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Seriously special showhome: Versatile Christchurch

Versatile Christchurch is thrilled to introduce its latest showhome at Prestons Park. As one of New Zealand’s most trusted companies, Versatile has a strong history in Canterbury with more than 40 years locally in business, building a variety of homes and out-buildings.



Research undertaken by Versatile last year gave some compelling insights into what Kiwis really wanted in a new home, and their new architecturally design home plans reflect exactly that. It shows in the Prestons Park home; at 218 square metres, it delivers a lifestyle and feel of a home twice its size.

Broadly appealing, families or couples will be drawn to its standout stylish exterior. Inside you’ll find not just touches of luxury but a full-blown embrace. With three double bedrooms, two bathrooms, living and media room, kitchen with butler’s pantry and sink, plus double garaging, this house exceeds expectations for amenity.


Paula Price, Versatile’s National Housing Manager who oversees all of Versatile’s showhomes throughout New Zealand, says this one is a real knockout. “The feel and flow of this home is special. It’s compact to suit the section yet it feels beautifully spacious”.

The home layout and design are complemented by décor by local Interior Designer Paula Comber, resulting in every room being warm and enticing. Sophisticated rich tones of blackened blues and dark moody greens are offset with soft shades of bronze and blush. The stunning kitchen displays top of the line appliances by Fisher and Paykel in their new black colour finish, and the brushed gold tapware and door hardware are a gilded touch. Help from Paula Comber is part of every Versatile home package.



The rollcall of heavenly touches include a high stud, underfloor heating, gas fire, ducted heat pump, wine fridge, inbuilt sound system, extensive storage, automated curtains, and skylights with automated blinds for light control.
Visitors say the home feels like you could just walk in and live – and it’s not a pipe dream to afford this.

The showhome is open Wednesday to Sunday, 12 to 4pm. Call in and talk to Lee Brown or Gary Longhurst, the New Home Consultants, or contact them on 03 348 8704 to discuss this home or any of their house and land packages.



From the ground up: Designer Homes

Trends may come and trends may go, but when it comes to houses there’s nothing more arresting than the sight of a magnificent home.



Designer Homes (DH) is a Christchurch company dedicated to the construction of magnificent and captivating homes that showcase distinctive, superior quality interior and exterior design. Established in 2015 by Managing Director Rajesh Thakur, the DH team bring a wealth of experience and expertise to every building project.

Currently overseeing five residential projects in Christchurch and Auckland, Rajesh implements an eight-step strategy on every project undertaken, which, undoubtedly, is the key to his success.

They are as follows:

  1. Selecting the site
    DH focuses on selecting the right site in terms of plot shape, lighting, slope, access to amenities and a good sewer system.
  2. Design & budget
    DH designs the ideal home based on client requirements and their budget. An additional consultation is available for any plan changes, or if the client decides to increase their budget.
  3. Making the plans
    Plans are put into an actionable timeline. DH architects recreate the plan with dimensions approved by the client. Feasibility of selected plot and building guidelines is thoroughly assessed, ensuring no delay in plans and revisions suggested by the client.

  4. Selecting the finishes
    From doorknobs to flooring to carpentry, collaboration between the client and the DH team is integral to achieving the dream home. DH encourages clients to choose finishes they will love, both now and into the future.
  5. Getting approvals
    From land approvals, government clearances, land use restrictions, required documentation – even through to sourcing the best-fit financing, the DH team guides clients in an advisory role to help make the process as seamless as possible.
  6. Managing the build
    The DH project team monitors site progress and changes, while ensuring all required tasks are carried out properly. The project manager maintains project control throughout the entire process, redirecting tasks as and when needed. The construction process is time-lined with a tentative completion date for each milestone reached; from floor-slab framing, walls, roof structure and roofing to external finishes, windows and doors, rough-ins and internal finishes.

  7. Checking the quality
    DH builders and project managers conduct a thorough inspection of the structural design and concrete mix, and evaluate if wall thickness, fixtures and finishing are as per the discussed and completed plan.
  8. Handing over the keys
    The client receives the keys to their beautiful, bespoke home.

    The underpinning philosophy of Designer Homes is that the disciplines of architecture and interior design form a close link; the truth of this can be more fully appreciated once their full showhome opens in Rolleston in the near future. Keep an eye out – you will be entranced.

