When UK interior therapist Suzanne Roynon advised Coast breakfast host Sam Wallace on some feng shui and style options for his Auckland home a year ago Wallace didn’t take much notice – or heed any the style advice offered by co-host Toni Street for that matter.
The orange couch stayed, the skull lamp in the bedroom stayed, the spiky plants stayed and the pushbike in the lounge stayed. The big cat tree tower also stayed until it broke.
The cat tree and the bike are in the garage now, along with nearly everything else Wallace owns, because he and partner Sarah Bowman are on the move and have brought in home-stagers.
Their much-loved three-bedroom California bungalow-style house at 1 Margaret Place, in Milford, in Auckland’s North Shore, is on the market because the couple, who already have 19-month-old Brando, are expecting twins in February and need “a million more rooms”.
“We obviously need a room for the twins and then they will eventually need a room each, and then because we’ll have three young children we will need a separate room for support.
“That’s for any member of our family who’s prepared to come and do cleaning, cooking and ironing.”
Wallace and Bowman bought the house eight years ago and don’t really want to give it up. They are looking at a five bedroom house in nearby Bayswater – and Wallace says this time some new furniture is on the cards.
He tells OneRoof that both him and Bowman turned up to view their Milford house just six months into their relationship, fell in love with the property and went on to win the auction.
The house was already freshly renovated so they didn’t need to do anything but move in, but they never got around to getting new furniture.
Toni Street, who put her North Shore house on the market in 2018 before deciding not to sell, gave Wallace plenty of lip about his furniture.
“Streetie’s always giving me tips and she has been relentless in the persecution of my furniture. She was one of the people who said, ‘You are getting house staged so it looks the part’. She said I’ve been ruining my house all these years because I don’t know how to put furniture into it.”
Wallace also chewed over his sales strategy with his other co-host, Jason Reeves, who also happens to be putting his North Shore house on the market.
“We’ve been discussing it the whole way but he’s lucky enough he’s got nice furniture so he doesn’t have to get staging,” he said.
One of the things they discussed was Covid-19 and Wallace says Reeves decided to launch a little later than him. “With the country in lockdown, we figured the perfect scenario would be one week of listings with people in lockdown because there are so many eyeballs on OneRoof because people are away from their bosses so they can look at property.”
The house at 1 Margaret Place is being marketed by Harcourts agent Damien Henaghan. Two viewings a day can take place during Alert Level 3 and after lockdown is lifted people can go to open homes but if it’s extended further Wallace may relook at the September 20 auction date as he wants it to be held on site instead of virtually.
That’s because it has a lot of character and a lot of “feel” and he and Bowman bought it at an auction on site.
“We loved the Californian bungalow, we loved the covered deck sweeps all around the property so you can sit under the eaves of the roof and look out to the world and the sun or the rain.
“It’s a very stylish-looking place. We love that it was freshly renovated at the time so it meant maintenance was really low as I was embarking on a busy part of my career. We loved the area out the back, which is a perfect little secluded BBQ area. And it had the white picket fence so it kind of ticked all those emotional boxes.
“The strongest memories we have of the place is the fact it’s the home we cemented our relationship in. It’s the house we brought Brando back to. It’s his first home, it’s where we started our family. It’s so close to our heart.”
Wallace v the interior therapist – round 2
OneRoof asked UK interior therapist and author Suzanne Roynon to look at the listing photos of Wallace’s house to see if it had improved since her appraisal. Here’s what she had to say:
“First of all, huge congratulations to Sam to Sarah on the impending arrival of the twins!
“Their house has had quite the transformation since I last saw it. It is absolutely beautiful and looks as though it will sell quickly.
“This was always a home with massive potential, but when I saw it 18 months ago, it looked more like a bachelor pad than a family home. The master bedroom with that skull light had a whiff of ‘students shacking up’ rather than ‘young couple nesting’.
“Now the house is showing it’s true colours. It is a delicious space for a family to thrive in. And if this is Sam and Sarah’s style rather than a professional stager’s, then I’m not surprised their family is growing – they have definitely made space for that to happen.
“I wish them all the joy in the world and an abundance of happiness in their new home.”