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.

Favourite Space | Yolande Kjestrup

When the name Yolande Kjestrup was mentioned by a couple of different people recently, Dael and I decided to track her down. We styled the home of artist, Rae West, for a photo shoot (see page 50 of the August issue of Your Home & Garden), and her amazing Mexican-inspired outdoor room was designed by Yolande. We then visited the home of new clients and when we commented on their lovely backyard, they too had used Yo.

Rae West's outdoor room - photo by  Sarah Horn  for Your Home & Garden

Rae West's outdoor room - photo by Sarah Horn for Your Home & Garden

In our job, we often work on exterior colour schemes as well as outdoor rooms, decks etc, so we'd been looking for a garden designer that we could work side by side with. We really love Yo's work and are excited about working with her on future projects - for our clients, and also for our new office and showroom.

Yo Designs is the name of her business, and under that banner comes The Green Room (garden consultation & design), and The Dressmaker's Wardrobe (vintage inspired fashion). "I never grew out of playing with dolls," says Yo. "I have three life size dolls I love to dress". She's talking about her three grown-up daughters who live in Auckland and Wellington -  Hannah, 29, Romany, 24, and Brynne, 21.

The Green Room (website to come) is a garden design service based on sustainable principles. It's very important to Yo that she creates environmentally friendly gardens, and that she is able to educate people. "It's all about soil and water quality, and reducing plastic waste," she says. Yo can visit you for a consultation and provide you with her ideas along with the names of the plants she recommends, or you can take it further for a complete garden design. Her designs are like a work of art and all carefully hand-drawn.

I asked Yo a few questions so we could get to know her better...

What do you love most about your space - your work room?

Having the room to have several projects on the go at once. It's my multi-purpose creative space. I can set up a garden plan on the drawing board and think about it while constructing a garment at the table. What with the light, view of the garden from the window, music playing, I can stay there for hours.

What is your favourite time of day?

Early morning. I'm an early riser. I'm at my most productive first thing. I like to start work when it's still dark, check out what I've drawn the night before, see if I still like it, watch the morning come, walk the dog.

What are you reading at the moment?

I'm reading "Beautiful Me" by a local author Natasha Jennings.

What inspires you?

I believe you can't create in a vacuum. I like to get out and about to find inspiration. You can find it in the most surprising and everyday'ish' places.

Sweet or savoury?

Free range and ethically sourced.

Favourite drink?

That first early morning coffee!

Favourite item you own?

My photograph of the three girls. It was taken one Christmas by their father, Phil Tasker-Poland, who is a photographer and videographer. I love the joy and the movement.

Top of your wish list?

To turn the garden shed into a 'green' studio to showcase my designs.

Yo is weaving her magic on some living creations for our Bibby + Brady showroom, so you'll be able to pop in and see them soon. If you don't live locally I will be sure to post photos, and keep an eye out for her new website also.

Thank you to Florence Charvin for her fantastic photography skills.

I'll leave you with some more words from Yo...

"Green is not something you can buy. Green is a way of life. Treasure everything. Think permaculturally. Live sustainably in all ways. Make it, grow it, build it. Do all you can with what you have".

 

Thrill, Fill & Spill

When I'm styling a vignette I like to work with layers of height, texture, shape and colour. Something tall at the back, maybe a piece of art on the wall, a vase or lampshade, and layering smaller pieces in front.


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I have to admit to not being much of a gardener, my husband is in charge of ours at home. Although I don't know much about soil types, and what to plant where, I do know what I like the look of, and I've found that the same principals I use in interiors also apply in the garden. Layers of texture, shape and colour make for a very visually appealing garden.


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People used to tell me that when I got my first home I'd become interested in gardening, but that didn't happen. Funnily enough it's creating a small garden for my first office that has sparked my interest in the botanical world. Dael & I are in the process of moving our business out of my living room and into a little office/showroom in Ahuriri. Our friend Anna, from My Veggie Patch, has helped us pick the right plants to withstand the hot conditions down there, and to provide some colourful impact. We're now waiting for our hibiscus and portulaca to burst into bloom. We plan to add a large pot by the front door, and it's Anna who taught me about "thrill, fill and spill".


A pot created by Anna of 'My Veggie Patch' outside FG Smith cafe


I love that phrase, and it's really quite self explanatory... it describes how to plant a container garden. Your 'thrill' is an eye-catching plant with some height at the back of the pot. 'Fill' is a selection of lower plants that fill the rest of the pot. And the last component, 'spill' refers to the plants that fall over the edge of the pot. Here are a couple more examples to show you how fab this looks...



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Although this example (below) is slightly different, in as much as the plants are in individual pots, it has a similar effect - tall foliage at the back, with smaller plants in front. The different textures are gorgeous, don't you think?!


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I really feel inspired to have a go at gardening at our place now. But maybe I'll start with a pot before I let loose in the garden itself :)