Homes

So close

Little did this tight-knit family know that their dream home
was living just over the fence.

Family, friends, fitness and feel-good fun are central to the way Mt Maunganui’s Reid family lives their life. Their new home is a reflection of each of these elements and designed to honour what they consider most important: each other.
After several years living in their lovingly renovated previous home, interior stylist Kirsten and pastor Hayden realised they were running out of space for their young family, so when their next-door neighbours announced they were selling, they were presented with the ideal solution. With a generous living area, four bedrooms, two bathrooms and an office spread over the first floor, and a self-contained flat on the level below, the home was so spacious, they knew it would last them a lifetime.

MAIN IMAGE This house is often loud and full of the children’s friends — not to mention the associated bikes, skateboards, surfboards and soccer balls — and Kirsten and Hayden wouldn’t have it any other way. “In the school holidays, our lounge is also home to a couple of spare mattresses,” says Kirsten. “I don’t even bother putting them away, as we love having a full house and creating special memories for our kids.” The Tochi wall hanging here is by Küdd:krig Home and the Ilona sofa by Arne Norell is from Scandi Studio. ABOVE The home’s original wooden joinery was retained throughout, with new sliders in the lounge made to match. Here, a sofa from BoConcept cosies up with a throw from Flux, pattered cushions by Küdd:krig Home and block-colour cushions from Paper Plane.

“We’re really close to our former neighbours and had seen how much love and energy they put into renovating their house,” says Kirsten. “They’d completely transformed it, making every square inch count, and we’d already fallen in love with it, so it was perfect.”
Decision made and offer accepted, just a few weeks later it was time to install themselves over the fence. The couple were excited to make their own unique mark on the property, with Kirsten’s style taking centre stage. 

TOP Cane furniture from Bohème Home sits on a rug from Bohzali that Kirsten says makes the floor nice and comfy for playing on. ABOVE The striking artwork in this nook is by Emma Kate Codrington and the white planter is by Zakkia, both from Flux. Most of the indoor greenery is from Theo Spargo. Kirsten says she has a habit of killing plants but loves the feeling of bringing the outside in.


The exterior of the classic brick-and-tile home had been painted black and the interior a calming white. Onto this blank canvas, the Reids’ furniture slotted in near-flawlessly, with only a few new additions required. The custom-built dining table they’d made for their previous home sadly  didn’t fit the new space, so they gave it to friends and set about searching for a replacement, eating dinner on the floor for three months while Kirsten weighed up her options.
“I think it’s best to save up to get what you really love, rather than settling for cheap options, as they can end up breaking quickly and you spend more on replacements in the long-term,” she says. 

TOP Dried flowers from On My Hand in a Zakkia vase from Flux make a pretty centrepiece in the kitchen. ABOVE This space is lit by a pair of frosted Full Moon pendant lights from A&C Homestore and a Panthella floor lamp by Verner Panton from Scandi Studio. Beachy toetoe and harestail bring texture and softness to the crisp black and white palette.


The family now enjoy meals together around a chic oval table in the dining area opposite the sun-drenched deck that’s a second dining space on warmer evenings. The home’s elevation on a hill means beautiful views and oodles of light all day long, one of Kirsten’s greatest joys. “Light has a way of bringing peace — it does something to your heart. I love that about our home.”
For this beach-loving family, though, living close to the water is where it’s at, and they make daily trips onto the sand. “We spend so much time down there, breathing in the sea air, being in the waves and feeling the sand between our toes,” says Kirsten. “It’s just so good for your mind, body and soul, and has a way of fixing everything. The kids argue less there — it just clears out any tension.” 

TOP Lucky Isaac scored this standout chair and vintage cabinet discovered on Trade Me, and a desk made by a talented family friend. They’re teamed with shelves from Country Road and a rug from Nood. MIDDLE The colour palette in Cruz’s room is enlivened by Tobacco bedding from Foxtrot Home and patterned cushions from Etsy. The artwork is from The Poster Club and below the wall-hung light from Radikal Neon is a bedside table from Bohème Home. ABOVE Kirsten fell head over heels for this rattan bed from Bohème Home, only to discover when it arrived that it wouldn’t fit down the hallway. Ultimately, she did what any interior-obsessed mother would do and arranged to have the glass in Stella’s bedroom window removed so the bed frame could squeeze through. “Yes, the glass guys thought I was slightly crazy,” says Kirsten. “All for the love of beautiful furniture, right?!” Pictured below is a canopy from Spinkie.


A decade ago, the couple spent a few years living in family-focused Italy, where Hayden played professional rugby; Isaac and Cruz were born there (Stella was born in New Zealand). “The Italian way of life really rubbed off on us,” says Kirsten. “We always choose to do things as a family first and foremost. We get on really well and prioritise each other.” 

TOP A Dogma print from Love Warriors is a definite mood in this space, where Foxtrot Home bedding combines with cushions and a throw from Penney & Bennett, and cushions from Città tie in with a brass planter from Neche. The side table and chair are from Indie Home Collective, and the mirror was tailor-made by JG Custom Engineering. ABOVE The décor in the ensuite includes a towel by Ottoloom, soap and a vessel from Sunday Homestore, and a Homebodii Black print from Papier HQ.


One of their family traditions is to have electricity-free evenings, when they hang out around the dining table talking, laughing and playing cards by candlelight. “I believe lights have stuffed up our natural rhythms, but winding down by candlelight is so calming and helps the kids feel tired,” says Kirsten. “They love it too — the only downside is the number of times we have to tell them to stop playing with the flames!”
Kirsten has a true passion for interiors, but takes a philosophical approach to material possessions. “We love our couch because we get to see all our kids snuggled up on it watching a movie. We love our table because we share meals with family and friends around it. We love our beds because we get to jump into them with our kids each night to talk about our day. For us, it’s not so much the objects in our home that bring us joy, it’s seeing the people we love enjoying them.”

Words Holly Jean Brooker
Photography Larnie Nicolson