Villa's cricket wicket just the ticket

By Donna McIntyre

SIZE: Land 613sq m, house 149sq m.
PRICE INDICATION: CV $820,000. Auction May 29 at 1pm.
INSPECT: Sat/Sun 12-12.30pm.
SCHOOL ZONES: Balmoral School, MAGS, AGGS.
CONTACT: Cheryl Crane, Harcourts, ph 021 444 149; Andre Coppell, ph 021 300 794.
FEATURES: *Off-street parking for 3+ cars. Beautifully maintained and renovated Edwardian villa handy to Dominion Rd, Mt Eden and city. Set back from the road.
208 Balmoral Rd, Balmoral. Photo / Ted Baghurst
208 Balmoral Rd, Balmoral. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Not only is the hallway a feature of Jon and Gemma Bridges' beautiful Edwardian villa; it also makes a rather good indoor cricket wicket.

"We could play a mean game of cricket in the hallway when I had flatmates," says Jon. "We had a rule: you break it, you pay for it."

Jon, producer of TV3's 7 Days - and writer and blogger - bought the Mt Eden villa 15 years ago.

"I was flatting and just decided to buy a house. I was working on Ice TV and also on radio doing Channel Z and was earning a lot of money. And my grandfather in the US had died and he left all of his 15 grandchildren enough money to use as a deposit on a house. He had worked hard all his life."

This home's central position was also appealing, says this keen cyclist, who commutes by bike to work at TV3 in Nelson St.

"I have always loved character villas. I like the generous size of the rooms and having four bedrooms was good for flatmates. And the section is a good size.

"I also love the Little China area; Barilla Dumpling and New Flavour are two great restaurants. That area used to be a bit run down but now on a Wednesday night there are people waiting on the pavement at 9pm to get in. And also there's Capitol cinema. It's like city living in the suburbs."

At first Jon had flatmates until Gemma, an office furniture product designer/marketer, moved in six years ago. The couple married in 2010.

The villa layout has their master bedroom, with its bay windows, as you come in from the veranda.

"We use this as our bedroom because it is the prettiest with its pressed steel ceiling," says Gemma.

There are two more bedrooms on the left, the first with a built-in wardrobe the couple added, then Jon's office, which can be used as an extra bedroom.

In the bathroom, Jon removed lino to expose wooden floors and sourced antique tiles to add character by the mirror, bath and the classic toilet with original cistern.

"We have to give people lessons about how to pull the chain."

The lounge with its original sash window and working fireplace has a wall lined with bookshelves.

"It's been good to do some work on the house, having it painted and putting in the bookcase," says Jon.

This room is open to the dining area and kitchen - thanks to Jon removing walls to make three rooms into one, but keeping the original stained glass window door between the kitchen and the hallway.

"The lounge is great, nice and cosy," comments Gemma, explaining they have the choice of using the fireplace or gas heater; plus keeping the house dry and warm are the DVS, as well as insulation in walls and under floors.

The couple, who are expecting their first baby in early October, are selling because they are building a home in Three Kings.

"We're hoping like heck that the new house will be built before the baby arrives and not the other way around," says Jon.

"It's a modern three-storey home on the side of a hill with amazing views of the city and out west," explains Gemma.

Having an architect for a Dad is one reason they are building - Roy Wilson is a principal with Warren Mahoney's Wellington office. "He is responsible for the Cake Tin, Parliament and the Supreme Court," says Gemma. "But also we are selling because, although we love this house, it's Jon's house and we are creating a home together."

- NZ Herald

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