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.
“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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”