The Project

Executive show-home purchased almost 16 years ago.

The Client

Husband and wife team working  busy full time jobs, that didn't allow them much time to prep and plan for the renovations and updates of their family home now the kids had flown the nest. 

The Brief


This family home had remained virtually untouched design-wise and was in need of  an overhaul to bring it back up to its former glory. The owners felt that now was a good time to apply some design touches as the kids had left home and in a way they were getting their house back and were looking forward to living in a more adult space.  They had also recently bought a section and in a 'love it or list it?' type of fashion, once interiors were complete they would have an idea of their next move: would they build or would they would stay put?

Straight off the bat we identified some key areas we would be able to attack straight away: original window fixtures and wallpaper needing some love, updates to furniture and room placement as well as options to accesorise the main living spaces to rejuvenate things a little.

We quickly set to work organising quotes for wallpaper/painting, carpet, double glazing and window treatments in the form of both curtains and blinds.  Originally the idea had been to rework the entire space, however due to pending decisions around resell and not wanting to over capitalise in the early stages the best decision was to save and take on the jobs that would have the biggest impact yet provide the best cost efficiencies. 

Existing rolls of wallpaper from the original build were professionally installed in areas needing it most. Old Ventian blinds were replaced with 60mm wooden slats in white. At entry/exit spaces such as the living area and bedrooms where doors gave way to courtyards, the blinds were removed entirely to create better functioning and more usable spaces.

To create a look of cohesion I specified fabric for the drapes in a soft textural sandy weave from Warwick Fabrics - a colour scheme that both complimented and lightened up the existing space and transformed the feeling of heaviness to one of light and airiness and really dressed the room.

Existing furniture was used where possible and some was sourced to create the overall look and feel of a sophisticated yet comfortable and stately home. An entertainment unit from The Importer in soft tones of pastle oak and black grounded the living room visually and brought function through by providing storage and organisation - not to mention allowing HDMI and power leads to be neatly tucked away out of sight.

The addition of throw cushions from both WeaveHome and Mulberi added layers, warmth and interest with texture and pattern to bring a sense of coziness.

One of the furniture items that was on the 'must have' list was a display cabinet I found at Danske Mobler in oak and steel. This was used to store and display wine glasses and decorations that were of importance and held sentimental value.

The bench seat that had been originally used as a stand for the T.V. was re-purposed to sit along the entryway blade wall and has become a showcase of sorts that sets the tone for the rest of the home.  A large wall mirror in solid oak gives the illusion of a larger space and reflects light into the room; building on what is already an inviting space as soon as you walk through the front door. 

The master bedroom was a space I was really excited to see change. As I often see happening -  matching bedhead, side tables and drawers can both quickly date a room as well as lack visual diversity. I went to work sourcing two beautiful matching side tables (some matching is good!), lamps and linen from Ezibuy, a natural linen thrown from Linens and More and throw cushions from Mulberi.  With new drapery and a Roman blind installed above the bed where the old Venitian blinds had been the room was transformed completely and suddenly felt like the restful sanctuary a bedroom should always be.

Like any project there is such a huge reward in seeing the delight a client displays when their home suddenly starts to feel and look exactly how they wanted it to, often without even knowing it. The secret to this I find is to simply listen, with both my ear and my eyes and interpret a space that reflects the personality of my client and helps them discover their own unique style and tastes and as it turns out, they have decided to stay put for the time being.

What the clients say

"Highly recommend Cassandra Swan Interiors. The mood boards Cass presented after our initial meetings confirmed that she had listened to our ideas and had captured our taste 100%.

Nothing was ever a problem and Cass made everything as easy as possible for us,met contractors onsite, arranged quotes and made sure we were happy with everything prior to invoices being paid.

We are delighted with the final result - thanks Cass!"


The Project

A recently purchased do up -  Single level, 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom family home with panoramic views back towards Welcome Bay in Maungatupu, Tauranga.

