accent pillow case baby canvas home and living This family didn't use a budget to build their new home near Rotorua sofa pillow covers

2019-09-24 00:30:58 custom design gift for wedding

With no budget and a 6000-square-metre site, everything in the Needham family home is generous. We discover what they’;ve done with all that space

Meet and greet

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Todd Needham, Kylie Needham, both owners of TN Electrical, and their daughter, Blakeaccent pillow case baby canvas home and living, 4, plus Rosie the cat.

Best lessons learned?Todd: Specify exactly what you want to all parties involved in your home, right down to the fine details. Tell tradespeople to ask, not assume, if they are at all uncertain. This is especially important with a new home as you aren’t living on site.Kylie: If budget is not an issue then don’t compromise on what you want. Some people think things can’t be done, but often they can.

What colours did you use?Resene ‘Ebony’ for the exterior. The interior is mainly Resene ‘Black White’ with feature black walls. There’s a chalkboard wall in the scullery, a black wall in the powder room, and a black wall surrounding the two wine fridges to accentuate them.

If you could change anything, what would it be?Kylie: I’d possibly add another powder room – one closer to the media room. Todd: Garaging for three cars, and the inclusion of a swimming pool and a gym.

Kylie and Todd did not work to a budget on this house.

“We built when we had the luxury of not having to compromise,” Kylie says. “We never compromise quality over money so there are no regrets.”

Todd’s philosophy is: “It’s going to cost what it’s going to cost.”


The home hugs the hillside and boasts views of both a mountain and a lake.


The deck spans 35 metres and is accessed via stacker doors. Shade louvres offer shelter outside the guest rooms, main living area and master bedroom. Indoors, a baby grand piano is ready for when Blake starts lessons.


Don’t be afraid to mix design eras – here Ghost chairs, 1970s crockery and a 1950s scooter create a fun and interesting look.


A black Smeg fridge, white subway tiles and an original Seth Thomas clock are favourite features in the main kitchen.



A scullery with ample storage space is the real work zone. Tracy Murphy from Vekart looked after the kitchen design and build.


A scullery blackboard wall creates space for reminders, shopping lists and sudden bursts of creativity.


A freestanding limestone bath forms the centrepiece of this light, clean space. The concrete floor and marble-patterned, engineered-stone vanity top have been repeated from the kitchen.


The media room is equipped with its own kitchenette.



Chunky retro spotlights are trained on a print of the 1961 artwork ‘Tina’ by JH Lynch.


Examples of 1970s style include conduit lighting in the bedrooms and the spotlights in the hallway outside the master bedroom.


The master bedroom, family room, main living area and guest bedrooms all feed onto a 35-metre deck – a perfect vantage point from which to enjoy the commanding views of Mt Ngongotaha and Lake Rotorua.


Blake’s room, with its own ensuite and walk-in wardrobe, has been adorned with pretty elements and a little bling, too – the 1920s chandelier in the dressing room is a pint-sized replica of her mother’s.



The artworks in both bedroom suites above the beds are signed prints by Richard Phillips.



A playhouse for Blake that matches the house was a must.


Floor plan.

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Words by: Monique Balvert-O’Connor. Photography by: Rachel Dobbs.

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