This creative couple drew inspiration from Australia’s northeast coast when designing a family home overlooking Auckland’s beautiful northern beaches
Meet and greet
Andrew Gowling, account manager, Rachael Gowling, account manager, Grace, 6, and Harry, 3.
Take a look at this Auckland home inspired by Australia’s northeast coast
Best lessons learned?
Rachael: Be as organised as possible but don’t sweat the small stuff. Enjoy the journey of the building process; it can be an emotional rollercoaster. Accepting that there will always be something that will go differently than planned will help make the process less stressful.
What would you never do again?
Attempt to complete the landscaping without the right tools and equipment. This resulted in over 10 tonnes of dirt being dug with a shovel by Andrew!
Most memorable experience you have had in your home so far?
Any time we have friends or family over. We love entertaining and sitting back and enjoying the views from our deck.
How did your budget compare to your actual spend?
We came in on budget. We had a fixed price contract with our builder.
What areas did you save or splurge on?
We used vinyl on the laundry floor, and also did all the landscaping and landscape design ourselves, which saved us thousands. Our splurges were the Frosty Carrina Caesarstone benchtop, the Escea gas fireplace, our custom-made barn door, exterior barn lights, and our hanging chairs from Byron Bay Hanging Chairs in Australia, which we brought back on the plane.
Do you tend to buy high-end homeware or seek out a bargain?
I mostly seek out a bargain. There are many furniture and homeware items in our home that I had my eye on for months, waiting until they came on sale. I also love finding old furniture to upcycle. There is nothing we own that is high end. We have young children and I don’t want to be too precious with them about ruining expensive items. I always want our home to be homely and to be lived in.
Best advice when it comes to spending money on a home?
Spend money on items that are important to you. After all, it’s your house! However, my suggestion is to be wary of the latest trend. Trends come and go. Choose permanent fixtures carefully. Kitchens, bathrooms and flooring are very expensive and need to last many years. I like to keep the tones neutral in these areas and spend a little more on quality products to ensure longevity. You can easily change paint colours, wallpaper and soft furnishings for a new look.
How did you keep track of costs?
Andrew is our family CFO. He kept track of every expense in a spreadsheet he created for the build.
Words by: Tina Stephen. Photography by: Helen Bankers.