A conversation with Blanket Bay Barn

A conversation with Blanket Bay Barn

November 17, 2021

Looking for that perfect spot to escape to these summer holidays? Let us introduce you to Blanket Bay Barn.  

A Contemporary, compact Scandinavian-style barn on two levels combining elements of comfort and light. The Birch ply interior, wool carpet and heat pump create a warm and cosy vibe. The Barn is set in a rural landscape overlooking a lovely large pond inhabited by local birdlife. Being only 10-mins drive from Dunedin city centre and 3 mins to historic Port Chalmers and some of the best beaches and coastal scenery Otago has to offer all nearby.

We are forever grateful to have our products stocked in such beautiful places. We were lucky enough to chat with owner Mandy to talk about her air bnb, Scandinavian style, Ōtepoti and more

Hi Mandy, thanks for chatting with us! Firstly can you tell me about your Air Bnb and how it all started?

We had been in hospitality for over 20 years and really enjoyed hosting people so providing accomodation on our lifestyle block just out of Dunedin was a way to continue this although not at such a hectic pace. We decided completely renovating and reviving what was once a turn of the century Shearing Barn that went onto become a market gardeners morning tea building into a Scandinavian Designed Barn . It was a chance to respect the original old Barn that sits facing north overlooking an old irrigation pond  into a zen getaway rural retreat.

The Scandinavian design for your accommodation is beautiful. What inspired you to do this design? 

The Scandinavian design was inspired by the  bones of the old Barn which  created a perfect blend  of the two combined which made for a functional and attractive building in a minimalist  way with a focus on clean and simple lines. It was a collaboration of ideas between 3 of us my husband who is a wooden boatbuilder/builder by trade our dear friend Bruce Crowley of Crowley Interiors a sincere and gifted designer and myself whose had experience in interiors . The Scandinavian style appealed to us all especially with the high pitch of the Barn which creates a feeling of openness and light we retained the original loft space which is now a cosy bedroom .

What are some of your favourite things about your barn that you would love our readers to know about? 

There is a real calmness to The  Barn with the large pond in full view and the sound of the outflow into the creek with local bird life and sheep wandering around it’s your true kiwi rural outlook. We’ve lined the interior with Birch Ply used Nz wool carpet and have a couple of old leather couches with sheepskins. It’s a space to spend time reading and relaxing or using as a base to explore the area. It’s become a close to home getaway for locals and a quiet spot for out of towners  who have never been to Dunedin or went to Uni here years ago . It’s about  10 mins from the city or 5 mins to Port Chalmers we leave breakfast offerings of eggs, bread, muesli and freshly roasted coffee from our roastery. The reviews people have left sum up their stay at The Barn. 

Being based in Ōtepoti, what are your favourite activities to do around the city?

Spoilt for choice in each direction from our gate turn left and you’ll head to Port Chalmers with its cafes, museums , galleries and restaurants , further round is the historic Carey’s Bay hotel and the local Port to Port Ferry a must if you want to get out on the water or pass by the Royal Albatross Colony. Many stunning coastal beaches to walk or pack your bikes and do the harbour track . Turn right and it’s into town with great unique shops ,local designers , art galleries ,mural walk ,Larnachs Castle ,Olveston ,St Clair beach with cafes shops the salt water pool . Excellent restaurants ,historic architecture ,Breweries , it depends on what your seeking or just quietly checking out of life at The Barn.

What is the best part in your opinion of running an Air BnB? 

The best part of running an air B and B for us is looking after people from a distance giving them time and space to just turn up and start relaxing .Providing a place to help  unwind in a nice environment, I pick fresh flowers and use luxury linens and towels .We like our guests to feel pampered .

Thank you for using smartass toilet paper at your accommodation! What made you decide to use our sustainable toilet paper? 

For Christmas a few years ago  we were given a wrapped box of Smartass toilet paper 

it lasted for ages was so convenient and the fact it was tree free we were hooked and have been buying it ever since. To be able to have Smartass toilet paper delivered to our home in bulk and to cheer up the loo area with the coloured wrappings( which then gets  used for lighting the fire )and to not have to get it from the supermarket which was great during lockdown is even more reason this is a permanent way of purchasing for us. So when we started our accomodation it was always going to be supplied with Smartass toilet paper . It’s a proven product with prompt delivery very happy customers.

Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to book a stay at your accommodation?

To make a booking with us just go onto Air B and B and look up Scandinavian Barn Sawyers Bay Dunedin and we will look forward to hosting you 




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