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How a busy family found respite in their Art Deco bungalow in Gisborne

This family swapped a stressful life in Auckland for the more laidback pace of Gisborne, where an art deco bungalow offered a fresh start

Meet and greet

Candice Pardy, business manager, David Pardy, business owner, Noah, 6, Oscar, 2, and Michelle-Bianca, 3 months, plus Butch the dog.

How a busy family found respite in their Art Deco bungalow in Gisborne

Candice and David Pardy are no strangers to tackling big projects, having recently built a large family home from scratch in Auckland’s southern suburb of Pukekohe. But after a health scare with their younger son, Oscar, the couple found themselves seriously re-evaluating their busy, big-city lifestyle and contemplating their most ambitious project yet – moving the whole family down to the Gisborne region.

“There were a lot of unknowns initially with Oscar’s condition,” says Candice. “Between specialist appointments, our work schedules and a two-hour-plus daily commute we were finding there wasn’t enough time left for our young family. Something had to give, and we knew our way of life wasn’t sustainable.”

Moving out of the city was affordable thanks to the Pardys’ foothold in the Auckland property market, but it also made sense as a way to pare back Candice and David’s work commitments.

Although Candice had hightailed it to Auckland from Gisborne when she was 18, the presence of extended family back home and access to a beach bach in Mahia (just over an hour’s drive away from the east-coast city) made returning there with a young family an alluring prospect. Warm weather, the region’s abundant food and wine, zero traffic and low house prices also weighed the scales in favour of a move, and so the Pardys took the leap last December and purchased an art deco bungalow within a few minutes of central Gisborne.

The brief

With their settlement date looming, Candice decided to pre-emptively renovate the bungalow before her family moved in. She engaged interior designer Tina Stephen to work on giving the tired but solid home a fresh update. The brief was to incorporate Candice’s existing mid-century modern furniture into the house as well as adding some new pieces and modernising the house with a fresh and punchy colour palette.

“We had worked together before, so Tina was my first call,” says Candice. “I wanted a larger dining table to fit all my extended family at dinner, a bold colour palette, and to replace the lighting with some I had removed from the Auckland house before we left.

“Once the moodboards, layout and colour selection were confirmed, I project-managed the renovation remotely from Auckland, working closely with our tradies to rewire the house, repaint the entire home and install beautiful linen curtains.”

With the new home comprising just half the footprint of their Auckland house, the Pardy family needed to downsize their lifestyle and consider how best to use their new space. A decision to have their two boys share a room left enough space in the third bedroom for Candice’s home office and a play area. A new fold-out sofa also doubles as a guest bed

Colour love

Candice decided to embrace the quirks of her new home while using paint to give it a simple but vibrant update. She and Tina opted to paint out the existing colour scheme of cream and beige and replace it with bright and bold new choices.

Each room was assigned a unique colour. The lounge is painted in Dulux ‘Ohai’, a chalky olive green, and was decorated with a new mustard velvet sofa and woollen rug to make the space snug on cold winter nights. The open-plan dining room adjacent to the lounge was painted in Dulux ‘Basin Reserve’ (a very dark, black-toned green) for a moody and dramatic feel.

The modern, country-style kitchen was recently installed by the previous owners but a fresh coat of bone white gave it a new feel. Rimu beams in the kitchen and dining area have been highlighted by the new colour palette and echoed in a custom-made rimu breakfast bar which offers a quiet spot for a coffee and views of the garden. Feature colours such as Dulux ‘Ohai’, ‘Alexandra’ (a soft pink) and ‘Lakeside’ (a sea blue) can be glimpsed in the bedrooms and bathrooms.

“My style is mid-century modern with touches of industrial and Scandi,” says Candice. “Our last home had a strong black and white theme. This home, on the other hand, has an art deco feel with an English cottage-style kitchen and bathrooms, so it’s an eclectic mix. In some rooms, you think, ‘Am I in the same house?’ Each room has its own vibe so there’s lots to take in for such a small footprint, and it felt right to have a different colour incorporated into each space.”

Settled, for now

The new Pardy home feels complete, having been modernised through a quick but effective renovation. As a result, the family have been able to get on with enjoying their new home’s large, established garden and pool area, as well as country views of hills and valleys.

However, Candice is a planner and a creative by nature, so the family have recently had plans drawn up for a mid-century-style home to be built on the working orchard they own and run, which is located nearby. The bungalow is a welcome retreat for now, especially with the recent addition of daughter Michelle-Bianca, but Candice and David look forward to combining their home and work lives all in one sunny package.

Words and styling by: Tina Stephen. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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