When Andrew Shepherd sat down with Colin Leuschke from Avery Leuschke to discuss plans for his north-facing dream home, just a few streets back from the beach in St Heliers Bay, his brief to the architect was to make the best possible use of the land that was available — on a cross lease.
Andrew says he was delighted with Colin's design.
"Colin was very clever in terms of site coverage and managed to include a sunny deck with views to Rangitoto and a respectable glimpse of the sea," he says.
The house, completed in 1992, sits across the road from a tennis court and bowling club.
It is a mixture of Canadian cedar and concrete plaster with a Monier tiled roof, and is on two levels.
On the ground floor is the entrance foyer, internal access double garage with storage space and a laundry, an under-stair cupboard, two bedrooms and a bathroom. "It's great for having guests to stay," Andrew says.
In keeping with its seaside location are the terracotta-tiled floors, which add a touch of Mediterranean style and are easy to keep clean.
Up the jarrah stairs lies the main, light-filled living area with jarrah floors and a later addition of an Ecosmart gas fire and Tasmanian ash built-in entertainment centre — designed by Thao Nguyen. There is a light, bright dining space to the side and this has wonderful views.
Lindy Leuschke designed the vibrant kingfisher-blue kitchen, with hand-coloured tiles by Auckland artist John Papas, and it's still in practically pristine order because Andrew hasn't done much cooking at home.
"In terms of the colour, I think it's quite interesting," he says.
"It was cutting edge when it was installed — and actually the whole house was featured on a TV property show, and in North & South magazine, then that particular blue went out of fashion. Now, however, things have gone full circle and it's popular again."
As a bonus, the kitchen also features pull-down attic stairs, allowing the owner to make use of copious storage space in the loft.
"That's another example of Colin Leuschke thinking of everything," Andrew says.
The upstairs bathroom has been modernised to include a pebble-floored shower box and next to it is the main bedroom with attractive views across the tree-filled neighbourhood.
The house is wired for surround sound in the living area and has Sky TV and a burglar alarm. Fully insulated, the gas fire is almost purely for ambience, says Andrew.
Surrounding plants are well-established and low maintenance.
When it comes to the neighbourhood, Andrew says that nobody could ask for anything more.
"It's peaceful and quiet and all the people who live around here are very pleasant."
"The property is close to all the local shops, bars and cafes and it's an easy and attractive drive to work along the waterfront."
Andrew works for Emirates airline and has had a transfer to Brisbane so, after much consideration, he has decided to sell his Auckland base.