Golfer Paul Reid and wife Siobhan’s Mangawhai renovation suits them to a tee

In 2013, Kerikeri-based golfer Paul Reid was offered an unanticipated opportunity: a new job and a new lifestyle for him and his wife Siobhan to ponder. An American investor had bought an expanse of land in Te Arai, north of Wellsford, and wanted Paul to run his new golf club, Tara Iti.
After due consideration, the pair decided to give it a go — though that’s not to say they didn’t have their reservations. “I’m a lawyer by trade and had no idea what I’d do in a tiny beachside town,” says Siobhan. Nevertheless, choosing to take a chance, they bought a small home in nearby Mangawhai as an investment they could live in initially, while intending to keep an eye out for a more permanent base if they decided to stay on long term.

MAIN IMAGE Below a pendant from Stoneleigh & Roberson and in front of the view framed by curtains in Parisi Driftwood fabric from Charles Parsons Interiors, the chairs from Republic and dining table bought long ago have stood the test of time. “We’ll update them when the children are older, but for now, we try not to be too precious, so this is both dining table and arts and crafts table, and is often covered in paint and playdough,” says Siobhan. ABOVE Given Northland’s hot climate, one of the priorities of the reno was to create usable outdoor spaces with protection from the sun and rain. This was achieved by extending the roofline and using the guest- room extension to form a patio. The couple also added the deck, pergola and an outdoor fire that utilises the existing chimney.

A few years passed and, sure enough, a property with potential came up for sale right when they were ready to put down roots. A 12-year-old home on 10 acres with views of Mangawhai and the Brynderwyns, it was on the right track but would require a little tweaking.
“I was eight months pregnant, so I totally romanticised it,” recalls Siobhan. “I walked onto the land and knew it was where I wanted to raise our kids [Felix (5), Margot (3) and Freja (1)]. We’ve since found out that the previous owners, a retired couple, spent around five hours a day maintaining the garden, which isn’t so romantic!”

ABOVE Behold the view of the Brynderwyn Range from the vitex deck, enjoyed on a Waiheke sofa set from Design Concepts.

With expert input from Siobhan’s architect brother James, the couple took their time to contemplate their designs while they had their second child. By January 2020, their intentions were confirmed, the consent plans drawn up by Orcan Design were approved and the build was ready to begin.
The original homestead boasted three bedrooms, two bathrooms, one living area and some beautiful original features, but it needed to be opened up and extended. The existing kitchen, dining room and main bedroom became one open-plan living space that connects to a deck that captures those impressive views. The living room was turned into a playroom, a guest room was added in an extension at one end of the house, and an upgraded master suite went into the other.

TOP Siobhan says the pantry tiled with Magma Malachite Matt 13.2 tiles from Tile Space is “the only area in the house that the kids — and husband — don’t mess up, so I can keep it how I like it!” ABOVE The dark tones of the timber in the kitchen (including Elegant Oak floorboards from Freedom Flooring and cabinetry designed by James and crafted by Guyco) tie in with Tokyo bar stools by OMK 1965 from Goodform and aged iron Buddy tapware by Progetto from Plumbline. The shelving is an attractive and practical inclusion for displaying favourite finds. Extra special are Siobhan’s mum Jacqui’s ceramics — she’s a clever potter, and made the utensil holders, tagine and butter dish. Other pieces pictured are an Ice bowl by Susannah Bridges (top left), a mortar and pestle and cake stand by Tom Dixon (top middle), and Terra Cotto cookware by Sambonet (far right).

Siobhan’s a keen cook, so designing the kitchen was her domain. “I spent hours measuring the drawers and figuring it all out — and I love it, I’m really happy with the result,” she says. “With the help of Guyco in Whangārei, I chose a Caesarstone Primordia benchtop as it gives a stone look but is super hardy, which is much needed with a young family.” It’s teamed with Ashin tongue-and-groove and oak cabinetry to form a user-friendly, functional space complete with a handy extra basin at the end of the bench that Siobhan deems “a great decision. Living rurally means the kids are always outside getting dirty, so I pick them up and pop them straight in it to wash their feet and hands when they come inside.”

