My favourite space: A room full of treasures

Last updated 05:00 10/06/2017

Christchurch homeowners Melanie and Jonathan Coote love mid-century furniture, such as these iconic blue Hans Wegner chairs.

Jonathan, Melanie and family in their living room.
Ingrid plays with blocks on the glass coffee table.
An orange Anglepoise lamp, found in a second-hand store sits beside the dolls by Alexander Girard, an owl by Matt Pugh design from the UK and a timber tea canister, handcrafted in Japan.
The collection of objects on the sideboard have been collected over years during the couple's travels.

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Jonathan and Melanie Coote, both designers, are devotees of mid-century furniture and modern art.

They know what they like and will go the extra mile, literally, to find it. "We collected furniture, artwork and vinyl before we had a home," says Melanie.

The couple spent more than a decade living and working in London and the Caribbean, gathering things they loved along the way.

Now settled in Christchurch, they not only have a home to house their treasures but also two small daughters and a dog - who are proving, among other things, says Melanie, that it's possible to have nice things without having a showhome.

My favourite space: Small apartment, cosy living room
My favourite space: Wellington kitchen that inspires creativity
My favourite space: The grand hall that was once a piggery 

The only modification the couple have made to their comfortable, renovated bungalow was to install a new clean-air woodburner and vent the heat through the ceiling and back into the bedrooms.

Their brightly-coloured living and dining room is a showcase for their furniture, which includes some treasured Danish and Swedish pieces, while horizontal surfaces display an extensive collection of ceramics and objets d'art and vertical ones feature mid-20th century lithographs by well-known New Zealand artists.

Did you have a vision for this space? We wanted it to feel light and airy; we both like bold colours, so adding some colour to the furnishings brightens it up. It's a social space so we also wanted it to feel welcoming and relaxed.

What was the decorating process for this space? The house had been freshly painted white prior to us purchasing it. So it was a simple process of just adding our furniture and collecting the odd piece over time.

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What are the key features of this space? The high ceiling, the bay window and wood panelling walls which are common in this style of bungalow house.The blue armchairs in the living room are Hans Wegner, the black leather armchair is a rosewood Elizabeth chair designed by Ib-Kofod Larsen; the sofa is from Heals in London and the blue pendant is by Verner Panton.  Green Map of Africa by Patrick Thomas hangs on the dining room wall; the Poul Henningsen pendant was a wedding gift.

Do you have advice for homeowners? Follow your passion and make your home uniquely yours.

What's your best budget tip? You will never regret buying quality and buying it once. We've always done this within our means.

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Vintage cushion cover in green
Vintage cushion cover in green

What do you like best about this space? It's our family room and heart of the house, so as a family we spend most of our time in this room. We love the relaxed feel and the open nature of its proximity to the dining, kitchen and outdoor spaces. The fire cranks in winter and has a lovely afternoon sunlight during summer.

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Concrete planter
Concrete planter


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