For furniture designer David Moreland, having a long-term home is a huge relief.
He and partner Megan Rees bought their Westmere, Auckland, bungalow after living in Sydney then Hawkes Bay, where Moreland started making furniture for internationally renowned designer David Trubridge, as well as creating his own range.
"This is a house that we plan to stay in for a while. It is somewhere we can see ourselves being in 10 years," says Moreland.
"So now we can be site-specific about furniture. Before I buy something I know where it will go and I don't have to worry that in a year or so it won't fit into the next house we've moved on to."
Moving to Auckland in 2008 coincided with the decision to buy a home, and they liked the character of the three-bedroom bungalow as well as the fact that they didn't have to renovate immediately.
Moreland's designer eye is evident throughout the home. Clean, simple lines are complemented by carefully chosen furniture, art and ornaments. While the home has a minimalist feel, it doesn't fall into the trap of being sterile - it is not only interesting but also functional as it has to cope with the couple's two children, Sophie, 3, and Joe, 1.
Unlike a lot of modern or renovated homes, the interior isn't open plan, allowing each room to have its own function.
The lounge is sparsely furnished, with a Patterson sofa and Hangover table, both by Simon James Design, plus prints by Rakai Karaitiana, a Hawkes Bay artist friend. The walls are painted cream, giving the room a soft warmth.
"We ummed and ahhed about painting the dark stained window frames, architraves and doors as well as the mushroom walls - but in the end decided to go with it," Moreland says.
"You couldn't see the natural wood grain anyway, and the house benefited from the lightness of the white paint."
Next to the lounge, the dining room has an intriguing piece of art, Algae, designed by French brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
All the living areas are down one side of the house, with the bedrooms on the other. This means the couple can entertain at night without disturbing the children.
With no plans to move in the near future, they can also take time to plan and refine the look of their home.
Discerning choices: Moreland and Rees don't buy into fads or trends. They look for timeless, interesting pieces and try to buy New Zealand-made.
Presentation counts: "Sometimes the simplest things can be beautiful; all they need is to be presented well. Our oar from Fly by Night was leaning in the corner of our bedroom for ages," says Moreland. "As soon as I mounted it on to the wall it took on a new lease of life. Now I love it even more."
Measured approach: Carefully measure out your spaces before buying large pieces of furniture. A lot of locally made furniture can be built to your specifications.
Leanne Moore is the editor of Your Home & Garden. See the latest issue, on sale now, for more achievable home ideas.