A former convalescence home gets a new lease of life.
When the Sandoy family moved from Auckland to Tauranga four years ago, their wishlist included a home with views of the sea and Mt Maunganui.
Tor, who had just had a health scare that made him reassess what was important in life, says it was time for a change. "I had lived in and around Auckland since day dot so I was ready for an adventure."
So the couple and their two children, Isabella, now aged 12, and Oscar, 9, sold up and moved south.
The family had always lived in character villas or bungalows, so a new home wasn't an option. "We like the lived-in feeling of old houses because of their unique character and history," Andi says. "They have plenty of stories to tell."
The two-storey plaster home they bought, named Four Winds, is a local landmark, its long, terracotta-tiled roof used as a beacon by fishermen. It started life in the early 1930s as a single-storey farmhouse, but has been added to over the years and used for a variety of purposes, including a doctor's surgery, a convalescence home and the base for a knitting business. At one stage it was divided into three flats.
When the Sandoys moved in, all it required was "a cosmetic facelift, a freshen-up and a new breath of life".
They carpeted for warmth, changed the lighting, and removed the textured ceilings and walls as well as the patterned wallpaper and borders.
"We like the country feel and look, but with the freshness and simplicity of paint," says Andi. And there was only ever going to be one colour choice - white - which has been Andi's signature colour for the past 20 years.
When it came to decorating, Andi didn't just do furniture and accessory placement; she sewed duvets and cushions, crafted the wire hearts on the master bedroom wall, and made a padded bedhead. On top of that, she made the home's 32 roman blinds using an old sewing machine that her mother received as a 21st birthday gift.
The blinds, too, are mostly white. It's a colour that works well with the earthy hues throughout the home. Natural shades abound in the candlesticks, Turkish urns, vases, cream cans, baskets and fur throws.
"I love earthy. I find it restful and easy to live with," Andi explains. "We are definitely not fad buyers and we are big on the comfort factor. We love to snuggle up - hence the fur throws on all four couches - and we like that whole slouchy, shabby chic look."
Light touch: Andi has painted some wooden vases, turned them upside down and made them into bases for table lamps for the downstairs spare bedroom.
Hang time: Andi buys deep picture frames to display special items such as Oscar's Lego creations, which are then hung on his bedroom wall.
Group think: Using clusters of objects is an effective way of displaying them. Andi has a flight of copper butterflies on the dining room wall, straw hats hanging in the hallway, and clusters of hearts about the house.
Leanne Moore is the editor of Your Home & Garden. For the full story on this house see the latest issue of the magazine.