Rather than renovate, this family chose a fully modernised villa

Having gone through the process of a lengthy villa renovation, this Auckland family decided their next home project would be on a much smaller scale


In a snapshot

Who lives here? Hayley Thompson, 40 (owner of Brightshine Blinds NZ), Richard Thompson, 40 (CEO of KPEX), Finn, 7, and Isla, 5, plus kittens Tiger and Bluey.

Where is it? Epsom, Auckland.

Lived here for? Eight months.

The project 

Hayley, why did you decide to purchase your home?

We loved that the house was completely finished and we didn’t have to do any major work – we just had to add the finishing touches. Both my husband and I had thought we wanted a project, but we decided that buying something already done would be a better option for us than managing another renovation with two small children and two time-consuming jobs – not to mention the thought of a budget blow-out!

What did you want to achieve out of your redecoration?

We wanted to add texture to the window coverings but still maintain the existing clean and minimalist look. Windows take up such a large portion of each of the rooms they’re in, so window treatments needed to be minimalist yet give some texture and meet all our needs on a functional level – that is,  privacy, light control and looking good.


Styles secrets for this Epsom villa

What was the style you went for?

Traditional yet minimalist. The shutters in particular helped achieve this look, as they’ve been around for a long time and still suit all different types of houses. They have modern clean lines and don’t clutter rooms like lots of fabric-based window treatments tend to do.

Where did you shop for the other furnishings?

After we bought this house we realised everything we owned was a completely different configuration to what we had in our previous house. We got all of our essential furniture pieces from Freedom and a fair few ornaments, too. It turned out to be quite economical as we were able to negotiate for a large order and get the best price.


DIY details

What made the biggest change and why?

The shutters and roller blinds made an enormous difference to the house. We were quite exposed before, but now we have privacy from the neighbours yet haven’t had to compromise on light, as the shutters let a ton of it in. The roller blinds over the doors going out to our deck are also fantastic – they allow us to make the house feel cosy at night but disappear to nothing during the day. They don’t detract from the indoor/outdoor flow and they’re so easy to maintain – being that there is no maintenance!

Visit for more information on their shutters and roller blinds.


We spent $30,000 on new furniture, window treatments (although we did get these at a special rate – one of the perks of owning the business), air conditioning, picture hanging and accessorising. The air conditioning was a bit of a splurge. It’s been a game changer, though – no condensation issues and every room in the house is a consistent and warm temperature.

TOTAL  $30,000

Words by: Kristina Rapley. Photography by: Todd Eyre.