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An artist designs the perfect holiday interior

A Hawke’s Bay artist has created an easy holiday interior that caters for families of all sizes


When a home’s interior is ready to be worked on it is often an interior designer who is hired to bring it to life. But when the owners of The White House holiday rental at Waimarama Beach in Hawke’s Bay needed someone to undertake the interior of their newly built abode, they chose an artist.

With construction almost complete, the owners – who prefer to remain anonymous – called on local artist Leanne Culy who is known for her clean style in her art and homeware, to take charge of the interior.

Leanne chose everything from the wall colours and artwork to the bed linen and curtain fabrics.


Style 101

Leanne, what’s so special about this house?

Its location, plus it’s a fun house in that several families can all holiday in it with one big communal area, yet still enjoy their own areas to retreat to if they want quiet time.

Why does it work so well?

Because it has a wonderful, large communal space as well as private spaces – there are lots of living options. The communal area is a bonus which everyone gravitates to.

What was the biggest challenge in creating this interior?

Working with the coloured floor, which came from the McLean Park grandstand in Hawke’s Bay.

What are some tips on ensuring an interior won’t date over time?

Pick colours that are timeless, such as neutral colours.

Is it possible to add too many colours to an interior?

Yes, think of a few colours you like and keep them consistent throughout the house. Break the rule every now and then so it isn’t matchy-matchy – throw in some spontaneous colour.

How would you suggest adding interest to a pale interior?

Art, texture and living things like plants and natural products such as sisal flooring, planters, beautiful pots and earthy tones. Try to bring the outside colours in such as those of the sea and sand.

Is it important to tie colour of artwork in with a home’s palette or not try too hard?

Art always looks good on white but it’s okay to paint a wall in your house to work with a piece of art that you love.

The White House is available to rent for the short or long term at blackbarn.com/retreats.


Words by: Catherine Steel
Photography by: Sarah Horn


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