We've teamed up with content creator, travel influencer and all-round legend Sophie Piearcey, on her beautiful forever home in Queenstown.
Hi Sophie, it’s so epic to have you chat with us. Could you please explain a little about yourself, what is your background, what do you do for a living?
Thank you so much for having me! In a nutshell, I create content for brands and share my life online (mainly on the gram’) My career started as a professional photographer when I graduated from university way back when. With my heart set on London and creating fine art contextual work I set out for a path into the wild world of photography. However, I hopped on a plane first and I never returned. My travels have taken me to Nepal, Australia, Asia, Europe and now happily settled in New Zealand. I own and operate a social and digital marketing company. My business is to create and elevate brands along with social media workshops, strategy and management services thrown in for fun. I am a true adventurer at heart and if I am not behind my screen you will find me somewhere in the backcountry of New Zealand… Hopefully somewhere without a phone signal!
How has your creative and adventurous lifestyle influenced the vision you had for your first home build and how has it come together?
Since our first trip to Vietnam in 2015 we have constantly sought inspiration from everywhere we have travelled. We would often pick things or buy things for our ‘first home’ not knowing what that would look like or where. We spent a lot of time in huts, backcountry huts and one place really took our breath away. When we Eloped in 2020 we fled to the High Country Cabin in Ohau, Mackenzie Country. It was here that our house dreams started to take shape. We wanted a gable, staircase, rustic yet modern(ish) feel. Somewhere cosy that maximised the views of the surrounding mountains and felt like home… we achieved that in 12 short months and the house is now nothing but a dream.
How often do you work from home and what kind of space have you created to accommodate this?
I work from home every day. When building the house we knew I needed an office space but not a conventional office in a back bedroom. We opted for 5.5m high ceilings which led to an empty space above the garage. We engineered the garage so that I could have a space to climb up into and work from. My office is a secret little hideaway, a space for me to retreat to for work and to chill. I have my desk facing the mountains, a skylight with a direct view to The Remarkables and a cosy, small office space that I know will be my most productive space.
Where do you escape to when you need a boost of creativity? Is it a podcast, book, music playlist or destination?
It’s the mountains for me. Nothing in this world brings me more joy than lacing up my hiking boots and going bush. I love camping, huts and getting away in our van. I need to be in nature to keep my work, life and mental balance all in check. I also need to move my body so each morning before I sit up to my desk I get outside for 30-45 mins and chuck on a poddy. I am fascinated by storytelling and the art of quality conversation. It inspires me to be better and I don’t think you ever stop learning in life.
Why was it important to go with a natural paint product?
This is our home, it will be our forever home. It is where one day we hope to start and raise a family. Knowing that the paint we use will have no effect on our health was so important to me. I wanted to incorporate elements of sustainability and nature into our home and what better combo than a non-toxic, plant based paint product. Plus the colour choices are spot on and I just knew that using Natural Paint Co. would give me a real proud talking point to guests in our home. I am so stoked to have used Natural Paint Co. on every wall, skirt and arc in our home and the finish is impeccable.
When exploring the Natural Paint Co. website, how did you go about picking colour? Did you already have in mind what you wanted for the space, or did seeing other colour options help open new doors? What colour did you pick out, why?
I knew I wanted a blank canvas. I needed a colour that would elevate the space, not leave blue, yellow or off undertones in different light. I will be using the walls in our house as studio walls so it was important for me to have a ‘white’ colour that wasn’t stark and too bright. We started by ordering the Natural Paint Co. test pots and I spent countless evenings painting spare pieces of Gib board and watching how the light moved around our house with the Gib strategically placed. We opted for Shell and my oh my is it special. It is actually perfect for a house our size. You get that warm feeling without any undertones, you get the clean, sleek finish and even though there is no colour as such it is still dramatic and a focus for all who come through the door.
What was your overall colour journey experience like with Natural Paint Co?
Quick, easy and very enjoyable. Using the slider online I was able to see full screen what the colours looked like but getting the wee test pots to the door is the exciting part! As soon as the pots arrived I drove to the house to get to work. From the initial opening (props to the packaging department!) I was excited. It applied so nicely to the Gib board and I was stoked at first stroke. The team at Natural Paint Co. were so helpful and truly wanted the best for us, our build and the overall finished product of the build.
It's truly a blessing to find a match between trade and customer that works so well and seamlessly. Very grateful to the whole team for bringing our vision to life and we are excited to crack on with some more Natural Paint Co. projects in our house as we settle in over the next few months!