More young people and families are exploring the option of building a new home, according to Sharne Greig, the interior designer behind the look of Signature Homes’ stunning New Plymouth show home

“I suggested to the owners of Signature Homes Taranaki, Geoff & Dustine, that we start to communicate more with this age bracket and show them how we can build modern, affordable homes that appeal to them,” says Sharne. 

The showhome is a modest yet stylish family haven from Signatures Homes’ budget-friendly Smart Collection. Sharne says the house has been very well received and is a great way to show people that you can have some fun still while still building an affordable and low maintenance new home.

The dramatic kitchen, with its woodgrain and black features, was the starting point for the home. Sharne felt it was time to ‘push the boat out’ and switch things up from the tried-and-tested white kitchen. The rest of the house flowed from there, with its eclectic Scandi feel.

Stepping foot into the moody show home provides people looking at building new with a real understanding that a Signature Smart home can make a statement with the right design choices. 

Sharne’s pro tips for making a smaller home feel large and luxe are:

  • Keep floor coverings the same tone, this will make the house appear larger than it is
  • Paint your walls light and choose dark floor coverings (or vice versa)
  • Choose neutral backgrounds and add colour/texture/contrast through your soft furnishings
  • Splash out on your big ticket items with classic pieces that will stand the test of time and inject colour -and texture with soft furnishings and art.  Design store pieces can easily be mixed with items from chain stores to create a personalised look for your home
  • Use the services of a professional where possible, while there might be a fee for this it will save you in the long run. When you build with Signature Homes you receive your very own interior designer who helps bring your visions to life, maximises space and helps make cohesive colour choices

“You can build this home for less than $320,000 here in New Plymouth”, says Jason Southey, a Quantity Surveyor from Signature Homes Taranaki, “our take on economical modern living is relevant to a lot of New Zealander’s which makes it an ideal option for first-home buyers.”

The versatile floor plan used was a modified Rosella (link to floor plan) which comprises of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a double garage, plenty of storage and that beautiful kitchen which flows into the open plan living/dining area with the added benefit of a separate media room (which could be a 4th bedroom).

Beginning the design process is often daunting, but the benefit of building new over renovating a second hand home is you do get to start with a blank canvas. Sharne suggests Pinterest, your favourite magazines and taking photos of colours, textures and furniture that grab your attention as great places to start. From there you can create a mood board which will help define a finished look and aid in design decisions.

If you love the look of our show home you can shop it here. 

1. Luca Hendrix Sofa from Farmers, 2. ES Recycled Shade Pendant from Vintage Industries 3. American Pelican Chart from Bianca Lorenne 4. Saddle Replica Craig Bassam Bar Stool from Cintesi


1. Hans Wegner Replica Wishbone Chair from Cintesi 2. Idaho Oak Ceneer Table from Cintesti 3. Great Blue Heron Chart from Bianca Lorenne. The statement kitchen is a Mastercraft Kitchen by Elite Kitchens in New Plymouth, you can contact them here.


Every Signature Homes client has time with a professional colour consultant, like Sharne. The designer helps refine all your big ideas to create a home that is truly yours and what’s better is it’s included in the cost to build!

You can learn more about the Signature building journey or if you'd like to get in touch with your local team just click here

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 1:00pm
Signature Homes, Motueka, Design & Build, Gable

Emma & Dean had outgrown their modest 120sqm dwelling that originally rested on her family’s section in Moutere, near Nelson. “We originally thought we would extend and renovate our old house” says Emma. But after going through the planning process with Signature Homes Nelson, and calculating costs, she and Dean agreed that starting over was a much better option.

The original dwelling being removed from site to make way for the dream home.

The brief

  • Taking advantage of the sun and serene outlook was essential (the site is a rural, elevated north-northwest position)
  • More space- including improved storage and garaging
  • Layout that allowed everyone to come together for shared moments and retreat to their own quarters for quiet time
  • Position the master suite away from other bedrooms
  • Give the children free rein over their own wing with a separate lounge


The planning process was surprisingly straightforward. Having a clear idea of what they wanted helped, says Emma. The couple drew up a floorplan which didn’t really change. They also made a visit to Signature Homes Nelson show home and were impressed with what they saw.


