Creative living in arts and crafts-inspired home

By Graham Hepburn

SIZE: Land 1.4ha, house 523sq m, barn 226sq m.
PRICE INDICATION: $6 million-$6.5 million.
INSPECT: Phone for viewing times.
SCHOOL ZONES: Whenuapai School, Massey High School, St Pauls (Massey).
CONTACT: Matty Ma or Rod Macfarlane, Harcourts, ph 021 287 4278 or 451 9318 (Matty), or 021 755 588 (Rod).
FEATURES: Arts and Crafts-inspired two-storey waterfront home with multiple covered outdoor areas, including one with open fire. Three-bay barn with stables, tack room, laundry, kitchen and bathroom. Boat ramp and jetty at bottom of property.
45 Totara Road, Whenuapai. Photo / Ted Baghurst
45 Totara Road, Whenuapai. Photo / Ted Baghurst

It comes as no surprise to discover that this Arts and Crafts-inspired home took two years to build. And it's not just due to the scale of the property, but also because of the quality of the materials and the level of detail involved in this waterfront home with its barn and grounds.

When Grant and his wife bought the property about 12 years ago, there were two old Keith Hay homes on site that were eventually shifted off. While they moved those, they were careful not to disturb the mature trees on the land.

"We didn't want to have the house sitting on a bare site," says Grant, "so a lot of the property was designed around the old trees and they defined where the barn would be and where the house was sited."

Grant says his wife collaborated with designer David Irwin on plans for the home, with quality always paramount when it came to construction.

As Grant recalls, "I said to the builder, 'Build it as if you were building your own house. We don't want to scrimp on anything'."

Materials such as schist and bluestone feature in the exterior of the home, which is otherwise plaster over brick. Inside, American oak floors and cabinetry are prominent throughout as is granite and marble in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Views of the upper harbour can be appreciated from just about every room of this two-storey home, facing north over the water.

Symmetry is also a vital component of the design, with the front and back of the house mirroring. Formal gardens - particularly the clipped hedges and shrubs around the circular driveway at the front of the home - reinforce this symmetry. There is also a recurring keystone motif around the home.

Inside, a double-height space welcomes you with the only interruption a towering, free-standing chimney that separates the foyer and living room. A large Jetmaster fire warms this space, and off to one side is a more casual family room and a spacious country-style kitchen. Off to the other side of the main living room is a games room (with kitchenette) that has glass doors into a garage.

Outdoor living is also well catered for with covered areas on both levels on the eastern and western sides. Outside the kitchen - on the eastern side - there is a schist and bluestone outdoor fireplace. On the waterfront side of the house are paved patio areas with pergolas that flow out to the lawn.

The master bedroom - up concrete stairs - opens to a covered deck with views across the water to Coatesville and Paremoremo.

The bedrooms on the other side of the house also have access to a covered deck.

Built in a similar style to the house, the nearby barn has stables, a tack room, laundry, bathroom, kitchenette and three bays with doors on either side so vehicles can be driven straight through.

"The plan was to have a boat in here and drive straight out here down the back and to the water's edge," says Grant.

Going out the back of the barn takes you down the side of the property to a paved driveway leading down to a boat ramp and jetty, which have power and water.

With his wife having passed away two years ago and his two daughters nearing the age when they will leave home, Grant knows the property will one day be more than he needs.

"It will be quite emotional selling it," he says, "but it's just one of those things where you move on to the next chapter in life."

- NZ Herald

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