Article by Your Home & Garden
Photography by Helen Bankers
Feb 2017 Issue
A decrepit storage shed on a main road in Riverhead has been lovingly restored by two creatives with big plans for their new studio
Hayley-Anne Brown and Paige Keene sure know how to create a buzz. For weeks, Riverhead locals in North-West Auckland were captivated by the slow transformation of the ramshackle old storage yard on the main road.
The former sawmill had been a garage for years – if you can call a structure without windows, doors or slabs a garage. With interior designer Hayley-Anne from Lou Brown Design and her partner’s sister Paige, a graphic designer and owner of Pudge Design textiles, at the helm, that dilapidated old garage didn’t stand a chance of just quietly disintegrating to the ground in its final years.
“For a long time the yard was a storage facility for machinery and parts so we get a lot of feedback about the incredible transformation,” says Hayley-Anne.
For weeks, Hayley-Anne and Paige roped in extended family to help on site, cladding the interior ceiling with washed timber, painting, planting, spreading gravel and generally turning it into an eye-catcher rather than an eye-sore.
They saved that set of statement doors you see at the entry from the tip and lovingly restored them, giving them custom steel handles designed by Hayley-Anne and created by Gary Quigley, a welder and furniture maker who handily lives on site.
In fact, most of the furniture in the studio is designed by Hayley-Anne and made by Gary: the central Douglas Fir table, the macrocarpa shelving, the steel mesh storage unit and bench seats.
The result of this hard toil and Kiwi can-do attitude is Studio Black – a calm, elegant space that is flexible in its use. The design studio and boutique homewares shop is a place for Hayley-Anne and Paige to run their individual businesses.