Kiwis baffled by interior design of Wellington’s most expensive house listing

a tall glass building: The house's unusual décor has caught the attention of Kiwis.

© Tommy’s Real Estate.
The house’s unusual décor has caught the attention of Kiwis.

A palatial home for sale in Wellington has caught the attention of New Zealanders – and not just for its eye watering price.

With an asking price of $7,950,000, the 742-square metre Thorndon mansion is the most expensive house to ever come on the market in Wellington. But it’s a neon sign in one of the dining rooms that got the property listing onto social media site Reddit.

The sign reads “S I N” in large capital letters and users are baffled by it.

“Blasphemy. They sit there around that long table and blaspheme all evening. Sinners,” theorised one person.

Another said maybe the owners of the property “just like maths”. 

Sin is the shortened form of sine – a trigonometric function of an angle. Not everyone was a fan of the unusual decor with one person saying it was “tacky” and another claiming it to be a sign that “money can’t buy taste”.

The vendors who undertook the renovation of the massive property told Stuff they wanted their home to be “timeless and retain its character and uniqueness… but also to create spaces which are quirky, fun and functional”.

CoreLogic confirmed $7,950,000 is the highest asking price ever asked for a home in Wellington. The previous record is a sale earlier this year of a house in Clive Road that fetched $5,750,000.

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A listing of home and garden events for the Milwaukee area (Fall 2020 edition)

Find home improvement and gardening classes for Milwaukee, Waukesha and the surrounding counties. Here is a roundup of home and garden events, craft and hobby shows, and where to find more information:

a group of people standing in a garden: They're decking out the Mitchell Park Domes for the popular Milwaukee landmark's annual holiday show, which opens Saturday.

© Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
They’re decking out the Mitchell Park Domes for the popular Milwaukee landmark’s annual holiday show, which opens Saturday.

All Saints Lutheran Church: Fall Craft Fair, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Nov. 7. Crafters, raffle, bake sale and luncheon. 9131 S. Howell Ave., Oak Creek. (414) 762-5111.

American Legion Park: Pioneer Farm Days, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 10-11. Old-time farm show with antique tractors, engines and machinery. Flea market, farmers market and food. Free admission. 9327 S. Shepard Ave., Oak Creek. (414) 768-8580;

Get daily updates on the Packers during the season.

Apple Holler: Apple Picking, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Last bag sold one hour before closing. 5006 S. Sylvania Ave., Sturtevant, (262) 884-7100;

Boerner Botanical Gardens: Outdoor grounds are open daily without reservation, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (through Oct. 30). Visitor Center is closed. Whitnall Park, 9400 Boerner Drive, Hales Corners. Information: (414) 525-5600;

  • Wednesday Night Walks. Sept. 30, Oct. 7 and 14.

Cedar Creek Settlement: Festive Friday Eves are held from 5 to 9 p.m. and feature holiday entertainment and activities, gift and specialty shops, antique stores, galleries, restaurants, and the Cedar Creek Winery decorated for the holidays. N70-W6340 Bridge Road, Cedarburg, (262) 377-8020.

  • Settlement Christmas Showcase. Nov. 20.
  • Home for the Holidays. Nov. 27.
  • Santa’s Workshop. Dec. 4.
  • The Christmas Spirit. Dec. 11.
  • Countdown to Christmas. Dec. 18.

Cedarburg Artists Guild: Covered Bridge Art Studio Tour, noon-5 p.m. Oct. 9; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 10-11. Free. Artists open their studio spaces to the public. Tour begins at any of the locations in Port Washington, Grafton, Cedarburg and Mequon. Most of the artists will be creating art during the event and will explain their artistic processes and inspirations.

Cedarburg Cultural Center: “The Sick to Death of It” Gothic History Tour, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23-34 and Oct. 30-31. One mile walk is 90 minutes with steps, no seating or bathrooms, and sidewalks and ground may be dark or uneven in the cemetery. Advance ticket purchase required. W62-N546 Washington Ave., Cedarburg..(262) 375-3676;

Christkindl LIVE Market: Virtual Christmas market with live stream experience, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 15-Dec. 31.

Delafield Hotel: Boutique Wedding Showcase, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 29. Visit with vendors offering a variety of wedding services. Complimentary admission and valet parking. 415 Genesee St., Delafield.

East Troy Railroad Museum: Fall Harvest Fest Trains, Saturday-Sunday, (through Oct. 25). Christmas Trains, Nov. 28-29, Dec. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20. Advance electronic ticket purchase required. Depot, 2002 Church St., East Troy. (262) 642-3263;

Elegant Farmer Harvest Fest: Weekend of activities include a corn maze for all ages, hayrides, pony rides and train rides, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (through Oct. 25). Check out what’s picking in the orchard, or shop the Farm Kitchen Bakery, Deli & Market, 1545 Main

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Lessons From Listing Photos: This Refurbished Minnesota Mansion Leaves ’70s Decor in the Dust

It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

The self-proclaimed slogan for St. Paul, MN, is “the most livable city in America,” but that doesn’t mean every house in the capital city is one you’d love to live in. This five-bedroom, four-bathroom home may be just miles from downtown, but it had definitely seen better days when it was purchased in 2018.

Thankfully the new owners were ready for a challenge. Out went the 1970s decor stamped in nearly every room, and in came a modern, relaxed style that brought buyers running. Within two years, the house was sold again, for $1,049,000—more than double the previous purchase price of $520,000.

So how did the home sellers make it happen? We tapped top interior design and home staging experts to find out not only what the sellers did exactly right, but also how you can use their advice to achieve the same success when selling your home.


The entryway gives buyers a first impression of the house, and before the renovation, this space probably made more than one potential buyer turn right back around.

Designer and home stager Kim Gordon says the place even looked like it might have had a musty smell.

“The carpet up the stairs is dirty, and the drapes are wilted,” she notes. “Even with so little furniture, the space feels cramped.”

But the update managed to completely change the feel of the space, she says.

“The updated entry has utilized the magic of a white color palette and the contrast of rich woods on both the floors and the banister,” she says. “You’d never realize it’s the same fireplace.”

Gordon also notes that the updated staircase railing—which uses a darker stain on the original rail but new spindles—goes a long way toward modernizing the space. “Such a smart move,” she says.

The new space is now much more welcome to prospective homeowners, especially those looking for a place to entertain.

“To achieve an open floor plan, the back wall was widened and doors removed completely to allow for lots of space and an uninterrupted flow between the rooms in the home,” says Luciana Fragali, owner of high-end interior and architectural design firm Design Solutions.

Dining room

The original dining room could be described as dingy at best.

“Did Lincoln eat here?” asks Gordon. “The gravity of years has drained the room of joy, and it is past the point of charm.”

She was happy to see the changes to this space, saying a white theme with contrasting darker wood tones is the heroine again.

The brighter walls aren’t the biggest change in this room, though.

“A pair

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