New Zealand's Your Home and Garden magazine's April 2012 issue features my gorgeous friend Deborah and her family. Deborah, Allen and Johnny are fortunate to have a holiday home in Greytown, just over an hour's drive from Wellington, as well as their Wellington home, and both are featured.
I didn't see this home before the first coat of white paint went up but it had been vacant for 2 years and Deborah said the garden was a 'jungle' before they moved in.
Deborah and I have sat here, with the fire going while the kids happily run between the garden and the house, and it is one of the cosiest, happiest rooms; evidenced by my last visit which resulted in me taking the girls directly to supper after our 'lunch' visit!
Deborah has converted the old garden shed into her studio which is a treasure trove of fabrics and 'bits and pieces' she collects along the way and transforms into beautiful things. All the curtains and cushions are Deborah originals and are constantly being added to and transformed.
The Orla Kiely wallpaper on the kitchen and storage cupboards is Deborah genius, with a lot of Allen elbow grease!
Each time we visit, Deborah pulls out her latest finds and projects and they are always gorgeous. Deborah and Allen are the loveliest, kindest, happiest people to be around and their lovely boy, Johnny, is very special to us. He was Arabella's first friend and they still take up where they've left off each time they see each other.
Birdy Cottage is the family's 'weekender'; a simple but well built New Zealand home that sits on a lovely piece of land on a quiet street, yet still walking distance to all the fabulous Greytown shops.
What Deborah and Allen have done with this cottage without major alterations or expenditure is amazing. Like their Wellington home, it just feels really good to be in.
Isn't Johnny's bunk room fantastic?!
Did I mention what a great gardener Deborah is??? Oh, and Allen too of course! The weather in Greytown is so much warmer than Wellington so having a large, beautiful garden is an absolute treat.
If you are planning a trip to the Wairarapa, Birdy Cottage is available for rent here. There are so many lovely cafes, restaurants and antique shops within walking distance and the Martinborough wine region is a short drive. And, Deborah has a magazine collection like you've never seen!
Thank you for joining me on this tour of two homes. I hope you gained a sense of how homely and inviting these houses are, as well as stylish; to me, the kindness of the people who live there shines through and we love spending time with them.