As pretty as a posy of roses

By Graham Hepburn

SIZE: Land 367sq m, house 114sq m (approx).
PRICE INDICATION: Interest expected from the CV of $970,000. Auction April 18.
INSPECT: Sat/Sun 2.30-3pm.
SCHOOL ZONES: Richmond Rd School, Ponsonby Intermediate, Western Springs College, Auckland Girls' Grammar.
CONTACT: Michael Best, Ray White Ponsonby, ph 021 682 378.
FEATURES: Fully renovated villa with sunny garden and off-street parking. Open-plan living with high ceilings that flow to outdoor living.
84 Brown St, Ponsonby. Photo / Ted Baghurst
84 Brown St, Ponsonby. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Buying a renovated villa in Ponsonby two years ago was a convenient way to downsize for Robin and Simon Barclay.

The couple sold their large home in Remuera as their focus turned more to their Matakana property, which they have owned since 1995.

Now they are selling their Ponsonby home so they can have more of a lock-up-and-leave lifestyle in Auckland.

"We live most of the time at Matakana now and we have bought an apartment in Auckland so we don't need this house anymore," says Robin.

Though it has a traditional street frontage, the circa-1882 villa has been modernised and extended at the rear, with wide timber floorboards in the original part of the home giving way to concrete floors in the open-plan living area that connects easily to the backyard.

"All we did when we moved in was we decorated it to get rid of all the white because the colour scheme was really neutral, and we warmed it up with a heat pump, put in the skylights and added the laundry."

They also extended the front veranda, which is elevated and overlooks the street.
Striped wallpaper features in the hallway but it is the bright rose motif wallpaper in the master bedroom that really makes a statement.

Although Robin admits the wallpaper "might not be everyone's cup of tea", it sits well with the chandelier, one of many throughout the house. A tiled en suite off the master bedroom has a walk-in shower, a set-up that is repeated in the main bathroom, which also has a bath. There are two more bedrooms off the hallway, with the one at the front of the house set up as an office. These two rooms have back-to-back fireplaces that share a common chimney.

"We have got consent to take out the chimney and replace it with wardrobes," says Robin. "We were also thinking about putting in French doors out to the side garden from the front bedroom."

Tucked off the living area is the laundry the couple added but they had to do little else to this space, which has a new kitchen with stone benches and a breakfast bar.

Adding the skylights helped to brighten the living room, and they are electrically controlled so they can be opened for ventilation. They have blinds on them to screen out the sun if required.

Full-height sliding doors open the living area to a paved patio with pergola. From this area, which is set up for outdoor living, you can step up to the back lawn and garden.

Robin has focused her attention on the garden, planting it up, creating vegetable beds and planting ficus along the back fence. Roses and dahlias add colour.

From the elevated back lawn there is a view across the neighbourhood, with the Sky Tower in the background.

"The garden is gorgeous and it's not overlooked by neighbours at all," says Robin. "I used to work as a garden designer so it's my passion, I suppose."

So much so, that Robin is working with others in Matakana to set up a community garden in the village where locals can grow produce.

- NZ Herald

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