Favourite Space | Kelly Davis

It's great to be able to kick off 2018 with one of our 'favourite space' posts, and we know you're going to love this one belonging to Kelly Davis. Kelly and her husband, Julian (or Jules as Kelly calls him), own Davcon, a building company specialising in high quality new homes, home alterations, and commercial work throughout Hawke's Bay.

Kelly and Jules worked with architect, Graeme Weaver, when it came to building their own family home in the Esk Hills two years ago, which they share with their three young sons, Louis (10 yrs), and twins, Felix and Rocco (9 yrs).

Kelly's favourite space is her 'mustard room', a living room which she likes to call her own. A feminine space where she encourages children not to venture. With beautiful views to the outdoors, it enjoys the last of the day's sun, and is cosy in the cooler months with the help of the very cool concrete fireplace.

Although feminine, the room also has an edginess to it with it's bold mustard carpet and dark walls. Kelly always knew she wanted this room when they started the design, but her main fear was that it would end up looking like a bumblebee. With the help of two of her friends, Hannah and Ana, who also have great design sense, Kelly chose a charcoal paint colour to team with the carpet. The strong contrast is then softened with Chesterfield-style sofas, a Chiang Mai coffee table, and layers of cushions, candles, flowers and accessories.

Time for our Q&A's so we can get to know Kelly a little better...

Tell us about your favourite space, and what you most love about it?

I love my “mustard room” because it’s quite a feminine space, which surprises me when it has such bold colours. But with a house full of boys (even the cat’s male) I wanted a gentle, feminine area somewhere in the house, and it has evolved into that. I love having fresh flowers, lighting a candle, and just hanging out in it whenever I get the chance. It’s a “no wrestling zone”. 😊

What’s your favourite time of the day?

I love it in the afternoon when I’ve picked the kids up from school. If we have no after-school activities, I often go into the mustard room, as it’s the sunny part of the house at that time, and fold the washing!

A morning yoga class straight after the school drop-off is also a lovely time of day.

Who or what inspires you?

I love people who march to the beat of their own drum, whether it’s artistically or musically. People who just have that inner knowledge that what they’re doing is right for them, so they just go about doing their thing 100% authentically.

What are you reading/listening to right now?

When I don’t get sucked down the Facebook/Instagram rabbit warren, I’m slowly reading Brene Brown’s “Braving the Wilderness” – I love the research she’s done on ‘Vulnerability’; and our current bookclub book is a Maisie Dobbs' mystery (I think I’m on Chapter 2 - lol).

I'm listening to my kids; but I also love Imagine Dragons and have “Thunder” on repeat at the moment. 

Sweet or savoury?

Savoury – cheese & crackers over dessert any day. 

Favourite drink?

My brother Casey made espresso martinis on Christmas day that were a bit decadent.

Favourite thing/item you own?

The baby grand my cousin gave me is a great love and I am so grateful to him for giving it to me, but my friends might say the mustard carpet because they know I’m a bit precious about it! I invited people to a New Year’s Eve party but told them in the invite they weren’t allowed to eat or drink on my mustard carpet, and a friend cheekily replied, ‘unless the food is of the yellow variety, as in pineapple or papaya!’.

Kelly knew there wasn't the space for a seperate music room in their plans, so she had Graeme Weaver include a nook in her front living room especially for her piano.

Top of your wish list for your home?

A lot of landscaping! Along with a pool and some outdoor furniture to go with it.

Thank you so much Kelly and Jules for allowing us into your amazing home and letting us share a little piece of it. To all our readers, make sure you check out some of Davcon's other projects if you're looking for a first rate building team.


Kelly's mustard room was truely special, but quite frankly the whole house is incredible. We couldn't resist showing you a sneak peek of another of our favourite rooms - the dining room which overlooks Esk Valley...

The cat was also super cute! He co-ordinated beautifully with the mustard room, but was quite partial to the large green rug in the other living room.

