Buying a bach 20 minutes from home wasn’t on Leanne and Brian Culy’s to-do list eight years ago. But when the creative collaborators fell in love with this 90m² bach on Haumoana Beach in Hawke’s Bay, there was no turning back.
“Our friends Dick and Jude Frizzell were renting it at the time, while they built their own house nearby,” explains Leanne Culy, 50. “They told us the owners were looking to sell, so we leapt at the chance. Even though it’s only a short drive, it’s a whole different world out on the coast. We’re right on the water and Haumoana has a great little community.”
Leanne, who is an artist and homewares maker, admits it was a little unusual to buy a bach so close to Balquhidder House, their five-bedroomed residence which sprawls lazily across Napier’s Hospital Hill and is Ground Zero for her company, Homebase Collections, and husband Brian’s film and photography business. “But, it’s a welcome contrast to the chaos of home,” she says.
The couple, their children (Jacobina, 24, and Billie, 21) and two dogs even lived full-time at the bach for a couple of years. “But, sadly, as our interiors’ business Homebase Collections expanded and I needed more space for my studio, we outgrew it,” says Brian Culy, 60.
The two-storeyed dwelling, which had been renovated by its previous owners, is now filled with a mix of new and vintage finds, including Homebase’s ply and pegboard bedside tables and sideboards.
“Being by the ocean energises me,” says Leanne. “We swim, take the boat out and enjoy the relaxed essence of a Kiwi bach. We often think about moving back here full-time because the kids have left home. Although we need a lot of room to run our businesses, we might just be able to make it work one day.”
Scroll through the image gallery above to see a few of Brian and Leanne’s favourite things.