Japandi Style In An Inspiring 'Second-Hand' Home In New Zealand

Even though this home in Hamilton, New Zealand couldn't be further from Scandinavia -  you'd be forgiven for thinking it was at least within the vicinity! But there's something strikingly different about it too - perhaps it's the subtle Japanese influence, or it could be the unique collection of second hand furniture. Erena Te Paa juggles her time between being a Mother to her two little boys Sol (1) and Costa (3) and working as a freelance stylist and Airbnb host. Erena and her husband Joe bought their home two years ago. Designed by well-known New Zealand architect Rod Smith in the 1960s, the house had fallen into disrepair and the pair have set about renovating it one room at a time. The result is a beautiful, Japandi-style home in warm neutral tones and furnished throughout with sculpted furniture - and clever DIY ideas. Welcome inside! 

Above: the kitchen wall can easily be adapted thanks to the pegboard wall. See this DIY for similar. 

"Interior styling is cathartic for me so I am always rearranging furniture," Erena tells me. 

"I almost forget that most of the things I find to fill my spaces are second hand. I am incredibly passionate about reusing and restoring furniture and that, I believe, has influenced by personal style."

A lot of the bedroom furniture was sourced second hand, including the bed. "I found pieces over a period of time. I tend to give myself a bit of lead time so I'm not rushing. It's an enjoyable process not knowing what I'll find."

"I find neutral tones very grounding and tend to lean towards them. I would describe my style as somewhat Japanese-inspired with a modernist, mid-century twist, though, honestly I think someone observing might be able to describe my style better!" 

I'm feeling so inspired by this home, especially with regards to the second hand finds. It can be a tricky business scouring second hand sites - but Erena's home is proof that you'll be truly rewarded! 

On her Instagram, Erena has this to say about it:

"I often forget that most of the things I find to fill my space are second hand. And I don't say this in a sustainability warrior-princess kind of way (which there is nothing wrong with BTW!) but a) I would not be worthy of the title and b) it was at first unintentional. 

What started as a quest for 'champagne taste on beer budget' has become an enjoyable and reliable way for me to express my interior style and it has become second nature. But buying second hand is not everyone's cup of tea. It has its own set of obstacles, like the fact that it's not easy to find what you're looking for (some may say it's near impossible!) and there's the fact that some things are just better (and more reliable) bought new. 

But what I am most definitely staunch about is considered purchases. Taking that little bit longer to work out if what you are about to buy is really what you need and then taking the time to hunt or save for it. 

So if there is one thing I would say when it comes to purchasing anything, it would be to consider all your options before going out and buying old or new. How we buy is one way to buy smarter (greener) but how we choose is just as important as the what."

You can see more of Erena's home and find out more about her latest projects on instagram and her website

I actually thought this is the first ever home I've shown from New Zealand but looking through the archives I realised that isn't the case at all! I have also featured this home with a warm, boho vibe and less we forget Waterfall Bay House and the home and showroom of Father Rabbit

Thank you for all the inspiration today Erena / New Zealand! 

Oh, and speaking of far away places - we've just arrived on the beautiful Swedish island of Gotland. It feels like and extra special achievement as it has taken us AGES to get here, battling against the elements by sailboat (it's right out in the Baltic) - I'm particularly proud of my girls who were so patient on the way here! Gotland is somewhere I've dreamed of visiting for years and it exceeds all of my wildest expectations! 

Saying that, Per and the girls are standing over my shoulder waiting for me to finish this post so we can go and explore so I'd better head off! I hope you have a wonderful start to the week too!


Photography courtesy of Erena Te Paa
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  1. I am loving the simple and stark look of this home. It feels so peaceful and simplistic. I could live there myself. Thanks for sharing.

    1. So happy you felt inspired by Erena's home too!

  2. is everything in that home custom? wow - how amazing

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This space is so open and airy - I love it!

    Jackie |


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