Bubbles & Black Barn Retreats

Last weekend I had the great privilege of previewing Black Barn Vineyard's newest and most luxurious retreat hidden away in the hills of Hawke's Bay. I don't blog about design nearly as much as I'd like to, so I jumped at the chance to get a sneak peek into what I could only assume would be a beautifully designed home. The event was limited to a small number of guests and photography was not allowed, so you'll have to use your imagination a bit. All photography I am sharing is from Black Barn's website.

Paretai is one of sixteen unique high-end vacation rental properties owned by Black Barn. Former ad exec Kim Thorp, and businessman and design consultant Andy Coltart, owners of Black Barn, hosted the event.

From the moment I walked through the gorgeous wooden double doors of Paretai, I felt a sense of welcome, warmth and understated elegance. Warm neutrals paired with luxurious textures and unique artwork created a relaxed atmosphere, and the warm fire invited you to sink into the perfectly fluffed cloud-like couch. Imagine a home in a Nancy Meyers' film (... think 'Something's Gotta Give' or 'It's Complicated.')

So much natural light and a great space for entertainment Source

So much natural light and a great space for entertainment Source

You know when you visit a really beautiful home and deep down inside you really just want to snoop around and see the whole place? Well that's basically what we got to do. No shame in opening the medicine cabinet here! When I see beautiful interior design, I want to see how it's been applied in every room...

Upon arrival, guests were greeted with a glass of Black Barn Brut. Then Kim Thorp invited us onto the back porch overlooking the gardens to give us an introduction to the property, and we were set loose to explore.

A view looking onto back porch from the garden. Source

A view looking onto back porch from the garden. Source

Unlike many vacation homes, this place felt almost lived in (in a good way). When you opened the drawers, there were actually things in them you might need! Designed to the tiniest detail, they thought of everything from soaps and toothbrushes, to appliances, to an Apple computer and printer, to gardening gloves! There was so much storage in the place, it made me want to permanently move in. Even the laundry room made me drool, and I don't even like doing laundry.

Notice all of the artwork and beautiful details even in the bathroom. I was dying for this chest of drawers which you can see reflected in the mirror. Source

Notice all of the artwork and beautiful details even in the bathroom. I was dying for this chest of drawers which you can see reflected in the mirror. Source

The property had everything you could possibly want or need during your stay - three bedrooms with ensuite baths and walk-in closets, a library, a sunroom, a dining room, an office, a chef's kitchen with butler's pantry, multiple outdoor entertainment areas, a pool and pool house with outdoor kitchen and entertainment space, a vegetable garden, a tennis court, a guest house, bikes, and as Kim Thorp said while introducing the property, "If flying into Hawke's Bay airport isn't convenient, we have a helicopter launch pad on the property to get you straight to your destination."

A view of the side patio which opens into the main living space. Source

A view of the side patio which opens into the main living space. Source

In the kitchen the AGA Cooker is the star of the show. You can cook and entertain, or Black Barn can send in a chef to cater to your needs. I say this with a smirk on my face, as I am twenty-seven and can only dream of one day renting out a holiday home and hiring a private chef, but a girl can dream. ;)

My dream kitchen. Source

My dream kitchen. Source

What I loved most about the inside of the home were the textures and colors. Like an art gallery, with almost every turn you'd get a new view of an interesting and quirky piece of art. Even the gardens are sprinkled with sculptures - everything from bright yellow abstract shapes to cattle made out of corrugated metal. In the great room the walls were upholstered in linen, creating a sense of warmth and comfort.

View looking into the great room from the foyer. How gorgeous are those wood floors? Source

View looking into the great room from the foyer. How gorgeous are those wood floors? Source

And who could miss the view from the massive floor to ceiling window looking out to the fish hook-shaped pond, which was a piece of art in itself.

A bit of Maori influence in the garden with a fish hook-shaped pond. Source

A bit of Maori influence in the garden with a fish hook-shaped pond. Source

Outside, green grass sprawled from the back patio across the yard and into the beautifully groomed garden. A stone path guided us through a maze of fountains, flowers and sculptures leading us to the tennis court and then the pool and guest house.

If I were staying here, I would spend the majority of my time at the pool and outdoor kitchen. I could just imagine laying out all day, grilling and eating while 'beach music' hummed through the speakers, then drinking wine around the fire with friends well into the evening.

Basically my only complaint is that I really think the event should have been a sleepover instead of an afternoon party. ;) This property is yet another reason to visit and indulge in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. I feel so lucky to be living in a world-class tourism destination.

A huge thank you goes to Black Barn for including me in this special event.

Interested in renting Paretai or one of Black Barn's luxury accommodations? Book your stay here.