Give 'em some razzle dazzle

By Sandra Goodwin

9A WOOD ST, FREEMANS BAY
4
2
1*
SIZE: Land 405sq m, house (approx) 200sq m.
PRICE INDICATION: 2011 CV $1.16 million. Auction March 12 unless sold prior.
INSPECT: Sat/Sun 11-11.30am.
ON THE WEB: barfoot.co.nz/515782
CONTACT: Felicity Scott, Barfoot & Thompson Ponsonby, ph (09) 376 3039 or 0274 522 241.
FEATURES: *Plus 1 off-street.
9A Wood Street, Freemans Bay. Photo / Ted Baghurst
9A Wood Street, Freemans Bay. Photo / Ted Baghurst

This Freemans Bay property championing sophisticated luxe enjoys city views which make its owners feel connected to Auckland's urbanity.

The home, renovated from a circa-1890s character house, has a feeling that's all its own. Much of that's down to Jo Urlich, who imports mid-century furniture from the US. She lives here with husband Hunter, their children Rafael, 4, and Luella, 7 months, and Hunter's 15-year-old boy Harry.

She says: "I imported so many things for this place; all the lights, the handles, the tapware, these tiles ... I wanted it to be comfortable and work for life and the kids but to have an atmosphere that was relatively glamorous. Luxe but still liveable."

Jo saw the pre-renovated house a couple of years ago when they were living in Ponsonby - they were planning another baby so wanted another property.

"As soon as I saw the view from the lounge, but really from the upstairs master bedroom, I only spent about five minutes here and went home and said to my husband, 'we have to buy this house'," she recalls.

"Looking out at Auckland's skyline you kind of feel like you're part of something bigger; like you're connected to the city."

The weatherboard and shingle dwelling was smaller and considerably different then. An architect drew up their plans to relocate the kitchen and push out one side of the back, creating ample dining space with seamless indoor-outdoor flow. This extension enabled them to add another bedroom upstairs.

They effectively gutted the dwelling inside, re-plumbing, re-wiring, adding insulation, underfloor heating and three heat pumps.

Wood St runs off College Hill, just down from Ponsonby Rd. Jo says that's incredibly handy.

"My car broke down on New Year's Eve and it took a month to get a part from Europe. It just wasn't a problem because I can walk everywhere I need. Walk to the supermarket, walk up to the shops, walk to go out to dinner ..."

The exterior paint job emphasises the detailing on the weatherboard and shingle home and its front separate garage (with off-street parking spot alongside).

"It's great getting inside with prams because it's flat from the car.

"The thing that a lot of people say is how small it looks from the street but then you come inside and it just keeps going."

Underfloor heating warms the wood-look ceramic floor tiles from Italy which extend from the front entranceway back through a roomy open-plan area. There are two sumptuously carpeted front living areas, the living room with subtly metallic bronze wallpaper and an additional sitting room with wood-burning character fireplace.

Feature lighting is breathtaking, predominantly impeccable mid-century specimens. A sinuous chandelier adorns the open-plan dining-kitchen where cavity sliders disappear, uniting it with a covered outdoor loggia.

"We spend a lot of time outside here. It's nice and sunny and the kids are in and out to the garden. It's a great area for when friends with children drop over in the weekend, or for any entertaining really."

The kitchen, bedecked in marble and Caesarstone, exemplifies sophisticated luxe in its tasteful antiqued mirror splashback.

"I love the way it looks and it's much easier to keep clean than an ordinary mirror."

The house "just keeps going" with a rear wing embracing the overhauled, level back lawn, edged with gardens.

The wing offers Harry teen space with a bedroom, rear TV room plus a bathroom and separate laundry.

Upstairs, Auckland's CBD skyline provides living artwork for the front master suite with porch and walk-in wardrobe. Its en suite is resplendent in mosaic Carrara marble. As well as Rafael and Luella's two bedrooms there's an upstairs powder room with embossed crocodile pattern wallpaper.

The family are selling as their needs are changing.

- NZ Herald

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