'The Plantation House' in Herne Bay sparkles

By Robyn Welsh

282 Jervois Road, Herne Bay
SIZE: Land 1082sq m, house approx 476sq m.
PRICE INDICATION: Vendors say to build this home today would cost approx $8000 per sq m. (CV $3.9 million). Tenders close November 6.
INSPECT: Tomorrow 1-1.45pm or phone to view.
ON THE WEB: bayleys.co.nz/4105657
SCHOOL ZONES: Bayfield Primary, Auckland Girls' Grammar, Western Springs College, St Pauls College, St Marys College and Marist Primary School.
CONTACT: Karen Spires, Bayleys, ph 027 273 8220 or 375 8488.
FEATURES: Architecturally designed, solid masonry villa with pool house, conservatory, landscaped grounds, gas and electric water heating, in-ground saltwater heated pool, outdoor fireplace and barbecue.
282 Jervois Road, Herne Bay. Photo / Ted Baghurst
282 Jervois Road, Herne Bay. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Long, deep verandas, painted shutters, pitched, white sarked ceilings and solid masonry construction have come together amid these lushly planted tropical gardens to acknowledge a love of the plantation style of architecture and this neighbourhood's character homes.

It was architect Richard Priest who gave this place its moniker, "the plantation house", when he designed it for his clients, Greg and Jo Simon, and it is a style that they say has perfectly addressed their wish for a light, airy modern family home with functional adaptability and aesthetic longevity.

"We absolutely insisted that it be solid-block masonry," says Jo.

"The exterior has had five coats of masonry paint to get the right depth of colour so it didn't just look like a concrete house that had been painted.

This house had to fit the heritage look and there are elements of those big concrete villas here and elements of the Caribbean plantation-style, too."

The Simon family bought this property and its early 20th-century villa 10 years ago and lived here for several years while they worked on the planning detail of this home with its pool house, saltwater in-ground pool and conservatory, all swathed in densely planted tropical gardens.

Richard and Greg designed the conservatory that was inspired by Greg's love of the Wintergarden in the Auckland Domain.

It is Jo's favourite spot for a late-afternoon cup of tea, overlooking the kitchen garden with its raised planters and the orchard in the back landscaped garden with its ordered planting of citrus, feijoa trees and a passion-fruit vine.

Richard and Jo worked together on the kitchen design, with its island bench of honed Italian Calacatta marble and the extended stainless, perimeter bench with cupboards that store all the accoutrements for dining close to the table.

The downstairs bathroom has an exterior door for those coming in from the pool and who'll have already rinsed off under the outdoor shower by the pool house.

The two guest bedrooms overlooking the garden have double doors adjoining them, rather than a wall.

This versatility has already proven itself; one of the rooms has worked as an office, and as a sitting room.

Dressing one as a single bedroom and the second as a double has worked well, too, says Jo.

Behind closed doors there is another important upstairs-downstairs connection in the laundry chute that is in the children's lounge close to their bedrooms and the master bedroom.

Up the stairs, which were chosen to complement the French oak flooring, underneath the carpet is all solid concrete.

Jo explains: "So many people compromise and go for timber for their middle level believing that it is cheaper but making it solid concrete means that the house is solid, it doesn't creak and it is so quiet."

In the master en suite is the same marble vanity as in the kitchen and power points that are visible only when the under-bench drawers are pulled open. Outdoors, there is a fireplace and a barbecue in front of the pool house.

Greg and Jo Simon are keen to build another home. Once again the site will determine their architectural direction, just as it did here in Jervois Rd a decade ago.

- NZ Herald

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