When Graham Bruce had the chance to buy this substantial character home from a relative before it went on the market, he knew the opportunity was too good to miss.
Graham was born and bred in Papatoetoe and he and his wife Sally have also lived in the South Auckland suburb for about 20 years.
Until nearly a year ago, the couple owned a large home on 4500sq m of land in nearby Kimpton Rd where they lived with their five children, now aged between 6 and 18.
With the demands of their growing family, that farm-like property became too much to look after so the Bruces "downsized" to this 2023sq m one.
The stately home, which features a beautiful, broad front verandah and has excellent street appeal, was built in 1915 on a northeast facing level site, in an area that was dubbed the garden suburb of Auckland thanks to its beautiful, rich soil.
Scott Rd is a quiet street in Papatoetoe's "Golden Circle" and runs between St George St and Central Ave, less than 10 minutes' walk from the Old Papatoetoe shops and railway station.
The single-storey house, which has heart kauri and matai weatherboards, brick front pillars and a clay tiled roof, was built for the Goodfellow family.
Subsequent owners did extensive alterations in the 1930s that have only enhanced the home's innate grandeur.
Some of its many beautiful features include solid kauri internal doors with Canadian maple inlays, hand moulded ceiling friezes, Swedish plate glass, diamond ground windows and elegant Art Deco leadlights that have been incorporated into villa-style sash window frames.
The stables, tennis court and rose gardens that were planted in memory of soldiers lost during World War II have gone but the original gazebo occupies pride of place on the wide front lawn. Beyond the front veranda, the front door -- still with its original servant's bell -- leads into a central hallway. To the left of this is a study with built-in oak bookcases, a gramophone cupboard and a fireplace.
Across the hallway, the formal lounge features an elaborately carved stone mantelpiece and expansive Swedish windows, which let in plenty of light.
Double kauri doors open through to the formal dining room which connects to a butler's kitchenette. This is part of the large main kitchen, which was fully renovated only a few years ago by Graham's uncle who previously owned the house.
This well-designed space has black marble bench tops, a user-friendly breakfast bar that the Bruce's children make full use of, plenty of cupboards, and windows that look out to an outdoor entertaining space at the back of the section.
Off a hallway to the left of the kitchen are two bathrooms and four bedrooms, two of which, including the master, look out over the front lawn. All the bedrooms are plumbed with sinks.
At the back of the house is a self-contained flat, which includes a good-sized kitchen, bedroom and a lounge with two decks opening off it. To one side of the flat is a large laundry, which is conveniently close to the backyard and the double garage with workshop space.
This beautiful old home has been great for entertaining friends and for the Bruce family.
But as they become busier with their children's various activities and study they want to move closer to Sally's family in Hillsborough.