Design

This New Zealand Apartment Welcomes You With a Bright Yellow Door

New Zealand Small House Tour

Ana Barbono lives in the center of Wellington City, New Zealand, with her husband, Rob, and their almost-two-year-old son, Aro. “I’m a former lawyer and political advisor, now almost two years deep into stay-at-home parenthood,” she says. “Our apartment is surrounded by historic buildings, a super windy waterfront, and the forest from Lord of the Rings.” Here’s a peek inside…

LIVING ROOM:

New Zealand Small House Tour

Vases: Deborah Sweeney. Planter: Wundaire. Glass birds: Lukeke Design.

On a city view: Looking out onto buildings feels very metropolitan. The neighbors can see in, definitely. Across from us is a photography studio that specializes in pretend cover magazine shoots for teenage girls — for birthdays, etc. The second floor is always out and up late at night; it looks like a fun place to be. The top floor is a martial arts academy. We see them practicing. When we get dressed, we hide in the bathroom!

New Zealand Small House Tour

Velvet cushion covers: H&M Home.

On personal artwork: I took these photos with a polaroid years ago, when we were traveling in Joshua Tree. For Valentine’s day, my husband surprised me with giant prints. I was very touched. To have him blow up my photos, as if I were getting ready for an art exhibit, was pretty amazing.

New Zealand Small House Tour

On TV shows: We watch a whole load of Netflix on the projector. I love the show Turn It Up, Charlie. It has Idris Elba; that’s what made me click. It reminds me of the ’90s sitcoms I watched growing up — like Boy Meets World, Blossom, Full House. It’s cheesy but I love it.

KITCHEN:

New Zealand Small House Tour

On a yellow door: Before us, the apartment had been populated by bachelors for years. Their smells lingered! We pulled up all the carpet and painted the walls bright white, but it felt like it needed more character. So, we chose a yellow door. I wanted something cheerful to look at as soon as we walked in.

New Zealand Small House Tour

On kitchen art: People are like, do you really need to hang art there? But you do! That’s where you space out. We have a chalkboard wall, too, for meal planning and grocery lists and messages to each other. At the moment, we have a big bee for ‘B.’ We were intending to do ABCs, but we’ve just gotten to B. We’ll be at B for a while.

New Zealand Small House Tour

On comfort food: Rob is the chef of the house. He makes everything, including Nepali family recipes, but he recently got into a fried chicken phase. He became obsessed. He found a Bon Appetit video about the best fried chicken sandwich. It was a great time to live in our house and also to be friends with us.

FRONT ENTRY:

New Zealand Small House Tour

Lips print: Naomi Westlake.

On a landing strip: Apartment Therapy taught me about the importance of a ‘landing strip,’ or a space by your front door dedicated to the things you shuck off as soon as you walk in — coats, shoes, keys, mail, dog leads. In small spaces, you’re much more subject to the visual noise from objects. Everything needs a place of its own.

New Zealand Small House Tour

Swimming dreamer: Maiangi Waitai. Two paintings: John R. Goodey.

On meaningful art: Isn’t the woman peaceful? That’s what I love about her. She’s swimming with the moon, how badass is that? And guests always mention the volcano painting when they come in. My son just points to the bus. When he first pointed at it, I was so proud. My son is looking at art and appreciating it! As a parent, I was like, my work here is done.

BATHROOM:

New Zealand Small House Tour

Banana planter: Wundaire.

On brightening a windowless bathroom: When we moved in, the whole apartment was this sludgy brown color. It was like looking into a vast depression. So, we painted every room but the bathroom because we figured we would redo it. Six years later, we’ve managed to put up a shower curtain. But still! A shower curtain changes the whole look, right?

NURSERY:

New Zealand Small House Tour

On favorite books: I’ve purposefully made Aro’s room not so much a play area — his toys are in the living room — so he knows that as soon as he walks into the bedroom, he will read his books and go to sleep. When the holidays were coming up, he got into this classic Kiwi book called A Kiwi Jingle Bells. In American Christmas books, it’s always snowy, but this book is about going to the beach, playing rugby and eating fish and chips until the sun goes down. You have to sing it to the Jingle Bells tune. He demands it over and over.

New Zealand Small House Tour

White side table: Kartell. Pink crinkle throw: similar.

On a cozy chair: I bought this rocking chair from a thrift store for $30. The store was so close that there was no point in loading it into the car, so we rattled it down the path home. It was a labor of love for a $30 chair. But it’s so comfortable. A nice old granny probably sat in it for a long time and had a great time, and now I’m having a great time! It was my feeding chair when Aro was born; and when Rob was rocking him to sleep, he would fall asleep and stay in the chair all night.

New Zealand Small House Tour

On nature: In Wellington, which is one of the windiest cities in the world, these kids always go outside. They’ll be out, living their lives normally, no matter what the weather is like. It feels so good to celebrate nature.

MASTER BEDROOM:

Ceiling lamp: Urban Outfitters, similar. Curtains: Warwick Fabrics.

