Blog - Cooper & Co

Green fingers do the walking

| Listing: 136 East Coast Road, Forrest Hill |

| Auction: Thursday Feb 14, 6.30pm |
| Contact: Claire Curlewis – 021 0245 6775  |

Rangitoto Island has become a big deal in the lives of Cherie Douglas and Chris Gray.

While living in Greenhithe shortly before their move to Sydney, they bought a Morris & James ceramic triptych of Rangitoto Island as a reminder of their New Zealand roots.

Sadly the three-panelled artwork of this volcanic icon didn’t travel well, sustaining a crack of seismic proportions on the way across the Tasman.

But Cherie and Chris refused to let it break their spirit. They glued the big pieces back together and hung it with pride in their Sydney home.

To anyone commenting on their vibrant memento, they simply added their own story to the significance of Rangitoto Island and its iconic symmetry as Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf backdrop.

Little did Cherie and Chris know that they’d be adding yet another chapter to the story. By 2017, they had both scratched their five-year Australian itch and were ready to sell Sydney, buy in Auckland, and move home.


They found this ridge-top home in Crownhill, on the high-side of Forrest Hill, close to Milford and just 75 steps, according to Chris’ stride, from the Crownhill shops.

There looking out across Castor Bay was the real Rangitoto Island. And there, on the fence behind their indoor and outdoor living areas, was the perfect spot for their artwork of the same name.

“When we bought Rangitoto, we were so keen to have memories of home during our time in Sydney and now, upstairs, we can see the real thing right here ,” says Chris.

Irrespective of its landmark location, this home has been perfect for the couple, their two young adult children, who live at home, and their Australian-born cavoodle Kirwan, named after former All Black Sir John Kirwan.

Built in 2016, the cedar/concrete block home was architecturally designed and built for a client who had earlier subdivided and built a house at the rear before moving here.

Tall, well-established boundary trees, a fish pond and a malnourished back lawn gave Cherie scope to indulge her love of gardening with under-planted sub-tropical plants, leafy foliage and wall-mounted planters filled with colour.


A new artificial turf lawn completes this significant focal point from the front entry through the living area and from the adjacent bedroom off the hallway.

Contemporary materials include an louvred pergola and rainproof mesh sidescreens in the courtyard.

Inside, features include oak-look plank flooring and engineered stone benches in the kitchen with remote-controlled splashback lighting beneath the rear upper cupboards.

The rear scullery-style pantry has a matching bench, as does the separate laundry off the garage and the kitchen/bar nook within the lounge upstairs.

The high point for this family has been the home’s functionality, with the children’s separate bedrooms upstairs, along with the study and the lounge access out to the covered, 2.5m-deep front deck.

It’s also in the detail, from the indoor/outdoor speaker system and the glass-panelled door, to the one-way film in the glass windows of the stairwell.

Cherie and Chris, who both have business backgrounds, have had nothing to do inside this house except enjoy it. Instead they’ve channelled their energy into the garden, from the raised vegetable beds, where the spa pool once stood, to Cherie’s espaliered lemonade tree in the courtyard.

They love this location and the pōhutukawa trees that underpin the expansive sea view. Now they are looking for something similar near here with more land for a bigger garden.

Coastal classic – live the dream in Orewa

| Address: 15 Landmark Terrace, Orewa |
| Auction: 28th February at 6.30PM – in rooms | 128 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna

| Viewing: 12-12:45pm Saturday & Sunday and Thursday 5.30-6.30pm |

| Agent: Michael Swarbrick – Mobile 021 888 133 |

| Agent: Sophie Howard  – Mobile 021 855 778 |

Capturing quintessential coastal living at its very best, 15 Landmark Terrace is a timelessly elegant residence presented to showroom perfection. Part of Kensington Park’s prestigious 40-acre master planned community, the property offers the freedom of an easy, care-free lifestyle by the sea.

Positioned on the gently elevated slope overlooking Orewa, Kensington Park is a wonderful world of palm-shaded boulevards and native landscaping. Inspired by Florida’s seaside architecture, the beachy yet stylish design concept is used across the varied style of homes that make up the peaceful neighbourhoods. Residents also benefit from on-site gym facilities, a swimming pool and concierge lawn and garden services.

