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A much-loved part of the Waiheke landscape, Moa Hall has been transformed into three commercial studios – the Yellowfox design merges the classic and the eclectic

Fresh inspiration

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When a much-loved historic building receives a new lease of life, it makes sense that the interior designers will match its traditional good looks with the spirit of today.

After 70 years, Moa Hall on Waiheke Island has already enjoyed many lives. Most recently known as Moa Hall Art Gallery, the celebrated blue building has now been completely refreshed, says designer Shelley Brockliss of Yellowfox, the interior design firm that undertook the makeover.

"The hall stands proud again, its historic charm balanced by the warmth and flavour of the ever-eclectic Waiheke lifestyle."

Renamed Moa Business Studios, it now comprises three purpose-built studios that accommodate up to three professionals each. The spaces are designed with flair and offer an enviable work-life balance on the island.

"Each studio features a large modern bathroom to shower or freshen up in after a swim, run or lunchtime walk," says Brockliss. "The studios are fitted with fully equipped kitchenettes and large decks for client entertaining. All enjoy views into the garden – perfect for relaxing on at the end of the day while sipping a crisp Waiheke wine."

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Finished in a style that calls to mind rustic Spanish Modernism, and loft-style living, the studios feature products and materials from Yellowfox's trusted network of suppliers.

"As with most projects, first impressions were important. The rough-sawn, stained timber garden box contains delicate white geraniums that cascade over the sides, softening the lower facade of the building on approach.

"Colourful striped awnings from Cool Awnings are a playful touch and protect the doors from southerly weather and the midday sun. The beaten wrought iron balustrades were fabricated locally, by Absolute Gates, and make an apt lead-up to the oversized Spanish doors, sourced from LA Imports. These rustic doors are a focal point of the facade and give the studios much of their immediate character. They are in a European colonial style that has been adapted for the New Zealand way of life. Colonial entry hardware from Fusion was chosen to emphasise their solidity and strength."

Stepping inside, high ceilings with oversized beams and a washed brick facade wall, by Aspiring Walls, give a loft-like feel to the studios.

"A halo of light falls delicately down the walls, creating an immediately restful ambience," says Brockliss. "This was achieved with Fluro T5 strip lighting nested above the beams."

These energy-efficient lights were sourced from Lighthouse Remuera.

"The floors are the original matai planks, which date back to the 1940s. Due to the age of the building, some of them had to be replaced. To maintain the right look, we stripped out some of the exterior matai weatherboards and sent them to the Kauri Warehouse in Auckland where they were machined into tongue-and-groove floorboards."

The kitchenettes in the three studios are by CC Interiors. These were originally designed as island benches but then modified to include a sink and tap. These compact kitchens are enhanced by hanging pendants in various colours by Bauhaus.

Oversized cavity sliders optimise available space and allow light into the bathrooms. The latter are personalised with a splash of saturated colour. All paint used throughout the studios is from Resene. The colours were inspired by the location – Resene Spotlight for the sun, Resene Elvis for the water, and Resene Moxie to represent the Waiheke bush.

The wall colours extend through the glass shower walls, from Image Glass, to the adjacent toilet wall. The bathroomware and toilets in the Moa Business Studios were supplied by Robertson, with all building materials on the project from Carters.

For details, contact Yellowfox Auckland or Yellowfox Waiheke, phone 09) 525 3450, fax (09) 525 3453. Website:www.yellowfox.co.nz .

First published date: 02 April 2014

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