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Before romance brought this couple together, Sarah had been bitten by the travel bug. She lived overseas in London and Melbourne after leaving school and always found herself drawn to the coastline when back in NZ. Falling in love led Sarah to move to rural NZ to be with Matt and start their family, as he was a third-generation farmer.

After residing in the sharemilkers' house for 10 years, they agreed it needed alterations. With their three teenage children needing their own bedrooms and the living spaces unable to keep up with their busy lives, they decided to renovate. They took the plunge and transformed the sharemilker's house into their family-friendly haven, adding a second living space, a master bedroom with an ensuite, and expanding the kitchen area.

One of Sarah’s first purchases was a new oven, which she wanted painted the same colour as the large island she dreamed of—a meeting spot for after-school snacks and chats while meals were prepared.

Sarah chose Resene Sea Nymph for the oven and island to complement their white interior. As questions from the builders poured in about colours and finishes, the builder suggested they work with Marlene Hudson Design to coordinate a unified interior. Marlene, known for avoiding decorating trends, spends time with each client to create a tailored colour palette specific to the project.

Understanding Sarah’s affinity for nature-inspired hues and taking inspiration from hydrangeas, her favourite flowers, Marlene suggested a gentle palette of blues, greens, and pinks, complemented by wood textures and white, to create a peaceful and inviting atmosphere in the house.

Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by a wide entry with panelled walls in Resene Infused combined with wooden floors, reminiscent of rural paddocks and trees surrounding the property.

Continuing into the snug, the walls are painted in Resene Dusted Blue, creating a cozy haven. This inviting space seamlessly connects to the new kitchen, with an Emma Bass floral portrait featuring hydrangeas adorning the wall between the two areas.

A floral wallpaper that has detailed and intricate paintings of trailing flowers and birds creates a dining zone within the new extended open plan area. Excited by Marlene’s vision for their home, Sarah embraced this wallpaper choice, despite its lack of white and her aversion to dark colours.

A key addition to the extension was the new master bedroom and ensuite. With a family of five, one bathroom was no longer sufficient, particularly with three females needing to get ready simultaneously. The bathroom walls are painted in Resene Periglacial Blue, evoking water, while driftwood-coloured vanity cabinets add to the coastal feel. Sarah’s retreat, the new master bedroom, boasts a panelled wall painted in Resene Awash, complemented by hydrangea-themed bedlinen.

Guests visiting the new powder room will encounter practical, yet elegant vinyl flooring inspired by timeless designs, alongside panelled walls painted in Resene Awash—a colour that often garners admiration from first-time visitors.

For now, the couple has expanded their home to accommodate their busy lives on the farm and their children’s sports activities. Over time, they plan to complete the interior with furniture and art collected from their family adventures and travels.

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