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How an ex-rental in Hamilton became a beautiful family home

A tired ex-rental flourishes under the expert touch of its uniquely creative owner

Who lives here? 
Erena Te Paa (personal fashion stylist), Joe Te Paa (operations manager for a hospitality group in Hamilton), soon to be joined by Te Paa junior, and dogs Luca and Ziggy.

What is your favourite room in the house?
We pretty much spend all our time in the living room, watching TV, reading magazines and hanging out. I’ll normally have the iPad and the iPhone next to me, both with at least three windows open on stuff I’m looking at buying!

How would you describe your decor style?
Probably a mash-up of modern and vintage and slightly eclectic. And there’s a 1970s vibe in this house, so retro pieces work well.

Tailor made

Style-savvy tips:

  • Think outside the square and look beyond the normal purpose of an item. That’s what will give you something truly unique. Erena often looks beyond the usual online categories or aisles to find inspiration for a room – her TV units were found in the bedroom category, for example.
  • If you fall out of love with an item, try repurposing it or moving it to another part of the house. Even just style it differently to how you had it, she says. A small change-up can make all the difference to how you feel about an item.
  • Erena is a big fan of shopping online. She says there’s no pressure to buy in a hurry, you can do it while relaxing in front of the TV and you can do it after hours when all the shops have closed. She advises exercising restraint by putting it in the cart and then leaving it for a few days before deciding if you really want it – she does this to make sure her online buy is one she really wants and needs.

Words by: Debbie Harrison. Photography by: Angela Keoghan

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