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Designed to attract the discerning buyer, the master suite in this new house features a warm contemporary palette

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An adventurous approach to interior design is all very well, but when you are designing an interior for a house that will be sold, it can pay to be a little more circumspect.

That was the idea behind this master suite designed by interior designer Jennie Dunlop, who says the interior needed to be in keeping with the scale of the home and its prestigious location.

"The house is at the top end of the market," she says. "It has a contemporary architectural style, and we wanted to echo that inside, without making it too slick or minimal. The house needed to appeal to a wide range of buyers."

In planning the palette of colours and materials, Dunlop says she prefers to start at the floor and layer up from there.

"For the bedrooms in this house, I chose a charcoal-grey carpet, which adds a comfort factor and helps with sound insulation. And while the carpet is quite dark, it is still a neutral element that works well with many different colours. Here, it is teamed with warm white walls, which are a nice foil for the carpet."


Warm neutrals continue in the ensuite bathroom, which features expansive tiling.

Large limestone tiles were chosen for the flooring, while an accent wall features darker marble tiles with a highly distinctive veining.

"This tile is a very rich, chocolate shade, which adds visual interest without being too bold," says the designer.

In contrast to the crisp lines of the bathroom and the contemporary tapware, Dunlop chose more organic forms for the freestanding tub and the asymmetrical twin basins.

The concept of pampering was also a design influence, the designer says.

"In recent times there has been a noticeable trend towards more glamorous bathrooms with spa-like qualities," she says. "The curves help to balance the hard lines and soften the look."

The tub is positioned in front of the low window so that bathers can enjoy the harbour view beyond.

The view is also reflected in one of the mirrors above the cantilevered vanity.

"Floating the vanity above the floor makes the room seem more spacious – although it is already large. We also introduced drawers with recessed handles, to keep the look crisp and modern," says Dunlop.

First published date: 06 February 2013

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Credit List

Interior designer Jennie Dunlop, Dunlop Design (Auckland)
Builder Classic Developments
Vanity cabinetry Custom design by Jennie Dunlop, manufactured by Johannes Erren
Vanity top Honed Affumicato marble from Artedomus
Bath, basin, taps, toilet and shower fittings Robertson Agencies
Floor and wall tiles Limestone and Manhattan marble from European Ceramics
Bedroom furniture DMI HomeStagers