Inside homes

Why Queenstown stole the hearts Of The Block NZ 2015 winners Brooke and Mitch

The sky’s the limit for Brooke Thompson and Mitch Davies, who have just settled into their newly built Queenstown home

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Who lives here? 

Brooke Thompson, (accountant), and Mitch Davies, both 26, (plumber), plus Chopper the dog and Ruby the kitten.

The beginning

Brooke Thompson and Mitch Davies were still on the high of winning the fourth series of The Block NZ last year when they found a dream site on which to build their first home. The couple were quick to act on their long-held goal of buying land in Queenstown with the winnings from the reality TV show.

“About 10 days after winning The Block, my father was in Queenstown and we were driving around looking at property,” Brooke says. “We found a piece of land at Jack’s Point on the edge of Lake Wakatipu. Mitch, who’d been working in Auckland, flew to meet us two days later.”

It was a rushed decision

but it absolutely paid off

The duo knew that if they wanted to get into the Queenstown property market, they had to act fast. “In Queenstown there is a high property demand with little supply,” Brooke explains. Building began in January this year and they moved in less than four months later. “It was a rushed decision but it absolutely paid off. We’re in a sought-after location and have totally fallen in love with the house. The timing was perfect – it all fell into place.”

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The details

Although building in the subdivision at Jack’s Point requires following certain guidelines, it is for the benefit of all the residents. For instance, houses have to blend in with the natural environment to a certain extent, and there were a few restrictions on how you build. “Every house at Jack’s Point has a living area which faces north,” says Brooke. That way, nobody looks into your backyard and it maximises the natural light.”

The 183-square-metre house, on a 980-square-metre section, has three bedrooms, a main bathroom, en suite, combined butler’s pantry and laundry, and an open-plan living area.

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Brief

A functional house is what the couple wanted. It had to work efficiently – “especially as the footprint isn’t huge”, says Brooke. The aspects that shine, she says, are the plumbing (done by Mitch), the open-plan living space (which flows easily from kitchen to dining to lounge), and the high-end kitchen and bathroom. The tapware in both was sourced from German brand Hansgrohe, and works from thermostats so there’s no waiting for water to heat up. The pair also splurged on the kitchen splashback composed of hexagonal tiles in a speckled pattern.

It was like The Block

all over again

“So much time and effort went into the bathroom and kitchen,” Brooke says. “The Block made us realise that these rooms really do sell houses.” But the couple had to be smart about it. “We’re not at the stage where we want our ‘forever house’,” she reveals, “so we did have to keep future buyers in mind. It was like The Block all over again!”

Colour

Walls in a classic soft white have been partnered with hints of warm, cosy grey – including the bathroom wall and floor tiles, the carpet, and the couches in the lounge – to give a feeling of intimacy throughout. “With a natural environment like this around us it’s hard not to be inspired by it,” Brooke says, gesturing to their glorious view of rocky mountain faces and an ever-changing cloudscape of whites and greys. “So we wanted to incorporate that inside.”

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Building new

The pair have some simple advice to pass on: “The success of a new-build comes down to not sweating the small stuff,” Brooke says. “It’s never going to be 100 percent what you want, but if you’ve got a good plan in place, you’ll be fine.”

Sourcing important items early on is vital – “Get on top of big-ticket items for the house as early as you can so there are no delays,” Brooke urges. Also, keep looking for a good deal when it comes to buying furniture, homeware and fittings. “Do your research and keep a close watch online,” she says. If you find something you like but can’t afford, look around for a cheaper lookalike. “Some items are expensive, but you may well be able to get something that looks similar and is cheaper.”

With breathtaking views and a well-thought-out home to enjoy, who could blame Brooke and Mitch for not wanting to leave? But this design duo clearly have other plans for the future, so it will be exciting to see what’s in store next.

Words by: Catherine Steel. Photography by: Todd Eyre.

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