Real Housewives star Michelle Blanchard causes a stir in first episode

Real Housewives star Michelle Blanchard is pictured in the country home she shares with husband Dave, which was recently ...
JANE USSHER

Real Housewives star Michelle Blanchard is pictured in the country home she shares with husband Dave, which was recently renovated for more than $7m.

How the other half live and play - Real Housewives of Auckland star Michelle Blanchard created the biggest stir in the new reality series that aired on TV3 last night.

Blanchard, who has just completed a $7 million-plus revamp of the country home she owns with husband Dave, caused "life stylist" and model Angela Stone to break down in tears with one little faux pas.

Blanchard appeared to play the villain when she asked Stone if she was a "plus size" model, ouch.

The couple say they often enjoy a gin and tonic looking down at their house from their “his and hers” chairs in the ...
JANE USSHER

The couple say they often enjoy a gin and tonic looking down at their house from their “his and hers” chairs in the redesigned back garden.

It's clear the star is not one to mind too much about others' feelings, and she is pretty upfront about her assets, too.

READ MORE:
* Real Housewives of Auckland premieres
* Inside Real Housewives star Michelle Blanchard's home
* Real Housewives of Auckland: Does how glamorous and well connected are they?

The couple's house, already known as the "party house" before they moved in, continues to live up to its name. But it's undergone massive changes since the couple moved in.

The living room opens to a terrace with a hanging bed, which Dave says was inspired by one he spotted in a five-star ...
JANE USSHER

The living room opens to a terrace with a hanging bed, which Dave says was inspired by one he spotted in a five-star hotel on the Caribbean island of Anguilla.

Dave Blanchard told NZ House & Garden that although he admired the home's bones, there is now little left of the original structure. "We've spent well over $7 million on it."

"Let's just put it this way: It should have been demo'd," Michelle says.

The former model and fashion merchandiser for Ralph Lauren worked with Trinity Interior Design on the renovation, and now does some consulting work for them. Her love of black and gold is evident throughout the house.

No stainless steel is allowed in the house, hence all the brass including the island front.
JANE USSHER

No stainless steel is allowed in the house, hence all the brass including the island front.

 "It's opulent, it marries well together, it's warm, it's luxurious and it's easy. Most of my jewellery is black and gold."

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The couple say it's the luxe detailing of the home that's helped create the international feel they desired.

"We haven't held back. We could have put white tiles [in the entranceway] and it still would have been a cool space, but nope ... forty grand's worth of travertine on the floor instead. We wanted wow in every room," says Dave.

The ensuite features honed Emperador Dark marble; Michelle ensured the toilet was placed behind a separate glass screen.
JANE USSHER

The ensuite features honed Emperador Dark marble; Michelle ensured the toilet was placed behind a separate glass screen.

 - Stuff

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