On bedding tricks: My husband Rob is a heater, and I’m always kicking him away. I like to be nice and cool. And you know that trick where you buy a smaller duvet cover and stuff a larger duvet inside it to make it look fluffy? Everyone’s got that goal of hotel rooms. It makes it look lush.

New Zealand Small House Tour

Painting: Trade Me.

On bedroom art: This painting is called ‘The Flower Seller,’ and I love the colors. I change the artwork over the bed every season — something light for summer and spring, and something darker for winter. I also change the art around the house because otherwise you see it but you’re not really looking at it.

New Zealand Small House Tour

Pinecone candle: Blackbird Goods, similar.

On bringing nature indoors: Rob put these shelves up for me, in a very haphazard fashion. I press a whole load of flowers and put them acrylic frames. In summer, I press hydrangeas, which is a classic Kiwi flower. In the winter, I do leaves — especially rotten leaves! When leaves are older, you can see inside them.

New Zealand Small House Tour

On a signature scent: White Peacock Lily by D.S. & Durga is beautiful. Even the copy you get with it is poetic, about fog and swans. Ahhh, I wanted to frame it. Before I bought it (because it’s quite expensive), I’d go into the shop, quickly spray it on myself and leave! I think the girls knew exactly what I was doing. It was getting embarrassing. It was time to make a purchase.

New Zealand Small House Tour

On the Christchurch shootings: Our prime minister Jacinda Ardern responded like a human being. That’s all it was. Obviously, she’s a great leader, but I also found it sad that responding like a human being deserves to be lionized and made iconic. That’s the bar? That should be the level we expect. She was responding like an empathetic person who realized that her country was devastated and 50 people had lost their lives. We need to change things not just on an individual level, but also on institutional levels, the gun laws, etc. I hope it continues. As she said herself, the reaction to what she did reveals a real thirst for kindness in the world.

New Zealand Small House Tour

Thank you so much, Ana!

P.S. More home tours, including a downsized Sacramento home and a Connecticut spaceship.

(Photos by Peta Mazey for Cup of Jo.)

  1. amy says...

    Umm NO i did not know about putting a bigger comforter into a smaller duvet! Mind blown. She is super funny and cute too ;)

    • Me too! Thanks for the bed tricks :) And that child is just delicious – anyone else want to take a nibble? :)

  2. ilona says...

    What a beautiful space – and it looks like people actually LIVE there! A folded pram, a poop emoji pillow, toys on the floor. A bit of clutter. I love her commentary too, so funny.

  3. Margaret says...

    I love everything about this! I’m stealing two ideas for my living room, and still smiling from all the sweetness in the commentary.

  4. Charlotte says...

    Another American here living in Welly. I agree, how refreshing to see a Wellington apartment featured. I’d love more NZ decor and homegoods tips. If any Wellingtonians want to meet up or chat via email, let me know :)

  5. rachel simmons says...

    that view out their front windows!! I love it! and i love that the entry way doubles as a play space for the young one, so bright.

  6. A says...

    I so enjoyed this home tour. And it’s so inspiring me to try flower pressing! Maybe Ana could write a How-To post?! 😏😉

    • Em says...

      ooh yes I agree!

  7. Meg says...

    “We’ll be at B for a while.”

    I’ve been at B for a while in a lot of areas of life. I’m going to remember this phrase – v. useful!

  8. Lisa says...

    Love the landing strip concept! I need that in my life

  9. What a beautiful, happy family!

    I love their colorful home as well.

  10. Nina says...

    What a lovely home. I love her changing her art and moving it around. It is true you start to not see it. And I’ve always created a landing space when you come in. One of my most favorite things is a hook – I hang it on the wall. But it looks like old fashioned hooks and there are several hinged together. This goes by the door and I hang jackets and the dog leash on it. So nice to always have a place for stuff that would just be thrown around. I also have a shoe bin (right now it is a gray crushed velvet one) because I’ve tried every type of shoe shelf and we always wind up not using them. I like the curved wall in their living room.

  11. Priya says...

    Beautiful family, great insights.

  12. maryann says...

    Think I need a yellow door now…brilliant!
    What a lovely home. I want to visit…preferably on a fried chicken night!

  13. AM says...

    What a sweet family and a beautiful home! And so refreshing to see a home that was not only inspiring, but also appeared lived in and real – I was just as charmed by the unique art and yellow door as I was by the folded-up stroller tucked in by the wall, and belongings stashed under the crib. This is life, and they have done an admirable job making it lovely!

  14. Maywyn says...

    Beautiful! The old chair looks super comfortable. I love the “landing strip” concept.

  15. Gemma Burgess says...

    Absolutely lovely. I want a yellow door. Also a fried chicken sandwich.

