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personalized wedding party gifts This rural oasis in Hawke's Bay is home to many animals - sofa pillow covers

Updated: 2019-09-24  Views: 79

A bare piece of land in the Hawke’;s Bay was transformed into the perfect rural oasis for this lucky couple and their menagerie

Rae West (artist), and husband Martin Hamer (vet and owner of EmbryoCo), plus Sol the white Swiss shepherd dog, cats Sushi and Molly Moo, horses Otis and Neo, Boer goats, chickens and sheep.

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Driving down the tree-lined road, it’s hard to believe we’re only minutes from city life. The world slows down ever so slightly at the home of artist Rae West and her husband, Martin Hamer, and that suits them fine. In 2008, the couple made the decision to uproot their life in Kaiapoi, just north of Christchurchpersonalized wedding party gifts, and replant themselves and their collection of animals in Hawke’s Bay. With friends and family in the region, it seemed the perfect place to call home, and as they were both self-employed, the move seemed fairly simple.

After a fruitless search for the right piece of land, Rae’s brother-in-law suggested the small town of Clive, halfway between Napier and Hastings, and it was there that they found a bare 1.6-hectare lot. The property was in an idyllic rural setting yet only a hop, skip and a jump to each city, and you could smell the salt air of the ocean. “It was perfect,” says Rae.

Words by: Vic Bibby.?Styling by: Bibby Brady.?Photography by: Sarah Horn.


“After living in the 75-square-metre ‘guest house’ for a while, we realised how unnecessary it was to build a big house for two people,” says Rae. “We love our wee home.”


The stained eco ply used on several walls gives the small but high-walled lounge a point of difference.


Rae’s umber-coloured glass collection, dotted around the home, ties in beautifully with the ply’s rich warmth.


“Because we were not living in the Hawke’s Bay at the time, we weren’t able to micro-manage the build,” says Rae. “There were some things that may have got a bit lost in translation between me, my husband, the architect and the builder, but in the end they didn’t matter. And I certainly didn’t spend hours deciding what white to paint the doors!”


The bright whites of the kitchen contrast with the rich, earthy tones of the lounge.


The benchtop is Formica AR GlossPlus in ‘Onitheata’ and the Melteca kitchen cabinetry is in ‘Rock Salt’ with a Naturale finish.


The couples only requests were that the house fit comfortably into the rural landscape, accommodate them both working from home, and factor in a planned dressage arena.


The vaulted ceilings and open-plan kitchen, dining and living area help to create a sense of spaciousness.


The property is in an idyllic rural setting yet only a hop, skip and a jump to each city, and you could smell the salt air of the ocean. “It was perfect,” says Rae.


The property is home to many animals, including?Sol the white Swiss shepherd dog.


Inspired by their trips to Mexico, the pair decided to turn a sheltered paddock by the work building into the perfect entertainment spot.


“I wanted it to have that lush, tropical feel, but didn’t know what plants would survive the frosts,” says Rae. So they called in landscaper Yolande Kjestrup, who provided a planting plan and some sound advice.


A high fence, raised garden bed, pergola and fireplace was added over several years.


“The white pebbles help to frame and divide the area, create texture and visually break up the concrete slab,” says Rae.


There is one aspect of the home where Rae and Martin had a lot of input, and that’s the stained-ply walls in the living room and master bedroom.


“A couple of the restaurants in Christchurch (The Bicycle Thief, in particular) had used stained ply on the walls, and Martin and I really loved the warmth it gave the space,” Rae recalls.


A piece by Hawke’s Bay artist Esther Smith sits beside a set of drawers from Homage. The colours echo the warmth provided by the plywood feature wall, which is reflected in the large mirror alongside.


The large, practical studio space has lots of windows, storage and an office corner. One wall is set up for showcasing Rae’s work and there are often visits from people following the region’s art-and-wine trails.


Rae’s tools of the trade.


The board-and-batten exterior was prompted by Rae’;s remark to the architect that she liked the look of the black barn houses along the Tukituki River, and the roofline mimics Te Mata Peak in the distance


Although small, the house has everything Rae and Martin need.


The couple have a number of animals including Neo, the black horse Rae rides when she “dabbles in dressage”.


The herd of Boer goats Rae breeds as a hobby.


“We also have five fat sheep lawnmowers and six chickens. The house was definitely built with animals in mind and the studio and house look over the paddocks,” says Rae.


“It’s so lovely every spring to have little kids skipping around,” Rae says.

I want to be the fun mom that loves to make sugar cookies with the kids at the drop of a hat. But, until recently, when the boys asked I shriveled up inside, as I tried to dodge the question and turn their attention to something else. The thought of making the dough and icing, all the while the boys begging if it is ready yet, made me not want to do it at all. I try to involve them in mixing the ingredients, but it does not hold their interest.

Nominations for the 2018 Golden Globes have been announced. Watch party preparations are underway. Elsewhere on the internet, you can find highfalutin folks arguing about favorites and snubs and surprises, oh my. On our little patch of the web, we want to highlight a few performances we believe deserve a little more than just a weird gold ball sitting on a hunk of marble. These 10 nominees each warrant something even more distinguished than Golden Globes: their perfect Man Crate gift.

Not everyone loves Valentine's Day.Warner Bros.

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