A sunny new-build in the Bay of Plenty skilfully combines a seaside vibe with a subtle homage to the past
A Papamoa new-build with gorgeous villa features
There’s always been plenty that Pamela Beszant has loved about husband Giles, but her feelings for him only intensified the day he decided to set up business as an exterior painter, she jokes. Now she has easy access to paint, there isn’t much that escapes the ministrations of her paint brush, she says. Is this a good thing? A quick look around the Beszants’ brand-new home in Papamoa, on the Bay of Plenty coast, proves that the answer is a definite ‘yes’.
In fact, so keen were the couple to paint their house themselves (charcoal with a white trim), they prolonged their stay in temporary accommodation that was far from luxurious or spacious. During the build, the pair and their daughters, Paris and Milla (now 9 and 7), lived in a storage space used by a building company owned by Pamela’s twin sister and brother-in-law.
“It was the size of a single garage plus bathroom and a little cooking space – we lived there for 10 months,” says Pamela. “My sister didn’t initially believe we wanted to live in it – there were four of us in the one room! – but we made it work and socialised lots. It backed onto a park and we used to joke that the park’s public toilet was our ensuite.”
Makeshift it may have been, but Pamela couldn’t resist making it look good. “With the help of my dad, we got stuck in and painted all the walls to freshen up the space. Paint really is my friend!”
Although Pamela is liberal with her paint brush, her chosen palette is always restrained and, accordingly, their new home is a study in white and grey, complemented by dark wood and natural tones in linen curtains, cushions and floor coverings.
Pamela’s homemaking urges have been strongly abetted by her husband’s creative streak and the assistance of some generous friends skilled in various trades.
“Giles is a very good handyman. He’s great at making things we talk about come to fruition,” says Pamela. He’s the creative force behind the outdoor furniture, including a multi-coloured seating arrangement made out of pallets, and he fashioned the garden shed out of leftover building materials. The keen surfer also crafted a surfboard-shaped alfresco shower which adds to the home’s beach-house vibe (they live only two streets from the ocean).
The couple also decided to incorporate some of the character of an old villa into their home, even though it is a new-build, so they chose three-quarter-length windows, French doors and oak flooring in the passage and open-plan main living area. “Even though I was wanting a modern look at first, I’m so glad I took my sister’s advice and went with a villa-like feel,” says Pamela.
Giles recently enhanced the ‘villa’ theme by adding vertical battens over plasterboard to create a feature wall in the dining room. Nearby, the white-painted horizontal panelling in the main entrance is a nod to all things nautical.
The Beszants say their house is not large, but its 190 square metres have been cleverly designed by their brother-in-law, Aaron Paku, to incorporate three bedrooms, an office nook off the lounge, a separate laundry and a sunny, open-plan kitchen, dining and family room with pitched ceiling.
Pamela says it had always been her hope to one day own a house designed and built by her sister and brother-in-law’s company, Paradise Building. That aspiration became a reality with this home, and it’s living up to expectations, says Pamela.
Pamela’s twin sister, Sarah, and Aaron also own a design-and-build business, The Gourmet Kitchen Company, which supplied the bathroom, kitchen, ensuite, office and laundry furniture. Sarah’s philosophy that bathroom cabinetry should look like furniture has resulted in a very clean, cohesive look. The laundry hasn’t escaped the beauty treatment either, with its white-tiled splashback echoing the one in the kitchen and a stylish porcelain mini butler’s sink (found on Trade Me).
“I’m a great shopper-arounder,” says Pamela. “Our leather sofas were a Trade Me find, too, as was the linen for our curtains. I bought a few reams about three years ago for an excellent price, and I’m so happy I stashed them away – even though Giles initially called them ‘our potato sacks’. They are a classic example of the advantage of some forward thinking!”
Trade Me trawling was necessary as Pamela and Giles had sold much of the furniture from their last home before moving into the storage shed. Parting with those pieces was a great move, Pamela says, as it gave her carte blanche to “change the look”.
It’s a look that has come together beautifully to create a home which feels relaxed and easy to live in – as well as looking as pretty as a (painted) picture.
Text by: Monique Balvert-O’Connor. Photos by: Angela Keoghan.