May the fortress be with you

By Donna McIntyre

26 COVE LANE, WAIPUNA COVE, MT WELLINGTON
5
4
2
SIZE: Land share 1100sq m; house 181sq m.
PRICE INDICATION: $3 million plus
INSPECT: Sat 12pm-1pm, Sun 1-1.30pm. Auction March 29
SCHOOL ZONES: Riverina School, St Patrick's, Tamaki Intermediate, St Kentigern College, Edgewater College
CONTACT: Elaine Lethbridge or Peter Blacker, ph 021 250 2857, 027 209 5972
26 Cove Lane, Waipuna Cove. Photo / Getty Images
26 Cove Lane, Waipuna Cove. Photo / Getty Images

Noble and Lorraine Bardell had a shopping list when they set out to build their large family home overlooking the Panmure Basin 22 years ago.

The must-haves were: all-day sun, north- or west-facing with views, be warm and comfortable, private, and aesthetically pleasing. And have enough room for a bowling green.

They settled on this prime piece of land, just over 1100sq m with water views.

Noble says that owning the Three Brothers building centres in Panmure and Hamilton was a big help in having the knowledge and resources to build the 435sq m home in Georgian style.

"It's a very traditional house; we are proud of it," says Noble.

No expense has been spared with the quality build. The main construction is concrete block with concrete drag finish. Kauri and rimu have been used for the stairway, panelling, flooring and concave ceilings. There's German insulation, underfloor heating and imported Canadian grey glass and glass blocks bringing in supplementary natural light.

The couple tell how they would drive around the area to spot details they liked on other homes, then incorporate those into the design: for example, how the kitchen area juts out to get more sun, and those trellis details on the eaves.

They roughed out the design, handing it over to an architect to finalise the finer points of the plans.

The resulting large home is spread over three levels, with all bedrooms having balconies.

One of those bedrooms opens out to the bowling green which has lighting for evening play. "Sometimes we are still going strong at two in the morning!" laughs Noble.

As you come into the house from the palm-lined driveway, past the double garage, workshop and gym, the front door opens into the entrance atrium with its grand stairway. The games room and "Noble's Bar" are on the left, leading out to the pool and terrace with outdoor fire. The pool temperature sits at a comfortable 30C, heated by the solar panels on the roof (which also heat the home's water supply).

The couple spend a lot of time in the games room; it's perfect for entertaining, especially with the pool outside. And it's here you'll find the 90sq m "secret" room accessed through the full-length mirror in the bathroom, off the rumpus room. This mirror slides open to what Lorraine calls the dungeon - their wine cellar.

Along one length is a mural of medieval castle scenes. Noble tells how it was painted by the son of fishing guru Bill Hohepa, and has smaller painted details - eagles, knights, horses - within the main painting. The next level up has the main living area, with the open plan kitchen and dining, and then the lounge, all opening out to balcony overlooking the Panmure Basin.

On the other side of this level are more bedrooms (and the bowling green) and a large bathroom with spa bath.

On the top level, with the concave roofline, you have the master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe, en suite and balcony.

The couple have been responsible for all the landscaping - the tropical garden has a large bird of paradise as you look out over the pool, and the English theme by the bowling green.

The garage and workshop accommodate two cars but Noble says you can comfortably park eight cars in the driveway without blocking anyone in.

Noble and Lorraine say they are selling with heavy hearts. They love this home, its position and the neighbourhood.

"It's been a great house to live in, great for our kids and also great for the neighbours who come over for a swim!"

They have everything they need on their doorstep, the privacy, the pool, Panmure Basin. "We never go away on holiday in summer; this is like being in a resort," says Lorraine.

- NZ Herald

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