There are two small buildings in the backyard behind the main house. One of them was the surgery used by Jack's dad when he was the local GP in Mairangi Bay, and which I now use as a writing and crafting space. The other is a bach built during the war, which was intended to be demolished after the main house was completed, but never was. Jack has been using this building as his writing den (man cave) for the past 20 years or so, and for the entire ten years I've known him, I've been dying to give it a make-over. A seriously leaky roof needed replacing after the recent storms, so I seized the opportunity to redecorate!
Here's the bach with its lovely new roof, a few plants bought from the Browns Bay market, and a cafe-style seating arrangement outside.
A lovely old painted oar from the Ross family's dinghy sits above the cupboard.
Here are a few 'before' shots of the interior living room, with horrible water stains on the ancient wallpaper, old venetian blinds that stole all the light, and books, books, and more books!
Here's Jack in the midst of redecorating. His look says it all! We certainly questioned why we were doing this when the humidity in Auckland over the past couple of weeks has been so extreme that the least amount of exertion makes you sweat buckets!
But the result was worth the effort.
The blinds are gone, replaced by lightweight curtains, and a fresh white ceiling, and walls painted in 'Moscow Snow', have brought the room to life again. A drawing by Ellen Portch, from her series Wall, is hung next to the bookcase.
A Lundia shelf obscures the view to the narrow galley kitchen.
Below are two before shots of the bedroom.
When our friend Katharina stayed here once, she named the place 'Hotel de la Bibliotheque', inspired of course by the crazy wall of books you can see here. We left them where they were when we painted the room thinking that other guests might like being surrounded by so many books.
Below are three views of the bedroom, with new bedding and curtains, a very cool old lamp from the surgery and books galore to choose from.