  • The spacious pavilion-style Design & Build home is extensively glazed, creating a naturally light and open interior with a strong connection to the outdoors
  • A glass front door creates a striking outlook before you even step foot inside
  • Sliding doors provide lovely flow to two generous decks from the open-plan living space
  • A high gabled ceiling creates a sense of space
  • A large board-formed concrete chimney is the centrepiece of the main living area

HIGHLIGHT: "Erecting the 6.5m board-formed concrete chimney on site before the slab for the house was even poured. Pretty spectacular"


  • The house is comprised of two gable volumes- one long and one short- laid side by side
  • The smaller volume houses the private master sanctuary along with a laundry, WC and double garage
  • The larger volume houses the spacious open-plan kitchen, living and dining area plus the bedroom wing with three bedrooms, separate lounge and family bathroom 

The final 316sqm floorplan was based on the couples original drawings with a simple gable roof line and layout to suit their site and lifestyle.


Emma describes the style as “a mixture of coastal/ farmhouse with a touch of industrial”. Engineered oak flooring lends the home natural charm and warmth and this material ties in nicely with the external decking and cladding. Black joinery adds definition to the light interior spaces which are painted in warm white.


  • A dark grey brick has been used for the majority of the cladding
  • Recessed sections of horizontal cedar offset the brick and sit well alongside the warm wood of the decking
  • The dark grey Colorsteel roof was selected to complement the main cladding
  • Alfresco dining is a breeze on the large deck that flows off the kitchen-dining space. Complete with in-built seating, this space basks in all-day sun
  • A second east-facing deck receives the morning sun and is home to the barbecue and its own built-in seating
  • Large steps to the lawn double as extra seats

Design Features

1. ROOFING Colorsteel 'Windsor Grey' 2. CLADDING Austral Phantom brick 3. FEATURE CLADDING Horizontal cedar shiplap

The build

“Building a new home has its ups and downs” says Emma. “Because we have lived on the property for many years already and knew we would be here for many more, we felt very invested in the whole process and were very involved.” 

This stunning home is featured in our latest issue of Signature Style, you can order a free copy here, and you can see more pictures in our Design & Build gallery, Deam and Emma's home is listed as the Motueka.

Shop the look

1. Atlas table, $149 from French Country Collections 2. Black Angled Floor Lamp, $45 from Kmart 3. Ladder Shelf, $30 from The Warehouse


Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 2:30pm

A dream kitchen is something many of us already have stored away in our imaginations but, if you still need some inspiration, these trends will turn your preliminary plan into a full-blown kitchen crush.

Cool Concrete 

Concrete may seem cold and industrial but in fact it can be warm, soft and organic. This material is versatile and looks great in a benchtop, floor or wall tile, but it can also be brought into your kitchen in the form of furniture and serveware. Shades of concrete grey in cabinetry look chic and remarkably timeless and you can extend this colour scheme to curtains, lights and seating. Our Matangi showhome makes great use of concrete surfaces. 

1. Mayson concrete console, from Freedom Furniture 2. Concrete platter, from Superette 3. Concrete coasters, from Superette


French Country

Heritage details and pretty pastels are the key to this kitchen style. Tongue-and-groove walls, Shaker-style cabinets and traditional hardware will help create the look of a country kitchen. Finish with vintage cake stands, handmade pottery and lots of flowers.

1. Lustre tonal jug, from Early Settler 2. Luna hanging lamp, from French Country 3. Chest of 9 drawers, from Red Current


Beachy & Beautiful

Creating a relaxed, coastal vibe is all about connecting with nature. Match natural colours, textures and patterns with white surfaces and use black accents on hardware for a little bit of contrast. Bring picked flowers, leaves, driftwood, shells and other flotsam inside to complete the look. This Papamoa home has a coastal chic vibe going on. 

1. Bell basket pendant, from Freedom 2. Industrial stool, from Kmart 3. Amalia table runner, from Freedom

Black Out

Moody black kitchens are trending in a big way, and not just in cabinetry. Black cutlery, crockery and accessories look modern in any kitchen, and even black chairs, tables and bar stools are a great option. Take a walk on the dark side and try a few black objects first before going all-in on this look. Our Nelson Showhome proves you don't have to be in the dark, to go black in the kitchen.

1. Yamazaki dish rack, from Father Rabbit 2. Black cutlery set, from Kmart 3. Black mug, from Kmart

Now that you've nailed your kitchen style and design why not work on your exterior style or lighten up and see what's hot right now!

Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 2:00pm

Do you love your neighbourhood? The schools are great, you’ve made friends and the community is everything you want and need. The only problem is your house is not your dream home. Maybe it’s too small. The layout is strange. You want better indoor/ outdoor flow. Or even worse it's a leaky home. A Knock Down & Rebuild may be the answer.  



