This talented married couple created a harmonious balance between luxury and eco-conscious design.
The couplepillow shams floral
Having designed and built a spectacular house in Muriwai out of shipping containers， these guys knew they could put their complementary skills to use again on The Block NZ. “I manage the tradies and make sure everything is progressing and the practical stuff is finished，” says Corban， 32， a mechanical engineer. “And Alex plans all the design， fittings and furnishings.” They love to work with unusual patterns， textures and materials. “I’ve always worked in fashion [as a buyer]，” says Alexcheap throw pillow covers， “so the decor is very much a part of my personality.”
The big picture
Alex and Corban kept things simple yet refined， softening their abundant use of white with natural tones. “We wanted to create something elegant and hit the high end of the market because that’s where Pt Chev is heading，” says Corban. “But it had to look unique and not like it came out of a furniture catalogue.” Alex spent a lot of time sourcing products， and the couple built much of the furniture themselves. They also splashed out on making the house as eco-friendly as possible， by harnessing solar energy and incorporating a central heating gas system. “We can guarantee this house will have an almost zero power bill，” says Alex.
The finishing touches
Brass， marble and copper are used as accents throughout， from clocks to ornaments and light fittings. “We wanted to show what you could do with different materials and textures，” says Alex. “I think brass is the new copper.”
Words by： Rebecca Barry HillPhotography by： Scott McAulayInterior Designer： Alex &； Corban
Brass trim frames this custom-made wood-panelled accent wall.
The wine chiller.
Kitchen sink bench
Kitchen： Featuring a generous work bench
Kitchen & dining： A generous work bench， wine chiller and 16 drawers make this the ultimate foodie’s kitchen. The scullery is the size of a bedroom， says Alex， so it made sense to put the oven and prep area here. “Well it’s not quite a bedroom，” says Corban， who has a fair idea， having slept in it under a tarpaulin.
Alex & Corban
Media room： The couple adapted the architectural plans for this room. “We realised that a massive TV would ruin the flow，” says Alex， “so we turned it into a formal lounge.” Soft grey walls in Dulux ‘Manorburn Half’ are balanced with Godfrey Hurst flooring in Astor.
This clever display unit is an artwork in itself， filled with a nicely curated selection of books and ornaments.
Triangle decals and neon tassels from Collected create a fun feature wall. Cane chair from Junk & Disorderly.
Teen’s bedroom： Girls will just want to have fun in this stylish hang-out which also offers a desk for study and a well-organised wardrobe with drawers and shelving.
“This is my favourite room，” says Corban. “Every element works”
Bathroom： “It’s really elegant and probably quite different to anyone else’s style，” says Alex. Mirror from Metro Glass， Peter Hay cabinetry， SCE Stone marble bench， Heritage tiles， wine baskets from Father Rabbit. The Rosetta bath from IBATH promises a sumptuous soak.
Winners Alex & Corban： Nothing sparks a child’s imagination like a themed room. “It’s for a little adventurer who loves animals and the forest，” says Alex.
Winners Alex & Corban： A jagged mountain paint effect adds a whimsical touch.
Winners Alex & Corban： Fun details， such as this woodcutter’s desk， with clever shelving， encourage creativity.
Garage & laundry： Alex and Corban won the garage challenge， plus $4000 from Kiwibank for the following week’s room reveal， with this clever combination of practical rooms. “I’m all about making things look beautiful but what are you supposed to do with a garage？” laughs Alex. So they came up with the idea to split it down the middle， with one side for the washing area， and the other for the tools and workbench.
This GSS Rack It tool rack system from Bunnings is functional and pleasing to the eye.
Laundry within the garage area
There’s a place for everything – wet weather gear hangs out on coat hooks from Collected.
Most designers and decorators know that curtains can totally make a room, but the range of choices and sizes can sometimes seem endless.
I stopped in Ginger's Needlearts and Framing here in Austin the other day to visit its proprietress Ginger and give her a copy of my new upcoming book Embroidered Effects (she stitched three of the projects in it). She said, barely containing her laughter, "I have something for you toOoO!" and she gave me this little notepad with....geese in bows on the cover ($1.09? I am crazy about that price, though). Thaanks. Ginger knows of my outspoken tepidness for "geese in bows" or "geese in bonnets" as a general way to describe a crafting and needlework aethetic that is, let's just say...not my cup of tea. We both giggle a lot over it, even though she likes that aesthetic and knows I don't. The beautiful part? We both love needlework. The country-folksy market is just far-better served than, oh, anything else as far as needlework tends to go. A couple of years ago I did an interview with Ginger on Etsy's The Storque about the need for changing trends in needlework and the state of local needlework shops. Read what Ginger had to say!
Interior sliding barn doors may be named for the rustic gates used on actual barns, but this efficient design trend is in no way limited to homes with rustic or farmhouse chic looks. In fact, back when'Chip and Joanna Gaines used interior sliding barn doors in many of their Fixer Upper renos, they demonstrated the versatility of this design choice.'There's no place barn doors can't go'and tons of interior barn door inspiration to prove it.