Home features

A home high above the Mount Maunganui coastline

A home in the Bay of Plenty hills offers the lifestyle change this once inner-city family was craving

Who lives here?
Maree Wilkinson (wedding, fashion and portrait photographer), Matt Swanberg (company director), Jett, Milly, and Frankie the dog.

Maree, how would you describe your interiors style?
Industrial, but with a feminine touch and featuring a diverse range of things I love to have around me, from Murano glass to antlers and skulls.

What’s an interior design detail you consider worth spending extra time and money on?
Lighting would be one. We have the white lightshades and Edison bulb from Kiwi Living in the kitchen and the hanging metal cage lights outside. The tripod lamp, meanwhile, appeals to the photographer in me.

Matt, which aspects of your property most excite you?
Definitely the fact we are high enough to have such a great view; also having enough flat land for a mini soccer pitch.

Small-space living tips

  • Reject standard height ceilings. Vaulted ceilings are an option, or go for a higher stud to create that sense of space.
  • Have drawers under the beds for storing linen.
  • Position the washing machine under the bathroom bench.
  • Allow your furniture to include a window seat (on caster wheels is a good idea, so it can be moved to follow the sun.)
  • Outdoor fires extend outdoor living beyond the summer seasons. These areas can then be used as additional living spaces for most of the year.

Words by: Monique Balvert-O’Connor. Photography by: Angela Keoghan.