Bridget Hope, the founder of fashion showroom and online store Magpie Style, invites Simply You into her Christchurch home, where boutique style and botanicals flourish.
This stately North Canterbury home is a picture of style and sophistication
When working as a publishing director in Singapore, leading international magazines from Harper’s Bazaar to Cosmopolitan, Bridget Hope never pictured herself swapping her three-level terrace home in the Lion City for a park-like property in rural New Zealand.
She thought she might move back to Auckland, where she had previously worked in the magazine industry, but its inflating housing market helped her Cantabrian husband, Gabe Rijpma, in his long campaign to convince her to move to Christchurch. The couple bought their picturesque five-acre home in North Canterbury sight unseen.
The house’s exterior was clad in red brick when they moved in three years ago, but this was promptly improved by Bridget’s mother, style icon and founder of Simply You Paula Ryan, who suggested it be plastered in a rough, rustic style and then painted white to create character while still looking chic.
Throughout the home, there is a sense of shared mother-daughter style, especially a love of monochrome first seen when you step into the foyer complete with a zebra-patterned mirror from Stuart Membery’s furniture and homeware business in Bali. “I felt like she paved the way for me,” says Bridget of her influential mother. “We did actually take quite a big lead from Mum’s style, just because she’s so good at it.”
While the couple’s intention was simply to paint their new home, one thing quickly led to another and architect and friend Jonathan Coote from Warren & Mahoney was soon whipping up renovation schemes. The aim was to create a cohesive feel indoors, seeing as several quirks had been added by previous owners. “We decided to go for it because we weren’t buying the house to sell it. We weren’t too worried about over-capitalising because we actually loved it,” says Bridget.
A major part of the renovation was halving a seven-car garage to create a space for Bridget’s business, Magpie Style. A showroom and shop in one, Magpie Style offers private fashion consultations with Bridget and her stylists, with everything instantly shoppable.
Although she almost signed several leases in town, the businesswoman decided she didn’t want to be beholden to a landlord and instead created a memorable space for shoppers in her own home. Fitted out in the style of Bridget’s dream walk-in-wardrobe, including plush velvet swivel chairs from Le Forge, it’s a welcome change from a stark retail store. “It’s designed to provide a unique experience,” says Bridget.
To find out how Bridget transformed her Garden City home and Magpie Style showroom, pick up a copy of the new Simply You today.
Words by: Jessica-Belle Greer. Photography by: Helen Bankers.