A Mining Cottage and a Gypsy Caravan

Auckland, New Zealand


The cottage and gypsy caravan are set amongst native NZ bush in Piha.  The house is an exact copy of an 1860’s miner’s cottage from Otago.  The stone block walls were poured on site, and to a recipe used in 1860’s Otago.  The bath is an 1890 Royal Doulton, which was resurfaced and re-enamelled.  One of the kitchen stoves is a functional 1860 Shacklock Orion.

The original dark interior was transformed with the installation of a series of skylights between the rafters, the replacement of the inappropriate floor tiles with solid timber floorboards, painting the ceilings, doors, wooden walls, and stairs in a warm white, and the design and installation of a new kitchen.

The Gypsy caravan was originally painted in bright purple and vivid green.  It has been transformed by a choice of five pastel colours that are a contemporary interpretation of the interior of a Gypsy caravan.

The dwellings are used for weekend retreats, so the décor is casual and comfortable. The homeowner is an avid collector, and so all accessories have meaning and significance.  The eclectic collection ranges from a 1000-year old bronze Buddha statue, to a poster of a flamingo.

The homeowner handed the challenge of pulling everything together over to me.  He listened, and did exactly as I suggested.  We worked happily together until the interior design was to our complete satisfaction.

‘Donna has performed minor miracles three times for us, from an urban villa to a french inspired cottage with gypsy caravan, and a beach house. She has an uncanny ability to take what we already have and re arrange it to stunning effect. Very little new has ever been required, and in that context her time and expertise are fabulous value for money too. She has always created aesthetic, warm and comfortable interiors.  She has a remarkable talent, and is thoroughly nice to boot’ 
Sam Stubbs

Time to rejuvenate your living space? Talk with Donna White

Get in touch