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.


  1. What an amazing home! Simply gorgeous. I love when houses are not decorated just for decorations' sake, but when they evolve over the years, as memories and treasures are collected.

  2. What a beautiful home! No wonder it was featured in the magazine! It is as warm as you!

  3. What a beautiful home. My husband and I love to collect eclectic things too.

  4. Many thanks ladies....always wonderful to see kindred spirits when it comes to decorating. It requires a keen eye and lots of patience :)

  5. Stunning. I agree with the other ladies...a home reflects out lives and it is obvious that you and Mr H had many influences in decorating that were close your your heart. I enjoyed every word of this post, Jeanne. Your home so deserved the feature!


  6. Beautiful, beautiful home!! Wishing you a joyous Easter!

  7. Love your NZ home. It is beautiful and so personal. Thank you, for sharing it with us.

  8. Making a house a home . . . is one of my favorite pleasures . . . even when it was a tent in Europe all those summers, travelling with students.

    Thanks for letting us have a peek at one of yours.


  9. Oh, I can see why it was difficult to leave this behind! What a lovely spot. I looks just like you!

  10. I love the back veranda area and garden. Great that you still own it. Have a good easter. David.

  11. Wow Jeanne! So eclectic and wonder you get homesick for it every now and then. Love the pool shot, you look very natural there! The best bit is Mr H's collectors items...can only imagine the stories they must tell. Lou x

  12. Great post Jeanne,stunning shots of your home here in NZ. Your collection of pieces are amazing, I love that your hubby has collected bits from his travels, lends such a personal note to your decor.

    Have a Happy Easter. xx

  13. A beautiful house, Jeanne, the elegance counterbalancing and enhancing the individuality. You must miss it, though I'm sure that where you are now is equally wonderful.

  14. Wow. What a beatiful home! And big! I will now go to bed in my tiny and very unpublishable apartment and dream of one day owning a house like that.

    Thanks for sharing and a happy Easter to you too, Jeanne.

  15. The decor is bright and full of great pieces...
    it feels like a home with a real family,
    a very refined family with great taste!

    Happy Easter,


  16. What a fabulous home Jeanne! I can see your elegant touches,and artistic treasures in every room! I especially love our bed room. The whole place is just charming and it is certainly a "home".

  17. What a fab feature Jeanne - your Kiwi house is lovely! So glad to hear your tenants are enjoying it just as much as you did. Do Allied Pickfords have a dedicated Rep. standing by just waiting for your call re your next move?
    Millie x

  18. Jeanne - I have this issue of NZ House & Garden and I'm ridiculously pleased I can now link it with you. It's beautiful. I am so pleased you have found the right family to rent it in your absence.
    I hope your daughter is safe and well, and enjoying her academic year under the various big-tops! x

  19. I think you must have the knack of creating a home that speaks of the world no matter where in the world you are Jeanne. It speaks volumes.

  20. How absolutely beautiful in every way. A stunningly decorated house in which one could imagine living happily. But then, I could imagine no other dwelling for you, dear Jeanne.

  21. Getting to know you through these posts, I am not at all surprised at how beautiful your home was, nor that it was featured in a magazine. You are a woman of outstanding taste and talent, Jeanne.
    Happy Easter!

  22. Thank you one and are very kind in your comments :) This sort of style of decorating could send many running the other way...we have had that sort of look too.

    We had a nice long chat via Skype with my daughter Christine who lives in New Zealand this morning... :))
    Thank goodness for Skype!


  23. Great attention to detail in the dining room with your curtains.

    The same but different at each window.

    Wonderful looking in from the garden.

    Loved each pic. Beautiful home.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  24. Warm and stylish, like you, Jeanne. A magazine dream. As an interiors stylist for Better Homes & Gardens, I would have loved working in higher end homes such as yours...

  25. Nothing like home

  26. Jeanne, thank you for sharing this article on your New Zealand home. It's such fun to get a peek of interiors. I agree, making a house a home is a great pleasure, and for me seems to be ongoing. "Nesting" is my favorite way to spend time.
    Beautiful, beautiful home and collections. ~ Sarah

  27. Having created a home myself abroad in singapore I can see you reflecting on the happy memories these photos recall. I love the sleigh bed..Hope you are still happily sleeping in it!

  28. A gorgeous, heart-warming post, Jeanne. It must have been hard to leave that home. I am so excited that we, too, will soon have the chance to put our own mark on our new house! J x

  29. Ummmm...Wow! So absolutely beautiful. Must be reflective of those who resided there :)

  30. Oh Jeanne, it's beautiful. I wouldn't have wanted to leave! xx

    PS. Please change your comments to pop up - you have to refresh the page every time you leave one and then go back to the beginning again, very time consuming.

    Dashboard-Settings-Comments-Pop Up Window. It'll be so much easier for your readers xx

  31. Thanks for the tip Christina, will do!


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