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A builder from The Block NZ creates his own Oakura dream home

Josh Shanley spent an awful lot of time behind a nail gun while building his dream home in Oakura and simultaneously working on The Block NZ 

Who lives here? 

Josh Shanley (builder & event manager), Emily Shanley (accountant & event manager), Olive, 6, Lote, 5, and Duke, 2, plus Tahi the Lowchen-poodle.

New-build Q&A with homeowner Emily

Any disasters? Emily – No disasters, just that the power wasn’t on for move-in day so we had our first night camping in the dark. Other than that, we were pretty lucky.

Best memory in your home? The family coming from Hawke’s Bay for Christmas, just the week after we moved in. It is the best house for entertaining. The flow works really well for lots of people, and it was just so great to be in and share it with everyone. Sharing with friends and family is what a home is all about.

What would you never do again? There is nothing we wouldn’t do again, although you learn different tricks that would help you next time. We are so pleased with how the house has turned out.

Best lesson learned? Don’t underestimate how long things can take; good things can’t be rushed. We are now enjoying the results of lots of time spent planning!

Where did you save? By doing what we could, where we could. It meant lots of weekends spent up at the house.

Splurges? Lighting was a bit of a splurge. Our brass Line pendant from Douglas and Bec and the matching brass bedside lights are like pieces of art in their own right. Our kitchen Disk pendants are my favourite – from Aesthetics.

Can you give us three style tips for achieving an interior look similar to yours?

  1. We added texture to the walls where we could. The painted shiplap timber walls add so much character, as well as the grooved ply in the living area, which we painted white. The shutter doors throughout the house also complement this look.
  2. For big design elements, try not to be swayed by trends that will fade quickly; timeless choices will never go out of fashion. You can always use on-trend ideas for decorating, which can be changed easily.
  3. We don’t have any matching furniture, but it all seems to pull together well. I love finding pieces at the Hospice Shop and creating a balance between old and new. Some of my favourite items have been passed down from my nana.

Words by: Annick Larkin. Photography by: Jane Dove Juneau.

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