Monochrome home away from home


Eve and Stephanie Glover are inspired by far off places, childhood memories and roaming the world in search When Amy and Simon brought the Black and White Barn two years ago it was a bold move.The couple had worked hard to build their own catering company in Parnell, but when it came to buying a family home they wanted the lifestyle that Matakana has to offer, and more bang for their buck than central Auckland. Fast-forward two years; Simon still commutes four days per week. Little Isabelle is now three and has a baby brother, nine-month-old Theo. “Our lives are busy, but it was a gut feeling from the moment I walked in and I’m so glad we made the move,” Amy says.

She puts some of their success down to the design of the house. A separate wing houses two beautiful rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Guests can choose from The White Suite, The Black Suite, or take them both as The Black and White Cottage.

Amy says they always have a steady stream of paying guests through summer and winter. Walking distance to the village is a huge bonus, particularly on busy market days, or after sampling a few of the local wines.

The house was designed by local architects Pyramids and built by Warkworth Construction. The guest accommodation has a separate entranceway, patio area and manicured lawn space. A thorough job of soundproofing maintains the peace and tranquillity.

The family home has internal access to service the guest accommodation through a very useful butlers pantry. The kitchen area opens onto a lounge with log fireplace and annexes through to another lounge with the master bedroom tucked away between the two.

Having lived in the home and tested its functionality for family life and as a business, Amy sums up the best aspects of the design. “I love the flow, it’s all open, but at the same time separate. I can keep an eye on the kids, but they have their own space. We had the entire family here for Christmas; with eight kids and the house just seemed to absorb everyone."

Families that host over the Christmas period will understand just how important clever the design is to achieve that magnificent feat.

The pine board and batten cladding on the barn style exterior morphs into a very modern interior. Blending rustic with contemporary, yin and yang, light and airy with dark and cosy and of course, black and white.

So, what is it with the black and white theme? “I’ve always had a thing for black and white, it’s hard to explain, but I like contrast and I think the way we dress our homes is an interpretation of ourselves.”

The family dogs, Chloe and Baxter have been sleeping but raise an eyebrow at this point. They are of course, black and white, and probably want to take credit for the design inspiration. Like everything in the home they look cozy and laid back. The fact that this is even possible when using two starkly contrasting colours is a credit to Amy’s design prowess.

A narrow stairway leads upstairs to the children's rooms and a feeling of barns and hay lofts springs to mind. As a kid it would have been your dream bedroom, up in the attic well away from mum and dad. This is a place to play after bedtime while looking out across the fields at the visitors making their way back along Matakana Road.

It has started to rain and leaving the black and white inner sanctum seems like such a drag. “My guests come back time and time again, and say things like: ‘We are just popping to the village and then we’ll walk back home later,’ home is obviously a feeling not just a place."

Photography: Simon Devitt Photographer