Orewa’s golden beach is an easy stroll away, along with the village that has developed into a vibrant dining hub over the past few years – offering excellent cafes, bars and restaurants. Despite the holiday atmosphere all-year-round, it’s still very much connected to the CBD for commuters and is a 25-minute journey off-peak. Orewa is the glorious gateway to the north and is a haven for lovers of the sea and the outdoors – with access to all the beaches of the Whangaparoa peninsula, bushwalks, golf clubs and the world-class marina at Gulf Harbour.

Crafted in 2008 and rising up over three-levels, this is one of the area’s rare and highly sought-after freestanding weatherboard homes. This end of Landmark Terrace is a quiet cul-de-sac, which means a quiet environment with no through traffic. Inside on entry level, the open-plan living, dining and kitchen is divided into distinct zones, while maintaining easy flow and access to three separate outdoor living areas. High ceilings, white shutters and a classic, tasteful design aesthetic, enhance the functional floorplan, with panoramic ocean views captured from the front deck. The contemporary designer kitchen is the heart of the space, featuring a walk-in pantry, breakfast island, brand new Fisher & Paykel five-burner freestanding range, custom cabinetry and fridge with ice maker. Behind this, another living area flows out the rear alfresco space, framed with landscaped gardens designed for privacy and easy maintenance. All the outdoor areas are protected with electric awnings, making them suitable for use all-year-round.

There’s a large separate laundry and guest toilet on this level, before steps lead down to the ground floor double internal garage and storage area. All the accommodation is located on the top floor, with three of the four light-filled double bedrooms serviced by the main bathroom. The master retreat is in a class of its own, flowing out to a private deck enjoying the best sea views of the house as well as an ensuite and walk-in wardrobe.

This captivating residence has been maintained and presented to an exemplary standard. It’s a true lifestyle destination for discerning purchasers with a love of the sea.

30 genius decluttering hacks that will actually help keep your home tidy

The rules of decluttering are simple: get rid of any unwanted stuff, find a handy place for the items that remain, and endeavour to keep it there – how hard can it be?


1. Organise the chaos

Limit yourself to one small ‘dumping tray’ or ‘junk bowl’, where you keep odds and ends that don’t have a place. Think odd buttons, business cards and loose change. Choose something decorative so you’re more likely to keep the mess to a minimum.

2. Use tubes

Hang onto those cardboard tubes when you use up your paper towels or kitchen foil, and use them to store reusable plastic bags tidily in a drawer. You can also recycle wet-wipe canisters for this purpose.

3. Minimise your paper trail

Reduce paper clutter by taking photos of takeaway menus or flyers from local businesses. Likewise, download user manuals, credit card agreements and health insurance policies, and save them in a folder on your computer.

4. Kitchen tips 

Free up bench space by attaching a magnetic strip under overhead kitchen cabinets to hold spice jars with metallic lids. Store frying pans, baking sheets, pot lids and cutting boards on their sides, using a filing rack or organiser.

5. Invest in a Lazy Susan

Who has time to rearrange the pantry or cupboards every time they want to reach something at the back? Invest in some lazy Susans for instant access to your items in just a spin. They’re also handy in the bathroom or laundry.

6. Utilise your fridge

Limited pantry space? Most dry goods can be kept in the refrigerator, too.


7. Try hidden storage options

Invest in double-duty furniture with hidden storage options. Think ottomans where you can hide throws and cushions, coffee tables with slide-out drawers for magazines, colouring books or puzzles, bench seats with shelving underneath or tall bookshelves with inbuilt cabinets for surplus vases and candles.

8. Bar carts

If space allows, set up a dining cart or station close to your dining table, much like they do in restaurants and cafes. Cutlery, placemats, napkins, glasses and condiments can all be stored in a small cupboard or trolley on wheels to save you making multiple trips to the kitchen every time you sit down to eat.

9. Store on the door

Over-the-door shoe hangers can be repurposed for kids’ belongings such as soft toys, craft supplies, dolls, action figures, cars and more. Reserve the higher pockets for any items that you’d like to keep out of reach.