  16. Amy says...

    I live in Welly and it is BEYOND COOL to see a NZ apartment tour! And what a goodie it is, such a sweet little family and house. As many people are saying, it’s always refreshing to see a real-life, lived-in house. Wellington has a lot of extremely adorable character houses and I’m always wondering about their insides. Yay New Zealand! xx

  17. Elke says...

    I’m an American ex-pat living in New Zealand and every morning before work I get up, make coffee, and read Cup of Jo in bed with my first cup. This morning I was SO excited, I shrieked with delight, thrust my iPad into my husband’s face and yelled “Look babe there’s an NZ APARTMENT on my favorite website!!”

    Living here can quite feel quite separated from friends and family and really, the rest of the world, so THANK YOU for giving me a few minutes this morning to feel a part of it all. Also, I love seeing where people here get home goods!

    • Madeline says...

      I’m an American living in NZ too and felt the same way! <3 Also couldn't wait to see where everything came from too, since moving here in September I haven't gotten the hang of where to find great unique and quality homewares yet.

  18. This is probably one of my favorite tours you have ever posted! I love how it looks like a family lives there, not like a perfectly styled photoshoot just happened.

  19. Kara says...

    Oh my gosh I loved this tour!

  20. shade says...

    This woman is amazing. I loved reading her commentary – everything from her feels poetic, good-hearted and beautiful.

    • Kirstin says...

      I agree, I want her to be my bestie! I loved it when she said her husband was making fried chicken sandwiches and it was a great time to be their friend! she sounds fun.

  21. Nicole Brant says...

    Love this! Their home looks cozy and lived in, perfectly imperfect.

  22. E says...

    YES! An actual REAL home! I love it! So inviting… and beautiful!

  23. Louise says...

    Ana’s commentary was so enjoyable! What a lovely person and a great home tour

  24. Jessie says...

    I am deeply in love with this home in large part because it looks like an actual kid lives there! I love well designed spaces but sometimes the homes on design blogs look like the kids you know they have were otherwise erased. This looks real! And so beautiful!

  25. Tricia M says...

    Ana,
    I love your home and your philosophy on life. We need more people in the like you and your family in the world! I feel that if I were to visit , I would feel instantly at home and very much welcome. Thank you for sharing this with us all. x

  26. Allyson says...

    I have a question about the duvet trick! Could you stuff a King sized duvet into a Queen size cover for the fluffy effect? Or is there a magic size ratio to make this work : ) It’s so clever!

    • shade says...

      I too was wondering this – although can you fit a queen size duvet into a full size cover… :)

  27. Shalini Thomas says...

    When I close my eyes and picture my house for my yet-to-exist kids, it looks a lot like Ana’s house. Colourful, bright, light on the soul, lived-in, layered and full of love. Thank you for sharing!

  28. Carly says...

    Does anyone know exactly how she pressed those flower? That’s such a beautiful and simple idea. I think it would make a great gift too.

    • Ashley says...

      You can buy a flower press, which is basically two rectangles of wood with screws to tighten — but you can get similar results using a book under something really heavy! The key to pretty pressed flowers with lots of color left in the petals is patience, it always takes a lot longer than you think.

  29. I have a yellow door on my store and it makes me so happy!

    • I have a yellow front door at my house. My joy, when giving directions to my home, is saying “grey bungalow, white trim, robin’s egg blue chairs on front porch and yellow front door.”
      YAH I DID THAT! ;)

  30. jr says...

    i have 20 acrylic frames we used for our wedding table numbers and was so stuck on what to do with them. everyone is getting pressed flowers in a frame for holidays now! lovely idea and this whole piece was gorgeous.

  31. Sasha L says...

    Oh, that last picture with their dog!! I’m just in love with this family.

    Wise words about the thirst for kindness in the world (I’ll add humanity and decency and compassion too).

    That yellow door! So cheerful.

    The inside of leaves? When all that’s left is a delicate brown filigree that’s so delicate, revealing the intricate structure, but somehow strong enough to still survive…. It’s beautiful when you happen upon one. So lovely to *meet* a soul that’s noticed as well.

    Landing strips: out actual entry is too small for anything but a little bench. But our laundry room/entry from garage serves as our strip. My best tip for such an arrangement: over the door hanging organizer. So many pockets, there’s a spot for everyone’s mittens, dog collars, the daily mail, and it’s all up and off the floor to leave space for shoes.
    https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Houseware-Pockets-Hanging-Organizer/dp/B07CG2R9ST

  32. cg says...

    I love that they left their house in a more natural state, instead of totally straightened up and ready for a magazine shoot. It’s gorgeous in every way!

    • Ashley says...

      If you’re into the sort of lived-in home tour, check out Apartamento magazine! They’re all about showing how interesting (rather than particularly famous or beautiful) people live and none of it is styled.

      Styled home tours are gorgeous and aspirational, but some of us are in it because we’re nosy!

  33. Justine says...

    What is this smaller duvet cover in a larger comforter? I feel enlightened!

    • Julie says...

      Have a king sized duvet/comforter?… Put it in a queen duvet comforter and it feels like a cloud!!

    • Arian says...

      I’ve never heard of this trick BUT I use a king size duvet/comforter for my queen size bed and I will never look back!

  34. anja says...