TOP Generous new glazing complements the home’s existing skylights. “When you walk in the front door, the light pours in through the skylights and your eyes go straight out to the view through the bifold doors that open the whole front side of the house to the outdoors,” says Siobhan. “It’s amazing for natural air flow, great when entertaining, and I love watching the changing sky from morning to evening through the skylights.” ABOVE In the living space, Bottled up in the Pacific by Eion Shanks hangs above a Joe sofa from St Clements, with an Ohope throw from Weave. Sitting on a Braided Jute rug by Nodi, the Blok coffee table from Design Warehouse was conceived as an outdoor table, but works just as well in here.

Siobhan candidly reveals that as first-time renovators, she and Paul didn’t exactly find the process easy. “Doing anything for the first time, you’re a total amateur. I thought because I wasn’t working, I could project manage, but there’s just so much to learn, and an endless amount of work that carries on into the evenings, like research and invoicing.”
Lucky for these rookies, they had James to lean on. “He knows me inside out, so I’d throw ideas to him for feedback, and when the builders DEC Construction were on site with technical questions I couldn’t answer, I’d call him and hand over the phone,” says Siobhan.

TOP Agnes shelving units from Homage are as decorative as they are functional in the playroom, alongside a faux rhino head bought at an art gallery once upon a time, and a lion head by Fiona Walker England. The same can be said for the storage baskets from Trade Aid on the shelves and the ones on the floor from Città. Margot and Felix sit on a World Map mat by Gathre from Dapper Mr Bear. Siobhan says, “It’s great for the kids to have more freedom to make a mess in here. I love that they know it’s their space, so the toys stay in here and not the main living areas.” ABOVE Woollen carpet by Bremworth cosies up the kids’ sleep spaces. Here in the girls’ room painted in Natural Paint Co Blanched Pink, a Phoenix cabinet from Bohème Home is paired with a Sparrow crib by Oeuf from Nature Baby. The blanket was knitted by Jacqui and the wagon was a gift from a friend, Zoë Salmen of Little & Loved.

In natural materials and neutral colours, the resulting team effort exudes a sense of sophisticated calm. The home’s generous, light-filled layout provides ample areas for the family to enjoy — the favourite spot being the outdoor living space.
“We added a great big deck, a pergola, a concrete patio area with an extended roof for shade in the summer and an outdoor fire that’s awesome in winter,” says Siobhan. “We love entertaining and having friends around, so it really works for our lifestyle.”

TOP & ABOVE Flowing out to a steel and cedar outdoor bath by Stoked Stainless, the ensuite features Azuma Grey Matt 60 tiles from Tile Space, a Hinoki bath mat by Tosaryu, a Frame LED mirror and Buddy tapware from Plumbline, and Lunar basins from Raw Concrete Design. “I adore how calm and serene this space is — it’s not complicated or cluttered,” says Siobhan.

The new bedrooms are also the perfect fit. “I absolutely love ours,” says Siobhan of her and Paul’s sleep space. “We invested here to create our own sanctuary down one end of the house, but kept it really simple, because the floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the native bush are the statement piece. I love waking up, drawing the curtains and opening the sliding door to let nature in. The shower in our ensuite also has a sliding door that opens onto a deck, and it’s amazing showering with it wide open, plus there are stairs beyond it that lead down to an outdoor bath.”

ABOVE Linen from Bed Threads, a throw by Fog Linen and a Tasselled Wool rug by Nodi make the main bedroom a welcoming spot, lit by a pair of Straight-Arm walls lights by Serge Mouille from Homage. The Lo bedside table is by Corcovado and the vase was picked up at an antique market.

In fact, expansive windows were installed throughout the house to highlight the beauty of the gorgeous garden and orchard that give this property a retreat-like feel. It was a bit of a journey to get here, but now they’ve arrived, this coastal-meets-rural lifestyle suits the Reids to a tee, proving that sometimes the most unexpected opportunities can lead to the ultimate outcomes. 

Words Holly Jean Brooker
Photography Larnie Nicolson

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