Graeme and Vicky Moyle may not have won the house they admired in a lottery many years ago but they did eventually hit a jackpot of sorts, thanks to the ticket they bought.
The couple have been buying tickets in the Australian RSL raffles for more than two decades, and particularly liked one house in Broadbeach that was the top prize over 20 years ago. They didn't win it, but kept the ticket, which included photos and a house plan. A few years later they bought land in Drury, and used the prize as the inspiration for the home they built.
"We really liked the design of the house and thought it would sit nicely on the property," explains Graeme.
Their elevated land has striking views north across the rolling countryside and they needed a house that would make the most of that outlook. They commissioned architectural designer Malcolm Glasgow to adapt the plans on the lottery ticket to their needs, then local builder Bob Wilmshurst to bring the house to life.
The house has been a joy to live in, so they were winners in the end.
"We couldn't have been happier with the results," says Graeme. "This is exactly what we wanted."
The sprawling one-level house, built of solid masonry in 1994, is angled towards the view and the sun. The whole north-facing side of the house is mostly windows, many of which meet at angles to provide interesting framing for the view. "You never get sick of looking out the windows," says Vicky.
At night, the lights of traffic on the motorway are visible in the distance, and they can also see planes coming and going from Auckland airport. Yet it is so quiet and private that they sleep with the curtains in the master bedroom open so they can wake up to the picturesque panorama.
The major difference between this house and the one that inspired it is that the Moyle home is even bigger, thanks to a two-bedroom unit they had added on the end so Vicky's parents could live with them. It's extremely spacious, with a living room and main bedroom that get the view, and a roomy kitchen with plenty of storage.
"If you wanted you could integrate the unit back into the house and the lounge could be a media room or rumpus room," says Graeme.
However, the main house is big in its own right. The generous entrance foyer leads to the informal living, dining and kitchen on the right and the formal dining and lounge on the left.
Beyond the formal areas is the master bedroom, which has a large walk-in closet and an en suite, along with doors out to the tiled terrace that runs the length of the north-facing side of the house. There's also a second bedroom with views west across the rural landscape.
The formal lounge, which has an extremely efficient woodburning fire, opens up to the informal areas. The kitchen and casual dining area has a soaring cathedral ceiling that makes this space feel even bigger and airier.
The Moyles have recently redecorated, and as well as painting walls and putting in new carpet, they have added a striking black granite benchtop in the kitchen. Beyond the family room next to the kitchen are two more bedrooms, one with doors out to the terrace, and a study.
The couple cleverly created another living space in a courtyard between the entrances to the house and the unit by covering a paved area with an arched canopy.
"We originally did it for our son's wedding and realised we could use it so much more if it was covered," says Graeme. It's a great spot for entertaining and a water feature and planter boxes full of bromeliads add to the ambience of the area.
Keen gardener Graeme has transformed the grounds over the years, landscaping mostly with natives. The property includes a paddock behind the house which is home to three sheep.
Now that Vicky's parents have both passed away and their children have grown up and left home, the house is too big for the couple so they are reluctantly moving on.