    I used the first photo today to practice describing a picture with my student. She loved the yellow door, as do I. Am in the middle of an ugly breakup, not knowing where to go yet- but today I got a glimpse of a life that looked real and warm and inviting to me and maybe once I know where I`ll go I will find that, too- a yellow door that lets me and the sun in.

    • Adrienne says...

      I know exactly what you mean. Years ago in the middle of a sad breakup, I too found hope and light in a door – a gorgeous blue door in a house in Charleston, South Carolina. Sending you lots of energy to find your yellow door. You will!

  35. Turtle says...

    What a beautifully honest home and family. Just what’s needed in this idealized-appearance obsessed world. Thank you.
    Week of outfits from Ana, please?

    • Justine says...

      YES!

    • Yes! Ana has the best style! Check out her insta stories “lewks” highlights 💓. She’d be perfect for a COJ week of outfits

  36. Vanessa says...

    Beautiful family, beautiful home.

  37. Kristy Lin says...

    The first thing that struck me was that the door was so brightly painted ON THE INSIDE. So genius, oftentimes it’s just on the outside, why not be able to enjoy a cheery portal even when you’re in the house?

    And yes I’m in dire need of perfecting my “landing strip”

    And it’s funny how there are comments about how the place looks lived in, it still looks quite perfect to me…cozy, but definitely still on the idealized side!

  38. M says...

    Best house tour yet! Beautiful home with so much warmth. (I wish my window free bath was as nice! The shower curtain really does do the trick.)

    Ana – please start your own blog so we can all read it!

  39. Christina says...

    Oh, this house tour made my eyes well up. What a sweet, wonderful, charming woman, and a lovely family. I love that you shared the bathroom and the old thrifted chair! That speaks so much to real life- not always perfectly instagrammable, but beautiful in its own right. Great find, CoJ.

  40. The yellow door is the best!!! I also loved how her husband framed those photos from Joshua Tree. What a sweet gift! Beautiful home and family!

  41. Elena says...

    As a Miamian, I can relate to the warm Christmas. The books and movies all show snow, while we rock shorts and eat dinner outside on Christmas Day. My five year old daughter has taken to making “sand angels”, the poor thing. Gotta get her to snow, soon!

    What a warm and loving, perfectly imperfect home. Thank you for sharing with us!

    • Blythe says...

      There’s a cute book about the twelve days of Christmas in Florida. Can’t remember the title, but my Florida babies love it :)

    • Elena says...

      @Blythe Thank you! I’ll definitely look it up. :)

  42. Sanaa Murray says...

    What a bright, warm, beautiful home! And I loved Ana’s commentary, so funny. I was surprised so many of the brands and references (DS & Durga, Bon Appetit, Apartmenttheraphy, something from Urban Outfitters) were right in line with what we have here in the US (Brooklyn in my case)– do you have a US connection Ana or is globalization really that pervasive!

  43. Cynthia says...

    I really like the yellow front door! It make everything look cheerful.

  44. what a wonderful home tour! love all the artwork and and that rocking chair found at a thrift store.

  45. Pascale says...

    I loved this post. So simple, so inspiring ♥️

  46. Rue says...

    I’m American but spent time living in NZ as a child, and I love being transported back to a place that has been home! So many little details about NZ life are tucked into this post and I love it.

  47. Love it so much! Great light and so colorful.
    I actually painted the inside of my condo door bright yellow about 1.5 years ago and LOVE it. I even created an instagram # for it ;) #laserlemondoor!
    If you see one in nature, tag me @mangotomato

  48. Josephine says...

    My favorite home tour by far. They seem like a down to earth and happy family! This home is amazing and I love that their son’s room is full of books and a comfy chair. What else do you need?

  49. Omg, I love this apartment and especially the yellow door! :)

  50. This is SUCH a great post. And now I don’t feel so bad about being full of curse words and too edgy. I love that this all stemmed from an accident too. Trying to figure out what my fashion blog will “accidentally” create for me business wise
    Can Dogs eat Brussel Sprouts

  51. Steve says...

    Wow.. I very enjoyed reading this.. zou have a very preety house. Maybe I like it because of the colours, but there’s another thing: I’ve always wanted to visit Wellington. Love this article… <3

  52. Kate says...

    I love this! Her house looks so comfortable and lived in! Look! Toys on the floor! Coats piled on the coat hangers! And yet so much intentionality and beauty and personality. This home tour made me look for the beauty and personality in my own home, whereas most of them usually make me think about what I could change in my own home (which, I know, totally says more about me than Cup of Jo, but still). So thank you for this! Would also be curious to know about her outfit!

  53. sha says...

    what kind of dog is that? what’s its name? does it shed?
    p.s. i always want to know all about dogs:)

  54. Tilly says...

    This is a beautiful home. BUT I can’t understand the space. Is it on street level? I assumed at first from the entrance and big windows that it was originally designed to be a shop. But the views out the door and windows give the impression that it’s not the ground floor, in which case where does the yellow door lead? Is the main entrance the door beside the landing strip? And where does that lead?? So many questions…

    • Lisa T says...

