Zeffer Cidery | Before & After

Last year we got a call from Hannah, one of the owners of Zeffer Cider asking for our help to transform an old winery tasting room into their new cider taproom. Funnily enough, I’d just been reading about Zeffer in our local paper the day before, and was impressed with how well their young business was doing, sweeping up numerous awards, both locally and internationally. Of course we were only too happy to help.

Our brief was to provide a design concept for the overall feel of the space, helping with material selection, and also to design a moveable bar and fixed tap wall. The space is long and narrow and the idea was to be able to move the bar if they wanted to open the space up for events.

The original space had a lot of dark wood and the existing bar took up much of the space. The old floor boards were removed and the concrete floors polished. The ceiling was cleaned up, the walls painted and the introduction of lighter wood panelling brought texture and warmth.

Some of the windows on the back wall were removed to allow the tap wall to go in, and the dark wood door was updated with a lick of black paint. We love the finished result of the bar and tap wall, it makes a fantastic feature when looking through the arched door from the deck.

We designed the moveable bar alongside our resident interior architect, Briana Joll, who created these amazing 3D visuals for the client. We chose a chevron design for extra interest and a panel at the back that could be pulled out to prevent customers walking behind the bar.

The tap wall is exactly how we designed it with the exception of the taps themselves, which evolved from colourful handles to beautiful wooden handles.

The tiles from Tile Depot on the tap wall have the look and feel of exposed brick, but with all the benefits of porcelain tiles.

Our new bar design left more space along the window side of the building allowing the addition of small tables and stools to enjoy cider tasting at. The wood wall panelling echoes the panelling added to the entrance.

On a sunny day you can also choose to sit outside either at the tables or the large picnic blankets we provided Zeffer with.

The built-in office furniture at the back of the room was all removed and we designed a built-in bench seat to wrap around the corner.

We had the pottery lights over the bar custom made by Kim Morgan. We’d previously designed a wall light in a similar style that Kim had made for us, so knew they’d look fantastic in this space. We love their natural, organic aesthetic.

To make the most of the approach to the taproom, a previously stony area with a couple of trees was paved and turned into another seating area for customers.

Thanks to Hannah, Sam and the team for allowing us to share these photos with you. If you’re in Hawke’s Bay and haven’t yet visited Zeffer Cider, you should make a point of doing that really soon. Taste the beautiful range of award winning cider, fill your own flagon, or grab some bottles to take home with you. Winter hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am - 6pm; and in the summer they’re open 7 days, perfect for enjoying a drink and a picnic or platter in the sun.

Te Awanga Home Design

October was an exciting month for us with the home of one of our long-time clients being photographed for the latest NZ House & Garden magazine. We worked with these clients over a three year period. The first year was dedicated to Chambourcin Cottage, and the next two we slowly moved through their main home, room by room creating a cohesive look. The cottage and the main house are only metres apart.

Both houses were architecturally designed by Steve McGavock, who was the protégé of renowned architect, John Scott. It’s a really special property with a lot of the trademark features found in a John Scott home - high vaulted ceilings, large pivot doors with rimu knob handles, rimu architraves and trims. Set on its own vineyard, the main house is designed so that all of the bedrooms, the living and dining rooms overlook it. There are two wings with the master bedroom, ensuite and ‘snug’ at one end; the office, guest bedroom and bathroom at the other; and the kitchen, laundry, living and dining in the middle.

We used Resene Merino on the exterior of the home to tie in with the cottage opposite. Merino is a light and versatile off-white, and we wanted a freshness without it being too glary. We looked at several different colours for the front door. It was initially painted hot pink, but after much deliberation it was re-painted a golden mustard. We had the outdoor rug custom made to fit the front porch.

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All of the windows had the original rimu curtain tracks and we wanted to keep these beautiful details. But we did replace the curtains throughout with beautiful soft linen from James Dunlop. The inside entrance rug was also custom made to fit the space. Every room has it’s own rug, all Armadillo&Co from our friends at The Ivy House.

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It really was a blank canvas for us when we first began this project. We had already explored a lot of the design choices for the base of the house when we designed the cottage. The main living area walls were painted Resene Half Merino, and the dark brown beams painted a sharp black. All the carpet was ripped up and the concrete floors beneath polished.

We commissioned local artist, Billie Culy, to create the stunning artwork in the living room. Billie worked closely with us and our client, Kim, using a colour palette we supplied her with to fit perfectly into the space. We had chosen a Billie Culy piece for the cottage, so it was nice to have that connection between the two houses. The large orange and white rug was also custom made by The Ivy House, and its job was to zone the living area and anchor the furniture.

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We custom made the window seat squabs and all of the cushions. Every furniture piece was carefully chosen to suit the style of the home, including the vintage Ole Wanscher rocking chair from Mr Bigglesworthy, which we recovered in a mustard wool.

