accent pillow case baby burlap decorative Pink decor was the icing on the cake for this creative Auckland home sofa pillow covers

Discover how full-blown florals, fun-loving pink outbursts and decorative skulls were the icing for this creative Auckland home

Trudy Nicholls, caker and co-owner of Cherry Cake Company, Alaric Nicholls, 42 teacher, Reonaccent pillow case baby burlap decorative, 9, and Parker, 6, plus Cocoa the chihuahua.

floral pillow shams

Best lesson learned??Stick to your own style and embrace it. I love admiring other homes and sometimes get caught up in coveting what they have. But at the end of the day, within our budget, we have made a home that we love and that our family and friends feel welcome in.

What would you never do again??Tile the bathroom walls – some have cracked over time and it bugs me every time I’m in there.

One thing you’d change if you could??More space and better flow from the deck to the garden.

Best memory in your home so far?The boys chasing each other round and round the kitchen island in the nudie rudie after their baths!

What did you spend on your reno in total??Around $100K all up over a few years.

What did you splurge or save on?We saved by buying things secondhand (thanks Junk &; Disorderly and the Birkenhead Sallies!) and having wonderful artistic friends and family who provided decor and art. We chose cheaper decor options for the kids’ rooms and kitchen units from PlaceMakers. We splurged on amazing tradies (worth every cent), a high-end oven and appliances, replacing the dining-room floor with recycled rimu, and fixtures like bifolds and lights.

How did your budget compare to your actual spend??We stuck within our budget as we assessed it constantly and made decisions (like sourcing our own kitchen handles) to cut costs where needed.


Trudy is an award-winning cake artist and co-owns Cherry Cake Company with business partner Kelley Tahitahi.


A stainless-steel kitchen island benchtop was a must-have for Trudy, but it’s been a long road to getting her heart’s desire – the first steel top began to rust within days of being installed. “We had to get another one made which took several months and was very stressful, only to find that began to rust, too,” says Trudy. “We are now on our third top and so far, so good.”


Give a tired old dining suite a bright new look by painting it in the colour of your choice using a durable product such as Resene Enamacryl.


Trudy’;s own style is vintage-influenced and fun-loving with a bold sense of colour, which is clear to see in the home’s vibrant decor.



This kitchen tells a story, with treasures such as mixing bowls and sugar shakers passed down from Trudy’s great-grandmother, some of her father’s early pottery, and part of her substantial cake-stand collection all on display.


The mantelpiece is adorned with Trudy’s collection of skulls (including ones she made out of sugar).


The vintage sewing box in the hallway (against Komar ‘Romantic Pop’ wallpaper) was a lucky find at Junk &; Disorderly.


Hand-me-down furniture is mixed with bargains from Kmart and some impressive displays of creativity (those trucks were handmade by a friend) in Parker’s and Reon’s rooms.



Don’t be afraid of colour in boys’ rooms – blue and grey are great but there’s no reason to avoid dashes of purple, yellow or pink!


A simple black-and-white colour scheme is livened up with vintage florals, pot plants and a few splashes of Trudy’s trademark pink.




The once Smurf-blue bathroom is now a modern space with??floor-to-ceiling tiles, ornate mirror, as well as plenty of additional storage.


Floor plan.

View next gallery: How a renovation project brought a dash of glam to this home’;s interior View Gallery

Words by: Annick Larkin. Photography by: Emma MacDonald.

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