      Same exact questions! We need answers;) Beautiful home and so welcoming:)

    • maia says...

      Ha! I have the same question!

      Thank you very much the Coj team for choosing to feature a family from New Zealand, in this difficult time. Anna, you got me welling up with your compassionate words! <3

    • Quinn says...

      Haha, yes, I was puzzling over this too!

  55. Daria says...

    Ooh, I have a question! We are spending our holiday on a very windy coast in Brittany, France, and I realize we are completely unequipped for windy weather! May I ask where their wind jackets come from (the ones in the picture of the entryway)? And how they dress their toddler for windy weather? Thanks for this lovely home tour!

  56. Jody Winter says...

    Lovely to see my home town featured, and such a lovely Kiwi family too! And great to see links to New Zealand businesses as well.

  57. AJ says...

    Gorgeous

  58. Rita says...

    My mother grew up in Wellington and for her wedding chose the lounge suite matching the chair in Aro’s room as a gift from her parents. She would proudly tell us about the Sanderson linen fabric that she picked out (same colours but with different flowers). I have a photo of myself as a girl ready for bed in my shortie pyjamas sitting on the big chair with my hair wrapped around rags for ringlets. What a fun and happy family, and home! And thank you Ana for speaking so eloquently about the Christchurch shootings, Jacinda Adern’s response was truly reflective of New Zealanders feelings. We live in Christchurch, and have found solace in Jacinda’s leadership and care, as well as the outpouring of love and support from around the whole country and the world.

  59. Okay, they are possibly the cutest/most beautiful family I’ve ever seen.

  60. Joanna says...

    Love this tour! So genuine and down to earth. Cracked up over the bathroom because that is real and that is life. I’m so glad you were happy to share. We also have a windowless bathroom that is painted beige. We’ve been in the house 2 years and we’re at the same level- new shower curtain! Next year we may incorporate some funky hand towels. It’s important to have goals 😂

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  62. Anna says...

    This is such a wonderfully stylish home! I love all the colour (especially the yellow door!) and textures! I’m originally from New Zealand, so it was fun to see “New Zealand” pop up when I went to CupofJo this afternoon!

  63. Kymberly says...

    Lovely home – and family. Really enjoyed this one.

  64. MC says...

    Beautiful family!!! So smiley and lovely.

  65. Kim says...

    Ahhh love this! I check Cup of Jo daily, it’s always fun, but when it’s a house tour, beauty uniform or something else where you get a glimpse of a person’s interior life – I wait for a quiet part in the day where I can really dig in. I love the stories woven in to descriptions of homes and products so much, people are fascinating and I always come away with tips or tantalizing things to add to my wish list. Keep it up Joanna and Cup of Jo team!
    Xo

  66. Ali says...

    As a kiwi I’m so stoked to see a NZ home! Love how familiar it feels and seeing those little cars taking over the living room made me smile, so lived in & real!

  67. Amanda says...

    I did not know that duvet trick, thank you for rocking my whole world!!

  68. Karin says...

    Ok, am I seeing things or is there a canned ham (out of the can) on the entryway landing strip? I can’t stop seeing it and I’m cracking up!!! Scrolled down hoping for an explanation of “Yes, we have this ancient ham that we have displayed in every apartment we’ve lived in” or “My aunt carved this replica ham out of soapstone” . . . Hee hee! It’s probably just a vase and I am so disappointed…..

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahaha it does look like ham! It’s actually a Himalayan salt lamp. :)

    • I just burst out laughing. It absolutely looks like a ham.

    • Nadege says...

      Wow. I’ll never be able to see a salt lamp the same way.

    • Katie Erin says...

      “Yes, we have this ancient ham that we have displayed in every apartment we’ve lived in”

      Thank you for this comment. I really needed to laugh this morning :)

  69. Lucy says...

    Seeing ‘New Zealand’ mentioned in the title gave me such a lovely shock! Yay for having a slice of our little country featured. I also agree with previous comments that it is so lovely to see a ‘lived in’ home.

    • Yet another reason to love Kiwis; their appreciation of a real, lived in home. I’ve recently given myself a break on keeping my home Instaworthy. As a home organizer, people are always telling me that they’re certain my house is in incredible order. Well, pockets of it are, but I’ve relaxed a bit. And guess what? My home has never looked or felt more cozy and alive.

  70. Jessica says...

    Such great art! So many of the good home tours have such good art. I’d love a post on how people buy art. So often the links are to real, legit, artists who sell in galleries and I just wonder did they buy from the gallery? before the artist ‘made it’? At a show? do they know the artist? I’m so intimidated by buying ‘real’ art.

    • A says...

      Yes, agreed! And links to prints would be wonderful too. That John Goodey swimming pool piece is amazing and I’d love a print but google isn’t giving me anything! 😩

    • Santa says...

      I feel the same! It is a great idea for an article!

    • Megan says...

      I’d love a post about this, too, but not a sponsored one. An honest post!

