Grey Lynn welcome for a colourful cuppa

By Donna McIntyre

SIZE: Land 581sq m, house 115sq m.
PRICE INDICATION: CV $830,000. Auction on-site 1.30pm, July 29.
INSPECT: Sat/Sun 1-1.30pm.
SCHOOL ZONES: Richmond Rd Primary, Ponsonby Intermediate, Western Springs College, Auckland Girls' Grammar.
CONTACT: Denise Boyes, Custom Residential, ph 027 436 4709.
FEATURES: Double brick stucco bungalow on 581sq m section offers warm and vibrant family living. Section is ideal for a young family and includes separate studio and single-car garaging with off-street parking.
8 Sackville St, Auckland. Photo / Getty Images
8 Sackville St, Auckland. Photo / Getty Images

Not only do you acquire a home full of character if you buy this delightful bungalow in Grey Lynn's Sackville St, but there's the option to earn extra income by taking over The Art of Coffee Co which operates from the studio behind the house.

The bungalow's owner is ceramic artist and sculptor Shirley Sinden, who will be a familiar face to many people in the Grey Lynn area, having run her popular cake and coffee shop in Williamson Ave for eight years.

When she moved the commercial coffee roaster from the shop to the bungalow she had bought at the end of 1989, her neighbours were delighted to learn they could order fresh coffee from Shirley, who roasts and grinds an A grade Arabica PNG Colombia and Kenya blend. While she won't disclose her customers' names, she says they do include some famous musicians, TV personalities and businesspeople. If the home's new owner is also keen to buy the commercial coffee roaster, Shirley will provide tuition in the art of using it.

In her two decades here, Shirley has raised daughters Nicky and Alexis and renovated the double brick bungalow with stucco finishing. The house needed some TLC when she took over ownership. She indulged her passion for colour to inject vibrancy into the predominantly "gun-metal grey" decor. Now feature walls and some doors display purple-blue, pink, green and rich rose for warmth and colour.

Shirley says she enjoys the community feel of Grey Lynn, the older style of housing and the suburb's green leafiness. She chose this home in this street because she liked the amount of land and she could see how she could make the home nice and private. "And I do like the wide street."

She set to work, changing the position of bathroom and laundry, adding warm rimu panelling in the new bathroom, putting down carpet, texturing and painting some of the walls. Outside, she landscaped and planted, put up fencing, demolished the old garage and put in the new, single garage plus the drive and patio.

"My father is a builder and he helped me and gave me lots of advice."

Coming in from the street, you have the porch entrance with the front door opening to the hall with the three bedrooms on either side, plus the lounge. Next is the dining room leading into the kitchen. Shirley says if she were staying she would look at making the living/dining/kitchen into one area, removing walls, but keeping the two fireplaces.

Behind the kitchen is the laundry, then the bathroom and sunroom with its door to the back yard. It's here that Shirley has laid out a sheltered courtyard with barbecue, water feature and the plumbed studio where she roasts her coffee.

There's more section on the other side of the fence beside the studio, with potential for a double garage off the drive.

The outdoor patio with palms and a water feature is Shirley's favourite area but she also enjoys being in the kitchen and the lounge. "I like the colours."

Shirley is selling partly because she would like a change of scene now that her grown-up daughters have their own homes. She's looking for an apartment still in the Grey Lynn vicinity - "somewhere I can lock and leave and go visit my new grandson in Brisbane".

She imagines a family buying her house "because the land is there for the kids and having the separate rooms rather than all open-plan is nice if you have children".

But she will miss her garden.

"It's nice growing things but, wherever I go, I can still grow things in pots. And the girls have said, 'Good on you, Mum, go and have a change'."

- NZ Herald

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