Alex and Corban Walls’ new home


Case Study Description

Making the most of beautiful bush setting and sea views, Alex and Corban Walls’ new home on Auckland’s North Shore is a showcase of their trademark sophisticated styling and clever design. Their two-storey three-bedroom home in Island Bay is a relaxed oasis of contemporary family living for the couple who won The Block NZ 2014 and their two small children.

The home takes much of its inspiration from nearby Island Bay, and the cliffs are echoed in the exterior with its distinctive split-face travertine stone.

Between Corban’s architectural design and Alex’s beautiful interior execution, the overall impact is an airy home that exudes a sense of calm. Sheer curtains filter light through the floor to ceiling windows, natural fabrics are used in soft furnishings, oak adds a lightness to flooring, dining furniture and cabinetry, muted earthy tones in textured tiles create an organic feel and brass detail in cabinetry, tapware and even door handles add a polished finish.

When it came to choosing switchgear for their home, Corban says Saturn Zen by PDL was an easy decision. “Saturn Zen is the most elegant and subtle design there is available. I love the simple push button and tiny little LED backlight dot in the middle, so when you need it you can see it.” 

The couple used Saturn Zen’s white and black plate options to blend with the home’s mixture of light walls and dark cedar tones. The slim architrave switch was the perfect solution for bedside lights on their oak headboard, while dimmers in the main lounge set the mood instantly for movie nights.

The home is still a work in progress and along with the easy reference Saturn Zen pictographs that Corban is adding to their switch banks, he also plans to add sensors and timers.

“I’m a believer in the fact that you can’t design your house 100%. You design about 90% and then as you learn to live in your house you realise: ‘I need a timer on that’ or ‘I need to be able to control that from my phone’. The great thing with the PDL gear is that you can retro-fit elements and it can all work off the Wiser Home app.”

After a five year journey, Corban and Alex Walls are thrilled to simply enjoy their home now. “It’s so nice to sit back and know that it’s done, after all that work,” says Corban. “I thought I’d want to do it again and part of me does, but not for ten years!”