A ladder against the back living room wall leads you up to a cute little loft area which looks down over the living and dining rooms and out to the vineyard. We chose a smart navy blue for the cupboard door and Bruce, our client, painted this along with all of the walls and beams.

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We had a sofa custom made in soft grey linen to fit the space, and added some simple furniture pieces to turn the loft into a place to escape with a good book or a glass of wine (although not too many, as you have to navigate the ladder on the way down).

The loft overlooks the dining room. The linen curtains we had made are so gorgeous. We kept them really simple to work with the clean lines of the architecture, and so as not to distract from the views. The vaulted ceilings meant they had to be a super long drop and they hang off the original rimu tracks.

The dining room also has spectacular views over the vineyards and out to the hills beyond.

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Because the living and dining rooms are open plan we helped to zone the dining area with a stunning big David Trubridge light above, and a luxurious hand woven midnight blue rug anchors the table. When using a rug under a dining table you need to make sure it’s large enough to pull the chairs out whilst still remaining on the rug.

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After much deliberation our clients opted to keep the kitchen as it is - the rimu cabinetry is synonymous with the John Scott style. We added some lighter chairs around the breakfast bar. The artwork (below) opposite the dining table is part of a triptych that we had commissioned by textile artist, Jane Denton. We chose a Jane Denton piece for the clients’ cottage, and Kim loved it so much we knew we wanted to incorporate her work into the main house too.

The fireplace in the living room was removed quite early on and made the flow through to the end of the house so much better.

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A beautiful large pivot door separates the living room from the ‘snug’ and master bedroom. The deep teal we chose for the walls of the snug allows the door to stand out, and looks amazing behind the painting we bought from Amber Armitage.

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With a lot of different textures combined in the fireplace, we decided to simplify it by plastering over the red bricks at the base and painting them black so the fire disappeared into it. We then added a feature tile on the hearth and framed it with rimu.

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The ‘snug’ is the room that gets the least amount of natural light, and our clients use it to read or watch TV in the evenings. Rather than trying to lighten the room, which can often look a bit flat, we opted to paint the walls a rich, dark teal. A large, plush mustard rug compliments the blue walls and adds cosiness.

We added new linen curtains, a pair of super comfy and stylish armchairs from Hutchinsons, and an antique brass coffee table from Soren Liv. The side table was custom made by WRW & Co. along with a small TV unit (not pictured).

On the adjacent wall we placed a beautiful brass bar cart under our clients print to help ground it.

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Tucked behind the ‘snug’ and to the side of the living room is the master bedroom, which has ‘his and her’ wardrobes behind the bed. We put a green and white wallpaper on the back wall to reflect the views outside the windows, and brought some warmth in with amber bedside pendants and cinnamon coloured linen from Thread Design. The bedspread is from Seneca, and the custom made cushion pulls all the colours together.

The other wing of the house consists of this small bedroom (below) which we turned into an office, as well as a guest room and guest bathroom. We re-carpeted both of the bedrooms and the office, but still added rugs to each for extra luxury.

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We painted the walls in the office and guest bedroom a soft and peaceful duck egg blue. We love it here teamed with one of our favourite pink sofas, custom made cushions, and a map of Maine (where Kim is originally from). The touch of black in the lamp and side tables adds a bit of weight and links to the black beams.

photo: Florence Charvin

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The guest bedroom has new linen curtains like the rest of the house, new bedside tables, a rug, and beautiful new bedding. Other touches are the pottery wall light and pendant we designed, and bench seat (not pictured).

It’s been quite the adventure, and a real pleasure working with Kim and Bruce on their amazing home and their cottage. She really is a very special property and we will miss her! Make sure you check out our blog post about the journey we took with Chambourcin Cottage.

All photos (other than ‘before’ photos) taken by Florence Charvin for the November 2018 issue of NZ House & Garden. With thanks x

Adding Character to a New Build

Building or moving into a brand new home is an exciting time, and there are so many advantages over an older home. But unless you're lucky enough to have had it architecturally designed, a new house can sometimes feel a little plain, lacking in charm, or, dare I say, soulless. At our recent styling evening in Havelock North, I was asked if I had any tips on how to add character and interest to a newly built house, so I have put together this blog post with some of our ideas.

There are actually plenty of ways to inject interesting elements that will add depth and interest to your new home, one of them is to add panelling to your walls. There are a number of ways to do this and it's amazing how quickly it will elevate a room with it's subtle layer of texture. Vertical panelling is a classic look that can be made to look both traditional or contemporary depending on how it's executed. Pictured above with lovely thick skirting boards, this panelling creates a classic look. Another fun way to use it is to run it part way up the wall, top with a dado rail, and either paint or wallpaper above. The powder room below has turned what was a small, plain room into a fun, personality-filled space. The thinner panelling is a nice contrast to the door and works well in a smaller space.

