Merino Lodge project thrives on trust

Merino Lodge project thrives on trust
Merino Lodge is a testament to Ann Patterson’s high country heritage and her family’s passion for farming the land.

Working alongside reputable and professional tradespeople makes interior designer Deborah Still’s job run smoothly, and helps her to deliver beautiful spaces that everyone involved can be proud of.
This was certainly the case when Deborah was contacted by a former client from 25 years ago, not long after she’d started her own business, Deborah Still Interior Design.
“Ann Patterson called and said she loved the work I did on one of her high country stations 25 years ago, and asked me to come and help with her latest project, luxury accommodation and function venue Merino Lodge in Omarama.”
Deborah says the working relationship between her and Ann was really good, especially seeing the trust was already there from working together previously.
“I knew how practical being on a high country station has to be, and even though Merino Lodge is located in Omarama township, the high country station and merino farming are strong themes of the Lodge.”
Ann’s family has farmed in the Omarama high country on Longslip Station for more than 100 years.
When her husband passed away, Ann built Merino Lodge as a testament to her family’s heritage and their passion for farming the land.
She is now able to share her family history, stunning alpine scenery, and high country hospitality from the comfort of the luxury Merino Lodge.
Ann lives in a separate wing of the lodge from her paying guests, for which three intimate lodge bedrooms are filled with sumptuous furnishings and luxurious fittings, courtesy of Deborah Still Interior Design.
Deborah says she gets involved at the very beginning of a project, to provide concept plans of what things are going to look like and to specify which products will be used, then again at the very end to supply and install wall, floor, and window coverings, hard and soft furnishings, and artwork.
At Merino Lodge, Deborah worked with a graphic artist to come up with logos and letterheads, even down to having logos embroidered on to guest towels. Deborah had all of Ann’s and her guests’ furniture made by Montreux Furniture in Christchurch.
“I think it’s really important to have New Zealand made furniture,” Deborah says.
“I really like good, locally made furniture, and a hospitality project like this is a great way to show-case New Zealand made products.”
Ann provided all of the artwork for Merino Lodge from her personal collection.
An important part of the lodge for her was to have an exhibition space, which she achieved with cavity sliding walls in a beautiful hallway where she is now showing off New Zealand art to her overseas guests.
Deborah says the project ran so smoothly be-cause of the superb building firm Central Blue and project manager Kurt Verduyn.
“They really took pride in their work,” she says.

Merino Lodge project thrives on trust

“Interior design is like decorating a cake, you need a really well made cake to make it look beautiful. Everyone involved in this project took huge pride in the overall quality and their eye for detail.
“There wasn’t the challenges there sometimes are with less reputable firms, they were all really professional.”
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