pillow case baby

pillow case baby A creative couple transform their Avondale home with clever, eclectic style sofa pillow covers

Having limited space to work with meant this Auckland couple had to be creative when renovating. Get inspired by their clever interior style

Yuka is Japanese and came to New Zealand in 2003 to study fashion. She met Tristan O’Shannessy later that same year and the rest, as they say, is history. In 2010, looking for a larger home for their young family, the couple found a do-up in West Auckland which ticked plenty of boxes.

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“We were instantly captivated by the garden which is surrounded by a variety of mature native trees,” explains Yuka. “It’s very private and tranquil, despite living so close to the city, and the well-established glass house was a wonderful bonus.”

The home is located on a quiet cul-de-sac in Avondale, just west of the city centre. With two young daughters, the peaceful street was a huge drawcard. “We immediately knew it would be a great environment for our girls to grow up in,” Yuka says. The house wasn’t in complete disrepair but certain areas were calling out for some serious TLC. Nothing substantial had been done to the interior since the house was built in 1969 – the laundry was dated and the small kitchen was anything but functional.

Tristan’s brother Nye, a builder by trade, project-managed the entire renovation and completed most of the structural work himself. Tristan was also very involved in the buildpillow case baby, even as far as hand-crafting the concrete kitchen benchtops on site.Yuka was more involved in the interior design. With her strong creative streak and eye for detail, the end result is an eclectic mix of styles and eras cleverly tied together.

Discover the full renovation story here.

Keep it real (where you can) and don’t settle for faux materials. Combine old with new.Fill your house with quality not quantity; that way it might just survive for generations. Take your time when purchasing your furnishings – often less is more. Put your back into it. Tristan made our concrete benchtops and they are always the first thing people comment on when they visit. Use wood to create warmth.

Where have you saved money?Making our own concrete benchtops saved us a truckload, and they look great.

Splurges?The bathroom was thefirst thing we renovated and we kind of went totown on it.

Best buy?From a bargain point of view, the Italian shower fittings we got at a small distribution warehouse sale were a great buy. But, although it’s not interior, we feel the best buy was the garden. We’re very lucky that it was so well considered long before we bought the house, with beautiful mature planting around the perimeter. It adds a lot to the house and gives us privacy. We think this is our house’s best attribute, and it would take 30 years to achieve if you were to do it yourself.

Disasters?There were no real disasters, but lots of hard work and lack of sleep!

Best lesson learned?You don’t need to spend a fortune to create a house you love being in.

$15,000–; Bathroom$75,000 –; Kitchen / Lounge /furniture$10,000 –; Garden / deck$8,000 –; Garage$2,000 –; Kids’; roomTotal $110,000

Wordsby: Annick Larkin.Photography by: Todd Eyre.

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Yuka and Tristan’;s home?is located on a quiet cul-de-sac in Avondale, just west of Auckland?city centre. With two young daughters, the peaceful street was a huge drawcard.

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Bifold doors that open onto the back garden help blur the lines between inside and out.

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The solid-wood dining table and retro seat cushions showcase Yuka’s love of mid-century design.

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In the neighbouring kitchen, the black-tiled splashback was chosen to contrast with the concrete benchtops and rimu joinery.

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The rustic, industrial-style kitchen was designed entirely by the couple, with Nye (Tristan’;s brother) providing some valuable input into the final design.

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A vintage bookshelf has been re-purposed as a room divider to create an entrance lobby. A mannequin performs the role of a quirky coat rack.

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Shop the style:Miniature chair, $25, and painting, $25, from Junk &; Disorderly.?Glass jug in smoked grey, $39.99, from Alex &; Corban.?Mongolian fur shrug, $399, fromFrench Country.

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Yuka’;s?strong creative streak and eye for detail has resulted in a mix of styles and eras that are cleverly tied together.

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Shop the style:Wooden tray, $75, from Flotsam &; Jetsam.?Copper-coloured clock, $17, and wire basket, $15,?from Kmart.?Fulham coffee table, $399, from Early Settler.?Cast-iron teapot, $59.90, from The Home Store.Grantham pendant light, $199, fromEarly Settler.

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The oak-veneer piano and antique stool add to the home’s eclectic style.

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Yuka’;s style secret is to combine old with new, She says you should fill your house with quality not quantity; that way it might just survive for generations.

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Yuka admits the bathroom with its semi-recessed basin and beautiful woodgrain vanity top was a bit of a budget blow-out.

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The girls’ shared bedroom was the final piece of the renovation puzzle. A simple and modern palette of white and ply means the girls won’t outgrow the decor and can easily accessorise and update their space with new bedlinen or art.

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The garage has been transformed intoa light-filled, elegant workroom where Yuka runs her businesses, An Astute Assembly and Yuka&;Tristan.

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Yuka says the best lesson she learned in the?renovation?process was that “;you don’t need to spend a fortune to create a house you love being in.”;

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Shop the style:Hubsch hanging planter pot, $32,from urbanhome.co.nz.?Round mirror, $25, from Kmart. Tall?dome, $139, from French Country.

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“We were instantly captivated by the garden which is surrounded by a variety of mature native trees,” explains Yuka. “It’s very private and tranquil, despite living so close to the city, and the well-established glass house was a wonderful bonus.”

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Now that all the hard work is done, Yuka, Tristan and their daughters will be making the most of their home’s wonderful indoor-outdoor flow over the summer months.

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“The bifold doors will be cast open and we’ll be hosting plenty of summer barbecues in the back garden,” says Yuka.

View next gallery: A former corner pub is transformed into a sublime family home View Gallery

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