My Favourite Room - Kelly Bennett

Bennett lives in Wanganui Avenue with his wife Jo Nicol, kids Lucas (14), Maia (11), dog Whiskey and the family’s two cats - Snowy and Panda. Kelly owns a corporate communications firm called One Plus One.

We moved to Clifton Road, Herne Bay, in the late 90s. We then went overseas to live and work in Europe for several years - where we spent time in London and Edinburgh. When we returned with our two children, we sold our house, then purchased this renovated villa, which we’ve lived in for over a decade. We love the neighbourhood and have no desire to live anywhere else - it’s absolutely perfect for us.

What do you call this room?
Like lots of old villas in the area, this one has been popped up and pushed back to maximise space - so this room is effectively a dining room and living room, all in one.

What do you use it for?
Sitting by the fire in winter, mainly. I like reading, so I do a lot of that in this chair, but it’s also where we do lots of talking as a family and have an occasional dance with the kids.

Why is it your favourite room?
I like the way the light filters through during different times of the day, and the way the creeping plants outside have created a walled garden, which ensures privacy. When you sit here you can only see plants, our pool or the sky - and that’s it. Another element of this room that I really like is having our books around us, and of course the photographs and art that we’ve acquired randomly over the years.

What are your favourite things in the room?
Our antiquated B&O stereo, a painting by Allen Maddox we chose shortly after getting married and a new Peter Peryer photograph.