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Papamoa creatives find beachside bliss

Papamoa creatives find beachside bliss

The burgeoning beachside area of Papamoa in the Bay Of Plenty is a high growth area, not only in population, but in arts and commerce. Busy parents, business owners and home entertainers Andrea and Kjell Nilsson built their first house two kilometres from the Pacific Ocean.

Andrea is the general manager and co-owner of MOCA, a leading digital agency, while Kjell is a freelance commercial photographer. So, great aesthetics hinging off solid functionality, coupled with the warmth and security of a new home to raise their two rambunctious boys in, became equal but essential factors in their build. 

Kjell had always wanted to build his own house at some stage in his life, while Andrea put it in the ‘too hard basket’. After a close inspection of a Generation Homes showhome, and keeping an eye on some of the Generation Homes being built in the area, the couple decided to partner with the company.

Once that decision was made, Generation Homes sales consultant Debbie Kennedy helped out, finding a 672 sqm section, leaving Andrea and Kjell to consider whether they wanted four bedrooms, or three and a pool. With strong input from sons Levi, aged five, and Olie, eight, the family settled on three bedrooms and a pool – a decision the family and their many friends have not regretted since.

Quote from Andrea & Kjell Nilsson
We were given a 14-week schedule of what would happen every week and each time we visited the house, the crew was bang on schedule which made things so easy.

Andrea & Kjell Nilsson

GH Generation Homes is a specialist house and land package builder, is this what attracted you to partner with them?

No it wasn’t. Actually we were a bit wary of that at initially because we thought it might be restrictive to what we wanted – we thought there might be a really narrow choice of options. When it came to the home we wanted, having our sense of personality and taste was very high on the list.

In the end there were many choices – but if you know what you like it becomes really easy to choose something that’s going to work for you. It was a bit of a no-brainer in the end because the plan we went with allowed for a great colour scheme and plenty of room for art on the walls with an open plan and lots of room for entertaining.

GH Great. Did that plan allow for any modifications to take place?

Yep, which was great. We initially thought we’d have to stick with French doors – which none of us were that keen on, then we asked Debbie about the possibility of changing to sliding doors and it was all very easy. We also wanted wood-look vinyl on the floors instead of tiles in the kitchen and dining areas. Our boys are always running from the pool or yard into the kitchen, and we didn’t want to be taking our shoes on and off when we were using the indoor-outdoor flow. It was a really practical move while getting the look we wanted.

We also extended the serving island in the kitchen, the bench space around the stove and swapped the position of a few cupboards – again this was all about creating solid functionality in the floorplan. The final result is great and it opens up the whole house.

GH How did the build go?

Amazingly easy. I thought it might still be a pretty full-on process, but the communication and scheduling was so tight that it took any stress out of it. That meant we were free to focus on the final dream of what the house would look like when it was finished and achieving that great end result.

GH Did the same crew build the pool?
KJELL No, we actually project managed that ourselves, so as well as working with the Generation Homes construction crew as clients we were also working alongside them side by side as colleagues. Everything went really smoothly and it was another enjoyable and unique part of the build.
GH Papamoa itself is really on the rise. High profile musicians Tiki Taane and Holly Smith have moved there in recent years, and creatives like yourselves have settled there. Sum up the buzz for us.
ANDREA There is starting to be a bit of a creative influence going on. We’re really close to the sea which gives the place beauty and energy, plus we’re less than 10 minutes drive to Mt Maunganui, and 15 minutes to Tauranga outside of peak traffic. There’s Dinner in the Domain, Farmers Markets and a huge revamp of the plaza happening as well – it’s no longer a retirement area. Our place backs onto a huge soccer field which the boys love, and it’s safe neighbourhood with a great mix of families and people, so we love it here.
GH If you were to build again would you use Generation Homes?
ANDREA Definitely, and we’ve already recommended them to many friends and people that we know. We know we got great value for money and a lot of people are really amazed by what we have for what we spent – which was $510,000 all up with $30,000 for the pool.
KJELL It was important for us to have a really healthy, warm home that still had a lot of style. We got that, plus everything is really solidly made and fits with the functionality of our lifestyle. There’s lots of barbeques, lots of swims and it’s a really easy house to live in with the kids. The lounge room can be separated off so when we’ve got guests that’s where they sleep.
GH Finally, the house looks really amazing, where do you get your design inspiration?
ANDREA I spend a lot of time online researching different things – I love Pinterest ( and use Niice (  as it’s a really great tool for mood boarding.

Local residents in Papamoa, where Andrea and Kjell have built their Generation Home, recently rallied together to host an epic street party to thank Generation Homes for building their great community. With 90% of the community at the party and having built their homes with Generation Homes, everyone had plenty in common having been through the same 14 step process. Read the full story on the Milford Estate Papamoa street party here.