    • I understand feeling intimidated by fancy art galleries. Most aren’t very approachable and you have to have a certain amount of confidence to go in. I tend to look out for “affordable” art shows or expos. In Wellington, we have an annual one that’s held in a big stadium, pieces range from under $100 all the way up to thousands, the artists are there manning stalls so you can meet them. Anyone can walk in and for a small entry price, experience a huge exhibit plus get the chance to buy art and meet artists. It’s very friendly, very communal and my fave way of experiencing and buying art. I hope you find something like it where you live. Don’t be intimidated. My mum always told me “You belong wherever you want to belong.”

    • Christina says...

      That is such a great idea for a post, Jessica. I would also love for Cup of Jo to write a post about buying art! I will share that I’ve bought a few small originals from artists – usually pieces around a couple hundred dollars. I also will buy the occasional artist-authorized print (they come in such great quality!). For original art, I’ve browsed http://www.saatchiart.com and I’ve also found a couple artists I like on Instagram. I don’t really think too much about whether the piece will be worth more eventually, I just pick stuff I like.

      I found one of my favorite original pieces at a restaurant in town (the whole thing where they hang art for sale). I saw the painting, liked it, didn’t buy it, and then my boyfriend went back later to buy it as a surprise, it was sold, so he got the artist’s information and went to meet up with him. He spent an entire evening with this man, who is from Guatemala and has a fascinating personal history. He now has rheumatoid arthritis (he’s only in his mid-40s I think) and paints with his toes. Boyfriend brought me a different painting but with the background, he brought me so much more than I would have ever gotten off the wall of a restaurant. <3

    • Hilary says...

      I, too, don’t feel like gallery art is for me (due to price and it’s just intimidating!). My favorite art pieces are from etsy or local festivals! Great way to support smaller businesses as well.

    • june says...

      Spring is the season for Artist’s studio tours – just ask any gallery or art school for the best one coming up in your area – that’s the best way to get amazing art at a great price because there’s not necessarily a middleman. Seattle area has a great one for Vashon Island coming up at the end of April.

    • Jessica says...

      So many great replies everyone, thanks! I am so in love with the Goodey as well as the flying woman but neither artist website has a ‘shop’

      Ana I love what your mom said, ‘you belong wherever you want to belong’ Amen!!

  71. Maddy says...

    This was just sweet and a breath of fresh air! Maybe this beautiful woman would be a great interview for the motherhood around the World Series COJ did. I miss that something fierce! 🥰

  72. Carol Wynn says...

    They seem so happy and their home reflects that! It is simple, bright and lovely. I love seeing homes in other countries!

  73. Courtney says...

    I love all of the artwork, and all of Ana’s thoughts on it! Also the glimpse of “nepal home” on the alphabet magnets! On your partner making Nepali family recipes – if he has a home recipe for achar, I would love to see it! I’ve been dying to add a good achar to my dal bhat, but I don’t know how to make it.

    • Tara says...

      Hey Courtney, nice to know you like Dal Bhat :) I love that combination too.. Indian pickles are a little tough to make.. I generally head to an Indian grocer and buy this brand..”Priya mango thokku”. Its the best.

    • Courtney says...

      Thanks, Tara! I will head to my Indian grocer today and look for this!

  74. Eva says...

    Lovely, might be my favorite in this series.

  75. Kim says...

    This was so good! I agree that we are so thirsty for kindness right now. It’s very sad that this is where we are in 2019.

  76. ellie says...

    I’m going to change my artwork with the seasons! Yay! Why did I not ever think of that?!? genius and yet so simple. Thank you.
    And a huge thank you for having a NOT perfectly curated home…I feel human and understood and somehow more loved…by a stranger across the world who also has a toy in the middle of the floor. Mothers united by reality, not perfection. Blessings.

    • Shirley says...

      Yes yes yes! The overly curated homes without a speck of dust, toys, or clutter may look beautiful but always make me feel like I’m doing something wrong or not cleaning enough, even though I know that someone was paid to go in, decorate, and remove all the “lived in” aspects of the room. This home, however, looks loved, lived in, AND beautiful. I loved how her husband was even in the living room shot, lol.

    • Kristian says...

      “Mothers united by reality, not perfection.”

      YES.

  77. Jean Jones says...

    This is my favorite home so far! It actually looks like a real place to me- a place where people live and focus on living and enjoying each other- and something I can actually achieve!

    They seem like lovely people!

    • S says...

      Yes! That’s exactly what I thought! The poop emoji pillow also really ties it together as a place that people actually live and laugh in ;)

  78. t says...

    where can I buy john goodey prints? love those

  79. Kate says...

    Such beautiful comments about the events in NZ and Jacinta’s response. As an Australian, I’m definitely thirsty for the type of kindness she exemplified as a prominent leader. Sadly, I think the bar really is that low right now, but hopefully, we can raise it higher and higher thanks to leaders like Jacinta. Thanks so much for your perspective, Ana! PS. I keep moving toys into, then out of my 3-year-old’s room… hahah! But I loved the books propped on that beautiful chair. If anything encourages cozy reading, it’s a set-up like that! x

    • I was talking a lot to a friend on Instagram and she called it “a thirst for kindness” and that really resonated and stuck with me. Also, I’ve always wanted a cosy reading chair and a reading “nook”. How terrible that I managed to achieve it for my kid but haven’t yet set one up for me.

