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  • Jane is fond of arch­ways in both their home and her art because of their ref­er­ence to Renais­sance and to heaven

Way up in the hills of Karori, with pan­or­amic views of Wel­ling­ton, sits the home of New Zea­l­and artist Jane Hyder and her hus­band Andrew. With some artist­ic renov­at­ing, dec­or­at­ing and land­scap­ing, the own­ers have cre­ated a slice of Italy, right here in Wellington.

Fish­Head vis­ited Jane’s home on a typ­ic­ally dull Wel­ling­ton day, but the tone changed imme­di­ately as we were wel­comed inside. Bright pops of col­our are seen all over the house, from the Design­ers Guild cush­ions to the Höglund glass objects and — most of all — the art that adorns the walls.

Jane is against everything being toned down and dreary, and it soon became obvi­ous that these are two words you would nev­er use to describe this home. “Like the pop of col­our I wear, I want my house to be bright and col­our­ful,” she says.

It is hard to believe that this house was once two run-down flats until Jane and her fam­ily stepped in ten years ago to do it up. “It was a lot of hard work,” she recalls. But with help from friends, and some European inspir­a­tion, it became the per­fect home for a cre­at­ive family.

This house is a home for us because it has space for every­one,” says Jane. “We all have room to do the hob­bies that we like. There is a stu­dio for my daugh­ter and myself, a work­shop for my hus­band, and there is plenty of space for my son to play music.”

This spa­cious home is also per­fect for enter­tain­ing, and from 21st birth­day cel­eb­ra­tions to wed­ding anniversar­ies, it has seen it all — even a cel­eb­rat­ory bath full of cham­pagne bottles.

This artist­ic fam­ily dates back many gen­er­a­tions, with all of the strong women in Jane’s life act­ing as an influ­ence on both her home and her art. “My moth­er was a self-taught design­er,” she says. “She would be doing plans for anoth­er house on the din­ing table, and I would grab my pens and paints and join her.”

Remind­ers of their fam­ily are all around the home, from war medals that belonged to Andrew’s fath­er and grand­fath­er, to china that belonged to Jane’s moth­er and grandmother.

I like to col­lect things that inspire me,” Jane says. Inspir­a­tion is scattered through every room, from the fam­ily heir­looms to count­less books and images of their travels. “I was very inspired by Italy,” she recalls, and the proof of this can be found not only inside, but also out­side the home.

The large Itali­anate garden fea­tures an arch­way and box hedging. The use of per­spect­ive and Renais­sance ref­er­ences flows from Jane’s gar­dens to her artwork.

With the house a work of art in its own right, and the chil­dren all grown up, Jane can focus on her art and the adven­tures that 2015 will bring. With her stu­dio at Toi Pōneke Arts Centre, her role as a judge for The Big Pic­ture children’s art com­pet­i­tion and as a com­mit­tee mem­ber for the New Zea­l­and Por­trait Gal­lery, Jane has a busy year ahead. With all that going on, it’s hard to believe she still has time to work on the pro­duc­tion of her art into 2016 diar­ies and cal­en­dars for cus­tom­ers in Wel­ling­ton and the United King­dom (through Thumb­nail Media).

But thank­fully after a busy day, Jane has her haven to retreat to. As she drinks tea from one her grandmother’s Eng­lish china cups, she can put her feet up and enjoy her pre­cious sea view.