b'pictures: Juliet NicholasTurning a large modern house into her own personalised haven was a challenge handled with aplomb by designer Mary Roberts. When Mary Roberts rst laid eyes on plans for her ownMaryfeltherchallengewastomakethehousefeel most recent residential project in Christchurchs seasidewelcoming and cosy, despite the open outlook. To this village of Sumner, excitement was tinged with panic.end shes found that the modern minimalist look can A seasoned interior designer whos highly aestheticallyendow comfort to a level that traditional or embellished attunedaftermanyyearsworkinginfashionandluxury often doesnt.cosmetics internationally, Mary is not often fazed. OnceThis is not a place where youll spy any cabriole legs or started on a project, she possesses an unshakeable faith precious antiques. Mary has opted for elegantly simple, in her own vision for interior spaces. (Thats even in the face of tradespeople saying certain unprecedented wisheslarge-scale square and rectangular furniture. Everything might be in their too-hard basket.) is fabulously functional, but every piece is also absolutely true to style, even down to a large macrosuede grand-But when husband Peter, an accountant, showed Mary theResenedaughters toy box. Cut Glassengineers drawings of this home and its aircraft hangar-like dimensions, she did feel a tad daunted. How could she make such an impressively hard-edged, modernist structure into a personal haven and retreat?Afewmonthsofintensivethoughtandproject managementlater,itbecameclearanyuncertainty had been unfounded. Mary has achieved a home that possesses its own brand of intimacy in spite of its big, bold spaces.It wasnt as if the couple was accustomed to small rooms. One of their previous houses spread itself over 650 square metres of oor area on Christchurchs Mount Pleasant; another, a Mykonos-inspired dwelling on an incredibly steep section, was also large, and set over three levels. Like their previous dwellings, this house is wonderfully coastal,withitsmainlivingareasupstairs,seemingly suspended above the beach.Theirhousespositiononeroads-widthfromsandis naturally its dening feature. Therefore the designs startingpointwasagiven:optimisingthewonderful sea views. In the conservatory dining area, for example, double-glazed windows and ceilings open up to the view and sky. Its a favourite space for friends and visitors.| 61'