    Find the office at 234 Main South Road, Hornby, phone 03 222 2344, 03 222 2345 or 0508 DHOMES, or email




Coffee table candy

Long slung tables are believed to have hosted the de rigueur beverage of the late Victorian era and succeeding lovers of objects combining both form and function have never looked back.




In 2019, coffee tables still very much serve a practical purpose, but they have also earned cult status as a statement piece for living rooms. A perfect host to essentials, they also can provide a plinth of honour for your favourite accents.

The power trifecta is, of course, a combination of flowers, trays and books, but you can move beyond this predictable pattern and delve into bespoke collections that tell your own story. From beloved pieces of heirloom jewellery that also serve as great conversation starters to nostalgic mementos from your favourite trips, the décor possibilities are bountiful.

Popular coffee table candy includes eclectic trinkets like bell jar cloches, magnifying glasses, deer antlers (sometimes spray-painted gold) and amethysts offering down to earth glamour. See-through coffee tables offer chic minimalism and a way to show off a beautiful rug underfoot, while heavily industrial pieces can provide stand-alone impact.

In recent times we have also seen tree stumps and old cargo boxes morph into makeshift coffee tables to add a unique point of difference to living spaces.



Natural Instinct

In Christchurch, one of the best spots to go to escape the hustle and bustle of city life is the Botanic Gardens or Hagley Park. These two places are so popular for escaping because of the plants that surround us with their calming energy. So why not bring that same energy and vibe into your own home?




Some of our favourite homeware stores are catching on to the concept of bringing the outside in because, although florals have long been a popular addition when it comes to our décor, now it seems greenery has followed suit.

Incorporating the beauty of nature into your home through your furnishings is a low maintenance way to bring the relaxing beauty of nature into your everyday life. Duvets, wall prints and even fake plants make your internal spaces feel more light and relaxed.

Fresh and inviting, they offer an easy way to inject life and colour to your internal spaces, and they work particularly well with the clean, minimalist interiors and natural beauty of timber that we’re currently craving in the home.

So let your natural instinct go wild this season because sometimes you just have to fake it ‘til you make it.



Blind Date

We’re crushing on timber blinds right now, as the perfect accompaniment to the greenery that we’re increasingly yearning for in our internal spaces.



While the true story of venetian blinds and their invention is debatable, Egyptians were among the first to create blinds from reeds and it seems every early culture has utilised this clever curtain alternative throughout history.

While we’re certainly not short of window furnishings in the modern day, timber works particularly well with the shift toward sustainable and eco-friendly designs across home décor.

But in 2019, sustainable furniture is no longer sticking to its stereotypical re-used aesthetic. The bohemian trend is gone, replaced by clean, elegant pieces, and the smooth polished look of a set of timber venetians makes for the perfect partnership with this style.

So chat to your interior decorator now, you might just have a blind date in store.



Standing out

Bringing the outside in has long been a popular theme in interior decorating. Touted for their health benefits and styling credentials, indoor plants are growing in popularity – pun entirely intended. But in 2019 homewares, it’s the pot plant holders that are standing out, for all the right reasons.




A quick and clever way to make your interior spaces look pulled together, there’s a plant stand to suit every décor style.

They enable you to stagger the heights of your potted perennials, adding drama and dimension to your spaces, and they’re a great way to soften stark corners.

A minimalist black wrought iron stand is a great option for a contemporary space, while timber looks the part in more traditional homes.

Geometric shapes and mid-century design are hotting up our homes, so look for clean lines, tapered legs and scandi-style sustainability. After all, it’s time to bring life into your home – both in the literal and figurative sense.



All tealed up

We’ve long held a deep affection for teal, but this year the hue is all grown up and it’s got us all tealed up.



It’s a delicious way to incorporate life into your spaces and is equally capable of creating an elegant, mid-century aesthetic. The saturated colours also echo with heritage and tradition to help us make sense of an increasingly digital world. So how can we use teal to create the perfect palette? Why not indulge in teal’s bold, rich incarnation, taking inspiration from gemstones and their glamorous appeal?

