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Eclectic treasures with a Kiwiana feel fill this bach in Waikuku

The Pilkingtons used vintage finds, bright colours and retro patterns to restore and enhance the character of their bach in Waikuku

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Gael Pilkington full-time mother, Wade Pilkington airline pilot, Georgia, 5, and Alexis, 4.

Eclectic treasures with a Kiwiana feel fill this bach in Waikuku

From the moment Gael Pilkington and her husband, Wade, first spied the house five years ago, they’ve been careful to ensure each renovation decision is in keeping with their bach’s idiosyncratic character. It is difficult to tie the house to a particular style or era but the overall effect is strangely harmonious.

Gael, a self-confessed hoarder and gatherer of all things vintage, has filled the bach with an equally random assortment of objects and furnishings, some of which were left behind by the previous owners. “We bought this place lock, stock and two smoking barrels,” says Wade. “Gael has been putting her retro touch on it ever since.”


Best lessons learned? 
When buying, follow your first instincts. If you love it, buy it and pay what they ask. As for decorating, an old house requires twice the time. Also, nothing is square – you have to trust your eye when hanging things.

What would you never do again?
Install Pink Batts in a roof space on a 32°C day without enough skin protection.

Any DIY disasters?
The very last nail went through some wiring and shorted the kitchen. The electrician who was called in discovered a lot of deficiencies and a total rewire was needed. An expensive day but a safer result.

Most memorable experience in the bach?
All the family Christmases and holiday gatherings.

What would you change if you could?
Restoring the painted-over sliding wooden windows to their former glory is on our wishlist.

Words by: Ady Shannon. Photography by: Guy Frederick. Styling by: Alexandra Weston.

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