It’s less than you might think to rebuild – and often comparable to what you may spend on major renovations. If you are curious, Signature Homes will organise to meet with you onsite and talk through your options, including finance plans, at no cost. With Signature Homes there are no surprises or budget blowouts. All pricing is inclusive and transparent, allowing you the ability to forward plan with total peace of mind.

No compromises

When you Knock Down & Rebuild, you start from scratch. It is a rare opportunity to truly create something bespoke for you and your family - your dream home. You will work with experts every step of the way, so the final result is perfection. Your home will be architecturally designed to meet all of your family’s needs and desires and our design team, including interior designers and colour consultants, will work with you to ensure all important details have been considered, including design, claddings, colours, fixtures and fittings.


With a Signature Homes Knock Down & Rebuild, everything is taken care of for you. The whole process is managed – from gaining the appropriate consents to meeting a guaranteed completion date. The goal is to make the process stress-free and easy for you. And if you are in Auckland, we have Unitary Plan experts who will ensure you make the very best decisions for your property and neighbourhood.


A Knock Down & Rebuild with Signature Homes removes all uncertainties. We understand the financial commitment you are making and in turn commit to you our very best service, guaranteeing we will finish your project on-time, on-budget and to the highest industry standards. 

We all know a picture paints a thousand words so check out Mey and Robert Brouwers recent Knock Down & Rebuild with Signature Homes in Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland.

Mey and Robert faced an eye-watering $500,000 bill for renovation and recladding work when they discovered their home had potential water-tightness issues. Faced with this prospect they instead opted for Signature Homes’ Knockdown & Rebuild service – demolishing and removing the original home and replacing it with their dream Design & Build home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 12:30pm


It’s the middle of winter and a cold southerly has hit.  You are heading home after a long day and pull into your driveway.  The gate automatically opens and at the same time, the lights in your garage turn on.  You unpack the car and step inside onto your (already) warm heated flooring.  That tune you programmed as a favourite last week starts playing.


Welcome to your smart home.


A technologically smart home can be the full experience, or a few simple devices working in sync to automate simple functions such as an automated lawn mower or voice control and smart security systems.


We had a chat with Amy Griffiths, Home Solutions Consultant at PDL by Schneider Electric, to find out what you should know before building.



The scope of Smart Home technology


“We are seeing more technology that can adapt to light, movement, temperature, power consumption, humidity, UV and vibration, helping a home to become more efficient.  Automation really comes alive when you’re not manipulating it, but instead, its manipulating itself by reacting to external triggers,” Amy says.


Simple ‘smart’ technology like motion sensors, are a practical inclusion in spaces like a scullery or walk-in wardrobe. When motion is detected, lights can come on automatically, which is handy when you have your hands full. Lights then switch off after a period when no motion is sensed. 


Geo-fencing technology, is another evolution in the smart home space. When connected with your smart phone it can tell if you are on your way home or near by, and be configured to perform different functions in your home. This could be as simple as having your outdoor and entrance lighting turn on so your path to the front door is well lit, and your heat pump turned on.  Or some people like to take it to the next level, and have their favourite song play when they walk in the door. That’s the beauty of smart home technology, it can be as practical or as fun as you like. 


For those with certain needs, such as physical or vision impairment, integration with tools such as voice control can make a real difference to daily lives, and this technology is becoming more affordable. 


Smart Home Tech Installation – Planning for the Future


Until recently, home automation products have been predominately wired systems.  This approach was often costly, particularly in existing homes, and was often focussed on sound systems and connectivity.  Wired technology still has a part to play, particularly when planning for your data use, and the installation data wiring to provide access to data in all areas of the home and in luxury or bespoke fit-outs. In saying that both industry and homeowners are realising the value of the more easily installed and affordable wireless and Bluetooth technology due to its ease of installation. The PDL Iconic range of switches that can change over time and can connect to your smart devices via Bluetooth are a great example of a low cost smart solution.


Amy’s advice to those building new is to consider your electrical, data and smart tech home requirements early in the building process, as it is always going to be more cost effective to install cable and power points that can change over time during the build than retro fitting at a later date.


Talk to your Signature Homes New Home Consultant or Electrician about your plans, especially in critical areas like kitchens and living areas. The right electrical plan and smart home design can make all the difference.  


Technology is moving fast and smart home options are becoming more affordable. The only real limit is your imagination. 


For more information about how you can incorporate smart technology into your new home, speak with one of our Signature Homes New Home Consultants or visit the PDL by Schneider Electric website.