The Clients

A husband & wife team; both with a keen eye when it comes to design and had already begun the renovations when I was contracted to offer my advice and expertise for the interior spaces.

The Brief

To bring together elegant yet coastal decor,incorporating existing furniture, such as an earlier purchased gorgeous leather cigar sofa. This sofa brought a certain level of drama to the room and paired well with a fabric sofa purchased at the same time from Hunter Furniture.  We went to work with the use of soft furnishings in varying fabrics & textures. A linear geometric print from Warwick NZ, transformed the window nook and complimented the dining table chairs already in purchased long ago. A contemporary velvety plain fabric in the colour 'Moss' complimented the red tones in the  leather cigar couch and the reindeer hide softened the coolness that leather can sometimes convey.   A range of throw cushions from both Mulberi and Weave Home created a layered warmth making the large open living spaces feel cozy and welcoming.

As with many renovations, the project can take on a life of its own and these clients have now gone on to renovate the kitchen, with updates to the bathrooms and  laundry on the list next.  Saving the best for last when they convert a bedroom off the master into a large walk in dressing room and ensuite to become what will be a truly remarkable home.

What the client says

"Loved the warmth and the overall feeling that our home now conveys. Cass was able to listen and interpret the little details that made our house unique to us."


The Project

A two story weatherboard, hip roof design, incorporating Dorma windows and a wrap around deck - Both upstairs and down could function together or independently.  'The Apartment' upstairs was where the clients spent most of their time entertaining friends and enjoying uninterrupted views of Lake Taupo and the Mountains.  The space consisted of a living area with fireplace, little kitchenette, master bedroom, walk in robe and a bathroom. Decking off both the living space and the master bedroom created a wonderful indoor outdoor flow.

The Clients

These clients had recently moved back to Taupo from Auckland to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle of summers by the lake with their children and grandchildren.

The Brief

After a such a shift from one town to another furniture had been consolidated  into one home. The design brief was to create an orderly curated space, incorporating all the collected treasures, antiques and timeless pieces of furniture bought throughout a lifetime of adventures and travels. 

After editing the space, I could see there was a real bohemian yet Cape cod eclectic vibe.  By taking pieces away, and placing other already existing furniture into designated areas I was able to eliminate any feelings of chaos in the space and allow the eye wander around the room taking in all the elements in a relaxed manner that made sense. Simple things, such as creating micro seating area's within the general living space, created a story to anyone who visited about how this room was to be utilised.

I believe that fabrics always help to convey a story and so I had the squabs and throw cushions reupholstered in a Persian influenced weave which recreated a look of a fabric found from a far off lands like some of the treasured ornaments they had collected along the way. Their was a built in daybed, this was kept in calming relaxed neutral tones of creams and taupes with masses of cushions to add volume and comfort for a lazy afternoon snooze. 

Once the apartment was complete,I was then asked to help with the kitchen & living renovation downstairs. The brief was to make the space work for larger gatherings for entertaining family on nights when they all got together to watch the Rugby etc.  

Downstairs I designed a look based on the Cap Cod style. With all areas opening out onto decking and surrounded by a private cottage like garden, it was easy to envision this look.  Two large custom sofas were made for the downstairs living room, allowing all to sit and relax when the rugby was in play.   Large antique mirrors were positioned to reflect more light around the room and make the space feel bigger and brighter. Accent lighting was added in the form of table and floor lamps as well as three pendant lights installed over the kitchen island.  In the kitchen the original floorboards were beginning to deteriorate so we had engineered oak floor boards installed in a complimentary colour to the rest of the living areas. Large antique rugs adorned the floor pulling the elements together, with the final specification to paint the deck in a weathered white wash.

The drapes downstairs were in great condition, but I had custom roman blinds upholstered in a beautiful Warwick fabric for the window in the kitchen and the glass back door finishing and dressing the downstairs space.

What the clinet says

Now complete the happy clients feedback has been that they now find themselves enjoying company in the downstairs living ares more than the apartment these days. which has meant that the apartment has become a sanctuary for them both to retreat to when needs be.