10. Get creative with bathroom storage

Don’t have a built-in bathroom cabinet? Repurpose a dresser or drawers to keep extra towels and products on hand, or look for other storage solutions such as a ladder, stacked crates or a kitchen trolley on wheels.

11. Out of sight

Conceal office supplies such as folders, tax receipts and files inside a storage chest. Storage chests can also double as a great bench seating option.

12. Curtains

Buy a pack of shower curtain rings – they’re surprisingly useful! Loop onto a hanger or piece of dowel to store belts, scarves, ties, handbags, hair ties, baseball caps, necklaces and more!

13. Colour code

Help little people find – and more importantly, put away – their belongings by assigning each child a different colour. Then you can buy them a storage tub with a toothbrush, towel, etc in that colour, or use coloured dots or thread to ‘label’ their belongings.


14. Brick tricks

Save your soles from stray Lego with clever storage solutions. Think a toolbox with pull-out drawers, storage tubs with colour-coded labels, compartmentalised craft organisers or a play mat and storage sack in one (a drawstring turns the mat into a sack!).

15. Book nooks

Not enough space for a bookshelf? Use picture ledges as floating shelves to display beautiful books.

16. Memory lane

If you’re guilty of hanging onto a high volume of things for nostalgic reasons but don’t have the storage space – take a photo of the keepsake and display the pic in an album or a frame.

17. Ice cube trays

Ice cube trays and kids’ paint palettes/trays are the perfect size for sorting small items such as earrings, rings and buttons.

18. Corkboards

Use a corkboard or pegboard to hang earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces.


19. Magazine holders

Secure magazine holders to the inside of bathroom cabinets to store hairdryers and straighteners or under kitchen shelves for cookbooks and boards or oven mitts.

20. Shelf life

Install some shelving over your bathroom door to store everyday items for easy top-ups. Think toilet rolls, cleaning products, bars of soap and towels.

21. Racks

Store your clutches in a kitchen organiser rack. Meanwhile, a spice rack is the perfect little spot for nail polishes, lipsticks or essential oils.

22. On a ledge

Attach floating shelves to a timber bedhead to hold miscellaneous items such as reading glasses, books, a clock or framed photos.


23. Bath system

Store kids’ bath toys in wire fruit baskets suspended from your shower rod or frame.

24. Shoe shuffle

Sort your shoes into pairs and store in clear boxes stacked vertically on the floor of your wardrobe or on open shelves.

25. Use pegs

Hang your kids’ paintings rather than cluttering up the fridge. Set up a simple string-and-peg display system on an empty wall or along a window.

26. Use dividers

Tip your underwear drawer out onto the bed and discard any odd socks, worn-out bras or undies that have lost their elastic. Put everything that’s left back in the drawer, using dividers to keep items in their categories.

27. The coat-hanger trick

Try this Oprah-approved trick: hang all the clothes in your wardrobe with the hangers facing inwards. After you wear an item, hang it back up the opposite way. Every six months, do an inventory of the items that haven’t been worn and sell or donate them.

28. Limit your sheets

Cull your linen closet down to two sets of summer sheets and two of flannelette (if needed) per bed, plus two full sets of towels for each person. That’s seriously all you need – one set in use, one in the wash. Store each set of sheets in its matching pillowcase.

29. Car clutter

Keep a rubbish bag or empty box in the car for coffee cups, used tissues or gum, and empty it once a week. Likewise, a basket in the boot can come in handy for on-the-go items like hats, balls, picnic rugs, sunscreen and kids’ toys.

30. Road trip

Speaking of kids and cars, hang a canvas shoe organiser over the back of the driver’s or front passenger’s seat to store their (many) travel belongings, such as electronic devices and headphones, playing cards, colouring books and pens, dummies, snacks, sunnies, drink bottles and a few favourite toys.

Words by: Stephanie Hope.

Photography by: Bauer Syndication.


These 10 interior trends are what you’ll be seeing everywhere in 2019

What will 2019 have in store? We’ve examined various interior forecasts and identified some top trends all interior enthusiasts can expect to see this year.


