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burlap pillow cover diy A Waiheke workshop becomes an unlikely family home sofa pillow covers

With some clever thinking, a family home is created from a Waiheke Island workshop

Who lives here? Tony Parker (owner of Tree Essence), Jo Parker (legal secretary and owner of One Button crafts),? Ruby, and Munroburlap pillow cover diy, live on the island full-time. Big sisters Claudia, and Paris are part-time residents.

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Where do you find inspiration and materials for your projects, Tony? Partly, it’s necessity. Reusing is cost effective. And living on an island, you make do with what’s available. Pretty much everything we‘ve got here was secondhand or rescued from local businesses.

Jo, how did your business start? When the children were small, I kept mixing up their Well Child Plunket books, taking Ruby’s book to Munro’s appointment. So I designed covers for the books, so I could tell them apart and that led to other people wanting them. The name One Button came from some canvas art I started when Ruby was a baby.




The black fire station doors cost $6.50 “and a hang of a lot of labour”, says Tony. The couple had planned to gather an assortment of doors and line an entire interior wall with them. They thought they were buying a small set of garage doors. “I went to pick them up and couldn’t get them in my van, they were sticking out the door. They were so big I had to cut them down,” says Tony.



The kitchen.



The chairs stored on the wall are a Shaker-style influence, says Jo. “It creates space in the room when they’re not required, but they’re readily available and look good too.”


The central table was created from scaffold planks, with a filing cabinet at one end and supported at the other end by a steel sawhorse.


Timber re-purposed from wooden pallets was used to make the spice rack.



The hanging lights in the dining area/study nook are made from vintage agee jars from Jo’s grandad’s apple orchard farm in Motueka.




The ladder that leads to the main bedroom.


The main bedroom is suspended above the dining area and is reached by a ladder staircase.?One of Tony and Jo’s first projects was to turn old washing machine drums into lightshades


Jo made the bedspread from linen and old coffee sacks.


They laid a strip of fake grass to reduce maintenance and counteract the effects of Waiheke’s infamous mud.


A view of the main bedroom.


Old ladders have been converted into functional drying racks. This one works on a pulley system.


Wine crates make great storage for shoes.


The entrance to the bathroom.


The bathroom was once a roofless outdoor bath with a shower above it and some brush stick for privacy. “It was too low, too cold and too hard with little kids,” says Jo. It’s now enclosed with a roof and walls and “the amazing ponga that grew out of a large piece of extraction dust”.


Tony installed windows in his old dog’s house and converted it into a play house for?the children.


The shipping container is set to be converted into a spare bedroom and office.


Tony and Jo cut down trees and worked with a landscaper friend to turn the builder’s yard into a family space, complete with outdoor pot belly stove.


Gumboots are stored on pitchforks to keep them dry.

Words by: Sue Hoffart. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

If you’re SO over winter, why not get ready for warmer weather by decorating your master bedroom for spring? Maybe you can’t throw open all your windows yet, but you can change up your bedroom décor to make it look more like spring indoors. We’ve put together some great master bedroom ideas for spring that are sure to help you get ready for the sunny, warm days that you’re longing for.

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Wings on Wednesday have so far featured?numerous projects, from cards to notebooks but never a?bottle…Today,?Cathy Frailey?shares her winged project with a Gypsy in a Bottle – rusty, grungy and?totally awesome!!!