With more than 2000 cookbooks in her extensive library, food writer and stylist Dianne Kenderdine needed a large house to contain them. So, in 1995, when she and husband Hugh saw this Epsom home with nearly 300sq m of floor space they knew it would be ideal - but feared it was outside their price range. Nevertheless, when the agent urged them to make an offer, they did. And, to their surprise, it was accepted.
The property, on an elevated position on the lower slopes of Mt Eden, is a short walk away from Auckland Grammar and Epsom Girls Grammar
On the entry level there is an office just inside the front door, which is ideal if the new owner wishes to work from home, plus a large, separate laundry and internal access double garage.
The four bedrooms are all on the second floor. The large master suite has an en suite, walk-in wardrobe and the bonus of a sunroom with extensive views across Epsom and Mt Eden to One Tree Hill and beyond.
"It was originally a balcony, but we decided to close it in and it became my sewing room," says Dianne.
Two of the other bedrooms have french doors opening on to the patio. One has an en suite and the others are on either side of the family bathroom.
The kitchen, on the third floor, is large and well-equipped, as you would expect for someone in the food industry. You can see the green mountain slopes through its windows.
Dianne says that although it's part of Mt Eden Reserve and has a public walking track, it feels like an extension of her own garden.
There's also an open plan dining and family room in addition to the big, bright lounge, which can be closed off with sliding doors.
A sunny deck beyond the family room is ideal for the barbecue.
'It's set up so that the cook can pass food out through the kitchen window," says Dianne.
She says the neighbours in this quiet, elevated cul-de-sac are friendly and look out for each other.
One particularly attractive weatherboard property was one of the suburb's earliest homesteads.
Its history includes a spell as the hostel for Epsom Girls Grammar.
"When we moved in my friend Tui Flower, the legendary food writer, couldn't get around here fast enough to check it out, because she'd boarded there many years earlier," says Dianne.
Having enjoyed a long and successful career, which has included organising the annual New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards for many years, Dianne is easing back on food work, enjoying a less-rushed pace of life spending time with Hugh, who is in care.
She still hopes to travel to the United States each year, where she volunteers at their cheese awards.
She feels certain that the new owners of 77 Owens Rd will be a family and that the children will love having the mountain to play on.
"It's so well situated, with Mt Eden village just around the corner and the CBD a quick drive away. With all this space there's plenty of room for everybody."