Case Study – The Gatehouse

Patterson Associates Architects & Sonja Hawkins Design

Nestled in the mountain ranges of the South Island, with views to Coronet Peak is a gabled barn shaped home by architecture firm Patterson Associates Architects and interiors by Sonja Hawkins Design.

Located near Millbrook, once an original farm station, this home has been designed to accommodate family, acquaintances, friends & artists. The house can be two homes in one. Sonja echoes this, saying, “it needed to feel comfortable for two but also have that flexibility and expandability for others.”

Sonja and Andrew have designed an enduring and hard wearing home that connects the outdoors to the interiors by choice of materials and to make for an easy and relaxing experience. This concept comes to life in the main living area, where soft woollen textiles reflect the locations cooler climate; with a mix of contemporary Italian and Scandinavian furnishings.


The question Sonja likes to ask is, “how does one make a new house feel established and part of its environment?  Feel as though it has always been there, but is still fresh and contemporary?”

To this end, the fixed elements, floors, walls, surfaces had to be timeless. Like the brick herringbone floors, and timber clad walls, the slate & stone bench tops. The more changeable items, furniture and fixtures, are a mix of old and new – but with a linking materiality. The woven seat of the bar stools, wood grain elements, woollen upholstery and curtains.



The architecture had a strong presence, so Sonja chose to keep the lighting very minimal. The Lambert & Fils Dot series harked to chandeliers of old, but in a very minimal form. While the Parc collection echoed the angular line of the ceilings in the upper levels. Both items injected an edge of modernity, just as contemporary art does. They can make a space feel current – while still offering the familiarity of the past.




An eclectic mix of antiques and old-world pieces with contemporary lighting create a characterful and contextual blend. Adding warmth and personality.


The Gatehouse is just as its name suggests, a dwelling that is “protected, quiet and all about people,”

To view featured items

Turn table
Freja barstool
Dot light pendant
Dot wall pendant
Parc pendant

Photos Samuel Hartnett
Copy The Local Project