Moving from Marlborough to Auckland, Bill Musgrove and Christina Mackay wanted to buy a place that would allow them to feel part of the city's vibrancy.

"We had been trying to hunt online from the South Island for a house," says Christina. "It took us two years to find this.

"We wanted to be in Ponsonby or Grey Lynn and we wanted something contemporary. This is five minutes from Ponsonby Rd on foot."

Although this is an apartment rather than a house, it's the only apartment in the building. The other levels are commercial.

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"We had a look at the open home and we fell in love with it," says Bill.

"It is like a house on top of the building," says Christina of their two-level 230sq m (more or less) apartment.

"To us it felt like a house, albeit four floors up," says Bill.

The building was designed by architect Ross Brown around 2010/11.

"We bought it in 2014," says Bill.

The home centres around the main living area — the large kitchen, dining and lounge are beneath the double-height void, and open to a spacious balcony, one of three in the apartment.

The kitchen, with its huge stainless-steel island bench, connects easily with the dining and living room "which is our style of entertaining," says Bill.

"It is a fantastic kitchen," says Christina, "and we have had a few. This is easily the best.

Everything is at hand, it is very efficient. "

Also on this level are the master bedroom, bathroom and walk-through wardrobe. The bedroom leads out to the open part of the balcony (the area in front of the living area is covered) offering views over Ponsonby's tree-lined streets, the mix of old and new buildings, the water at Cox's Bay and across the city including the Sky Tower.

"We love this outlook," says Bill. "We are going to miss it."

"And it's quiet," says Christina, "you don't hear anything."

The large windows and high ceiling allow plentiful light to stream in.

"We love the light," says Christina. "The internal glass makes it airy and it feels bigger with the vaulted ceiling." says Christina.

Flooring is mainly smoked oak hardwood, doors are Tasmanian oak, adding to the warm ambience, especially on cooler days when the gas fire and two heat pumps instantly take any chill out of the air.

Upstairs is the mezzanine lounge that the couple use as their TV room, with inbuilt shelving and surround sound. Feeding off this area are two bedrooms with balconies, an office and a bathroom with shower and bath. There's even a kitchenette in a cupboard.

At street level, behind the slatted wooden entry doors, is the corridor leading to the lift, just past the rooms housing the couple's large storage locker and rubbish room.

There's road access to the double garage with workshop and enough room for bikes. Another car park is secured behind a gate under the building, and there's stair access to the apartment at the rear of the building.

The couple have loved their time in this apartment, as have their two adult children, who also live in Auckland. But they are selling because they want to live on ground level again because of their two dogs — Lola the labradoodle and Dusty the labradoodle-spoodle.

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