Winter has hit with vengeance after that fabulous summer we have had. But the rain was much needed in most areas so there will definitely be some smiling faces around.

While recently traveling through the upper part of the South Island from Christchurch and across the country to the West Coast then heading North to the Sounds we stopped to visit friends at Carters Beach. Carters Beach is out from Westport south of the Buller River and in all my trips (which are few) I had only ever passed through Westport in a frantic dash to catch the ferry home. So it was nice to visit somewhere I hadn’t been before, meet new people and I love our west coast beaches! They are often wild and rugged with their black sand and have a beauty all of their own, winter and summer.

Carters Beach is a great place to relax, play a round of golf, walk along the boardwalk to the Seal Colony, Denniston Incline and The Brakehead or simply use it as a base to get to other outdoor activities or stop over. Unfortunately for us we didn’t manage to do any of those things because not long after arriving the weather changed from brilliant sunshine to rain and before too long we couldn’t even see across the road.

We had dinner with Steve’s friends Erica and Chris Cooper who have spent the last few years building their two storied home and then the motel complex (Carters by the Sea) on the same section. A huge undertaking but the finished complex looks great. The property is situated on Marine Parade overlooking a wide grassy verge then the sea, a perfect location for a beach motel. The buildings are contemporary and have a lovely mix of the beach, relaxation and our lovely native bush. This I feel has been achieved by the colours and finishes they have used on the exterior and interior of the build.

The house is two storied, finished in white linear board, concrete block and flat paneled sheeting for a little bit of contrast. The building is simple with a mono pitch roof, clean lines, but by no means dominating the space. Reception is part of the house and easily visible for prospective customers to see. For privacy from people passing and customers the house is sounded by a concrete block fence to the front. It gives the feeling of a lovely private courtyard when in the house and a retreat from work. That is always hard to achieve when you live with your work.

The motel complex is across the charcoal tarmac driveway and this is a lovely contract from the house. Although it is finished in similar products the concrete block forms the structural walls of the two storied motel units with near black finished linear board on the front framing the joinery that leads onto a small balcony. It is nice to see the follow through of textures and finishes from private quarters to the business side.
There are a variety of rooms to choose from depending on your budget and the reason for your stay. Our room was lovely and gave me an instant feeling of a relaxed beach resort. It had a lovely warm feel about it which was nice given that we were on the West Coast and in black sand territory and by now it was raining heavily outside.

The interior of our room was light and fresh and consisted of a queen bed, glass topped desk a couple of lounge chairs and light finished timber bedside cabinets. It housed a compact kitchen, ideal for anyone staying over for a long weekend and not wanting to eat out and Ensuite finished in white and bleached timber cabinetry. The attention to detail in the finishes had been thought through carefully with the right balance of texture and gloss levels to give the room its warm comfortable feel. The walls were finished in a soft warm off white and so fresh after seeing so much off white cool greys in our décor for years. Soft taupe teamed with hints of watery blues and greens added to the beach theme.  The floor anchored the scheme and brought me back to the West Coast beach with an almost black plush carpet teamed with off white low sheen tiles throughout the wet areas.

The contrast in texture under my feet felt great. The less gloss you have and more texture will instantly give a scheme a warm feel. And the final touch and me being the tactile person that I am, the sheets were finished in a self-pattern stripe, very subtle but never the less it was there and a pleasant change from completely flat sheets.

Thank you Erica and Chris for making our stay memorable and well done on creating a lovely retreat for people to enjoy for many years to come!


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Terry Lobb Colour and Design Ltd – Interior Designer/Personal Stylist/Colour Consultant

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