Herald homes of the year: Period charm plus contemporary chic

By Penny Lewis

Herald Homes real estate editor Penny Lewis takes a look back at some of her favourite homes listed this year.

Period charm with luxurious modern convenience. Photo / Ted Baghurst.
Period charm with luxurious modern convenience. Photo / Ted Baghurst.

Originally featured on November 10, this weatherboard house melds period charm with luxurious modern convenience.

This sweet, modest circa-1918 villa is one of only three properties to enjoy immediate waterfront access to the secluded Chelsea Bay. There are many who wouldn't know the bay even existed, because there's no public road access.

The property stretches from rear native bush with a stream to a front lawn bordering the dreamy little bay, nestled one bay around from Chelsea Estate Park.

A secluded driveway leads to a parking deck bolstering a double garage with basement workshop and loft. The interior is full of natural light and vaulted ceilings, blending character origins with Scandinavian style.

Visitors enter a mid-level reception hall, preceding a big open-plan living room with a reclaimed kauri feature wall. Wide macrocarpa floorboards continue past a restful sitting room with bay and arched windows inspired by originals, to a kitchen/dining/family room embracing the deck.

Detail and craftsmanship abound, from the kitchen bench hewn from one solid 40mm-thick piece of marble to an Egyptian fountain reinvented as a guest toilet handbasin. Its open-plan living/dining/kitchen with built-in indoor-outdoor multimedia system accompanies a bathroom and a bedroom with private deck admiring serene native bush.

The layout is versatile and brilliant for entertaining. This floor has two bedrooms - one with an ensuite and another with a mezzanine level and a neighbouring bathroom.

Upstairs the front master bedroom with balcony and bank of wardrobes gazes seaward. An exquisite bathroom neighbours a rear bedroom (alternatively a dressing room) with balcony overlooking the pool.

Downstairs the "garden floor" can be self-contained for guests. The pool complex contains a heated in-ground pool with swim jets, contemporary spa and guest cottage/pool house.

24 Inkster Street, Chelsea Bay, Birkenhead Point

Seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, two-car garage

Size: Land 2277sq m, house 569sq m (including guest cottage/pool house and garage/workshop).

Price indication: Still listed, interest expected above $4 million.

School zones: Birkenhead Primary School, Northcote College.

Features: Three-level waterfront home on big grounds in two titles, stretching from immediate waterfront access in a small bay to rear native bush. Close to Birkenhead Point Village and handy to Auckland CBD.

- NZ Herald

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