“We love our home, it has really been a transformation, light bright and beautiful – we get a lot of favorable comments and wouldn't hesitate to recommend Cass from Cassandra Swan Interiors ”

The Project

An early 1980s Lockwood home, with a few minor renovations over the years but overall had remained true to its original form inside.

The Clients

A lovely couple in there 70s, who had lived most of the last 40 years in what was once the family home.

The Brief

To update the feeling throughout the house, modernise and create a lighter brighter space. 

It was clear to me from the outset that there would be a lot to be gained from paint! We hashed out all the options around painting either the entire interior - a huge undertaking that would completely change the look and feel of the home, or painting out all the black trims, the surrounds around the windows, doors, skirting boards, center beams etc. We also went so far to paint the wooden soffits, all internal doors and built in cabinetry.

Instantly the home felt much more spacious, lighter & airier than before - the use of Resene's Merino a versatile off white, was neither to stark or to beige and created a warm tone throughout.

Existing tiles were kept in the sun-room, conservatory kitchen and bathrooms, these were terracotta with a royal blue trim.  In order to pull the look all together I implored elements of these colour's in the  soft furnishings and ornamentally, seen here in the throw cushions from WeaveHome, and the blue based corner sofa from Freedom Furniture; once everything came together the feeling was cohesive, elegant and  timeless.

For the drapes in the living area a semi sheer from Warwick Fabrics, was used that had an organic earthy feel, and worked beautifully to blend in with the existing Lockwood tones as well as the newly painted Resene Merino trims. For a fuller look I had these upholstered with a box pleat, causal yet refined in style.

A beautiful Mahogany antique table passed down through the generations had been kept in original condition, and needed only the dining chairs reupholstered. The fabric 'Noho' in colour 'loft' from Textilia Fabrics offered the perfect solution with it's textural off-white yarn. Grounding the dining space, was a vintage area rug in blues creams and greys; again from Freedom Furniture, that complimented both the colour of the tiles and the dining chairs beautifully. 

What the client says


The Project

An outright new build from the frame up.

The Clients

Husband and Wife team - he a builder, she a full time teacher with  a strong idea of what they wanted to achieve having been down this road many times before. Busy schedules meant that they were unable to focus on the many decisions it takes to come to a final answer for the interior of a home and so this was where I came on board to help.

The Brief

Brought on board at an early stage of the project, I was to assist the clients in interior specifications, samples, colour consultation, fabrics, soft furnishings, tiles etc, and complete the home interiors to a high end standard.

This helped my clients save both time and money as well as their sanity as they didn't have to labor over the many magnitudes of options. Along with knowledge and expertise they were also able to benefit from my access direct to trade suppliers.  

Inspiration for the design, came from their extensive collection of art and antique Persian rugs, in particular a rare find Persian - 'The tree of life' that was a favorite of their grandchildren and held a great deal of sentimental value to my clients.

Occasional chairs were reupholstered in Textillia Fabric 'Masi', a fun bold pattern and colour that brought new life to the furniture to be enjoyed every day.

A beautiful woolen Mark Alexander fabric from Seneca was specified for the drapes throughout the living areas; with its slubby texture it added copious amounts of warmth and organic rich overtones to the space.

In the master bedroom the bed was dressed with high quality egyptian cotton linen, again from Seneca and adorned in beautiful french comforters and throw cushions from Elitis. Thread Design was used as the bed linen in subsequent bedrooms with throw cushions from both WeaveHome and Thread Design placed throughout.  

The outcome was some very happy clients, with lots of admirers of their home, so when it came time to sell a short time later, in was on the market for less than a few days before it was quickly snapped up! A fantastic outcome for a fantastic couple.

What the clients says

"We love the house and it is getting so many positive comments. The most common comment is it feels like home. That’s exactly what we wanted. Cass was so accommodating and we really enjoyed working with her."