Teal pops with bright white and its colour wheel match is coral if you’re yearning for summer holidays. Despite its obvious association with the tropics, it makes for a calming pairing with greys, a deep and edgy match with black and makes for a regal partnership with gold. Equally it works with cream, navy, pinks and especially gold and brown tones.

Embellishment is on the way back, as a rebellion to overly earnest, minimalist interiors. So why not pair your teals with burnished metals for an edgy luxe glamour, or less-than-perfect antiques for a shabby chic vibe? It’s got our teal of approval.



European design inspiration: Armstrong Interiors

A small island in the bottom of the South Pacific, New Zealand has long taken design inspiration from offshore, in particular, from Europe and its diverse range of countries.



Metropol caught up with award-winning interior designer Angelique Armstrong of Armstrong Interiors about what we can expect to see heading our way, based on European summer trends.

“As I sit on a train travelling from Venice through to Florence, I have been asked to write about forecast trends in Europe,” Angelique says. “Since leaving our Christchurch winter, I have experienced Paris, the UK, Monte-Carlo, Milan, Venice and the region of Tuscany, Europe’s summer holiday destination. Throughout these wonderfully inspiring places, you start to recognise that each region has its own particular trend.

“Italy is of course using the latest in luxurious fabrics from our favourite fabric houses, while staying true to tradition by sticking to the colour traditional colour schemes of the region,” she says. “Paris, on the other hand, takes a more contemporary approach to fabric colours and textures, while the closer to the sea you get, the more soft blues and greens, patterned cottons and thick heavy linens you will find in trends. Meanwhile, stone tops and nested coffee tables are still very hot across Europe.”

Comparatively, in New Zealand we’ve still got a lot of love for timber and moody dark colours, with black tapware and dark accessories that have been on trend for a couple of years now. “But if we look at what’s coming through now, we’re seeing more greens, blues, natural fibres and various tones of natural, ranging from soft grey to beige and caramel to complement a lighter and softer approach to interior design,” Angelique says.

One of her favourite pieces during the trip that she wouldn’t mind investing in herself, was a sofa. “The design function behind this piece is that it is not easy talking to people on a long 3-4 seater – well this sofa is the perfect solution!”

Visit, phone 03 356 2636 or check them out on Instagram, armstronginteriorsltd



Divide and Conquer

While there’s much to be said for the uncluttered look of an open floor plan, equally there’s much to laud in the utilisation of permanent or semi-permanent partitions that create flexible, aesthetically pleasing new spaces while also adding light, privacy and noise alleviation.



Whether you desire the clean-cut sophistication of a glassed partition in translucent, opaque, coloured or digitally etched glass, or something more budget friendly, such as salvaged doors or casement windows refashioned and revamped, room dividers add oomph!

Consider an open bookcase boasting artworks that can be viewed from both sides, or a suspended louvre blind giving that perfect light and shade interplay. A funky screen of vinyl records, painted, covered in metallic or left in their original retro glory would be a great talking point, as would a vertical garden of lush greenery or potted plants.

When it comes to 21st century partitions, set your imagination free!



Walls of green

Plants and greenery have long been a great way to incorporate colour and life into our interior spaces, but in 2019, we’re taking that to a new level with the living wall – not only do they look good, they’re good for you too! Easily plant a wonderfully eye-catching and eco-friendly feature wall inside or outside with one of these ideas.



  1. Trellis walls (either inside or outside) both look super stylish and purify the air at the same time. Attach small pots to the trellis and fill with an abundance of plants that you fancy – succulents are particularly popular – or keep it simple with vines of ivy or a climbing plant woven through the framework.

  2. Spray-painted tin cans make for absolutely adorable, not to mention extremely affordable, planters – punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage, spray paint, mount them to your garden fence, fill with soil and pick your plants!

  3. Grow your herbs right where you need them – in your kitchen, of course! There’s a myriad of ways to make a hanging herb feature. One idea we’re loving is to mount bars on the wall and hang small pots from them by S-shaped hooks, curtain rings or small hanging baskets – the possibilities are endless!

  4. For a contemporary look that’s hassle-free and amateur-friendly, fill a full-wall bookshelf with potted plants. Go wild with a variety of different indoor plants – money plants, trailing plants, ferns… don’t be afraid to ‘branch’ out!