand.

Mr. H's joy of collecting runs deep. Many of the accents around our home 
came to us by way of his grandmother. Another well travelled woman...
we were very fortuante that she was.

Each piece has a story in our home. If you ever come to visit, I advise you not to
ask Mr. H the story behind each piece. You will be there for a while. Be warned!

The sleigh bed is another New Zealand purchase, made of Kauri wood, by Rose & Heather.
The chair and painting come by way of Mr. H's grandmother. I will write about her
home, Si Petite, another time. It was a real treasure,

The collagraph below of the American flag, was created by an American artist, 
Ann Wenniger. I wrote recently about my time in Rockport, Massachusetts (here). 
Each time we visited we would stop in at Ann's gallery to say hello. My mother used 
to take painting lessons from her and after a long chat with Ann one afternoon, 
she inspired me to do the same. She is a gifted artist and inspiring woman. 
The type of woman you never forget. 

In the beginning....before our subtle renovation ( another story) 
and here I am taking in the sun (per instruction of photographer) 
by the pool, trying not to look so obvious :)

Mr H. and I spent many a morning, afternoon and evening sitting on that front porch.
A perfect summer evening was spent with feet up and a glass of wine by my side.

It was the perfect spot for reflecting on the day.
Thank you for letting me share!

Best wishes for a lovely Easter break...
Jeanne xxx

Images by Matthew Williams for NZ House and Garden
and the last shot by Unlimited Potential.

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