1. The new fiddle-leaf fig

The fiddle-leaf fig has dominated interiors for as long as indoor plants have been trendy, and rightly so, it’s got great structure, is easy-care and looks good in any setting. But another plant has stepped up to rival the fashionable fig’s top status; the bird-of-paradise (more commonly known as the banana plant).

Much like the fiddle-leaf fig, this plant has over-sized leaves and is relatively easy-care but what sets it apart is its blue and orange flower, which adds a dot of colour to a room.


2. Sustainable, handmade pieces

This trend has been in development for a couple of years now, and whilst 2018 gave it a good kick start, 2019 will really see it take off. Expect to see colours inspired by Mother Nature used alongside vintage and re-purposed pieces. Fast-fashion homeware takes a bow and leaves the stage to make way for unique, handmade pieces.


3. Purple, not pink

Millennial pink has reigned for a good few years but now it’s time for a new pastel hue to share the Insta-worthy, Pinterest-grabbing crown. Purple, or more accurately, a grey-lilac (a softer, more usable shade than Pantone’s 2018 colour of the year Ultra Violet) will be 2019’s ‘it’ hue.

And with this mauve-takeover, a move toward orange-based pinks (such as peach, apricot and coral) will begin to pick up.


4. Spaces without technology

Nowadays, our lives are saturated with technology, so, interior trends are responding and taking the opportunity to be the medium where we can be free from the screen. In 2019 you can expect to see a greater focus on hiding specific technologies, such as the TV, and incorporating them into a room using clever design, whether it’s a product like the Samsung Frame TV, or through cabinetry.


5. Home tech

But, we can never truly be without technology and as we go about trying to create tech-free zones in the house, other zones yield to the latest home-tech devices. Which, incidentally are still less obtrusive than their predecessors and are designed to blend in with the surrounding decor.

Voice-activated assistants such as Alexa and Google Home will become household regulars, their sleek designs sitting idly on kitchen and living room shelves. Portable speakers, too, have been given a face-lift, joining the ranks of other tech devices designed to stylishly sit next to art, objects and coffee table books without looking like a tech eye-sore.


6. Tonal looks

Forget the complimentary and contrasting colour schemes, tonal looks will be prevalent in 2019. What is a tonal look? That’s a great question. A tonal colour scheme is comprised of a set of hues that all originate from the same colour family, be it reds and pinks, a range of blues or a delightful mix of purple, mauve and grey.

A tonal colour scheme is relaxing and calming, it’s also a great way to incorporate bold, saturated colours into your home because they’re less intense when incorporated into a tonal look.


7. Curves

From curved archways to rounded furniture to swirly artwork, 2019 will bring the popular 60s curve back in vogue. Dulux colour specialist Davina Harper describes this as a response to the overarching trend she witnessed during Milan Design Week; wellness. Curves, she says, add softness to a room and help it to feel more inviting and relaxing.


8. Windows as walls

Framed with black steel, window walls or room dividers don’t only give a room a chic, minimal, industrial look but also add some architectural flair and allow light to flood in. Not just limited to dining or living rooms, steel-framed glass walls can also make great additions to bathrooms or bedrooms.

If you’re worried about privacy, installing curtains are an easy fix (they’re also a nice style addition with the softness of the material a welcome contrast against the hard steel and glass.)


9. Anti-trend

It’s a little contradictory, (how can an anti-trend be a trend?), but Dulux colour specialist Davina Harper explains “anti-trend” is more about breaking the rules and creating your own.

The anti-trend trend encourages experimentation and energy in which colour plays a big role. Harper says she saw this trend embodied during Milan design week, where she saw unusual colour combinations, mixing patterns and unique feature walls.

The thing to remember with this trend is “anything goes.”


10. Dried flowers

If your mind instantly goes to the dust-ridden dried bouquets sitting in your grandmother’s house, you’d be forgiven for uttering a quiet “no” at hearing dried flowers are becoming popular again. But never fear, these aren’t the dust-ridden variety. Dried bouquets such as the kind Markantonia create are more sculptural than fussy.

Toi-toi rise to the top of the dried-flower trend, its tall, eye-catching shape making it a great addition to any room and its colour and look fitting in well with many styles.

Words by: Bea Taylor