Let's finish with a quick tip... we love a large rug to ground furniture and help zone a space. A cost-effective solution for this is to get a piece of carpet cut to the right size and have the edges bound, as Kelly has done here. Also, if you're not brave enough to carpet your room in mustard (or olive green), a large rug is a great alternative.

Chambourcin Cottage | Boutique Accommodation

2016 has been a brilliant year for Bibby + Brady, and one of the highlights for us has been working with our awesome clients, Kim Brann and Bruce Polderman, on their Te Awanga cottage. Designed and built in 1978 by Hawke's Bay architect, Steve McGavock, it's vaulted ceilings and use of native timber were inspired by renowned New Zealand architect, John Scott.

When we first visited the cottage in April this year we were excited about the potential. The bones were there, and the architectural details were fantastic, but everything was a little tired and it was in definite need of attention. Kim and Bruce had been living in the main house (which is a larger version of the cottage) for several months, and needed our help with paint colour and flooring, as well as what to do with the beams and lighting. The decision was made to start with the cottage. Initially, once renovated, the plan was to rent it out long term, but within the first few weeks it was decided to turn it into boutique accommodation - the perfect couple's retreat, "Chambourcin Cottage".

The first decision we had to make was what to do with the beams. It was quite dark in the cottage on our first visit (mainly due to some of the windows being covered) and the beams felt a bit heavy overhead, so our first instinct was to paint them white and make them disappear. But upon reflection we realised every detail of the architecture was well thought out and the beams were an important part of the design. All of the light and electrical switches were black, as were the negative skirting boards and architraves.

The beams were a dark brown that didn't look like a natural wood colour, so we wanted them to be painted black and the ceiling in Resene Quarter Merino for a crisp contrast. We chose Resene Eighth Lemongrass for the walls of the living room. The soft, peaceful colour with a hint of green complimented the black and white, and because the neutral tone had a touch of colour it helped move and bounce light around the room.

Kim and Bruce hired their own painters and builders who did a fantastic job. Painting the beams was a fiddly job, but the finish is excellent. The old joinery was replaced with new matt black joinery, and the woodwork was brought back to life. We wanted to keep the window treatments simple and unfussy, using white curtains and blinds with matt black accessories (curtains rods and cleats).

When it came to choosing furniture and accessories for the cottage we wanted to create a beautiful retreat with comfort in mind. The scale was important in the small cottage, so although the sofa is large and solid (and super comfy), choosing it in a colour similar to the wall means it takes up less visual space. Accents of velvet and brass introduce a touch of elegance. At the time of these photos the cottage was about 90% finished - this dining table is a stand-in as the brass and marble table we chose won't be ready until early next year; and a few finishing touches like art are still to arrive.

The flooring was old and varied throughout the cottage so we chose to use carpet in the bedroom only. Everywhere else features polished concrete which is both beautiful and practical. David Trubridge pendants in the living room and bedroom suit the style of the house and look amazing. We hung my own Billie Culy print for the photoshoot and we loved it in the space, although it was a little small, so we ordered a much larger one to take it's place.

The bedroom is a really great space. A queen size bed fits snuggly on one side with room for a chair in one corner, and another small wing fits a large wardrobe, a small desk and a loft above.

We painted the bedroom area the same Resene Eighth Lemongrass as the living room, and the beams and ceiling also got the same treatment. We commissioned Francois Guittenit of Le Workshop to make the floating bedside cabinets for us. As the space around the bed was tight, we didn't want heavy bedside tables taking up precious floorspace. They have an airy feeling and work perfectly. Bedside lamps are still to come and our upholsterer, Asha Payton of Little & Fox, is making us an upholstered bedhead.

In the corner adjacent to the bed the beautiful velvet arm chair echoes one we put in the living room. It sits below an artwork by Jane Denton which we love. The simplicity of this piece works really well with the mid century style of the cottage. Beyond is a little courtyard to sit and enjoy a coffee and the spectacular view in the morning, or a glass of wine in the evening.

