rustic pillows for couch A beautiful but stressful renovation gave this family the space they needed sofa pillow covers

2019-09-15 20:21:43 custom gift for Anniversary

This family’s whole-hog renovation was a rocky road but they’ve emerged with a beautiful home designed ‘100 per cent’ for them ‘and zero per cent for resale

Vanessa Rehm, 41 (stay-at-home mum and blogger at, Shane Rehm, 38 (chief engineer at Fisher &; Paykel Appliances), Tahlia, 9, Astonrustic pillows for couch, 7, and Beau, 4, plus Simba the cat.

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What lessons did you learn about renos?

Vanessa: There were a lot! Mostly, how important it is to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, as boring as that can be. Shane was really good at reminding me to think about the house we’d end up with, when I was fixated on things that hadn’t been done perfectly or weren’t how we’d discussed them with our project manager.

It took me about six months to fall in love with the house after moving back in. I’d got so used to noticing all the bits that didn’t end up how we’d wanted that I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. But once it felt like home again, I never regretted a moment of the reno. I just didn’t enjoy the process at the time.

Best memories in your new home?

Bringing Beau home from the hospital and then spending two weeks watching Breaking Bad with Shane while he cooked bacon and eggs on the barbecue and the baby slept for longer than a baby should. All our kids’ birthday parties have been hosted at home and they have been so special. Also: family dinners with delicious food, singalongs, and evenings by the outdoor fire.

Any styling tips?

Mix and match pieces you like. Don’t buy everything dirt cheap because it won’t be good quality. I don’t like the wastefulness we seem to have adopted from following trends. A nice home can be created on a budget – there aren’t just two extremes of super-cheap and super-expensive.

Total renovation spend?

Approx $350,000

Scroll down to see more of the Mangere Bridge renovation


Kitchen, scullery and dining?

Vanessa stuck to her guns over an all-white kitchen, but the best decision of all was adding a roomy scullery with a door.





Shane’s guitar is taken down for “family singalongs around the chiminea”.


Living room before.


Living room after.

The corner couch works well in the small living area, providing more seating than a previous pair of sofas. A glass coffee table was chosen so it would ‘disappear’ into the space.




The laundry in the new extension by the entrance also functions as a mudroom with storage for coats, shoes and bags.


Bedroom before.


Bedroom after.


Bedroom after.


Ensuite “Designer Katie Scott created the layout and we were really happy with her design. It functions perfectly and it’s so nice to shower in a hotel-feel bathroom each day,” says Vanessa. The rose gold tapware is echoed in the lights in the adjoining bedroom.



A heritage-style pedestal basin in the family bathroom fits in well with the tiled dado and original matai floor.




Floor plan.

View next gallery: See the 5 beautiful finalists in Your Home &; Garden’;s Kitchen Awards View Gallery


Kitchen and laundry cabinetry Kitchen Mania, Fisher &; Paykel, fittings and Buddy tapware Plumbline, design Katie Scott, joinery and windows Fairview Windows, door Parkwood Doors, aluminium joinery repainted by Systemex, Matt Carroll, MDC Electrical, 021 434 284.Landscape design Ivy &; Bloom,

Words by: Debbie Harrison. Photography by: Vanessa Lewis.

There are a few things, I…well…have a thing for. ?I am not a collector. ?But there are a few items that I cannot resist buying when I see them. ?I am a sucker for jacks, keys, stars, and birds. ?I only have a few of each item…so not a collection, but a few high-impact pieces. ?They are my idols.

Easter is approaching and families are preparing by picking out their “Sunday Best” outfits, inviting the family over for a home cooked meal, and of course, filling those Easter baskets! Whether you do an egg hunt with the kids or you just use baskets in your home décor, Canvas Corp has some canvas and burlap baskets that might be perfect for your needs. Crew member Kimberly is sharing today how she used one of our baskets and decorated it for the season!

Mieko Kobayashi showed up an hour late to her date with Kazuhiko Kobayashi to see how serious he was about her. Toru Hanai/Reuters