This holiday home interior draws inspiration from the home's ever-changing setting – interest and a sense of conviviality are in the details

Designed by Melanie Craig Design

From the interior designer:

Nestled In the rugged Central Otago hills, this holiday house was built to high passive standard through partnership with eHaus.

From the exterior, the house appears as a strong bunker-like structure amongst the jagged schist rock, nearly unseen from the below road. 

From the moment you open the front door, you are entering into an inviting space with the ‘look twice’ design approach – with details everywhere you look.

The owners wanted to create a home which fits cohesively with its surrounding landscape and does justice to location, views, and history. 

The home had to create a foundation for wonderful experiences for family and friends to stay, feel relaxed, peaceful and be comfortable and warm as well as have character and vibrancy on the coldest of winters day.

This home was architecturally designed and constructed through eHaus with a focus on sustainability, performance, and technology, so it was important to be guided by their eco values and use of sustainable products where possible throughout the interior.

Designed for living – colour, warmth and interest 

The design plays tribute to the surround environment in a contemporary way, which matches the owners' personalities.

With the owners' brief in mind, we looked to the exterior for inspiration.

Central Otago is the land of extremes which changes through the seasons – inspiration was drawn from the golden hues of summer, the lake on a crisp winter morning, jagged schist rock faces and scrubby vegetation.

The interiors

High quality textured wallpapers were chosen to bring liveliness and colour were chosen, to offer an architectural finish to place


New Zealand-designed furniture was selected in vibrant and extreme earth tones, positioned for conversation and flexibility. 

New Zealand carpets were chosen for their environmental properties and low VOC wall paints were also specified.

Bringing the walls inwards to create a homely interior was achieved with the use of Genia timber panelling, featured behind the suspended Naked Flame fire and lining the walls of the snug.

The kitchen

The kitchen is spatially designed to be central of the home. 

The individualistic layout features two islands with the pantry storage and main prepping zone at the back. 

Integrated refrigeration and roller pantry storage allows for any mess to be concealed and for the kitchen to remain uncluttered. 

The first island, the cooking zone of the kitchen, has a connection to the rest of the living spaces and enjoys view to the lake below.

The island wraps around the central pillar, finished in a Elitis vinyl paper to connect to the schist wall, which extends into the living space – separating the dining area from the lounge/living space.

The front island – the hero piece of the kitchen with its multifaceted timber island front – was designed to mimic schist boulders from the exterior landscape. 

This element was crafted locally from rustic timber and stained in a warm honey stain. 

The leathered stone top was specified for its green characteristics and white & dark natural movements. 

These colours/tones were pulled through into the rest of the interior.

The snug

The snug – complete with large custom-designed barn door with slumped glass in a fern pattern insert – ensures this space can be opened for larger crowds when required.


The bathroom spaces have a lightly aged appearance, thanks in part to the choice of hand finished gloss surface tiles were selected for the bathroom spaces.

The Global Tile brings the essence of fired tiles in a cement finish. 

The rustic stone basins feature on top of the custom-built rustic timber vanities, complete with living edge. 

These rustic finishes are complemented with Cole and Son and Designer Guild contemporary wallpaper finishes.

No matter the time or season

The nature of this holiday home's interior means the owners can come and go, knowing it will always be comfortable, healthy, and most importantly inviting, no matter the time or season when they arrive.

Credit list

House architect
Duncan Sinclair, Black Pine Architects; eHaus
Jason Wright – The Wright Fit; co-builder – Warren Dunn, eHaus Lakes DIstrict
Abodo Vulcan, charred; Schist Stone; Colorcote in Weathered Copper
Eco windows
Bedroom flooring
Cavalier Bremworth Pebble, in colour Routeburn
Bathroom tiles
Tonic Tiles, Quantum Tiles
Dulux Ultra Air
Naked Flame Curve 90
Control systems
Halycon general lighting
Dining table
Custom designed by Nathan Goldsworthy
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Runner Up
Kitchen designer
Hayley Rodgers, Melanie Craig Design
Colorcote in Weathered Copper
Main flooring
Polished concrete
NZ felted wool
Kitchen/ entrance walls – Elitis; entrance, dining walls – Arte; master bedroom, bedroom, ensuite, bathroom – Designer Guild
General heating
Zehnder – mechanical, heating recovery, ventilation
Feature light fittings
Buster & Punch, Mooi, David Trubridge, Night Works, Katie Brown Glass
Living room furniture
Melanie Craig Design custom designed/supplied
Passive housing – eHaus; basins – Stone Base, from Plumbline

Designed by: As the seasons turn

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Jamie Cobel

03 Dec, 2023

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