The commanding view is what strikes you first: the deep blue of Lake Wakatipu crowned by the striking ruggedness of the surrounding mountains. It is then the warmth and the authenticity of the interior of the apartment in The Glebe complex in Queenstown that lingers with you – a result of many hours of hard work by Cavit & Co. “Everything we did was extremely well considered,” Cavit & Co managing director Debbie Cavit says of the interior of the apartment.
“We wanted to use earthy colours that suited the palette that the couple wanted.” The owners of the apartment – a US-based couple who live in Queenstown over the summer months – first approached Cavit & Co in 2014. They had owned the apartment for a couple of years but felt it was time for a renovation. “They were absolutely brilliant clients,” Cavit says. “The brief was very limited. They wanted an apartment that would be suitable for hosting their international friends, something high quality but understated.”
The architectural design was largely completed by the time Cavit & Co became involved. Cavit says the overall feeling she hoped to create was one of warmth, comfort and timelessness. Throughout the apartment, clever techniques have been used as well as a fine attention to detail.
One of the first suggestions Cavit made was to adjust the entrance into the apartment. “They had a standard height door with a 2.4-metre ceiling. I suggested we raise the height of all the doors, including the new front door, to better represent the interior. We then put a horizontal band across the bottom of each door to give visual interest. All the door handles throughout are leather-wrapped bronze.
Opposite the entranceway we extended the wall to close off the entrance slightly from the living room and to really create a sense of arrival.”
From there it was on to the kitchen and living room. “Originally the kitchen was very small but the couple love cooking and wanted a lovely big kitchen. We designed the kitchen, pantry and laundry for them and selected all the finishes, opting for a horizontal oak veneer with a black granite top. The couple chose a Wolf oven and Sub-Zero fridge and freezer from the United States. They were two wonderful, hefty pieces that we could actually utilise in the kitchen.”
Cavit adds: “Because of the scale of these pieces, and because they had an under-bench fridge on the kitchen side, there was quite a lot of room taken up with appliances.” In order to counteract this, Cavit made drawers on the dining side of the kitchen island, meaning there was plenty of storage for the kitchen. “We didn’t use handles on the visible side of the island so it looks like furniture rather than part of the kitchen.”
The dining chairs are woven rawhide from McGuire Furniture, and the table, which seats 12, was made in New Zealand with solid American walnut – one of only two woods used throughout the apartment (the other is oak). The living room is large with a lot of areas in one space, including a custom-designed bar and wine chiller built using aged timbers reclaimed from the nearby Gibbston Valley Winery. “Because of the number of items in the room we wanted to keep the palette as simple as we possibly could,” Cavit says. “We have used lovely warm chocolates, so rich they have almost got a mauve tinge to them.”
The main living area is underscored by two statement rugs from Tufenkian. The hand-tufted rug in the living room was made to order, while the rug under the dining table features the same yarn colours but a different weave. The large fireplace and shelving were designed to carry through the horizontal oak details and steel used in the wine cabinet. The sophisticated yet casual sofas are by Promemoria, a superb brand from Italy imported by Cavit & Co.
In the master bedroom, Cavit added further detailing to the fireplace surround. “Normally the surround would be two flat pieces of steel,” she explains. “We had the outside piece engraved to give it a fabulous secondary texture, which makes the fireplace look more like an art piece.”
The conservatory is furnished in light colours so as to not compete with the view. Cavit used McGuire Furniture, mostly in a driftwood palette. She also selected items that are suitable for outdoor use, as well as accessories from Guaxs and Ralph Lauren Home and nest tables from Central Station Interiors.
Cavit says the house is special for a number of reasons, not least because she was able to use furniture entirely from the brands stocked in her own stores. All the bedrooms, for instance, are furnished with Bolier & Company pieces. The overall result is cohesive and beautiful, and one the owners have fallen in love with. “We didn’t assume anything at all,” Cavit explains, “but the clients bought into our vision almost completely and it’s fabulous when your original ideas end up being nearly identical to the end result.”