The perfect point of view

By Robyn Welsh

SIZE: Land 855sq m; house 253sq m
PRICE INDICATION: CV $1.27 million
INSPECT: Wed 6pm-7pm, Sat/Sun 11pm-12pm. Auction April 2
SCHOOL ZONES: Pt Chevalier Primary, Pasadena Intermediate, Western Springs College
CONTACT: Paul Sissons and Amanda Maloney, ph 0274 325 220, 021 254 6002
FEATURES: *plus 4 toilets, **plus off-street parking
2 Lister Street, Pt Chevalier. Photo / Michelle Hyslop
2 Lister Street, Pt Chevalier. Photo / Michelle Hyslop

Without realising it, Anne McFadyen has been inching her way towards the water's edge at Pt Chevalier almost all her life. She was born here and schooled here, and a large slice of her life has been lived here with her husband, Graeme, bringing up their family.

Pt Chevalier's family-friendly reputation is a given. What is less well-known are the views looking back towards the CBD.

From the family's ground-floor the view is seamless; the house is far enough away from the reserve and the estuary's paddle boarders to be merely incidental.

Graeme remembers when there were cows grazing on the reserve. "They were totally calming. They don't do anything and when they do something they do it all together." The cows have moved on; now it is dogs and their owners in the leash-free park and walking down the reserve.

Looking from this home at the city, little else has changed. The Sky Tower that punctuates the far central city skyline opened the same year Anne and Graeme built this home in 1997, having subdivided their 1270sq m property and secured No 2 Lister St as a destination.

"There was no Number Two before that. The street started at Number 4," Graeme says.

No one quite knew why but the answer wasn't important. It was the responses to the couple's new home's plans that occupied their energy.

Graeme and Anne lived in the ex-state house at the front of their property, having sold their previous home in a nearby street. Here, the potential lay in the land that tracked down past the rotary clothesline and the plum tree to the water's edge.

Anne and Graeme wanted this home to be fully connected to its view on every level. Ground-floor entry-level living opening to the courtyard was perfect for their two children and their friends.

Design-wise, this home complements its new and established neighbours in a community which was one of Auckland's first bungalow suburbs.

The McFadyens' recent extensive renovations included upgrading their kitchen with new drawer and door hardware and fronts and a new benchtop.

Downstairs, their reconfigured ground-floor living area opens out to their courtyard and garden, planted to a plan that the council required as part of renovation consents.

Just beyond the lawn, steps built with railway sleepers hark back to when they'd launch their kayaks into the tidal water. It's a perspective on life that the family has never tired of.

Another pleasure Anne embraced a year ago is her one-hour walk home from work in the city each evening. Now she is hoping she'll be able to keep that habit up once they move to a smaller home better suited to just the two of them. "We have loved it here," she says. "I could never give up inner-city living."

- NZ Herald

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