A move from Christchurch forced this family to reconsider a lot more than their interior style
It’s fair to say that when Gretchen Reid saw her brand new house it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. “The only redeeming features were the location, the swimming pool and the flat backyard,” she recalls. “It was so unappealing, it didn’t feel loved. It was such a daunting task, I wasn’t sure I was up for it.”
Having relocated to Auckland after her Christchurch home was damaged during the earthquakes, Reid was keen to re-anchor the family quickly and this was the first place that ticked the all-important location box. The interior, however, left a lot to be desired.
The previous owners had a very utilitarian approach to decorating. There were no embellishments and the kitchen had been industrialised, with low-slung benches, commercial-style cookers and a giant extractor fan dominating the ceiling space. Worse still, says Reid, was the bathroom which came complete with a urinal. “It was horrendous,” she says. “I think the previous owners may have run it as a private restaurant. When we were doing the fit-out we put everything on the side of the road and it all went – except the urinal, which didn’t surprise me one bit.”
Looking around now, it’s hard to believe the house was once the cold concrete box she describes. The home Reid shares with husband Richard and young daughters Frankie and Hazel is beautifully warm and luxurious: the decorating equivalent of tucking into a box of Godiva chocolates, comforting and exquisite all at the same time. The stunning interior is testament to the wonderful working relationship Reid enjoyed with interior designer and family friend Melissa Greenough.
Words by: Nicole Curin-Birch. Photography by: Helen Bankers.