Artistic impression

With a spotlight on New Zealand art, this short-stay apartment surrounds international and local visitors with Kiwiana
Story by: Lori Nims
View of the open-plan living and dining area couch, furniture, home, interior design, living room, room, table
View of the open-plan living and dining area featuring dining table and chairs with black and white patterned cushions, sofa with green upholstery, carpeted flooring, carious pieces of artwork.

Memorable lodgings are a rare find, and when travellers have the good fortune to stay in such places, it adds to the overall pleasure of the journey.

When owner Greg Collinge decided to convert his two-bedroom investment property into a short-stay apartment, he wanted to add local flavour by filling it with Kiwiana. To this end, he worked with interior designer Jayne Tolley to create a look built around the talents of New Zealand artists.

"The main idea was to showcase New Zealand design and art so visitors can really experience it, rather than just seeing it on display in a shop," Tolley says.

Collinge intends the apartment, named Esther's Place, to be a fashionable and fun place to stay. He has learned from similar lodgings he operates that travellers appreciate the extra comfort that comes from fine decor.

"When accommodation is nicely decorated, people treat it more carefully and are respectful," Collinge says.

View of a second bedroom which features a chair, coffee table, couch, floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, home, interior design, living room, loveseat, room, sofa bed, studio couch, table, wall, wood, gray, brown
View of a second bedroom which features a daybed/trundle, dark-stained timber flooring, oak console, plywood lamp.

Collinge sees plenty of scope for Esther's Place to evolve over time. As his art collection grows, the number of works in the apartment will continue to increase.

"There's still wall space to be filled, especially above the TV in the lounge. I envision it will be like a gallery," he says.

The basic palette for Esther's Place is white, black and grey, to put the focus on the artworks and fabrics. Colours for the bedrooms are muted in contrast to the brighter shades in the public areas.

Because the apartment is essentially a commercial space, furniture and accessories need to be durable to withstand the high traffic. Wood, metal, commercial-grade fabrics and even lightweight concrete fit the bill.

On the balcony is a sturdy outdoor table of concrete and metal, which has been treated to handle the harsh salt air. Any spills are absorbed into the porous surface of the tabletop, eventually disappearing.

View of the master bedroom which features black-and-white bed, bed frame, bed sheet, bedding, bedroom, duvet cover, floor, furniture, home, interior design, mattress, room, suite, textile, wall, gray
View of the master bedroom which features black-and-white grid-patterned wallpaper covering the feature wall behind the bed, carpeted flooring, white linen.

Use of commercial-grade fabric includes the woollen cover of the acid green sofa in the lounge. The fabric was chosen for its durability, and also because it resists fading in the harsh sun. An assortment of lighter weight fabrics are used in the Esther Diamond scatter cushions around the apartment and for the linens in the main bedroom.

Solid oak furniture in a natural finish was chosen because it will hide any nicks or dings and will age well. The matching dining table, buffet and coffee table have a slightly retro 1950s feel.

The oak furniture in the bedrooms complements the minimalist metal-frame beds. A trundle has been added to the daybed in the second bedroom to provide extra sleeping space.

Jul 21, 2009

Credit list

Oak furniture
Martin Poppelwell
Linen, cushions and throws
Esther Diamond range designs by Martin Poppelwell Dick Frizzell and Leanne Culy
Laser-cut plywood Lady Jane Table Lamp by Kevin Webby
Tio chair
Conscious Design
Study for We All Need a Lie Down, oil, Martin Poppelwell; White Jugs, photograph, Brian Culy; Play Hard or Go Home, print, Richard Lewer
Dave Smith Audio
Napier Window Treatments
Fruit bowl
Bol by Chris Metcalfe
Mokum outdoor fabrics
David Trubridge
Outdoor furniture and bed frames
Ross Mitchell-Anyon; Martin Poppelwell
Kitchen appliances
Fisher & Paykel
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