Lynton and Kim Wall love English-style homes and gardens so they fell in love with the idea of living in this home from the moment they first eyed it from the street.
The Walls were living in a small, two-up, two-down terrace house in Grey Lynn when they decided it was time to start looking for a larger home where they could raise a family. That was 23 years ago, and the couple has been living ever since in this two-storey, character Mt Eden home where they have brought up their two children, Finella, now 19, and Fraser, 16.
The double brick and masonry house has an English country ambience reinforced by its manicured gardens and is thought to have been designed in the 1930s by architect William Henry Jaine, whose work includes the well-known "castle" house in Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna.
When the Walls moved into the house in late 1989, it was pretty much in its original condition, apart from some renovations done in 1978 that included the addition of a spa pool to the area at the rear of the house where there is now a formal dining room and a double garage.
Over the years, the Walls have gradually made mainly cosmetic changes to the house, being careful to largely retain its original structure and features including panelled doors, built-in alcoves and simple but striking leadlight windows.
Dated wallpaper has been replaced with fresh white painted walls, carpeting has been lifted to reveal rimu floorboards and leadlights have been repaired or replaced where necessary.
"We have just pottered along and made changes at our own pace to make sure that they are done properly," says Lynton, who has done much of the renovations himself.
As well as rewiring the whole house, the Walls have added skylights including a large one in the south-facing kitchen and one in the large upstairs bedroom. Other improvements include a heat pump and HRV system, flued gas heating and a Jetmaster wood-burning fire in the large formal lounge downstairs. Most recently, two bathrooms - both downstairs - have also been completely renovated.
For its 160sq m it has a surprising number of separate spaces. On the ground floor are the master bedroom, main lounge, kitchen, adjoining dining room and second living room, two bathrooms and two single bedrooms - one of them directly off the lounge.
A small spiral staircase, which was added in the 1970s, leads upstairs to the former attic, which is now converted into two rooms - a small study and a large fourth bedroom/lounge that is an ideal teenage retreat.
The rear of the house steps down to a large, fenced and walled lower lawn.
The Walls have loved living in Mt Eden because it is so central, has been close to their children's schools and they have had great neighbours. "The location has been a real pull and it is has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster deciding to sell up after being here for so long," says Kim.
The Walls have opted for a complete change, downsizing to a new, lock-up-and-leave terraced house in Stonefields so they can travel more now that their children are older.