After spontaneously purchasing a dreamy section on？Awhitu Peninsula， this family planned and built a modular bach designed for many summers to come
Andrew， 36， and Emma Macdonald， 36 (owners of an import and distribution business)， Flynn， 5personalized gifts for him for birthday， and Sienna， 4， plus Ollie the dog.toddler pillow cases
“Our bach on Awhitu is still in the Auckland region and less than an hour for us to get to from home，” says Emma Macdonald. “This works really well as we can maximise the time we spend at the bach while juggling our work and the kids’ activities at the weekends.”
Best lessons learned？？Go with your gut.
What would you never do again？？I would do it all again.
One thing you would change about your home if you could？？Put an extra bedroom pod on now!
How did your budget forecast compare to your actual spend？？Spot on! We ensured we had fixed quotes to work with.
What areas of your home did you save or splurge on？？We saved by planning the rooms out and buying only to that plan. Then， once we were in， we added to the basics.
Do you tend to buy high-end homeware or seek out a bargain？？Seek out a bargain. I definitely didn’t want the bach to feel precious (or to worry about something being ruined or damaged!).
Best advice when it comes to spending money on a home？？Ask for advice.
How did you keep track of costs during the build？？I love Excel spreadsheets!
How much have you spent on your home altogether？？The section was $360K and the build cost $310K including site works like the septic system and tank.
Any cost breakdowns？？$200K for the pods； $55K for decking； $40K for the septic system， tank， plumbing and electrician. The balance went on fees (architect， council etc) and landscaping.
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Big skies dominate the property， and a covered central deck provides much-needed respite from the midday sun. The living-pod deck at the end is perfect for evening barbecues.
Floor-to-ceiling fixed glazing in the lounge allows for expansive views to the northwest， making the living pod a perfect spot to watch the sun set over the Waitakere Ranges.
Style it Use blue-and-white striped linen to create a heritage coastal look that’s perfect for a bach.
Get the look？Matte black jug， $5， from Kmart.？Living &； Co stool， $25， from The Warehouse.？Cushion cover， $14.99， from H&；M.
Shop their style？African Buhera bowl， $225， from Indie Home Collective. Cushion， $26.99， from Farmers. Stoneware figurine， $39.99， from H&；M Home. Vandam tray， 54.95， from Freedom.
View next gallery： This sunny family home has a relaxed， uncomplicated style View Gallery
Words and styling by： Tina Stephen. Photography by： Helen Bankers.
I opted to use seed beads and waxed cotton twine – I know it doesn’t sparkle and shine the way some people make their wraps, but it keeps the cost way down, which I think is important for seasonal pieces. ?Depending on what you keep on-hand, this should be something you can make for $5 or less.
High ceilings may be little more than a pipe dream for many of us, but with the right ceiling paint color and some pro-approved design tricks, you can fool the eye into thinking any room is bigger than its dimensions. Homebuilders today often construct new homes with 9-, 10-, or even 20-foot'ceilings, but many older homes were built with lower ceilings. Living in an older home doesn't necessitate suffering a low, dark ceiling, though'a smart ceiling'paint color can help the fifth wall feel lighter and brighter, creating the illusion of a larger living space without breaking the bank.
It may be an overdone trend, but you simply can’t deny that sometimes you just have to put a bird on it. Well, a few years back I put a few birds on the lamp shades in our master bedroom and I still love them today. Just to be clear, they are our only bird related decor (if you don’t count a DIY ceramic owl or a mercury glass owl). ?I was reminded of this project recently, when I again saw the inspiration in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I was originally inspired by it years ago and they recently republished the same idea in a new magazine. Obviously they still love it too.