I love the wardrobe and desk area of the bedroom. Kim and Bruce's builder Lee Tiedemann of Russell Knox Builders did an amazing job putting new doors on the wardrobe and installing the brass inset handles we chose. He also built the shelves to the left of the wardrobe.

I designed a screen for the side of the loft inspired by mid century breeze blocks, and Lee finished it off beautifully with a timber edge. Francois built the loft ladder and the little desk. Beautiful new wool carpet by Cavalier Bremworth was laid in the entire bedroom area.

The original kitchen cabinetry was still in pretty good shape so it was given a new lick of paint and Lee added a wooden chopping board at the far left of the bench and a wooden surround to disguise the range hood.

Kim and Bruce wanted additional storage in the kitchen and a small table and chairs. Because of the tiny space Francois came up with the idea of building a unit that wrapped around one side of the kitchen. This not only gave them cupboards and shelves for storage, but also additional bench space and a breakfast bar overlooking the vineyard. It's the perfect use of the small space.

A small shelf was added above the stainless steel bench and we replaced all of the fluorescent lights throughout the cottage with copper tubular lights. We sourced a beautiful stoneware dinner set and accessories, and gorgeous hand blown glassware. All these details add to the experience for the lucky couples who choose to stay at Chambourcin Cottage.

On the other side of the kitchen is the front entrance and a hallway that runs down past the toilet and bathroom to the back door. When we started this project there were three different kinds of flooring from the back door through to the living room. Now it looks really smart with polished concrete flooring the entire length, softened by the occasional rug.

We designed a floating vanity similar in style to our bedside cabinets and Francois built and installed it in the hallway by the back entrance. Once again we wanted it to be floating to create a sense of airiness and space, and the large mirror above it reflects light around.

Opposite the vanity is the tiny bathroom. Although it caused a few heads to be scratched with things that cropped up along the way, we're really proud of this space as it's so awesome! We chose a small hexagon tile and the entire room is tiled from floor to ceiling. Matt black accessories pay homage to the original design details, and to add warmth we introduced accents of wood, brass and leather.

The outside of the cottage has come along way since we took this first photo (below) in April. We carried on the black and white colour scheme from inside, and worked with our favourite garden designer, Yo Kjestrup of Yo Designs, on the garden at the front. We wanted to create a garden with clean lines in keeping with the mid century style, and Kim and Bruce also wanted to direct people down past the French doors to the main entrance just beyond. Yo came up with a clever design using dark stained planter boxes to stop people from automatically entering through the French doors while also creating another private patio space.

We are so delighted with this little cottage, and Dael and I both love it so much we were ready to move in ourselves, as was our photographer Florence when she visited to take the photos. If you're looking for somewhere to get away for a relaxing and romantic break, I can't speak highly enough of Chambourcin Cottage in Te Awanga, Hawke's Bay. The views are spectacular over the boutique vineyard, Heretaunga Plains, and the Kaweka and Huiarau Ranges beyond, it really is a special place! Your hosts, Kim and Bruce, are the loveliest people and will be able to advise you on all the amazing things there are to offer around their beautiful coastal region. Tell them we sent you ;)

Click here to read more about this project and to see 'before' images.

Cavalier Bremworth + Fashion Quarterly | Giveaway

Dael and I were lucky enough to attend the launch of fabulous new products from Cavalier Bremworth recently, and we were so impressed, not only with their range but their company as a whole. Bringing together gorgeous carpet with high end fashion, they have just collaborated with Fashion Quarterly magazine with a four page spread in the latest Spring issue.

The stunning carpets featured include the chunky felted wool loop pile Galet, and the timeless classic loop pile Levante, and they are styled with brands such as Ruby, Zoe & Morgan, Liam and Lonely Hearts.

To celebrate the collaboration, Cavalier Bremworth are running an Instagram competition giving you the chance to win two issues of Fashion Quarterly. They have 40 prize packs to giveaway and all you have to do is follow Cavalier Bremworth on Instagram and tag a friend in this image. To see the full terms and conditions pop over here.

GOOD LUCK!