    • Kristian says...

      I second (Third? Fourth?) this idea for a conversation about staying at home. Through a combination of circumstances that is what I did, and the comments I hear all the time about my choice (even well meant ones about how I’ll never get that time back) can make me feel conflicted about that. And about the choice of whether to go back to work.

  80. Ashley says...

    I love what she says about changing the artwork with the seasons otherwise you don’t really see it. Beautiful.

  81. Kristin says...

    That yellow door is fantastic! Excellent paint color choice :)

  82. Michelle says...

    Such a beautiful tour! Somewhat side note… I was thinking about how much I’d love reading a post about deciding to stay at home with your baby. I’ve had allll the conflicting feelings about it and have ironically struggled with self-judgment though nobody around me seems to think any less of me. Anyway, I’m always secretly thrilled when I peek into other stay-at-home-mom’s lives. Thanks, Jo :)

    • Rachael says...

      Love love this tour, and Second this comment! When my first baby was born as I was finishing grad school (she turns 14 next week!!! How?!) the stay-at-home dynamic was SO hard for me to figure out and i felt sorely in need of a support group—none of the women i knew from grad school had children and all my male colleagues has wives who took care of the kids. I ended up working as part-time faculty at the university in our new town for what i thought would be “just a semester” while I transitioned into motherhood. Hah! I’m still teaching 2-3 classes a semester but I totally think of myself as a stay-at-home mom…is that weird?! (After my third baby I switched from teaching 7 and 8 am classes on campus to teaching online classes which are way easier to fit in my schedule, especially now that we have six kids!) I’m comfortable now with what I’ve figured out but man I would have loved a discussion of this when I was just starting to have babies and juggling my desire to be a mother and my desire for a career.

    • MissEm says...

      A combination of circumstance and preference has meant that I’ve been a stay at home mother for 8 years now and I still struggle with self-judgment and fear about it! I wonder all the time if I’ll be glad I made this choice or if I’ll regret it.

    • I struggle with this too. It’s hard when it seems like everything and everyone wants you to be a superwoman – it’s like you’re not doing it right if you don’t have it all (career, wife, mother, daughter, etc etc etc). I came across this Motherly article and it made me weep (https://www.mother.ly/work/im-not-going-backwards-by-choosing-to-stay-home-with-my-kids) I felt so seen and ever since then I’ve lived by Shirin’s words. I hope there’s something in it that resonates with you.

    • Jill says...

      My husband’s ex-wife is a stay-at-home mama, and we are so glad she is! She is home with her two youngest during the day, and is there to welcome her two older kiddos off the school bus, along with our youngest, who she watches for us after school. I know her life can be just as hectic as moms who work outside the home (four kids, plus friends and relations, means their house is always hopping), and there’s zero judgment. I would love to see a post or series on this as well. I’m just really nosy and love these little sneak peeks into other lives :)

    • Michelle says...

      Thanks for your replies, ladies! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

      Ana, that Mother.ly article is wonderfully comforting. It is so true that it does feel like we have to do it all, and be it all, all at once. I feel like I need permission to ‘compartmentalize’ my life and just be OK with being a mom right now. I’m always thinking about how short this chapter of life is, and wanting so badly to fully embrace and own it. But also be proud of myself whether or not I ever have a capital-C career. It’s a marvel that we’ve come so far (with women’s rights and gender equality) that to choose to stay at home as a mom feels very against the grain.

  83. Kumi says...

    They were terrific and a fun family and home. I collect paint colors to keep in mind for projects, would it be possible to learn the paint brand and color of that fabulous yellow door?

  84. Maia says...

    Ahhhh I loved this because I used to live in the heart of Windy Welly at the top of Cuba Street about 4 years ago. I miss it dearly, even that brand of soap in the bathroom and Trade Me finds. Must get back for a visit soon.

  85. Gaby says...

    I love this home! I also love that the last two photos are recreating the photo that’s on the shelves with the pressed flowers. A nice update from when their son was a baby.

    • Kim says...

      OMG good catch! That’s so sweet.

    • I feel like you’re the type of person who catches continuity errors in movies and I love it :D

  86. Sarah says...

    I have a friend crush on her! So funny and warm!

  87. Morgan says...

    Love this! And such a beautiful pup – must be a Portuguese Water Dog, right? They have a special place in my heart :)
    Do you know where the shower curtain is from? I’ve been looking for one with that EXACT print for the past year! I’m fantasizing about it for my 60s peach tiled bathroom… I think that’s just the ticket!

    • Morgan says...

