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This North Shore reno is all about soft greys, elegant blues and timber accents

A creative duo rise to the challenge of transforming this non-compliant North Shore house into a highly stylish, above-board family home

Who lives here?

Greg Straight (artist and illustrator), Hannah Bancroft (owns and runs online art-print store Duett Design with Greg), Chloe, 9, and Leo, 5, plus Pebbles the cat.


A few years ago it became apparent that artist and illustrator Greg Straight’s workspace needed something of a rethink. He’d been working from the corner of the family living room, but what he longed for was a space of his own where he could focus on his work as a freelance illustrator and also frame and store his art.

It didn’t take long before the couple found a newly renovated home that fitted their requirements. Situated in Beach Haven on Auckland’s North Shore, the home was close to schools, shops and family, and only an easy 20-minute drive to the city centre. “We instantly fell in love with the home’s contemporary vibe,” says Hannah. “The natural light poured in through the extensive windows, and the indoor-outdoor flow was amazing.”

However, the renovations started by the previous owners were not finished, and the work which had been done did not comply with council regulations. On the positive side, the couple knew that the home had some good basic elements. For instance, the kitchen, although not fully installed, was modern and of a good standard, as were the bathrooms.

 Style tips

  • Make use of natural light with large windows and minimal window furnishings to create a feeling of openness and space.
  • Choose neutral wall colours and pair with one or two accent colours. Introduce tonal variations to add interest and texture.
  • Use wood as a feature. It provides an organic texture and brings warmth to contemporary spaces.

Words by: Annick Larkin. Styling by: Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by: Jackie Meiring.

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