Gwen and Lloyd's retreat among the Waikato hills

30 Mar 2017

South Africa, England, Hong Kong... and finally, New Zealand. Gwen and Lloyd Bryce have lived in a fair few countries, but it's among the hills of the Waikato where they've decided to settle and start their beautiful homestay and wellbeing retreat. 

After a holiday in New Zealand, the couple were inspired to leave their corporate jobs and buy property in Cambridge. The idea of the Sakura retreat was born. Painted in a restul colour palette of Resene neutrals, every room has its own personality, designed to make guests feel relaxed from the minute they step inside.

Gwen tells us more.

How did you decide on the overall look of the interiors? 

I wanted to create a very calming and relaxing space for our guests, so we painted the home in restful neutrals. We made sure to choose neutrals that weren't cold, because we want people to feel cosy, especially during the cool New Zealand winters.

The bedrooms need to be especially restful, so that our guests can feel relaxed and refreshed after a day of activities in the beautiful Waikato surroundings.

I also love art and found that  the varying strengths of Resene Taupe Grey that we used really made the artwork come to life in the living rooms and passageways    

What part of the house are you most happy with?

The living and communal spaces. I love the contrast of the greys and whites; it really highlights the architecture, furniture and artwork, especially in the Cherry Blossom ensuite. 

What is your advice for someone trying to achieve a similar look?

Colours can look completely different in different spaces. It all depends on the light. Paint tester walls and let them dry before proceeding to do an entire area. There are so many wonderful tools for creating colour schemes online. Play!

What was the biggest decorating, renovating or building challenge for this project?

The high ceiling angles made the roof construction quite a challenge. And – as with all builds – all the unforeseen delays!

Is there anyone you would like mentioned in the article? 

The builders Holah Homes and Tony Schoen of Decorative Paint Effects Ltd, Hamilton – they were excellent. 

To see more of the retreat, visit www.sakura.nz.

Inside of the main guest house, the walls are painted in Resene Eighth Taupe Grey, a colour chosen as a perfect base for Gwen's collection of art. The ceiling is painted in Resene Quarter Merino. 

The house includes a relaxed kitchen and lounge area, painted in Resene Eighth Taupe Grey on the walls and Resene Quarter Merino on the ceiling. 

The art really does look beautiful against the Resene Eighth Taupe Grey walls. The ceiling is painted in Resene Quarter Merino. 

The other side of the living room and kitchen area. The walls are painted in Resene Eighth Taupe Grey. The ceiling is painted in Quarter Merino. 

Every room has a theme, combined with beautiful art and artisanal pieces. The upstairs Silver Birch Room has a bohemian spirit, painted in Resene Quarter Taupe Grey. The ceiling is painted in Resene Quarter Merino. 

pictures Jessica Judge

With views of the sunrise over the mountains, the Lotus Room is a great place to wake up to in the morning. The walls are painted in Resene Half Wan White. The ceiling is painted in Resene Quarter Merino. 

Along the hallway is the Lily Room, painted in Resene Half Albescent White. The ceiling is painted in Resene Quarter Merino. 

The Lotus and Lily Room share this gorgeous ensuite, painted in Resene Half Wan White. The mirror was designed by a New Zealand artist, using steel rim from around a wine barrel.

The Forest Bedroom has a private porch area and is a perfect place to calm the senses. The walls are painted in Resene Half Albescent White. The ceiling is painted in Resene Quarter Merino. 

The retreat's most luxurious room is the Cherry Blossom Suite, with its own deck and opulent ensuite. The walls are painted in Resene Quarter Taupe Grey. The ceiling is painted in Resene Quarter Merino. 

The decor is inspired by the cherry blossom tree, known as sakura in Japan, and its soft petals. The room is painted in Resene Quarter Taupe Grey, and the ceiling is painted in Resene Quarter Merino.  

The ensuite is painted in Resene Quarter Taupe Grey and Resene Quarter Merino, a colour combo that Gwen loves. 

A tranquil pond lies in the middle of the Sakura property. Get this exterior look with Resene Double Sea Fog. The roof is painted in Resene Gull Grey.   

Situated amongst the rolling hills of Waikato, Gwen wanted the exterior to be painted in all white as a contrast. Get the look with Resene Double Sea Fog. The roof is painted in Resene Gull Grey. 

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Resene Double Sea Fog

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Resene Gull Grey

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Resene Half Albescent White

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Resene Half Wan White

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Resene Quarter Merino

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Resene Quarter Taupe Grey

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the look

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colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
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Resene Double Sea Fog

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Resene Gull Grey

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Resene Half Albescent White

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Resene Half Wan White

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Resene Quarter Merino

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Resene Quarter Taupe Grey

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the look

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