Save Up To 30% Off With Our Walk Into Winter Sale

Amber & Daniel’s Suburban Sanctuary

09 Jun, 2023

With a yearning to return to Auckland’s Eastern Bays where they both grew up, Amber & Daniel Whittaker found their first family home on a quiet, Glendowie street. With kids on the horizon, the couple set out to transform the 60’s house into a bright and contemporary home. Working with their friend and Interior Designer, Matt South, their living area and kitchen has been completely revamped into a sophisticated, sunlit space.

01 - What was your journey to living in your current home?

Our first home together was a character filled bungalow based in the central suburbs of Auckland, but we always knew we wanted to get back to the Eastern Bays where we both grew up. We set out to find a bigger home in a good school zone that we could add value to, knowing it would become our first family home. After a few months of searching, we finally found the perfect do-er upper in Glendowie, close to parks, reserves and the beaches of The Bays.

02 - What was your vision for the space?

Built in the 60’s, the house had a layout typical to that era, with the living down one end and lots of little rooms and unnecessary walls breaking up spaces. We decided to maximise the living space by knocking down the walls between the kitchen and living room to make an open plan space and make the most of the natural light, which really emphasised the high vaulted ceilings. We kept our vision in mind when deciding on all of our material selections, opting for soft, natural colours and textures, which made for a calming and cohesive space.

03 - What was important for your flooring choice?

As much as we’d love to say style and aesthetic were the determining factors, in actuality the practicality was the most important feature to us when choosing our flooring. With little kids on the horizon, having a hard wearing floor that we didn’t need to be too precious about was key. We were very lucky to have our friend and interior designer, Matt South to help with these fundamental decisions. He assured us that we didn’t need to give up the look in lieu of function and he was right!

Matt recommended we go talk to the team at Flooring Xtra Mt Wellington, where we came across Quick-Step Majestic Laminate in Desert Oak Light Natural that ticked all the boxes. With a Water and Scratch Resistant coating, we knew this flooring option would age well with our family. We grounded the living space with the Karaka Rug in Bracken to add texture and depth that really pulled it all together.

04 - For those that are embarking on a renovation, what are your top tips?

Be conservative in your budgeting. It’s easy to throw together a back-of-the-envelope budget, but keep in mind there will always be things you miss, and costs can be higher than you expect. We can’t recommend using an Interior Designer enough - with tools like Pinterest and Instagram at your disposal, inspiration is incredibly accessible but an Interior Designer will pull it all together and prevent that inevitable overwhelm with so many options to consider. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of our renovation, and although our architects, builders and sub-contractors were incredible, our Interior Designer Matt South is to thank for how good it looks now!

05 - Is there anything left to finish off to complete your home?

Our living space and kitchen renovation were stage 1, and contradictory to my own advice, we went well over our budget. Stage 2 includes re-lining and re-configuring the layout of the bedrooms, including a new walk in wardrobe and ensuite. Future proofing the home to ensure we have space to retreat to when kids come along is key!

Homeowners: Daniel & Amber Whittaker
Where: Glendowie, Auckland
Interior Designer: Matt South @mattsouthdesigner
Architect: ABRI Architects
Photographer: Olivia Pitcher

Share this post