By Graham Hepburn
Howick village and the nearby beach were already favourites of Jeanine and Steve Daly before they moved into the area.
"The village has a really nice vibe about it and we would always take picnics and go down to the beach," says Jeanine.
So when they sold their Dannemora home they were determined to build a house close to the beach and village.
Jeanine says they missed out on this Cheriton Rd site via a tender but when it went back on the market she made sure they sealed the deal.
"We have such a great setting here with the bush and the pond and it's a two-minute walk to the beach on the boardwalk. Sunday morning we go down to the beach with a cup of coffee and watch the world go by. "
She says they enlisted the services of Jones Architects to design a home that would make the most of the north-facing aspect while providing shelter from the prevailing weather.
"We had a really good vision of what we wanted here, and I have a marketing background so the architect had a pretty good briefing document. We wanted a relaxed, Balinese feel."
Built by Finesse Residential, the home was finished three years ago and incorporates a lot of ideas the couple gleaned online or by visiting show homes.
"We wanted something with real street appeal so that is why we went with the black and white colour scheme, the offset brick and dark vertical cedar and the copper spouting."
And to tie the house and site together they used a plan by landscape designer Kate Frazerhurst, with Jeanine choosing plants that would give a tropical feel.
A curved arrangement of concrete planks of varying lengths forms the path that brings you to the oversized front door that is wooden but looks like copper due to its special metal coating.
Inside, the home feels light and serene because of its high stud, over-height doors, large windows and wide hallways and staircases.
Jeanine says she and Steve wanted the home to have generous, inviting spaces. She worked on the interiors with Jenny Harris, of Design Front, with a colour palette of blues and sandy tones inspired by the Maldives, where the couple holidayed.
Those colours can be seen in the open plan living area with its exposed concrete floors, restrained hues and kitchen with a blue splashback.
Blue also features under the composite stone island bench/breakfast bar.
A "magic door" in the wall of dark-stained cabinetry opens to a scullery, with the laundry by the back door.
Windows and sliding doors wrap around the northeastern corner of the living area, which opens to a sheltered outdoor dining space with a louvred roof and built-in speakers.
"We used to have a table and chairs out here but since we've put the lounge furniture out here we virtually live out here," says Jeanine.
The wide-planked deck looks out over the pond and bush, with bird-attracting native trees.
On the eastern side of the house is a conversation pit with gas fire and, tucked in a corner, a spa pool.
A media room was also a priority for the couple, who chose to paint it in more "cosy" colours. It shares a double-sided gas fire with the living area and sits alongside and opens to the outdoor dining area.
On the ground floor there is one bedroom on the southern side of the house, while upstairs there are three more and two bathrooms, one an en suite to the master.
This bathroom has bronzey looking tiles with a blue tinge and features a standalone bath and a glass shower
A large walk-in wardrobe completes the master wing, and it is features such as these that Jeanine says will be hard to leave behind.
A move to Hawke's Bay is on the cards, however, and also the chance to build again.