If walls could talk you'd get great stories out of 30 Pentland Ave. The house has been owned for 36 years by Gail and Maurice Trapp who are, according to Maurice, "real party people".
Maurice was the coach of the hugely successful Auckland rugby team between 1987 and 1991 and there have been many famous sporting faces at the knees-ups he and Gail have thrown. "It's a fantastic house for entertaining," he says. "I think a lot of people will have good memories of parties here."
It was also very handy for work - Pentland Ave is few minutes from Eden Park and the hallowed ground can be seen from the house.
These days Maurice is in the insurance business and works from home. A room above the garage has been turned into an office for his staff while he has a desk in the family room. The large table in the formal dining room has been ideal for meetings with clients as well as for fun-filled dinner parties. "It is a very adaptable house," says Maurice.
The house, which dates from around 1912 and was a nursing home for a time, is tucked at the end of a long drive and was divided into four flats when Maurice and Gail first saw it. They rented a top flat, and loved living there so much that when they heard the house was for sale they scraped together the money to buy it. "We thought if it was sold we'd get kicked out, and we didn't want that to happen," says Maurice.
Eventually, they returned it to the grand house it had once been and was crying out to be once more. They preserved lovely old features like pressed steel ceilings and updated with new ones, such as the tongue and groove doors that suit the house so well. The renovation work was inspired by one of their favourite restaurants, Prego, on Ponsonby Rd.
"We liked the indoor/outdoor flow and wanted something similar here," says Maurice. Now, most of the main downstairs rooms have double doors leading outside.
There are numerous living areas on the ground floor. The slate-tiled entrance hall leads to the music room, a large, sunny room, with a fireplace, that is ideal for listening to music or reading books. Across the hall is the kitchen and another living area the Trapps call the day room. This opens to a large, west-facing deck and beyond that a private courtyard with a swimming pool designed to look like a pond. Bifold windows from the kitchen open up this whole area of the house so the cook can feel a part of conversations on the deck outside.
Opposite the kitchen is a family room that doubles as Maurice's office and also a library. Beyond that is the elegant formal living room, which boasts a striking curved fireplace that echoes a curved wall of windows. Next door is the dining room, which also has a fireplace, and, at the far end of the spacious house, a bathroom and the double garage. Although the room above the garage makes an ideal home office, it could also be a bedroom, a playroom for small children or a teenage retreat.
Upstairs are two large bedrooms, both with walk-in wardrobes, a big bathroom and a laundry. There's also a spacious landing with a window seat that has stunning views across Auckland to the Waitakeres.
Maurice says Gail uses this space as the office for her travel company, and can often be found "working" from the window seat.
"This is probably her favourite part of the house, while I really like the kitchen."
After the best part of four decades in the home the Trapps are downsizing to spend more time at their home on Waiheke Island.