decorative pillow cases This young mum built her dream home in Mangawhai for $360，000 sofa pillow covers
Thanks to careful planning and research， this determined young mum bought land and built a stylish new home in Mangawhai on an enviable budget
Jessica Whiting， art director and owner of Oh Gosh；ohgosh.co.nzand Grace， 11， plus Jasper the pup and Primrose the cat.personalized wedding party gifts
Total budget(land and build) around $360，000
Best lessons learned？A tight budget can be a blessing in disguise that forces you to think creatively and come up with some great ideas， not only in your build but where you decide to go and what you do.
Would you do it all again？Absolutely! It was the most stress-free experience because I let the experts do their thing， and I did what I do best which was making it functional and look great. Plusdecorative pillow cases， we finished early and bang on budget.
Any DIY disasters？Nope.
One thing you would change about your home if you could？I’d probably just make it a little bigger. I’m currently adding a master bedroom and ensuite.
Most memorable experience you have had in your home？Because of the timing， we were able to be in the house in time for Christmas – that was pretty special.
How did your budget forecast compare to your actual spend？I had a ？xed-price contract with my building company and they were accurate with estimates for things that weren’t included in that price (such as ground works). I also allowed for almost everything – eg power connection costs， movers， adding a fence， gravel for the drive – everything had to be taken into account because there wasn’t any wriggle room.
What areas of your home did you save and splurge on？I saved on things like standard light switches， basic bedroom lighting and a standard shower (rather than fully tiled). Splurged on tapware， linen curtains， adding more drawers to the kitchen， Bosch kitchen appliances， adding a gas hob， and matching downpipes to the guttering.
Do you tend to buy high-end homeware or seek out a bargain？A combination； it comes down to how the pieces work together and how they feel. I love a good deal but I also know when to invest.
Best advice when it comes to spending money on a home？Talk to your builder about what you can change later and what things it’s best to invest in at the time. Futureproof your house to be as energy efficient as possible with good insulation， ventilation and glazing and cost-effective heating and water solutions. We are on tank water so this was especially important.
How did you keep track of costs during the build？Spreadsheets! I am a spreadsheet queen. This is especially important when having to pay for rent and progress payments for the build at the same time.
Custom linen curtains from Freedom were a non-negotiable splurge for Jessica. They filter summer sunlight from the large north-facing windows and add warmth to the lounge during winter.
In a time when owning your own home has become unattainable for many， Jessica’s creative approach not only achieved the goal but produced a home which is smart， elegant and personal.
Style it：Decorate your shelves with items you love in varying sizes， shapes， materials and colours – and top it all off with a hit of greenery.
Hang up a favourite print， or finally get that one in storage framed. You could also try a gallery wall.
Try it：Make a feature of a collection that gives you joy – such as shoes， vintage china or exotic plants – by grouping it together on open shelves.
Towns on the outskirts of Auckland are ripe with freshly subdivided areas ready to accommodate both permanent residents and holidaymakers， so when Jessica found a well-priced section a few minutes’ walk from Mangawhai township， she crunched the numbers and did some research.
Jessica has created a restful sleeping space with layered textures of linen， wool and velvet in a soft， muted palette.
Each area in Jessica’s home features an arrangement of treasured items including market and vintage finds， artwork and， of course， the latest sneaker purchase..
“It’s a home I created for myself and my daughter； it’s comfortable and warm， it’s filled with things we love and is part of a community we love as well.”
Each area in Jessica’s home features an arrangement of treasured items.
Put your time into the things you can’t change later such as bathroom layouts， tapware， wardrobe sizes etc.
Try it：A gallery wall in a child’s room will allow them to express their individuality while also allowing you to change up the space as they grow.
After their tiny North Shore flat， Jessica and her daughter Grace love having more room to spread out.
Jessica’s？home is characterised by its strong focus on textures and a simple， neutral colour palette.
Jessica’s home was built on time and on budget in less than six months during the winter of 2015.
View next gallery： The plain facade of this Auckland home hides a vintage inspired interior View Gallery
Created by：？Tina Stephen.？Photography by：？Helen Bankers.
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