      Thanks so much for responding, Ana! Chester is so cute… now i’m scrolling through cavoodle pictures on google ;)

  88. Kathryn says...

    Another kiwi super excited to see a bit of home! Makes me think it might be time for a trip back! I’m trying to figure out where in Welly this could be…

    • Hi Kathryn. We’re in the Wellington CBD !

  89. I think this is my favorite home tour! It actually looks like people and…gasp!…a toddler lives here. I love how it’s lived in, well loved and put together all at the same time. I love seeing the stroller. I love seeing the bag of diapers under the bed. As an artist, I love how she switches out her art seasonally! I just…love it. LOL. I think I feel validated and seen through this home tour. Thank you, Ana!

    • Emilie says...

      Agreed! This home tour stood out to me because there’s a little bit of lived-in, cozy clutter. Love it!

    • This is so nice, Lisa. Aro’s diapers fit perfectly under that cot. Like it was made for it ;)

  90. Libbynan says...

    I so love seeing how people live in other countries. This is a beautiful family living in a beautiful country. Loved the part about a Kiwi Christmas book…..as a Southerner, I get way tired of New England Christmas traditions.

  91. love the whole apartment but his sandal tan on his little feet was the best part. xx

    • Beth says...

      I died! So so darling

    • You can tell he really only wears one pair of sandals in the summer and that he’s out all day, every day :)

  92. shannon says...

    Was anyone else relieved to see piles of books, toilet paper, visible cords, and a bottle of hand soap from the grocery store? I love how real, lived in, and cheerful the house feels. The artwork and plants are lovely! I’ll come over for fried chicken any time!

    • I once got a bottle of Aesop handwash as a gift and when it ran out, I decanted grocery store handwash into it for about a year. Then I thought I’m not really fooling anyone and why bother so I stopped. You’re welcome to come over for fried chicken whenever you want.

    • SO relieved! Perfection is boring! Life is messy, and so is all of our stuff. Especially when kids are in the picture.

  93. janee says...

    The color choices really stand out especially in all the artwork – I don’t know if it’s the light or just her apparent great taste but I love it.

  94. Joanie O says...

    Hilarious! I wish I was friends with them during the fried chicken phase (for the food) and the rest of the time (for the clearly positive and fabulous company)

  95. Valeria says...

    They. Are. So. Beautiful.

  96. Wow, I really loved this! I loved Ana’s sense of humor and also, I think I need to get into pressing flowers?

    I always appreciate getting a glimpse into homes that are beautiful but aren’t the same old thing we’re seeing everywhere on Instagram and design blogs!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, she was so funny on the phone! a total delight.

  97. Charlotte says...

    So happy to see my hometown here! Makes me want to book some tickets back…

  98. Jenna Senter says...

    Love it! Do you know where the doll house in the 6th pic is from?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her! xo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      It’s from New Zealand’s Kmart, which Ana says is more like our target. Hope that helps!

    • Kaitlin Jenkins says...

      Kmart does exist in the USA as well – is it only a Midwestern thing? We had them in my hometown growing up, and many of the stores have been closing, but they still have an online presence. I think this one is very similar to the dollhouse in Ana’s home (in case this helps): https://www.kmart.com/plantoys-plan-toys-plan-toys-dollhouse-series-terrace/p-SPM8854921423?plpSellerId=Edealszone%20LLC&prdNo=44&blockNo=44&blockType=G44

      I’m off to scour for that awesome shower curtain from Kmart online now :) I love this home tour, and the lovely people who live here! My husband and I walked the Te Araroa trail across NZ two years ago, and our rest days in Wellington were just wonderful- we can’t wait to go back!

    • A says...

      lol it’s funny to read comments about kmart like it’s an exotic foreign store. kmart definitely exists in the US too, was one of the only department-type stores we had in my small PNW town growing up! Are they not on the east coast?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes but I think it’s really different there? Going to research more!

    • Taylor says...

      I’m an American living in Australia and I agree with Ana that Aus/NZ Kmart is most similar to US Target – it’s the best place to go for inexpensive but good homewares, toys, basic clothing, etc. In particular, they have a really nice quality line of wooden baby/kid toys.

      Australia does have Target, but it’s VERY different (and not as good, in my opinion) as US Target.

  99. Jovita says...

    I adored this! Thanks for sharing your lovely home, Ana! As a kiwi, I’m thrilled to see a New Zealand home featured on here, too! :)

  100. Lea says...

    ‘A nice old granny probably sat in it for a long time and had a great time, and now I’m having a great time!’ I love this! Beautiful apartment and such lovely artwork!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, i loved that line, too!

  101. Trish O says...

    What a beautiful home and a lovely family. Thank you for sharing your life.

    • Kitty says...

      Beautiful family and warm, inviting home. Congrats Ana!

  102. Tiffany says...

    Well that was just delightful! What a great family! And the NZ parliament passed their new gun laws yesterday so congratulations to all!

  103. Oh, I loved this! The place, her humor, her approach to decorating and art. Just wonderful all around. I so love seeing homes from around the world, more please! :)

  104. anne says...

    This made me so happy! What a lovely home and a lovely family! Thanks so much for sharing your home!