By square setting the panelling from the ceiling to the floor without any skirts or architraves, you create a contemporary look for your home. The entrance below has cleverly lined up the door and wall panelling for a clean, seamless look. This is trickier to execute, so although the first versions (above) are possible to DIY, I would recommend getting the experts to help you with this square set panelling. This look really needs to be decided on before the building stage, so talk to your builder early on in the process.

We often use vertical panelling in our kitchen designs. With very little fabric or furnishings in a kitchen, it's a nice way to introduce texture. The home below uses the panelling in quite a contemporary fashion, also running it up the walls and on the door in the hallway to create a sense of continuity.

Below are more examples of vertical panelling, this time using it in natural wood for a hit of warmth as well as texture. This sort of application doesn't have to be used everywhere in your house, instead use it to create a feature in key areas.

Another form of wall panelling that you're probably familiar with is board and batten. It features wide boards covered by long flat strips (battens) about 5cm wide. This is one of the oldest, most traditional style of panelling and is often used on the exterior of houses. If using it on the interior of your house you can create the same look by just attaching the thin strips over a conventional wall. I love the character it adds, and it can also be used on just the lower half of your wall with paint or wallpaper above.

One of my favourite wall features is box moulding. This is something you can do yourself if you're a clever 'diy-er', or have a handy man in the house. Keeping it white adds subtle texture, or paint it dark to make more of a statement.

Built-in furniture pieces are not for the faint hearted, as they become a semi-permanent part of your home once installed, but they help to add that architectural detail that may be lacking in your new build. If well designed and built they will be a fantastic addition to your home and are often great for utilising otherwise unused or awkward spaces. Built-in bookshelves are the most common piece we're asked for by our clients. The one below is so handy for storage and display, and they've included box moulding - win, win!

When you're installing a new kitchen, the cabinets are custom made to fit. But there's nothing to stop you fitting cupboards similar to the ones below along a hallway, in an entrance, or a kids' play room for valuable extra storage. If possible, take them to the ceiling so they look like they're supposed to be there and not an after thought that has just been tacked on.

The bookshelf below is our ideal living room built-in piece. Open storage for books and favourite pieces, closed storage at the bottom for things you don't want on display, and a space for the TV. This setup is also great for ensuring that the television is disguised a bit and not the centre of attention in your living room.

One of our most favourite ways to add interest to, and elevate a space, is wallpaper. Powder rooms, laundries, and entrances are great spaces for wallpaper. Because you don't spend a lot of time in any of the rooms you can get really brave, go bold and wallpaper every wall. Of course, if you're open to wallpapering all four walls of your living or dining room we applaud you, but even a single wall, like the bedroom below will create a lovely feature. This grasscloth wallpaper provides beautiful texture but is otherwise quite subtle.

If pattern is your thing there are a multitude of gorgeous wallpapers to choose from and we're more than happy to help you choose - patterned or plain.

In any good design, contrast is a key component. When you have a brand new home, we like to add some vintage or antique pieces to give the place some depth. I love this little vintage table (below) against the crisp, new white walls. Have fun hunting on TradeMe or your local second hand shops, or if you're really lucky you may have one or two special pieces you've inherited from your parents or grandparents. 

The antique dresser below has been repurposed into a vanity adding some weight and character to the brand new bathroom.

Interesting tiles in your kitchen and bathroom will instantly add character and style. I would strongly urge you to choose a beautifully tiled splash back over a coloured glass one. There are so many shiny, hard surfaces in a kitchen, and a glass splash back is just one more. Tiles can add texture and pattern, even a plain subway will be so much more interesting than flat glass.

The kitchen below belongs to our clients, and although they didn't build it, the house was still very new when they bought it. Because the kitchen was so new they didn't feel the need to rip it out and start again, but they did want to breathe a bit of life into it, and stamp their own mark on it. It was as simple as replacing the handles on the bottom cabinets with a more contemporary matt black version, and removing the top ones altogether for a cleaner look. We then replaced the glass splash back with the soft green subway tiles, and added the gorgeous fish scale tiles under the breakfast bar. You can see before photos in our previous blog post.

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Below is the view from the above kitchen, where I can illustrate two more simple ways we added some character to the simple white interior. Other than the furniture and accessories, the two things we love about this space are the curtains and the chandelier. There were initially plain white roller blinds over the large bi-fold doors, but by replacing these with beautiful linen curtains it helped to soften the room and add texture. Fixtures like lights are a brilliant way to spice up a simple interior. We used the stunning chandelier to do just this, as well as to help zone the living room in the open plan space. A similar light was used over the breakfast bar above.

Lastly, paint is an oldie but a goodie... it is by far the quickest and most cost-effective way to change and lift a room. A simple colour can make the world of difference! The use of the multi colours below creates the illusion of an architectural feature.

In conclusion, not everything above will appeal to everyone, and you obviously don't have to include each tip into your new build. But we do hope that you have gained some inspiration to take your shiny new house up to the next level.

We always love your feedback, so feel free to comment below on ways you have added interest to a new build. And if there is anything you would like our advice on, let us know, it could be the next blog post we write.